Guild Wars – Initial Thoughts, Coming At Ya

June 5, 2010

For the last few days I’ve been stumbling around the world of Guild Wars, discovering the game and learning as I go along. I made an Elementalist by the name of Siennis Wilder, and started her off in the Prophecies campaign because I believe that if you’re new to something, the beginning is always the best place to start.

I’ve made it out of the starting area now (even though I don’t think I really meant to at the time) and I’ve had my first taste of combat with my henchmen. I’m using fire as my element, so I thought getting a more defensive secondary profession might be a good idea and went with Monk. More thoughts are likely to be forthcoming, but for now, I have these to share:

1. I had some initial problems getting into the game (physically, not emotionally). The login screen would freeze up before I could even type in my password. I thought it was an issue with my video card or technical specs, and started looking up solutions for the problem. Turns out, it was just my computer overheating. It’s summer, and I have a fan in the room now. I switched it on, and voila! the game runs like a charm. That was easy.

2. I was advised ahead of time that character customization is a little lacking in GW. I agree, it’s not the best…but it’s adequate. What I found a little distracting though, are the ridiculous boots my Elementalist starts off with. I used to work in a corporate office, spending hours upon hours in my pumps. Sometimes after a long day, even the most comfortable shoes made me feel like lobbing off my feet, so there’s just something very amusing to me about a character running around in a forest fighting in 3-inch heels (I’m telling you, that’s a broken ankle just waiting to happen).

3. The infamous “no jumping” thing isn’t a deal-breaker for me, though it is going to take some getting used to. Jumping around has sort of become a bad habit of mine. I played a feral druid in World of Warcraft, and I’ll openly admit that I’m one of those annoying cats you want to bitchslap back to last century because they can’t seem to keep all four paws on the ground for more than 5 seconds. There’s just something about being a quadruped that makes me want to jump all the time…I can’t really understand it myself. Falling to your death is never fun though, so I can rejoice the fact that it’ll never happen to me in GW at least.

4. It’s pretty. Very pretty. For a game that’s several years old, I’m quite impressed. I’m also loving some of the creature models. The first time I saw a Devourer, I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s an interesting take on your usual scorpion mob.” Anyway, the screenshots I take don’t do this game justice, and so far I can’t seem to figure out how to improve the quality of them so that they would more closely reflect what I see in the game.


  1. No, no, no. I never wanna slap the night elves or druids in WoW. Who wouldn’t want to flippy-jump everywhere or pounce on anything in sight.

    No, the slap is reserved for when the night elf/druid players move on to other games that don’t have flippy-jumps or cat form druids with which to taunt the player into jumping. Say, for example, an elf hunter in LotRO bouncing down the road. Not… that… I would know about that first hand or anything. *cough*

    Fortunately I can say with authority my jumping habit was formed well before WoW. In Asheron’s Call it was a game in itself to see how high you could jump on the buildings in town. AC had both a jumping skill to increase the height of your jump and a running skill to increase your movement speed. So to get to some buildings you needed more height and/or more distance. How much did I jump in AC? I, erm, wrote a guide describing the different types of jumps. 😀

    So, no, no slapping from this person for being a bouncy druid.

    • LOL wow, strategic jumping. I don’t think I’d want jumping skill in my games, but I have to admit jumping onto does sound like a lot of fun.

      And jumping around as a cat is indeed very amusing (hey, like you said, cats pounce!) I have another confession to make…I guess this could be considered a form of roleplay, but sometimes when I shift into cat form I would do a jump (hoping for a forward flip) right before I hit the shift ability in mid air so I could land on all four as a cat. A silly game I play in my head, but it makes me feel heroic when I pull it off correctly 😛

  2. Ah so you’ve seen the searing, I found that moment to be pretty cool my first time.

    Monk was a pretty good choice for secondary, mesmer is about the only other real option. and if you think the boots are silly, wait till you see the more scantily clad versions of female ele armour.

    I can’t help with the ss problem, I don’t take enough ss’s to figure it out myself. where is that shot from though? Its obviously been too long since i’ve been to the beginning of prophecies.

    oh wait. i told you to try dif professions didn’t i? is that what made you leave the beginner area early? eeeeek

    • You mean this one?

    • I played around with some of the professions (the necro and warrior are a couple I remember quite well)…I didn’t really know the story behind the classes, so it was a matter of trial and error. I really liked the healing ability of the Monk and thought it would come in handy, so that’s why I ultimately decided on it.

      And I remember from your comment that around level 8 was a good time to leave the beginning area…I didn’t exactly make it quite that far before I left, though I meant to. What I did was talk to the guy that starts that whole process without realizing, and accepted before it occurred to me what was going to happen.

      @Grey – That’s actually very close to what I’m wearing right now!

  3. Nice article!

    Personally I never really got into Guild Wars. It didn’t feel like a MMO nor did it feel like a game. I’m not sure quite what it is.

    The oriental flavor turned me off. I felt like I was in a 1970’s Kung Fu movies. I remember reading a quote from the developers who stated they were trying to mix East with West. I think that was a mistake for the Western audience at least.

    The no-jumping is something I would have loved. Nothing annoys me more when people in WoW jump non-stop. Jumping should have some kind of penalty associated with it; perhaps a fatigue penalty. Just something to stop people doing it all the time. I almost consider incessant jumping to be a form of griefing.

