Get Started in Guild Wars, Part 1

I’ve been going on and on about abstract concepts related to Guild Wars, so it’s about time I did something concrete.  This is going to be two long, overly detailed articles about what to do when you start a new game and is aimed at anyone who has not played the first Guild Wars before.  It will be following what I do on my assassin Princess Stabbity as I start from the beginning.  My goal is to show you how complete the primary quest up through and including the first mission of Factions, along with side quests.  You can follow along or use this as a reference.  Along the way, I have an assortment of side notes detailing very basic information or side activities.  They’re tips and good, but not strictly necessary, information so skip the italicized text if you just want the bare bones.  I will address three important questions you might have before I start.

Why Factions?  Factions, in my opinion, is the best campaign to start with.  It has the best tutorial and strikes a good balance between teaching and letting you play.  If you start in Prophecies, you are on your own.  You don’t get NPCs to potentially pull your backside out of the fire and pre-searing Ascalon is pretty much a very long, boring tutorial.  Nightfall, on the other hand, assumes you know what you are doing and immediately throws you into a mission after a token tutorial.  It even has some master difficulty quests around the beginning explorable areas.  So unless you really want to play as a paragon or dervish, I highly recommend Factions as your first adventure.

Why is this not a video?  You should be able to read through all of this in 10-20 minutes I imagine.  Assuming I could summon the talent and programs to actually make a video of all of this, it would last 2-3 hours.  Plus, I’m told my entertainment value wears off after about half an hour.

As you can see, a lot was going on...

As you can see, a lot was going on…

Why is “Princess Stabbity” a dude?  Honestly, I was going to name my assassin that regardless since it’s a Dragon Age Origins reference that seems to fit assassins best.  He’s a he because I thought it’d be funny to read all the quest text sarcastically.  I’m just like that.  Try it out: “Yay, Princess Stabbity is here, we’re saved!”  Maybe someday the novelty will wear off, but not today.  Let’s get started.

When making a new character, I selected Role Playing Character, Factions, Assassin, and then customized his appearance.  If you want to follow along, you’d do the same, but obviously choose whichever profession you wanted.  After the introductory cutscene, you will be in Monastery Overlook, the tutorial area.  You can skip this by following Togo and company up to the gate, but I recommend you go through the tutorial for three reasons.

First, if you’re new to the game, you should learn how to play it.  The tutorial actually presents useful information.  Second, if you want the Cantha cartographer title for uncovering all of the map, this area counts almost 1% toward it.  Trust me, that’s more than it seems like.  Normally, you cannot re-enter this area and non-Factions characters can only get about 0.5% during a special event (coming up January 31, by the way).  Third, the enemies you fight can drop items and there’s little to no risk to you.  If you care about none of those things, then go ahead and skip it.  Otherwise, talk to Ng and follow his instructions.

Either way, you end up in Shing Jea Monastery with all the skills the tutorial gives you.  The quest you have now is to talk to the Headmaster corresponding to your profession, who is conveniently standing in the plaza you’re in now.  He or she will tell you to head out into the first explorable area, Sunqua Vale, and find your first primary profession trainer.

Pro Tip: You can use the command /bonusitems to see what bonus items your account has available.  The /bonus command will place those items in your inventory.  Be sure to use this command whenever you make a new character.

UI Note 1: The chat system in Guild Wars is a tad antiquated.  Along the top of the chat box, you will see the various channels that can be displayed.  Unchecking the boxes removes that channel from the chat, meaning you will not see it.  Along the bottom are different tabs.  Your chat messages go to whichever tab is currently selected.  “All” corresponds to “Local,” which is area-specific, while Team means the people you are in a party with.  You can switch between tabs by clicking them or by starting your message with the symbol next to the name, like #(whatever) to have (whatever) sent to Team.  You can press the ~ key or click on the speech bubble to hide the chat box.  New messages will still be displayed, but will fade after a short time.  Unless you are actually looking to trade, I suggest turning off Trade.  If you wander into a trade hub later (like Kamadan), your chat box is going to overflow with people spamming wtb/wts messages.

UI Note 2: You can open your inventory by pressing I or you can open all your bags at once without the equipment interface by pressing F9.  You will notice you have a backpack with 20 slots.  There are 4 other greyed out spaces next to the backpack icon: a belt pouch, 2 bags, and an equipment pack.  Don’t worry about the equipment pack since they’re very expensive for a new player.  I’ll point out how to get the rest as we go along.

Here are the weapon and armor crafters.

Here are the weapon and armor crafters.

Title Note: To help with the Cantha cartographer title, speak to Bauyun [Arena Guard] to the west of where the headmasters are and ask to be taken to Shing Jea Arena.  Although this is a PVP arena, the place you are transported to is a staging area.  You won’t actually be doing PVP unless you click the Enter Battle button in the party menu.  Wander around the edge of this small area to add another small bit toward the title.  Every little bit counts.  To return to the Monastery, open your world map (M) and click on Shing Jea Monastery north of the arena to travel back.

Level Up Note: When you level up, you will receive attribute points.  You can freely reassign these while in any outpost or town, but cannot reduce point values while in explorable areas.  When you get more points, invest first in whichever attribute affects most of the skills you are using.  Put leftover points in your primary attribute and try to keep it at at least half of whatever your most-used one is at.  If a point or two makes your survival skills much better, then go ahead and put 1 or 2 in that attribute.  Specialize, don’t generalize.

In the monastery, you will find many NPCs, including two Xunlai storage agents each by two Xunlai chests.  You will need 50 gold to access storage and another 50 gold to access the materials storage pane.  You will be getting enough gold soon.  Spread around are Tablets of Wisdom that explain different aspects of Guild Wars, like “Overcast” or “Guilds.”  Feel free to wander around and read those.  There are also three armor crafters nearby.  The armor sets are upgrades to whatever you have from character creation and they are cheap, but if it’s your first character, you won’t have the means to get them right now.  If you’re wondering what the difference between them is, it’s just appearance.  Check out the wiki to see what each one looks like.

Ludo and the Henchmen. Tour dates TBA.

Ludo and the Henchmen. Tour dates TBA.

Head to the northwest to find the exit to Sunqua Vale.  Before you go though, Ludo has another quest for you: put together a party and talk to him in the Vale.  You will see henchmen next to him.  You can have up to 4 characters in your party at this point, which means you and up to 3 henchmen.  Click on one to select him or her and then press the + button in the Party Formation menu to add them.  Which ones should you add?  You can take whoever you want, but here are my suggestions:

Taya: She is the only healing henchman.  Unless you are a confident healer yourself or are willing to try and possibly fail at it, take her.

Lukas: If you are a warrior, you can skip him.  Otherwise, he makes a decent meat shield.

Aeson: He brings damage, utility, and the only other hard rez (see note below).  He uses Pain and Shadowsong so if you are a ritualist also using those spirits, he will be useless since two spirits of the same type cannot exist within range of each other.

Kisai: She’s an air elementalist and the best choice for pure damage.  I suggest taking the other three first, but if you conflict with one of them, then Kisai is the best alternative.

Don’t bother with Mai or Yuun.

Mr. and Mrs. Quartermaster were really creative in their naming.

Mr. and Mrs. Quartermaster were really creative in their naming.

Skill Note: You and all the other henchmen have a Resurrection Signet, which has one use per outing.  The only way to recharge it after you have used it is to return to a town/outpost or to get a morale boost.  The latter involves killing bosses or (rarely) meeting special objectives on missions.  You should have it on your bar for now unless your profession provides one without restrictions.  An unrestricted resurrection skill is called a “hard rez” by the community.  The last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere with your healer(s) dead and no way to resurrect them.

Quest Reward Note: Many quests on Shing Jea Island will reward you with Monastery Credits.  You can trade these in Shing Jea Monastery for different items.  My recommendation is first buying two bags for 1 MC each from the left quartermaster in my picture.  Then, buy two runes of holding from the right quartermaster for 3 MC each.  Use one rune on each bag.  That will get you a total of 20 more inventory slots when you’re done.  Additional runes of holding and bags are useless to your character, so spend the remaining MC on whatever else you want.  Identification and Salvage Kits aren’t bad choices.

Follow the red dot path to get from Shing Jea Monastery to Tsumei Village.

Follow the red dot path to get from Shing Jea Monastery to Tsumei Village.

Ludo will be right outside the Monastery exit.  All you have to do is talk to him to finish his quest.  Before you do anything else in the Vale, I strongly recommend immediately running west.  You can follow the route in the image I’ve provided.  Here you will find Tsumei Village.  Enter it and return to Sunqua Vale right away, as there’s nothing to do here yet.  Now you have another point on the map to teleport to, but more importantly, you’ll notice that your henchmen went from level 3 to level 6.  The level of your henchmen corresponds to the last town or outpost you were in.  Keep this in mind as we go along.

