Guild Wars:
Massively Single Player

By Shamus
on Jun 18, 2008
Filed under:
Game Reviews

I missed a few notes in my last post, so let’s back up and talk about what this thing is before we talk about how it works. Also, we need some screen shots. (Because this game is an excellent excuse to put pretty pictures on my website.)

Yes, this game engages in gleeful and shameless pandering. Fans of ancient Chinese naval vessels rejoice!
Yes, this game engages in gleeful and shameless pandering. Fans of ancient Chinese naval vessels rejoice!

Many people are pointing out to me that Guild Wars is not an MMO, and they’re right, although I’m not sure what we should call it. The game has two parts. One is the PvP area, where you can create a full-on maxed-out character and then go and do whatever the PvP types do. The other half of the game is what concerns me, which is the campaign mode.

In campaign mode, you play through a single-player style story. But, you know, online. The towns are a shared space, where you can see everyone else who happens to be in town. You can think of the towns as being massively multiplayer. But as soon as you leave town you enter your very own copy of the wilderness where you’ll fight monsters and do missions to advance the plot. You don’t have to worry about kill-stealing players or people trying to ninja your loot. You’re alone (although you’ll need to have some NPC henchmen with you if you want to get anywhere) and the only way you’ll see another player is if you join their group and go adventuring together.

This is a rare case where the pandering goes both ways. Half-dressed females only marginally outnumber half-dressed males. I would pay good money to know the <em>actual</em> male / female breakdown behind these characters.
This is a rare case where the pandering goes both ways. Half-dressed females only marginally outnumber half-dressed males. I would pay good money to know the actual male / female breakdown behind these characters.

This is pretty similar to how Hellgate worked: Shared towns and instanced combat areas. And like Hellgate, you only have to buy the game and don’t have to worry about an ongoing monthly fee to continue playing.

In the Prophesies campaign (which is what I have) the game begins in a nice, happy kingdom, although the opening narration makes it very clear that you shouldn’t get used to it. You spend the first few levels roaming around the charming farmland and villages, killing stuff, learning the interface, and generally getting to know the game. Once you finish this extended tutorial an invasion takes place, and the kingdom goes right to hell. This is all conveyed via some nice in-game cutscenes. The plot then cuts to four years later. The kingdom is a wasteland and you’re working to push back the enemy and restore the place.

Since our homes are all burned down and our farms are destroyed, our people have nothing to do all day but make fetish outfits and frilly underpants for the ladies.
Since our homes are all burned down and our farms are destroyed, our people have nothing to do all day but make fetish outfits and frilly underpants for the ladies.

I really like this approach to multiplayer. It’s kind of like how the XBox live gamertag makes every game “multiplayer” by giving you a way to show off how you’re doing to other people. It actually gives you a motivation to worry about looking good, since people other than you can actually see your character. You can play co-op with friends, or you can go it alone, but the town is always there if you need to ask questions or trade items.

The game streams content to you as you play, which has drawbacks and advantages. Assuming you bought the game online, it’s nice to not have to download a gargantuan file just to get started. (Although I believe you can if you really want to. Assuming you have cable modem you can probably just kick it off before bed or work and the thing will be waiting for you when you come back.) If you’re in a hurry, you can just get the base file and each time you enter a new area the client will stop and download the required content.

guild_wars5.jpg

I’ve talked before about how games need several types of rewards, meta-goals, or activities to engage players and propel them forward. This game has the story mode. It has leveling. It has the acquisition of loot. It also has a lightweight crafting system where you take common drops and break them down into components that can be given to NPCs to create new gear.

So far the big draw forward for me has been the desire to see new scenery. The first section of the game was lush and green and fun to explore. The next section is the blasted ruins of the same area (again, I’m talking about the prophesies campaign here – I don’t have either of the other two) and it drags on for far too long. I’ve spent nearly all of my playing time exploring rust-colored canyons and I’m pretty sick of them by now. I haven’t overdosed on earthtones this much since Quake. Rumor has it the next area of the game is the snowy mountains, and I’m looking forward to it not for the story progression but so that I can look at something besides dirt for a few hours.

