Finally, a quality MMORPG without the grind, gear, and fee

User Rating: 9.5 | Guild Wars (Special Edition) PC
Guild Wars takes a different approach to MMOs by implementing some features no other MMO has to date. Guild Wars has no subscription fee, once you buy it you can play to your hearts content.

The game takes a more story based approach, with your characters having important roles in the story that unfolds, as well as a voice and dialogue. To achieve this, no other random player may interfere with the part of the game you are playing. This is done by instancing or separating playable areas from other players, by creating a part of the world meant just for you and your party to play in. That means no kill stealing, no boss camping, and no gold farmers, or any other random players that might ruin your adventure. You meet other players in towns and outposts. There are no servers to play on, only districts for spoken languages that can be changed at anytime.

Guild Wars lets you chose from up to 6 classes to play, and you get to pick 2, one primary and one secondary. In Guild Wars, you fight with only 8 skills at a time, even though each class learn up to 300 different skills. By combining skills learned as both classes, the amount of combinations you can pull off is simply absurd.

There are only 20 levels to gain, which only serve as a tutorial for creating a character you would like to play. You can reach level 20 in a few weeks, but that's where the real game begins. Its not about leveling, its not about gathering equipment. Even at level 20, you can still gather experience and gain skill points with which you buy or learn new skills. So its not a game where you become more powerful based on the hours you have invested or amount of experience you have farmed, instead it boils down to your skills setup and tactical approach to each encounter. All of your attributes can be reset and invested once more at any time in a town.

Guild Wars is a team game, you wont get far by playing alone. In case you cannot find people to play with, you get the option to take AI controlled henchmen instead which will serve you just as well.

Items play a minor role in Guild Wars, armor can only be crafted from NPC armorsmiths, but instead you have to gather materials for them to use and make your new armor. You cannot win a fight by only having a strong weapon, because no weapon is as strong as a good combination of skills. Weapons only serve to add a little boost to your fighting style. By completing quests, you can get additional skills as rewards instead of items, this makes for a great reason to actually go out there and play, as this is how you get stronger, the more skill you have at your disposal, the more you are versatile in battles to come.

There are 25 story missions to complete and many areas around the world to explore. Apart from the story missions, Guild Wars also focuses on Player vs Player a lot. You can play random arenas where 4 random players are matched up against another 4, or you can play all out Guild vs guild battles with up to 12 players each. This is where the game becomes both hard and interesting as every player has to play well and be coordinated well with others and also play with skills that complement others in their fighting style. You can immediately create a level 20 PvP character if you so desire and instantly play against other players and earn new skills as your reward, instead of spending hours adventuring if the story isn't your cup of tea.

Unlike other MMOs, when you meet an enemy warrior on a battlefield for example, you cannot know what kind of skills he has until he actually uses them and you pay close attention. This makes it harder to prepare appropriately and makes combat much more intense and unpredictable. There is much more to the game, but surely have you never played an online game like this before. If you want to play a good MMO but cannot afford any games with a fee, you cant chose a better game than Guild Wars.