Thriving online community
NCSoft and ArenaNet’s Guild Wars titles have a thriving online community. The latest expansion, Guild Wars Nightfall, has got those fans salivating at the thought of new missions, new environments to explore, new magical beasts and even two new professions to choose from, the Dervish and the Paragon.
Admittedly, I’ve only briefly played Guild Wars once before, but knocked it on the head due to my old PC not being able to cope. Now I have a nice new gaming rig, so it was only right that I stopped by to test out Guild Wars Nightfall in this week’s recent press preview day. When I say “stopped by” that's not strictly true. I spent 9 hours embroiled in this fantasy land and can certainly see why millions of fans are so addicted as I battled my way through dozens of missions and side quests, spent some time playing air guitar with the NCSoft staff, slayed dozens of magical creatures, and took a casual stroll along the coastline of the Plains of Jarin.
Let’s get the story out of the way before we talk about the game itself:
In this third Guild Wars campaign, players must fight to hold back the night as a mad ruler attempts to free her outcast god and bring darkness to the continent of Elona, The Land of The Golden Sun. There’s a whole bunch of monsters terrorizing the continent that you’ll need to tackle (or avoid if you can!) and as the hero of the piece, it’s your job to bring peace to the land.
So what we’ve got is a massively multiplayer online role playing game with the ever increasingly popular PVP (player vs. player) combat fused into the gameplay. The press day that we were involved in concentrated purely on the role-playing side of things, in fact the only human players that I saw were the NC Soft staff and testers having a dance party in the middle of Kamadan Square (they were all wearing pretty dresses too).
One of the great things about MMO games is the fact that you meet some great people. It’s the community that makes the Guild Wars series so special and in no time you’ll be setting off on quests together, helping each other out when needed and enjoying the companionship of these likeminded people whilst trekking around looking for a rare artefact or taking on an arduous quest. The NCSoft staff very kindly gave me 3 bars of platinum (3000 gold) to help me on my way and there I was stood amongst the relics and statues of the old port ready to embark on my first mission.
I’d chosen a warrior as my character, nicknamed him ‘The Truncheon’ and customised him in a nice red dress (not sure if that’s the official term for his garments). As well as the normal Guild Wars characters to choose from there are now two more professions, the Paragon and the Dervish, but I know what I like, and that's a strong man that’s going to see me through some tough fighting scenarios. (no homosexual jokes Ed.)