It’s been five years since ArenaNet announced that Guild Wars 2 was under development. I remember it pretty clearly, and I didn’t like it.
To be honest, at the time I didn’t like that ArenaNet was giving up on Guild Wars to create a sequel. At least that’s how I felt.
It had been only two years since I started playing the original and I had just started to feel comfortable in structured PvP. My guild — my home in Guild Wars — Inyurface Gaming was a constant sight in Heroes’ Accent; challenging and holding The Hall of Heroes. I had turned into a decent Monk for my team, evening helping my guild reach the top 40 on the Guild Ladder.
After playing through the PvE campaign many times and spending a lot of time in Random Arenas (so to completely unlock every skill, rune and weapon mod for my account) I had many skills memorized. It had come to the point where the icon of a skill told me to run or attack an enemy; it allowed to me to focus on positional strategy over reading the skill’s description as the opposition casts it. This allowed me to use Healing Seed (when it was meta for a Monk to have it… yeah a long ass time ago) on a teammate and stand beside them as an enemy Necromancer is casting Spiteful Spirit, for example.
With the news of Guild Wars 2 broke, I will admit I was bummed out, let-down and, sadly, depressed. It meant I had to learn whole new game mechanics, skills and strategies. All the time and effort spent in Guild Wars was thrown out the window along with all my accomplishments; my tiger emote, all the cool weapons and armor I had purchased, gone. Just like that.
Okay, it wasn’t really gone, but it felt like everything I worked for was obsolete.
Luckily, ArenaNet introduced the Hall of Monuments in the same breath as Guild Wars 2. The HoM allows players to turn their achievements in the original game into rewards for the sequel. Although I can’t directly bring my tiger emote into Guild Wars 2 — the one title I worked the hardest on; some people may shake their head at that notion, but “rank” is the reward for success in one aspect of PvP in Guild Wars — but at least I am rewarded for the title and the cool armor and weapons I have collected over my time in Guild Wars.
Although the press release suggests Guild Wars 2 will go into Beta in the second half of 2008, it wasn’t until April 2012 that the public got their first Beta event. In that time (it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time, but we’re talking at least three years ago), my guild slowly started to move over to League of Legends; a game I’m not to fond of. I eventually traded my keyboard and mouse for an Xbox 360 controller; Call of Duty: Black Ops became my game of choice, along with a few other friends.
Today, I’m more than excited for the release of Guild Wars 2. I’ve swapped back to my trusty keyboard and mouse for the last public Beta event and stress test — on that note, I’d like to publicly thank the PR rep for ArenaNet for hooking me up with a Beta code — and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the game.
Being able to jump in Guild Wars 2 makes the game seem more free, and the same goes for being able to move while casting skills. Not to mention we finally have something similar to an Auction House (boy, was it annoying to sell or buy something through spamming a “WTS” or “WTB” message respectively). The new game play and the small part of my personal story that I got to play was so exciting that I didn’t want to stop playing — although I forced myself to; it’s unhealthy not to take a break.
In my opinion the announcement of Guild Wars 2 was premature, but I’m glad it took ArenaNet another five years to build a public Beta and another few months release the game (it officially launches this year on August 28). It allowed me some time to work on what I wanted to accomplish in Guild Wars; to compete in the highly competitive Guild versus Guild, to get the best looking armor for my toons and to become part of a tightly knit group of players.
Now it’s time to do it all over again and I’m excited to start!
What was your first thought on Guild Wars 2?