Welcome to Guild Tech! While this has nothing to do with the rest of the column, I figured I would introduce myself and the column to those who have not really frequented my home page theferalengineer.wordpress.com
. My name is Feral, I am a fat American (really, I am quite large) who enjoys gaming and basically has been since I was 8. I am now 23. The primary topic of this blog is to cover various systems and mechanics found in both Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. Since I am still learning Guild Wars, it will most definitely be about that most of the time until Guild Wars 2 comes out.
I just started to play Guild Wars and I would be lying if I said that I was not enjoying it. While the game came off very intimidating and a lot of those things that we as gamers get comfortable playing with are not there, I adapted to it and it actually makes the game far more enjoyable in the long run because I like that challenge. In fact, I love the way the zoning works, I love the way questing works and I love the missions. Probably my favorite thing about Guild Wars is the bounty system they have implemented.
For those of you who do not know what that is (and chances are you do, unless you are learning about the game now like I am for the Hall of Monument goodies), the Bounty system is one that I encountered in the Nightfall campaign where you talk to one of the guards at the resurrection shrine and they give you a buff called a bounty. The bounty buff gives you double exp and bonus promotion points for each monster you kill of a predesignated type. So if you have the bounty to kill bugs, every time you kill a bug type monster, you get double experience and a promotion point for killing that bug. After reaching a certain promotional level, you can no longer gain that buff until you get further in the game (to prevent people from getting max rep by farming out easy monsters) and the double experience definitely makes the leveling process that much easier. However, the bounty is only available in Nightfall with similar incarnations in both Factions and Eye of the North.
This is definitely not a complex system, but as far as I can tell, it is completely unique to Guild Wars. Strangely enough, this is not a feature that has been implemented in any game I have ever played. So why not? Well, possibly because Guild Wars is not about getting to max level and never made it a point to get people to max level (lets be honest, leveling was easy and I still have tons of content to go through). Other games like WoW and Rift only get interesting once you reach the end game content whereas Guild Wars has no end game content in the same sense. Guild Was has so much story and content available in missions that you can immediately participate in it before even hitting max level. In fact, I am positive that you can experience every last bit of content at level 1 unlike in modern MMOs.
(An example of how the bounty system works in game)
The bounty system works very well for Guild Wars, it escalates people to max level so that the rest of the content becomes easier to do. This means you can experience more content faster and most of all be able to repeat the same content with other characters in a far less annoying manner. But even though leveling is my most hated aspect of the game, ArenaNet making the leveling process like this only proves that they don’t find leveling fun either. In fact, the leveling process in Guild Wars seems to be more of an ability pacing system so that the player does not become overwhelmed with large amounts of new abilities rather actually leveling. But back to the bounty system. Bounties offering rep for slaying monsters is a great way of gaining reputation with a given faction so long as the amount is not overly large and that is not the only means of gaining reputation (then it becomes a grind). The way it is currently implemented works more like a supplement to the rep you get from quests. Plus the double experience is always a nice goody.
I remember farming rep out in WoW with the Blood Elves to get a Hawk Strider on my Orc. It took about a month of farming out Runecloth to acquire the glorified reputation required to get the mount as a non Blood Elf. Right now, I am rank 6/10 for the Sunspears and am only 1/5 done with Nightfall. If this is any indication, then there will not be any type of grinding involved in this game, especially in the reputation department. This is something I greatly appreciate as I am not one who likes grinding. In fact, I love running around the various maps to find the bounties and gladly slaughter my way through the mobs (or make MOX do it for me) as I explore and quest in the various areas.
So for all you new guys, make sure you pick up all available bounties in each of the maps you explore. They really help speed up the leveling process. Also, take note that the bounty system is not the same as the items you collect for collectors. That is an entirely different system altogether.