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Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Eye of the North heroes: Pyre Fierceshot

Eye of the North introduces several new heroes, and one of them in particular is a bit of a surprise. Pyre Fierceshot is a Charr. Didn't think you'd be inviting a Charr to join your party, did you? On top of that, the missions and quests that Pyre opens up require you to not only team up with Charr, but actually help them out.

As his name implies, Pyre Fierceshot is a Ranger. His default skills are:
  • Dual Shot
  • Kindle Arrows
  • Resurrection Signet
  • Savage Shot
  • Throw Dirt
  • Troll Unguent

Pyre has Ranger armour labelled as a Charr set, with an armour rating of 13-70, depending on level. His armour bonuses are:

  • +30 to Elemental damage
  • +5 to energy on his chest armour
  • +1 to energy regeneration on his leg armour

You first meet Pyre in Grothmar Wargrounds, during the quest "Against the Charr". To recruit Pyre, you have to complete the Primary Ebon Vanguard quest "Warband of Brothers". On completion, Pyre is unlocked as a hero, and can be used in your party.

Pyre is an excellent Hero addition to your party in Eye of the North. Having a Charr is fun anyway, and if you need a Ranger, Pyre tends to obey orders and run off less than Acolyte Jin - which can be a real life saver on some missions.

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Monday, 29 October 2007

Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack Preparations

I've posted before on the Guild Wars blog about ArenaNet's Bonus Mission Pack promotion. The latest game update, streamed to Guild Wars clients on the 26th October, has brought in this welcome addition:

Made preparations for the final week of the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack Promotion. At approximately 07:01 (GMT) on October 27, players will be able to check their Guild Wars account (using the in-game option “Edit Account") to determine whether they have qualified for the Bonus Mission Pack. Eligibility is not updated automatically. Account status will be updated periodically from Monday through Wednesday of next week.

So, if you've bought Eye of the North from the Guild Wars store - or you picked up one of the existing Guild Wars campaigns - you should now be able to get confirmation you've qualified for the Bonus Mission Pack.

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Eye of the North introduces the Asura

The second of the two new races in Eye of the North are the Asura. You first encounter Vekk, an Elementalist Asura who is helping the dwarves, during the first Eye of the North mission, where you travel to Boreal Station.


After you've completed this mission you'll notice purple Asura gates appear, not just on the Eye of the North map of Tyria, but also in Elona and Cantha (if you have the Nightfall and Factions chapters). Clicking on these gates will instantly transport you to Boreal Station, in much the same way as the ships near the major cities in each chapter will take you to the main capital cities on each continent.

The Asura are small, magical humanoids, who for centuries have lived underground. The emergence of the Destroyers, however, has forced them to the surface, where they seek new allies.

As well as introducing a new mini-game - Polymock - and a new Title Track, the Asura are also important for being one of the new playable races in Guild Wars 2.

You can read a bit more about Guild Wars 2 here, and this previous blog post has information about the Asuran Title Track.

Their powerful magic, and ability to create and manage the tough GOLEM machines, makes them formidable allies in Eye of the North. The Asura will certainly be fun and challenging characters to play in Guild Wars 2.

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Friday, 26 October 2007

Halloween videos from Guild Wars

If you've not got the Guild Wars Prophecies or Nightfall campaigns (or you haven't travelled south to check out Lion's Arch or Kamadan) here's a great video from Jporiey showing the new Halloween decorations.

Nicely done, and gives a good taster of the special Halloween content now starting to appear in Guild Wars.

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Halloween comes to Eye of the North

You might be wondering what's going on in Eye of the North, and the rest of the Far Shiverpeaks. Eerie monuments have started to appear, and not only have NPCs been transformed, but they items they are now offering are very different.

Guild Wars is gearing up for the return of Mad King Thorn on Halloween, and changes are sweeping the land. Talking to NPCs, you'll find the following special items available:

Witch's BrewWitch's Brew: One sip of this potent brew will set your world spinning 'round and 'round.
Absinthe: Drink this beverage to be engulfed in a ghoulish flame.
Ghost in the BoxGhost-in-the-Box: Feeling brave? Open this mysterious box to receive a spooky surprise.
Squash Serum
Squash Serum: Swallowing this potion might give you a big head. A big, orange one, that is…
Transmogrifier Tonic
Transmogrifier Tonic: Transform yourself into the spirit of Halloween itself using this item!
Mystery Item!
New Mystery Item: Go out into the world and defeat monsters for a chance to obtain a special treat, new this year

I can also recommend heading to Lion's Arch or Kamadan, and taking part in the Halloween Costume Brawl. With two new arenas, the Costume Brawl features team based PvP with a twist. You choose to take part as one of the characters from Guild Wars - using their outfit, items, and unique skills.

