- This article is about a type of NPC. For the account-based PvP title, see Hero (title). For the unrelated locations, see Heroes'.
Heroes are often characters that take an active part in the storyline. As such, they become available at the end of specific missions or quests, usually in Guild Wars Nightfall or Guild Wars Eye of the North, and some are required to be in the party (or absent from it) to start quests and missions, notably in Nightfall.
A hero can level up. The player can customize a hero's skills (using the pool of skills unlocked on the account), its attribute points investment, and its equipment. A player also retains some level of control on the activation of skills, the positioning of the hero, and can choose its default behavior.
There are 29 heroes available, almost evenly distributed among the ten professions.
To add a hero to a party, it must first be recruited by completing specific, storyline quests.
List of heroes, with profession and recruitment quest
- 1 The quests are mutually exclusive
- 2 This quest is optional
- 3 Razah starts off as a Ritualist, but can change profession. See the hero page for more details.
- 4 The recruiting quest can help significantly for vanquishing purposes
- Acquisition notes
- In PvE, each character must complete the requisite quests to unlock each hero.
- Heroes can be unlocked for a player's account by using Balthazar faction points via Priest of Balthazar (if not already unlocked by any PvE character recruiting the hero during storyline). which will make them available for all PvP-only characters on the player's account; however, heroes can no longer be used in PvP (with the exception of Isle of the Nameless (PvP) and Training Arena).
- Recruiting heroes unlocks a number of skills for the account (specifically, those the hero begins with).
Adding to a party
A hero can be added to or removed from the party in an outpost or town using the "Add a Hero" drop down list on the party window or the "Heroes" tab on the Party Search panel (both of which have heroes sorted by profession). A character can add up to seven heroes to the party, dependent on the party's maximum size and how many others are in it.
If a hero of the same name is added twice, only one of the NPCs gets the unique name, any others are renamed to another generic name. For example, if Koss is added to a party twice one Koss would be renamed to "Sunspear Warrior;" the Koss which retains the name is used for quest and mission dialogue.
- See also: Hero armor
Players can customize heroes in four ways:
- By choosing the inventory used by the hero, specifically runes, insignias, and weapons.
- By choosing the skills the hero uses.
- By customizing any offensive weapon, so that it deals 20% more damage.
- By upgrading the armor of the hero.
The player character and the Heroes share the inventory. Inventory can be changed in much the same way as you change your own character's kit: open the inventory panel, select the hero's portrait, and drag the appropriate weapons and/or double-click the desired runes/insignias to apply them to the hero's paper doll. For some heroes, their default weapons cannot be placed into storage.
Open the Skills and Attributes Panel, select the hero's portrait, and update the skills and attributes just as you would for your own character. You can also save and use skill templates for the hero; however, similar to PvP-only characters, heroes only have access to skills that you have unlocked on your account, including elite skills. Similarly, they cannot use PvE-only skills.
Heroes can use weapons customized to the character that controls them, but not those customized to any other character (not even Mercenary Heroes named after that character). By default, heroes come equipped with weapons customized in this way. Mercenaries are like any other hero: they can only use the weapons customized to their owner, but not to the character after which they were named.
Hero armor does not need to be crafted or replaced. It is set at a armor rating suitable for the hero's level and automatically increases in armor rating with the hero level. The armor cannot be destroyed by salvaging, so any runes or insignias put into the armor will always be recoverable.
Cannot be customized
- The primary profession (except for Razah).
- The color of the armor.
- Heroes cannot wear costumes.
- The hero's name or their animal companion's name.
These can be customized for Mercenary heroes upon creation, but not afterwards.
Hero Control Panel
- See also: Positioning
- Heroes will change formation when the player changes from a melee weapon to a ranged or a ranged weapon to a melee.
- Heroes holding bundle items will stand in the front with melee characters.
- Heroes will not always line up ranged characters at the rear, with melee characters in front, as one might expect.
- See also: User interface
Heroes will aggressively confront enemies:
- They will attack (in priority order) called targets, selected targets within spirit range of the hero, non-selected enemies actively engaged with the party, and non-selected enemies within the hero's aggro range.
- They prefer attacking foes with the lowest armor rating, and will prioritize foes with the lowest health over foes above 50% their maximum health.
- They will separate from the flag or the controlling player, if necessary.
Heroes will guard the area near a flag or the controlling player (whichever is closer and within earshot), refraining from combat until actively engaged.
- They will not attack enemies unless (in priority order) forced to use a skill, the selected target is called, the selected enemy actively engages the party, or the non-selected enemy enters the party's aggro circle.
- They will not move beyond the guarded area unless forced to use a skill and the target is out-of-range.
- They will return to the guarded area after using a forced skill or the enemy moves far beyond spirit range.
- They will often go out of their way to attack a spirit, despite being in "Guard Mode".
Heroes never attack and will attempt to avoid enemies when attacked, kiting as needed. They will not attack selected or called targets unless forced to use a skill.
- They generally will not use skills that directly target foes or cause point blank area of effect damage:
- Non-lethal skills, such as Signet of Lost Souls, will not be used.
- They will use skills that indirectly affect the enemy:
- Damaging skills that target allies, such as Smite Hex, Balthazar's Aura, or weapon spells.
- Ward and well spells that inflict detrimental effects on foes.