I wonder, if they took down all their screenshots of the ladies and replaced them with screenshots of shirtless men, would it <em>increase</em> sales among women? (It would probably really harm sales among young men, but humor me for a second here.) Conventional wisdom says no, but conventional wisdom is usually busy selling cars, beer, athletic shoes, and soft drinks. It’s quite possible things would work differently when we’re talking about a videogame.
I wonder, if they took down all their screenshots of the ladies and replaced them with screenshots of shirtless men, would it increase sales among women? (It would probably really harm sales among young men, but humor me for a second here.) Conventional wisdom says no, but conventional wisdom is usually busy selling cars, beer, athletic shoes, and soft drinks. It’s quite possible things would work differently when we’re talking about a videogame.

In the PvP areas they have exquisite and varied scenery, which I’m sure is eventually part of the campaign mode as well. (Not the same exact locations, but the same themes and textures.) Beaches. Volcanoes. Quasi-Chinese architecture perched atop ocean cliffs. It’s all beautiful to explore, and I can’t help but wish they would have shortened the wasteland section of the single-player game so we could see this stuff sooner.

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20201Feeling chatty? There are 41 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Stranger says:

    I’m also a single-player player of the game; I understand where you’re coming from. I have completed Prophecies, and am 90% of the way through Eye of the North and 40% of the way through the other two campaigns. All this, ALL OF IT was done on my own without other players.

    That said, the game is a lot easier if you group with some friends and it’s more fun to play together. I got my younger brother Nightfall and we went out and did some fighting for a weekend. BEST WEEKEND EVER playing that game, with second going to the festival weekends (THOSE are fun, Shamus, and you should take part in one at least)

    Henchmen are idiots, yeah, which is why I recommend new players grab Nightfall for the Heroes; they’re much improved and can be either macro-managed or micro-managed to be comparable in effectiveness to a human player if you have the stomach for it.

    With you playing Prophecies, the leveling curve is slow; you WILL see enemies after the fourth region at the “level cap” and then ones OVER it. As someone said in the other post, levels are a measure of HP and mana more than actual power; it’s the skills and attributes which are the measure of how tough you are.

    If you have fought the Stone Summit already, you know what I mean; these people are consistently among the most difficult groups of enemies you can fight in Prophecies. The enemy has well-balanced MMO-style groups, and skills to back each other up.

    As for the story, well, get used to having bad things happen, but it will swing momentum after you get over the mountains. All of the campaigns deal with “bad stuff happens” and it is indeed left to your character group to swing the tide; the multiplayer “invite friends along” allows you to not hog the glory, but it’s still fun for me to do.

    So long as you have access to the wiki though, shouldn’t have to deal with the worse parts of DIAS which crop up from time to time. Or . . . pop up . . .

    I may be mistaken but this is a largely positive review of the game, it seems :) Compared to Hellgate or Final Fantasy 12.

    [Holy crap I’m first? How did that happen?]

  2. Ron says:

    One of the benefits of the Prophecy Campaign is that you aren’t stuck with the story line. If you are sick of the area you are in now. Then try running to the snow area. Or purchase a runner (Another player who will take you to a new area for gold). Or I’m sure one of the GW Players will gladly take you on a tour.

  3. Oleyo says:

    All well and good. But have you ever played spin the bottle with the slumber party faries?

  4. JFargo says:

    I enjoyed Guild Wars but stopped playing due to lack of time. It just so happens that I’ve found time recently, with my wife going to college at night, so I’m thinking I’ll jump back on and start having a good time with it again.

    Thanks for the kick in the butt to play.

  5. Factoid says:

    It all makes so much more sense now! Thanks for the explanation. I look forward to more analysis of what it’s like to actually play the game now that I actually understand what the heck it is!

  6. Kristin says:

    I’m a girl. I play with half-naked females AND half-naked males.

    I also play with fully clothed females and males.

    Post-Searing Ascalon is ugly, and it does last a while if you do the quests. The Shiverpeaks and looking at all that snow, at least, is broken up over two parts (three if you decide to get GW:EN). Kryta is beautiful, the Maguuma jungle spectacular… and then you get into the Crystal Desert. You will get a little tired of looking at sand, but compared to the Ring of Fire? Peaceful and serene. The Ring of Fire is the volcano area, and while it’s hardly beautiful, it is stunning visually.

    I’ve visited all the areas in my quests to beat all three campaigns, GW:EN’s story arc, and earn my skillcap title. My personal favorite is Factions’ Jade Sea, though Shing Jea, Pre-Searing Ascalon/Charr Homelands, Istan, and the Echovald Forest are pretty darn close.

