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Remembering Guild Wars – Happy 10 Year Anniversary

The original Guild Wars was and probably forever will be my favorite game ever. As much as I enjoy Guild Wars 2 these days, it still doesn’t hold a candle to what GW1 meant to me.

I was a high school senior when Guild Wars was announced – myself and a handful of friends played in the first open beta weekend event, exploding Gwens and all. It was the first game I ever reviewed (for my school newspaper) and the first online game I discovered on my own. I’ve made lasting friendships from my time there – it inspired me to start blogging (back then on some horrid platform like greatest journal? Dark times), and kicked off my decade+ love affair with MMORPG’s.

I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and list out my top five moments from Guild Wars.

1) Pink Day in LA 2010

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I’d say that 2010 was the peak of my involvement with the Guild Wars community. The hype-train for GW2 was at maximum. Guild Wars had a surge in activity as players returned to fill their halls. I had launched Talk Tyria and it was doing pretty great.

That year I met a lot of other community project people, including GW-EN (AKA Gamers Giving Back) who invited me to help with their Pink Day in LA charity event – a multi-game virtual fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. It was the first time I had done anything like it – months of planning and unprecedented involvement from ArenaNet (Pink dye!) and players alike made it an amazingly successful event.

The original goal was $1337 dollars but the final tally hit $11,000. It was one of my proudest moments as a member of the Guild Wars community and would not have been possible without the outpouring of support from players and developers alike. We were all pleasantly shocked at the turn-out – and the Canadian Cancer Society was grateful for our efforts. I will never forget that weekend.

2) Zaishen Elite Marathon

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I was one of those people who loved to have a lot of in-game money stored up for no reason. My main source of income was farming Z-Keys in Zaishen elite – at their peak the keys would sell for about 5 platinum each and a full successful run of ZE would net me 1-2 keys. And with access to 4 accounts and a lot of time on my hands, this usually meant a lot of cash money flow.

My best in-game friend was a kid named Jon and we had pretty much mastered the Spirit Spammer / Finisher Ele / 2 Trap farm team. It was kind of a crazy daily ritual for us for a span of time I don’t care to recall, but it definitely resulted in baller status.

One night we decided to challenge ourselves to marathon the mission – essentially keep going until we were defeated instead of maxed out on faction. We soon realized that ZE did have a difficulty cap – and once we hit that cap and knew we wouldn’t die, we kept going. And going. And eventually we hit the 95 consecutive wins mark.

I can’t remember how long it took us to get this far – but it was long. We decided to call it quits and I regret not at least trying to go for 100 but it’s still probably one of the best memories I have of Guild Wars.

3) Dont RoJ Me Bro

fabulous2After beating all campaigns and farming all the elite armor I could possibly want, the waiting game for GW2 was filled mostly by the Co-Op missions Fort Aspenwood and Jade Quarry, specifically the later. For those unfamiliar, JQ was a PvPvE resource-gathering mission where two teams would fight to control points that were defended by elite NPC’s while escorting giant turtles to collect jade. Because of the NPC’s being clustered in small groups, high-powered AoE builds were pretty king.

Enter the dreaded Ray of Judgement monk – the bane to all who existed. RoJ was a monk elite that did massive AoE damage while also setting enemies on fire – using an echo skill, monks could double RoJ a group and wipe out the point in seconds. Suicide bomber necros and searing flame elementalists were also popular.

In retaliation I created a PvP mesmer, aptly named Dont Roj Me Bro because I’m hilarious. I can’t remember the exact skills but the gist was 3-4 interrupts and Frustration, an Illusion skill that slowed enemy casting time to already slow-casting skills. Since people love fad  builds, I was almost guaranteed to have at least one victim to torment for the entire game.

I pissed a lot of people off which, in Pvp, means you’re doing it right.

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4) Elite Vabbi Armor

izzievabbi02I’m shamelessly vain, and part of what I loved about GW1 was the plethora of beautiful armor available to mix, match, and craft. Since GW1 allowed everybody to get cheap max-stat armor at 20, elite armor was totally optional making it a fun challenge rather than a grind.

One of my favorite armor sets was the Elite Vabbi for female warriors. And the thing was I created a warrior JUST to get this set. I wasn’t a fan of the profession and it took me forever because I didn’t quite like having to advance her through Nightfall to get her to Vabbi. Furthermore, after the Hall of Monuments was announced prior to GW2’s release, prices for materials for elite armors skyrocketed. Especially the rubies needed to craft Vabbi, since there was no straightforward way to farm them.

After (literally) months, I finally got it and she looked great. Sure, I never played her again, but it was probably the toughest and most satisfying last set of armor I ever fought to get in GW1.

5) Rainbow Phoenix

My ranger is one of the oldest characters I ever made – second, actually, only to a mesmer from a different account that I abandoned due to, uh… stalker problems. Over time I had ended up with tons of other, more effective characters – monks who were in high-demand for harder missions, eles for their effective damage, my necro who was invincible as a minion master. But it felt fitting that my final achievement in Guild Wars would be getting the Rainbow Phoenix for the oldest character on my now main account.

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For a time it was the rarest and hardest pet to get – I even wrote a really bad “guide” on how to aquire it. For me it took months of doing bounties as often as I could to farm the zaishen coins to buy it. Getting her (named Starbuck after my favorite BSG character) was one of the most satisfying moments in my Tyrian adventures. It certainly might not be the most prestigious award available but for me, it felt like the perfect end to a great era of gaming.

 

To be sure, Guild Wars was, for me, chuck-full of great moments, events, and yes, even some trolling. It’s hard to quantify what the game means to me, but at the end of the day, I’m really greatful to have been, and still be, a part of this great community.

We’ll conclude with some more great moments from Guild Wars 1. Happy 10 years, everyone! <3