Be prepared to relive Guild Wars like you've never relived it before, with the original Nostalgia challenge! This challenge is for Guild Wars players who no longer feel challenged or motivated to enjoy Guild Wars, yet look for a way to make things interesting anew. Do you have what it takes to take on the game with some serious comfort restrictions that might make you feel more of a newbie than you thought you could feel?
It is important that, for the whole of this challenge, all of the following rules are understood and adhered to. If things are getting too difficult or too easy (it won't be the latter, really), you are free to change some rules for your challenge personally. As long as you don't edit these rules to match your own, you can make it more or less challenging as you see fit.
Amount of players
This challenge can be done with up to 8 players at a time, but with any amount of players present that is larger than 4, the party must be split up into groups (all groups will be in the "same" area at any time throughout this challenge, excluding side-quests). This is due to the limitations in party size in the earlier parts of each campaign. The challenge has been designed for 4 players and is heavily based on that, but variations can be applied:
- 1 player (maximum party size: 8)
- You must use a maximum (but not minimum) of 3 henchmen until you reach 8-man zones, where up to 7 henchmen are allowed. Once you have access to heroes, they may be taken along instead (note: the earliest opportunity to do so is after Factions).
- 2 players maximum party size: 8)
- Both players must use a maximum of 1 henchman each (although they follow only the party leader), until you reach 8-man zones, where up to 3 henchmen per player are allowed. Once you have access to heroes, they may be taken along instead but each player can only use 3 heroes at once (note: the earliest opportunity to do so is after Factions).
- 3 players (maximum party size: 6)
- 1 of the 3 players is allowed a henchman until you reach 8-man zones, where only 1 henchmen per player is allowed. This means a party size of 6 is the maximum for this amount of players. Once you have access to heroes, they may be taken along instead but each player can only use 1 hero at once (note: the earliest opportunity to do so is after Factions).
- 4 players (maximum party size: 4)
- No henchmen or heroes are allowed. By far the most challenging option of this challenge, as all players must be perfectly coordinated and be very careful with accepting quest rewards to not lose access to important secondary profession skills (see skills system).
- 5 or 6 players (maximum party size: 5 or 6, respectively)
- 5 players split up into groups of 3 and 2 each, and exchanging party members is likely vital to their success. Treat the separate groups as if they were individual challenge groups, following the rules per party size as described above. With 6 players, split up in 2 groups of 3 players each and follow the rules above for 3 players. Exchanging players between groups is allowed. For both 5 and 6 players, the groups can not be divided in another way. There will never be a 4-player party with this amount of players. Once the groups reach 8-man zones, the group is collected into one.
- 7 players (maximum party size: 7)
- 7 players split up into 3 groups. 2 groups of 2 players each, and 1 group of 3 players. Party members can be exchanged between them as long as the number of players per group does not change. Treat the separate groups as if they were individual challenge groups, following the rules per party size as described above, until the groups reach 8-man zones, where they are collected into one.
- 8 players (maximum party size: 8)
- 8 players split up into 2 groups of 4 players each. Party members can be exchanged between them. Treat the separate groups as if they were individual challenge groups of 4 players each, until the groups reach 8-man zones, where they are collected into one. This is the easiest challenge.
Order of campaigns
To summarize the following content: pre-Searing, post-Searing Prophecies until last mission has been completed, all of Factions as a foreign character, all of Nightfall as a foreign character, all of Eye of the North. In short: the original order.
- The Nostalgia challenge starts in pre-Searing Ascalon.
- For a longer sense of nostalgia, the player is encouraged to stay in pre-Searing Ascalon until (at least) level 10. Alternatively, level 20 (a great way to finally sort that Legendary Defender of Ascalon title). Death levelling is 100% optional.
- After pre-Searing the challenge moves on into post-Searing Prophecies.
- All missions must be completed in order. Every primary quest must be completed. Side quests are encouraged due to the abundance of vital skills (see skills system).
- Once Prophecies has been fully completed, the player(s) moves on to Factions (see travelling).
- Due to the fact that you arrive in Cantha as a foreign character, your primary quest leads you to Vizunah Square (Foreign Quarter). This is your first Factions mission. You will continue the story from there. All missions must be completed in order. Every primary quest must be completed. Side quests are optional.
- After Imperial Sanctum but before moving on to the next campaign, the player(s) must relive the events prior to their arrival. Sail to Shing Jea and complete both missions there.
- As Factions has been completed, Nightfall is next.
- Again you arrive as a foreigner, following the storyline from the arrival forward. Your first mission will be Consulate Docks. All missions must be completed in order. Every primary quest must be completed. Side quests are optional.
- Once the events at the end of the Realm of Torment have concluded, and you leave the post-game explorable zone, you will have returned to Kamadan. The perfect time to relive the events prior to your arrival before moving on.
- Enter Eye of the North from Istan after Nightfall has been completed.
- Complete the story according to the Hero's Handbook entry numbers (charr > norn > asura).
- When you reach the Epilogue you will have completed the standard challenge.
