Guild Wars: Half Truths Addendum

“Wasn’t entirely honest. Lie of omission. Also other kinds. Need to clear the air.” -Mordin Solus

In the course of writing my previous articles, I’ve had to leave out or fudge some details in order to make things readable and a reasonable length.  As my old high school history teacher repeatedly told us, “We want to drink from of the cup of knowledge, not have it poured on our heads.”  Although I’ve probably inadvertently overwhelmed some with information, I’ve actually left a lot out trying to avoid that.  I’ve gone back over what I wrote and compiled things that I said I would discuss later or left out entirely.  Think of this as an addendum rather than a guide, I suppose.

This guy sells two different sets of prestige armor. Notice the amount of materials and prices.

This guy sells two different sets of prestige armor. Notice the amount of materials and prices.

Prestige Armor

Prestige armor, as the name implies, is a status symbol.  It has the same stats as standard max armor, but is much more expensive, both in terms of gold and materials.  While standard max armor sets will set you back 4 or 5 platinum, prestige armor sets cost 25-75 platinum just to craft and some sets require very rare materials.  You’ll be farming those materials or the gold to buy them, most likely.  It’s something to aim for if you like the appearance of one and have nothing else to do, but don’t try to get one as your first and only max armor set.  It does play into the Hall of Monuments which in turn can grant you goodies in Guild Wars 2, but that deserves its own separate explanation.  Bugger, there I go again.


Previously, I said there was a third method of learning skills in PVE.  Technically, there is also a fourth and I’ll discuss both.  The third way is with the skill Signet of Capture.  If you use this skill near the corpse of a boss (stronger, named enemies wandering around explorable areas or missions), a menu will pop up showing you the skills that that boss knew.  You can then choose one of those to permanently replace Signet of Capture.  This is often called “capping” a skill.  It’s by far the most common way to get elite skills if you’re just starting.  In some instances, you can use one to acquire a non-elite skill before it’s available via quest or trainer.  In order for it to work though, you must share a profession with the boss killed.  You’ll end up switching secondary professions a lot while skill capping.

This is the pop up you get if you use Signet of Capture near a boss; an assassin in this case. I love assassinating assassins. They always look so surprised.

This is the pop up you get if you use Signet of Capture near a boss; an assassin in this case. I love assassinating assassins. They always look so surprised.

The fourth method is through skill tomes.  Skill tomes can be found in locked chests or as enemy drops in Hard Mode or from specific barterers.  They come in normal and elite varieties, corresponding to whether they teach normal or elite skills, and are profession-specific.  They don’t consume skill points or gold, but the catch is you can only use them to learn skills that you have unlocked.  This means they are great for PVP-only characters or alts, but they will do entirely new characters no good.

Side note: You can spend Balthazar (PVP) faction points to unlock skills, but you will not learn them this way.  It does make them available with tomes though.

You might be asking “What’s an elite skill?” since I haven’t talked about them yet.  There are a few different special types of skills.

Elite: Usually powerful skills with a gold outline.  You can have up to 1 on your bar at any given time.  Nearly all must be captured.

PVE-only: Skills that can only be used in PVE and are never unlocked.  Thus, PVP-only characters and heroes are unable to use them and each PVE character on your account must learn them the hard way.  Gained through hero skill points (NF), gaining/spending faction (NF/Factions), or specific quests for certain groups (EotN).  You can have up to 3 PVE-only skills on your bar at any given time.

This guy sells tomes for silver Zaishen coins. I guess that's another topic I'll have to address someday.

This guy sells tomes for silver Zaishen coins. I guess that’s another topic I’ll have to address someday.

PVP-version: Some skills change when you go from PVE to PVP. Read tooltips!

Adrenaline: A few PVE-only skills and many skills belonging to warriors, dervishes, and paragons require a certain level of adrenaline in order to be used.  You gain 1 adrenaline for each foe you hit with each attack.  Skills that require adrenaline start greyed out, slowly get filled by fire as you gain adrenaline, and become the fully-colored icon (and usable) once you meet the required amount.  These are basically a means to help with energy management, especially for the energy-deficient warrior.


I lied when I said you needed Nightfall or Eye of the North to get heroes.  You can buy mercenary hero slots with real money from the Guild Wars store ($10 each).  These are different from regular heroes in that they are copies of your characters.  If you take a level 20 character to a Mercenary Registrar, that character will be copied to one of your mercenary hero slots.  Only the name, profession, and combat area appearance will be copied over.  Any character on your account that does not have the same name as the mercenary can then call upon this hero and change their build, weapons, and armor mods.  If you are so inclined, you can buy slots and then create PVP-only characters (they start at 20) and register them so you can use heroes before reaching Nightfall or EotN.  Worth it?  Well, if I was rich instead of good looking…

While I gave a very rosy view of heroes, they are not always the best option.  Some missions are made considerably easier by taking henchmen instead of or in addition to heroes.  For example, one in Factions in Hard Mode is actually difficult if you go in with only heroes.  Surprising, I know, since it’s “hard” mode and all.  However, if you take the henchmen available (especially a few specific ones), then they’ll finish it for you, as long as you call targets.  I can’t tell you why this is, since that would be a spoiler, but trust me.  Don’t be totally opposed to henchmen.

There may be no thief class in Guild Wars, but that's what these guys are.

There may be no thief class in Guild Wars, but that’s what these guys are.


The last thing I can think of is how loot works.  I said before that taking allies (NPC or otherwise) reduces your loot.  While true, it’s time to explain what is actually happening under the hood.  Any time gold drops, it drops the whole amount and anyone can pick it up.  When you collect that gold however, it is evenly divided among your group.  If you find 100 gold and there are four of you, then everyone gets 25.  If there are 8 of you sharing 80 gold, then you each get 10.

Item drops function differently.  Whenever an item drops, the game assigns it to one of the characters in the party, including NPCs.  Only that character can pick it up, but NPCs obviously do not.  In fact, a drop assigned to an NPC will not be listed in chat and you cannot see it on the ground.  So if you’re going for a particular drop and not seeing it, then your NPC buddies might have gotten ten while you were waiting for just one.


That should do it, for now.  If there’s something you’re curious about regarding Guild Wars, let me know in the comments.  I have several things in the pipeline to be posted over the coming weeks, but if there’s something people would like to see instead, I’m happy to write about that.  As always, feel free to leave comments, questions, compliments, or your own confessions below.

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