Guild Wars: Eye of the North (also known as GW:EN and EotN) is the first expansion pack to the Action RPG Guild Wars made by the Seattle-based ArenaNet studio, a subsidiary of NCSoft. It was released worldwide on August 31, 2007. Unlike other games in the Guild Wars sequence, Eye of the North requires players to own one of the earlier three campaigns. It features no tutorial content and is intended for characters that have reached level 10 or higher.
Eye of the North does not feature new professions, but has 18 new "multilevel" dungeons, 150 new skills (50 of them restricted to PvE), 40 new armor sets, and 10 new heroes, in addition to the new items, weapons, and titles added as usual in every Guild Wars campaign. It is in part intended to act as a bridge from Guild Wars to Guild Wars 2 and will introduce the new races of the Norn (dwellers on the icy slopes of the Shiverpeak Mountains to the north), Asura (inhabitants of the southern part of the Maguuma Jungle), and Sylvari, all of which will be playable in the sequel.
Eye of the North continues the Prophecies story, which is told in three acts. In Act I, a great earthquake tears across the three continents of Tyria, Cantha and Elona, revealing entrances to a network of underground tunnels. From there, players enter into the homelands of the Charr (from the Prophecies story) to the north, the Asuras to the west, and the Norn at the far end of the Shiverpeaks. The story culminates with a battle against the Great Destroyer, the chief antagonist of the dwarven pantheon.
- Tons of new content designed exclusively for your existing Guild Wars characters
- 18 huge, multi-level dungeons to explore
- Monuments of your Guild Wars achievements that give access to special items and titles in Guild Wars 2
- 150 new skills (50 of which are special, roleplaying-only skills) to use against your foes
- 10 new Heroes to help you in your adventures
- 40 new armor sets suitable for the great heroes of the land
- A first look at three of the exciting new playable races in Guild Wars 2
- Numerous new items, weapons, and titles to attain
Expanding the WorldProphecies campaign.
Players will be able to take existing characters from any of the previous Guild Wars campaigns into Guild Wars: Eye of the North. There, they will find adventures and encounters worthy of battle-hardened heroes who have faced such adversaries as Shiro and Abaddon as they seek to uncover the mystery behind the great earthquakes. The Eye of the North expansion contains only max-level content. There's no time to train raw recruits; no time to study with great masters. Only heroes need apply.
New Races, Old Enemies
Delve into the Deep
As the story of this expansion unfolds, players will delve into eighteen vast dungeons to face untold enemies, search for clues about the menace facing the world, and uncover new weapons they can use in the final confrontation. These immersive, multi-level dungeons will take characters deep beneath the earth and expose them to challenges the likes of which have never been seen in any Guild Wars game to date.
Become Part of the LegendFactions, Nightfall, and the Eye of the North will not be forgotten in the future world of Guild Wars 2.
Your deeds from the original Guild Wars campaigns will be commemorated in the Eye of the North expansion in your Hall of Monuments. The Hall of Monuments will reflect the achievements you earn in Eye of the North as well as those earned in Prophecies, Factions, and Nightfall. You will even be able to show off your hall to friends. Then, when Guild Wars 2 arrives, each of these monuments will correspond to special features your Guild Wars 2 characters can "inherit" from your own legendary past, giving you access to exclusive titles, companions (Heroes and pets), weapons, attire, and miniatures. These inherited items are unique: there is no other way within Guild Wars 2 to acquire them.
- In the face of Tyria's greatest challenges, heroes have arisen to thwart the forces of darkness. The Titans have been driven back to the demon realms, Shiro has been unmasked, and Abaddon has fallen.
- Now a new darkness threatens Tyria. Great earthquakes wrack the lands, opening huge underground complexes beneath the earth. Boiling up from that darkness, an ancient enemy may spell the end of the Age of Man...
Guild Wars players will soon be able to embark on a journey that will take their existing characters into the treacherous reaches north of the Shiverpeak Mountains. There, they must stand side-by-side with both friends and enemies from the past, recruit new allies and heroes, and delve deep into perilous dungeons to face an ancient evil. The fate of the world hangs in the balance. One thing is certain; at the end of this battle, nothing will remain the same.
