User:Pious Grallatorian/Guide to Competent Play
This guide is intended to help people competently develop a role-playing character in such a way that won't need to constant ask for advice on the basics, seek help because they are underpowered in the region they currently in or waste time trying to sell worthless loot.
It is written for people starting in the Prophecies campaign but elements of it can probably be applied to each of the expansions.
The philosophy of this guide is that it is wiser not to rush because if you deal with each region at a time, starting with the tutorial regions such as Pre-Searing, then the game will allow you to develop your character gradually and you can learn from this development.
Talk to Every NPC
As soon as you start playing GuildWars the first thing you should learn how to do is how to identify NPCs that have a green exclaimation mark (or equivalent) floating over their heads because from them you'll receive quests or they'll simply keep you informed. Reading the text is recommended too as it can provide hints and allow you to follow the story.
Complete Every Quest
As soon as you start to accept quests work on completing them. Not only will this give you something to do other than randomly killing monsters but these quests can provide you with skills that you would otherwise have to pay for yourself, experience to help you progress faster, reasonable equipment and a simple way to discover important locations in the game.
Completing quest will often help you find more quests either because of a formal chain of quests or because you end up somewhere that more quests can be found.
Learn How to use Merchants
As you adventure you'll be able to pick up a lot of things that later can be sold with the local merchant at outposts and towns. You don't get much for these things at the beginning but they mount up over time. Trying to sell everything you find to other players, in the hope of getting a better price, is a common mistake because if you've found such a thing then they are probably completely capable of finding something equivalent themselves.
Exceptions to this are things that you will find Traders for at various points in the game, such as dyes and materials. Other exceptions are perfect items or very rare items. A key thing to remember though is even if you have the most desirable thing to sell there is no guarantee that you'll be able to find a buyer with whom you'll be able to agree on a price.
Part of learning to use the merchant is the buying, and the use, of Identification Kits. Using such a kit on a undentified item can reveal that it more useful and/or more valuable. Finding things that have Improved Sale Price is a key way to make money from merchants.
Learn How to use Collectors
It is very sensible to examine every collector to see what they are offering and what they want in exchange for it. In Pre-Searing there is collector just outside of Ascalon that offers a belt pouch for 5 scale fins that every new character should know about and have used.
If they are offering something you want, make a note to try and find what monster drops that trophy so you can work on collecting enough of them. As most trophies that collectors want stack you can collect them between quests without losing too much storage.
Throughout the Prophecies game, collectors offer armour appropriate to the region you are currently in. Getting a complete set of armour from collectors in that region is always a useful thing to do as it can save you a fair amount of cash from having NPCs craft it for you.
Learn How to Salvage and Craft
Another thing you can get from a merchant is the Salvage Kit, this enables you to turn most items into crafting materials. Different things yield different materials and you get to learn them after a while, allowing you to remember that most bows yield wood, for example.
You'll also find salvage items that are generally meant to be either sold directly to the merchant or turned into crafting materials. Salvage items found early in in the game generally don't stack so salvaging them in the field can often save you a lot of space.
Certain NPCs craft things for you if you have the correct materials and money in your inventory. Check these things out when you are able to as you are often able to find useful equipment appropriate for your level.
Learn to Experiment and Rebuild your Character
As you learn new skills, gain attribute points and face different or more powerful challenges you often need to experiment and rebuild your character. All of this can be done through the Skills dialogue - allowing you to experiment with different skill mixes and attribute levels.
This is key thing to learn because good planning and use of skills is what distinguishes a competent player.
Be aware that builds that are too innovative can sometimes baffle your fellow players and sometimes you need to pick more conventional builds to avoid this. However my advice is to keep experimenting here and then to adapt to changing environments.
Learn to Trade Wisely
If you feel the need to trade with other characters always try to do this via the Trade dialogue making sure that the person you are trading with is offering something you consider reasonable before you hit accept. This includes checking that any items offered are what you expect them to be (by hovering your mouse over the item so the description pops up).
Try to avoid making deals that can't be settled in a single trade dialogue (the other party might not complete the second or subsequent parts of the deal) or buying things like guilds that can't be sold via the trade dialogue at all (the other party might cheat you).
People planning to do a lot of buying and selling should read up thoroughly on the things they want to buy or sell. Some GW forums are able to suggest what they think is are reasonable prices for things people want to sell but often the message is simple: sell it via a merchant.
Learn to Explore
By exploring you can often find quests, collectors and outposts you otherwise wouldn't have found. There are also interesting places off the beaten path that can be interesting to find off your own back.
Also learning this kind of things sets your character up for earning an explorer title early on in the game, which generally shows you that have some degree of competence.
By getting off to a correct start and continuing with that approach is in effect laying in strong foundations for your character. I often meet adventurers who have rushed through the game and therefore really struggling to do anything effectively where they are.
By following this game, especially when it is more complete, will hopefully help you avoid this fate.