I played a bunch of Guild Wars this weekend as I am slowly working on my titles. 17 more Nightfall explorable areas to completely vanquish of mobs, and I will hit “I’m Very Important” from the maxed titles achievement track. This might come as a surprise to many of you who might think that I should be a “God Walking Amongst Mere Mortals” considering how big a fan of Guild Wars I am. But, I play Guild Wars for fun, and it is fun. When it’s not fun (and vanquishing is coming close to not), I stop playing the game or gameplay type within the game.
Although, like many of the casual hardcore club, I have kept my eyes on the prize of having a super-Saiyan Hall of Monuments simply because of the link between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. This goal has conflicted with more fun Guild Wars gameplay like the recent War in Kryta mini-campaign or the inefficient Fort Aspenwood PvP map. Other things like Eye of the North reputations have slowly been built up, my Sweet Tooth and Party Animal titles are about to break 2,000, and I’ve been hoarding diamonds for the hopeful market jump. With upcoming Hall of Monuments news, this might all change.
The biggest “sleeper” hit for Guild Wars 1/2 coming out of gamescom was, in my opinion, about the Hall of Monuments. This reward system would comprise a point-system to unlock the goody bags in Guild Wars 2, and the Hall of Monuments guide was coming to ArenaNet’s website(s) “very soon.”
Until this news hit, I was pushing for some openness, but now that the golden carrot is peeking over the horizon, I have to wonder. I am reminded about the now-cancelled ABC series Flash Forward, which as bad as it was in parts (like the main characters and their actors), it was a decent mystery placebo for not having LOST. The whole premise of the show is that the entire human population gets a flash forward of themselves in the future. The daughter of the main character says that because of this flash forward there will be “no more good days.”
For better or worse, having the link between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is going to have a big effect on how players will play Guild Wars. It’s going to be a struggle between playing Guild Wars for the shiny Guild Wars 2 future or playing Guild Wars to… uhh, play Guild Wars. This struggle has been present in the meta-conscious since the original Hall of Monuments announcement, but I feel that having an objective reward schedule will solidify the struggle in to a true meme.
Take the Guild Wars Beyond chapter the War in Kryta, for example. There is very little War in Kryta content that relates to the Hall of Monuments. The chapter was filled with new daily quests, some new mini-missions, and a nice story to push Kryta’s history towards Guild Wars 2. There were even two new purchasable costumes that players could wear to commemorate this great addition to Guild Wars. Now let’s assume we know all about the Hall of Monuments. Would players be as excited knowing the hours they put in to playing War in Kryta was wasted for Guild Wars 2? Would players be as excited to purchase the 2 costumes for $10 knowing that the $10 would never pay off for Guild Wars 2?
Of course, this is all my Achiever-ego talking. The other three Bartlettes, and likely many intelligent readers, are scoffing at the struggle. It’s a game. Play to have fun. If it is more fun to put in work to prep for Guild Wars 2, then do that. If it is more fun to play through a well-crafted story, or do the dailies, or jump into some casual PvP, then do that.
ArenaNet’s decisions on the reward system will have the biggest effect on this Achiever struggle. I am hoping that the top tier unlocks will be accessible to most dedicated players. That way with a little effort a Guild Wars player can unlock all the Guild Wars 2 goodies, and then get back to just playing Guild Wars. It will be interesting to see how much ArenaNet panders to the “elite.” But, that’s an article to write when the Hall of Monuments article drops. Until then…
echoes in eternity