  7. Jeffrey says:

    Heh, if you though post-Searing Ascalon was too long and drab, you should stay away from the Factions campaign. That campaign sticks you to mazelike Chinese slums for like a third of the game. At least you could run away from Ascalon. Factions has “gates” everywhere to lock off free exploration. God, I hated Factions.

  8. Mari says:

    I haven’t played GW but thanks to your reviews I’m getting interested. I hate MMOs for the usual reasons, but I like this approach. And the hubs and I could each buy a copy and play together then duke it out in PvP which is something not many games lately have let us do without joining a monthly subscription MMO.

    For the record, the half-dressed females are as much of a draw for most gamer chicks I know as they are for you guys. A bodacious bod is a bodacious bod regardless of gender. Come to think of it, maybe video games are the reason 85% of the under-25 females on social networking sites claim to be bisexual.

  9. Ozy says:

    If it’s not a MMO game just because it’s instanced, then did EverQuest stop being an MMO game when they added instances? Was WoW never MM&O to start with because the best areas are also instanced?

    If we consider alternate worlds wherein higher and higher percentages of WoW or Everquest were instanced, at what point would it cross the threshold between MMO and just MO?

    When you think about it, isn’t Diablo 2 an MMORPG when you’re using that server-side character mode? You’re only playing with a few people at a time, but the larger economy and community were basically MMORPG like, and when you really think about it, even in standard MMORPGs you only actually play with, at most, a few people at a time for the vast majority of the time anyway, just like Diablo 2 or Guild Wars.

  10. mos says:

    Personally, I liked having the PvP aspect there, when I wanted it. Once I hit 20 and reached the special PvP area (I forget what it’s called), I stopped my story advancement and started playing PvP. After awhile, I tired of that and went back to the story. I flipped back and forth like that for months until I finally put the game down.

    As I understand it, it’s pretty difficult now to get a decent PvP group together (isn’t it always?), but if you don’t mind waiting, it can be a real blast. Nothing beats having your team advance through a couple of rounds against just American teams and then find yourself against a few European teams and a Korean team. Usually the seven American teams (and sometimes a few Euros) would band together against the lone Koreans, only to end up wiping each other out when someone hits the wrong person with an area-of-effect spell –always good for some laughs.

  11. Jeff says:

    If it’s not a MMO game just because it’s instanced, then did EverQuest stop being an MMO game when they added instances?

    That is kind of like Diablo, which was/is not exactly a RPG in the traditional sense of the term, which generally involved dice and a table.

    …also, I still can’t decide what class to play. I want shiny armor, so Warrior or Paragon, but I don’t want to deal with adrenelin. Hm.

  12. Ron says:

    @Jeff
    Then find a build that doesn’t need adrenelin. http://www.pvxwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page

  13. Stranger says:

    Yeah, fair warning: all four campaigns have an entirely different design ethos used to work on it. Prophecies is a big open world which sprawls hugely and gives you free skills up the rear. It’s relatively easy on the players as they have a lot of time to get used to their class while leveling and to play with new abilities. Overall, it’s rather simple to beat the missions with Heroes and/or Henchmen (Bonuses, those are a pain, but “unnecessary” for making it through).

    Factions is closed off and focused almost entirely into dividing the world into two . . . factions. The open world becomes severely linear, cramped, and definitely repetitive. The bonuses for missions are time based largely instead of objective based, meaning you’re encouraged to blow through them FAST. In essence, its meant to get you to the “factions” play soonest and keep your interest there.

    Nightfall was balanced between the two; each region is sealed off but they’re rather big regions. Heroes were a godsend. Quests stopped being fetch quests most of the time, and escort quests weren’t their answer. It encourages you to think for your bonus objectives instead, and overall is more fun to simply pick up and play. (For me). Warning, this is where the graphics start to really require more powerful equipment, but it’s still not heavy.

    Eye of the North is centered around instanced missions, dungeons . . . it’s very open-roaming after you kick it off and the whole design is to build yourself up as a legend. Three power groups to build up relationships with (and unlike Factions, these groups aren’t at war), a lot more backstory and foreshadowing for you to look into, and fun new things to play with. Dungeons weren’t implemented with the same polish as other parts of the game, and a lot of it gets based around “Bragging Rights Awards”, but it’s meant for a person to sit down for an hour or two, bang through a dungeon or mission, and step back.

