There’s something different about this website. While it is a Guild Wars fansite, it’s not about a community of rabid fanboys. Through the dialogue that occurs here, and behind the scenes, we acknowledge that Guild Wars is a great game… but it can always be better. It’s one of the many reasons why ArenaNet encourages fansites. Through respectful conversation, the game can be improved. That’s why I’ve comprised this list of issues that I see with the game. Historically, ArenaNet has listened to the community and improved their game. With Guild Wars 2 on the way, and years of gameplay still left in the original, discussion like this can forge a better future for the franchise.
No Kicking – I’ve been grouping with NPC’s for too long when I start to feel bad for them. I had one of the Heroes on my team. I don’t remember who… maybe it was Gwen or the Dwarf healer… but I decided that I wanted remove the Hero from the team. When I went to uninvite the Hero from my team, I noticed that the party formation window used the word “Kick”. It’s not “uninvite” or even remove… it actually says kick! That basically translates to, “Sorry, you disgusting noob, I’m going to eliminate you from my party as I would so much common trash.”
You might have heard a player yell, “Why’d you kick me!” I feel bad for these players. Not every team works out. That’s part of the game. Yet, words like “Kick” play on peoples minds and it can be a catalyst for immature behavior. Now you hardcore gamers might think, “Too bad for the noob… he should be kicked!” Not me! Guild Wars can be a hard game to learn and friendly grouping needs to be encouraged. There’s plenty of harsh language in the game. ArenaNet should not be the ones adding to it. I think ArenaNet should review their language and choose more friendly words. They need to encourage a more inviting community, so that more people are motivated to play.
Ability to rename Guilds – Here’s another wording issue. Players can rename themselves, but why can’t Guild Leaders rename their guilds? I’ve seen some pretty stupid Guild names flash across my screen. But at some point they might realize that they don’t want their Guild Hall to be labeled with a silly name.
- My Guild Hall Smells Like [FEET] has won a battle in the Hall of Heroes.
Now I just made up that name, but I wouldn’t be surprised if was an actual guild. The point is, while it’s funny for a while, at some point it becomes like an ugly tattoo. You just want it removed. Yet, with a serious investment in Guild Hall NPCs, restarting the guild is not an easy option. By allowing Guilds to be renamed in the same manor that Players can rename themselves, ArenaNet makes some extra money and Guild Members can save hundreds of thousands of gold in rebuilding costs.
Make the Norn less jumpy – Here’s an example of what an average Guild Wars session sounds like… “punch, punch… ahhh… Why are you here?” That’s me knocking down Dwarves and then selling my loot to the Norn. I don’t understand why they’re so paranoid… “Why are you here… who sent you?!” What’s wrong with these people? Are they running from the law? It doesn’t seem fitting for such a strong race. “Hey, crazy lady… calm down… it’s just me again. I have more junk from slain Dwarves to sell you.”
Now some of the Hardcore players might be thinking, “What’s wrong with this guy?! Why is he making such a big deal out of such small stuff.” It’s because that’s what people notice while I’m playing the game. They don’t see a huge world filled with fantasy and adventure. Instead, they just hear… “Who sent you?” and “Why are you here?” over and over again.
No Idol worship – Now while I find the Norn chatter to be amusing, I’m completely turned off by the Humans. It’s their “gods” thing. With 84% of Americans identified as Christian, ArenaNet risks annoying a large percentage of their customer base. The bible is pretty clear in the Ten Commandments about idol worship, so why does ArenaNet have the player base kneeling to statues? That’s just creepy. OK… it’s only a game… but why not give the option to completely avoid such nonsense? I like Guild Wars because of the great graphics, no monthly fees and a really cool community. Unfortunately, I hate the storyline. When I watched the new Guild Wars 2 video, I cringed. I don’t fight for some queen or some false gods. I’d like to continue to play a Human in the sequel, but their storyline bothers me. I’m pretty fair minded about Politics and Religion. But if this bothers me, it’s likely to turn off a lot of customers. Maybe, in Guild Wars 2, there should be a second starting city for Humans that rebelled against the old Ascalon religion. Give players the option to do their own thing. Don’t force the lore on them if they don’t want it.
Bring back Hero Battles – I’m not really enjoying the Codex Arena. I don’t seem to be alone in that option. But I really enjoyed Hero Battles. I thought it was the best PvP in the game. Guild Wars was originally described as something similiar to Magic: The Gathering. Hero Battles was the only place where I felt that my build really mattered. There was plenty of room for creativity and strategy. It was an easy way to get faction points. But more importantly, I was really good at it.