As the challenge starts in Prophecies, only the original 6 professions are accessible. Choose your primary profession well: you're going to be stuck with it for quite a long time. And you're (likely) the only one of that profession in your challenge, so the pressure's on!
- All professions used by the player(s) must be unique, including heroes and henchmen.
- When 7 or 8 players are participating, the only professions that may be repeated are warrior, ranger, and monk. There will never be two necromancers, mesmers, or elementalists.
- There is no access to assassin, ritualist, dervish, or paragon in this challenge.
- Heroes and henchmen of the assassin, ritualist, dervish, or paragon profession are allowed, as long as they are the only one of that profession in the group.
- This also counts towards heroes on different players: per example, if player 1 is in a group without a warrior player and this group has Koss as a dedicated warrior hero, Jora, Goren, and warrior Razah are all banned from use, both for player 1 as well as the rest of the players present.
- Once Ascended, you must complete the required quests for the other secondary professions to be unlocked (The Warrior's Path, The Ranger's Path, The Monk's Path, The Necromancer's Path, The Mesmer's Path, The Elementalist's Path), and profession changers are allowed for the secondary professions unavailable as primary professions (assassin, ritualist, dervish, paragon).
- Assassin and ritualist secondaries can only be purchased in Factions, whereas dervish and paragon secondaries can only be purchased in Nightfall (Senji's Corner and Command Post respectively).
Heroes and henchmen
Although not present in the original Nostalgia challenge, some amount of participants allow for heroes and henchmen use. We all know that these units allow for a massive boost in team performance in regular gameplay, but in this challenge your hero might as well have been just another player!
- Heroes are bound to the same rules a player would be bound to at all times. This reduces their immediate effectiveness in contrast to the regular game.
- This is also true for heroes' skills (see skills system).
- The same hero may never be used twice in the same party, and once a hero has been used by a certain player, that copy of said hero is the only copy of the hero available for the remainder of the challenge (i.e. player 1 selecting Koss as a hero and taking him along means all other players present will never be allowed to take Koss themselves).
- Heroes can not be used as additional storage. If hero x is using a staff, they can not also be equipped with an off-hand item to free up storage space.
- Flagging heroes (and henchmen), and even micromanaging them is allowed. All three combat modes are also available.
- Heroes are not to be teleported to the player via portals and similar methods. Like the players, the heroes must traverse the distance on foot.
- Like players, heroes and henchmen must be used with the intent of contributing to the party via combat. They must never be used as distractions while the rest of the party kites out of range. However, a hero may be flagged in a key location if this is required for a mission or quest. As long as the hero is capable of keeping itself alive, you are free to flag it anywhere, much like a player might do. Henchmen can only be flagged as a group, and only when all henchmen are under 1 player's control (this only occurs in 3 players mode, prior to 8-man zones, or in a 5, 6, or 7 players mode for the respective groups of 3 players).
Just when you thought the restrictions were getting ridiculous, in rolls another one! Travelling is emulated as realistic in this challenge. No more click to travel, no more runners, no more of any form of comfort!
- There is no map travelling during this challenge. All players must travel by foot. Running the other players is not permitted, but zoning the whole group as it is nearing the portal as a whole (unless they are dead) is allowed. Dead players must be resurrected prior to zoning, unless no resurrection skills are available, or zoning is triggered automatically due to a cinematic or timer.
- Continental travelling can only be done via the respective capital. Lion's Arch, Kaineng Center, Kamadan, and Eye of the North, for Prophecies, Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North respectively.
- Eye of the North connects to Embark Beach, which in turn connects to any of the aforementioned capitals. Zaishen Scouts can be used to access Embark Beach as well.
- The Crystal Desert is not accessible on foot, and initially reached via the mission Sanctum Cay. After arriving in the desert, Amnoon Oasis will connect to Lion's Arch and Droknar's Forge via boat. Note that once Augury Rock is completed, players will be disconnected from the rest of the Crystal Desert until they reach Droknar's Forge.
- Groups and players may not resign, log off, or in any other way, shape, or form skip walking back to the outpost whence they came. Genuine disconnects also don't exempt the other players from this rule. In short, a disconnect will remove the player from your party until your party has walked back into the outpost where they came from.
Not even your skills are spared by all the restrictions, time to cut out any leeway you still had. Back to basics, baby!
- You can only purchase a certain amount of skills (regardless of profession, for a total of 20 skills in Prophecies, 16 in Factions, 12 in Nightfall and 6 skills in Eye of the North). The skills must be from the respective campaigns, or core skills, and must be obtained in each campaign. Core skills purchased count towards the campaign they were purchased in.
- Tomes are not allowed.
- Skills purchased must be available at that skill trainer by default. Unlocked skills are not allowed to be purchased early on.
- Purchased skills must be documented somewhere as reference for the other players.
- You can obtain any available quest rewarded skills via quest rewards (but you are also allowed to purchase them, adding them to your purchase count). You are strongly encouraged to save up potential secondary skill rewards until after Ascension, as you may need them later on in the challenge. These skills do not count towards the purchased skills count.
