Promptapalooza No. 16: My earliest memory of Guild Wars

This Promptapalooza prompt was shared by Syp from Bio Break:

“What is your earliest memory related to one of your core fandoms?”

I decided to tell you about Guild Wars, because Guild Wars 2 has been the core of this blog for many years. I still have the email archived: “Join the Guild Wars Factions Preview Event!” – This was in March 2006. A friend from Livejournal had sent me an invitation to the preview event after we had talked about Guild Wars. Unfortunately, I ended up very disappointed with the game. In hindsight, it wasn’t a problem with the game, but with the presentation.

I had never played Guild Wars at that point. The preview event seemed to target experienced Guild Wars players wanting to check out the new expansion, though. When you created your character, you entered the world with a character at max. level. You had skills to choose from, but could only take 8 with you at a time (this is normal for all of Guild Wars). If you never played the game, then this was too much at once: I struggled with the amount of skills and thus, information. Which ones should I bring? How do they even differ? How well do they work together? How does this all even work?

I came from World of Warcraft where you always had all skills available. In classic WoW, a mage is able to cast arcane, fire and frost spells -you can choose to specialize and make some spells more effective, for example, but out in the world, you always had every spell available and didn’t need to adjust anything in advance. So, suddenly being restricted to only eight seemed very limiting. Why make yourself weak like that? And on top of it all, you couldn’t even jump in Guild Wars!

However, the game had a certain… something. What had intrigued me was actually the world itself. The colours, the architecture of the buildings. I quite liked that! I also loved the music in the game.

In December 2006, I asked the same friend about advice again. I don’t remember why I had suddenly decided to give it another go, but there I was. The game is buy to play, so there was no monthly sub attached. As I was still a poor university student at that point, this was a big plus. I was paying for my WoW sub already and wouldn’t have gotten a second sub. My friend told me not to go with Factions for the beginning because it has the most difficult entry level as it brings you to level 20 quite fast while not giving a complete newbie enough time to understand the game.

Some more old emails (comment notifications from my Livejournal entries) tell me that I chose Nightfall not because it sounded the most interesting, but because only one shop still had Guild Wars Prophecies in stock and it had been quite expensive. So Nightfall had been the better option. Back at that time, we mostly went to physical stores to buy physical copies of a game. Does anybody else remember that time? When regular department stores had that section where you could browse and buy CDs, DVDs (hey, at least not video cassettes anymore!) and PC games? But I digress. I also wrote that I chose to play with a dervish because of the scythe. My main in WoW, my undead warlock, had a scythe as well as her weapon. It just made sense to play a class with a scythe. I later switched to necromancer and then settled with my warrior in Guild Wars.

But that’s the earliest memory – the not liking Guild Wars at all at first, because I had no idea how to choose only 8 skills and what to do in the game, where to go etc. But loving the world and the soundtrack so much that it still left a positive impression on me.