Guild Wars: Nightfall

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FeatureWalking in a giant's footsteps: a father and son story

Through art and Guild Wars, a Romanian family finds the American Dream.

VideoGuild Wars: now and then

ArenaNet's rags to riches tale.

FeatureThe Guild Master

ArenaNet's Jeff Strain on the future of Guild Wars.

Guild Wars: Nightfall

Dark times ahead.

Key events

Guild Wars creator leaves NCsoft West

Preisdent and ArenaNet co-founder departs.

Jeff Strain, a founder of Guild Wars developer ArenaNet who became a senior executive of NCsoft West in its reorganisation, has left the company, according to MMORPG.com.

Guild Wars sells six million copies

Guild Wars sells six million copies

Online RPG celebrates four years.

Guild Wars celebrates its fourth anniversary tomorrow, and developer ArenaNet and its parent NCsoft have celebrated by announcing that it has sold six million copies.

That tally covers Guild Wars' four boxed releases: the three standalone campaigns, Prophecies, Factions and Nightfall, and one expansion pack, Eye of the North.

Unlike most MMORPGs, NCsoft charges no subscription fee for Guild Wars, deriving all its revenues from those four releases in as many years. The plan seems to have worked, although it's unknown if in-development sequel Guild Wars 2 will follow the same model.

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Guild Wars

Guilding the lily.

Three years and three months ago (to the day, at time of writing), Guild Wars proved itself a real charmer. Good looks, flexibility and an eagerness to please helped it to find favour with an unusually broad spectrum of players, with hugely disparate experience with MMOs. The complete absence of a subscription fee seemed baffling at the time, but combined with the accessibility of Guild Wars' interface and structure, it opened up the genre to a new category of casual players, while beguiling the more experienced by dispensing with a swathe of genre conventions that suddenly seemed embarrassingly outdated.

No micro-transactions for Guild Wars

NCsoft explains its NCcoin invention.

NCsoft has told Eurogamer that it has no plans to force its freshly-invented NCcoin system into MMOs with an incompatible business model, like Guild Wars.

The best MMO April Fools

Blizzard wins. Again.

There isn't much in the way of fresh MMO news this morning, because the world of massively multiplayer gaming spent most of yesterday trying to outdo itself - and every other section of the gaming industry - in an orgy of funny fakery. And we have to say it did rather well.

Guild Wars series tops 5 million sales

Guild Wars series tops 5 million sales

ArenaNet gets excited about sequel.

NCsoft is celebrating after sales of its Guild Wars series topped 5 million units worldwide.

The series is comprised of the original Guild Wars game, campaign add-ons Factions and Nightfall plus recent expansion Eye of the North.

Guild Wars launched in May 2005 in the face of competition from none other than World of Warcraft.

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FeatureThe Guild Master

ArenaNet's Jeff Strain on the future of Guild Wars.

If you're remotely interested in videogames (and that's a safe assumption, we hope, unless you mistyped EuroGardener.net and just wanted to know if it's a good idea to fertilise petunias with coffee grounds), you may well feel somewhat swamped in massively multiplayer games at the moment.

Guild Wars breaks 4 million

Eye of North expansion soon.

NCsoft has just revealed that the Guild Wars franchise has sold over four million copies around the world since launching just over two years ago, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

GC: Film and MMOs don't mix - ArenaNet

Warns against copying WOW.

Jeff Strain, co-founder of Guild Wars developer ArenaNet, has said that MMO studios should focus on creating new worlds instead of basing games on books, TV and films.

Guild Wars: Nightfall

Guild Wars: Nightfall

Dark times ahead.

Guild Wars is the MMO that doesn't require a subscription. What it does require is that you buy its regular standalone offerings, like Nightfall, if you want to enjoy fresh GW adventures. That ongoing experience is one of numerous instanced missions that you can play through with a handful of friends, or on your own as part of an NPC party. Opening up new regions and introducing its own new features, Nightfall ushers in another swathe of cleverly-instanced quests for Guild Wars' online adventures. This time the story-driven action takes place on a new continent, which is tinged with African folklore and populated by a lavish cast of African and Arabian characters. The new lands are, once again, exquisitely beautiful, with large, open areas and inspired African architecture. This is a large and impressive single-player expansion for Guild Wars, and it really concentrates on delivering an interesting story just as much as the last pack, Factions, concentrated on making changes to PvP.

That story hinges on the idea of an insane chief-chappie who wants to raise an evil god from his slumber and thus bring permanent darkness to the land. (Evil Tanning Salons are pleased, but the legions of Guild Wars' adventurers are less positive.) The chief's doings are, of course, leaving clues in the form of errant baddies across the land, and your tribe of righteous warriors soon realises that something is afoot. So we set out to stop him, performing dozens of incidental quests along the way, all of which leads into some impressive key battles, and even some humorous asides.

However, it's the new NPC cleverness that will really inspire a dip into the wallet. One of Guild Wars' smartest features has always been the ability to add computer-controlled henchmen to a party when you were out adventuring, allowing you to fill out your party with whatever was needed - a healer, ranged support, and so on. This idea has been taken a giant leap further with the advent of 'heroes'. While you still maintain your central character, spending his attribute points, arranging his skills and dying his armour inappropriate colours, you also now have up to three other characters that you can tinker with. These heroes are a bit like pets in another famous MMO, and they can be ordered about and given particular stances in battle, making them aggressive, protective or passive. They can even be ordered about like the henchmen, allowing you to effectively control where they go and even what abilities they have. You can equip them directly or change their weapons and armour, and you can also spend their attribute points as they level up.

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GW: Nightfall preview event

GW: Nightfall preview event

Try it out this month.

NCsoft and ArenaNet are planning a Guild Wars: Nightfall preview event to take place between September 22nd and 25th.

During the preview you'll be able to explore the Istani province of the new realm Elona, view the first in-game cinematics, and investigate the new Sunspear Arena and Churranu Island.

To do this you'll create a new Nightfall-specific character from one of the six core professions or one of the two new Nightfall ones - Dervish and Paragon - which you can read more about in our previous coverage.

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Nightfall bonuses planned

Guild Wars pack next month.

NCsoft and ArenaNet hope to garner new interest in their non-subscription massively-multiplayer Guild Wars series with a new, shop-shelf "pre-release bonus pack" that's effectively a demo of the first two games and some bonus items for the new one. If and when etc. etc.

Guild Wars Nightfall unveiled

Beta event soon. Plus: loads of info on Dervish and Paragon professions.

Guild Wars Nightfall is the name of the next game in the Guild Wars series, developer ArenaNet revealed today.