Today NCSoft and ArenaNet launched the first ever expansion for Guild Wars. This title - Eye of the North - takes players back to the game's original continent, Tyria, where a new danger now lurks. The expansion contains many new dungeons, skills, heroes and tons of new armor sets, items weapons and titles. It also includes a great soundtrack, which is worth checking out. NCSoft sent out a press release this morning as well, which you can check out below.NCsoft releases the first expansion to award-winning, subscription-free Guild Wars franchise, builds bridge to Guild Wars 2
Bellevue, WA. Aug. 31, 2007—NCsoft® and ArenaNet® have launched Guild Wars: Eye of the North™, the first expansion to the Guild Wars® franchise of subscription-free, online roleplaying games. Guild Wars players who purchase the expansion can access Eye of the North content through any of the multi-million-selling Guild Wars campaigns–Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions™, or Guild Wars Nightfall™. The expansion also includes an innovative feature that allows players to take achievements they have earned over the years with them into the forthcoming Guild Wars 2™.
Guild Wars: Eye of the North, continues the subscription-free business model pioneered by ArenaNet. The expansion is now available at the Official Guild Wars In-game Store and at Plaync.com, as well as from retailers in North America and Europe, for an expected suggested retail price of $39.99.
Eye of the North advances the story told in the original Guild Wars campaign, and is set in unexplored areas of the continent of Tyria. One of the highlights of the expansion is the Hall of Monuments, which allows players to preserve armor sets, pets, Heroes, and titles earned while playing Guild Wars, Factions, Nightfall, and Eye of the North, and take those accomplishments with them into Guild Wars 2.
The expansion also contains a host of new features that will appeal directly to veteran Guild Wars players, including 18 multi-level dungeons, 150 new skills across all 10 Guild Wars professions, 10 new Heroes to aid them in their adventures, 40 new armor sets, and more items, weapons, and titles.
“We think fans will find a lot to love in Guild Wars: Eye of the North,” said Mike O’Brien, co-founder of ArenaNet. “Not only do we go back to the original Guild Wars lands and stories to wrap up plots and themes fans have clamored to learn more about, but we’ve also built a bridge to the future through the Hall of Monuments. This will give loyal players a way to preserve what they’ve accomplished in Guild Wars over the past two years, and reclaim the legacy of their favorite characters in Guild Wars 2.”
The Guild Wars franchise recently surpassed four million units sold and is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed online roleplaying game series of all time. Guild Wars 2 is expected to go into public beta in the second half of 2008.
For more information, visit the Guild Wars website at http://www.guildwars.com. The award-winning Guild Wars series of games, including Guild Wars: Eye of the North, can be purchased from retailers or downloaded from the PlayNC store at https://secure.plaync.com/cgi-bin/Store.pl....
And of course, what expansion would be complete without patch notes? We have those available too, so keep reading!
Update - Friday August 31
The Far Shiverpeaks Await!
Guild Wars: Eye of the North is now available for purchase at retail stores, at PlayNC.com, and through the Guild Wars in-game store. Players who purchase Guild Wars: Eye of the North may now bring existing level 20 PvE (roleplaying) characters to the expansion's four new regions to acquire new skills, armor, and weapons, to recruit new Heroes, and to explore numerous multi-level dungeons!
- Guild Wars: Eye of the North is compatible with each of the three campaigns in the Guild Wars franchise (Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, and Guild Wars Nightfall).
- To access the expansion's content, players must complete an introductory quest. After completion of this quest, characters may travel quickly and easily using the World Map.
- Characters from the original Guild Wars campaign wishing to travel to the Far Shiverpeaks for the first time should seek out Len Caldoron in Lion's Arch and accept the "What Lies Beneath" quest.
- Factions characters wishing to travel to the Far Shiverpeaks for the first time should seek out Minister of Maintenance Raiugyon in Kaineng Center and accept the "I Feel the Earth Move Under Cantha's Feet" quest.
- Nightfall characters wishing to travel to the Far Shiverpeaks for the first time should seek out Bendah in Kamadan and accept the "Hole of Istan" quest.
- Heroes are NPC party members who can join your party, level up with your character, and use weapons, armor, and skills of your choosing. You can recruit ten new Eye of the North Heroes by completing certain quests and adventures throughout the expansion.
- You can only bring three Heroes into your party at any given time. Since you and a friend can each bring three Heroes into a group, two players can now complete any challenge created for up to eight players.
