Besides new content, the biggest addition to this sequel are its two new professions, Guild Wars: Factions' Assassin and Ritualist, which join the original game's warrior, elementalist, monk, mesmer, necromancer, and ranger classes. In terms of their immediate skills, Assassins specialize in wielding a dagger weapon in each hand and attacking swiftly, while using evasive skills to increase their running speed. Ritualists, on the other hand, specialize in summoning a variety of stationary spirit creatures in battle. Although these spirit creatures can't advance or retreat like normal characters, they can remain in the world for up to two minutes and can dish out some pretty significant damage, particularly when multiple units appear suddenly amongst enemy characters. In a pinch, Ritualists can instantly destroy their creations in a flash of lightning that damages any nearby foes. Ritualists even possess a unique resurrection skill that can be used multiple times in battle at the cost of half their current health points. Users should note, however, that the new professions are available only in the game's competitive arena battles, and only in certain combinations.
These two new professions actually add a great deal of variety, because in Guild Wars you create a character with both a primary profession and a secondary profession. In Factions, as in the original Guild Wars, all professions' inherent qualities can be useful when picked as a secondary class. For instance, the assassin's ability to move quickly over short distances includes a skill called "shadowstepping," which lets assassin characters briefly sprint, then immediately transports them back to where they started. This becomes incredibly powerful when used as a companion to the fireball-hurling elementalist class, suddenly allowing your character to get close enough to rain down fiery death on enemies before instantly retreating. And the Ritualist can also augment its own attack power which, when combined with the ranger profession, allows you to fire highly accurate and damaging arrow volleys. Not to mention that the Ritualist's multiple-use resurrection power makes it an extremely valuable addition to just about any adventuring party.
As you might expect from a Guild Wars game, when chosen as the primary, each new profession has a highly distinctive look to it. The Assassin resembles a classic ninja assassin from feudal Japan, complete with ragged tights and a face mask. The Ritualist has an indigenous, shaman-like appearance that includes earth-colored tunics, ornate jewelry, and intricate tattoos. As always, you can customize your characters' clothing colors and eventually pick up different weapons and armor that will further alter their appearance. In both cases, each new character seems to fit in well with Guild Wars' art style, which features such influences as medieval fantasy art and Japanese anime cartoons.
Guild Wars: Factions furthers one of the best made, most popular, and most intriguing games of all time. Anybody who is interested in complex character development and interactions, combined with smooth and immersive combat-action gameplay, will want to check this series out. This Collector's Edition includes bonuses such as a CD of the game's soundtrack, and a double-sided poster with a Map of Cantha on one side and the Factions Poster on the other. This Collector's Edition also includes a game manual, quick reference card, art book, desk calendar, mouse pad, sticker set, key for bonus music, and a special in-game dance emote for the two new Assassin and the Ritualist classes.