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Guild Wars: first newsletter issued E-mail
Monday, 23 October 2006
Since the last Friday NCSoft started to deliver the first issue of their new Guild Wars Newsletter. In the headlines: the new Hero Battles, Q&A with Lead Designer James Phinney, Heroes, Pets and news on the third game chapter Nightfall.
For those who didn't received their newsletter we have a full copy of it.

Letter from the Development Team

Ahai, Sunspears! Welcome to the first edition of the Guild Wars Insider.

We’ve been working furiously to bring you Guild Wars Nightfall™, a Guild Wars® unlike any other! To give you the inside track on the game, we’ve put together the Guild Wars Insider. This newsletter includes gameplay tips and tricks, the latest news, a first look at new features, and exclusive interviews and insights from the development team.

Enjoy, and huzzah!
The Dev Team

Night Falls on Elona . . .

Guild Wars Nightfall, the third game in the award-winning Guild Wars epic, releases worldwide on October 27th. In addition to the new campaign, players who log on and travel to Lion's Arch or Kamadan (the starting city in Nightfall™) October 27th – 31st may notice signs of the imminent return of a certain well-known but less-than-sane monarch, and a decorative theme befitting the season.


Learn your way around our newest arena before you even get there!

Nightfall introduces the ultimate one-on-one challenge: Hero Battles. This new PvP gameplay allows two players—and their Heroes—to compete against one another. Although this might sound like traditional Arena PvP, its strategy and gameplay has some unique differences. Instead of four players, each Hero Battle team includes one player and three customized NPC Heroes. Depending on your style of play, you can take total control of these Heroes or focus on your character while letting your Heroes make their own decisions. Either way, the skills and attributes you choose form your strategy for your team. Before you charge into your first Hero Battle, we’ve got some basic strategy pointers that could give you the edge in combat.

Like other PvP conflicts, Hero Battles require some strategy before the game begins. Besides settling on your own profession, you design an entire team, customizing every aspect from equipment to skill builds for your Heroic teammates. You may want to pattern your characters on popular PvP builds (as seen in Observer Mode), or you might try to find builds best suited to your particular play style.

To win a Hero Battle, you must outscore your opponent. Points come in two ways: [1] holding the center control point and [2] killing members of the enemy team. In addition to the center control point, each Hero Battle map has additional control points that confer bonuses such as additional Health or control of an NPC ally. Control points are captured much like the points you can capture in Alliance Battles.

The first key to success in a Hero Battle is to avoid charging blindly into combat. If you only focus on killing your opponent, you may allow him to capture all of the points on the map. This will put you at a big disadvantage in later fights. Remember that you can use waypoint flags to send Heroes to capture points. If you are losing a straight-up fight, don’t be afraid to change your tactics. The bonuses conferred by the various control points may allow you to turn the tide of battle.

When you are fighting a tough opponent, don’t assume your Heroes will do everything optimally on their own. Call a target if you want your Heroes to focus fire. Use waypoint flags to adjust the positioning of your Heroes if need be. Heroes have their own priorities when deciding which skills to use, but you can override the AI by using the Hero Control panel. You can click individual skills on a Hero's Skill Bar, temporarily taking over that Hero. You can also switch your Heroes’ combat mode on the fly: A Hero in Fight mode will engage opponents normally; a Hero set to Guard will stay back and only fight enemies who come nearby; and a Hero set to Avoid Combat will try to run from attackers.

A regular resurrection cycle provides for constant combat action. Be careful fighting too close to your opponent’s resurrection shrine. In the area directly around the shrine, your opponents are given bonuses that make them much harder to kill. Remember, if your opponent attempts to hide in that area, you can capture the center control point and score free points. You can also take the opportunity to capture the other control points on the map, which will make it much more difficult for your opponent to stage a comeback.

Most of the maps have an NPC control point. This point is especially valuable because the NPC not only fights but helps you capture control points faster. Having the NPC will give you a great advantage in trying to hold the center control point. Always remember to keep an eye on the NPC control point, however. If your opponent takes control of that point, you immediately lose the NPC.

Hero Battles are sure to add a new and interesting dimension to competitive Guild Wars play. Be sure to check the Guild Wars website for more tips and Hero Battle strategies!

Click on any of the links below to read more from our first newsletter!

COMING SOON! Templates
Heroes are remarkably versatile. You can alter their attributes, skills, and secondary profession any time you're in a town or outpost. If you’re tempted to experiment endlessly with different Hero builds, our new Template feature can make it easier for you to save, store, and even exchange those builds. You can save them to your account, and you can export them to files that can then be emailed to your friends!

Exclusive Q&A with Lead Designer James Phinney
Our Lead Designer has answers for some tough questions about Nightfall, including plenty of details about features in development. James Phinney gives a quick overview of recent changes to Heroes, adjustable skill A.I., Hero Skill Trainer NPCs, PvP Equipment Builders, titles with game effects, and other innovations.

RP Hero Team Build
Hero team builds are extremely customizable. You can spend as much or as little time as you like altering a team’s skills, attributes, and secondary professions. If you need a shortcut for creating an effective party, the "Doctor, Doctor!" team build features Heroes and skills you’ll find early in the game. Before you leave the island of Istan, you’ll have a team that’s easy to play and ready to conquer the world.

Heroes and Pets
Just for fun, we’ve included a few quick ideas about a rather unusual team: a band of Heroes defended by multiple pets. Get ready for battle with a flock of flamingos, pack of wolves, rasher of warthogs, or the menagerie of your choice!

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