Guild Wars MMORPG: A Review

Guild Wars MMORPG: A Review

Guild Wars began beta testing its massive MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) at the E3 for Everyone Event scheduled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May of 2004. World Preview Event began a few months later in October in the homes of beta testers like me worldwide.

We had one weekend a month that we were able to play and tweak the course that the game would become in its final release. Many things changed, and some remained the same, but through it all it remained one of the most graphically beautiful online games out there. Not even Final Fantasy and Everquest could touch it.

Guild Wars is designed for PC only, has a mere 90 kb file that launches and sustains the game so it doesn’t eat up your hard drive, and it will have many expansion packs so it will keep changing. It is a total-online play, meaning there is no freestanding game play and you must have an internet connection (like Lineage was).

It is played on the ArenaNet platform, and has little if any bugs left in the final copy. A small yellow lightning bolt in the upper right corner tells the player when items/code/tweaking is being downloaded into the playfield. The game retails for $49.99 and it has no monthly fees for playing, which makes it more similar to Diablo 2 in that aspect than Everquest. The makers, NCsoft, assure players they will never charge a monthly fee for playing privileges.

Customers that pre-ordered the game not only got a special code for early playing, but a special item. Depending on where you ordered the game, you received a custom item. Below are the retailers selling the pre-order, what item was specific to that store, and how it was to be used.

Special Items with Pre-order:
Best Buy Pre-order– Kanthan Targe (Shield, use with Tactics)
CompUSA Pre-order– Bone Idol (Focus, use with Death Magic)
Electronics Boutique Pre-order– Ithas Bow (Bow, use with Marksmanship)
European Pre-order- Chimeric Prism (Focus, enhances first profession primary attribute)
Gamestop Pre-order– War Pick (Hammer, use with Hammer Mastery)
All other pre-order retailers– Censor’s Icon (Focus, use with Smiting Prayers)

Guild Wars has Player versus Player game play as well as Player versus Environment, so you can choose to duel with your friends or strike out on your own and conquer your quests. Your character had ample choices between its sex, flesh color, size of the character, hair style, and its eyes/facial features. It was truly customizable. There is even special dye kits in game so that you can dye your armor and accessories the way you’d like your character to look.

Professions in the game were varied and six in number. You can, however, choose a secondary profession to gain extra skills in. The six professions and their attributes are:

Warrior- Strength, Swordsmanship, Axe Mastery, Hammer Mastery, Tactics
Ranger- Expertise, Beast Mastery, Marksmanship, Wilderness Survival
Monk- Divine Factor, Healing Prayers, Smiting Prayers, Protection Prayers
Mesmer– Fast Casting, Domination, Illusion, Inspiration
Elementalist– Energy Storage, Fire Magic, Air Magic, Water Magic, Earth Magic
Necromancer– Soul Reaping, Curses, Blood Magic, Death Magic

Minimum System Specifications:
Windows�® XP/2000/ME/98
Intel Pentium�® III 800 Mhz or equivalent
256 MB RAM
CD-ROM Drive
2 GB available HD space
ATI Radeon 8500 or GeForce 3 or 4 MX Series Video Card with 32 MB of VRAM
16-bit Sound Card
Internet connection

Recommended System Specifications:
Windows�® XP/2000/ME/98
Intel Pentium�® III 1 Ghz or equivalent
512 MB RAM
CD-ROM Drive
2 GB available HD Space
ATI Radeon 9000 or GeForce 4 Ti Series Video Card with 64 MB of VRAM
16-bit Sound Card
Internet connection

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