Which one of these beautiful people do you want to be?
Created by the majority of the team responsible for Diablo 2, this game was intended to be its "next gen" successor... Anyway, what they did
achieve is a stunningly beautiful game.
(Rest spoilered for H-Scroll)
- Beyond initial purchase, it's free to play!
- Well designed and balanced Player v. Player!
- Stunningly beautiful in every facet
- Hugely customizable character skill sets
The game was first and foremost designed to be a PvP game with an integrated Role-play Plot line integrated. The highest level is twenty (20), and has remained that way for three expansions. Although the available PvE content is extensive, the grinding aspect is almost completely eliminated, thereby, expect PvP to occupy most of your time from levels 1 through 20, and particularly post-20 (since level 20 can be gained in just a day or three of playing rationally).
The game itself gives you your choice of Primary Profession (Class) and Secondary Profession. Your primary profession determines one of your attribute options (more on this later), however, you have access to all of the same spells, and to a large extent, the enhancement options for the same. A Necromancer/Mesmer can play almost identically to a Mesmer/Necromancer if you so choose, except for just a few minor differences.
The gameplay is very user-friendly with a well-implemented point-and-click system dominating the interaction with the game. You double-click on an enemy to run up to him (around obstacles if necessary) and attack him; you double-click on an NPC to run up to them and talk to them; and you double-click on an item to pick it up or equip it from your inventory.
The leveling system is nearly negligible, as higher character levels only give minute amounts of extra hit points and mana, and give you more attribute points to spend (more on those later). These attribute points, however, are the bread and butter of your profession specialization. Every class (profession) skill in the game has a base effect which is made quantifiably better by specializing in its associated attribute. (Crippling Slash
is good, but made better if you have points in the Swordsmanship
attribute.) Every profession has a unique attribute that is only available if you select it as your primary, however.
For Mesmers, this is Fast Casting
, which means if your primary is a Mesmer, you have access to this ability (which cuts the casting time of spells down), but not if it's your secondary. These attribute points can be re-arranged as many times as you like while in "City" areas.
The skill bar itself is limited to only eight (8) abilities that you may modify endlessly in any of the "City" areas, but which remains completely unalterable while in missions or in PvP. Obviously it means thinking carefully about what you'll need, however, on the flip side, it allowed ArenaNet to give lots of different kinds of abilities to each profession.
Ultimately, rather than being a progression game with a constant stream of newer, harder challenges, the game focuses more on re-playability with a tremendous suite of professions, abilities, and attributes to choose from and test out in PvE or PvP as you choose. The advantage to this is a great PvP system, and entertaining PvE system. The disadvantage is after a point, and one very quickly attained, your character simply can not improve more from battle, but rather, merely from re-thinking or modifying your selected skill-set and attribute allocation. (For a personal perspective, I found myself playing WoW for the "character progression" and playing Guild Wars for PvP.)
There is one exception to the lack of character progression aspect, and that is the "Elite Skill" system. A character may only have one (1) elite skill on their cast bar at a time, and these are captured from "Boss" mobs in PvE by killing the Boss and casting "Capture Signet" on it. Other rare, but not elite, skills can be purchased from vendors, but usually only in hard-to-reach areas.
So, while the PvE system exists and is entertaining (and gorgeous), we have now arrived at...
Player Versus Player
You want you some 5v5s? Sure.
Guild v. Guild? We got it!
Duels? No problem!
We've got ladder ascension, random play, and low-level arenas (where you get experience!), and 8v8 team play.
This game was created to be a PvP game, and that's where it shines. You have three classes capable of healing (although monks are simply the best), you have multiple melee, ranged, and spell heros, and of course, various permutations therein.
Due to the breadth of skills available, and attribute points allocatable, and the fact that you get to combine two different classes together, the style or substance of your opponents is nearly always unknown until you get into Guild v. Guild (GvG). Further, due to those same factors, you have a nearly endless supply of areas you can tweak or completely overhaul on your own character. If you want options and unique PvP, this is it. Obviously, some builds are better than others, but nearly all of them are competitive, and you'll likely accomplish what you set out to do--whether that wins the battle or not, is a different matter.
PvP can start at level 1 for most characters, with random team arenas. These are all set up for particular level ranges, usually across 5 to 9 levels. In addition, however, there is a PvP Character Server
where you can roll instant level 20s, of any profession and attribute combination, using all of the skills and armor pieces you have unlocked in the PvE section (in addition to the "core" abilities which are automatically unlocked).
Anyone else here play?
Penny-Arcade Player List
Your friends list keeps track of all characters tied to the person's account, so you need only add a person once!
DrHookenstein -> Valentin De Sevilla
seabass -> Hanging Johny
NAND NOR -> Seipher Agathon
Bendery It Like Beckham -> Four Story Tantrum