Faithful readers of Bio Break and concerned family members have undoubtedly documented my insane bounce between giving Guild Wars a try and then leaving it in the dust over the past couple years. Back and forth, back and forth. I get really excited about it, devote time to it, and within a week it’s in my recycle bin without so much of a how-do-ya-do.
The weird thing is that I really should like this game. There’s a lot of things GW does and stands for that’s right up my alley — the skill-collecting/building system, the gorgeous art, the combo classes. I want to love this game, I try to love this game, and it never, ever sticks. I haven’t even seen level 20 in it since launch, and semi-conscious monkeys with mange have done better than that.
So I’ve sat down and pondered this paradox for a bit, and come to a few conclusions why this happens.
1. The lack of fun loot.
As someone who has a healthy dose of Pirate in my bloodstream, it’s no surprise that loot is a huge motivating factor in games. I know it’s shallow, but hey, it’s always fun getting prizes and presents from mobs, particularly with the potential of a “big score” with the next hit. Guild Wars’ loot is really… lackluster. Yeah, I know, they designed the game so that gear doesn’t matter as much, and what loot there is tends to be crafting items to help you piece together the next tier or armor, but it takes a lot of the fun out of killing mobs. I open my backpack and see piles of crap that doesn’t tend to do me much good. Oh, sure, sometimes I get a cool weapon, but those are few and far between.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not one of those people who decry Guild Wars because it’s heavily instanced. I actually have no problem with that… to a point. It’s just that somewhere in here the GW world stopped being a world and became a series of tiny puzzle pieces that I’d skip through (or avoid entirely).
The missions also made me feel a bit fragmented in how they’re arranged, pulling you ahead in the game world while you still have to go back and finish up quests and the like. It’s hard to define this, but GW never felt as cohesive as it could’ve.
3. Walls and walking.
Again, it’s been said, but there you are — I feel confined in this game, like a player in a virtual zoo, when I bump into invisible walls, can’t swim in deep water, and have my feet nailed to the ground. It feels claustrophobic at times, and I really dislike that.
4. Its age.
Not that this is Guild Wars’ fault, but any MMO that’s more than a few years old, I get very wary of playing. I know that there’s little “new” in there, that most everyone’s hit the end game, that guilds have long since been established, and that it’s past its prime. Now couple this with the news of Guild Wars 2 and that exciting slice of the future, and I’m more motivated to wait than hop back in time for a dose of GW.
I think those four things sum it up for me, and that’s a shame. I know they sound a bit shallow, but I can’t help it. I am looking forward to being first on board the GW2 train when it pulls into the station, tho. All aboard!