General gameplay titles
I know this all seems really overwhelming, but just start with the basics: complete all three main campaigns and the Eye of the North expansion. You may not have done so yet, and so many titles stem directly from this that you really need to start there. If you lay that foundation, the rest will come much more easily.
First and foremost, you get a Protector title in your Hall of Monuments for each main campaign you complete -- provided you complete the bonus/get masters in all the missions. The Guild Wars wiki has a guide to this for each campaign, and while it can look a little bit confusing at first, it's generally pretty well laid out. The missions are numbered and in bold, while the quests that carry the story from mission to mission are listed in between as they occur. Each item is a link that gives an overview of the mission or quest, and in the case of the missions what is required to achieve bonus or masters.
The Prophecies guide, the Factions guide, and the Nightfall guide are all laid out in this fashion, making them very easy to follow. The main arc in Eye of the North, Against the Destroyers, is done in a slightly different way but gives the same approach. There are three primary quests involved in the arc, and the main page contains a link to each one.
Completing all three campaigns plus the expansion will pave the way for several more titles, so let's look in that direction next. As you're preparing for each mission, look over the guides I linked for a section in each one titled "bosses." The format will be "Boss Name --> Skill name." The skill name is the elite skill, which can be taken for yourself with a Signet of Capture on your skill bar (as long as your main or secondary profession matches, of course). I recommend gaining every elite you can as you progress through each campaign, because the Skill Hunter titles are more points for your Hall. Capturing as you go will save you a ton of time down the road.
As you are working through the campaigns and expansion, make sure you pick up a Storybook. There is a normal-mode and a hard-mode Storybook for each game, and they provide some nice rewards when filled. You'll pick up the normal mode versions during your first trip through. The main Storybook link provides links on how to acquire each book, and you simply keep it in your inventory as you play. Once you finish a mission, the corresponding entry in that campaign's book will be filled out. When you've completed the campaign, turn the book in to the correct NPC for gold, XP, and in most cases, a significant boost to a title track.
Whew! That seems like a lot for three little protector titles, but once you've completed these basics, you've opened the door for many more titles. Finishing a campaign or expansion unlocks hard mode, and there are quite a few titles for that. Repeating each campaign like you did before in hard mode will earn a Guardian title for each one, with a little bonus at the end. Once you've gained the three Protector and Guardian titles, you'll be a Legendary Guardian, which is considered a separate title. It's a bit of a freebie for gaining the others.
Vanquishing is the other title option in hard mode. To vanquish an area, you set yourself to hard mode and clear an area of every foe. Once you've vanquished every explorable in a campaign, you'll receive the Vanquisher title for that campaign. Gaining the title in all three campaigns earns Legendary Vanquisher, another "bonus" title. Vanquishing titles are a rather long process, but don't forget that you have plenty of time. The Vanquishing link contains kill counts and guides to each area, which will help out quite a bit.
Min-maxers will want to use vanquishing time as an opportunity to pursue the Cartographer title. Cartographer is given for exploring 100% of a campaign's map, and while it's a difficult and time-consuming title to obtain, there are plenty of tips for making it easier. Gaining Cartographer in each campaign earns another Legendary title.
Next up is the Skill Hunter title, which I mentioned earlier. If you capture skills while doing missions and vanquishing, the vast majority of this title will come on its own. Additionally, each skill you capture is unlocked for both you and your heroes, making you that much more versatile in the game. For those two reasons, it's a title that I highly recommend pursuing over time.
It's important to note that every skill you capture requires the purchase of a Signet of Capture from a skill trainer. Skills start out at a low cost but increase over time until they reach a cost cap of 1 platinum. It can get expensive trying to do it all at once, but if you work on it as you go, the money that rolls in from missions, vanquishing, and hard-mode play will more than offset the cost.
If you're really ambitious, you can chase one of two titles: Legendary Survivor or Legendary Defender of Ascalon. Easily the most ambitious PvE titles in the game, these two make up an either/or scenario. Legendary Survivor requires that you gain 1,337,000 XP without dying even once, and Legendary Defender of Ascalon requires you to achieve level 20 in Pre-Searing. The latter title is gained through a process that involves thousands of deaths. There are tips, suggestions, tricks, and guides to these titles that go way beyond what I have room for, so I will let the links speak for themselves.
Wisdom, Treasure Hunter, and Lucky/Unlucky titles are titles that go hand-in-hand to a point. You gain wisdom points by identifying gold items, and Treasure Hunter by opening high-end locked chests, which are chests requiring keys that cost more than 600 gold. If you use lockpicks to open chests, your Lucky/Unlucky title will advance depending on if your pick breaks.
