This is part of the Blaugust series!
I don’t need to write a huge history here about my time playing the original Guild Wars since I’ve done a long recap. I keep the summary short: I played GW in a few of the open betas, then picked up the game shortly after launch in 2005. It was one of the first MMOs I was able to nudge Syn into playing, which marked an end to my total soloing in games (though I still tend to keep a few solo alts hanging around).
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Guild Wars was an amazing game in that it really worked to make everything more accessible and pull in folks who may never have tried an MMO due to all the annoyances that come with MMOs. You grouped up in the cities and got your own instance of maps or dungeons, which prevented trolling and griefers. You could hire henchmen (and later heroes) to fill out your group so you never had to spend forever looking for healers.
Add to that that it was the first B2P game we saw with no monthly fee, and in the beginning, no cash shop either!
We were able to duo the entire game with henchmen alone back in those days. It was very challenging, and we died plenty of times, but we did it.
Just about everything you did was based around story or lore. Either you had quests that sent you out into the land, or you followed the main storyline from mission point to mission point. This was an appealing change, especially for story-based gamers like us.
In fact, story and lore was so integral, the game box came with a very large, full-color manual that detailed more about the GW world and lore than it did about how to play the game. We even had stories about our henchmen and Prince Rurik!
The box had one snazzy fold out.
It came with an info pull out on keyboard shortcuts and other stuff to help learn to play the game.
The game had two discs and the afore mentioned full color manual.
And I thought that the picture on the inside of the jewel case – a warrior fighting a bone dragon – was pretty neat to mention, too.
For a brand new IP, I think GW did a great job in helping players step into the world of Tyria. We had many, many great hours playing this game consider it was the first B2P MMO we encountered at that time.