Guild Wars 2 has been entertaining players in the MMO world for several months now, bringing new ideas to the table. But some of these ideas aren’t as new as you might think. ArenaNet has tried several things in the original Guild Wars, then took some of the ideas that made their first game so great, and expanded on them to make Guild Wars 2 a true MMO. Some of these ideas worked out really well, while others just didn’t turn out as good as the original.
One theme that makes a return from the original Guild Wars is to make player skill come first. There is a ton of different items for players to find and equip. And while it’s always a good idea to have gear that’s an appropriate level to match your characters, it’s never required to have a certain gearscore to do dungeons or events. No one likes to run on gear treadmills, so why force it?
Sure there are legendary weapons, and exotic gear, but it doesn’t take your power levels over 9000. Many of these items are purely cosmetic, only offering a small boost to your stats. Exotic gear is very easy to get for level 80 characters. All you have to do is just craft it, or buy if from the market. Of course if you have about 2400 gold, you could also just buy a legendary weapon. That price isn’t ridiculous or anything.
One of my favorite parts about playing an RPG is the story. The original Guild Wars had a huge focus on story, using cinematic videos to tell epic tales. The best part is they included your character into the videos. If you had other players in your party, they would also be included in the cinematic. It really pulled you into the story, and made our character feel like it had an important place in the game world. Your character mattered.
Story continues to play a huge part in Guild Wars 2. Players even have a separate story that revolves around their character. To help pull players into these stories, the cinematic videos make a return. They feature the player’s character, but now only show two characters at once. They also just stand there in front of a static background. I guess it beats reading text, but is it better than the original? I guess that comes down to your personal preference.
PvP was huge in Guild Wars. I dabbled in it myself, but sadly I lost nearly every match. The competition was fierce! ArenaNet continues to offer a great PvP experience, supplying players with visually striking unique maps, and bringing in WvW into the mix. For more intense players, tournaments make a return, giving guilds and friends a chance to prove they are the best of the best! While PvE is still the core for many MMO players, having a good place for players to beat the crap out of each other is always a nice touch.
The original Guild Wars gave players the ability to use skills from two different professions at once. This allowed players to really strategize and try different things. ArenaNet brought this back, but instead of players using skills from two professions, they can equip two different weapon sets, switching between them in the middle of combat. It really gives players tons of strategy, especially when you factor in the different utility skills. But you don’t have as many different combinations the original had. And without hunting for skills, character progression comes to a halt at max level and gear.
Guild Wars 2 wouldn’t be the same if the original never happened. ArenaNet took several of their ideas, and enhanced them to make the sequel. Many of the changes were great, allowing the world of Tyria to become the home for a true MMO. Other changes aren’t as good as the original. But you can’t win them all. If you are currently playing Guild Wars 2, and you want to see what started it all, you can still give the original a try. By completing certain milestones in Guild Wars, you unlock new weapon skins and mini pets for Guild Wars 2. While it is a cool idea, would you make use of them? I guess that’s a story for another day.
David North / David North is a freelance writer for MMORPG.com. David loves to play and makes games, but now he writes about them! If you want to creep on him and make fun of his ability to draw, follow him over on twitter @David_the_North.
Check out more Guild Wars 2 columns from days gone by: