the character model I made from the first guild wars is allison morte.
a character that I intended to keep true to both the lore of the experience and build a traditional build from other MMORPGs which remained untraditional in Guild Wars. While every other player built specific characters under the same personality to drive through areas, I wanted to build Allison as a specific character to drive throughout the entire game despite her limitations.
I roleplayed in that game. I stayed in character the entire campaign, which proved a difficult tasks, even completing some Guild vs Guild battles without saying a word in team chat without the voice of my avatar being the most vocal one on the field in the midst of battle.
How could you stay entirely in character while playing a game based around strategy, cooperation and focus throughout missions requiring out of character conversation and planning?
In truth, those close to me outside of the in-game world I communicated through in voice chat with the understanding they would always refer to me in game under my alias than my name. With those rules in mind, I took the first few steps in building a character.
Allison was not the first avatar I created, in the beginning, a morose, gaudy hambeast whose name I’ve forgotten took up the mantle as one of the games ‘paladins’. Paladins existed in other IPs popular at the time, Final Fantasy XI & World of Warcraft harnessing the melee of a warrior and casting protection of a healer. A job that took the brunt of the work without focusing fully on healing an entire party or dealing a great deal of damage. In Tyria, such a balance was removed from the dynamic of the game to encourage team building of diverse characters and job types. In reality, we were never thrown into the world fighting mobs in an organized battle, casters threw spells far from the fray while the warriors and assassins focused attack on a monster. For the first two years I became one of those melee class, after failing to adopt the sublte curse builds surrounding a necromancer, also, simply in part that I liked swords.
In many ways, I wanted to play alone, hatching plans of devastating entire maps with a otherworldly character that simply existed and permeated power. I crushed out the original male character, then re-rolled a female warrior under the alias Allison Morte. A long time name after my earlier characters with the similar name, “delmortes”.
Allison ran the early prophecies game with the same limitations as any one else. difficult to muster any other high damage per second with a sword, early warriors combined melee skills with quick, high damage interruptions and spikes from other sub classes to gain a tactical advantage.
Guild Wars at the time, offered a quick code for skill bars on a build website that explained the skills involved, how to use them and any other additional details in using the bar.
at first, I went through a number of skill tests, customized them to my play style but ultimately failed in my pursuit of ‘perfect’ builds. on top of finding a end all skill bar that fit any situation, I died a great deal. Not that immediately dying in the game held any true draw-backs, dying did however, hinder the effectiveness of your skills, health and mana pool. In many cases, I was rendered useless between battles due to my high probability as a red-shirt, charging into battle before testing the areas dirt seconds later after the mob kissed my cheek tenderly and smoked a cigarette.
chastised by a friend playing necromancer, I decided that, given the circumstances and at the time wanting a quick way to make money to purchase guild hall ornaments, I’d take up being a runner in the game.
running in game, you spent much time devising a route to load a group of people in your party from one end of the map to another. while I hadn’t thought of myself as skilled in anything other than lying face down during a battle, running came somewhat of a meta-game challenge for me. the first time I spent running was at the outskirts of ruined ascalon after the searing. I took on a different idea of ‘running’, believing I needed to clear the area as quickly as possible by fighting enemy mobs along the way. after the third hour on a single map, the player in the group abandoned me. embarrassed and determined to make a name for myself, I practised on my own, building on skills from the then Guild Wars Builds website. I unlocked skills from other jobs, but, the true crowning achievement came from my acquisition of the skill “Charge!” which became a staple of many warrior/monk builds.
until the release of the dervish class in nightfall, factions related jobs did not have the same balance of defence and speed to effectively run through the varying areas in Prophecies. Considering the $50 price tag of each ‘expansion’ game as well, many new players joined from the factions release, purchasing prophecies later as a cheap bundle. These new additions rarely made it through past missions or experienced the beginning of the first game, shouting through Lions Arch for destinations of missions a world apart.
Until one man joined my group of 4 members or so, and after first step outside of Lions Arch ran into a mob as I began my run down the east side of the marshes. he assured everyone he knew the consequences and only wanted to watch my progress. I did not know I’d be barraged by a constant whispers of sarcastic commentary on my terrible performance. I ignored him most of the time, in between loads of the new areas responding only as “allison” truly could until he mentioned the icing to my otherwise solid build, “Charge” and how he’d be willing to assist me in gaining the elite.
Allison, along with myself were both intrigued, but, the Elite skill would not come easy. In fact, due to my indecision, I hadn’t finished most of the end-game areas which were rife with danger and competition in the isolated areas became a fierce rush to claim skills owned by a small percentage of those in game.
In fact, upon capturing the skill, I myself and my partner at the time both died shortly after grabbing the elite. Soon, I became a well greased machine in running entire maps, some times even running along the higher level areas with my near invincible build to unlock the cartographer status.
With enough money to waste (around 150k platinum in my storage) I helped build our small group Sodality of Psychosis into a modest group of individuals. However, 6 months after the release of nightfall during one of my routes through the game into Old Ascalon who had been legitimately surprised at my Elite Kurzick armor along with my end game titles, achievements and green elite weapons from multiple trips to the end game in Factions. When nightfall came to the scene, I rushed to finish the game first, vanquishing the god Abaddon and entering into the Domain of Anguish.
surprised or taken back by the brash tongue of Allison, he mentioned dervishes becoming the replacement for all Warriors. After the release of the stand-alone/expansion to the Guild Wars series, Dervishes provided the perfect balance of high damage, combined with a monk subclass became ni-invincible.
he expected me to reply that I indeed held a dervish class character. Allison replied that she would knock the teeth out of one if she had the chance to do so in battle. the mans name was Agamemnon spectre, against my best wishes, I guided him from Lions Arch to Old Ascalon where he intended to see Allison one time without “her helm”. He also commented on my lack of a cloak, my skill as a warrior and fawned over adding me to the ranks of his Guild. At the time, guesting allowed foreign guild members of the same faction an opportunity to visit friends and their guild halls. However, this option disabled their ability to view in game chat between the guild member channel specifically giving them a level of privacy in Guild related matters.
