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Guild Wars


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Guild Wars (Games)
Guild Wars (Games)
Guild Wars (Games)
Guild Wars (Games)
Guild Wars (Games)
Guild Wars (Games)
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Information about Guild Wars

Guild Wars is an episodic series of multiplayer online role-playing games developed by ArenaNet and published by NCsoft. It provides two main modes of gameplay—a cooperative role-playing component and a competitive player vs. player (PvP) component—both of which are hosted on ArenaNet's servers. Three stand-alone episodes and one expansion pack were released in the series from Apr. 2005 (12 years ago) to Aug. 2007 (10 years ago).

The games depict the history of the fictional fantasy world of Tyria; each campaign focuses on events in disjoint sections of the world at roughly the same time. A player creates an avatar to play through the cooperative storyline of a campaign, taking on the role of a hero who must save Tyria from episode-specific antagonists. Players can group with other players and non-player characters, known as henchmen and heroes, to perform missions and quests found throughout the game-world. PvP combat is consensual, team based, and limited to areas designed for such combat. Players are allowed to create characters at maximum level and the best equipment specifically for PvP play, which is unusual for MMORPGs. ArenaNet hosts official Guild Wars tournaments where the most successful players and guilds may compete for the chance to play live at gaming conventions and win prizes up to 100,000 USD.

Guild Wars differs from other MMORPGs in its lack of subscription fees (purchasing an episode allows a user to play it online without limit, though he or she may encounter some areas or items which cannot be obtained without purchasing other episodes) and its relatively low level caps (the highest level is 20, which an intermediate player can reach fairly easily). After reaching the level cap, players differentiate their characters by which skills they equip to bring into battle; new skills can be learned by exploring and completing quests, but only eight of a player's learned skills can be equipped at any one time.

The games in the Guild Wars series were critically well received and won many editor's choice awards, as well as awards such as Best Value, Best Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), and Best Game. Guild Wars was noted for being one of the few commercially developed games in the MMORPG genre to offer online play without subscription fees, its instanced approach to MMORPG play, and the quality of the graphics and play for computers with low specifications. In Apr. 2009 (8 years ago), NCSoft announced that 6 million units of games in the Guild Wars series had been sold. The sequel, Guild Wars 2, was announced in Mar. 2007 (10 years ago). It will have updated graphics and gameplay mechanics, and will continue the original Guild Wars tradition of no subscription fees. No release date has been announced.

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Gameplay

Players use a 3D avatar to interact with the world around them. The game predominantly features a third person perspective but also has the option of first person as well. These characters are able to walk/run and interact with other characters through chat. They can also perform actions, and interact with special objects.

Character Creation

Players can choose from a range of up to ten different professions. When creating a character, players can change their hair style, face, skin tone, height and avatar name - the selection depending upon that profession chosen. As the player progresses through the game, they can unlock different armor and weapons to alter the visual appearance of that avatar. They can also decide whether they want their avatar to start in a Player vs. Environment world (the RPG aspect of the game), or get right into the competitive Player vs. Player and fight live against other players in the game.

The maximum level for character development is capped at 20 - by this point, the character will also have reached 170 attribute points. Players may also choose to do certain quests to gain another 30 attribute points, making the maximum points available 200. Experience can still be gained, and is used to learn more skills or buy consumable items throughout the game.

Professions

A profession is a type of class commonly found in most RPGs and is central to the gameplay in Guild Wars. Each profession has an array of attributes and skills that help narrow a classes proficiency in order to perform a customized role that is determined by the player. The warrior profession, for example, has access to the primary Strength attribute that increases their effectiveness with martial weapons, and is able to wear heavy armor providing the highest protection of all professions. Elementalists, on the other hand, wear less protective armor, but can use their primary Energy Storage attribute to give them a much greater pool of energy than other professions.

Guild Wars also introduces the ability to choose a secondary profession, expanding the selection of attributes and skills. A character does not, however, have access to the primary attribute of its secondary profession. A Warrior/Elementalist, therefore, is a warrior who may use spells in combat, similar to the Spellsword archetype from Role-playing games.

There are over a thousand skills in the game that can be acquired by the character over time, but players may only use and equip up to 8 of them at any one time. This introduces levels of strategy, in which one must have a careful selection of skills that work well with one another and with teammates in order to survive.

Environment

The Guild Wars universe consists of persistent staging zones known as towns and outposts. These areas normally contain Non-player characters that provide services such as merchandising or storage. Other NPC's provide quests and present rewards to its adventurers. These areas are also used when forming groups of people to go out into the world and play cooperatively. Players that venture out from the staging area and into an explorable area are then able to use their weapons and skills to defeat monsters and interact with other objects in the game. As players progress through the game, they gain access to additional staging zones. Players can then transport their characters instantly from one staging area to another using a process commonly referred to in-game as 'map traveling'.

Combat

Apart from slashing enemies relentlessly with a sword, skills make up the majority of combat interaction. Each skill has a different effect when used, and fall under many different categories. They can range from offensive skills such as setting foes on fire and defensive skills which include resurrection and healing allies. Enchantments which include giving players extra health points as well as Hexes that drain the enemy's life unto your own also make up part of the skill selection in Guild Wars. Feats, also known as attack skills, are used in conjunction with weapons to augment the damage that they can deal added damage and cause different effects, such as knocking people to the ground with a hammer.

