Guild Wars Outage Is Near

It’s the end of the world of Tyria, for about a day. An unprecedented outage is planned for Guild Wars. Starting in the wee hours of August 10, 2010, the game could be down for almost 24 hours. In the 5+ years that the game has been running, I’ve never seen an outage this long. It certainly does make me wonder. How long will Guild Wars keep going? Although, with a quick look at my guild’s roster, some players have been inactive for weeks and months. There are probably plenty of players that haven’t played for years. If Guild Wars was shut down forever, would you miss it?

Here’s the official message…

Planned Outage – August 10, 2010

On Tuesday, August 10th, we will be moving the Guild Wars live database to a new data center. This will require a temporary interruption in service beginning at 12:01 AM Pacific time on that date. Service may be suspended for up to 24 hours, although we will do everything we can to expedite the process. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this rare interruption!

Unlike other MMORPGs, Guild Wars doesn’t have routine outages. The community could be quite different if it did. With Guild Wars, there’s no reason to go offline. There’s little reason to visit fansites. You can go to the Wiki, get your strategy information and get back into the game. For PvE, you don’t even need friends. It’s you, your heroes and your henchmen against the world. And actually, with your robot army, that’s plenty of firepower.

This seems to be just a normal server move. Yet, I started to wonder if the game has gone on too long. What else is there to do besides run and kill? Without a significant upgrade in about three years, what is there to get excited about?

Then I wondered, what would make Guild Wars exciting? Not the sequel, what would make the original franchise more exciting? One, there should be some more social and fun things to do in the original game. It’s just so dark. Two, I think it should go mobile. The game can basically be played with just the mouse. With touch gestures, I think it could be an exciting game for the iPad.

The outage suggests that ArenaNet might be making major moves. This might be related to the sequel. Perhaps ArenaNet is preparing their servers for a massive surge of new players. Gamestop still has an 11/2/2010 release date for the sequel. Is the long wait for the sequel about to end?

Meanwhile, I’m still grumpy towards Guild Wars. I’m not looking forward to the sequel. I keep a close watch on the ArenaNet Blog, but I still find the lore unappealing. When I first started playing Guild Wars, there were no Charr and no false gods. It was just a technological masterpiece. The alpha was amazing. But now that I know what Guild Wars is about, I don’t feel like the story is for me. As ArenaNet gets closer to launching the sequel, I’m doubtful that I will enjoy the game.

With the outage, I can more clearly imagine a world without Guild Wars. It’s a strange feeling, a mix of sadness yet relief. How do you win a game that does not end or improve a world that does not change?