It amazingly still has a small, active population. I’ve heard that because of the server architecture the cost to maintain Guild Wars is minimal, and the population that has made their home in the game should have no fear of foreseeable shutdown. Guild Wars 1 is going to be around for a while, especially since I still see people going back and buying the game for a mostly single-player experience.
I know I played in early beta events, but my first strong memory was the Collector’s Edition snafu. It appeared that there were manufacturing or shipping problems with the Collector’s Editions, and while I had the headstart period, if I recall correctly, my account would shut down after that. So I did the logical thing and bought a normal edition, being a poor grad student, and then later bought my Collector’s Edition to layer on top of that. My favorite memory is here, when I wrote about Guild Wars ending development.
I still have that Collector’s Edition, as well as the two other Collector’s Edition for Factions and Nightfall. I still look at them fondly from time to time.
Anyway, there is reason to boot up ye ol’ Guild Wars 1, for posterity if nothing else. The Ranger profession gets a Hound of Balthazar pet. There is a whole new weapon set, again based on Balthazar. New weapon skins, such as a wand with a sword skin. Plus all the festival events and goodies are present.
I always enjoy going back to Guild Wars 1 for brief bits. I am grateful I don’t have to resub to do so because it’s usually a drive-by level of fun. It’s a bit like driving by an old home one used to own.
Now, will ArenaNet use this momentous anniversary for Guild Wars 2 somehow, or will they respectfully keep things separate? I don’t know. Honestly, I’d put it to a coin flip, but we will see.