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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 1:32PM shipwreck said

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Nice write up!

I demo'd GW but couldn't quite get into it because the combat just felt SO slow. Does it speed up at later levels, or during PVP, or when I just have more buttons to click?

I see GW on sale on Steam every now and again and am tempted to pick it up since there is no subscription fee, but it's tough to commit to a new online game - especially one that didn't quite zing me in the past.

Also, what version/expansion would you recommend the most?

Posted: Nov 8th 2010 1:51PM DevilSei said

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Well, it sounds like you might of started with Prophecies. The going is certainly slow at first, and out of the 3 prophecies doesn't seem to be the most liked. Combat speeds up though when you get henchmen and then heroes to add to your party.

It's a good one to cut your teeth on though, I'll admit. Its bonuses are probably easier than any other campaign, though tends to require some exploration at times on your part (and dealing with those darn Mursaats...).

I'd say definitely grab the trilogy edition if you have the chance. You'll get bonus equipment, and a free Hero (who starts off at lvl 20, unlike others) who will really help with the quests.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 1:55PM (Unverified) said

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going in chronological order would be my approach, though there are pros and cons to this.

Going out of order means seeing some plot spoilers, but going out of order also lets you level faster, have access to heros (nightfall) and has some other nice treats.

If you only did the gw demo, then you haven't seen 99% of the game. At this point, you can pick it up cheap so I'd say go for it. Plus, there is a definitive start and end to the main stories for each campaign... so if nothing else you could just play those solo and be done with the game.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 2:10PM (Unverified) said

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The speed of combat definitely ramps up as the levels progress. Whichever campaign you are playing will also influence your combat speed.

Prophecies was the first campaign released, but it is the longest campaign. It's pace is very slow, as it was originally designed to just be a tutorial for PvP.

Factions is the second campaign, and it is the shortest campaign. You can reach the max level of 20 within a few days to a week if you work at it, but the difficulty constantly scales up as the mobs still grow both in level and power of skills used. The bonus professions introduced for Factions are the Assassin and the Ritualist.

Nightfall is the third campaign released, and it introduces the mechanic of heroes. Heroes are computer-controlled AI that you assign skills and weapons to aid you in combat. Assigning your own skills to heroes, combined with their improved AI, makes them more effective fighters than the henchmen from Prophecies and Factions. You can reach level 20 fairly quickly, but not as quickly as Factions. The bonus professions introduced for Nightfall are the Paragon and the Dervish.

The expansion is Eye of the North. It is designed for level 20 characters (who have generally beaten one or more of the other campaigns). This is where the Hall of Monuments comes into play and where you can earn your achievements in Guild Wars to unlock rewards in Guild Wars 2. The difficulty in Eye of the North is much higher than the previous campaigns (especially if you haven't completed the previous campaigns).

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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 2:53PM Arkanaloth said

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man I *WISH* GW was slow... if you demo'd you probably started in Prophecies in pre-searing and it is molasses slow (much like prophecies in general for quite some time). The farther you go the faster it gets.

IMO the campaigns go something like this:

Prophecies: the first game... and it's a slow burn on a low fire for quite some time. You are meant to progress through the game slowly doing side quests since that's how you will acquire quite a few skills since they are often the reward for side quests in addition to a bit of money. Things do get a touch harder / faster once you go post-searing since the charr are a nightmare for new players and the henchmen in the area are pretty low level for what you'll be asking them to go against. (level 3 henchies VS level 6 charr.. this won't end well)

Factions: Welcome to the fast lane... for the new player Factions is brutal. Afflicted hit HARD and FAST, heck a few Jade Brotherhood on the mainland can ruin your day if they get a lucky spell progression off. It's very very possible upon first going to factions to literally blink and find yourself surrounded by waves of enemies with 1/2 your party dead. XP rewards are higher here too, so you'll level like a bat out of hell after being shot out of a cannon. I still remember when I bought Factions.. I was not prepared for just how quickly a "Your party has been defeated" message could pop up, you get used to it though which is good cause you'll need those skills for harder missions (Eternal Grove anyone?) and... Shiro.

Nightfall: The middle ground. Not the slow burn of prophecies nor the blazing moment of glory of Factions. I tell most new players to start in Nightfall so that they will have a very balanced experience and have the much stronger heroes to fall back on instead of henchmen. *However* it is important to note that the relative difficulty will spike sharply when you get to the realm of torment.