- Trap skills.
- Summoning skills that bring forth minions or spirits, such as Aura of the Lich and Signet of Binding .
- Item spells, that require activating urns and dropping them.
- They will use damaging Flash Enchantment Spells such as Heart of Holy Flame or Zealous Renewal if an enemy is in the area of effect.
Pets belonging to heroes will use the same combat mode as their heroes.
- See also: Priority target
Target a foe and then click on the crosshair in the left bottom of the Hero Control panel to lock your hero unto it until the target gets killed.
Forced skill use
- See also: Hero behavior
Heroes can be ordered to execute skills by clicking on the appropriate skill on the hero skill bar. The skill is prioritized and a green check mark appears on the skill until it is activated.
The hero will cancel the activation of any skill it was using, and will not use any other skills until successfully using that skill. The hero will however still attack. If the hero was already using the skill, he will consider the execution done and the green check will disappear.
When activating the skill the hero will attempt to use it on the selected target, foe or ally, if appropriate, bypassing any target lock the hero could have. Without an appropriate target (such as having an ally selected for a hex spell), the hero AI will choose one, but when forcing a hero to use a skill against a hostile NPC which can't be targeted by this skill, such as using a hex spell against spirits for instance, or any spell against a foe enchanted with Spell Breaker, Shadow Form or Obsidian Flesh, the hero will not switch target and attack the foe instead.
The player can prevent the hero from using a skill automatically by shift-clicking on the skill icon in the hero's skill panel. This will mark it with a stroke-through red circle. The hero will never use a suppressed skill unless forced to by the player. This does not prevent the player from activating that skill manually.
Any maintained enchantment will not be dismissed as long as the enchantment is suppressed.
The compass for a player controlling a hero features four flag controls; one for each of the first three heroes and an "all heroes and henchmen" flag. Any heroes beyond the third can be flagged with the all flag. On the party window each hero is given a number to the left of the name, this corresponds to the numbers on the compass. Individually flagging the remaining heroes is possible through keybinds (from the control options, select Action: Command Hero 4/5/6/7).
A player can select the flag control from the bottom of the compass by clicking once and click on the compass area, Mission Map or on the terrain to instruct the hero or heroes to move to the location given. The heroes will return to the player character's location when the player removes the flag by double-clicking on the flag control or clicking the red "x" on the compass control.
Monitoring and controlling
Basic information on a hero can be accessed when outside a town or outpost using the hero control panel. This panel can be used to set combat mode and control skill usage of the hero. Clicking on a skill in a hero's skill bar will instruct the hero to use that skill as soon as possible, on the currently selected target, if applicable. Holding down the Control (Ctrl) button while clicking will call out the skill you are using to the chat window.
The hero control panel can be opened and closed from the party window by selecting the button to the left of the hero name. The panel can be moved by dragging it to its new position. The state and position of the panels are saved by the game client.
You can see on the hero panel:
- the hero's name and picture.
- the hero's health and energy.
- a means to select and see the combat modes of the hero.
- a small skill bar for this character. This displays skill activation and recharge.
- a crosshair icon that can be used to lock the hero's target. If the hero is holding a bundle, the crosshair is replaced with a "drop" icon, which allows to command the hero to drop it instead.
Directly under the panel, you can see the hero's Morale Boost or Death Penalty and any conditions, hexes, enchantments, chants, shouts or other skills affecting that hero. Ctrl-clicking these effects will also call it out to the chat window.
- See also: Guide to Hero Basics and Optimization for a detailed walkthrough
- In dialogues, hero almost always refers to a heroic person, e.g. the player's character.
- Heroes gain attribute points at the same rate as a player character, except they receive 15 additional points at level 10 and at level 15.
- The 29 standard heroes are almost evenly divided across professions:
- One Hero: Variable profession
- Two Heroes each: Mesmer, Ritualist
- Three Heroes each: Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Elementalist, Necromancer, Assassin, Dervish, and Paragon
- Some heroes are non-human:
- Jora - Norn
- M.O.X. - Golem
- Ogden Stonehealer - Dwarf
- Pyre Fierceshot - Charr
- Vekk - Asura
- Zhed Shadowhoof - Centaur
- Razah - protomatter from the Mists
- Although Razah is not considered human in lore, the game treats it as a human for all game mechanics; in particular, it will transfer disease to humans.
- The following dialogue will appear in team chat for each hero in your party that has over half of their total attribute points unspent when adding those heroes to your party or zoning into an outpost or town with those heroes in your party:
- <Hero name>: "I have <number> unspent attribute points. Open the Skills and Attributes panel (<key assigned to "Panel: Open Skills and Attributes">) and select me to spend my attribute points and increase the effectiveness of my skills."
- Whenever a hero has a line of dialogue, if that hero is dead, they will resurrect at 100% Health and Energy.
- The October 29, 2009 update removed heroes from PvP (with the exception of Isle of the Nameless (PvP) and Training Arena). According to Andrew Patrick, removing the ability to have heroes in the party for Zaishen Challenge and Zaishen Elite "was an unintended side-effect of removing them from other PvP formats." (source)
- Prior to the March 3, 2011 update, each character was limited to adding three heroes to their party.
- Zei Ri is the only hero without an Everlasting Tonic.