The first two things I found out about Guild Wars before I started playing, was that it had no monthly fee, and that it was a new strategy MMO that was going to put emphasis on player skill, not hours spent logged into a game. For me, that's exactly what I've been looking for in an mmo, and it's not something I've seen in The Matrix Online, WoW, and FFXI. (Yes, I've bought and played all three) It seems like most MMOs today only have the goal of creating something that takes you millions of hours to get through so they can suck tons of monthly payments out of you before you decide to hang up your sword and shield. Guild Wars has set out to change all that, and by charging nothing monthly, and surprisingly making this game open to people with 56k modems somehow, (I have no idea how they worked that out) Guild Wars seems to be set on making MMOs exciting and fun for you EVERY time you log in to play. When I started playing Guild wars in beta, I saw some changes that definitely put the emphasis on fun, not time spent. It won't take you a solid year of leveling to reach the top of this game, in fact, you are given the option at the beginning of the game to start at the highest level by creating a 'pvp only' character. Though if you choose to do that, the pvp only char can only travel to arenas for fighting, and will only have the skills you managed to unlock with a traditional rpg character. So you will have to put some hours in to get everything the first time, but once you've unlocked the things you want, technically, you could go ahead and start playing hardcore pvp games. (Of which there are a number of different types) Either way there’s lots of different fun things to do, weather you are maxed out in level, or just starting at level 1. So essentially the gist of the game is this; Team up with some buddies, (or solo the world yourself if you want, with maybe some npc henchman) and play through the extensive roleplaying world, unlocking skills, weapons and nice armor. Once you've had your fill of that, (which will take a while) you can join a guild for some intense guild vs guild competition, or travel to one of the many arenas to use your skills in some competitive pvp. The pvp types vary depending on which area you choose, but essentially, there’s a number of objective games you can do, as well as straight up death matches. There’s CTF, king of the hill, a FFA type fight (5 partys on 1 map, last one standing wins) as well as some others I'm sure I haven't been able to try yet. All the pvp games require some team work and strategy, and there are lots of different party builds and tactics you can use to succeed. Here's a simple list of what's neat about the game. -No monthly fees, ever. -All the servers are linked up, everyone has a likely chance of meeting each other. So you never have to worry about getting your friends to play on the same server, all you have to do is meet them in game in the different districts. (You can also play with players from Europe or Korea, in which case you'll see those players in the 'international district' or in tourneys.) -Unique mission system lets you play with your friends, and only your friends. No more waiting for some monster to spawn only to have it killed by a farmer, no more random high level players coming to gank you for sport. In guild wars mission areas are created for each party, and you have the luxury of playing in a whole world to yourself. (NPC henchman are also available for you to fill your party with if you are feeling extra anti social) -Team based Matchmaking type pvp, lets you get in, get a few games of organized fantasy chaos in, and get out. You can be matched up with total strangers for some pick up games of ctf, or just straight death match, or you can put together a team of 8 to try and win the Hall of Heroes for uber fame and bragging rights. -Really smooth graphics and nice camera angles. Real time game play relying on quick thinking. -No over or underpowered job classes! Everything is very well balanced, and you can be free to play whatever you like the most, without the worry of sucking. -'No permanent mistakes' in character making. Put all your attribute points in the wrong slot? No problem, just gain some exp and you earn 'attribute refund points' to relocate them. Cons: -If you are one of those people that LIKES ganking other players while they go about their business in the game world, you won't be able to do that here. -That's it. So to surmise, Guild Wars is a game about fun, strategy, and player skill, at no monthly cost. If you are like me and want to have fun but not throw all your gaming hours away into a grinding abyss of an mmo, then Guild Wars might be a game for you.
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