    Overall, Guild Wars just seems to take a more casual approach to “online gaming” than others . . . to me. By the way, if you can find the humor they put in there, it’s a little more entertaining. Want a quick giggle? Find yourself some Lunar Fortunes and get “possessed” . . . all sorts of fun things there :)

  14. David V.S. says:

    In 2006 you wrote about “self-balancing gameplay” (link).

    The reason Old Ascalon has become so repetitive for you (and for me too, when I played) is that you and I played according to what you called “The Newbie/Grandma” style.

    We did every quest, since we were not sure what else to do. We did not know by experience which were the less rewarding or efficient quests to skip, and/or we were new to the genre and so felt guilty or cheated if we skipped anything. So we played every detail of the campaign. Of course the landscape in the first map region got old — the game designers were catering to players who wanted to progress through the plot at a snail’s pace.

    Of course, if you are only teaming up with NPCs, you are playing on “difficult mode” so to speak. Slow but sure might be the only choice in that style.

  15. lplimac says:

    The problem I found with GW (I have everything that was available as of December ’07, including skill packs) was you have to be an expert on the class/skill interactions to be effective, and they weren’t logical (at least to me they weren’t). And yes, I’m lazy and don’t want to have to research a perfect build… If I was going to do research I’d write a book or something. I just want to play. Learning the class/skill interaction was more work then I wanted to put into a game that I was using as a change of pace from my other games.

  16. Ron says:

    @Iplimac
    I rarely use my own builds.. I use other people. This site is great for it: http://www.pvxwiki.com/wiki/Main_Page. This is my favorate Build with Heroes: http://www.pvxwiki.com/wiki/Build:Team_-_Triple_Necro_Vanquish

  17. Stargazer says:

    So you’d pay good money to know the actual male / female breakdown behind these characters. How much would you pay for that intel in World of Warcraft?

    One of Nick Yee’s many interesting surveys

  18. RPharazon says:

    Thank you, Shamus.
    You’ve made me reinstall Guild Wars for the first time since I left it behind when my old computer refused to play it.

    :(

  19. Shawn says:

    Great write-up. Don’t forget about the title system, which is currently one of the biggest reasons veteran players are playing the game now, since the titles will supposedly carry over to Guild Wars 2, whenever that will release.

  20. Celin says:

    I’ve found GW to be fun, and like many games much more fun with people. I gave WoW a few weeks, and found it boring as hell, particularly given that apparently “PVP-RP” means “if someone makes fun of you for role-playing then there will be at least one person who defends you, oh by the way you can be spawncamped at level 10 by a level 60 but until that point you won’t really see anyone you can kill,” and NOT “people here actually role-play, oh by the way you’ll get to enjoy the occasional fair PvP fight.” I’ve tried Maple Story a half dozen times now, but ultimately feel like there’s absolutely nothing but grind — the other people are, by and large, also concerned with nothing else, and if I’m really lucky they can even communicate that as a pseudo-complete thought.

    Guild Wars’ being instanced helps in that I’m fairly certain that I won’t get spawn-camped, I don’t have to watch 15 people complete the quest I’m doing and then be lauded for singlehandedly saving a village, and I don’t feel pressured to min/max every single point I allocate based on what has been declared ‘best,’ in part because I can re-allocate most of my decisions whenever I’m in a town. …of course, the one decision I *can’t* go back on without starting anew is my decision to make a paladin, a Monk/Warrior, who takes hits like a little girl because his primary class is a Monk, and gets (so far) very few helpful skills that don’t involve being up in the enemy’s face taking damage from his Warrior class. BUT I CAN RUN FAST GOSH DARN IT.

    *looks around* oh hi, I’m new here, a friend linked me to a few funny DM of the Rings strips and I just finished reading it instead of working on the five hours of homework that I have due in nine hours. :-)

  21. Aaron Nowack says:

    You’ve hit on one of the key reasons why I gave up on Guild Wars after a few weeks. The next region is indeed snowy, but there’s enough of it that you’ll be just as sick of it and the five mob types that it has as you’re currently sick of Ascalon and its five monster types.

    There was just a dreary sense of sameness as I went through it, from the zones to the quests to the missions to the monsters to the individual fights to the gear. I’m sure GW gets better later in the game, but by the time I finished the snowy mountain region and started the jungle region I just lost all interest.

  22. Zukhramm says:

    That’s the reason I don’t really ever got around to finnishing Prophecies, I never got past the Kryta and Maguuma places.