Eye of the North: Technically you can't start here, but you can go here at a very low level. While the XP is good here, for a 100% new GW player to come here at such a low level is something like throwing sheep to a pack of wolves that haven't eaten in 8 months. You just won't have the build diversity or elite skills to handle this level of combat effectively, even with the level boosting that happens when you go to EotN below 20th, nor will you be accustomed to the combat speed.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 5:03PM alinos said

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i have to disagree Devilsei

most of the people i know would say that Prophecies is where it's at

the other 2 rush you to level 20 because they kinda assume your either a old player and forcing you to level like in proph would be annoying or that your a new player who wants to get to the rest of the community

Prophecies has the best story the widest variety of locations

sure as a start out it's kinda slow in relation to the others but it's easily the best in the game
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 9:21PM DevilSei said

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Yeah, personally I agree alin, Prophecies was the one I chose to do, even when I restarted. Its one of the more storyline-centric arcs, as it directly flows into GW:EN, the others just feel more like off-shoots than anything (despite a crossover or two).

As for starting off as early as possible in Eyes of the North, its doable. You get a free max weapon, stat boosts, and health, plus a good round of henchmen and starting heroes. Armor can be a little expensive to get, but if you're a non-melee toon, it won't be as much of a factor.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 10:30PM Jeromai said

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Did you find the pacing of the quests and running through the map levels slow (pre-Searing Prophecies is definitely paced like a newbie tutorial) or the -combat- itself slow?

If it's the combat specifically, it might be the class you tried. Just from personal experience, I found running in as an axe warrior faster and more frenetic than my ranger who sat back and arc'ed flatbow arrows into battle. On the other hand, if I wanted to increase my rate of fire as a ranger, I could switch to a shortbow.

There are also skills that can increase the rate of attack by 25% or 33% for certain classes, and combat may have been balanced with those in mind, leaving an unboosted rate as feeling a little slow and laggy. My paragon runs either aggressive refrain or soldier's fury almost all the time, and his spear chucking rate is close unto a machine gun, I barely get off 2-4 shots before most mobs are very dead.

I've not personally tried an assassin for long, but from observation, those look to have a lethally fast rate of attack too.

Also in Guild Wars, autoattack is not a minor thing with skill button mashing as the major damage. In general, autoattack is the bread and butter with skills fired off at strategic intervals to increase damage or spike it or do nasty interrupts or layer an effect, etc.

On the other hand, a newbie elementalist or mesmer without sufficient skills/spells to form a nice chain, and without enough of an energy reservoir might indeed feel that the pace of combat is somewhat slower because you'll forever be stuck waiting for the energy to build up before the next big boom.

As others have mentioned, the overall pace of combat also builds up to be more frenetic once you have a 6-8 hero/hench party and are facing off against groups of 5-8+ mobs, simply because so much is firing off at any one point in time.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 3:47AM drakon said

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If you're completely new to GW you can buy the "Complete Collection" for $40 (I found it at Walmart) that includes the original plus all three expansions. I did that about 2 weeks ago and having a blast so far. Can't beat it for price either. At the NCsoft store the original game is $20 plus another $30 for each expansion.
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Posted: Nov 8th 2010 4:28PM Zuato said

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Yikes, I had returned to the game recently from a loooong break and had totally forgotten how many things worked, and quite a bit I simply had never made it to before. So Saturday, in guild, I asked where to find Prince Rurik as I had ran out of quests and had totally missed the Enter Mission button *face palm* Since then I've been on a tear enjoying the Prophecies campaign (I've been taking my time exploring and enjoying the locations as they open up).

Thankfully there are a lot of friendly and helpful people in game. :-)

Thank you for this guide - I have the GotY edition and never realized how to access those weapons. That's on the to-do list tonight when I log in.

Posted: Nov 8th 2010 8:14PM Wurm said

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If you play a monk in GvG, I dont think you will say that combat is slow

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 9:21AM Ocho said

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You forgot one important thing... screenshots. I take a bunch of em in every game possible, trying to get at least one per play session. In GW, its tricky... to clear the UI you press Ctrl-Shift-H, then Print Screen to take the shot.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 4:14PM ZenJitsu said

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At least for me, SHIFT+PrtScrn gives me screenies with no interface. :) If that doesn't work, you may want to try ALT or CTRL.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 10:24AM (Unverified) said

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I started playing again last week, and damn, am I having fun!
We have two accounts at home; a full one we once shared(now my brother's -gimme back my minipets!-), and my personal Prophecies account. I returned to a level 13 ranger in the Northern Shiverpeaks, running around shooting stuff.
Now, I'm a level 8 elementalist still enjoying Pre-Searing Ascalon, finding new things I had never seen before (since launch, go figure...)

