The lasting power of Guild Wars

I started playing Guild Wars over a year ago, during last summer when I figured I’d need a good game to “get into”. Being a general fan of the RPG genre, but never having got into a MMORPG yet (for fear of wasting too much time, and the monthly costs), I was a bit hesistant to try out one. (Guild Wars actually calls itself a CORPG – Co-operative Online Role Playing Game, but that’s somewhat just semantics.) I was initially worried that the game would eventually become boring, and would suffer from the usual grinding and farming sessions that come with most online RPGs, but thankfully, a year later, the game is still holding appeal for me.

Of course, in that time, they have released the Factions stand-alone expansion, which I had eagerly awaited, but surprisingly, still haven’t invested enough time in to complete – my interest in games in general has fallen off this summer, but I still do like the time I spend playing them.
They’ve also added a bit of new, free content and remain committed to updating the game mechanics and releasing a new expansion every year.

Based on skill, not time spent?

The makers of Guild Wars claim this as one of the main selling points, besides the free monthly play, of course. Having played for over a year, I can say this isn’t really true – while it takes relatively little time to reach the level cap of 20 (which might turn off hardcore RPG players), you still need to invest a significant amount of time unlocking the “elite” skills, and of course, extra time spent playing always equals more skill, so the two aren’t really separate. However, I did find that Guild Wars does require less invested time before you get the full effect of the game. It therefore has a less steep learning curve, and won’t require you to turn into an addict to enjoy the game.

A good experience

The best part of Guild Wars, in my opinion, would be the community. After having jumped around from guilds for a while, I’m now settled in to the GWOnline community guild, which fits my needs perfectly: I’m not a hardcore player, and I don’t play every day, but any time I do log on there’s plenty of mates available to do cooperative missions with, which makes it all the more fun. There’s also a nice GW Wiki out there, which pretty much beats anything a strategy guide could offer, so there’s never a time I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s in the game.

I also like how Guild Wars rewards the amount of time you play in the game. When I first started playing last year, I’ll admit I had nothing to do, and as a result, for the last three months of summer I was averaging between 2-3 hours per day. I didn’t really play much during the school year, and this summer, my play time is down to less than 30 mins a day on average. (Most of the play time is on the weekend.) However, I don’t feel that I’m missing out or not getting the full effect by not playing >10 hours a week. I still enjoy it.

New unique, content

Part of this is due to the “special occassion” events that Guild Wars has. For example, last week, they had a summer celebration called the “Dragon Festival” that featured new in-game items and also some unique modes of play, such as a dodgeball-style game in the arena, pitting two teams against one another using only certain skills. (A style of game popularized by some online guilds as just for fun)

Competitive PVP

The PVP system is very organized, with each guild being ranked and having a rating. Ranked competition will boost your rating, and they even hold global tournaments for PVP. Guilds compete in 8 vs. 8 teams, and the competition is very stiff, requiring not only good team work but also good strategy and preparation before hand. I don’t PVP much, but when I do, it’s always an intense and rewarding experience. PVP is really where all the hardcore players are – as far as PVE is concerned, if you’re a hardcore player, it won’t last long.

So, hopefully Guild Wars will be able to hold my interest for another year or so. I don’t mind spending $60 once a year for a new expansion; it sure as heck beats spending $15/month on a game, which would then make me feel as if I had to play it.


  1. well i tried guild wars beta the first weekend they had it, at the time they were doing it you could pre order for 5 bucks and play 3 weekends of the i thought alright 5 bucks and i get to try this new mmo that’s free per month. i remember playing the weekend with park and we were bored the first weekend. the second weekend came along and i started to understand mixing the classes and started trying out more things and got a little interested. third weekend came and i started the first day then i heard that the WoW beta had started and i could download and play for free…and hour later it was guildwhat?
    so pete are you never comming to north bay again? i’ve been up every weekend since ‘summer’ and it’s just not the same…

  2. Yeah GW is just not for some people, and WoW is their game.

    It’s hard to say if I’ll be in North Bay at all this summer. My Mom’s moving this week to Edmonton, so I won’t have a place to stay at, but we’ll see.

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