Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Guild Wars is a forthcoming online game by ArenaNet, a developer founded by a group of people crucial to some of Blizzard Entertainment's past games and services such as Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, and Battle.net. They are now wholely owned by NCSoft, a Korean game publisher.
Though often mistaken for an MMORPG, Guild Wars is officially classified as a CORPG, short for Competitive Online Role-Playing Game, a term coined by the developers. Guild Wars shares more in common with the Diablo series of action RPGs than traditional MMORPGs such as Ultima Online and EverQuest. Most notably missing is the "massive" component of MMORPGs, as Guild Wars does not support hundreds of players in gameplay, instead having instanced areas for small parties of players. "Guild Wars is not an MMORPG," said Jeff Strain, producer of the game.
Guild Wars was the subject of the "E3 for Everyone" event in May 2004 which, held during the annual E3 expo and conference, attracted over 200,000 gamers from around the world to participate in the 5-day public beta testing. Special features in Guild Wars include lack of a monthly fee, silent streaming update technology (new content can be easily sent to the user while he or she is playing) and unprecedented player versus player combat that Arenanet has designed to rely on skill rather than the amount of time spent playing, shunning the design of MMORPGs such as EverQuest where making a high-level character takes anywhere from several months to several years. ArenaNet plans on releasing expansions every six to nine months that will advance the game's story line as well as introducing new features. Expansions will not be required to continue playing, nor will they give a true advantage over non-expansion players.
Guild Wars will be released on April 28 2005 (for North America and Europe). A "World Preview Event" occurred on October 29-31 2004, similar to the E3 event, and attracted 400,000 users. Starting in November 2004, ArenaNet held monthly Beta Weekends in addition to the closed Beta. Designed for large-scale testing, these events were open to those who pre-ordered as well as people who got free one-time passes from various sources such as Friend Passes, magazines, or giveaways from sites like FilePlanet . Additionally, pre-ordering will allow you to hold onto the names of your characters when the game is released. As of April 18th, 2005, the beta events are over.
Each player character in and of itself is comprised of one or two professions, and with 6 professions, that allows for a potential of 30 combinations. Each profession has a unique attribute unto itself that will only be present if it is the primary profession, being unavailable if used as a secondary profession. The remainder of the attribute-set for the secondary profession will be available.
Each profession will have access to approximately 75 skills, ~60 being common and ~15 being elite. This allows for a possible total of almost 150 skills per character to acquire (if double classed), choose from (characters can only bring 8 skills into a combat-possible area of any sort), and bring into battle. Out of a total of eight spells in the spell-bar, only one elite spell can be equipped at any one time. Skills can be rotated in and out of the spell bar at any time while in an area that has no possibility of combat, such as a town or an outpost.
There are 3 different methods of earning a skill. The first method is earning the skill as a reward from a quest. The second is purchasing the skill from one of the many skill vendors using one of your skill points, which are earned 1 per each level, and a cost of gold to the skill vendor for taking his time to teach you, so to speak. The third method is to use a Capture Signet, which can be bought at the skill vendors for a skill point and some gold, and used on a boss enemy using a skill that you would like to learn.
The in-game model will follow only the primary profession's appearance. The character's in-game armor crafting choices will likewise be limited to the primary profession's selection.
Attributes can be increased from 0 to 12, at an increasing cost of 1 to 20, by adding attribute points which you earn as you level up. With each additional point invested in an attribute, a linear gain is produced (usually increased effectiveness to a linked skill). These attributes can also be raised through items, though there are typicially penalties associated with the more powerful ones. There is a cap on character level which is currently placed at level 20, though a player may continue to gain skill points after this, but no attribute points. A low maximum level ensures that the PvP (Player vs. Player) combat is balanced and interesting, and enforces rewarding player skill rather than time invested in character.
GvG (Guild vs. Guild) combat, a specific type of PvP, is also available. If a player forms a Guild (a team of players), then they can buy a Guild Hall and fight other Guilds in order to raise their rank on the world-wide Ladder system. These contests of strength, strategy, and teamwork involve either defending or attacking one of seven possible Guild Halls.
There are currently six character professions available, each with their own attributes and unique skill sets:
Master of arcane lore, the Elementalist calls down natural forces of unparalleled might to do their bidding. Functionally, the magical equivalent of heavy artillery, or simply 'nuker'.
- Energy Storage. (Primary Attribute) Energy storage increases the maximum energy potential for the Elementalist. This allows for the stockpiling of gargantuan amounts of energy relative to the other classes.
- Air magic. Air spells centers mostly around the application of electricity for damage, such as lightning attack. Often accompanied by a secondary effect that further weakens the target or the ability to knock an opponent down.
- Fire magic. Fire spells center mostly around the application of fire for damage over an area, utilising area-of-effect spells such as a large fire storm attack.
- Earth magic. Earth spells centers around the application of rock and stone for damage, such as an earthquake attack, and offer more defense-oriented spells than the other Elementalist attribute-sets.
- Water magic. Water spells centers mostly around the application of ice and water for damage, such as freezing attack. Most damage attack spells also have a secondary effect, such as slowing and freezing.
- Unique Skill Set: Glyphs. Glyphs consist of spells that alter some component of the next spell cast.
- Unique Skill Set: Wards. Wards consist of spells that apply some benefits to all allies within its radius for a limited duration.
Through a mixture of magic and personal charisma, the Mesmer's skill library comprises of tactical spells that perform selective functions such as greatly improving an ally's ability to evade physical attacks. The Mesmer is one of the most complex classes in Guild Wars, and thusforth does not have a henchmen version that is controlled via AI.
