Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Guild Wars: The Challenges that Remain

There is no doubt about it; with the release of the hero cap and the introduction of mercenary heroes the monsters of Tyria are really taking a beating. There isn't a zone which isn't currently taking a thorough thrashing by teams of Ritualists and Mesmers c-spacing their way to victory amid a cloud of dust, blood and experience points.
So proud when I got this!
Ah - those heady days of Yore

Similarly, with the changes to the "Survivor", "Legendary Defender of Ascalon" and "Drunkard" titles, a lot of players who might not have thought it possible are now considering a run on the "God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals" title. GWAMM being one of the highest PvE accomplishments a player can achieve in Guild Wars; it is astounding to stand in Lion's Arch and watch the many many messages of "John Smithington has achieved God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals - the Gods have extended their blessing" - "Smith Johnington has achieved God Walking... blah blah blah" cycle past the chatlog.

So - what remains for the intrepid Guild Wars adventurer? What challenges do we still face? How do we keep the game fresh and interesting when some of the hardest content in the game can be completed by a gnat with severe brain deformities?

The answer is challenges we create for ourselves. Engineering builds and vanquishing areas using only core skills. Finding ways to solo entire explorable zones (Witte Was stylee). Doing elite areas without consumables, PvE skills or advantageous title effects. Etc.

It is up to us as a community to work to keep the game alive, there is only so much we can lump on the developers if we ourselves let our game fall into misuse. All the devs do is give us an environment in which to play. The game only exists as long as there are people to play it, and so the game itself is defined by those players. As long as we are enthusiastic, imaginative, creative, inquisitive and most of all excited about Guild Wars then we can continue to enjoy it to its fullest.


  1. I heartily agree with the sentiment of this post. Gamers are as a whole looking to the developer to provide them with their goals, and then complain when the goals set are too easy or hard to attain.

    Its interesting that The Sims is classed as a toy rather than a game. Consider a ball. You can do many things with it besides playing the game it is specialised for - including making up new games! This is something that's taken for granted in The Sims - its up to the player to choose the goals they want to achieve and work towards that.

    Somehow that sense of creativity and doing stuff "just because" seems to go out of the window when presented with an entire world to play with.

  2. The Sims is an interesting example. I found I got very bored of the third installment quite quickly because I began to get the feeling that I was working for my characters, rather than the other way around. I'm intruiged by Sims: Medieval though!

    GW and other MMOs have much more scope for players to shape the game due to the encouraged social interaction. I think this was the slant ANet where aiming for when they released Embark Beach - the capacity for ambient social interaction and grouping (just sitting around EB waiting for find a random group to join). I don't see that happening too much yet, but thats not to say it won't. Once I've hit survivor I know I'll be wanting to just play around for a while, so I'll probably spend a few evenings just helping people out.

    GW2 is going to have much more scope for these kind of spontaneous interactions, what with the persistent world. See a Mesmer getting beaten on by an Ogre? Step in and help, maybe you two could follow the trail to the Ogre cave and rid the local village of a terror they've been living with the past few months. Etc etc ad infinitum.

    Thats going to be the most exciting element of the game, but I don't think we should wait for Guild Wars 2 to inject a bit of variety into our gaming lives.



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