- After recruiting a Hero, you can use the "Add a Hero" interface in the Party Formation panel to invite the Hero into your party whenever you’re standing in a town or outpost. You can also add a Hero through the Hero tab in the Party Search panel (press P on your keyboard).
- If you and another player both invite the same Hero, one of them will be the "real" Hero, who will interact with NPCs in cinematics and other scripted events, and the other will be an "imposter", who will use a generic name for the duration of the sequence.
- Whenever you control a Hero, you will see a button next to the Hero’s name, which you can click to bring up the Hero Control panel. This panel provides advanced options for direct control of the Hero. You can use it to adjust the Hero's AI mode between fight, guard, or avoid combat. You can also use it to order the Hero to focus his attention on a specific target, to cast a certain skill, or to not use specific skills unless directed to do so by you.
- Whenever you control at least one Hero, you will also see a button on the Compass that you can use to give orders to the Hero. To use it, simply click the numbered button that corresponds to the desired Hero, then click anywhere in the Compass or in the world where you would like the Hero to walk. To remove a Hero's orders, you can either double click that Hero's numbered button or click the "Cancel" button on the Compass.
- Whenever you recruit a Hero while playing through the expansion, that Hero becomes unlocked for use with your PvP characters. Heroes that you recruit also come with skills, and those skills become unlocked on your account when you recruit the Hero.
- Heroes don't maintain their own inventory of skills. Instead, they are able to use any skill that you have unlocked on your account.
- Heroes don't maintain their own backpack or inventory of items. Instead, you can drag items from your inventory onto a Hero to equip him. Your Heroes can use weapons that you have customized for yourself.
- Hero Trainers, located in various locations around the Far Shiverpeaks, will teach you a skill (and unlock it on your account for use by your Heroes) in return for a Hero Skill Point. You get a Hero Skill Point each time you gain a new rank of the Asura, Deldrimor, Ebon Vanguard, or Norn titles.
- Hero Armor NPCs, located in the town of Gunnar's Hold and the outpost of the Central Transfer Chamber, can craft upgraded armor for your Heroes in return for certain items that you can acquire inside the Elite Dungeon (Slaver's Exile) and the Challenge Mission (Glint's Challenge).
Asura, Deldrimor, Ebon Vanguard, and Norn Titles
Players can now earn ranks in the new Asura, Deldrimor, Ebon Vanguard, and Norn title tracks by completing quests, participating in bounty hunts, competing in three brand new mini-games, and performing a variety of other activities. Attaining higher ranks in these titles gives players the following benefits:
- Rank 3: Access to a special item crafter. Each group has a single item crafter who provides unique and powerful items. You must spend a Skill Point to have these items crafted for you.
- Rank 4: Access to an exclusive weapon crafter. Each group has a single weapon crafter who provides unique weapons, such as the Raven Scythe and the Charrslayer Axe.
- Rank 5: Access to an exclusive armor crafter. Each group has a single armor crafter who provides single unique armor pieces, such as the Dread Mask or the Magma Gauntlets.
- All ranks: The 50 PvE-only skills and passive bonuses provided by these groups become more powerful with each title rank.
Hall of Monuments
Players who travel to the Eye of the North now have access to a personalized Hall of Monuments that will contain the following five special monuments used to commemorate character accomplishments earned across all Guild Wars campaigns:
- Honor — The Monument to Honor displays a character's title-related accomplishments and major PvE achievements, such as completing a campaign or elite mission. Character-based titles must be maximum rank to be displayed. The restrictions for account-based titles vary by title.
- Resilience — The Monument to Resilience displays all Ascended armor sets acquired by a character. To display a new armor set, the character must have the coat, leggings, gloves, and boots for that set.
- Valor — The Monument to Valor displays all Eye of the North end-game weapons acquired by a character. Displaying a weapon customizes it so that only that specific character may use that weapon.
- Devotion — The Monument to Devotion can display any miniatures collected by a character. Displaying a miniature customizes it so that only that specific character may use that miniature.
- Fellowship — The Monument to Fellowship displays a character's Heroes and animal companions. In order to register a Hero on this monument, that Hero must have at least one armor upgrade. In order to register an animal companion, the animal companion must be level 20.
Initially, all Hall of Monuments will have open access to the Monument of Honor. Players can then choose to upgrade their Hall of Monuments by obtaining special Monumental Tapestries from major quests. These tapestries can be used in the main hall to unlock access to each of the remaining four monuments.
The Hall of Monuments is character based rather than account based. This allows players to store accomplishments for each individual level 20 PvE character on their account. Titles that are account based will be applied to the Hall of Monuments of each character on an account.