For this update, I broke up the next screenshots folder into two parts and this is part one. The folder these screenshots was in got messed up years ago, as I mentioned previously, so none of the files have the original creation dates in them, but going by context these images are from July until just before Sorrow’s Furnace’s release on September 7; that’s about halfway through this folder so that’s where I broke it into two pieces.
This was a good time for me in Guild Wars. I was still playing a lot of the game that summer, as I was off from college and had plenty of free time, and I was still loving the game for sure. Screenshot-wise, though, most of these screenshots aren’t particularly interesting, I think. Hopefully enough of these are interesting to make reading through this update worthwhile. I am posting many of these despite that because I still very much want to post old Guild Wars screenshots online, and hopefully some images in this set are good. There are 48 screenshots this time, so it’s not too many. The next update will be a bit larger.
A. Guild Wars: July – Early August 2005
Obsidian armor? I will never have this, sadly… though the Elementalist one here is definitely one of their coolest-looking outfits, it’s just so crazy expensive!
Tombs used to be quite busy. And full of people dancing, too.
It may be a party outside though, but in Tombs it’s a bloodbath…
But hey, people doing silly stuff in games can be amusing to screenshot. Also, that door in the background has some great art design, as expected from this game!
I think I tried to get into a party for Tombs here, but I don’t think anything came of it. Here’s some chatlog anyway.
I’m posting this otherwise very similar shot for the new chat.
This is the mission outpost for Prophecies’ final mission, which I was getting a party together for here. From this camera angle it looks like I’m knee-deep in the ground, but that is just a raised stone platform in the middle, so it’s not really like that. (Interestingly, you can move the camera down through that stone platform in the center of this area, which reveals that it’s on top of standard ground. It turns invisible once you get the camera down into it.)
Yeah, at this point a lot of people were reaching the end of the game. It was a crowded outpost indeed! Also, more Obsidian Shard armor, this time the Necromancer one.
And here’s another person with the female Necromancer Obsidian Shard armor. Just to test, I tried taking this shot at the maximum resolution supported by the monitor I had at the time, 1600 x 1200. As you can see, the framerate got … a bit worse: it went from 11 fps a couple of shots ago, to four in this one. I did not keep the resolution here after this screenshot for that reason.
This attempt at the final mission seems to be going poorly… most of us are dead, me included.
This time the party I was in got to a cutscene, though! Awesome. Nah, I don’t think I’ll skip it… I rarely did that, whether or not I’d seen it before. Guild Wars’ cutscenes aren’t too long, and they’re mostly good.
Looking at the background here, winter is my favorite season, which is probably why the Shiverpeaks are probably my favorite environment in Guild Wars. This area looks pretty nice…
This area’s plainer-looking, probably because of the absence of trees and falling snow, but it is still nice and white.
I should get 15k Pyromancer armor sometime… but after all this time I still only have one 15k armor set, for my Necromancer.
… If you pretend that this scene was real, I don’t know that I’d want to know what is going on here…
The desert. It’s not that large an area of the game, before Nightfall greatly expanded on deserts in Guild Wars that is… but back when Tombs was there that little piece of it was a destination, anyway.
Watch out for unlicensed bots that steal your login data!
And now, a couple of shots from in a Tombs match. I played Tombs post-release more often than I remember, it seems…
Some of the team. I’m facing the other way though…
Looks like that match ended quickly, probably. We’re going to try again though!
Now I’m off to the random arena instead. Maybe this is a first person shot or something? Because that looks like my monk character in the center, but I hadn’t created her quite yet so… yeah, it’s someone else.
We won some, but sadly lost eventually… too bad. I wish I had a shot showing how long the winstreak was.
See my message on the screen: this shot is probably taken under-water, but you can’t tell because when you get the camera underneath things such as water they disappear. So yeah, I’m totally on land here… yeah… It’s a neat trick of how the Guild Wars camera works.
Standing in the fire of the fire islands arena between matches can be entertaining. This isn’t my character though, but is another monk who looks a lot like the one I would soon make. Because…
B. A New Character, as well as the old, August 2005
At this point I can definitely date the rest of the screenshots to August, because this new character was created in August 2005. So, this is a good point to break the article into two parts.
