North American Box Art
|Release Date(s)||April 28, 2005 (Prophecies)|
April 28, 2006 (Factions)
Guild Wars takes place in a mystical realm filled with magic, mystery, and adventure. Monsters and enemies oppose you at every turn, and only those that have the skills to master the paths they have chosen are able to venture further than anyone could ever imagine...
Guild Wars is an extremely diverse game and sets itself apart from other games of its kind. You can play as a character either male or female. The game provides the opportunity for up to ninety potential combinations with ten professions. This includes Assassin, Dervish, Elementalist, Mesmer, Monk, Necromancer, Paragon, Ranger, Ritualist and Warrior. Each profession has a set of unique skills to it, with hundreds of skills present in total in the game. The most important choice you must make is your primary profession which will determine how you look and half your skills. This is followed by your secondary profession which will add more skills to your character from another profession. Other than determining looks and skills, it also affects armour, skills, fighting styles and the overall experience gained during playing the game.
You may have four characters per account, with two additional slots each for Guild Wars Factions and Guild Wars Nightfall. Extra slots can then be purchased if needed. You may delete characters at any time to free up slots or create new characters. You may also change your skills and attributes whenever in town. This allows you to experiment until you can come up with a character that functions well for you.
Each new character begins at humble level one and in the tutorial area regardless of past characters made. You then meet an NPC who will teach you the basic mechanics of the game before sending you out into the world. In the tutorial area you even get to battle your first couple of enemies and steal their stuff before the game even begins!
An attribute is a collection of skills, all with similar concepts that link them. For example, the Necromancer attribute Death Magic is a collection of skills that almost all relate to corpses and the exploitation of them.
Every profession within the game has up to five attributes. Attributes are profession specific and your character's attributes will be combination of that from your primary profession and your secondary profession. The primary attribute of a profession may only be chosen if they are your primary profession.
Attribute Points: For each level gained by your character, you shall receive attribute points to improve the overall effectiveness of your skills. Allocation of these points to a specific attribute increases the power of the skill and the weapon/s tied to that attribute. This means being strategic with your allocations and making sure to improve upon attributes that affect skills and weapons that you will be using the most in your battle strategies. Remember, these attributes can be modified when within a town. This allows you to adapt for different environments and situations while being able to use new spells and weapons.
Primary Attribute: Each profession has a powerful first attribute only available if the profession is your primary candidate. The primary attribute typically contains a unique ability meant to complement the profession's strengths that also increases as more attribute points are put into it. For example, the Elementalist gains three extra mana with every attribute point put in its primary attribute. Your secondary profession's first attribute will be unavailable to you so pick your professions wisely.
Skills are what perfects the character so to speak. There is the profession which controls the main aspects, attributes defining these aspects and finally skills are what makes your character so unique to any other. You may look over your skills by using the k key for a shortcut, or alternatively you can select Menu and then Skills. Skills can range from dealing damage to foes, to healing your allies, to even stopping your in enemy in their tracks or rising corpses from the dead to be your minions.
A player at any given time is limited to only eight skills being equipped for use. Only one Elite skill -skills which are on-the-average more dangerous than other skills, or dangerous when mixed with other Elites- may be equipped at a time. Skills can moved around by dragging its icon to and from the Skill Menu to the Skill Bar (this action can only be performed while in a town or outpost).
Skills are not all available from the start of the game. Players originally start with none. In PvE mode, skills can be unlocked by completing certain quests or purchasing them from Skill Trainers. In PvP, skills can be unlocked through NPCs called the Priests Of Balthazar; they will allow players to unlock skills by paying in Balthazar Faction points. However, default templates are provided in PvP mode that allow players (more specifically newer players) to have access to certain skills and equipment at no matter what stage in the game.
Specifics. Every skill has its own casting time, recharge time and mana cost. This can be identified in your Skill Menu. In addition, every skill has a certain aspect of it that is changed by adding attribute points to its respective attribute (except non-attribute skills). This is typically a number value, and is the green value when reading the skill description.
 Leveling Up
As you travel the lands with your character and accomplish the tasks ahead, your character shall gain experience and as such level up once enough is achieved. A level up can result in an increase in your maximum health capacity and an increase in energy. The highest level reachable is 20, which is also the starting level for a PvP character.
Improving Attributes: Leveling up results in the upgrading of improving attributes, look above at attribute points to find out more.
Skill Points: Along with experience, your character gains skill points. These entitle you to train yourself in new skills from your primary or secondary profession. Each skill learned will become a new handy tool on the lands afar.