Friends List – Why doesn’t my friends list tell me where they are? I hate having to figure out which district we’re supposed to meet up in. Is it for stalking reasons? I don’t see why this is a problem. “Oh look… TANK is in International District 1 of Gunnar’s Hold again. He must be punching Dwarves.”
Tell us the rewards are for titles – You know, sometimes I feel like an idiot for title farming. Right now, it serves next to no purpose other than to waste time. It’s a true skinner box – like a mouse pushing a lever for cheese that’s not there. Why do I do it? Why do I collect fireworks, alcohol and sweets? It’s because I’m running on the assumption that titles will have value in Guild Wars 2… but what exactly is that? When you stop to think about it, why should there be a reward for overeatting or binge drinking? Why is this something of merit? What would future generations think? “Here stands a statue of TANK, my great, great, great, great grandfather. This is a tribute to a man who was a fat alcoholic that punched Dwarves and picked the locks of many treasure chests. When the “Kind of A Big Deal” title track is based on lines from a wacky movie, it’s hard to take this kind of stuff seriously.
End Death Leveling – The worst title of all is the Legendary Defender of Ascalon. No offense to the players that have obtained it, but ArenaNet should simply not allow this title to exist. The only way to get this title is through death leveling. ArenaNet is giving a reward to players that kill themselves over… and over… and over… and over again. It could take months to complete the title. MONTHS! Why does ArenaNet encourage players to waste server resources like this? What about the waste of money in monthly electric bills? Why does ArenaNet want hundreds… even thousands of players… wasting electricity and wasting time? Why not add a true adventure for Pre-Searing players? It really is the best place in the game because your level matters and there are reasons for players to group. There’s an excellent community in the pre-searing area, one that I think should not have to endure such a tedious game mechanic. Why not sell a proper expansion pack for Pre-Searing. I think you can add more content without ruining the lore.
Dragons – I’ve been following what Jeff Strain has been doing since he left ArenaNet. In doing so, I was terribly disappointed. On the about page of his new company’s website, it boldly states, “And besides, the world doesn’t need more dragons.” I also read his “Rude Q&A” article. It seemed so arrogant to me… as if he was angry with the fans. I couldn’t believe what happened. What really went on inside of ArenaNet/NCsoft to give Jeff this tone? Is this anti-Guild Wars rhetoric? Is he implying something? Yet, he does have something of a point. Guild Wars 2 is focused around Dragons. Has that been done to death? As mentioned earlier in this article, there’s always room for improvement. I think Dragons are great for PvE. I think that the original Guild Wars series didn’t have enough Dragons. But for Guild Wars 2, it should not be the main focus of the game. It’s Guild Wars… that’s what the game should be about… thousands of players all over the world, making large teams and then fighting to be the best. I think that Dragons are cool in MMORPG, but don’t forget the name on the box.
What’s your story? – ArenaNet asks this question at the end of their new trailer for Guild Wars 2. Yet, am I really going to have the option to tell my story? The original Guild Wars is too linear. Ultimately, you have to do what the game wants you do to. You have to follow Rurik and leave Pre-Searing. So OK, I understand there are core parts to the lore, but the game doesn’t really give you enough freedom… and that’s the true secret to a next generation MMORPG. As I mentioned before, I don’t want anything to do with the false gods or the Charr. I’m not alone with that perspective. Yet, some players might want to do something else entirely. What if they enjoy role-playing as a bad guy? What if they want to role-play as a dark faction of the Charr, ones not content with the Human-Charr alliance? Will the game let them? Can they be a Dwarf without a beard or a Norn without tattoos? Can they be a simple merchant that trades goods with all the peoples of Tyria?
If you look at the Internet, most of the top sites involve more interaction with the community. The original PvE portion of Guild Wars has basically become a single-player game that you play online. With Heroes and Henchmen, interaction with other players has been minimized. I don’t know their story. Why should I? It’s all the same. If ArenaNet gives Guild Wars 2 more of a sandbox feeling, it could be more immersive. A good example is Infamous for the PlayStation 3. The game gives you the option to be a complete jerk. That gives more value to following the righteous path. Here’s another pop-culture example – The Incredibles. the villain’s goal is to make everyone a superhero… so that no one will be super. In Guild Wars 2, if everyone is forced to the same thing… or only five flavors of the same thing… then their stories are not unique and not of real interest.
Conclusion – ArenaNet has made changes to the game based on community feedback. These are my 10 ideas to improve the game. Do you like them or hate them? You can add comments here!