It focusses the combat on skill, as you have no control over your build, and is incredibly good fun. The winning team picks up some special Halloween rewards as well as Faction points, so it's well worth having a go.

Talk to NPC Bobby [Costume Brawl] in Kamadan or Lion's Arch to take part.

While in the Eye of the North explorable areas, keep an eye out on monster drops as well. You'll find some special Halloween items dropping between now and the 31st October, when Mad King Thorn will return.

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Thursday, 25 October 2007

Master of the North updates in Eye of the North

With some recent updates to sterling silver, there has been some more information and clarification of the Master of the North Title Track.

The Eye of the North mastery points needed for each rank of Master of the North are now at:
Rank Title Eye of the North mastery points:
1 Adventurer of the North 100
2 Pioneer of the North 200
3 Veteran of the North 350
4 Conqueror of the North 550
5 Master of the North 750
6 Legendary Master of the North (Max level) 1000

The amount of points you can gain has also been fleshed out, now that Hard Mode is available in Eye of the North.

For each of the Primary Quests (as defined in the Hero's Handbook) you get 5 Mastery Points, or 10 Mastery Points in Hard Mode.

For each of the Dungeons (as tracked in the Master Dungeon Guide) you get 10 Master Points, or 20 Mastery Points in Hard Mode.

There are 15 discrete Eye of the North map areas, each one giving 15 points when Vanquished (all enemies defeated) in Hard Mode.

Cartography gives you a varying amount of Mastery Points per map region, but the total is 101 Mastery Points.

Accomplishment Points per Unit No. of quests/areas Sum Points Total points
Normal Hard Normal Hard
Primary quests 5 10 11 55 110 165
Dungeon quests 10 20 18 180 360 540
Vanquishing - 15 15 - 225 225
Cartography Varies 15 101 101
Grand Total   1031

With Hard Mode now available, and the latest updates to Eye of the North, it's now much easier to plan and track your way to maxing out the Master of the North Title Track.

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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The Secret Lair of the Snowmen in Eye of the North

In Eye of the North, the Secret Lair of the Snowmen is one of the best places to gain Dwarven Reputation Points, to gain rank in the Deldrimor Title Track. It can be completed relatively quickly, and can easily be done with just Heroes and Henchmen.

Here's a great video from XianDrinker which shows a (speeded up) run through the Secret Lair of the Snowmen, farming for Reputation Points and using a Minion Master to devastating effect:

Dungeons like Secret Lair of the Snowmen in Eye of the North give an excellent opportunity to perfect not only your character's build but also those of your heroes, and to try out new techniques and tactics with your henchmen.

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More Guild Wars videos from Nekkara

If you needed any more inspiration to have a go with Eye of the North, here's another great video from Nekkara, showing off her Guild, Clan Jorr.

Very nicely done! Some great locations from Guild Wars: Nightfall. If you haven't yet got Nightfall, I can highly recommend it. It introduced Heroes, and with a wide selection to choose from, it can make completing Eye of the North - and the other chapters - much easier.

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Monday, 22 October 2007

Get your free minipet

If you want to add to your collection of minipets at your Monument of Devotion in the Hall of Monuments in Eye of the North, here's your chance. Gamerzines have launched a new ezine title, MMOZine. It's available as a free download, with movies, games, special prizes, and reviews of all that's happening in the world of MMOs.

In their first issue they have a review of Guild Wars: Eye of the North. To celebrate the launch of Eye of the North, they have the first dinosaur minipet - the Ceratadon - available for free to readers.

To get the Gamerzines Ceratadon minipet, here's what you need to do:

  • Head on over to the download page at
  • The magazine is in PDF format, and is a 36mb download
  • You'll also need to make sure you have Adobe Acrobat 8 installed to view the magazine correctly. You can grab it from the Adobe download page here.
  • Once you open the magazine, there's a link on the first page to the minipet offer
  • You need to enter your name and email address. Optionally you can subscribe to Gamerzines e-zines, which I can recommend.
  • Within 10 minutes you should receive an email confirmation from Gamerzines, with the special access key to unlock your Ceratadon minipet
  • Launch Guild Wars, and click on the "Add Access Key". The process is exactly the same as when adding a new Guild Wars chapter to your account, or when you added Eye of the North.
  • Once you've added your access key, you can login
  • When you've chosen your character, you'll see a message in the chat window advising you that your special Ceratadon minipet has been unlocked
  • Type "/special" in a chat window. You'll now see the Ceratadon minipet in your inventory
  • You can now take your Ceratadon minipet out for a play, or head on over to your Hall of Monuments in Eye of the North, and add the Ceratadon minipet to your Monument of Devotion

It's very important to note that the Ceratadon minipet can only be acquired once. If you trade it away or delete it, you cannot get another one.

