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The Flameseeker Chronicles: Community guide to Guild Wars

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

Welcome to Tyria! The Flameseeker Chronicles will be a regular feature here at Massively, in which we cover all things Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2, beginning with this handy-dandy community guide.

Guild Wars has been around for a while now, and has the advantage of a strong, knowledgeable fan-based community. There are literally hundreds of fan sites and forums, Twitter pages and Facebook pages all devoted to Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. It's very easy to get overwhelmed, so view this as a guide to where you can find the most comprehensive information for whatever you are looking for, be it gameplay information, news on game development, skill and build help, and much more.

The official website for Guild Wars is a good place to keep an eye out for official events such as contests, links to update notes, and PvP statistics. Sadly, some of its great features have fallen by the wayside over time, such as The Scribe, Guild of the Week, and official Community Events, but the site is still a great starting point. Players can still submit their own events to be featured in the monthly community events section.) The front page also includes links to purchase all Guild Wars products and extras.

Looking forward to Guild Wars 2? The official Guild Wars 2 site is available for you to pass the time while you wait for more news. The site is fairly streamlined and easy to navigate, with all the current news, videos, downloads, and more.

The Guild Wars team members offer several ways to learn what they do, who they are, and how to contact them. They're a friendly bunch, so you definitely want to spend some time checking out these pages:

Linsey Murdock is a Game Designer for ArenaNet and the team leader of the Guild Wars Live Team. Her pages include information on what she's worked on in Guild Wars, a biography, a journal, and a reminder that no, she "can't generate fat lootz for you, so don't bother asking. "

Gaile Gray is the ArenaNet Support Liaison, and former Community Manager. Gaile and her frog are very well known figures in Guild Wars, and she continues to have regular communication with the player base.Regina Buenaobra is a Community Manager for ArenaNet. She's got an interesting biography posted that includes a list of ways to get in touch with her if you desire. Her journal page is updated regularly, and is a great place to stay on top of what's happening at ArenaNet.
Martin Kerstein is the German Community Manager, and European players particularly will enjoy his pages. (Much of the information is presented in both English and German.)Stephane Lo Presti is the French Community manager, offering a journal and updates in French. While the Guild Wars Wiki lists him as working in the Brighton office, he has since moved to the Seattle location.

While the official sites lack forums, there are several major fansites that cover that area very well, depending on what you want to discuss.

The GWOnline forums are home to very active subsections covering all aspects of the game from playing strategy to technical help, as well as trading. They are also the host forums for the GWO alliance.

Guild Wars Guru is an incredibly useful resource, and fairly easy to navigate given the wealth of available information. They have a forum section, and the front page boasts a long list of tools and charts for nearly anything you would want to look into, right down to a damage calculator based on Armor Level. The auction section is very extensive and well organized, and the closest thing to an official auction house that you are going to find.

Guild Wars Vault is another fansite that is home to a nice amount of resources and tools from players. On the front page alone, you'll find an assortment of things like player created game guides, videos, and wallpapers, as well as player interviews. The forums, while not as extensive as some of the others, are still very active and cover quite a bit of ground.

Guild Wars 2 Guru, while obviously not as extensive as its "predecessor", is still home to active forums and some fascinating discussion on the upcoming game. (And the occasional very welcome contribution from ArenaNet!)

Finally, we come to the fansite for those who want a little slower pace. Still in pre-searing? Intend to stay there and chase that Legendary Defender title? is home to a longstanding community with guides to any and all things pre-searing.

The Guild Wars community is fortunate to have two excellent Wikis. They are arguably equal in quality and thoroughness, and which one you use is really a matter of personal taste overall. (The official wiki, of course, is where you'll find ArenaNet staff pages, talk pages, and journals.) The official Guild Wars wiki can be found here, with the unoficcial wiki available here.

Guild Wars 2 has its own official wiki as well, with extensive information on news, lore, and nearly everything we currently know about GW2 at this point.

Finally, Guild Wars PvX is a resource devoted entirely to builds - PvE, PvP, farming, running, hero builds, any build or situation you are looking for can probably be found here. Information is divided by category (PvE, PvE, etc., as mentioned before), then subdivided by area, and further broken down by how well it works or if it's still in the testing stage: great, good, testing, and trial. The good thing about PvX Wiki is that it's got an incredible amount of information to offer. Want to run as a Ranger/Dervish wielding a scythe, with your animal companion, and Rampage as One as your elite? No problem, there's a build for that. The bad thing about PvX Wiki is that it's got an incredible amount of information to offer. If you just want to know something like "What's a good build for my elementalist to run in Ruins of Morah?", it can be easy to get overwhelmed. You need some patience and a willingness to spend some time learning and reading.

Moving from the fan side back to the development side, ArenaNet has made good use of social networking sites, and maintains Twitter and Facebook pages for Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and ArenaNet itself. The sites are all maintained very well, and followers of the Twitter pages have been surprised in the past with giveaways of goodies such as the Guild Wars 2 Art Book and costume codes. The sites are great sources of information, and the addition of potential freebies makes them even better:

So, there you go -- a rundown of all the main places to find all things Guild Wars. There are many more sites out there, so if you know of a glaring omission I made, feel free to drop me a line at Rubi at Massively dot com.

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