Because here is my monk character, just created at level one. The name references two characters from Quest for Glory I, a favorite game of mine from the early ’90s. I don’t love playing monk and aren’t as good at it as I am at ranged combat classes, but I did eventually finish Prophecies with this character, which took over a hundred hours. After that I mostly stopped playing Monk though, and it’s hard to go back to, remembering how to heal teammates well and such takes practice.
I’m sure Sarah here will be fine this time…
You’re being pretty confident there! Probably over-confident, really. I don’t know how well we did, but hopefully it was well… most of the year the Fissure of Woe costs quite a bit of money to get into, after all! It’s some of Guild Wars’ postgame content, and it’s hard. Challenging areas like this are, even more than the rest of this game, really designed to be played with an all-human player party. There are even harder areas in the game now, that are totally inaccessible to all but the best solo players, but the Fissure’s more than hard enough for me to not get far at all playing it these days with just Heroes and Henchmen. I love Guild Wars’ grouping focus, but it does mean that solo play can be inapproachably hard, and groups just aren’t around these days like they were in 2004-2005… ah well. It’s still an amazing game anyway, and thankfully some people are still playing.
Moving forward in the Fissure a bit. You go here to get Obsidian Shard drops, to make that cool Obsidian Shard armor if you can get a lot of them. Good luck with that, I only ever got a few…
That over apparently, here I’m back in the Shiverpeaks for a bit.
You get to the two GW1 high-level areas, the Balthazar-themed Fissure of Woe and the Grenth-themed Underworld, from the Temple of the Ages in the middle of Prophecies’ map. You can also get there from similar five-gods temple zones in Elona and Cantha, today. Even today you often see a decent number of people in the Temple of the Ages, particularly when an event is going on.
GW really should have had an auction house… but instead people who want a good return for their items have to do this, spam chat. They would add that search-list thing later on, but you still need to be logged in and listing it for it to appear there.
More people in the Temple, mostly grouping for Fissure of Underworld runs.
Returning to my monk, I’ve gotten a new costume and have progressed to Seared Ascalon. Nice. Monks were always popular,there was always way more demand for human monks in groups than there was supply! Finding groups is definitely easier if you’re a healer, the AI healers are decent but can’t match up to a player.
More of this mission. Yeah, I got very used to playing this game with an unstable framerate under 20 fps.
This is some nice loading screen art. The Ascalon Arena is a low-level-only 4v4 random PvP arena, so today surely it’d be nearly impossible to find a match there. Things were different back in 2005, of course.
I believe this is a countdown for a mission, not the Arena.
These timers are pretty annoying, though. Once you have a group, why make people wait so long all the time? If things could just start, you’d save so much time that you spend standing a round for countdown timers to start… I know some are needed to allow for people to load into matches and such, but it’d be nice if it would start once everyone’s in. Oh well.
Nolani Academy… of course. It’s a much easier mission here than it was back in E3 for Everyone, but because of my first experience with it I still think of it as hard…
I went back to my main for a while here. I’m running through (Seared) Ascalon, seeing some sights. Stuff like this destroyed building with giant mural is pretty cool as is the sky behind that.
Guild Wars has nice water reflections, too. That makes even muddy water like this look kind of nice.
Yeah, there’s definitely no life to be found here… apart from the monsters I’ll be killing and plenty of Charr, of course!
And now my monk is out of Ascalon and has reached the Shiverpeaks. As I’ve said before, the story arc in this game, from Ascalon through the mountains to Kryta and eventually to the Fire Islands, is very well done. It’s far from one of the great stories, but it is a good one which succeeded in making me care about the characters and world. I have not liked any of Arena.net’s stories anywhere near as much since, sadly, so maybe their success writing such a compelling story was a one-off thing… but still, this accomplishment is worth remembering.
This effort at getting through this area of the game sure wasn’t worth remembering though… but I took a screenshot anyway. Heh.
And for the final screenshot before Sorrow’s Furnace, here is a shot of the map screen, zoomed in. Here you can see your path and you can see which parts of the maps have been revealed. It makes exploring most of a zone easy. Getting every single scrap of a zone mapped out is very hard, but getting close is easy enough, if you have the time. Guild Wars’ mapping system is one of the best I’ve ever seen in a game, and that is something that means a lot to me.
Next time: Guild Wars: Prophecies’ free content addition, Sorrow’s Furnace, releases, and the first annual Halloween festivities (?) commence.