Guild Wars: Factions – A Review

Guild Wars: Factions
Developer: NCSoft
Release: April 28, 2006

Those of us who have had Guild Wars: Prophecies were able to beta test the new world of Cantha and Factions. With new armor, hundreds of new monsters, characters, 50 new quest areas, and an entire new world to explore, it was quite a treat. Guild Wars: Factions is a stand alone game designed to be bought and played singularly; or it can be combined with Prophecies and played in sync. Guild Wars: Factions comes to the forefront a year after Prophecies hit the market. With plenty of updates throughout that year, it was a constant state of change. With market values for weapons and armor changing, and with the infinite little changes and “gifts” for the holiday and seasonal changes.

Cantha is the new world in Factions, an Asia themed continent with three nations, located south of the Prophecies world of Tyria. Those that own both Prophecies and Factions can travel between the two continents by boat. In Cantha, it is a land of politics and alliance guild battles, where Tyria there were small guilds and wars. For those MMORG players that prefer the Player versus player modes of battle instead of the Player versus environment roles of heading out without other online players, Cantha provides serious battle play. There are two entirely new types of missions, Alliance Missions and Elite Missions. With the Alliance Missions there are multiple teams battling for control and earning faction points. With the Elite Missions it is the ultimate challenge for the most highly experienced teams. For the Player versus Environment junkies, there are two new professions; the Assassin and the Ritualist. Assassins have daggers and the ability to teleport, and ritualists can summon spirits of the fallen to do their deeds. PvE players also will have dozens of new skills and story missions. They will be able to see hundreds of new weapons, items, pets, and monster levels well above the original Tyria. There is a gypsy-esque exotic feel to Cantha, a bit earthy and other-worldly.

Guild Wars: Prophecies had four slots available for character builds, and those that buy Guild Wars: Factions will have the ability to include extra character slots so that they do not have to delete any old characters to include the new Factions characters to their arsenal. NCsoft has truly designed a product that can be an “expansion” set for the owners of the original Guild Wars; or an unique “stand alone” game for those that haven’t already played Guild Wars. The choice is left up to the player whether they want to play on one continent or buy both games for both continents.

Guild Wars: Factions will cost $49.99 for the Standard release and $69.99 for the Collector’s release and be issued in America, Europe, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau on the same date.

The NORTH AMERICAN PRE-ORDER INCLUDES:

A key that provides access to the Factions Preview Event on March 24th
Access to Guild Wars Factions twenty-four hours before the official release date
Exclusive in-game items-one unique item for each of the two new professions
A “friend” key that gives one of your friends access to the Factions Preview Event on March 24th
A 14-day, 10-hour trial of Guild Wars (original Prophecies campaign)
A tactical guide
A quick-reference card
A CD that includes concept art, wallpapers, and in-game trailers

THE EUROPEAN ONLINE PRE-ORDER (no box or contents)
Beginning March 3rd, European customers can visit their favorite online retailer to pre-order Guild Wars Factions online. The online pre-order will include:

A key that provides access to the Factions Preview Event on March 24th
Access to Guild Wars Factions twenty-four hours before the official release date
Exclusive in-game items-one unique item for each of the two new professions
A “friend” key that gives one of your friends access to the Factions Preview Event on March 24th

THE EUROPEAN BOXED PRE-ORDER PACK
The European boxed Pre-Order Pack will be available in stores on March 31st and will include:

Access to Guild Wars Factions twenty-four hours before the official release date
Exclusive in-game items-one unique item for each of the two new professions
A tactical guide and quick-reference card PDF in five different languages
A CD that includes concept art, wallpapers, in-game movies, and Factions music
A Guild Wars Factions poster

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