Guild Wars – Review
Guild Wars is an Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game(MMORPG) developed by Arena Net, and published by NC Soft. Guild Wars has already 2 expansions released, and another one “Eye of the North” that will be released this month.
Arena Net was created by a team of ex-Blizzard guys, and that we see in everything they did, from graphics, content, and optimization, everything is managed very well, but we will talk more on that during this review.
The big difference between Guild Wars and others MMOs, is the instanced approach. This means that the game is divided by several instances, and most of them are dedicated to you as a player, or to your group, guild. How this works? Every city, outpost, fort, acts like a normal city in a MMO, filled with players, traders, merchants, and when you go outside the city for quests or other adventures, a instance of the world will be created for you and you alone, or for you and your party. This might scare some of you out there, but is very easy to get a party, if you really want do some adventures in groups or to go alone with hired henchman (npc), or solo totally. Also, the cities have languages districts which are basically instances of the cities, but made for other languages, parts of the world, so you wont see spam in different languages in your Europe District, because there is already a French, German district and so on, which is pretty nice.
Not all locations are totally instanced, during the PVE campaign you will have around 20 cooperative mission, where you will have to go in group to finish them. These represent the main story of the game, and they are very well made, and also some quests require a party by default.
The core of Guild Wars was built for competitive PVP. All over the world, we have PVP arenas, some are just for training, some are for tournament, Guild vs Guild wars, Alliance vs Alliance, Hero Battles, and the ultimate battle Hero’s Ascent. From these wars, fights, players and guilds, can obtain rank, recognition, and loot, and also Arena Net holds nice PVP contests, with real prizes, like the July $100,000 Tournament Series.
In Guild Wars we get to choose from several professions: Warrior, Elementalist, Monk, Dervish, Ranger, Mesmer, Necromancer, Paragon, Ritualist, or Assassin, each with its own strengths and characteristics, a weapon or magic specialty, and a unique set of skills with which to deal damage, manipulate the enemy or environment, or protect and heal allies. Each profession provides a set of attributes which determines the effectiveness of weapons and skills in battle.
You can customize your avatar by choosing from multiples faces, hair styles, (around 10-20 each profession) which is good, because you are really able to make a character to look like what you like, and not be like in some games just a clone. From here you choose to make a roleplay character which will start a lvl 1, and you will be able to go through the storyline, quests, which are great, or PVP character of lvl 20(max) ready to get in Arenas and fight.
Because of the instanced approach, the PVE system, content is one of the best we saw so far. The world sometimes changes because of your actions which is great, the quests are very well done, not all are just courier, and most of them have a nice story, and they are present in a nice way, when you go side by side in a adventure with a NPC, because that is the quest, and fight side by side with him, learn his story, and so on. They are tons of quests with decent rewards, on each continent, and besides this we have the cooperative missions, that are the main storyline, where you need to go with a party to complete them, and I got to say they are great.
Each character has around 200-300 skills to use in their fights, but only 8 of them can be used in a adventure, once you are in a town, outpost, you can change, add, remove the skill you have available. Also each character can choose a second profession, and to use that profession skills, imagine a Warrior/Monk, that fights well, but also can heal, and cast enchant or holy spells over the enemies and allies. (this is my mainJ)
The control is by default, done with W, A, S, D and mouse, and is very well made, but you can also change it to point and click. The control over the interface is incredible, you can customize every panel, where to be and it size.
The weapons, armor for your character you can get them from the players, quests rewards, drops from monsters, or craft them, by gathering materials and craft them in town at the NPCs. You are able to salvage any item with a salvage kit, so this way you get materials. Also the item system is something like in Diablo, we have white items, blue items, rare and unique items, each with more attributes added to the item. You can also add special characteristics to your items with special runes, bought from merchants, or found in your adventures.
The game engine, is one of the best I ever get my hand on a MMO, very optimized, works well on high details even on old computers, of 2-3 years ago. The graphics of this game on high details are superb, the level designers, art work people did a great job, just go to a forest and see how nice is designed, the characters, armors, weapons are even better.
The music is also great, epic, medieval-fantasy theme, doesn’t get repetitive because of their quality and because they are multiples songs, and the sound fx is just as it should be.
Having no monthly subscriptions, great competitive PVP, great PVE content, Guild Wars at this moment is one of the best fantasy theme MMORPG out there, even if is instanced.Even if you get bored of the PVE Content from the Guild Wars Prophecies, which is the main game, you have 3 expansions at your disposal for more PVE and PVP content.
Kudos to the developers!
Good source for new players: http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Main_Page