With the recent release of Eye of the North giving players somewhere to show off their achievements, we can expect more special items like the Gamerzines Ceratadon minipet in the build up to Guild Wars 2.

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Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Norn Primary Quests in Eye of the North

Once you have travelled to the Eye of the North in the Far Shiverpeaks, you can gain access to the Hall of Monuments. It is here that you will obtain the three main umbrella quests that lead towards the final showdown with the Great Destroyer.

There is a Primary umbrella quest for each of the main factions (Norn, Asura and Ebon Vanguard) which are each composed of three Primary Quests. Completing all of these will automatically complete the umbrella quest. One of the main rewards for the umbrella quests is a Monumental Tapestry, which is how you can start to populate your Hall of Monuments.

The Norn Primary umbrella quest is called Northern Allies, and is automatically gained after your first look into the Scrying Pool. The main aim of Northern Allies is to follow Ogden Stonehealer's plan to gain the Norn as allies in the fight against the Destroyers.

Ogden tells you: "The Destroyers have ventured dangerously near the surface, and Dwarves are few and far between up here. We must gain allies we can rally into an army. Only then can we repel this threat and keep those blasted Destroyers contained beneath the surface. That Norn who didn't attack us on sight... she might be an excellent starting point for creating the army we need."

The first Primary Quest is Curse of the Nornbear, in which you must assist Jora in tracking down and defeating the Nornbear.

The second Primary Quest is Blood Washes Blood, where you help Jora regain her honour and standing amongst the Norn. Fighting by her side you must help her reclaim her family's estate from the Charr.

The final Primary Quest is A Gate Too Far, where you must travel to Olafstead. There you will meet up with Olaf Olafson, and with his help defeat some Destroyers and reclaim the nearby Asura gate.

Once you have finished these quests, you will travel to the Battledepths, a dungeon to the west of the Eye of the North. Here you will meet up with your old friend Jalis Ironhammer, who will give you your rewards.

Having met King Jalis, some additional dwarf quests are available to you. At this stage you should have at least Rank 3 in the Norn Title Track. You can then move on to the other two Primary umbrella quests, which also farming Norn Reputation Points to boost your Norn Title Track.

These Primary Quests provide several goals in Eye of the North. Obviously they move you further along the storyline, but they also help you populate your Hall of Monuments, and give you a good start on the relevant Title Track.

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Friday, 19 October 2007

Eye of the North Destroyer items

The new menace in Eye of the North, the Destroyers, have been summoned from the fiery depths by the Great Destroyer. Your ultimate quest in Eye of the North is to find the lair of the Great Destroyer, and defeat him.

Destroyer items don't drop, as you'd expect - instead they need to be crafted. As of the current Eye of the North build, Destroyer weapons are the only weapons which can be displayed in the Hall of Monuments.

Destroyer items are crafted by Balthor Coalforge in Slavers' Exile. Slaver's Exile is an Elite Dungeon which can be reached from the Verdant Cascades on the Tarnished Coast. To enter Slaver's Exile at least one member of the party must have completed the Primary Quest "A time for Heroes".

Once you enter Slaver's Exile you can talk to Balthor Coalforge and craft Destroyer items. The following items are available:

  • Destroyer Axe
  • Destroyer Bow
  • Destroyer Daggers
  • Destroyer Focus
  • Destroyer Maul
  • Destroyer Scepter
  • Destroyer Scythe
  • Destroyer Shield
  • Destroyer Spear
  • Destroyer Staff
  • Destroyer Sword

Each item requires 10 Diamonds and 10 Onyx Gemstones to craft, as well as 5 platinum (5000 gold) and some common crafting materials.

Talking to Veth the Storyteller will give you the quest The Last Heirophant. Completing this multi-part quest will give you Diamonds and/or Onyx Gemstones, which can the be used to craft Destroyer items. The quest is repeatable, so is probably the best way to stock up on these rare crafting components.

Destroyer items are a great way of showing you have completed the furthest reaches of Eye of the North, and are also currently the only weapons which can be displayed in the Hall of Monuments.

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Thursday, 18 October 2007

Eye of the North and access to the Bonus Mission Pack

If you haven't already got the Eye of the North expansion, here's yet another reason to do so. ArenaNet's Bonus Mission Pack promotion finishes on October 31st. Spend over £17 in the Guild Wars Online Store before then, and you'll get the Bonus Mission Pack when it's released in November - for free.