Agamemnon pushed and prodded, begged even to have me in the guild. With many of my friends either finishing up college semesters or relocating for intern ships, I finally agreed to join him in the Empire of Scorpions becoming a basic member to the group of 50+ members or so.
I did not think to much of the expression, I did not think much of being apart of a family either. I stayed in character, with Allison doing much of the same. With all of the end game work done, no other pursuit mattered other than running, defending the kurzick faction and hunting for materials to build new armour. The first few weeks in the guild, Allison never uttered a word other than response to greetings within the guild. Then, I got into the habit of leaving the character hidden online so notifications no longer applied to the chat. Then, logged in, I’d continue quietly along my many personal missions.
Beating times in running, vanquishing areas all by myself and gaining the elite status on every mission that I could.
Then, Allison offered a donation to the guild bank no one ever saw coming. At the time, officers were the mediators between lower ranked members and other guilds within alliances. Donations to a faction increased the alliances rank within the game. Other donations could be added to a players personal guild which, EoS had taken a step back, focusing on player interaction over guild hall items.
One day, Allison had looked for an item shop, stuck between a new area and having no interest in fast-tracking, she dropped into the hall and found the item npc was no where to be found in the hall. Thus, the Dye trader (50 Platinum or 50,000 gold) , Rare Material Trader (100,000 gold), Merchant (25,000 gold), Scroll Trader (50,000 Gold) were all added for her ‘convenience’ I recall her muttering to a befuddled member.
Agamemnon logged on later that day, gushing over the new npcs and thanked allison graciously. Allison purchased 7 more services the next day.
Allison was promoted to officer.
I found the expression a little overwhelming, but, continued to now ‘help’ guild members as much as I could. I had less time to myself which I found the itch in Allison’s neck grow with time as she realized, she could no longer be alone. Players were ecstatic to organize matches in GvG or Faction vs Faction. The only time Allison I found truely embraced her ability on the battle field.
Faction vs Faction sent the kurzicks against the Luxon alliance. The Kurzicks introduction from factions spoke interesting volumes against Allison’s personality type.
“The Kurzicks occupy the Echovald Forest and are one of the two vassals of the Empire of the Dragon, the other being the Luxon Armada. The Kurzicks are a nation of very religious people who take the worship of the True Gods very seriously. They are at constant war with the Luxons due to the struggle for the scarce and precious Amber and Jade solidified at the time of the Jade Wind. Their nation is led by the Council of Nobles and their culture by the Great Houses – House zu Heltzer, House Vasburg, House Brauer, House Lutgardis, and House Durheim.” wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Kurzick
with the culture centered around their religion. intense pragmatism with a disdain for others who fail to preserve the true worship of the True Gods.
Allison, a tactical warrior monk with a propencity to rely on dieties in spells, casting and protection fit in to their doctrine.
Soon, the Faction vs Faction matches were a place where allison, a devote follower in game, cried out during matches against the Luxons on faith alone. Some times, her intensity got the better of her, often breaking ranks from battle to wage fights with other players.
After a hearty fight or two, I’d often emote or reply in game with some snarky comment, rewarded with the ire of the other army I became an instigator in many matches.
Allison then boasted many of her achievements throughout the guild hall after ‘drinking’ ale. A few members finding the exploits hard to believe, challenged her to a few sparring matches. The arrangement simple, enter into a battle within the Guild Hall, then meet at the center of the map. Spectators were encouraged to join, the combatants would not bring reinforcements of any kind to the match otherwise facing disqualification.
Then, the match would begin, either by completely ending the players life and forcing a re-spawn. Agamemnon personally entered the game on my opponents side to referee the match and at the start, after our battle commenced, we drew a crowd after talk of or battle surpassed the five minute mark.
I battled fervently against an assassin, a class that balanced a type of martial arts with knives approach to battle. Chaining together combinations with agility and speed until their opponent fell exhausted. For a time, I felt a genuine challenge, parrying and deflecting moves on my exhausted skill bar alone. Not only the timing was crucial, but the sequence of the skills charged, used, charging and disabled. my opponent stacked bleeding, blindness and stuns on allison to try to force me to yield, missing a flurry of attacks until the sheer bulk of allisons vitae proved overwhelming to him.
We drew excitement from guild members and soon alliance members joined in the fight until, without much warning he switched to life stealing daggers to finally stagger me in battle.
If I were to believe the simple spar match was enough, I’d be satisfied that I fell to a player who had to use untraditional means to defeat me and not on skill (seeing as we hadn’t agreed on weaponry changes, the action wasn’t disqualifying. Hell, the match wasn’t even ‘official’).
I went down, infamous as the only warrior to last against the both Guild and Alliances greatest PvP player at the time. Agamemnon was so impressed, he gifted me Kanaxai’s Axe along with a Diamond Aegis. I’d be lying if I said, his gifts were those between friends, unfortunately, he had ulterior motives and feelings that only intensified since my induction to the guild.