The Guild Wars series started with this game called Guild Wars - Prophecies. It is published by NCsoft in 2008. Now a lot of gamers know about this game and after 3 other expansions of the first game, Guild Wars 2 is being worked on and will release somewhere this year. The game was and is a great success and it is quite competitive in its genre.
At first I want to mention the story of this game, this is really the first mmo that really has a compelling story. It adds so much to this game, instead of simply killing monsters over and over again to level yourself up, you can do missions and quests to complete the story. And belief me, that isn't always so easy. I have been playing the story quite a few times since I made some new characters, but I only made it with one character to complete the game, and then there is even a hard-core mode when you have finished the game in normal difficulty.
Basically you start in a peaceful world, in a city called ''Ascalon'' there you have to do some quests and missions and soon after the beautiful Ascalon you know, is destroyed and that whole part of the world, which is called Tyria, changed into a war zone. The humans are in a war with the merciless Charr, a violent race. Slowly you continue your story further in the land of Tyria and you meet different new characters which you can use in your party.
The gameplay is basically walking with WASD or the mouse to point and click where you want to go. You meet other online people only in towns or cities, because whenever you go outside for quests or to fight monsters, you go through a portal. When you enter the portal you get this loading screen and you'll be away from the rest of the players. I do think this is one of Guild Wars weaker sides, since I like to meet people in the battlefield to. You are able to create a party in those cities so you can go outside and do quests/missions together. Though this is a limited party, however it all depends on the area you are situated at that moment. If you can't find any players or you want to play it solo, then you can bring the so called ''henchman'' with you. Those are found in each town, some with more or different henchman than others, but that again depends on the place you are. At the beginning it is more or less impossible without help, because it is simply not meant to play it on your own.
Also in Guild Wars you can find several items, mostly in Hard-core Mode you will find the ''colored titled'' weapons which indicate the strength and how rare it is. You can put those in your storage for other characters, since you have one storage for all your characters on your account. You can also try to trade the weapons with other players or just use them yourself. Although the weapons do not require a minimum level, instead they require a certain amount of attribute points in one of the four specialities of your character, so in other words you do need some kind of level. The maximum level is 20 and is fairly quick reached when you do the quests and missions, basically fighting monsters doesn't do the job for you. I would have liked it more if the game had a higher level cap, but your story had only just started when you reached level 20, so no further problems with that.
The combat is also quite good. You simply attack someone by double - clicking on the person you want to attack. Your character starts to auto - attack the enemy with the weapon you equipped. On top of that you can use several skills, which you equipped on your character. There is a limit of 8 skills, including an elite skill, which is a more powerful one. Use the skills in different combinations for a better result. When you level up you can put points in the four different types of your character's specialities. Those points are called attribute points. Fortunately you can change those points whenever you want, the only requirement is that have to be in a town.
The character customization is good enough, you can choose different faces; your length; hair; colour of your clothes; a name. Your name has to exist out of two or more separate words. You can choose out of 6 different ''professions'':
The warrior is the melee or tank fighter, which we basically all know.
The Ranger is the long distance archer. In Guild Wars the ranger is able to carry a pet with him which you can get by using a certain skill on any of the animals you find in the Guild Wars world.
The monk is more or less a healer, the monk is essential in a team. Without a monk it is difficult to last long in battle.
Necromancer is the opposite of the monk, would be appropriate to say. It uses blood magic and it can summon monsters from dead bodies lying around you.
The mesmer is a sort of illusionist. It basically steals energy from you or interrupts you while casting a spell, definitely one of the most annoying characters to fight against, but great to have him with you.
The elementalist is the mage. Fire, stone, thunder or water could be trained with the elementalist. Incredible damage can be done by the Elementalist.
On top of those professions you can, when you have done some quests, start to choose your second profession. You can choose one of the other professions listed above so that you can use both skills and specialities of the two characters.
