Guild Wars: Back Into The Fray

It’s no secret that Guild Wars and I have a weird relationship — almost bipolar, in a way.  I like the game intellectually, in that it seems to have all the right elements that I’d want in a MMO, but I’ve never, ever been able to stick with it for more than a week or two at a time.  I mean, if you count just this past year at Bio Break, I think I’ve tried GW about three or four times.

Maybe it’s the lack of a jump button.  Maybe I’ve never dedicated myself to sticking with it long enough so that I’ll finally “get it”.  Maybe I just hate feeling way behind the rest of the crowd.  Who knows?

So I was pretty content to just let Guild Wars lie fallow and then jump on the Guild Wars 2 wagon as soon as it came out of the gate.  That plan changed this week when ArenaNet unveiled all of the rewards for players who’ve invested in building up their Hall of Monuments, and I think my mouth just dropped when I read through the list.

After that moment, it wasn’t a question: I had to get over this GW hump and earn these goodies.

Yes, I’m partially insane for any way to get weird little goodies before a MMO releases, even if I don’t end up playing it muchly.  This isn’t just a pre-order deal to get one or two nifty items, but a Santa Claus list of titles, pets, armor and weapons.

It means that I’ve dusted off my GW account (and I’m not the only one, apparently) in an attempt to see if someone who’s largely clueless as to most of the game can achieve a good portion of these points before GW2 launches in 2012.  Or 2013.  I’m optimistic.

I really have no idea if it can be done.  Rubi at Massively says I should be able to, and she’s helpfully supplying a series of articles dedicated to guiding people to those 50 points, but I don’t know.  I still need to get Factions and Eye of the North to round out my account as well.  But the bottom line is that I’m optimistic, and if nothing else, it’s giving me some great motivation to plow through Guild Wars and experience a lot more of it than I have previously.

But when you think about it, it really is a masterstroke on ArenaNet’s behalf.  By finally defining the rewards for the Hall of Monuments, the company:

  1. Is providing concrete rewards for loyal players
  2. Upping the sales of Guild Wars and potential sales of Guild Wars 2
  3. Is giving lapsed or newbie players a good reason to pick this game up
  4. Is helping to take the edge off the long wait to GW2 by giving everyone something to do that “banks” up goodies for when that game releases

It’s a proven fact that fans waiting for the release of a MMO will engage in even the most trivial of activities and mull over the most expensive of collector’s edition pre-orders if it’ll give them a shot at storing up bonuses for their characters when the game eventually comes out.  Star Wars: The Old Republic fans only wish they had something like this to pass the time, I bet.

13 thoughts on “Guild Wars: Back Into The Fray

  1. You’re not the only one. I’ve had the GW Trilogy for a while now and never even got to level a character to max for much the same reasons you pointed out.

    I don’t want to be left out of the release of GW2 like I was with the first one so this is really giving me some motivation to finally complete the campaigns.

  2. Pretty crazy that I’m considering grinding for items in a game that isn’t even out yet while I’m already tired of grinding in the games that are. MMO addict I guess.

  3. I don’t know about grind, but there is something really engaging about trying to get as many prizes as possible with the minimal amount of effort.

  4. You’ll need Eye of the North to even have access to the Hall of Monuments, so that should be at the top of your list. Because of the way the hero system was introduced, you’ll get the most of those with the Nightfall campaign.

  5. Pretty savvy move by the GW team. It would be interesting to see their numbers on what this does to the playerbase.

  6. I’ve been playing GW off and on for years, but sadly that type of playstyle doesn’t lend itself to earning things for the hall of monuments. Despite having beaten most of the campaigns, I’m only at 8/50 😦

    Still, one of the reasons my gameplay has been all over the place is that there was no reason NOT to be all over the place. Now there’s good reason to stay focused . . . so maybe I will!

  7. Hamster Wheel, do you has it?

    I think that’s an annoying tactic designed to prey on early adopters. If I wanted to play GW 2, I want to play it. If I am already playing GW 1 I don’t need be coaxed into playing a certain way to gain benefits in its sequel.

    If you want to give pre-order swag, just put it in the pre-order box. Not everyone looks forwards to doing an achievement grind in another game to prep for a future one.

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