Advice For Guild Wars Pilgrims

September 27, 2010 at 3:29 am | Posted in Guild Wars, mmorpg | 12 Comments
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I could list a bunch of reasons to come to or stay away from Guild Wars. If you’re a Pilgrim though you’ve already made your decision and you might need some advice on where to start.

Buying In

Let’s begin with price. If you’re patient and look thoroughly enough you’ll likely find various campaigns at big discount prices. The most common deal you should be able to find these days is the trilogy (Prophecies, Factions, and Nightfall) for around $40. It doesn’t include the expansion, Eye of the North, but it’s easy to find.

Gandara, Capital of Kourna

Starting Out

Once you’ve got everything installed, there is the question of which campaign to start in. While I’d like to argue on the behalf of Prophecies, or tout the underdog Factions, someone completely new to Guild Wars is much better off starting in Nightfall for a variety of reasons.

Nightfall is the slickest production of the three. Learning to play is a refined blend of the previous two campaigns. While it can get a little bogged down before you move on to the Consulate Docks mission, it offers plenty of time to get used to Guild Wars mechanics before thrusting you into the world.

Other benefits to starting in Nightfall include how quickly you arrive at Kamadan, a major city and one of the most active cities in the game. It’s a trade hub and you can purchase virtually anything of worth here.

You’re also given quick access to Hero NPCs you can equip with “Hero Skills” and equipment you pick up along the way. At first Henchmen may be more useful but Heroes show their worth quickly. For beginners you’ll only be able to find Heroes here.

The only drawback might be plot, as some developments towards the end of Nightfall, particularly when you enter The Torment, are heavily spoilerish.

Finding A Profession

Find the profession that’s meant for you. The highest single target dps in the game is the warrior. The most powerful build is the necromancer minion master. The elementalist lights things on fire. Each profession has their own individual feel and apparently its a bit of a task to settle into one.

It doesn’t help that each profession can play different roles. A mesmer can interrupt and shut down, do degen and hexes, or even straight up damage.

Over the past year its the #1 complaint I’ve noticed about Guild Wars. People can’t find the right fit.

Part of this in my opinion has to do with skills. You have a limited selection at first, and part of the fun of Guild Wars is playing with the vast number of possibilities.

In the end which profession is right for you is not something I can truly help you with. Just keep in mind that if you play long enough you’ll have one of each profession eventually anyway.

Guilding Up

Now that you know where to start, the best way to enjoy yourself is usually by getting a good guild.

Good luck with that.

5 years after the games release and 3 years after they stopped making campaigns, most guilds are quite dead. I wish I could say that I could hook you up with an active guild, but I can’t. I’ve had some pretty terrible luck with guilds over the years.

The unfortunate fact is though, its an instanced game and you’re not going to have a whole lot of fun playing by yourself. Your best bet is to do research, look for guilds, guild hop, or join that whole Relics Of Orr guild. It’s dead too, but at least you’ll have a guild for Guild Wars 2?

Guild Wars 2 skill icons.

Get Skills

Like I said before, half the fun of Guild Wars is playing with skills. If you don’t have many, that could be a problem.

A lot of content in the game is suggestive of types of skills to bring. Are you in an area with a lot of mesmers? Don’t bring spells that take a long time to cast. Going up against spellcasters? Bring interrupts. It’s not mandatory but you will be rewarded.

Buy all the skills you can. It gets expensive and you won’t always have the skill points (try buying a Star of Transference) but even it looks like you won’t need it, just playing around to see what works and what doesn’t can be kind of fun.

Make Money

Pick everything up.

If you’re not big on picking things up that’s cool, I can understand that. Just don’t complain when you don’t have enough money to buy those skills, upgrade that armour, or purchase those items you want.

Gear levels out pretty quickly, so with collector items or by picking stuff up, it shouldn’t be long before you get decent stuff.

If you need money, just go out and play.

Stop And Smell The Red Iris Flowers

I’m pretty sure that somewhere along the line some head honcho at Arenanet mandated at least one or two pretty spots in each instance. Take the time to stop and check them out. It’s not like things are going to respawn.


If you’re definitely interested in playing Guild Wars then completing titles for Guild Wars 2 might be an incentive. We don’t know what the rewards are yet but even Stumme says he’s started working on his.

I think players are going to be excited when they see the rewards from the Hall of Monuments. It’s enough that I’ve started working on mine for serious – speaking of, does anyone have any Cloth of the Brotherhood they’d like the spare?

Stumme get your own Cloth. Lazy bum.