  23. GAZZA says:

    So correct me if I’m wrong here, but it sounds as if Guild Wars could be sold Diablo/Starcraft style (play on a LAN, in other words) if not for the towns? And towns are the usual 50 billion idiots hawking stuff and dancing around semi naked?

    I’m not really seeing what the benefit of making this multiplayer only was.

  24. Mephane says:

    If it’s not a MMO game just because it’s instanced, then did EverQuest stop being an MMO game when they added instances? Was WoW never MM&O to start with because the best areas are also instanced?

    Well, one of the main points of an MMO is that the world is populated by other players, that you can run into them out in the wilderness, spontaneously team up (or fight each other), socialize etc.
    With a world totally instanced and just the cities for that “MMO stuff”, well, just does not give you *the* feeling. WoW did two things really well: The intuitive and responsive UI and character handling, and the large, continuous open world. I have tried Guild Wars some time ago, and stopped after reaching the second instanced outdoor area, realizing that it all just felt plain wrong, to meet players only in certain locations and be alone on your adventures if you don’t team up before leaving town.

    I don’t say it is a bad game because of this, but definitely not a real MMO, just like Hellgate London. It’s fine, but not what I like to play. ;)

  25. RibbitRibbit says:

    Talk about coincidences. I was just thinking of trying out GW. This is like getting a trial version and playing it, only without the time investment :-)

    So far GW looks fun, at least for me as I’m a casual gamer (wife, kids, day job, wanna sleep too). I’ll ask a friend to buy it when he’s in the EU/US next week (PC games are cheaper there, alas).

  26. Tuck says:

    If I recommend GW to anyone I always recommend Nightfall, for the following reasons:
    1) It’s got Heroes! That is, it’s a much better campaign to play solo if you want to.
    2) It’s prettier.
    3) It doesn’t suffer from the same old stuff over and over quite as much as Prophecies and Factions (up to Echovald Forest/Jade Sea, anyway) did.

    Incidentally, there are gems to be found even in Old Ascalon. Visit the southeast corner of Pockmark Flats, for instance…at least, I think it’s down there. Been a long time since I looked.

  27. Karl says:

    Celin,

    You will eventually be able to change your secondary profession. If your character is from Prophecies this will take ages (not until after you finish the Crystal Desert mission chain). If he’s from Factions or Nightfall it’ll be reasonably early on.

    Mo/W I think is most often used as a caster/healer with a W stance or two to help deal with disruptive attackers. However with a careful balance of Prot or Tactics, Smiting and a weapon skill I suspect you may be able to come up with a reasonably tough, or at least interesting, ‘retribution’ type melee. May have to travel and get more skills first though.

  28. Nicholas says:

    ozy said:
    If it’s not a MMO game just because it’s instanced, then did EverQuest stop being an MMO game when they added instances? Was WoW never MM&O to start with because the best areas are also instanced?

    The best areas in WoW may be instanced, but you can wander around where there are monsters, loot etc all over the world with all of the other players, who you can ask for help if you need it. That is VERY different from having ALL combat areas be instanced

  29. Celin says:

    Hm, thanks Karl, that’s good to know. I am indeed in Prophecies. So far I haven’t found any stances that look useful — by the way I’m, geographically, about halfway through the snowy mountains — but I love the heck out of Sprint. Particularly when my party has bitten off more than it can chew and I’m the last one alive, fleeing like a gazelle.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find that there are stances out there that I could use that I just haven’t run across yet. I haven’t given up just yet, and from the sound of it I have quite a while before giving up the class without giving up the character will be a viable option anyways. :-)

  30. journeyman says:

    I haven’t played this game, as aside from two weeks of WoW due to nagging by a mate I avoid muhmorpergers. That said, You’re certainly convincing me to check it out – I’ll have to look at the prices next time I’m in EB.

  31. Deoxy says:

    I wonder, if they took down all their screenshots of the ladies and replaced them with screenshots of shirtless men, would it increase sales among women?

    I’m a girl. I play with half-naked females AND half-naked males.

    For the record, the half-dressed females are as much of a draw for most gamer chicks I know as they are for you guys. A bodacious bod is a bodacious bod regardless of gender. Come to think of it, maybe video games are the reason 85% of the under-25 females on social networking sites claim to be bisexual.

