Currently Playing: Guild Wars Nightfall (PC)

Guild Wars has been famous for an MMO without the hassle free monthly fees. People have been comparing the game to World Of Warcraft which I feel is unfair since they are 2 different games. To tell it simply, Guild Wars is like playing a Magic the Gathering inspired Diablo hack and slash game. It has a story to tell, a limited number of people in a party, a lot of skills to choose from and a lot of players online.

The game hasn’t changed a bit since last year. The concept is still the same, where you can adventure straightforward, you can get henchmen if you need them and there is a primary story that followsthru the missions and primary quests. The party you gather is still limited to a maximum of 8 people including you. The level cap is still at level 20 even though a lot of players are hoping for more. The skills you can bring are still only 8 out of hundreds to choose from.

What I like about Guild Wars is that the game is suitable for people who don’t like the chaos that usually happens in MMO games, but still gets the fun out of playing with several people. Most RPG games rely on you getting to level up as much as you can to be able to handle a certain quest or mission, this game lets you get there as soon as you can, but not too fast. Note thatGuild Wars Factions leveled up players’ way too fast that leveling up felt like it wasn ’t a part of the game anymore. This game turns out to be a challenge in several spots which makes looking for other players a necessity at some parts. So getting friendly is very important in this game.

The Nightfall has 6 original professions, namely a Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Elementalist, Mesmer and a Necromancer; and the 2 new professions are Dervish and Paragon. The new professions are interesting new additions, the Dervish is like a fighter that prays for enchanting and improving their abilities, while the weapon of choice is a scythe, designed to attack several close range opponents in a single stroke. The Paragon is like a leader which can enhance the abilities of other players around him, their weapon of choice is a spear which is designed for long range attacks, but not as long as a ranger. Both professions are interesting, but with heroes in the mix, the Dervish and the Paragon feels set aside.

There are several new skills to look forward to. Each profession have tons to check out and even the professions that are only available in Nightfall (Assassin and Ritualist), they have lots to find. It won’t bore you to look for all of them. This is where Magic The Gathering inspiration comes out. The many skills to learn are overwhelming especially if this is your first time to play this game. Like Magic The Gathering, you have to mix and match 2 types of professions and try out what works out for you. If you only started, the skills you gain is only minimal, easy to choose and manage, but as you get far in the game, the amount of skills can get a bit too much and it’s hard to decide what to use at some point. But with the nature that you can change your skills and attributes at any time makes experimenting your skills to get the best out of your character is part of the fun.

The Heroes is the main feature of the game. Heroes are like henchmen (NPC controlled players that join the party), but what’s good about them is that they are fully customizable in terms of armor upgrades and skill sets. Though they have fixed primary professions, but you can use any skill that your account has unlocked, so if you have been playing long and hard, having heroes will have great use. You gain heroesthru quests which comes out that they are very essential to the main story line. Although a few heroes are optional, all of them are very useful especially if you know how to use them. What I like about them is that you can bring them with you anywhere, although there is a limit to having 3 heroes at a time, so that you can still get more real people if you need it. Heroes solve the problem of not having an available player / profession when you need them. They can be controlled by using flags and you can choose how aggressive they are in attacks, and if you want to use a particular skill.

Traveling around the game is a breeze compared to most MMORPG games, locations are just a click away as they call is as Map Travel. Press M and choose a location and presto… you are there in an instant, after loading. You can go to any location your character has unlocked. Most RPG games needs you to travel long journeys or look for certain points to be able to travel from one point to another. You can also bring your Heroes anywhere too.

I think my only problem with heroes is that they made the game easier than it was. Maybe this is the alternative instead of getting a higher level cap. I was able to finish majority of the primary missions alone with level 20 heroes. When I played Factions with henchmen even though they were level 20, the missions were hard even with a full team. You needed the reliability of real players. The last missions of Nightfall are hard though, I have tried it and it was a pain. Although Heroes made the games easier, they are still a pain to control. I usually don’t bother controlling them, but it helps when the moment arises. I just wish they added the ability for heroes to guardNPCs and other players.

About the community, as most games, these are mixed, but it’s more welcoming than most MMO games that I have been to. The nature that people are gathered only in major towns are good because it gathers so many people into one place before going out to travel or adventure around. There is a mix of people, and you are placed in a default district which is determined by what region you set your game to. Districts are separated depending on the amount of players. You can go to any district at anytime and anywhere you have unlocked with your character. If you want to meet other players from other countries, either go to the international district or go change your region from the main setup. It’s a welcoming change since most MMORPG games require you to be in a fixed server, Guild Wars districts makes meeting people a lot easier and more unified.

Personally, I’m not into PVP but I enjoy watching a good fight. I enjoy the Observer mode where people can join in and watch the current or archived fights. PVP is only set in arenas, there are no uncontrolled or surprise attacks here. You can make skirmish fights or guild vs guild. Guild fights can gain you ranks and faction. PvP is also slightly different especially in choosing your skills, some skills work best in PVP than in PVE, PvP is fun and interesting but it takes a lot of time to plan out, its best to memorize all the arenas available before going into a fight. But if you want a quick brawl you can go to the random arenas, where you can meet random groups and battle it there. What I enjoy about the PVP aspect in this game is the Heroes Ascent, which is mixed with a short PvE but tons of PvP. You get to battle out several opponents until your group gets to the top which you fight against other countries and the winning country gets favor. And Favor affects the game for your country in some way or another, depending on where you are.

As a fan of Guild Wars, I highly recommend this game just because the Heroes are a great addition to the game. If you are new, this is the best of the 3 games released for the series. The Heroes can make the game a lot easier and fun. You don’t totally need to rely on other players to help you but the help is always welcome. The new land and a good story is something to look for but not for long. Finding all the skills or trying to get Razah, the Ritualist Hero will keep you entertained for long and if you’re into PVP, the longer it will be.

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