The majority of the Eye of the North story takes place in the "dungeons" that delve deep underground. Each dungeon has one to five levels, and completing some levels requires the players to acquire keys, use switches or levers, defeat bosses or interact with NPCs. The final level of the dungeon has a boss that must be defeated to clear the dungeon. Defeating the dungeon boss will cause a chest to appear, yielding loot for each party member.
Dungeons interact differently with the game's various maps than traditional explorable areas. The Mission Map normally displays an overhead map of the entire region, with unexplored regions blurred out but still visible. In dungeons, the entire mission map is black until the player explores a region. In addition, the mission map resets to unexplored when the player leaves the explorable zone. Similarly, the world map does not change to reflect which portions of the dungeon have been explored, and does not reflect the precise position of the player. Rather, the player is shown roughly in the center of the region on the map where the dungeon is situated. Also notable is that dungeon zones do not count towards the Cartographer titles that measure the percentage of the map a player has explored.
Earlier Guild Wars campaigns featured a small number of dungeons, such as Sorrow's Furnace in Guild Wars Prophecies or The Deep and Urgoz's Warren in Guild Wars Factions. They play a much more important part in the game play of Eye of the North, with a few gameplay alterations being made to accommodate dungeon exploration. Most Eye of the North dungeon levels have an area map located somewhere near the entrance. This map does not expose the layout of the level, but does place indicators on the mission map where key items (keys, bosses, collectors, etc.) are located. In addition, reaching certain areas of the dungeon, particularly the final boss, will place a marker on the overhead map, indicating where that location is.
Dungeon levels also frequently include locked doors which require a specific key to unlock. Unlike most key-like items in earlier Guild Wars dungeons (such as gears in Sorrow's Furnace), these keys are not carried by the player. They simply appear on-screen once the player acquires it, meaning the player is not hampered by the loss of their weapon and off-hand item benefits.
Eye of the North focuses more heavily on PvE accomplishments, such as titles. One of the new features is an item which acts as similar to a quest log, recording specific feats the player accomplishes in game play. Upon defeating the final boss of the dungeon, a new "page" in the quest log is filled in. Completed log books can later be turned in to one of the allied factions in the game for a large experience and reputation bonus.
Eye of the North introduced a number of "minigames" to the Guild Wars world. Each major faction has their own minigame which can be used to earn reputation points for that faction. The full list of these games is as follows:
- Dwarven Boxing
- The player character wears a pair of brass knuckles and enters a round of one-on-one combat with a computer-controlled opponent. The player's normal skill-bar is replaced with a collection of boxing skills, some with unique skill animations. When a character's health goes to zero, he or she is knocked down; the player must then repeatedly use a "Stand Up" skill to regain energy and re-enter the battle. If the player is unsuccessful in regaining the full amount of energy, the character is considered to be "KO'd" and loses the match. Each successful match awards the character with Dwarven reputation points.
- Norn Fighting Tournament
- The player character enters a tournament sequence of six matches, with the final match being against Magni the Bison (a reference to M. Bison of the Street Fighter series). Victory in the tournament awards Norn reputation points, certain prize items, and championship tokens that are redeemable for trophies such as crowns.
- Resembling Pokémon, the player fields a team of up to three "pieces" against his opponent's team. Each piece morphs into a specific creature with a set skill-bar and predetermined weaknesses and resistances. Prior to beating Hoff, the Polymock master, victories award Asura title track points, a polymock piece and sometimes an Asura title track spell. After beating Hoff, for the Mirage Iboga piece, victory in Polymock matches merely awards Asura title track points
Eye of the North is set eight years after an event known as "The Searing" occurs in Guild Wars: Prophecies, where a northern race of cat-like beasts known as the Charr incinerate the Tyrian kingdom of Ascalon. Earthquakes begin to increase in frequency across all the three continents of the game world; Tyria, Cantha and Elona, which correspond to the three Guild Wars stand-alone campaigns; Prophecies, Factions and Nightfall, respectively. Strange creatures have begun to emerge from crevasses created by these earthquakes and the player is tasked to investigate further, starting from either Lion’s Arch, port city of Tyria; Kaineng Center, port city of Cantha; or Kamadan, Jewel of Istan, port city of Elona.