    One of Nick Yee’s many interesting surveys

    No references, as I don’t have them in front of me, but the last time I checked on the research, men and women were determined to be wired COMPLETELY differently when it came to issues like this.

    To very much oversimplify, men are either attracted or not to each sex, generally just one, while women almost all fall somewhere on the “bi” scale.

    That is even “straight” women appreciate the female body a lot more than straight men appreciate the male body.

    Of course, one possible reason for this was summed up by some comedian a long time ago now (not an exact quote):

    “Men’s magazines are filled with pictures of scantily clad women. Women’s magazines filled with pictures of… scantily clad women. This is because the female body is a beautiful thing to behold, while the male body is dirty, hairy, bumpy, and generally should not be viewed by the light of day.”

  32. Derek K says:

    Hey!

    I shower daily!

    But yeah, anecdotally, my 14 year old daughter tells me that “like 80%” of her friends are bisexual. I’ve certainly noticed that it’s a thing lately for girls to at least describe themselves as bisexual.

    The thing is, I’m not sure if that’s a legit claim, or more of a cultural thing. Because I know that one of my friends, who was convinced she was bi, found out very quickly when it came down to it that she wasn’t. But she really enjoyed “being bi.”

  33. Deoxy says:

    “being bi” like that comes and goes in fads, these days, and it’s about as meaningful as “going together” in middle school.

    The research I’m talking about was measuring brain activity and genital response to sexually explicit imagery. Ultra-high-level summary: straight men are aroused by lesbian sex scenes but repulsed by gay sex scenes. Gay men are the opposite. Lesbian and straight women had varying levels of sexual response to both (more for their preferred, but not remotely none). Lesbian and gay imagery was used to prevent and confusion over which sex in a straight image was causing the arousal.

    Getting back to the original question about switching out the “scantily clad women” for “scantily clad men”, my answer would thus be that such a move would be a devastating mistake: men would be VERY negatively affected, and women would only be mildly positively affected.

    Basically, the female body is a beautiful thing, appreciated by the vast majority of the population, both male and female. The male body is… well, not.

    In other shocking and surprising news on biological sex differences, women bear children, and men don’t. :-p

  34. Vao Ki says:

    Long time reader, first time ever posting. I loved DMotR (thanks for that!), and still read your site on occasion. Since you’ve been playing a game I love I thought I’d give you my 2cp as someone who has all 3 base games. I’ve also completed Prophecies and was closing in on Nightfall before the Wii took me away from GW for a while.

    First off…I agree that Prophecies is hard. Nightfall is much easier, at least at the start, and is beautiful in most areas. Add in the heroes, who are almost as customizable as your character and you have a recipe for success.

    I actually stopped playing Prophecies not long into it because it was discouraging. Nightfall brought me back into the game and kept me there a long time, long enough to almost finish it and to complete Prophecies with my first character who was still hanging around.

    I was able to solo most of Nightfall, and Prophecies with heroes. I actually brought my Prophecies character to the Nightfall campaign (when possible), acquired a few heroes, and went back to finish it. It made things much easier, as the pool of resources you have to work with is a bit larger and you can employ some strategy in combat. Once you’ve experimented with moving heroes and henchmen with flags you can even use them to pull. They ALWAYS move to the spot you place the flag at FIRST before they return to idiot status and mindlessly attack whatever is in range.

    Also, about levels…I’ll agree that they are fairly meaningless in GW. It really is all about the skills. Wiki is your friend in finding elite skill captures (You’ll be able to obtain Signets of Capture later for this purpose). Until then I suggest doing every quest you can that gives skills as a reward. They can help alot, rounding out your arsenal. After a certain point you may find you need help in doing some of the more difficult missions. Other times you’ll find it easier to do it yourself, as a group can actually bog things down, which is lamentable, though solo play does allow wandering exploration without explanation.

    Another suggestion I have is to try a few different characters, delete and repeat if necessary, for the sake of understanding the role of each class and what they can do. It goes without saying that elementalists are supposed to blow things up, monks heal and protect, necros play with dead critters and almost everyone beats on anything that moves or looks at you wrong. But each class has nuances that are not immediately apparent. Combining skills of different classes gives you a plethora of playing styles to choose from. This is what I love about GW so much. That said, there will still be groups who expect a monk to heal, an elementalist to use fire spells and blow things up, a mesmer to counter everything, a ranger to use Barrage. Unfortunately, even with all of the different styles out there, people have misconceptions of which skillsets are most powerful and therefore should be used. I think half the fun is figuring out an effective skillset on your own, though I’ve looked into what others were using. The problem with this is all the skills another players posts may not yet be available to you.

