1. #1

    Question What was Guild Wars 1 like when it was first released?

    After playing GW2 and had some chat with the original GW fan base, I learned quite a bit about GW1, and I must say, I am quite interested.

    I heard GW1 had many features that is currently absent in GW2, mainly the horizontal progression.

    These are the info I gathered about GW1, but I could be wrong:
    1) It has a low level cap (20), suitable for leveling different toons and try out different builds (imo important for a horizontal progression game because trying out different builds is a big chunk of fun)
    2) The statistical best gear is easy to obtain, but it requires some work/grind to get better looks (compared to GW2, where exotic gear is a PITA grind to get and statistically better than rare gear), unknown if you can/need to grind for stat trade offs.
    3) There is still room for non-aesthetic horizontal progression after max level, mainly through unlocking more abilities (which I fear will not be in GW2's future content)
    4) GW1 also features a lot more PvP modes, while right now the only two PvP modes in GW2 are conquest and zerg. They can be fun by themselves but I really want other modes of PvP too.

    In fact GW2 has a high level cap (80), and currently it is very grindy to get the stat maxed out exotic gear, so trying out different toons and builds in PvE and WvW will be a pain, the progression becomes almost vertical (which I dislike) in some sense. On the other hand, what I heard about GW1 sounds like an ideal MMO for one like me, who is tired of the gear treadmill in WoW.

    However I also got mixed report about how GW1 was just as grindy as current GW2's level 80 dungeons, when GW1 first came out, while some other GW1 players say there's a fundamental difference between GW1's grind when it first came out and current GW2's grind and say current GW2's grind is much worse.

    So I need ... someone to explain what GW1 was like when it first launched?

    I also wonder if GW2 will develop in the same way as GW1, become less and less grindy as content is released, and people can begin trying out different toons and builds, and introduce more horizontal progression options such as new ability kits (hard to do imo), which is currently lacking. Will it be worth the wait? Though even if it would, I still don't understand why they chose to go with this backward design.

    Edit:
    I also heard that because of the high base stats, the difference between an exotic geared toon and a rare geared toon is only 5%. Ah, that is more like it. I still don't know why Anet would make it look like there's a big difference in gear that requires massive grind, though.
    Last edited by Gothic90; 2012-09-25 at 08:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Herald of the Titans Jigain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic90 View Post
    1) It has a low level cap (20), suitable for leveling different toons and try out different builds (imo important for a horizontal progression game because trying out different builds is a big chunk of fun)
    Actually, it's not really suitable for that. If you're aiming for PvP, you can create a GW1 PvP character straight out of the box with the best gear, all skills unlocked, and at max level - just like sPvP works in GW2, only you're still able to progress with that character outside of sPvP, which is a clear improvement. For PvE, in GW1 you quickly hit the level cap by just doing one of the campaigns, meaning you'll be vastly overpowered for much of the others (save EotN) until you reach the end of them. One-shotting enemies doesn't make for enjoyable experiences. And as for the builds, you're perfectly able to try out different builds if you go to the Heart of the Mists in GW2, where you have free respecs, training dummies, and all trait points a level 80 would have, as well as every skill unlocked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic90 View Post
    2) The statistical best gear is easy to obtain, but it requires some work/grind to get better looks (compared to GW2, where exotic gear is a PITA grind to get and statistically better than rare gear), unknown if you can/need to grind for stat trade offs.
    The "statistical best gear" is based on runes, unless I'm much mistaken, at which point you're subject to the whims of the market. A single rune could cost tons, if it's even available when you're looking for it in the first place. So GW2 gear is still easier to obtain. In both games, however, gear stats is not a deciding factor in how well you do at the game. While +20 Vitality is "statistically better", it's not going to make the difference between life and death as stat differences do in, for example, WoW between tier n and tier n+1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic90 View Post
    3) There is still room for non-aesthetic horizontal progression after max level, mainly through unlocking more abilities (which I fear will not be in GW2's future content)
    In GW1, there are set skills you'll want for each build - in fact you build your build (no pun intended) around the skills you select. And with the restriction of only having one elite skill on your bar, there's not a whole lot you can do with it once you've picked your setup. Most progression at max level for GW1 is, in fact, aesthetic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic90 View Post
    4) GW1 also features a lot more PvP modes, while right now the only two PvP modes in GW2 are conquest and zerg. They can be fun by themselves but I really want other modes of PvP too.
    I think you have the terms mixed up there. "Zerg" is what you choose to do. If you don't choose to zerg, you're not zerging. If you choose to zerg, you're zerging. WvWvW is a large-scale conquest mode. sPvP is a small-scale conquest mode. We can compare it to the modes in GW1, which are... large-scale team deathmatch (GvG) and small-scale team deathmatch (Tournament and Arena). So at its core, GW2 has no less "modes" than GW1 has.