The Bonus Mission Pack let's you replay four pivotal missions from the history of Guild Wars:

  • Play as Saul D'Alessio and help the White Mantle drive the Charr out of Kryta
  • As Togo, battle against deceit and betrayal to bring an end to the Tengu Wars
  • Take the role of Turai Ossa at the Battle of Jahai and defeat the undead lord Palawa Joko in one-on-one combat
  • Play as Gwen and escape from the Charr, discovering what happened to her between her capture and joining the Ebon Vanguard

ArenaNet design lead Colin Johanson has an interview here where he gives some more information on the Bonus Mission Pack, including design ideas behind it, and what players can expect from it.

So grab Eye of the North from the online store, within your Guild Wars client, or some of the other options available, and take advantage of the Bonus Mission Pack offer while there's still time.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2007

The Charr Homelands in Eye of the North

Eye of the North brings back the marauding Charr, who laid waste to Ascalon in Prophecies with the cataclysmic searing. Working with the Ebon Vanguard gives you the chance to take the fight to the Charr Homelands.

The main town in the Charr Homelands is Doomlore Shrine. This can be reached by completing the Primary Quest "Dawn of Rebellion". To complete this quest and gain entrance you must defeat Scorch Maulclaw.

Doomlore Shrine is surrounded by Dalada Uplands, Grothmar Wardowns and Sacnoth Valley. Dalada Uplands and Sacnoth Valley offer excellent farming opportunities, and by making sure you collect the Vanguard Patrol blessing from the Ebon Vanguard scouts.

You can expect to get around 3000 Vanguard reputation points in Dalada Uplands, which will take about an hour to fully clear. Sacnoth Valley will take between an hour and an hour and a half to completely clear, and will net you around 4500 Vanguard reputation points.

As an added bonus you can get a Siege Devourer in both of these areas - their monstrous amounts of hit points and the mad damage they can make farming much quicker and easier.

The Charr Homelands in Eye of the North are excellent fun, especially if your introduction to Guild Wars was the first chapter, Prophecies. The chance to take the fight back to the Charr is not one to be missed.

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Changes to Eye of the North books

The latest Eye of the North updates have brought some welcome changes to the way books work. Previously completed quests - most notably the Norn Primary Quests from the Sneak Peek weekend - weren't appearing in the Hero's Handbook. Dungeons completed before acquiring the Master Dungeon Guide were also not appearing.

Now however you can pay 100 gold to the following NPCs to get the missing pages added:

  • Gedral of Ascalon [Vanguard Herald] inside the Eye of the North
  • Kodan [Dwarven Recruitment Officer] in Gunnar's Hold
  • Tyr the Skaald [Norn Storyteller] in Gunnar's Hold
  • Lexx [Asuran Talent Scout] in Rata Sum

These NPCs have also been updated. Instead of just accepting fully completed books, they will now accept partially completed Hero's Handbooks and Master Dungeon Guides. Depending on how complete your book is, they will change the amount of XP, Gold, and Reputation Points they will give you.

The partial Hero's Handbook rewards are:

PagesRep (Normal)Rep (Hard)XP (Normal)XP (Hard)Gold (Normal)Gold (Hard)

The partial Master Dungeon Guide rewards are:

PagesRep (Normal)Rep (Hard)XP (Normal)XP (Hard)Gold (Normal)Gold (Hard)

If you're looking to boost your Eye of the North Title Tracks, and don't want to/can't complete a book, this is a great idea. As far as I'm aware, as you can gain extra books, there's nothing to stop you completing a book, handing it in, getting the quests again from the Scrying Pool in the Hall of Monuments, and then getting another book and doing it all over.

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Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Eye of the North Hard Mode

The latest update to Eye of the North from ArenaNet has introduced Hard Mode. Hard Mode significantly increases the difficulty - and rewards - of all the missions and quests in Eye of the North, and is only available to Level 20 characters who have completed Eye of the North.

To unlock Hard Mode for all Level 20 characters on your account, complete the final Eye of the North Primary Quest "A Time for Heroes".

In Hard Mode, reputation point bonuses for completing Primary Quests and dungeons are 50% than normal mode. Reputation points received as bounties while under a blessing are also 50% higher than normal, and dungeon loot is doubled.

Hard Mode has been available for a while for the three main Guild Wars chapters (Prophecies, Factions and Nightfall). With the increased difficulty from tougher monsters it represents a real challenge, and is a chance for accomplished players to really prove themselves.

The increased bonuses also mean much more rapid progression on the Eye of the North Title Tracks.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Full Eye of the North map

This fantastic full XBOX 360 Elite game Console map comes courtesy of Skaare of Aiur of xbox 360.