If you’ll allow me to get a bit meta, here is how this first part of the game works.  The first quest you get is specific to your profession.  Once you complete the chain, Togo will say you need a secondary profession.  Then, all the quest chains for the other professions become available.  You have to complete at least one other one (the one you want as secondary) to be able to choose a secondary profession at all.  However, you can do all of them and I highly recommend you do.  It’s more experience, more gold, and unlocks many skills.

Side Note: Watch for a Flatbow as a drop or, failing that, a Longbow.  It doesn’t matter how much damage it does or if you’re a ranger.  It’s helpful in pulling mobs regardless of profession as these weapons have the longest range.  Flatbow is better though since it has a higher arc, meaning you can more easily shoot over obstacles to pull enemies.

Follow the red dot path from Tsumei Village to the entrance to Kinya Province.

Follow the red dot path from Tsumei Village to the entrance to Kinya Province.

Starting from Tsumei Village, open your quest log (L) to make sure the correct quest is selected and the goal will appear on your map.  Press U to bring up the mission map, which you can resize, drag around, and zoom in/out on to find where you’re supposed to go.  You can alternatively watch your minimap and follow the arrow around the outside edge until the objective enters radar range or open your world map to see where to go.  The destination is going to be different for every profession.  I will outline what the quest is for everyone below and where you are going, roughly.

Each quest is a two-parter, with the first part taking place in Sunqua Vale and the second taking place in either Kinya Province or Panjiang Peninsula, two other explorable areas.  Panjiang is easily accessed by taking the west exit from Tsumei Village.  You can reach Kinya either through the mountains in Sunqua (see picture for route) or by heading to the northwest exit in Panjiang.  When you finish the second part of the quest, the NPC will direct you back to Master Togo.  Open your map, teleport back to Shing Jea Monastery, and then take the eastern exit to reach Linnok Courtyard.

Assassin: Jinzo is north of the Shing Jea Monastery exit.  He will have you kill some undead minions and then send you to Kinya Province to speak to Panaku.  Panaku is in the middle of Kinya, south of the Aerie.  Follow him and kill the target he points out.  Return to Togo.

Elementalist: Ronsu is by a rock formation west of the Monastery exit.  He will send you to the south to collect an item, but you have to kill an enemy to get it.  After turning it in, head to Panjiang to find Kai Ying, who is in Kaitan Village.  He will have you and two NPCs face off against 3 other NPCs.  Defeat them and return to Togo.

Mesmer: Mei Ling is in the middle of Sunqua at the southeastern “entrance” to the mountains.  She will give you a hex removal skill.  Follow the quest marker up to the Shrine of Maat and use the skill on Brother Sitai.  Return to her and she will send you to find Lo Sha, who is southwest of the Sunqua Vale exit in Kinya.  He wants you to go to the nearby bandit camp and retrieve an item from a chest there.  Once complete, he’ll refer you to Togo.

What the world map and travel menu look like.

What the world map and travel menu look like.

Monk: Sister Tai is north of the Monastery exit.  She will have you participate in a sparring match between two warriors.  You are to keep one alive long enough to win.  What will actually happen is that your party will beat the other warrior into submission and you win by default.  She then sends you off to Pe Wan in Kinya, who is southwest of the Sunqua exit.  He wants two items, which you can find directly north of him past the snowy areas.  After turning them in, it’s off to Togo.

Necromancer: Reng Ku is north of the Monastery exit and has you first clean out mantids from nearby ruins.  Then you are to head to Panjiang to find Su.  Head south from the Tsumei Village exit in Panjiang to find her and two others outside a cave.  You will run through the cave killing all naga inside before she is satisfied and sends you back to Togo.

Ranger: Sujun is in the middle of the map.  Follow him around, release rabbits from the cages, and kill Hungry Kappa who show up.  After that, head into Kinya to find Zho.  She is right by the exit from Sunqua.  Follow her and kill the yeti that shows up, then back to Togo.

Ritualist: Professor Gai is standing near the cemetery, in the south about halfway between the Monastery and Tsumei.  He will ask you to clear undead minions nearby and then directs you to Ang in Panjiang.  Head a ways west across a bridge from the Tsumei Village exit and you will find Ang.  He has you open five boxes and defeat the spirit inside each of them.  Then back to Togo.

Warrior: Talon is far north of the Monastery exit, near Minister Cho’s Estate.  After you win a duel with him, he sends you to find Weng Gha in Panjiang.  Weng Gha is in Kaitan Village and wants you to head into the fields to kill some thieves.  Do so and he’ll tell you to go see Togo.

We’ll continue our little adventure in part 2. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or compliments about this part below.

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