10 Ways To Make Guild Wars Better

essence-bond-thumbnailThere’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.”

Maybe I would be jumpy too, with swords on the table like that.
Maybe I would be jumpy too, with swords on the table like that.

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‚Äôt 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 РArenaNet 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!

8 thoughts on “10 Ways To Make Guild Wars Better”

  1. I agree with you on the ideas and principles of 80% of this article… Pretty much all but the “no kicking” and “bring back hero battles” and bringing back hero battles would be fine as long as they left codex arena in. I played it a couple of times, and if it weren’t for the elitist pvp jerks I would have had a good time. I think kicking a player is harsh, but it reminds us what it really is, you just kicked someone out of your group, there’s no way to soften that blow, and if you did, it would just be bullox. I do agree with the ability to not be an idol worshipping human though. I am a christian, a proud christian, but I also like playing fantasy games. I’ve actually read fantasy books that had “God” and didn’t create some whacky pantheon. Now I know that it’s fantasy and not real life, so it really hasn’t bothered me until recently. But recently I’ve been bothered by the whole “pantheon” thing. They’ve stated that you can choose your background though, in one of the recent interviews. So I’m hopeful that in choosing Ascalonian I won’t have to be a idol worshipper.

  2. I don’t think that the codex arena should be removed. It’s in the game, so I don’t like to see content deleted if it’s not bothering anything.

    As for “no kicking”… it’s about nomenclature. ArenaNet sets the tone for the community. By encouraging players to be civil, the community improves. Lately, when I log into Guild Wars, the people I see chatting are a bit disturbing to me… as if there’s a lot of hate in the world of Tyria.

    If Tyria was a real place, would you want to live there?

    As for the false gods, I don’t remember a video game where you actually knelled to statues for bonuses. I can’t and don’t encourage players to participate in such behavior.

    Which interview states that you can choose your background?

  3. Might & Magic (1986 CRPG) you pay gold to a temple set up to the Ancients in order to get buffed with all the protection spells, true you don’t kneel, but still, it is a rather fun game though. (as a side note, the game also would let you set your alignment to “evil”)

  4. Addition: in that game said Ancients were the creators of the several worlds you visit, same as the 6 gods are the creators of Tyria as far as that goes.

  5. In 1986, I was playing games like Super Mario Bros. Heh… much like in 2010. I logged into Guild Wars tonight. It felt a little creepy.

    1) There’s not much to do except the virtual skinner box. You press the lever to get titles. What are the rewards for these titles? Right now, not much! ArenaNet has painted themselves into a corner with this one. If title farming leads to huge rewards in the sequel, longtime fans could say that ArenaNet abandoned their philosophy against grinding. (The core selling point of the original game is that tedious game play would be eliminated.) If title farming doesn’t lead to significant rewards in the sequel, the hardcore players that maxed out their titles might feel ripped off. Are titles for showing off?

    2) ArenaNet celebrates religious holidays… Easter, Christmas, Saint Patrick’s Day… and I’ve heard of Christians and Christan Guilds in the game. Yet, I don’t know how someone who follows the Ten Commandments could resolve this. Sure, one could say it’s just a game. Yet, I like my games to be fun. I feel that the lore takes away from the beauty of Guild Wars.

    3) What is ArenaNet’s goal with Guild Wars? Do they want to be a niche market or do they want to open the game up to more players? When I show Guild Wars to people that I know in real life, they’re instantly turned off. The lore is a huge part of that. In the sequel, why should I have to follow a set storyline? Why not let players play the game the way they want to play it. If all I want to do is stay in my Guild, do a little crafting, chat with my Guildmates and fish… so what? Instead, ArenaNet seems to be forcing the story down a certain path… false gods, uneasy alliance with the Charr… why? It doesn’t make sense to me.

    It is a game and it should be fun. That’s why I write this stuff. ArenaNet used to listen to feedback from the community. Will they continue to do so in the future? I’m not the only person who doesn’t like a Human/Charr alliance or the “gods” part of the storyline.