Major kudos are due to Skaare, who has done a fantastic job, achieving the rank of Tyrian Grandmaster Cartographer along the way. This map shows 100% of Tyria, and 99% of Eye of the North. All of the outposts are listed as well as the locations of all of the dungeons.

It's a 6.2mb download, and can be grabbed at Microsoft XBOX 360 Game Console Core Edition System

Skaare's release notes for the map can also be found at New Xbox360 Premium! 1 NEW game and extra control - these contain great tips for finding those last hidden areas on the map.

As you explore the Eye of the North map, can you uncover as much of Tyria as Skaare?

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Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Eye of the North heroes

Guild Wars: Nightfall introduced the concept of heroes to Guild Wars - customisable NPCs which could be given orders and managed, making them much more flexible and powerful than henchman. XBox Eye of the North has introduced some more heroes, giving you a lot of flexibility when it comes to building your party.

When you gain armour upgrades for your Heroes they can be added to the Monument of Fellowship in the Hall of Monuments, opening up potential bonuses in Guild Wars 2.

You will have gained the three main heroes, one from each Eye of the North faction, when travelling to the Far Shiverpeaks:

  • Ogden Stonehealer (Dwarven Monk)
  • Vekk (Asuran Elementalist)
  • Gwen (Vanguard Mesmer)

When following the Norn quests, you will pick Jora (Norn Warrior) during the main Curse of the Nornbear storyline. You can also pick up Xandra (Luxon Ritualist) and Kahmu (Elonian Dervish) when completing the Norn Fighting Tournament mission.

During the Ebon Vanguard quests, exploring the Charr Homeland, you will gain Pyre Fierceshot (Charr Ranger) as a mandatory hero as part of the Warband of Brothers Primary Quest. You can also collect Anton (Ascalonian Assassin) with The Assassin's Revenge mission.

The final two heroes can be gained when following the Asuran Primary Quests. Livia (Kyrtan Necromancer) is gained when completing the Finding Gadd Primary Quest. You can also collect Hayda (Shining Blade Paragon) when completing the Give Peace a Chance mission.

The ten new heroes in Eye of the North give you a nice spread of skills, abilities, and builds to choose from, spanning most of the factions and races in Guild Wars.

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Monday, 8 October 2007

Eye of the North map pieces

If you played the Sneak Peek weekend, or as you're exploring the new Eye of the North map areas, you'll sometimes find monsters dropping map pieces. Here's the information on what these mysterious map pieces are for.

When you make your way to Umbral Grotto, all will become clear. If you speak to Koris Deeprunner, he will offer you the Deeprunner's Map quest.

Koris explains: "Long ago, a human who came to Droknar's Forge sold me the middle of a piece of what was an ancient map that led me here. After spending countless days researching the ancient Dwarven chronicles, I have come to believe this is a piece of the map to the great King Hundar's ancient lost treasure. If only I can find the other pieces to the map. I might be able to track down the treasure! So far I've found 1 of 5 pieces."

Take the quest, then when you find a treasure map piece, go back to Koris. With the piece in your inventory, talk to Koris - he'll take the piece and update the quest.

The treasure map pieces drop randomly from monsters in explorable areas. They are not reserved for a character in your party (so pick them up quickly!), they are not customised to your character, and they can be traded freely.

That last point is pretty important, because it's quite likely you'll pick up more than one copy of each map piece. You can then trade these for the one's your missing.

Once Koris has all the pieces, he will make the "Lost Treasure of King Hundar" quest available to you. This is a repeatable quest, and can be used to greatly increase your Deldrimor Title Track, as there are large numbers of Dwarven reputation points to be gained during this quest.

With 15,000 XP, 1500 Dwarven reputation points, and the Deldrimor Title Track skill Drunken Master as rewards for completing Deeprunner's Map, it clearly pays to keep your eyes open as you explore the Eye of the North map.

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Friday, 5 October 2007

Eye of the North Title Tracks - Ebon Vanguard Title Track

Warriors from Ascalon, the Ebon Vanguard have journeyed to the Far Shiverpeaks to defeat the Charr. As with the other factions that are converging on the Eye of the North, you can do missions for members of the Ebon Vanguard, and earn reputation points for the Ebon Vanguard Title Track.

Talk to an Ebon Vanguard scout in Charr territory to receive the Vanguard Patrol blessing, which grants you reputation points per creature killed in explorable areas. Every 25 reputation points you'll get a random bonus, and talking to a new scout after getting 25 reputation points will also give you a random bonus (usually an increase in the amount of points the Vanguard Patrol blessing grants) as well as some extra reputation points.

