- This article is about a type of NPC. For the account-based PvP title, see Hero (title). For the unrelated locations, see Heroes'.
A hero is an NPC who can be added to a party to act in place of a player. Heroes become available through specific quests, usually in Guild Wars Nightfall or Guild Wars Eye of the North (most can also be unlocked for PvP using Balthazar faction, but there is no longer a practical reason to do so, except for Training Arena). Although similar to henchmen, the player can customize a hero's skills, attributes, and equipment. A player may also control the skill activation, location, and default behavior of the hero. There are 29 heroes available.
Heroes are required for the storyline in Nightfall and Eye of the North PvE content.
To add a hero to a party, it must first be unlocked or earned.
- PvP: A hero can be unlocked for a player's account by using Balthazar faction points or after any character unlocks the hero during PvE storyline.
- PvE: A character unlocks a hero by completing specific, storyline quests.
- Acquisition notes
- In PvE, each character must complete the requisite quests to unlock each hero.
- Heroes unlocked via Priest of Balthazar are 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).
- Unlocking heroes also 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.
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.
Not everything can be customized
Not all aspects of the hero can be customized:
- You cannot change the primary profession (except for Razah).
- You cannot alter the color of the armor.
- Heroes cannot wear costumes.
- You cannot alter the hero's name or their animal companion's name.
Although you can create mercenaries with your choice of each of the above, once the mercenary exists, they act like ordinary heroes; you can no longer alter their primary profession, armor color, costumes, or name (unless you delete that particular mercenary and start over).
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.
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.
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.
The general behavior of the hero can be controlled by selecting one of the combat modes available on the hero panel: fight, guard or avoid combat. Generally speaking in fight mode the hero will actively and aggressively seek combat, in guard mode the hero will stick to a specific area (if flagged) or stick near the player character (if not flagged) and attack if attacked or told to attack, and in avoid combat mode play a defensive role and will neither attack nor activate skills that target foes, but will use skills that target or affect allies.
The hero's AI determines when skills are used, but the routine can be interrupted by clicking on a skill on the hero's skill bar in the hero control panel. By clicking on a skill, the skill is prioritized and a green check mark appears on the skill until it is activated. The hero will not use any other skills until successfully using that skill which can be a problem if there is no target or he cannot reach the target. When activating the skill the hero will attempt to use it on the selected target, foe or ally, if appropriate.
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 does not prevent the player from activating that skill manually.
- 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 each: Variable profession
- Two each: Mesmer, Ritualist
- Three each: Warrior, Ranger, Monk, Elementalist, Necromancer, Assassin, Dervish, and Paragon
- Most of the heroes are human; the exceptions are:
- 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.