Game updates/20061027

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[edit] Update - Friday October 27, 2006

[edit] Notice From Kormir

Ahai, Sunspear!

You have been selected from among your fellow heroes to be trained as a leader of our Order of the Sunspears. The members of our Order are the guardians and protectors of our nation of Elona, and travel throughout the land, dealing with threats to our people. Though you may have the basic skills of a hero, you must now learn how to use them in conjunction with others whom you will lead into battle. Congratulations on your promotion!

You initial assignment will be in the Province of Istan, where our Order’s Great Hall is located. Istan is a thriving land of heroes, located near the ruins of our earliest cities. Here you will find threats ranging from relentless predators and animated, carnivorous plants, to the ever-present threat of the corsairs that plague our shores.

Yet Istan is not the only concern of the Sunspears. Kourna, across the channel, has a large standing army and is ruled by its Warmarshal, Varesh Ossa, but still has needs of heroes to inspire its people. Further north is the Province of Vabbi, a wealthy region controlled by indolent merchant princes, yet regularly threatened by inhuman tribes. As a leader of the Sunspears, you will journey through these lands, and beyond them, into the Desolation from which the undead lord Palawa Joko first invaded our land. Wherever the people of Elona are threatened, the Sunspears should be there to protect them.

The Order of the Sunspears is an ancient order, dating back to our earliest dynasties, but we need capable and inspired leaders now more than ever. A new darkness has been spreading across our land, causing native creatures to become more savage, and spawning new abominations never before seen. Dark times loom before us, and we must be prepared.

Again, congratulations on being selected to become a Sunspear leader. You will have your work cut out for you, but I am confident you will be up to the tasks ahead.

As a Sunspear, you never fight alone.

Kormir Spearmarshal, Order of the Sunspears

[edit] Elona Awaits You!

The Guild Wars Nightfall campaign is now available for purchase at retail stores and through the online Guild Wars store. Players who purchase Guild Wars Nightfall may now create new Paragon and Dervish characters, bring existing characters to the region of Elona, acquire new skills, armor, and weapons, recruit Heroes to join their parties, and participate in new Hero Battles against other players!

[edit] Heroes

  • Heroes are NPC party members who can join your party, level up with your character, and use weapons, armor, and skills of your choosing. You recruit Heroes by completing certain quests and adventuring throughout Elona, but you can bring only three at a time into your party. Since you and a friend can each bring three Heroes into a mission, two players can now complete any eight-player mission.
  • After recruiting a Hero, you can use the “Add Hero” interface in the party formation panel to invite the Hero into your party whenever you’re standing in a town or outpost.
  • If you and another player both invite the same Hero, one of them will be the “real” Hero who will interact with NPCs in cinematics and other scripted sequences, and the other will be an “imposter” who will use a generic name for the duration of the mission.
  • Whenever you control a Hero, you will see a button next to the Hero’s name, which you can click to bring up the Hero Control panel. This panel provides advanced options for direct control of the Hero. You can use it to adjust the Hero’s AI mode between fight, guard, or avoid combat, to order the Hero to cast a certain skill, or to order the Hero not to cast a certain skill unless directed to do so by you.
  • Whenever you control a Hero, you will also see a button on the Compass that you can use to give orders to the Hero. To use it, simply click the button, then click anywhere in the Compass or in the world where you would like the Hero to walk.
  • Heroes level up like players do and acquire attribute points at the same rate, except they do not need to complete quests to gain their final 30 attribute points. Instead, they get 15 bonus attribute points when they reach level 10, and another 15 bonus attribute points when they reach level 15.
  • Whenever you recruit a Hero while playing through the campaign, that Hero becomes unlocked for use with your PvP characters. Heroes that you recruit also come with skills, and those skills become unlocked on your account when you recruit the Hero.
  • Heroes don't maintain their own inventory of skills. Instead, they are able to use any skill that you have unlocked on your account.
  • Heroes don't maintain their own backpack or inventory of items. Instead, you can drag items from your inventory onto a Hero to equip him. Your Heroes can use weapons that you have customized for yourself.
  • Hero Trainers, located in various locations around Elona, will teach you a skill (and unlock it on your account for use by your Heroes) in return for a Hero Skill Point. You get a Hero Skill Point each time you gain a new rank of the Sunspear or Lightbringer titles.
  • Hero Armor NPCs, located in the outposts of Challenge Missions in Elona, can craft upgraded armor for your Heroes in return for certain items that you can acquire inside the Challenge Mission. Players can find enough of these items to upgrade their own Heroes, but not an unlimited supply, so we encourage players to spend these items on their own Heroes rather than selling them or giving them away.

[edit] Hero Battles

  • Hero Battles are a new PvP game type that allow players to compete head-to-head for the first time.
  • Each Hero Battle pits one player and his three Heroes against another player and his three Heroes.
  • To access Hero Battles you must unlock at least three Heroes onto your account. If you haven't already unlocked the first three Heroes, just complete Zaishen Basic Training with a PvP character, then talk to the Priest of Balthazar, who will give you free unlocks.
  • To enter a Hero Battle, travel to the Hero Battles outpost on the Battle Isles, invite three Heroes into your party, then click “Enter Battle.” You will be automatically matched against an opponent of similar skill level.
  • To win, you must score 20 points before your opponent does. You get one point for every enemy you kill, and one point for every 30 seconds that your team holds the center shrine.
  • There are also a number of strategic points around the map, which can grant you a strategic advantage against the enemy if your team controls them.
  • If neither team has scored 20 points when the game clock reaches 10 minutes, the game goes into sudden death, where the next team to score a point wins.
  • There is no death penalty on this map, and all players and Heroes respawn every 30 seconds.
  • Players get 20 Balthazar's faction for each point scored and 100 faction for winning.

[edit] Lightbringer and Sunspear Titles

  • The new Sunspear title can be earned by completing quests in Elona and fighting Sunspear enemies. By earning ranks in this title you can gain Hero skill points and the new PvE-only skill Sunspear Rebirth Signet. This skill increases in effectiveness as you gain more ranks in the Sunspear title.
  • The new Lightbringer title can be earned by hunting demons in Elona. For each rank of Lightbringer, you gain increased damage and damage reduction against demons. You can also earn the PvE-only skills Lightbringer's Gaze and Lightbringer’s Focus [sic], which can be used to fight demons. These skills also increase in effectiveness as you gain more ranks in this title.

[edit] Guild Observer Mode

  • You can now watch your guild compete in Guild Combat regardless of your guild's rank. Just open the Observer panel and then look for your guild's game under the heading “My Guild Games.”
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