Guild Wars 1??

Since I’m done with Guild Wars 2 until November 28th (I got bored with dailies), I had a crazy idea a few weeks back to re-download and play Guild Wars 1 to have a look at the story. I’ve always heard it’s good.

I own this game. So why not play it? I’m not entirely sure, but I think I own all of the available GW1 content. I originally bought it somewhere around 2011, and later I think I bought all of the expansions sometime after Guild Wars 2 came out when I saw there were some achievements and titles that you could get from linking your accounts or something.

I never got very far in GW1. My highest-level character is a Necromancer that I got to level 17 in the “Prophecies” campaign. I logged into that character and had absolutely no memory of getting to where he was. He was in a place that I knew nothing about, standing in front of a row of henchmen that I didn’t know what to do with.

“You’re probably wondering why I’ve called you all here. Actually, can you explain it to me?”

So I started a new Ranger.

At first, I didn’t care much for the game. It’s clearly from a bygone era, when men were men and MMORPG players used arrow keys to turn and move. You can use the right mouse button to look around (not the left button) but anytime you walk up or down a plane, the camera shifts by itself to compensate, which is very disorienting. I can’t find any way to disable it.

Combat is very much of the “inactive” style. You stand in place and push your hotbar actions until either you are dead or the other guy is dead. As far as I can tell, you can’t do a single thing while you’re moving.

It’s fairly common to get stuck in the terrain. Don’t walk too close to any “edges” or you’ll find yourself rooted in place, bound by invisible forces. Once I tried to make my way to a river, and couldn’t go any farther, so I tried to turn back only to find that my little follower Gwen had blocked me there. I had to stand there until Gwen finally decided to move and free me. I couldn’t even jump up and down in frustration! I’ve tried to stay on the roads and obvious paths since then.

It’s pretty obvious why they decided to make a Guild Wars 2, from a technical perspective.

So with all those complaints you might think I gave up pretty quickly.

Guild Wars 1 actually doesn’t look terrible, either.

Actually, I kind of love this game. I got used to the quirky limitations after only a couple of play sessions, and after about a week I found myself running to the computer to log in and continue where I left off.

Admittedly it’s probably because a) it’s largely new to me, and b) I’m recording yet another video series and I just love reading RPG quest text in funny voices. Editing these videos is also quite fun.

But beyond that I’m finding myself engrossed in this little world around Ascalon City. It’s very interesting to see how the world changed from Guild Wars 1 into Guild Wars 2.

There is a whole lot of combat to wade through, though. It’s sort of like Heart of Thorns in that regard. But at least it’s tedious and easy, instead of tedious and hard.

2 thoughts on “Guild Wars 1??”

  1. I love Prophecies. Played through it all the way, twice. I liked Eye of the North, too. I think I finished that one – if not I nearly did.

    Nightfall, which I was playing through as a warm up for Path of Fire, I found mostly tedious and labored. The much-vaunted writing was no better than the oft-derided GW2 version and sometimes noticeably worse.

    In general I think the idea that GW1 had good writing is fanciful. Much though I like Prophecies, the writing is pretty shoddy. I think when people praise the writing they are mainly talking about the plotting, which is fairly coherent. The dialog is mostly stilted and unconvincing, often risible. GW2’s may not be The Secret World but at least it mostly sounds like something you could imagine someone saying. GW1 not so much.

    Visually I think the stylized art has held up quite well. Unlike you, though, I don’t find the combat easy and I never did. First time round, back near launch, I found some of Prophecies so hard I almost gave up. I remember one Saturday having to go out for a long walk just to calm down, i was so frustrated. It hasn’t gotten any easier and I haven’t gotten any better. If I play now i mostly just wear things down and finish at -60% after hours of painful attrition. Can’t say it’s much fun. Heart of Thorns is like playing Snap with a three year old by comparison.

    1. Yikes. I’m only at level 8 and I think I’m overleveled for this Old Ascalon area (I did pretty much every quest before the Searing), so I guess the combat will get worse. Currently I’m mostly just auto-attacking and letting my henchmen and pet cat do the work heh.

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