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Guild Wars third year anniversary retrospective: Prophecies and Factions

Shawn Schuster

You've come a long way, baby. This weekend marks the third anniversary of the retail launch of ArenaNet's Guild Wars, and as we reported earlier, they're celebrating it in style. So we thought we'd take a visual look back at the game, how far it's progressed since April 28th, 2005 and where it stands today.

The original Guild Wars, now known as Chapter 1: Prophecies, is where the game's heart and soul lies. The core skills and classes originated here, but over time, we've seen many changes to the primary land of Tyria. Does anyone remember the original campfire log-in screen? Or the non-refundable attribute points? How about life before Sorrow's Furnace? Can you tell us where the first Hall of Heroes was? These were all additions and improvements made to Guild Wars, along with many others throughout the course of the game's life.

Gallery: Guild Wars Three-Year Anniversary: Prophecies and Factions | 15 Photos

For a game with no monthly fee, we're treated to many features, including 6 distinct regions (as you'll see in the gallery), 25 missions, 205 quests, over 450 skills and much more.

ArenaNet's business plan for Guild Wars features no monthly fee, originally relying on selling full-price retail chapters every six months. While they've recently scrapped the chapter plan, they promise to never have a monthly fee, even in the sequel. This is an idea that was met with much resistance from the general gaming community, and no one thought it would work, but here we are three years and five million box sales later!

With the introduction of Chapter 2: Factions exactly one year later on April 28th, 2006, we got our glimpse at the first ever paid content for the game. It introduced us to a few new environments and cultures, as well as two new classes: the Ritualist and the Assassin. We're also treated to 240 new skills, 90 new elite skills, 13 new co-operative missions, 5 new challenge missions, 2 elite missions and over 200 new quests.

Read on to see our retrospective on the first two Guild Wars boxes, and don't miss our second retrospective all about the most recent pair: Nightfall and Eye of the North.

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