    • I totally get where you’re coming from with regards to the “oriental flavor.” I actually thought GW was an Asian game when I first saw it. The only things I find distracting about this are the male character models (the men in games like Aion and the Final Fantasy series have always been too feminine for my tastes — I think it’s the soft, feathery hair and pouty lips) as well as the costumes…you know how I feel about the heels already, and I’m not really digging my character’s funky mini skirt either. Otherwise, I think I can live with everything else.

      And oooh boy, you would really hate me in cat form then.

  4. I’d say if the screenshots don’t do the game justice, then the graphics must be absolutely gorgeous. I really like the one you posted.

    • Shall I show you the Palaces of the Princes of Vabbi? 🙂

    • I’m disappointed that I lost so much lighting out of the screenshot. Everything in that image looks flat to me, which wasn’t the case at all when I was looking at this view in game. What I posted looks nice, but I’ve lost a lot of the shadows, and you can’t see any of the shine that was in water either.

  5. So far, so good! 😉

    Your next step should be to explore the areas around the ruined Ascalon AFTER the searing event that ends the Tutorial.

    If you feel lonely, early Tyria is quite abandoned in favor of Nightfall were most people are recommended to start nowadays, make way to Lion’s Arch. There are many maps of Guild Wars that show you roughly where to go. But you will need to level up a bit, otherwise you won’t make from one end to the zone to the other. Unless you hire a runner – but I recommend against this. It is taking away the adventure.

    Just like I told that I have the gut feeling that starting out in the very first chapter, without all the frills and extras of the later ones, gives one somehow a better understanding and start into the game in the long run.

    My secret plan is to make you a Tyrian princess to replace Princess Salma. My evil Necromancer would then advice you in the style of Grima Snaketongue… what a wonderful future!

    If you feel you need some help an feel lonely in an instance… -> http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Summoning_stone

    These stones can summon a devourer, a kveldulf (that’s a two headed cerberus-style wooly wolf), a juggernaut, an oni or a random mob for instance.

    Most veteran players also have an excess of miniature pets, maybe you fancy one. How about a mini Siege Turtle? http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Minipetshttp://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Minipets

    • Yeah, the searing event was awesome. And I guess the population is a bit sparse, but there’s still quite a few people around and about. Makes me wonder how populated Nightfall must be, if that’s where everyone goes to these days.

      Also no, I don’t plan on hiring a runner. Like you said, the fun is in learning and understanding the game on my own 🙂 Thanks for the links, you know I LOVE mini pets!!!

      And…you have a secret plan to make me a Tyrian princess? My noob mind is finding it difficult to make any sense of that statement, but I guess I can’t argue with being made royalty even if you plan to corrupt me 😛

    • I agree with Longasc that starting out your first character in Prophecies, without the frills and happies will make you a better player in the long run.

      But it’s entirely possible that I only feel that way because that’s how I started out! XD

      ~_o I still play quite a bit (when I’m not working T_T), and if you have noobie questions I’ll be happy to answer them if I’m around.

      You can poke Wren Brownfeather if you’re not too shy! =)

      I promise I dun bite. Newbies. Much. HONEST! Would my batter lie to you? *model golden batter*

      • Heh heh, thank you for your offer, I’ll add you to my friends list next time I’m on 😀

  6. The whole no jumping thing just boggles my mind. Couldn’t they just patch it in or something? 🙂 I’m not a jump machine but I do like being able to move over minor obstacles 😛

    • Nope. The maps are designed with no-jumping in mind. To that end getting from the top of a hill to the bottom is not as straight-forward as bouncing-down-with-the-jump-button.

      Not only is this built into the PvE maps but the PvP maps, too. One map has a river which has high banks on either side. You can shoot down the banks but you cannot climb up or down the banks. If you could then melee characters would get a slight advantage there because they could hop down instead of going around.

    • Yeah, it was a little frustrating when I came up to a tiny little drop in the side of a hill and realized it wouldn’t even let me go down that. It does sort of break the immersion.

      • <.< The worst thing about the no-jumping isn't the no-jumping. It's the way the terrain inherently is.

        Lemme tell you, when I play other MMOs where you can walk over stuff and kill yourself (or ignore the effects of falling off a mountain, while being allowed to walk off that mountain), people look at you funny when you walk all the way around…

  7. Ah, another new GW player baptized by fire because they went post-Searing before they meant to. I think it’s a rite of passage really :).

    (Fortunately I did this with my SO who started screaming at me to cancel when I accepted the quest and the timer started. I didn’t understand why he was so adamant until later!)

    • Okay, I wish I had someone there to scream at me to cancel…I was pretty clueless 😛

  8. E/Mo is one of the classic builds. Monk goes great with everything, really. Of course, you’ll get the opportunity to switch secondary professions eventually, so no decision has to be permenant.

    I’m still amazed at how good the game looks. Strange about the screenshots, though.

    • Oh good, I was really struggling with my choice because they made it sound so final…I’m glad there will be the opportunity to switch later on if I so choose.

  9. I miss GW, I forgot my password and its really terrible trying to deal with NCSoft to get it back, they asked so many questions it just gave up.

    I honestly don’t remember the code to a box of CoH i bought when it first came out.

    • Oh yeah, I’ve heard it was quite the nightmare to deal with NCsoft over lost passwords. How can they expect someone to still have or remember the code after so many years?

    • In the same boat here. This blog post made me wanna dust off my old copy of GW. Can’t even remember my login. Entered my email address and asked for a password reset. They didn’t even send me an email. I know, I run my mail server and watched the logs. 😦

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