Guild Wars is one of those games I continuously kick myself over, saying “Why oh why didn’t you play that MORE?”
And I really don’t have a good answer, just a few weak ones.
Four years ago, Guild Wars launched after the typical flurry of hype that “new” and “groundbreaking” MMOs enjoy. Guild Wars promised many deviations from the typical MMO setup, including:
- No subscription fees — you just purchase the product once and can play as long as you like (and as long as the servers are still functioning)
- An End Level Cap of 20 — which you’d reach fairly quickly, leaving most everyone at the “end game” before long
- Being Able To Mix And Match Classes — between a primary and secondary class, with abilities to use skills from both
- Collectible Skills — creating the feeling of CCGs in a MMO
- Only Being Able To Slot 8 Skills/Buffs At One Time — putting an emphasis on smart builds vs. levels/gear
- Phasing/Instancing — in which they promised that the world would change around you
- And, of course, huge amounts of PvP between individuals and guilds
GW worked for a lot of people, who undoubtably got their money’s worth from their one-time purchase. It’s hard to explain, but the end result felt something alien to the MMO field — in both good and bad ways. In theory I loved a lot about GW’s setup, and spent quite a bit of time mucking about in the beginning stages, but it just never hooked me. Perhaps it was the inability to jump and the invisible walls (both of which make you feel constricted). Perhaps the less-than-thrilling acquisition of loot and leveling. And probably the isolated feeling of instances and a horrible chat interface contributed to it all.
But there’s a lot to love in it, and I even bought Nightfall a year back and promised myself some time to play it (I never did). There’s no doubt that GW is a beautiful and innovative game for what it is, but I really feel as though there’s too much time that’s gone by to get into it without feeling very behind the times. Plus, with Guild Wars 2 in the murky future, part of me asks why I should even bother with the older product with something new and shinier on its way.
Maybe I’ll get back into it this summer, give it another go, try to juice up a bit of excitement for GW2… but probably not. In any case, congrats to the GW team for four excellent years of being more on the money with promises than off, and I truly hope your next game rocks hard!