On New Year’s Day, a few of us from MYST (my guild) went back to Guild Wars 1 for a bit of a wander down memory lane. We elected to do Frostmaw’s Burrows; a 5 level dungeon in the north of the Far Shiverpeaks – accompanied by norn, the human adventurers face giant wurms, crystal hydra, element switching drakes and flying incubus that are determined to knock down their foes at every opportunity.
It turns out the memory of the game was rosier than the experience and it’s amazing how quickly we’ve all adapted to Guild Wars 2. Pressing F to try to interact, 1 to start the auto attack and double tap to dodge; all things we now do automatically in Guild Wars 2 that have no meaning in Guild Wars 1. Things got better when I added F to the list of accepted shortcuts for actions normally reserved for the spacebar, but that only happened after half an hour of swearing. By the end of the dungeon, things had mostly returned to normal, though I wouldn’t have called my playing abilities anywhere near up to par with where they used to be.
It isn’t just the combat either. The dungeon names were little more than a shadow of a memory, and Olafstead and Sifhalla had mentally changed locations when trying to head to the dungeon itself. Even the appropriate action for rare weapons had faded. After receiving a hammer as a drop from a locked Chest I found myself about to salvage it in hope of some ectos, before remembering it was the wrong game. D’oh.
After stepping away from the game for a while and returning, I’ve started seeing Guild Wars in a new light. While there are still lots of features I want to see implemented in Guild Wars 2 (guild halls and the ability to meet up with people on different servers top that list), there’s also a number of improvements that I’m thankful for in the new game. Not being able to dodge was surprisingly frustrating and ground targeted effects seemed an obvious omission. It was odd and illogical to not be able to send crafting materials to the bank instantly and remembering that the only way to sell things to other player was to stand in a town and shout for hours. Guild Wars ruined other MMOs for me, making them seem illogical and frustrating, and Guild Wars 2 has done that again.
One thing that was stunning from our evening in the old Tyria was how quiet it had become. There was only one European English district for the round of Dwayna vs Grenth we dropped in on. And we were incredibly sad to see no one in any of the districts for the Luxon side of Alliance Battles. At all. In any of the districts on any of the servers. Good thing we have WvW.
I can’t help but feel sad at how quickly 7 years of gaming has faded. We’ll almost certainly be back in Guild Wars 1 another time for fun that doesn’t require exactly 5 people, but it doesn’t feel like home anymore. That Tyria is preserved in the droplets of history in Guild Wars 2 now; rose tinted echoes of past struggles and encounters. Perhaps they’re best left that way as we forge new memories.