Happy 20th Birthday, Guild Wars! A Return of Guild Wars Memories and Screenshots, Part 1.5: E3 for Everyone Character Creator Screens

Introduction and Update: A Few Thoughts on the Anniversary

Yes, 20 years ago today E3 2004 week began, and with it started Guild Wars’ first public test, the amazing E3 for Everyone event that got me excited for, and addicted to, this incredible game.  My memories of E3 for Everyone are strong, but time sure flies, huh… nothing we can do about that, though.  Anyway, most people would say that Guild Wars released in May 2005, but while that was its formal release, I’ve always thought of it as pretty much ‘releasing’ a year before that, when the regular public tests began.

It’s actually kind of funny, recently I was looking back at some old posts of mine, and I found a thread from April 2004 where I was defending World of Warcraft’s art style and sounded interested about its gameplay even though I wasn’t into MMOs.  While reading that thread, I couldn’t help but think, less than one month later my world would change because of this game, Guild Wars.  I mean, of course I was interested in WoW, Blizzard was my favorite developer and it was their next game.  But, once I’d played Guild Wars, my interest level in WoW went down significantly and never recovered.  As I said in my sidesstory article in this series about WoW and PSO, I did try WoW a bit, but quickly lost interest and mostly ignored the game because of how much less interesting it was to me than Guild Wars.  Guild Wars 1 looks better than WoW did then, plays better, and just plain is better.  Almost everything about it is amazing and fits what I want from a game better than anything else in the online RPG genre, from the lack of required grind to the lack of a monthly fee to the strategy of putting together an 8-skill build.

I do still love Blizzard, and have gotten back into their games over the past year, particularly the game that still is easily the best game ever made, Starcraft Remaster (expect a Starcraft article on this site in the not too distant future!), and also Diablo II Remaster and Diablo IV, a game I am still playing a whole lot of — I got back in on Season 3.  But World of Warcraft?  Sorry, it’s the Pokemon of Blizzard to me, an extremely popular thing by one of my favorite game companies that I don’t like much if at all.  That is partially because of what WoW is, a game in a genre that just is not for me due to being too open-ended and aimless, but also because of how exceptional Guild Wars is.

So yeah, Guild Wars is 20 now as a publicly playable game.  I’ve been thinking about the upcoming anniversary all year, and decided that I would restart Guild Wars Memories and Screenshots to commemorate the event.  This won’t be just one article, thankfully to everyone probably because THIS update is unlikely to interest much of anyone, but at least several.  As I said when I suspended the series there were several reasons I did that.   One were the sexual harassment allegations towards the games’ composer.  They are credible, and I think it was right to suspend this series for a while after that, but that isn’t why it took so long to return; he had already been fired from Arena.net before that and he has not gotten work in the industry again since.  ANet even replaced his Guild Wars 2 compositions.  Guild Wars 1 is still one of the best ever and the music is only one part of it.

So no, that wasn’t the main reason.  The most important was that I was past the time period where I played the game a lot, and past the pre-release tests, so what I’ve got from 2007 and beyond is in most ways much less interesting from the updates I did previously.  Of the time I’ve played Guild Wars, the vast majority was the thousand-or-so hours I played between 2004 and 2006.  Since then? It’s a game I go back to every once in a while, since it is one of the best games I’ve ever played and still is quite amazing in a lot of ways, but those times are sporadic and what I did in the game ossified down to mostly just solo content, mostly with my main Necromancer character, mostly with the same skillbar.  Considering that anyone who plays the game today can see this same content but with better graphics, random screenshots of this or that are, I think, not nearly as interesting for the most part as the pre-release content is.  Even so, I took some here and there and have always meant to get back to posting them.  I will do that, but first…

First, I decided to go back to my pre-release screenshots and post some more of those, because that is what is the most historically important.  I mentioned back in the first E3 for Everyone that I took an oddly large number of screenshots in the character creator.  Here are most of them.  Thank you?  After them are a handful of shots I didn’t think were interesting enough to post before.  One, at least, is actually reasonably interesting.  The others aren’t really but I’m posting them anyway to celebrate the anniversary.  I really should play Guild Wars again; it’s been a little while, I have to admit.  There are too many games… but I will get back to it, I always do.  Guild Wars has a permanent place in my top ten best games ever for a reason.  And that all started twenty years ago today with the E3 for Everyone public test.  Celebrating that important anniversary of this game I love with a bunch of boring screenshots is questionable indeed, but it’s what I’m doing, because I do have some more from E3 for Everyone and I’d like to get them out there.

