Our Individual Battles

By Cody
“Micajah” Bye

Aside from World of Warcraft, no other MMOG titles have come
near the worldwide success of Guild
, the free-to-play (but not to
buy) title from Arena.net. By making a flexible game, one that both
Western and Eastern audiences could enjoy, style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars found
pulled into a head-to-head grudge match with its competitor style="font-style: italic;">World of
Warcraft. Despite boasting numbers that would have been
in years past, Guild
has never been able to meet the numbers that
WoW has posted, yet they still hold onto a very positive chunk of the
online marketplace.

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The Guild Wars Logo

In my trek to review as many MMOGs as I can in these next few
months, Guild Wars
struck me as a game that desperately needed a
review. Prompted by my desire to see a completed article about
Arena.net’s game, I fished through my library of CDs and
found an old copy of the game that I had purchased years ago.
Thankfully, it still ran smoothly – but there was one snag.

When a gamer first installs style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars,
prompted to create an account for the game, which requires submission
of a valid email address. Unfortunately, the email address I had
submitted was my old college account, and I no longer had access to it.
Thankfully, the community support that’s provided by NCsoft
was thorough and complete, with the CSRs providing quick, single day
service. They even corrected my own mistake that I had made when
initially prompting them for assistance!

Before I continue any further into this article, I must make a
single note; I am not reviewing all of the style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars
expansions packs
in this particular review. Crafting a solid review out of a single
title is hard enough, but delving into every expansion at once would be
a nightmare. However, be on the lookout for a review of each of the
Guild Wars
expansion packs as we continue to progress through the
multitude of MMOGs that exist. Now you may continue through the article
with my blessings.

A Blend of Cultures

Logging into the account was a breeze after my initial error,
and I soon found myself at the familiar character creation screen.
Although created with both the Eastern and Western audience in mind,
Guild Wars
is not lacking in the character customization department.
With six classes to choose from – and then another
sub-profession to pick later in the game – players should
have no desire to find new classes to play. Indeed, playing through
each combo is a journey in-and-of itself. The classes you can select
are Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Mesmer, Necromancer, and Elementalist; and
each has its own particular focus. While the Rangers excel at ranged
combat, the Monk can heal his fallen comrades and the Necromancer can
resurrect dead enemies to fight for him.

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Character creation
wasn't incredibly thought provoking or intimidating, but there were
enough option to keep most gamers happy.

By blending these classes, you can make your own particular
combo-character. For instance, I was always a huge fan of the Shadow
Knight in Everquest. So I created a Warrior/Necromancer that sports
yellow and blue and wields a
monumental hammer (in honor of my Ten Ton Hammer brethren). With PvP
such a huge factor in Guild Wars (you can create PvP-only characters
based off your roleplaying avatars), class balance is essential and
Arena.net has gone to great lengths to insure characters do not break
the bounds of their powers.

As far as physical appearance goes, there’s actually
an adequate assortment of faces, colors, and hairstyles to choose from,
on top of character scale and other options. Your overall appearance
will be designated by the class you choose: Necromancers are thin and
rangy, Warriors are thick and burly, etc. After that, most of your
customization will occur through your weapons and armor that you find
later in the game.

After playing through numerous Korean games as of late,
it’s a fair assumption that ArenaNet wanted to appeal to both
Eastern and Western cultures when they created style="font-style: italic;"> Guild Wars.
Changing a
character’s appearance based on their class is one of the
trademark touches of the Korean MMOs, and not something you often find
in Western titles of the same venue. Even the art styling of the
character models borders on that “anime” sort of
Asian styling that goes hand in hand with almost any game that plops
onto Western shores. Thankfully, ArenaNet didn’t skimp on the
options available to players, and there were still a more than adequate
number of faces, traits, and styles to choose from.

‘Competitive’ Rather Than

When Guild Wars
was first released, the folks at ArenaNet
pushed the notion that the game was not a “massively
multiplayer online roleplaying game” (MMORPG) but a
“competitive online roleplaying game” (CORPG).
ArenaNet didn’t want gamers to feel the style="font-style: italic;"> Guild Wars trapped
them in a world of persistency where they were forced to live and play
by certain quest-and-grind rules.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016