I like the fact that although I have played this game for almost three years, I am still a complete noob. Yes, you read that well, I'm proud of it, because I can still explore the world, hear new music, enjoy new content and keep going :O

Never had so much fun in Guild Wars before...
Any tips on reaching level 20 in pre?

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 11:11AM Arkanaloth said

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Reaching 20 in pre.. well a buddy of mine has done it recently so I can tell you exactly what you'll need.

patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience, patience,

ok.. now that we've established that, getting LDoA is something that is "finished when it's finished". There is no power-grinding this one if you're going to do it accept that you'll be in it for the INCREDIBLY LONG haul.

From level 1 do not do a single solitary quest outside of the absolute bare minimum necessary to get your class skills. Start but do *NOT* complete the secondary class quest that way you have access to the skills without completing the quest and locking you into a secondary class at this time. Now you grind... you kill and keep killing until you can't get XP anymore. Then you go to Ascalon city and get the quest: Charr at the Gate. take it.. go kill charr with Prince Rurik then abandon it and do it again, and again, and again... do this until the Charr at the gate are no longer worth any XP.

at this point.. you can no longer get XP from *anything* on this side of the wall and you will have to get someone to open the gate for you to go kill the charr bosses. Do this until the charr bosses no longer give XP. By this point you should be in the low teens in level or something like that.. 13, 14.. maybe 15. Now you must Death Level.. I would google search for videos on the process, once you get good at it you'll be able to setup a DL session in 15 min or so... then you leave. Most people setup a DL session then go to sleep, wake up the next morning and kill the Charr now that they are worth XP. Do this until you're around 19th level or so...

now then.. remember when I said do not do *any* quests but the bare minimum? now.. at 19th level.. go do any and every quest you can find... and finalize your secondary class quest, this all *should* be enough to push you to 20 or get you VERY close.. if it's not quite enough to ding, go do a few more DL sessions...

Congratz on getting LDoA.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 10:54AM Zerogrifter said

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Hey dude - I meant to write pretty much what everyone else here has already said yesterday but I forgot to "approve the comment" and what these guys are saying is 100% true. I've started playing again and while I run into the occasional jerk, on the whole, the community is pretty awesome. Last night I ran a mission and a guy could tell I was a new comer and was just passing hero builds to me that would synergize with my dervish build.

I would recommend playing NightFall only because that is the one I'm having the most fun with - but the other two campaigns have their own merits and if you do decide to get back into the game - grab the TRILOGY PACK - completely worth the coin and wait until Eye of the North goes on sale again since you will have tons of content to keep you busy before you're ready for it.

Eye of the North is really the only standalone expansion pack but it is also necessary in order to unlock things in the Hall of Monuments. Overall its a great game and I constantly see guilds recruiting new players.

If you have the cash there are also skill unlock packs you can buy to bring you up to speed with other players. I bought the core and prophesies pack because i'm not going to back to those campaigns for quite a while.

If you don't have a game keeping you busy and are trolling free2play MMO's like I was, this game is definitely worth buying.

Also the PVP is probably the most intense experience I've had the pleasure of, on par with War Hammer Online and, to me, more fun then WoW because you don't have to worry about characters who are "twinked" - it's all about skill.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 11:41AM Valdamar said

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Nice article. I played GW1 when they did some free trial periods around the original launch, and at a friend's house when he bought it at launch, and while I wasn't overly wowed by the gameplay I did like the world/graphics and the skills system - plus I would like to learn some of the lore first-hand before GW2 launches (as I'm very keen to play that).

So I keep meaning to pick up Guild Wars - Amazon.co.uk has had the complete collection of all 4 GW games for £15 for ages, which seems like a very good deal (it's been on my wishlist for at least a year at that price) - though I'm waiting for several of my friends and I to run out of other things to play co-op then I can suggest we all hit GW together - I suspect it will be a lot more fun in a regular group than solo.

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