    It should really be simple… you… and your friends… go online… fight some monsters… collect some virtual loot… fight some rival guilds… laugh… play. Guild Wars has gone too dark. It needs to lighten up and add more fun.

  6. It’s funny, the number of Might and Magic Games and spin-offs rival that of the games in the Mario series and it’s spin-offs(with the spin-offs there are 31 games), and up until IX it was insanely successful(the dev team was rushed with IX, leading to an incomplete game shipping and the property got bought by Ubisoft)

    I would hardly call Guild Wars “dark” with ever other quest being a pop culture reference. But I wouldn’t call it light either, and in my opinion that is a good thing. Games with a light-hearted story like Mario are good for a quick diversion, but people don’t spend years playing them.

    Now people complain about “Grind of the North” but it only takes 4 books to fill up all 4 titles to the point that is required to get everything (rank 5), that’s one completion in NM, and one in HM of the dungeons and primary quests, in other words, the protector/guardian titles. After that they don’t increase skill effectiveness by much, and they are only required if you want some sort of cosmetic bonus in GW2 or if you want GWAMM, and what seems more likely is that a “full” hall should give everything e.g. all the monuments full and “My Guild Hall Smells Like Rich Mahogany” (at that point, even if you get more stuff you can’t actually show a larger number of stuff, and the main statue is all the way out) so I doubt those titles are needed, but it is just speculation. I play through the campaigns, and then I do elite areas/vanquishes/dungeons with my alliance, and I am nowhere near the point of filling my HoM yet, nor maxing those titles, but I have fun, and that’s the important thing. There is 0 requirement to grind whatsoever to have fun, Guild Wars was designed to be played off and on, not for hours every day of your life like other MMO’s.

  7. Heh… Grind of the North, that’s funny. Anyway, I’m not so sure it’s just nothing. Here’s what the official website states…

    Secure Your Legacy

    For you future-thinking players, remember that someday you’ll be able to send the accomplishments you’ve displayed in the Hall of Monuments to Guild Wars 2, which will give your Guild Wars 2 characters exclusive rewards.

    http://www.guildwars.com/gameplay/the_world/areas/hall_of_monuments.php

    What are those exclusive rewards?! What kind of advantage will players get in the sequel? Would the Survivor Title give your offspring a 10% bonus against damage? Would the Drunkard title give your offspring a 5% bonus to the brewing crafting line? I don’t know! However, if ArenaNet informed the community about these things, it might be a rallying point.

    My problem with Hard Mode is that the difficulty involved doesn’t equal the reward. I have to fight very hard. Hours later, I might get a book to learn one skill. I don’t know of a Guild Wars equivalent to an EverQuest epic quest. Those high end items were awesome. It was something that pulled a community together. It made the game more fun.

    While there is lots of levity in the design of Guild Wars, it’s the community that I’m concerned about. As joked about in the fake update notes, the word “Noob” is thrown around a lot. I’ve seen other MMORPG communities. The Guild Wars community just doesn’t seem as friendly. I think that could (and should) change. A lack of content updates, train-track storyline, heroes replacing players, and a lack of epic loot has discouraged the traditionalist MMORPG player from returning.

    The problem is the PvP vs. PvE balance. Originally, they were together. As such, armor and loot was balanced accordingly. The same 15-22 Fiery Dragon sword from almost five years ago would still be good today. Instead of having players drinking their virtual characters into a stupor, or death leveling their way to level 20, the community could benefit from actual adventure.

    I like that Guild Wars is not meant to be played 12-16 hours a day. Yet, there are players that haven’t logged on for years. Are these players coming back for Guild Wars 2? I don’t know. So far, I don’t like what I see from the sequel… and I used to be one of the biggest fans of Guild Wars.

  8. They did already state that the updates wouldn’t give players an advantage, and also that your character would be able to go into the Hall of Monuments and come out “looking badass.” I doubt they would spend the resources to make an individual cosmetic reward for every title, hero, mini and set of armour, so they probably have one thing for completing each monument, and the title monument requires “My Guild Hall Smells Like Rich Mahogany” and the completion of the other monuments to visibly fill.

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