Quest giving NPCs are seen as an alternate way for learning new skills as the quests they often provide offer them as a reward upon completion. Skill points are not only very valuable but rare, one being obtained per level up. Whenever you see a quest which offers a skill purchasable from a trainer, take the quest every time.
Sometimes when exploring the vast lands that are Guild Wars you can certainly get yourself lost! Fear not, however, it's simple to figure out where you are. There are two main places in Guild Wars, towns and everything else! Simply hold down right click and look around with your character while holding down the ctrl key. If other's names come up in blue then you're in a town or something like one, if red dots appear on your map and red names then you're somewhere else in the vast wilderness.
For full information on how to explore the world, look at Controls.
 District Menu
When at a town or outpot, a district menu shall appear in the upper left corner of the screen. When there is a mass of people in the same location, more districts shall be created to stop it overcrowding. This means when trying to meet up, remember to tell your friend/s which district you're in. No matter what district you're in, however, you may still whisper to other players or get in touch with your guild/alliance. This being said, global chat will be limited to the district you are located in.
 Traveling by Map
The map is available to you during missions as well as normally. Your path is marked with a red dot line along your travels showing where you are, where you were and can also predict where you are heading to. The details of the map appear as you explore, until you go somewhere that part of the map will be covered in a fog. A party leader has the ability to open up the map at a town or outpost and teleport his entire team to that location, provided of course that they have all been there before.
Your map is covered in markers depending on your location. They look like little pins unless you zoom in to see the details, where you will see Map Icons. The completion of missions adds to your map sections. You can also do this like mentioned before by simple travel, but mission experience is invaluable compared to wild enemies.
 Titles and Factions
Performing deeds, both heroic or otherwise, may earn you titles. Some titles have achievement levels attached and are defined by the amount of times you achieve a certain task.
Examples of Co-Op Mode Titles
- Exploration Title - To gain the first one, you must explore a minimum of 60% of the full map of the world of Guild Wars
- Skill Hunter - Must capture a certain amount of elite skills, the first title requires you to gain 90 of these
- Protector - Complete all the campaign missions along with bonus objectives
- Treasure Hunter - First one requires you to open 100 chests
- Wisdom - To get the first one you must identify 100 rare items
Examples of PvP titles
- Champion - First one requires 25 GvG victories
- Gladiator - First one requires 25 wins in the Random Arean (consecutively)
Faction is a reward for your character, it is achieved through the means of PvP battles and PvE missions.
- Guild Wars Prophecies introduced Balthazar's Faction, a reward for PvP
- Guild Wars Factions introduced Luxon and Kurzick Faction, a reward for PvP or PvE challenge at the heart of the campaign
 Towns and Places
Towns are seen as the social centre of the Guild Wars world. It's a gathering place for other players and has many inviting features including merchants and trainers, quest givers, formation of an adventuring party or even a dance party! In the town you may also reconfigure your skills and attributes while at the same time you can do some trading to get yourself some better equipment. Once you step beyond the confinements of the town, you will no longer see any other players and will be in a world purely of NPCs.
Buying and Selling
Buying and selling is a concept inbuilt to nearly every game you'll ever play being an every day sort of activity. As you fight your way across the lands you will end up racking up a lot of loot scavenged from the battlefields left in your wake. This is more than often in the form of gold which is the currency used throughout the world, while at other times, it may be any number of the vast items incorporated into the game. Any town should include merchants and outfitters, weaponsmiths, crafters, and trading vendors whom will be more than happy to strike a good bargain with you may it be through buying, selling or trading.
To engage in a transaction with an NPC, simply left click the character to begin. These actions are simple and you just click the items needed to make the transaction in the appropriate tabs. To find such NPCs quickly simple hold down the alt key.
When bartering you do, of course, have another viable option. The ability to trade with other human players in a Town can be very handy indeed. Not only can you strike great deals to possibly gain items cheaper but there is also the chance you may even be given free goodies if you play your cards right or deal with friends.
 Town NPCs
- Quest Givers
- Skill Trainers
- Xunlai Storage Agents
- Other NPCs (The normal every day people you'd see roaming a town)
- Does not require monthly fees to play.
- Six core Professions to choose from.
- Characters are customizable from a palette of face and hair models, skin colour, height, and of course, their choice in armour and weapons.
- Full 3D graphics to really bring the game to life.
- Available third-person overhead and first-person perspectives.
- Player-versus-player, cooperative combat, and solo combat.
- Numerous missions and objectives to complete for each campaign.
- Characters posses 20 full experience levels of mastering their arts, but even after the game is only beginning.