Guild Wars, On Death

I see comments here and on the general Guild Wars forums about the MMO being “dead.”  The game will, as far as we know, have no further commercial updates, such as their three campaigns and one expansion.  However, with ArenaNet still selling units (over 200,00 between 9/08 and 12/08), heading towards a whopping 6,000,000 units sold likely sometime this year, and the Guild Wars Live Team feverishly adding updates and content to the game.  It is far from being proclaimed “dead.”

Linsey Murdock, Live Team game designer, posted on the Guild Wars Wiki about the amount of ArenaNet employees that have been giving their free (read: non-job) time to help with the coming April update.  So far she has named 30+ employees that are working on Guild Wars 2 that have graciously helped out with the next update for the original Guild Wars.  They have not released much more information on the actual content in the monster update, but Linsey and Co. are working so feverishly that she nearly forgot her job anniversary (scroll down to 3/27/09 entry).

I decided to fire up the old bat this past weekend for the Competitive Mission Weekend (double faction).  I was playing Fort Aspenwood non-stop, and I heard that the rarely played Jade Quarry even got some attention.  At least for weekend events, the game felt really alive.  I also see plenty of competition going on with the Guild vs. Guild tournaments.  The game has pockets of very strong activity.

To be fair there are also plenty of “dead” zones in the game, but they are present in many, many “living” MMOs.  Guild Wars, at least, gives lonely players henchmen and heroes to power them through some of the older content.  The monster update is also in addition to all the skill balances and bug fixes that happen from monthly update to update.  All this, of course, with no subscription fee.

it’s a chopper, baby

9 thoughts on “Guild Wars, On Death”

  1. Still the better of so called “MMO’s”, as it just seems more fun, alive, ready to play, bug free, stable…and did I mention FREE?

    The game still looks good, plays fast and furious…And in case I forgot…it is FREE.


  2. I have been playing Guild Wars for the last 2 weeks and I am happy to confirm that there is plenty of life in the game yet at least on the pve side. The thing is Guild Wars is actually a pretty good single player game you don’t really need a big community to enjoy the game.

  3. Guild Wars is a very good game and much alive. I started playing about 3 months ago and am quite pleased with the all round quality.

  4. As one of those who mentioned the word “dead” on these very pages, I’ll chip in with my take.

    I don’t log in very often (once? twice a week?) and what I hear from my formerly large guild in a formerly large alliance is how few people are logging in, rosters steadily reducing for months both in guild and alliance, little activity all around and very little achievement spam from the world with the addition of most remaining loyalist having already done all that could reasonably be done by humans in the game without going full hardcore.

    And the word “dead” was mentioned several times.

    Yes, there are updates coming but I look at the updates and it’s all been skill rebalancing. While I agree skills are an integral part of the game, I hesitate to call these “content updates” (not this dicussion again).

    Unless they come up with a huge ace up their sleeve (and with GW2 in the pipes they have zero reason to have such ace) nobody is foreseeing any meaningful new content additions in terms of… well, anything other than seasonal events, really.

    Yes there are pockets of hardcore activity, but there will always be pockets of hardcore activity in every game to the last minute until they switch it off.

    I’m sorry to be negative, but I can only speak of what I see. I’m not saying it’s a bad game, I played all the expansions and had fun with it, but no meaningful new content + declining playerbase + people already looking to GW2 = if it’s not dead it’s in the I.C.U. with a reserved prognosis.

  5. It isn’t dead… I’m slowly working my way up to the level cap and every time I log in in my lowbie area I see tons of people. Hooray for that thing they do where they only have the minimum number of instances of towns for the number of players logged in at the time! I’m hoping to get my partner into it with me, just have to make sure he will enjoy himself before shelling out.

  6. Certainly not as active as it used to be, but not dead. Not nearly dead.

  7. Ok…I see this from Julians point of view, and I tend to agree.

    Yes, people log in, and I can log in, and never pay anything, but as the game itself goes…there is no life..

    No new content, no major upgrades…it really is just that…a single player game, you can play online with some friends.

    Every time I log in, I just look around and head out…I do not feel the need to play as I have already done all the content.

    So, in all respects…the game itself is dead Jim..!

  8. I can’t argue against the use of “dead” as a subjective relative term based on personal enjoyment/will to play.

  9. And I’ll be the first to agree that “dead” is not the right word to use (mea culpa).

    The game is not “dead” as in flatlined, tie a tag around its toe and cover it up with a tarp. The world is up, the service is running, every part of it is available, it is still sold (and for a game that old the sales numbers are borderline miraculous) and there are still (x) amount of players in it, some more active than others.

    So it’s not “dead”. Hell, I bet if I had nothing better to do (I’m not being disparaging here) I could log in, roll a new character and level it up to kill time and still have some fun. So it ain’t quite dead, Jim.

    All that said, and hand on my heart here, it’s way past its prime. Due to the reasons I mentioned above, it’s not exactly alive and kicking. You know I’ve become quite the lone wolf, so it’s almost irrelevant to me to have 1,000 or 10 people next to me in Kamadan when I log in. Particularly with GW when I can just pop in a squad of henchies and off I go. But no new meaningful content is a killer for me and others like me, who really don’t give much of a damn about seasonal events or burning 72 hours of my life at the sacrificial altar to the god Grynd just to get a silly little cosmetic title.

    They moved the cheese way too early to GW2, and since players are like rats, they already smelled the cheese over there. Going by overall sales numbers, historically, I’m sure there are a few million faithful hardcore of the series… they just can’t be found in game. Must be biding their time until GW2 comes out, playing something else, who knows. They’ll be there to crash the servers when GW2 comes out.

    So no, it’s not dead yet. But it’s watching Jeopardy at the retirement home. Like the Bard said, “happy in that he’s not overly happy”.

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