- Fast Casting. (Primary Attribute) Fast casting increases the rate at which spells are cast. Fast casting, unlike other attributes, does produce linear gain and has less of an effect at higher levels.
- Domination. Domination spells inflict damage upon the enemy upon execution of certain actions, such as casting a spell.
- Illusion. Illusion spells create effects and manipulate the enemy while not always doing direct damage.
- Inspiration. Inspiration spells manipulate the energy or health of either the caster or the target.
- Unique Skill Set: Energy Steals. Energy steals are spells that decrease energy from the target while increasing the caster's energy.
- Unique Skill Set: Mantras. Mantras are protective spells operational only on the character itself.
The servant of divine spirits, the Monk uses prayer to protect, preserve and restore the well-being of companions. His skill library comprises of spells centered entirely around the varying applications of divine power, ranging from magical healing to righteous holy attacks.
- Divine Favor. (Primary Attribute) Divine Favor allows any Monk spell cast on a target to slightly increase their health. Divine Favor spells generally increase the Monk's ability to cast their spells.
- Healing: Healing spells restore physical health to the target.
- Protection: Protection spells provide beneficial enchantments to the target. Protection also removes negative conditions from the target.
- Smiting: Smiting spells deal specialized damage that pierces armor and deals extra damage against Undead.
- Unique Skill Set: Resurrections. Resurrections are spells that restore life into a dead target with varying levels of functionality and effectiveness.
- Unique Skill Set: Upkeep spells: Upkeep spells, or "buffs", benefit the target constantly. However, maintaining these spells will lower a Monk's energy regeneration rate by one.
One who has learned to draw power from blood sacrifice and communion with death, the Necromancer relies on black magic and undead minions to aid in battle. Obviously gothic, the entire skill library is suitably unwholesome, such as causing detrimental negative conditions. The Necromancer is one of the most complex classes in Guild Wars, and thusforth does not have a henchmen version that is controlled via AI.
- Soul Reaping. (Primary Attribute) Soul Reaping allows the Necromancer to regain energy whenever a friend, foe, or summoned creature dies near the necromancer.
- Blood Magic. Blood magic spells manipulate health into damage or damage into health for the target. Blood magic spells also deal damage to the target over time.
- Death Magic. Death magic spells deal with the manipulation of corpses.
- Curse Magic. Curse magic spells deal with applying negative conditions, or "debuffing", the target.
- Unique Skill Set: Undead minions. Undead minions are summonable pets from a corpse. However, these undead minions are inherently unstable and will degrade, gradually losing life, until they die.
- Unique Skill Set: Wells. Wells are area-effect spells that can effect either friends or foes within range, but must be cast from a corpse.
An agile and wily survivor, the Ranger specializes in archery and an attunement to nature. Their skill library consists of nature-related abilities and temporary augmentations to their ranged attack.
- Expertise. (Primary Attribute) Expertise reduces the energy cost for attack skills, preperations, and traps. Expertise skills increase the Ranger's abilities to stay alive.
- Beast Mastery: Beast mastery skills provide bonuses for the Ranger's animal companion, which they can charm and raise in level.
- Marksmanship: Marksmanship skills involve bow attacks that deal additional damage.
- Wilderness Survival: Wilderness Survival skills provide an advantage to the ranger if used prior to combat.
- Unique Skill Set: Nature rituals. Nature rituals are global enchantments that effect every character present within the area of effect.
- Unique Skill Set: Traps. Traps are skills that are triggered if an enemy enters a designated area.
The mightiest of mighty, the bravest of the brave, the Warrior must have the strength and toughness to endure the rigors of combat. The Warrior's skill library centers around the many ways to physically pummel the opponent until death.
- Strength. (Primary Attribute) Strength increases armor penetration of melee attacks. Strength skills increase the Warrior's ability to defeat enemies.
- Axe Mastery: Axe Mastery improves axe damage. Axe skills involve inflicting many conditions to the target. Axes and swords attack at the same speed.
- Swordsmanship: Swordsmanship improves sword damage. Sword skills involve inflicting some conditions and to the target as well as god amounts of damage. Axes and swords attack at the same speed.
- Hammer Mastery: Hammer Mastery improves hammer damage. Hammer skills involve knocking the target down. Hammers deal high damage but attack at a slower speed then Swords or Axes.
- Tactics: Tactic skills increase the Warrior's ability to stay alive.
- Unique Skill Set: Adrenaline. Adrenaline, which is obtained by hitting an opponent, is required for some of the Warrior's more powerful skills.
- Unique Skill Set: Shouts. Shouts are beneficial skills that affect both the Warrior and nearby allies.
- Guilds Galaxy: Unofficial Guild Wars Fan Site'
- Australian & New Zealand Guild Wars Community'
- Guild Wars Online
- Guild Wars Guru, a fansite hosted by 7 Alpha Testers
- Guild Wars Vault - Fansite
- Guild Wars Top 200
- The Guild Hall
- Guild Wars Tome - Fansite
- Guild Wars Underground - fansite
- The Guild Wars Net
- Guild Wars OGaming - Elite Fansite
- Guild Wars at RPG Stars (a fansite)
- Guild Wars The Italian Lair (Italian fansite)
- Guild Wars at TenTonHammer (another fansite)
- Home of the Guild Wars online magazines (official fansite)
- Guild Wars at Coldfront (another fansite)
- Slovene Guild Wars fansite hosted by an Alpha Tester (another fansite)
- GERMAN Guild Wars fansite hosted by Onlinewelten.com
- Russian Guild Wars fansite
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