    Summary: through rose-tinted glasses, sure GW1 was better, but when you get down to the details it's really not.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic90 View Post
    I also heard that because of the high base stats, the difference between an exotic geared toon and a rare geared toon is only 5%. Ah, that is more like it. I still don't know why Anet would make it look like there's a big difference in gear that requires massive grind, though.
    Please. Why people keep telling that getting exotic gear is a massive grind? For the love of God, it is not. I dont know what you did with your money while leveling. I leveled to 80, gathered mats and sold junk to vendor in the process. Also sold few yellows on the TM. Nothing else. No jackpots or gem trading. The moment I dinged 80 I had enough money to buy full set of exotic lv80 gear. I crafted myself an exotic weapon. The "massive grind" you may be refering to is the 42k per piece set from Orr or dungeon sets. None of them are needed for stats. You can get profession crafted gear with same stats on TM or craft them yourself if you have the correct profession. In other words, you can have BiS gear within a day or two from dinging max level. Show me in how many MMO reaching stat ceiling is that easy?

  4. #4
    Actually gear was harder in Guild Wars 1. You had to get the runes for your gear and some of them were expensive as hell.
    Also you had to get the right skills for what you were doing in both PvE and PvP.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jigain View Post
    Actually, it's not really suitable for that. If you're aiming for PvP, you can create a GW1 PvP character straight out of the box with the best gear, all skills unlocked, and at max level - just like sPvP works in GW2, only you're still able to progress with that character outside of sPvP, which is a clear improvement. For PvE, in GW1 you quickly hit the level cap by just doing one of the campaigns, meaning you'll be vastly overpowered for much of the others (save EotN) until you reach the end of them. One-shotting enemies doesn't make for enjoyable experiences. And as for the builds, you're perfectly able to try out different builds if you go to the Heart of the Mists in GW2, where you have free respecs, training dummies, and all trait points a level 80 would have, as well as every skill unlocked.
    except you don't get all skills unlocked on a pvp char in gw1 right from the start unless you bought them from the store or unlocked them on another char beforehand.
    same for gear where i believe you'd only have a few weapon upgrades and runes available at first if you didn't have a previous char to unlock them.

    as for pve, you could indeed make your lvl20 char travel in other campaigns, only that you'd usually be limited to 4 man teams at first, which greatly limits the OP-ness even if you undoubtly have a huge advantage over new chars of said campaigns, that advantage became even greater once you could use hero mercs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jigain View Post
    In both games, however, gear stats is not a deciding factor in how well you do at the game. While +20 Vitality is "statistically better", it's not going to make the difference between life and death as stat differences do in, for example, WoW between tier n and tier n+1.
    not entirely true imo as in gw1 gear runes and weapon upgrade could have very noticeable effects (20% longer enchants upgrade, some insignas could make or break builds. not to mention arpen upgrades which was highly desireable as well).
    in gw2, gear stats may have a less noticeable effect in pve but pvp-wise, good gear choices definitely make the difference even if no gear will make you invincible.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jigain View Post
    In GW1, there are set skills you'll want for each build - in fact you build your build (no pun intended) around the skills you select. And with the restriction of only having one elite skill on your bar, there's not a whole lot you can do with it once you've picked your setup. Most progression at max level for GW1 is, in fact, aesthetic.
    well progression in gw1 could also be about "hunting" those skills in order to try out new builds or improve your current one.
    once we got hero mercs, skill hunting (didn't have to be done with one single char though i agree) also meant you could give them better builds than default mercs.