**Player versus Player**
The PvP battle is also a fantastic aspect of the game. You can even create a special PvP-only character which allows you to have an instant level 20 character so that you can fully concentrate on fighting online. You can either use the weapons from your storage or you can choose/customize special PvP items which are all available for you. Now you can join the random arena and several other PvP modes. I personally prefer the PvP battles because it is so fun to try out new builds and mess around with the skills and attributes.
The graphics are quite stunning, especially for an MMO. The graphics wouldn't be that special for normal games. But when you talk about MMO games, you will not find such graphics that often. I think Guild Wars has one of the best visual graphics and effects ever when it is about this genre. The characters are modelled really well and the body is constructed quite realistic. Furthermore, the animations are visually great. I also love the architecture of the world in Guild Wars, the style and atmosphere in the game is really magnificent. The effects of your skills are also not bad to look at. I have been playing Guild Wars on older computers and I must admit, it doesn't require the best gaming computer, though if you want to get the highest possible visual look in the game, you do need a better computer.
The game is, unlike World of Warcraft, fairly cheap. You don't have to pay a monthly subscription, you simply have to buy the game at once. After you bought it you have the game forever. There is some in - game items available for real cash, but these are mostly for the looks and not the statistics of the weapons, so it basically won't give you an unfair advantage. Every time you buy another expansion your account is upgraded with 2 more character slots. You can also download the game on any computer via their website, you only need your account to login to play the game.
All by all, Guild Wars is one of the best MMORPG's out there and should be definitely checked out by fellow players of this genre. Also I do recommend all the other expansions since it really gives you far more gameplay and possibilities, but the game is still enjoyable without them.
**Minimum required specifications**
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 2000/XP
Processor: Intel® Pentium® III 800 Mhz or equivalent
RAM: 256 MB RAM
HDD: 3.6 GB Available HDD Space
Graphics: ATI® Radeon® 8500 or NVIDIA® GeForce® 3 or 4 MX Series Video Card with 32MB of VRAM
Guild wars is a fantastic series. If you're looking for a cheap MMORPG and can't afford to pay out subscription fees each month, then look no further.
NOTE: THIS GAME REQUIRES AN INTERNET CONNECTION, NO SUBSCRIPTION FEES APPLY.
Start here, the first game of the series - Guild Wars: Prophecies.
You start by creating your character, you chose one of 6 professions:
Axe/Sword/Hammer wielding front-liner, you be hitting your enemies hard whilst also protecting your team. With a heavy armor level, warriors are able to take hard hits; but they can also deal them out.
Bow wielding back-liner; choose your bow from one of many (different bow types have different shot ranges/arc types/damage bonus modifiers). Rangers are the only class which can charm animals, so you're able to take a pet companion with you (there are many types of animal to chose from!).
Lord of the dead, curse your enemies with proactive or reactive hexes. Raise minions from the dead. In my opinion, the best profession of the lot. Versatile and has one of the highest DPS' of any class.
Control the elements, chose fire, water, earth or air and blast down your enemies with force. Also able to 'tank' elementalists are also versatile (being able to be the most efficient healer in the game (See Ether Renewal healing) is also another bonus).
The healer and protector of the team. Become a monk and master the art of healing. You can also deal damage - so don't worry about having to heal all the time!
One of the least popular professions, but arguably one of the most useful. Use illusion and inspiration magic to hex your enemies and zap them down.
What makes Guild Wars so unique is it's "private zones" system. Towns and outposts are shared (i.e you can see other people who are also playing.) from here, you can team up with other players or take henchmen (computer controlled players) into the wilderness and explore.
You learn and buy skills, of which you can equip up to 8 at once. You capture elite skills off of bosses through the game - these are the best type! Save loot from enemies to buy armor and weapons, you may also come across some rare items on your travels and make a bundle!
The storyline is gripping, explore the shiverpeaks, Kryta, The Jungle, desert and fire islands on your mission to strike down the source of evil in the land of Tyria (where Prophecies is set).
The graphics are incredible and the soundtrack is also beautiful.