The so-called "clicky titles" are popular, and can be gained in several ways. Drunkard, Sweet Tooth, and Party Animal are most often advanced via special drops and rewards during events, but Nicholas the Traveler has proved to be a popular source as well. All three of these involve a significant time investment, particularly the Drunkard title. There are a few tips and tricks for speeding these titles along, so be sure you take some time to look over the links and make sure you're maximizing your time.
Finally, I want to go over the "elite" areas. There are six places in the game which award statues in the Hall of Monuments and points in the calculator once you finish them. Sorrow's Furnace, The Underworld, The Fissure of Woe, The Deep, Urgoz's Warren, and the Domain of Anguish are all high-level areas that require a long overall time commitment, but they are well worth it. If you're a veteran player, you may have completed some of those areas already, so be sure you visit your HoM to get those statues up. If you've never done any of them before, check out the guides in each link to get an idea of how they're done.
General gameplay will set you on the path toward another type of title in most areas of the game: PvE reputation titles. Reputation titles are gained in Nightfall and Eye of the North, and while they are grindier than the gameplay titles, I recommend pursuing them. The Nightfall titles include Sunspear and Lightbringer. Eye of the North offers four race-specific tracks: human, asura, norn, and dwarf, as well as an overall Master of the North title.
For all of these tracks aside from Master of the North, the process is generally the same. You gain reputation points by doing quests and missions and killing foes. Any time you are out in an explorable in Nightfall or EotN, it's very important to talk to the NPCs at resurrection shrines. They'll offer you reputation points for each kill you make in the area. If you're vanquishing, the bounty points come even faster, along with bonus points at the end of the vanquish. Don't forget to take advantage of the Storybooks I mentioned earlier as well. They'll provide a nice bump to your titles in both their normal-and-hard-mode varieties, so it's wise to make sure you have the appropriate ones any time you start out.
Unfortunately, quests, missions, and single vanquishes aren't enough to max out these tracks, so you'll have to repeat vanquishes in each case. As always, check the title track links I've given for tips to minimize the time spent, and don't forget to take advantages of weekend bonuses wherever you can. Every weekend Guild Wars offers some sort of gameplay bonus, usually double points in one title track or another. You can find those on your login screen (they're usually posted on Wednesdays), so it pays to watch those and take advantage of them.
One last point: Each of the above title tracks comes with its own set of PvE-only skills, which get more powerful as your title advances. You definitely want to look through this list and see about acquiring these skills -- they're extremely useful.
While all of the above titles are character-specific, there is a wide variety of account-wide titles, usually connected to PvP. The Kurzick and Luxon titles in Factions are connected to PvP (but don't count as a PvP statue in the calculator), but can be advanced solely through PvE play if you prefer. You can advance the title in PvE through missions, quests, vanquishes, and storybooks in PvE. Maxing the title is a huge task, requiring 10 million points, but thankfully 550,000 points (rank four of 12) will get you your statue.
You can gain Kurzick and Luxon points through light PvE play as well -- Alliance Battles, Jade Quarry, and Fort Aspenwood are all popular. They're not full-on hardcore PvP, but rather giant 4v4 or 8v8 matches. They're a fun and quick way to gain some points, and I recommend trying them even if you're not a big PvP fan.
I'm going to be very honest here and simply say that I have a very minimal knowledge of most of the pure PvP titles. It's not that I have anything against PvP in Guild Wars, but it's never fit my playstyle well, and I've not learned it in any great depth. Guild Wars PvP contains a very knowledgeable community, and rather than try to expand on something from an outsider's point of view, I'll give a brief rundown of what titles can be gained and let the links speak for themselves.
Titles are awarded for reaching certain ranks (not the maximum available) in Guild vs Guild, competitive festival games, Random Arenas, and Heroes' Ascent. Each one offers a different PvP playstyle, from the super-organized team builds to completely random-racing-around killing.
Finally, there is the Zaishen rank title. You gain points in this title by using Zaishen Keys on the Zaishen chest, and it's probably the most popular suggestion for those who aren't into PvP. The keys can be earned through several methods, including Balthazar faction, Tournament Points, Zaishen Coins, and purchasing from other players. Zaishen Coins are easily obtained through PvE play, and while it will take some time and effort to obtain enough to get your statue, it's a popular method of gaining keys. The same goes for purchasing from other players, but keys through that method are pretty thin on the ground at this point. As always, I suggest patience.
Well, that's it for part three of The Road to 50. Tomorrow is armor, a subject I'm terribly fond of, so expect plenty of screenshots of those I particularly admire, and I'll see you tomorrow!