Descending into one of these crevasses the player fights enemies native to the respective campaign before coming across a Dwarf named Ogden Stonehealer and an Asuran named Vekk – a race unknown to most humans that have only surfaced due to the earthquakes. It is not long before the party is ambushed by a group of creatures known as "Destroyers". The party then makes their escape through an Asura Gate (a teleportation device similar in appearance and function to ones seen in Stargate) which brings them into the Far Shiverpeaks. Vekk destroys the gate to ensure the Destroyers have no chance of following them. It is here that they meet a Norn (a race of giants that resemble the Vikings] in terms of culture and appearance) named Jora. She tells the player of the existence of humans in the Far Shiverpeaks  and Ogden, Vekk and the player eventually make their way north to a huge structure called "The Eye of the North". It is here that they come across Gwen, a character that first appeared in Prophecies as a little girl in Ascalon, prior to the "Searing". She informs the player of her temporary appointment as leader of the "Ebon Vanguard" (a group committed to fighting the Charr) in absence of an officer named Captain Langmar.
The player enters the Eye of the North and discovers a room called the Hall of Monuments. Upon approaching a scrying pool at the centre of the room, the player triggers a vision which displays Destroyers working their way towards the surface. Shocked by the prospect of the Destroyers being so close to their goal, Ogden, Vekk and Gwen make their own separate pleas to the player in gaining reinforcements. Ogden suggests to get help from the Norn; Vekk suggests that his people, the Asura, are the best choice whilst Gwen believes that finding Captain Langmar’s squad in the Charr Homelands would most benefit the player. The player can choose to help Ogden, Vekk or Gwen in any order he/she so wishes but is required to gain the help of the Norns, Asurans and the Ebon Vanguard before proceeding further into the game.
Through the course of the game, the player receives three more visions through the scrying pool. One of them reveals that the main antagonist is a being known as "The Great Destroyer"; the arch nemesis of the Dwarven god, The Great Dwarf. Another reveals its location, which Vekk identifies as a cavern nearby the Central Transfer Chamber, a junction for the Asura Gate network. With the help of new allies secured, Ogden Stonehealer tells the player that they are required to head to the Heart of the Shiverpeaks to summon the Great Dwarf. Only then would the Deldrimor Dwarves stand a chance against the Great Destroyer. The player eventually meets with king Jalis Ironhammer to prepare for the final onslaught against the Destroyers, where he initiates a ritual that permanently changes him and the Deldrimor Dwarves by imbuing them with magical strength and transforming them into stone. It is then that the final assault commences in earnest as the Deldrimor Dwarves, the Norn, the Asura, and the Ebon Vanguard fight side by side to reach the Central Transfer Chamber. Upon arriving at the Central Transfer Chamber, the player conducts the final battle against The Great Destroyer. With his defeat, the world is safe once again.
- Pre-release Bonus Pack
The pre-release bonus pack is similar to the pre-order packs from the earlier stand-alone campaigns. It was available electronically from the in-game store between July 20, 2007 and the release of the standard version. It included: a game trial key for the previous campaigns, three replicable bonus weapons, and an access key for a public preview event for the Eye of the North the week-end before the standard release.
The standard edition contains the full game. Unlike the stand-alone chapters, Eye of the North does not add extra character slots to an existing account, and does not have a Collector's Edition. In Europe, an alternative "Bear Edition" is available featuring different cover art.
- Guild Wars Platinum Edition
Guild Wars Platinum Edition is a bundle containing both the Prophecies campaign and the Eye of the North expansion. This was released on August 31, 2007.