Most skills have a governing attribute that determines its power and effect. These attributes are assigned using a number of attribute points similar to D&D's point buy ability score generation system

Guild Wars has been likened to collectible card games such as Magic: the Gathering because of the way the different skills interact. While in a town or staging areas, a character's skill and attribute selection can be freely modified to construct a "build". Once in a combat zone such as an explorable area or a PvP arena, the build becomes immutable until the character exits the combat zones and returns to a staging area. Players generally either choose a specific build for a given area or role, or use general builds that synergize with the builds of other characters in the party.

In PvE, monsters that are slain will generate gold and loot which can be traded or sold to players or NPCs for other things. Unique and rare weapon designs are often found from defeating powerful monsters, or with a bit of luck when opening treasure chests.

In PvP, reputation is gained based on how well a player performs. Generally, fame is gained by the number of wins that you and your team gain by defeating opponents. Most PvP in Guild Wars is fast paced, while the transition period between games may take longer.

Co-operative gameplay

The co-operative parts of Guild Wars use several standard tropes of the MMORPG genre. Players explore the game-world, kill monsters, perform quests, and complete missions to earn rewards and advance the story. Rewards include experience points, skill points, skills, gold, faction, and items for the player character. Some of these rewards advance not only the particular character but also unlock features of the game account-wide.

In each campaign the player is involved in a linear story with which they interact by performing a series of primary quests and missions. Quests are given to a player by NPCs via text dialog. As quests are completed new areas, new quests, and new missions are unlocked for the player's character to access. Missions allow the player character to participate in the major events of the storyline, such as significant battles against the main antagonist. Both quests and missions can feature in-game cut scenes which advance the story and provide context to the actions which follow. Cut scenes are in the third-person, often featuring the party leader's character and revealing elements of the game that the character would not normally be aware of, such as the actions of an antagonist. Players are given the option of skipping the cut scenes if all party members agree upon it.

Development

Guild Wars is the first game created by developer ArenaNet. Senior developers from Blizzard Entertainment, some involved in the early development of World of Warcraft (20 walls), left to create ArenaNet to develop a game which took risks with game design and business model. Guild Wars development was first announced in Apr. 2003 (14 years ago). Guild Wars Prophecies, initially marketed simply as Guild Wars, was released in Apr. 2005 (12 years ago). Sorrow's Furnace added further playable content to Prophecies in sep. 2005 (12 years ago). Guild Wars Factions was released exactly a year after Prophecies in Apr. 2006 (11 years ago) followed six months later by Guild Wars Nightfall in Oct. 2006 (11 years ago). A fourth campaign was in development, but after reviewing feedback from fans and the sort of changes they wanted to make, ArenaNet elected to focus on an expansion pack, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, released in Aug. 2007 (10 years ago), and Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars development began in an environment following the release of EverQuest (3 walls) when a number of new MMORPGs were announced. ArenaNet positioned Guild Wars in a niche in this landscape, offering unlimited gametime without subscription fees. ArenaNet believed that players would not pay subscription fees for every online game they play and that paying a fee would cause players to make a "lifestyle commitment" to a particular game, rather than the usual behaviour of playing many different games and switching between them. Jeff Strain, a founder of ArenaNet, said, "It is our opinion that the free online gaming model combined with frequent content updates is the optimum online paradigm for interfacing with consumers and creating a significant, enduring gaming franchise."

ArenaNet has used open beta testing throughout the development of the Guild Wars series. For the first public appearance of Prophecies in Apr. 2004 (13 years ago), that occurred in conjunction with E3 2004 (13 years ago), people were encouraged to download the client and play an online demo of the game to test its networking capabilities. This was followed by a preview event and several beta test weekend events. Both Factions and Nightfall had similar test weekends prior to their release. Nearly 500,000 players spent an average of 8.5 hours playing the Nightfall PvE content during its second beta test weekend. In addition to the public beta events, ArenaNet used continuously running closed alpha test servers throughout development; some alpha testers were ArenaNet employees but most were volunteers from the player community who signed a non-disclosure agreement with ArenaNet. After the release of Eye of the North, the bulk of the development and test teams were moved to the Guild Wars 2 project, though a small maintenance and QA team remains on the original Guild Wars project. The group of volunteer alpha testers was disbanded in Jan. 2008 (9 years ago), and no plans have yet been announced about repeating such an alpha test program for Guild Wars 2.

Aspects of every campaign have been influenced or modified based on feedback from the player community. Such changes began soon after the release of the original Prophecies, when, for instance, skill acquisition in the co-operative campaign was simplified, and PvP unlocks were made purchasable with the new mechanic of faction rewards for competitive victories. Although further playable content—such as quests and missions—are no longer expected for the original Guild Wars series, ArenaNet continues to make such changes to the gameplay elements and monitors game balance issues.

ArenaNet also continues to develop in-game events that generally coincide with real events such as Christmas, Halloween, and the Chinese new year (for the Asian-influenced in-game continent of Cantha). These events feature mini-games, quests, event-specific PvP game types such as the Dragon Arena and snow-ball fights or beetle racing, special decorations for in-game outposts, and various in-game rewards such as masks and collectible gifts. Regular events also occur every weekend; each such event temporarily increases certain in-game rewards such as the drop rate of loot, reputation points for various in-game activities, or faction points.

Source: en.wikipedia.org


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