    as for the grind matter, anet always put some one way or another, and if they didn't put any, they might as well let you chose your armor the moment you ding 80. exotic/legendary gear, no matter which way you want to obtain them are a very easy way to keep people playing the game. some might argue it just takes too much grind to get some of them, which i can agree with, but hey, i'm pretty certain it may take more time to get gw1 obsidian armor... just sayin

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Awe View Post
    Please. Why people keep telling that getting exotic gear is a massive grind? For the love of God, it is not. I dont know what you did with your money while leveling. I leveled to 80, gathered mats and sold junk to vendor in the process. Also sold few yellows on the TM. Nothing else. No jackpots or gem trading. The moment I dinged 80 I had enough money to buy full set of exotic lv80 gear. I crafted myself an exotic weapon. The "massive grind" you may be refering to is the 42k per piece set from Orr or dungeon sets. None of them are needed for stats. You can get profession crafted gear with same stats on TM or craft them yourself if you have the correct profession. In other words, you can have BiS gear within a day or two from dinging max level. Show me in how many MMO reaching stat ceiling is that easy?
    I'm curious, did you salvage at all? I'm level 80 and barely 3g's to my name. I'm a big ol' pvper though

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nighties View Post
    I'm curious, did you salvage at all? I'm level 80 and barely 3g's to my name. I'm a big ol' pvper though
    Salvaging is pointless, a pretty tough mistake I learned of quite late. In any case, I personally had full exotic gear about 2.5 weeks after GW2 release. This game has perfect gear progression, you don't need to do dungeons or raids, you don't need to be super awesome and have super awesome guild and be super lucky with drops, you just need to play. Even alone. It's THAT good. It's awesome. And it's long enough to obtain to not transform into a drag. I don't think I can ever play mmo with any other gear progress system again.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Vice80 View Post
    Salvaging is pointless, a pretty tough mistake I learned of quite late. In any case, I personally had full exotic gear about 2.5 weeks after GW2 release. This game has perfect gear progression, you don't need to do dungeons or raids, you don't need to be super awesome and have super awesome guild and be super lucky with drops, you just need to play. Even alone. It's THAT good. It's awesome. And it's long enough to obtain to not transform into a drag. I don't think I can ever play mmo with any other gear progress system again.
    Surely, if you plan on crafting, salvaging is far from useless? Enlighten me please

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Zalmanusa View Post
    Actually gear was harder in Guild Wars 1. You had to get the runes for your gear and some of them were expensive as hell.
    Also you had to get the right skills for what you were doing in both PvE and PvP.
    Really? I don't recall this at all...

    What I remember :
    - leveling was super easy (couple hours was more than enough to hit lvl 20)
    - spending time/money on fancy gear was basically a waste of time because stats were all the same
    An Apple fanboy called me a retard.
    In the real world that makes me a genius.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Awe View Post
    Please. Why people keep telling that getting exotic gear is a massive grind? For the love of God, it is not. I dont know what you did with your money while leveling. I leveled to 80, gathered mats and sold junk to vendor in the process. Also sold few yellows on the TM. Nothing else. No jackpots or gem trading. The moment I dinged 80 I had enough money to buy full set of exotic lv80 gear. I crafted myself an exotic weapon. The "massive grind" you may be refering to is the 42k per piece set from Orr or dungeon sets. None of them are needed for stats. You can get profession crafted gear with same stats on TM or craft them yourself if you have the correct profession. In other words, you can have BiS gear within a day or two from dinging max level. Show me in how many MMO reaching stat ceiling is that easy?
    I forgot to mention that I rolled a necro, and currently most direct damage builds are not viable, and thus power and crit damage are mostly dump stats for me. As far as I know, all high level crafted gear has power on it, and my best bet for exotics is TA or HotW explore mode, or Khilbron set, which is a 42k per piece karma set.