Guild Wars Eye of the North was well received by critics, achieving a score of 7.9 on Metacritic; it was, however, rated lowest in the Guild Wars series. Although it was widely seen to be a valuable addition to the Guild Wars series for its fans—the gameplay differs little from earlier games—the content was viewed as short, challenging compared to other Guild Wars offerings, and, as Eye of the North completes the Prophecies story, less accessible to players approaching the expansion from either Factions or Nightfall. The quality, pacing and size of the in-game rewards were also criticized by some reviewers.
The new features introduced by Eye of the North had a mixed reception. The three new mini games received good reviews, with GameSpy stating that they are "really well-designed and incredibly involving." Some reviewers criticized their unavailability in the player versus player mode of the game. The Hall of Monuments was considered by 1UP.com to be a "hasty advertisement for Guild Wars 2"; GamerNode suggested that it seemed to encourage a style of gameplay contrary to the original spirit of Guild Wars.
- ↑ Valich, Theo (March 5, 2007). "Fresh Guild Wars announced". The Inquirer. Retrieved on 2007-03-05
- ↑ "Guild Wars Reborn". PC Gamer. 2007-05-01.
- ↑ ArenaNet (July 2, 2007). Guild Wars: Eye of the North was released August 31 Release. Press release. Retrieved on 2007-07-02
- ↑ ArenaNet. Timeline - Guild Wars Wiki (GWW). Retrieved on 2007-09-25
- ↑ ArenaNet (2007). Guild Wars: Eye of the North Manuscript. NCSoft. pp. 2.
- ↑ (Player): What are these "Destroyers"? For that matter, what are you? ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ (Player): There are humans up here, then? Jora: Yes. If you survive long enough, you may meet them. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Gwen: I command in Captain Langmar's absence. My name is Gwen. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Ogden Stonehealer: No. We need the Norn as allies. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Vekk: The Destroyers drove my people to the surface, west of these mountains. We should contact them. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Gwen: They're both wrong. It's the Ebon Vanguard that needs your help. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Ogden Stonehealer: The creature that leads them is the Great Destroyer. The Tome of Rubicon said that the Great Dwarf and Great Destroyer would meet in one last battle. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Vekk: I've been to the Central Transfer Chamber. That cavern is adjacent to it. The big statue practically bleeds magic. It's why we built the chamber there in the first place. ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ Ogden Stonehealer: That is appreciated, but we need one more thing if we are to stand a chance. We must go to the Heart of the Shiverpeaks. We must summon the Great Dwarf.ArenaNet. Guild Wars: Eye of the North. (NCSoft). PC. (2007-08-30)
- ↑ "Guild Wars: Eye of the North". metacritic.com. Retrieved on 2000-01-16
- ↑ "Guild Wars Search". Game Rankings.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Nagata, Tyler (September 4, 2007). "The next must have title for any self-respecting Guild Wars fan". Games Radar. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ Editorial (August 31, 2007). "Guild Wars Eye of the North". GameZone. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Van Ord, Kevin (September 13, 2007). "Guild Wars: Eye of the North". GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Pereira, Chris (October 4, 2007). "Guild Wars: Eye of the North". GamerNode. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Scott, Ryan (September 20, 2007). "Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Just get us Guild Wars 2 already.". 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Rausch, Allen (August 31, 2007). "Guild Wars: Eye of the North". GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ Chick, Tom (September 10, 2007). "Guild Wars: Eye of the North, Life after 20 for diehard Guild Wars fans.". GameTap. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Onyett, Charles (September 13, 2007). "Guild Wars: Eye of the North Review, ArenaNet brings the battle back to Tyria.". IGN. Retrieved on 2007-10-08
- The official Guild Wars website
- The official Guild Wars Wiki
- ArenaNet's listing of recognized Guild Wars fansites
- Feature: Guild Wars 2, GW Expansion Unveiled
- Game | Life - Wired News
- Guild Wars Expansion and Sequel Interview
- G4 - The Feed
- 'Guild Wars': An experiment that worked - On the Level - MSNBC.com
- Guild Wars Eye of the North