The two best areas to farm for reputation points are Dalada Uplands and Sacnoth Valley. As an added bonus you can get a Siege Devourer in both of these areas - their monstrous amounts of hit points and the mad damage they can make farming much quicker and easier.

You can expect to get around 3000 Vanguard reputation points in Dalada Uplands, which will take about an hour to fully clear.

Sacnoth Valley will take between an hour and an hour and a half to completely clear, and will net you around 4500 Vanguard reputation points. Speak to all the scouts to boost your Vanguard Patrol blessing as much as you can, and then clear out the Charr Temple last. With 4 bosses there you should be able to achieve 300 points per boss.

Once you have Rank 1 in the Ebon Vanguard Title Track, talk to Gedrel of Ascalon at the Eye of the North to get the Rebel Yell status effect, which will activate whenever you display the Ebon Vanguard Title Track.

Rebel Yell. Title. You have +5..x armor against damage from Charr. You gain 30..x% more adrenaline when you hit a Charr. You gain 2 energy when you kill a Charr.

Rank, Title, and Ebon Vanguard reputation points needed are listed below:

  • 1 - Agent - 1,000
  • 2 - Covert Agent - 4,000
  • 3 - Stealth Agent - 8,000
  • 4 - Mysterious Agent - 16,000
  • 5 - Shadow Agent - 26,000
  • 6 - Underground Agent - 40,000
  • 7 - Special Agent - 56,000
  • 8 - Valued Agent - 80,000
  • 9 - Superior Agent - 110,000

Rank 1 is required to get Rebel Yell from Gedrel of Ascalon at the Eye of the North. Rank 3 is needed to be able to craft Ebon Vanguard consumables. Rank 4 is needed to be able to craft Charrslayer weapons, and Rank 5 is needed to be able to craft Monument armour.

There are also 12 skills which will be granted when completing quests for Ebon Vanguard NPCs. Their effects obviously increase in line with your Ebon Vanguard Title Track rank.

  • Deft Strike Deft Strike
  • Ebon Battle Standard of Courage
  • Ebon Battle Standard of Honor
  • Ebon Battle Standard of Wisdom
  • Ebon Escape
  • Ebon Vanguard Assassin Support
  • Ebon Vanguard Sniper Support
  • Signet of Infection
  • Sneak Attack
  • Tryptophan Signet
  • Weakness Trap
  • Winds

If you liked Guild Wars: Prophecies, you'll really enjoy doing Ebon Vanguard quests in the Charr Homelands in Eye of the North. It's like old times - wandering the gorgeous countryside, putting the smackdown on Charr - but with enough new features and skills to make it a real challenge.

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Thursday, 4 October 2007

Eye of the North minigames - Polymock

Polymock is a new minigame in Eye of the North. Invented by the Asura, it has a lot of similarities with Pokemon. To play you'll need some Polymock pieces, which you get from quest rewards, inside dungeon chests, or from other players.

To be able to play Polymock, you need at least three Polymock pieces. Make sure they're in your inventory, then head over to Rata Sum and talk to Denn, who will then register your pieces for play. Once the pieces have been registered they're removed from your inventory. Polymock pieces are registered per character and cannot be traded amongst your own characters or with other players.

There are two sets of rules that Polymock matches can be played under:

Commoner rules

Commoner rules apply for duels that occur as part of the Polymock quest chain, starting with the quest Defeat Yulma. These quests are repeatable, and there are no restrictions on the type of pieces you can play. Once you have completed the Polymock quests you can then move on to playing via Tournament Rules.

Tournament rules

Tournament rules apply when dueling a Polymock player outside the Polymock quest chain. You are restricted to choosing one Polymock Piece from each rarity: common, uncommon, and rare. If you do not have at least one registered piece from each rarity, you will not be allowed to play under Tournament Rules. For each Polymock match won under Tournament rules you can gain between 10 and 50 Asura reputation points, depending on the opponent you defeated.

Once the rules have been met, you and your opponent will the transported to a Polymock arena. Arenas have two platforms, close enough together to always remain in aggro range. Once in the arena, talk to Vokk the Polymock Judge, and decide which three of your registered Polymock pieces will play.

Each time you choose a piece, your opponent will too, so you can make your next piece choice based on your opponent's last choice. Once you've chosen your three pieces, and decided which piece you will open with, talk to Vokk again to start the round.

When a match starts, you're faced with a 10 second countdown timer - at zero, the duel begins. Polymock pieces have their own skills and attributes, and attack in the same way as normal Guild Wars characters. The duel is very similar to normal combat, with the exception that effects like Bleeding or Burning cause -10 Health degeneration. You can move your Polymock piece around to try and avoid your opponent's projectile spells.