If you’re still on the fence about being a pilgrim, I wouldn’t make any decisions on buying Guild Wars based on titles. Even the faster ones take quite a bit of effort to complete. Perhaps we could get suggestions as to the easiest titles in the comments, but I think the easiest is probably Canthan Protector, a title that requires the 13 missions in Factions to be completed with Masters bonus. Mostly based on time limits.

You can’t pass them on unless you have Eye of the North anyway.

Awwww man. The Jade Sea's got crabs!

Things To Avoid

Don’t collect collectors items. If you want the armour from the collectors, by all means, go for it, but make sure you know what you need. If you’re collecting random items that won’t help you, you’re wasting your own time. Do the research at the wiki.

Prophecies is really long. Be prepared for that. The starting area is excellent and the story is good, but you don’t reach max level for a long time.

Don’t buy a lot of keys, at least not at first. Or the superior salvage or ID kits. Not worth it.

Make sure you get all those attribute points. You should have 200 at level 20.

I’d honestly avoid PvP at first. Attitudes were bad enough when the game was bumping.

Kaineng City in factions is huge and ugly. It has beauty in the starting area, the Echovald Forest and the Jade Sea, but be prepared for lots of sewers in the city.

Get over invisible walls, no jumping, instancing, max level 20, and gear being maxed early now. Or just don’t even bother.


I’m sure there’s a lot of helpful things I’m not mentioning. It’s a big game with a lot of content, so there is no way I could cover everything. I’m just hoping this is helpful to people unfamiliar with the game and considering jumping into Tyria.


  1. One thing I always mention, since most people are taking it up with their friends is that prof is not very nice to groups. It takes considerable time before you get your groups of 8. The other camps aren’t too bad.
    However, if you going in as a single person, expecting some rpgish play, then prof is it.
    I can’t wait for GW2, our entire guild well be able to roam together and since its multinational maybe we can get a 24 hour a day mob going… is there an achievement for that? A group that never splits up for a week? month? year?

    • I really don’t think not being able to grab a group of 8 early in prophecies will be a problem, considering population problems. you’ll be lucky to grab 4 real people, and if you’re playing alone anyway, the point is somewhat moot.

  2. I have to disagree with you about finding a guild. Sure, it is a lot harder to find a fully packed guild, just by being guildless and standing in an outpost. However if you take the time to do some research or ask around, you can still find a good guild.
    I’d recommend checking here: , and also on the official wiki:

    Recently I hopped from a pretty active guild, to a really active guild. They even have events every night that people show up to (sometimes too many people show up and we have to split groups)
    So if any newcomers (or hey, even veterans) are desperate to find a guild to belong to, don’t lose hope! You will probably have to join and leave a lot of them to find one that suits you best, but they’re out there.

    • I’ve never had much luck using resources like that to find adequate guilds, usually ending up with guilds that are just as dead as the one I left.

      However I’m glad you brought it up, and that you’ve found an active guild.

      • If you are ever looking for something active and in our timezone (EST), feel free to send me an e-mail. I’d post my IGN here but I am super paranoid about that stuff.

        • probably good to be paranoid, I suspect i was targeted because of this blog. and i just might email you.

  3. This game is great and polished, the starting experience is a wonderful sight to behold. I’ve played a lot of mmos and Pre Searing is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in any virtual world.

    I just think people are spoiled with the EQ style of gameplay these days level for maybe a few weeks or months depending on your ability and raid/pvp for gear.

    • yeah after thinking it over, where previously i might have said to start in prophecies, i recommended nightfall because i think its just that much better for newbies. i agree with you though.

  4. Guild Wars Complete Edition (which includes all 3 campaigns and the EoTN expansion) is now also available in North America, rather than just Europe. I saw one the other day in Walmart, for $39.95, so for anyone starting out that is a great deal. The Trilogy edition seems to be out of stock most of time at the online places too, so I assume the Complete Edition will soon be replacing it.

    I often suggest new players start up a character in each campaign. They each have a different feel and that also opens up two of the holiday event areas, plus Lion’s Arch if they work at getting the early Prophecies missions done. Yes, you can have someone run you to LA, but I think that kind of spoils several things. Glad I worked my way there on my own.

    • I was not aware there was a “complete edition” thanks Yarr. I checked steam and amazon just for this post and didn’t see it.

      thats a good point about starting a char in shing jea and elona, but i would recommend getting run to LA over starting a character there.

      • I saw one in Target as well, bought one for a gift. About the same price as the Kotor pack.

  5. […] fun, Guild Wars Pilgrims and veterans alike, ArenaNet scouts and watchers of all […]

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