50 MMOs in 50 Days #24: Guild Wars

Last played: 2013
Experience: Very Extensive

The very first time I heard about the concept of MMOs, I thought they sounded great – except for that whole “monthly fee” thing. So I have to pay for the game and then have to pay to keep playing it? WTF?

So I missed most of the first-generation, pre-WoW MMOs, except City of Heroes, which I still got at least partially free. When I heard about Guild Wars not having a sub, I was intrigued. When I landed an interview and demo with the devs for Scrye, I decided it was something I’d have to check out, so I bought it when it came out in April 2005.

Even with my limited MMO experience, I knew the game was a little odd. Instanced questing. NPCs to fight alongside you (henchmen). A hotbar limited to eight slots. Max level 20. Weird death penalty rules. The lure of not paying a sub definitely got me in, but the gameplay… well, it didn’t turn me off, and I liked the emphasis on skill over time played, but I just never quite “got” it. It’s a little like Dungeons & Dragons Online – another game with fully instanced questing – in that it was just different enough to seem fresh, but those differences represented a fairly steep learning curve and probably helped prevent the game from becoming a top-tier hit.

beyotchActually, I’d say that, unlike DDO, which throws a lot at you right away, Guild Wars is fairly easy to pick up but mastering multiple builds to handle top-tier content is a whole ‘nother game that I just never learned how to play. Obviously, some people love that about Guild Wars and lament that its sequel doesn’t provide that.

I joined up with a guild fairly early on but got frustrated and quit when I offered to join a PvP mission and they waited nearly an hour for someone else to arrive. Way to make me feel valuable, guys. After that, I barely played for years, though it was nice to check in every now and then – no sub fee, after all. In 2012, I started playing semi-regularly again, having obtained all the expansions and at least feel like I have a slight clue what I’m doing, but I always feel a little “on the outside” whenever my Guild Wars 2 friends are talking about the original.

There’s still a lot I haven’t done in Guild Wars. In addition to the issues with my guild, my original hiatus was due in part to my failing several times at Thunderhead Keep and my renaissance ended when I couldn’t get past a mission near the end of the Eye of the North campaign. I’d like to play more, and maybe finally finish off a campaign, but I can’t see myself jumping back in without a dedicated friend/group who’d be willing to run me through stuff.

Bet you can’t guess what’s coming tomorrow!

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One Response to 50 MMOs in 50 Days #24: Guild Wars

  1. Pingback: 50 MMOs in 50 Days #38: Requiem | Wintry Mix

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