    Once you ascend you can switch up your role a bit more. That’s all I’ll say about that for the moment.

    If you’ve made it this far thanks for reading. I didn’t realize I’d be so long-winded when I started this post.

  35. Mrs. Peel says:

    Deoxy, I’ve read that the reason for that may be that men and women view porn differently. Men are imagining doing what they see, while women are imagining having it done to them. So women are turned on even by two dudes, because they’re imagining having what the dudes are doing to each other done to them.

    (Personally, I am completely squicked by slash, femmeslash, and anything involving an aperture that should be exit only. But then, my brain is generally very male, so I dunno.)

  36. My question is this: WHY are her boobs jacked way way WAY up her chest like some sort of misguided neck accessory? Even a teenager would be looking at some serious structural assistance to achieve a figure like that, and it would probably hurt like hell.

    Breasts don’t share the same body level line with armpits. They just don’t.

  37. Riavan says:

    You should really try some of the other campaigns besides prophecies, particularly nightfall if you enjoy playing the game as a single player experience, both the heros and the story lines in nightfall/factions/eotn are much better than prophecies and also have more imaginative environments.

  38. WoEyE says:

    One thing which I like about GW is that you can jump in quickly and have some fun. Either alone or with your friends. Personally I wouldn’t call it a MMORPG in the common sense. It really feels more like an offline game with a coop mode. But that’s perfectly ok for me. Because it suits GW best.
    There a LOT of skills to try out. For sure. But sometimes I feel that the vast majority of those spells isn’t needed. In the end most players will play the same build, because those builds are known to be solid. I really like the idea of having many skills to play around with. But whenever I digged deeper players came by and tell me what a fool I am and that only build X really works. Those guys even use math to prove that your build sucks(tm). So, what are all those many skills good for?
    Even more worse are classes. For example I loved to play a ritualist, the GW shaman. Typically I focused on the healing style of the ritualist. But man, it was so hard to get into groups! Everyone told me “Ritu for healing? Lolz, noob. Monks do heal, not ritus”. Again players had millions of reasons why the ritual class sucks and the core classes of prophecies is all you need(tm).

  39. Matt K says:

    I know this is old, but I just picked up the game (the Trilogy set is $15 @ Best Buy this week) finally after these reviews made me interested in trying it. It’ll be my first MMO so we’ll see how I like it. For $15 I think I’ll at least get my money’s worth.

  40. JoshR says:

    Is the real question whether or not encouraging more girls to play would widen your fanbase of guys who don’t want to play with other guys pretending to be girls?

    I tried the trial of GW, wasn’t too impressed, maybe I picked a wrong class, but wasn’t having much fun as an archer, which I usually find the most fun class to play, and maybe I just didn’t play long enough.

    My worry would always be, what if I hit level 20 and then feel no urge to continue with the story as it won’t improve my character.

  41. rpguu says:

    I first played Guild Wars over a year ago. I stopped playing after a few weeks, for various reason having nothing to do with the game. Now I have started playing again in just the last few weeks. Although I haven’t got far in the game, I find a healthy population everywhere I go. I would say I see about a 75% veteren to 25% new player population. IMHO after all these years and new people are still coming to the game, I think that’s pretty healthy. http://www.rpguu.com

    I don’t have a problem finding groups, finding information from players, etc. Most of the people I run into are great. Of course the game has it share of elite “I’m too good to even look at you NOOB!” people, and “I’m a NOOB, can I have some gold!” people.

    You didn’t say if you were in a guild or not. I can only assume, which is a bad word, that being in a guild would give you someone to play with, to either PVP, quest, or just have fun. As far as not wanting to grind in games anymore, that’s pretty much what any MMO is. They aren’t designed that way, the player base makes it that way. Everyone wants to have max everything. Most people just fly through the game, to get to the max level, max armor, weapon, ships, etc… They miss out on the beauty of the game. http://www.rpguu.com

    To be honest, the only MMO that I have played that was a true sandbox, and didn’t have a grind was EVE Online. But not everyone likes stars and spaceships. Now if they would only make a fanasty MMO just like EVE, that would be great!

    1000K=150 ectos=58$

    http://www.rpguu.com

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