- GUILD WARS
started playing in the massive, on-line, multi-player world of Guild Wars
towards the end of December 2005. I am sort of addicted to war games.
Im always playing one of them, Dungeon Siege, Diablo and so forth.
I used to be a Dungeon Master in Dungeons and Dragons. That was a long
time ago. Ive made friends in Guild Wars. Ive joined a Guild.
You can play solo but, if you want to get ahead in the tougher parts of
the game, you need to join a Guild. The game is based in large part on
co-operative game play with other, real live human players located all
around the globe.
I found my Guild through my sister on the west coast of Canada, who was
then a member and recommended me. Her niece had tired of the game and
gave me her account. Now, I have two accounts and around 19 different
characters. All of them go through basically the same scenarios, they
share the same adventures. In these shared adventures each character has
You and your party are alone in the game,except for game-generated characters
called NPCs (non-player characters) and monsters. It is a challenge to
the intellect, to reflexes, to character building (called Builds). You
have a choice of skill to put in your skill bar. You give points to a
list of characteristics like strength, tactics in the case of a Warrior
character. Weapon strength, your armor and how many runes youve
applied to your armor help to protect you and give you advantages. It
takes thought and experience to do this well. Players often share Builds
with each other, so a body of common knowledge is built up.
One of the more interesting characters is the Necromancer who is always
saying, Kill more! I need the bodies. He resurrects these
as zombie-like minions which fight away on your side until they sort of
fade off like old soldiers. I should mention that there are a number of
character types, so the build and talents of a Necromancer differ from
those of the healing Monks or battle-ready Warriors. I like to have a
character for each class, so it adds up. New installments of the game
have added new character classes such as the scythe-wielding Dervish and
the Ninja-like Assassins.
You bring your character along through various hairy adventures of gradually
increasing difficulty. You fight your way through all kinds of terrain,
The scenery and graphics in the game are gorgeous. You go through the
fire-blasted landscapes of post-searing Ascalon, through the wintry Shiverpeaks
fighting Ice Imps, or through Kryta, a semi-forested area. Then, theres
the jungle where there are poisonous spiders and Trolls and other hideosities.
You might fight a very nasty group of NPCs (non-player characters) called
the White Mantle who are conspiring to do dreadful things to the Chosen,
whom you have sworn to protect.
Then, theres Prince Rurik, who is royal but stupid. Youre
always protecting him because, if he dies, then you dont succeed
at that Mission. Each Mission gets you to a different part of the map
and you work your way through until you reach the Crystal Desert where
there are, oh my goodness, Hydras and sand lizards and all kinds of thing
running about and nipping at your heels.
If your character is a bow-wielding Ranger you can have a pet and train
it up. My current favourite pets are a dune lizard and a wolf. I generally
keep the sound off because the wolf has a tendency to howl.
I have a Mesmer character and she mesmerizes. She casts her spell and
mesmerizes the enemy so that they are inhibited in their fighting skills.
I have an Elementalist who plays with the Elements earth, air,
fire and water.
My Ranger shoots poisonous arrows and lays traps. My Warrior is just sort
of hammer happy and hits everything. There you go. Thats his job.
One of the most popular characters in the game is the Monk, the healing
Monk. Oh my gosh, the party cant go out without having a Monk. Some
Monks are a temperamental bunch of neer-do-wells but I tend to play
my Monk fairly straight. Her name is White Tara, named after the female
incarnation of the Buddha, and I have another one called Blue Tara. Shes
a pretty decent Monk. She does the right thing by her fellow players,
to the best of her ability.
This can be a solitary game. I do many quests and mission solo. For the
more difficult areas I venture forth with other online players or with
members of my Guild. The Guild I was in when I wrote this was run by a
crazy Welshman called Jenkins with a slight fondness for the bottle. He
had a wild Irish sidekick who liked Irish Cream and had no sense of humour.
There were some lovely ladies from the southern United States and another
from California. There are players from Alaska, New Zealand, and then
theres myself, from Canada.
We text chat within the game but a lot of it is done with a side program,
called Teamspeak. Using Teamspeak you can talk over the Internet and listen
to what the other players are saying . The leader can give directions
such as, Hold back! Let those Mursaats pass! and Were
all attacking and targeting the Mesmer Boss. A Boss
is a high level monster created by the game software You you can sometimes
capture valuable Elite spells and excellent weapons from these Bosses.
Military-style commands from the leader, spoken and heard by the players,
are actually quite useful, especially during difficult Missions. One of
the better young lady players is an ex-Marine and her husband is a Marine
too. No wonder she was so good in a fire fight.
At the time I wrote this there was great excitement because a new installment
of the game was coming out, called Factions. Once youve bought this
game or one of its different Chapters (Basic, Factions, Nightfall,
and Eye of the North) then it is free to play on line.
Within the game there is a thriving economy. Guild Wars and other on line
war games help support young men in China who play to acquire gold and
weapons which are sold from Internet sites. In the past Ive bought
gold and Ive bought a few weapons when my character needed that
extra edge. I dont recommend doing this any more. The gold is soon
gone and Id sooner farm when I need more. Farming is a term used
for doing repeat search and destroy forays to get stuff stuff, which can
be sold to a Merchant NPC in the game for gold You need the gold for better
armor and high-price runes to empower it, etc.
There are other ways to get the fancier green weapons in dreadful
places where you can go and fight horrific monsters and, very likely,
die. These monsters sometimes drop some very nice stuff, if you can live
long enough to collect it.
The game can become obsessive. Somehow, the little triumphs in the game
can make up for lack of same off-line. The game can become a habit that
is hard to break.
Still, I owe a lot to the game. More for friends made on-line than for
the adventures which are nearly forgotten once completed. Now, excuse
me, Ive got to go and kill some Corsairs.
Fricker Brock 2005 - 2008