When a piece's Health reaches zero it's defeated. You must then choose another piece - if all three of your pieces have been defeated, you lose the match.

I'll discuss Polymock tactics in another blog post. Like combat in Eye of the North, Polymock can be quite involved, and strategy and skill will always win out over full frontal attacks.

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Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Eye of the North Title Tracks - the Asura Title Track

Along with the Norn, the Asura are a new race introduced in Eye of the North. About the best way to describe them is that they look a bit like Stitch from "Lilo & Stitch".

The Asura Title Track is a new Title Track to go along with the new race, and represents you standing in the eyes of this very magic-focussed race.

The reputation points you need for each rank are in line with the other new Title Tracks:

  • Rank 1 - 1,000 - Not Too Smelly
  • Rank 2 - 4,000 - Not Too Dopey
  • Rank 3 - 8,000 - Not Too Clumsy
  • Rank 4 - 16,000 - Not Too Boring
  • Rank 5 - 26,000 - Not Too Annoying
  • Rank 6 - 40,000 - Not Too Grumpy
  • Rank 7 - 56,000 - Not Too Silly
  • Rank 8 - 80,000 - Not Too Lazy
  • Rank 9 - 110,000 - Not Too Foolish

As you reach the following ranks extra service will become available to you in Asuran towns and outposts:

  • Not too Clumsy: Consumables
  • Not too Boring: Weaponsmith
  • Not too Annoying: Armor crafter

The usual methods are available for gaining reputation points. Completing quests and dungeons are the main ones, as well as slaying creatures while under the Asuran Bodyguard blessing, obtained from NPCs near Resurrection Shrines in Asuran explorable areas.

There are two main areas to gain large amounts of reputation points. Magus Stones has a large number of easy to defeat Wind Riders. Clearing out all the enemies in this Eye of the North map area should bring you between 3000 and 4000 reputation points.

The other key area to gain Asuran reputation points is Arbor Bay. There are large numbers of low level creatures here, and I've found that if you zig-zag across the map, they are spaced out evenly enough to maintain any rampage bonuses. On a typical run you should be able to gain between 3000 and 6000 reputation points.

Additionally for each Polymock match you win you can gain between 40 and 90 reputation points, depending on your opponent.

Once you have obtained Rank 1 in the Title Track, and have spoken to Lexx in Rata Sum, you can display the Title to get the Edification status effect:

"Edification. Title. You have +5...15 Energy while in Asura territory."

With the Asura announced as one of the playable races in Guild Wars 2, it makes sense to try and max the Asura Title Track, and add it to your Hall of Monuments, so you can gain any bonuses for your Guild Wars 2 characters.

If you're an Elementalist in Eye of the North, the Asura energy bonus as well as the large number of clumped enemies in explorable areas should provide an easy route to a high rank in the Asura Title Track.

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Tuesday, 2 October 2007

How to use Monumental Tapestries in Eye of the North

Within the Eye of the North citadel is the Hall of Monuments, containing the Scrying Pool, various NPCs you need to talk to for primary quests, and a series of Monuments which celebrate your achievements.

There are four Monuments, and all apart from the Monument of Honour require a Monumental tapestry before they can be used.

Monument of Honor

This displays your Titles and Achievements. When you complete a campaign, Elite Missions, or achieve high rank in Title Tracks, you can choose to display those here.

Monument of Fellowship

This displays your Heroes and Pets. Heroes must have Hero Armour Upgrades to be displayed here. Pets must have been evolved to Level 20. Special pets like The Imperial Phoenix, The Black Widow and the Black Moa Bird will be displayed like Heroes.

Monument of Devotion

This is where you can display your minipets and collectibles. When you choose to display a minipet it becomes permanently customised to your character.

Monument of Valor

This is where you can display your unlocked high end weapons. At the moment only Destroyer Weapons from Eye of the North can be displayed - this will be expanded over time with game updates.

Monument of Resilience

This displays your Ascended and Elite Armour sets. Your armour must be worn at the time you choose to place it on the monument - you will not lose it, and it will retain the colour of the set you are wearing, allowing full customisation. You must have a complete set of armour (excluding headgear) to display it.

Using tapestries in the Hall of Monuments

When you complete a Primary Quest in Eye of the North you will be given a Monumental Tapestry. Keep this in your inventory, and head on over to your Hall of Monuments.

When you look at each Monument, it will note that it looks empty, and would be improved with a tapestry. In the conversation dialogue you can then choose to hang a tapestry at that Monument. Once you have selected to hang a tapestry, it cannot be taken down and moved to another Monument.

You cannot choose to display any items at a Monument until you have hung a tapestry there, with the exception of the Monument of Honor.