The game is suited to both the solo player and the team player, so fill your inventory with treasures, explore the lands... and fall in love with the series that is Guild Wars.
When i started playing this i was truely addicted, it has a compelling story that makes you want to play it for hours and hours.
Here is a breakdown of the game -
The first time i logged in and saw this game i thought the graphics were great, for how big the maps are in the game, the detail us amazing there are a few glitches like being able to walk through certain things however i think you have to expect that with how much there is in that game.
As soon as you log in you can choose whether you can the campaign or the pvp mode, campaign is where you do all quests and missions and pvp is where you play against other players, you are able to name and create everything about your character weight, height, facial attributes, hair, and clothes. You can then choose what type of character you would like e.g. Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Necomancer, Mesmer, Elementalist. Each of these have different spells and skills you can have. As soon as you have made the character you can go straight into the main game as to where you are able to start playing with other players.
You can have up to 5 different characters in the game and are able to purchase another two for a certain price.
The in game quests allow you to earn experience and different spells and weapons, these give you a challenge that get harder as you go on in the game, the experience you earn from quests help you to go up in levels and earn skill points to get more skills. The quests vary, some of which are just travelling to new towns ans some are more challenging.
The missions present a bigger challenge than quests however these are key to carrying on in the game and the story, you are able to earn a lot of experience from each of the missions and skill points.
You can earn extra experience and skill points on each for completing the bonuses.
There are many events put on by Guild War's one of which is halloween as to where Mad King comes to one of the cities and players can earn rewards from him, it is a truely great event that is unmissable and great to be a part of. From there you can get rewards like tonics that turn your character into different halloween characters and alcahol, sweets etc.
This is similar at christmas where prizes are given away and there is a huge celebration with fireworks and christmas presents given out to all characters, again there is alcahol, sweets, and transforming tonics.
Overall this is great value for money and a game that you can have hours of fun playing.
Guild Wars is not your typical MMORPG, by that of course I mean its not like World of Warcraft. You could say they are worlds apart. It was released in April 04 at £29.99 and as soon as I managed to install the game, I was taken.
I was taken by the graphics, the background music, the story and most of all the gameplay. It was exciting straight away you were learning how to play the game in what is known as pre-searing. And each quest gave you an idea about what was going on in and around Ascalon city. As you leveled up and did quests you were rewarded by skills and further insight into the story. Then came a time when pre-searing becamse small as you explored every nook and cranny and eventually things got boring.
So you decided to step out into the big world and venture new grounds and to do that you had to prove your mettle by fighting against other players. The victors had bragging rights but even the loser was accompanied by Prince Rurik on their new adventure.
Pre-searing just got bigger and was now known as post-searing. The world wasn't as green, nor as lush and I really felt like something was brewing everytime I stepped out of the new burnt down Ascalon city. The landscape had all changed but things got bigger, much bigger.
Quests lead from towns to outposts and from outposts to missions and then to towns. There were 3 major citys in Tyria (as the world was known) - Ascalon city, Lions Arch and Droknars Forge. Each city was basically controlled by a different faction - Ascalon was by Royals, lions arch by the White Mantle and Droknars by Dwarves.
Prophecies is big, actually let me reiterate it is massive compared to succesive Guild Wars games. It was genuinely an adventure each time you set out and saw new landscapes and fought new monsters. But theres were things went downhill sometimes. Parties were limited to 8 players and each area or mission is instanced specifically to that party.
That aside the glorious soundtrack added to the thrill of the game and it is as epic as Lord of the Rings music. Graphically the game is far superior to World of Warcraft and to be honest I loved the Guild Wars look more. It was darker, visceral and a lot more believable.
The game got progressively harder and you had to come up with new ways or builds as it is known to defeat different areas and missions.
Come to think of it, Prophecies was truly a groundbreaking game that its successors haven't come close to.
Overall score 9/10 and for £5.99 you can play an epic that is awaiting its next sequel - Guild Wars 2