    Still, I guess it's enough to know that the difference between rare and exotics is not that great, and I can get away with the Order of Whispers set plus some crafted gear.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by dahmer View Post
    Really? I don't recall this at all...

    What I remember :
    - leveling was super easy (couple hours was more than enough to hit lvl 20)
    - spending time/money on fancy gear was basically a waste of time because stats were all the same
    The gear yes. The runes no.
    Never said that getting levels was hard. Just that there were so many skills to get.

  12. #12
    Also, when GW1 first came out there were...I forget the name, I think they were called Refund Points. You got them at certain amounts of xp, and were the only way to change your stat allocation/build. This system was removed after a month or so, since build management and creativity was the heart of the game, and refund points discouraged variety and experimentation (and mistakes).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryngo Blackratchet View Post
    Yeah, Rhandric is right, as usual.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by rhandric View Post
    Also, when GW1 first came out there were...I forget the name, I think they were called Refund Points. You got them at certain amounts of xp, and were the only way to change your stat allocation/build. This system was removed after a month or so, since build management and creativity was the heart of the game, and refund points discouraged variety and experimentation (and mistakes).
    I think they were still around in pre-searing, but I don't remember if they were after.

  14. #14
    The OP is difficult to address. Very scattered. I shall try.

    1. The low level cap in GW1 had a few benefits. Though I am not sure it was very serviceable to trying out "new builds". Players still had to collect everything at least once- materials for gears and skills themselves. Both took a long time in GW1: Prophecies. It was only after months of collective build-up that these were made trivial to obtain.

    Also there was a PVP Only feature that was akin to Heart of the Mists in GW2. A character was created at max level but only usable in PVP.

    The low level cap primary design function was to limit player power relatively early/quick compared to the standards of the day. When "hell levels", - xp & level penalties, FFA and so on were still common place.

    2. Hm. I do not think exotic gear in GW2 is a PITA to obtain. That might be so for those who play MMOs poorly. Different subject though.

    In GW1 max stat gear was easy to obtain. Yet it wasn't really any harder than GW2. Armor/weapon crafters required X amount of materials for sets. So it may actually taken longer to get gear in GW1, truth be told. Admittedly those days are so far behind me I can barely remember. XD

    Loot dropped from missions too in GW1. Which is the only real change to GW2- gear drops in dungeons/missions seem to be very poor. I am not sure it is even possible to get max stat gear in GW2 from a drop. That's a change, yea.

    The aesthetic weapons and armors in GW1 were long grinds though. The catch is over time everyone in GW1 had so much plat & materials it sorta made obsidian or tormented gear trivial to obtain. When easy mode builds popped up it became brainless mission or UW farming.

    There was like nothing to buy in GW1 for a long time. Then they added consumables like late in the game's life cycle. But basically in a few months everyone in GW1 was loaded with riches because you only got the set once. Maybe change your helm around.

    3. This is sorta true. It's kinda the same in GW2 as well, no?

    GW2 just has less skills to unlock as it is simpler game. Though Anet did toss in the long grind for legendary items and forge gambling system. With the same post cap progression of GW1.

    I don't see much different in horizontal progression between the two game series honestly.

    4. You just basically had GvG. I wouldn't say that was a lot more. Don't PVP myself.

    In fact GW2 has a high level cap (80), and currently it is very grindy to get the stat maxed out exotic gear, so trying out different toons and builds in PvE and WvW will be a pain, the progression becomes almost vertical (which I dislike) in some sense.
    Unsure how this could be a "fact". Like every sentence quoted is the opposite of a fact, actually.

    Exotic gear can be crafted or bought for gold, karma & dungeon tokens. Can also be traded, given as reward for completing Orr. And lastly can be rolled in the mystic forge- the mystic weapons at least. At least the rate at which one can obtain these items is equal to GW1.

    Players didn't just get max stat gear in GW1. Still had to put a little effort in to it. Though it wasn't overly tough to do. The only real barrier is one's capacity to play well. Not really a difference from GW1- you still had to collect a ton of stuff back then.