- PvE-only skills are not permitted. The only exception to this rule is the Signet of Capture as described below:
- You will receive only 2 Signets of Capture via quests. These would be your only 2 Signets of Capture and thus Elite skills throughout the gameplay. However, per campaign (after Prophecies) you may purchase yourself 2 new Signets of Capture in this fashion (1 for EotN). Prophecies' Elite skills must be learned via the Signets of Capture. You may decide freely from which boss you capture a certain elite, in the event that multiple bosses carry it (yet still only from bosses within the elite's campaign).
- Elite skills can only be of the primary profession.
- You can only use up to 3 skills from your secondary profession at any time.
- In the event heroes are present in the challenge, the same rules are applied (they get a purchase count per campaign (simply list the skills of choice on the same documentation the player uses), do only get access to quest reward skills when they were present upon receiving (and only for the then-current primary/secondary combination), and they can only "capture" (2) elites (per campaign, and 1 for Eye of the North) by fighting and taking down the respective bosses for the desired elite skills, not before that).
- In short, treat heroes as if they were one of the players, virtually equal.
Some additional rules that would not fit their own section as of right now. Still important and further complicating things!
- The primary challenge (story and primary quests) must be progressed by all participants online at the same time. Side-quests need not be, but all other rules still apply.
- Any and all Guild Halls are not to be accessed throughout the challenge. Not even when other participants are not online.
- Player versus Player is not enabled during this challenge.
- Only gold, items, and skills obtained throughout the challenge are usable. No access to other characters' items, consumables, or gold.
- One pane of the Xunlai Chest is dedicated to this challenge. Only that pane is used for storage, all others are banned from use (crafting materials pane included). Other characters on your account may extract from it, but never deposit items into it (per example, if you find a specific weapon skin during this challenge that you really want to keep, but not for the challenge itself, you can therefore port it outside of the challenge).
- When facing technical issues, such as disconnects, permanently being stuck, or frozen clients, a player is allowed an emergency log out, map travel, or a resign back to the outpost whence they came. The other players will have to walk to this outpost to carry on the challenge (never map travel or other quick ways to get back on track).
- Crafting is allowed, but materials may only be obtained via drop, salvage, material crafters (not traders), and quests.
- All inscriptions, runes and insignias are available only via drop or quest reward.
- Dyes are only available via drops, collectors, and quest rewards.
- Merchants, armorsmiths, weaponsmiths, materials crafting NPCs, skill trainers, and collectors are the only usable service NPCs. All other services are strictly forbidden.
- Consumables are not permitted, regardless of how they were obtained.
Goals and additional challenges
Completing any, or maybe even all of these tasks are extremely commendable achievements. If you can do these, you can truly claim yourself to be a professional, veteran Guild Wars (PvE) player, if not the best player of all time.
- Finish all campaigns and Eye of the North on Normal Mode.
- Collect all bonus objectives for every mission on Normal Mode.
- Finish any elite mission on Normal Mode.
- End up in the daily top 3 of any challenge mission with the restrictions of this challenge.
- Finish War in Kryta on Normal Mode.
- Finish Hearts of the North on Normal Mode.
- Finish Winds of Change on Normal Mode.
- Finish at least 5 missions per campaign on Hard Mode.
- Finish all campaigns and Eye of the North on Hard Mode.
- Collect all bonus objectives for every mission on Hard Mode.
- Finish at least 3 dungeons in Eye of the North on Hard Mode (solo missions excluded).
- Finish all dungeons in Eye of the North on Hard Mode.
- Finish any elite mission on Hard Mode.
- Finish all elite missions on Normal Mode.
- Finish War in Kryta on Hard Mode.
- Finish Hearts of the North on Hard Mode.
- Finish Winds of Change on Hard Mode.
- Finish all elite missions on Hard Mode.
- When a quest has skills as a reward, remember that it likely offers skills for all available professions of that campaign. You might want to postpone accepting until you have a more efficient secondary for the skills offered.
- While some quests are depending on whether you have access to a certain profession at that time, most of these quests are available with any combination of professions. Be careful with which quests you accept prematurely, it may cripple your party permanently.
- You will need to switch builds often to adapt to the quests and missions you're facing. Learn all of your skills and make sure you don't waste any purchases on skills that can be missed. Alternatively, dedicating a purchase to a very conditional skill might be worth it in the long run.
- There are no fixed builds that can complete this challenge due to the limitations, always look for team synergy and make sure you cover all your bases.
- Your monk is not the only one who can heal or protect you. It is easy to get frustrated at your monk when you should've started kiting about 5 seconds ago to avoid death.
- Stay hydrated. The further you progress, the more liquid you will be burning up. This can get dirty.
- I have successfully completed Normal Mode plus bonuses for all campaigns and Eye of the North with this challenge, as well as both ToPK and Sorrow's Furnace (also on normal mode). I consider myself a skilled, experienced Guild Wars player as it stands. I can't say the other objectives are impossible, but I can attest that they are extremely challenging.
- Any questions or tips are welcome on the talk page. Experiences are welcome also.
- I am my own proofreader and would love for objective readers to point out possible errors and other things that can increase the quality of this article and the challenge.