Guild Wars E3 for Everyone Character Creator Screenshots

The first twelve screenshots show all six classes in both genders, looking as they did at the start in E3 for Everyone.  Please note that the secondary class has no effect on the look of the characters, only the primary class determines that.  Also, yes, Guild Wars has somewhat limited customization.  All you can do is choose between a few skin colors, hair styles, colors, and faces, and change your body scale on a slider.  Characters of the same class won’t all look the same, but will look similar.  I posted some of theswe before, but am posting the character creator shots all here again for completion.

One Shot of Each Class

First, the female characters.

The female Elementalist has the skimpiest outfit and most sexualized look of the classes.

Mesmers have a somewhat Victorian-ish style, and you see that here but with the front of the dress cut away either for looks or supposedly for easier movement.

This outfit isn’t the female Necromancer’s best, but it’s a good one which fits the class well.

The embroidered patterns on Monk clothing look cool. GW still impresses visually after 20 years…

My first choice of class was this one, the female Ranger. It’s a good design though certainly not her best outfit in the base game.

Breast plate! It’s not realistic, actual armor like that would not function. I get why games design this, it’s for looks and games don’t need to be realistic, but it looks silly if you know anything about armor.

Now the male characters.  These will be the only shots of male characters in this article.  Sorry about that.  Complain to the me of 20 years ago… heh.

The male Ranger has a good design.

The male Warrior, surely the most common character class choice in E3 for Everyone.  He’s even bald by default, fitting with the ‘bald soldier guy’ theme of ’00s games… heh.

The male Monk is somewhat iconic of the game.

The way the male Necromancer’s head sits on his body from this angle is kind of funny looking…

The male Mesmer here fits with the ‘somewhat Victorian-ish’ theme of the class well.

The male Elementalist is pretty plain looking, much less flashy and sexualized than the female.

(Female) Characters: Changing Some Options

Next, I’ve got some shots of what happens when you change some of the as-I-said-few customization options on a few characters.

Female Warrior, from behind and made much taller, look at that height slider. You can rotate the character in the creator but not turn them up or down.

Changed hair color and hair style.

Changed skin color

This is the palest skin color.

Brown skin

And here is the darkest color.

It looks similar, but this is a different female Ranger hairstyle from the first one.

This is actually the same as the first female Ranger hairstyle, it just looks different thanks to a color change. It’s surprising how much variation having only a few customization options can get you.

Monk side view, showing this ‘one side shaved, long on other side’ hairstyle.

And the front view.

While similar to the first Necromancer hairstyle, this one doesn’t have the things dangling from her hair.

This might be the first female Mesmer hairstyle. From behind that dress sure fits the class’ theme.

Again this looks similar-ish to the first hairstyle, but isn’t that one.  The reverse probably looks more different.

The reverse of the female Elementalist, with a different hair style and color.

The shots in between the last one and this just cycle through several of the skin color options and rotate the camera again.  I’ll skip those (there are seven more! Why?  I did not play as this class in this test…). This one with the blue hair and greyer skin is different, though.  This is the same hair style as the last shot, just from the front.

And that’s all that’s at all worth posting from the character creator.

Other E3 for Everyone Shots Previously Not Posted

While I did not take a lot of screenshots during E3 for Everyone, there are a couple more shots I didn’t post before that are of at least a little interest.

This is from the Stormcaller (Nolani Academy) mission lobby area, now after the mission timer started, it’s about to begin. I posted the shots before this in the original article, but skipped this one. I’m posting it now because these characters are kind of amusing looking.

Just before I Firestormed the Gargoyles, one of them threw this fire burst at me. If you go to the original article you’ll notice I took some damage in between this shot and that one.

… This has got to be one of the least interesting screenshots I’ve ever taken… no wonder I skipped it before.

And that’s it.  Literally the only other E3 for Everyone shots I have are the rest of the nearly identical character creator shots, a second one of the main menu just a moment after the first one from the original, and the shot a moment before I brought up the interface, in that same hallway at the start of Stormcaller but without the interface on screen.  So yeah, that’s really it for E3 for Everyone.  I will conclude with that other menu shot; I like it slightly less than the other one as the redness in the upper left part of the sky is less noticeable.

The week of E3 for Everyone was one of the most surprisingly fun weeks I think I’ve ever had in gaming…


About Brian

Computer and video game lover
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