First thing I noticed other than the new features is the reusing of the same maps for different quests that are one way or another inter-connected to each other. Unlike in Prophecies and Factions, in Nightfall, a player will have more reasons to explore the area, and more reasons to take the quests. Before, gamers tend to leave the quests behind and just concentrate on the missions. This is a great improvement on ArenaNet’s part as they learn to maximize the zones and give more purpose and inter-connectivity to every player’s choices and actions.
Another improvement is the linking of the ‘Title System’ to the game story itself. Now players are required to earn ‘military ranks’ to earn more rewards and activate more quests. When, unlike before, the Titles are simply just for self-satisfaction of one’s achievements and efforts in the game. This new way of using the title system also affects what quests and missions are available for a character. For example, a character must earn Rank 2 for the Sunspears before the other quests and missions gets activated.
It doesn’t end there however, I noticed that ArenaNet merged the successful elements of both Prophecies (Campaign 1) and Factions (Campaign 2) and created a whole new system for Nightfall (Campaign 3). In Prophecies, players can skip and rush the whole storyline by just doing the missions. In Factions, locked gates were introduced. In Nightfall? Missions are activated through the “Primary Quest” option tha has been around since Campaign 1. A Primary Quest is simply a quest that is directly part of the Mission-storyline. Without doing it, the character won’t be able to activate the next mission. They minimized the closed gates (as many players reacted against it), and used the ‘recycling’ method they applied in Factions. For Campaign 3, ordinary towns can also become the mission towns itself. But instead of the usual “Enter Mission” button, it’s activated through the “Primary Quest”. Still they solved or prevented players from skipping parts of the story without reimplementating ‘lots of close gates’.
Another thing I noticed. Because of the other features like the activation of new quests based on a character’s ranking (title), they were able to keep each town useful. Unlike before, after finishing all the available quests in a town, players seldom revisit that town. In Factions, they created a compact continent to give a reason to reuse towns. This time in Nightfall, the map is huge (I’ll say 3/4 the size of Tyria) and yet, new quests gets activated in different towns. Additionally, there are more trader NPCs that now gives out quests (instead of putting a new NPC for a new quest, thus cluttering a town).
ArenaNet combined what their customers like from Prophecies and Factions, and put it all in Nightfall with additional enhancements and twists. It’s not just a mixed of both products, Nightfall in itself introduced new systems not found in the previous campaign. The favorite is the “Hero System”. Imagine a henchmen that a player can customize – from equipment, armour, to skills and attributes. These heroes also level up with the players – something that was tested during the Beta of Guild Wars but for the henchmen. Players can also order these heroes to be aggressive; defense; or just passive. Each player, at least during the Nightfall World Preview Event, can ‘carry’ (for the lack of word) three (3) heroes.
The length? Based on my experience, Elona missions and quests are longer than Tyria even though Elona is not as large as Tyria. I see it that ArenaNet combined the PvE nature of Prophecies and the land compactness of Factions, so they ended up with Elona, somewhat close or maybe 2/3 the size of the Tyrian continent, and implementing the ‘land compactness’ which is known in Factions. Thus, a big continent with long missions and quests.
And finally, the storyline is, to my opinion and understanding, will wrap up the stories of Prophecies (Tyria), Factions (Cantha), and of Nightfall (Cantha). A trilogy. Guild Wars Nightfall is the last part of the (1st) Guild Wars Trilogy. Finally, the real enemies will be revealed.
Buy Guild Wars Nightfall. How I will put my overall Nightfall World Preview Event into words? Simple, “Nightfall is a huge leap from both Prophecies and Factions combined. It is a whole new game, full of unique features no other online game implemented.”
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