The Hall of Monuments in Eye of the North will provide a link to Guild Wars 2, allowing as yet unspecified bonuses and/or items for your new Guild Wars 2 character.

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Tracking your progress in Eye of the North with books

A neat new feature in Eye of the North is the concept of tracking your progress in special books. Once completed these books can be handed in to NPCs in exchange for reputation points.

There are three books you can collect and complete:

  • The Hero's Handbook
  • The Master Dungeon Guide
  • Zho's Journal

You can obtain the Hero's Handbook and the Master Dungeon Guide from the following NPCs:

  • Gedrel of Ascalon, in the Eye of the North
  • Kodan, in Gunnar's Hold
  • Tyr the Skaald, in Gunnar's Hold
  • Lexx, in Rata Sum

Ask them about "written evidence" and they will give you the books. Once accepted, these two books will be customised to your character. If you place them in storage you can request another book, although at the moment completed quests and dungeons will only be updated in the first book you have.

I suspect at some point you will be able to place the books somewhere in the Hall of Monuments, which would explain why you can have more than one copy.

The Master Dungeon Guide will document your progress in the following dungeons:

  • Catacombs of Kathandrax - Page 1
  • Rragar's Menagerie - Page 2
  • Cathedral of Flames - Page 3
  • Ooze Pit - Page 4
  • Darkrime Delves - Page 5
  • Frostmaw's Burrows - Page 6
  • Sepulchre of Dragrimmar - Page 7
  • Raven's Point - Page 8
  • Vloxen Excavations - Page 9
  • Bogroot Growths - Page 10
  • Bloodstone Caves - Page 11
  • Shards of Orr - Page 12
  • Oola's Lab - Page 13
  • Arachni's Haunt - Page 14
  • Slaver's Exile - Page 15
  • Fronis Irontoe's Lair - Page 16
  • Secret Lair of the Snowmen - Page 17
  • Heart of the Shiverpeaks - Page 18

Annoyingly, any dungeons that were completed during the Sneak Peek weekend won't appear in the Master Dungeon Guide. Can't say I'm too happy about that, personally.

Any dungeons and quests that you have completed since starting Eye of the North (after the official launch) will automatically show up in the books when you acquire them.

Zho's Journal is a special book that can only be gained once you have defeated Zho in the Norn Fighting Tournament.

Zho's Journal can only be acquired once per character. When you receive any of the books, they are customised to your character.

The Hero's Handbook contains details for each of the Primary Quests you complete. As you finish them, a summary of the quest is entered in the Handbook.

The Master Dungeon Guide is used to keep track of each of the dungeons you complete. Again, as each one is finished, a summary of the dungeon is written into the Guide.

When the Hero's Handbook or the Master Dungeon Guide is completely full, you can hand it in to one of the NPCs to receive 2500 reputation points for that NPC's race. So, if you wanted to boost your Asuran Title Track, you'd hand the completed Hero's Handbook in to Lexx in Rata Sum.

Zho's Journal is a special item, primarily of interest to Rangers or those characters who have Ranger as a secondary profession. The Journal documents Zho's journey in hatching a Black Moa egg and can be used to acquire and hatch your own Black Moa egg.

To complete this you must have all 3 chapters of Guild Wars, as Zho has journeyed to them all to accomplish this task. If you do try and hatch your own Black Moa chick, bear in mind that there are no quests, and NPCs will have no icons above them, showing who to talk to. You will need to read through the Journal and use it to work out where to go and who to talk to.

As an aside, you may notice that The Hero's Handbook and the Master Dungeon Guide are references to the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide from Dungeons & Dragons. Even the colours match up to the current editions.

This is a pretty long blog posting, but the idea of books to track and record progress in Eye of the North is a new one, and questions about the books seem to frequently come up.

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Monday, 1 October 2007

Is Eye of the North your favourite soundtrack?

Is Eye of the North your favourite soundtrack? Or perhaps Nightfall? Maybe Factions?

Jeremy Soule's music is superb - haunting, catching the feel of the game, and adding atmosphere and depth. You can purchase and download the full high quality soundtracks from Direct Song and then have them played at random within Guild Wars, even if you don't have the relevant client.

Obviously you can also play the soundtracks that came with the full retail copies of each game, and even get some bonus tracks with the Collector's Edition of each chapter.

So, the question is - which is your favourite soundtrack of them all? Which one inspires you to explore the Guild Wars world, which one gets your blood pumping in combat, which soundtrack captures the sense of loss of the conflicts that ravage Tyria, Cantha and Elona?

Place your vote on our exclusive Eye of the North soundtrack poll, on the right hand side of this blog. The poll will be open until 31st October - make your vote count!

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