    There wasn't an AH or forge in GW1 either. So you had to trade gold for mats. And there was a lot of "farming" builds in GW1 specifically for making plat to trade for mats to trade for gears.

    Entire wikis existed to facilitate efficient farm builds: http://www.gwpvx.com/PvX_wiki

    I do not see how anything you said as quoted can or is related to trying out new builds and setups in GW2. The Heart of the Mists boosts players to maximum level with all skills unlocked, and all max stat items available for free.

    Actually less of a "pain" to try out new toons in GW2. In GW1 you had to either run 1-20 or make a new PVP only character. Which again was limited by the skills one was able to collect/buy previously. Or you had to pay real money for an unlock pack.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by nighties View Post
    Surely, if you plan on crafting, salvaging is far from useless? Enlighten me please
    Yes, even if you craft, salvaging is pointless.

    When a blue item that sells for ~1s to a vendor salvages for 15c worth of mats.... you get the idea.

    Salvaging is only worthwhile on salvage items.

  16. #16
    Guild Wars 1 campaigns basically had starter zones that leveled you up to 20, and then the game started. For example I don't think you could even go to Kaineng City in Factions until level 20. At that point they released you into a huuuge world where you could go and gather skills, gain elites, and complete missions. All of the gear from then on was statisically the same, but you really had a sense that the game was about skills, and not gear.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by dahmer View Post
    Really? I don't recall this at all...

    What I remember :
    - leveling was super easy (couple hours was more than enough to hit lvl 20)
    - spending time/money on fancy gear was basically a waste of time because stats were all the same
    You bought/got the weapon/armor you want. Then you need runes for the armor (Which requires a lot of calculations as to how much health you want to lose for that extra stat point), and then you need mods for your weapons (Hilts, bow strings, etc etc) which suit you right.

    And yes, level 20 was a breeze to reach, because that wasn't the point. Some missions were super easy and others very hard. And then they added hard modes and vanquishing to make the already huge end-game even bigger. Then you have the whole mercenary system. Which then evolved by Nightfall into the hero system, which then evolved into letting you use your own characters as heroes.

    All in all, besides the lore, races and music, GW2 and GW1 are completely different, be it progression, grinding, game-play and everything else.
    Here you don't need missions to progress, that is what story is for. You don't need heroes, since you're not alone in the world anymore.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Artorias View Post
    Guild Wars 1 campaigns basically had starter zones that leveled you up to 20, and then the game started. For example I don't think you could even go to Kaineng City in Factions until level 20. At that point they released you into a huuuge world where you could go and gather skills, gain elites, and complete missions. All of the gear from then on was statisically the same, but you really had a sense that the game was about skills, and not gear.
    Well, I wouldn't consider Factions being "when it first released" In GW (prophecies) was first released, you leveled until ~Sanctum Cay , or maybe it was until the desert, I can't remember the exact point that was expected to be 20+...on second thought I'm leaning towards the Crystal Desert. When Factions/NF came out they made the bulk of the game 20+, so that old characters could experience the content without overpowering the bulk of the storyline.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryngo Blackratchet View Post
    Yeah, Rhandric is right, as usual.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Artorias View Post
    Guild Wars 1 campaigns basically had starter zones that leveled you up to 20, and then the game started. For example I don't think you could even go to Kaineng City in Factions until level 20. At that point they released you into a huuuge world where you could go and gather skills, gain elites, and complete missions. All of the gear from then on was statisically the same, but you really had a sense that the game was about skills, and not gear.
    Just a little correction, there was no level restriction to get to Kaineng City (the couple of factions characters I had got there around level 14/15)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TotalLamer View Post
    Yes, even if you craft, salvaging is pointless.

    When a blue item that sells for ~1s to a vendor salvages for 15c worth of mats.... you get the idea.

    Salvaging is only worthwhile on salvage items.
    It makes sense.. No wonder I'm such a poor ass. Not to mention the money/karma spent on salvaging kits. /facepalm

    Next toon, SELL ALL THE LEWTS!

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