|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
Guild Wars (or Guild Wars : Prophecies if you really know your Vidya) is an MMO created in 2005 by a few dudes at ArenaNet, published by NCSoft. Guild Wars starts as a HUMANITY FUCK YEA game, but quickly turns around when a bunch of Charr (basically Gnolls on roids and an INT score of 10+) Exterminatus the Kingdom of Ascalon. Shit goes down, the wall toples and two years later Prince charge-a-lot Rurik, the Suicidal decides to exodus a few people through the mountains to go west along with the player, only to get crushed by an avalance. (Fukken Rurik must survive missions all the time, for what? NOTHING!).
Oh by now it might be nice to know you got the six professions: Warrior, Ranger, Elementalist, Necromancer, Monk (healer, not kickass kungfu) and Mesmer (the rapetrain when facing casters. Seriously these guys are anoying). The player and some npcs arrive in Lion's Arch, Kryta, where shit ain't right either. A brief trip through the jungle reveal shit is fucked, some supergroup called the Mursaat is killing the people. They must be stopped! In the desert! In the desert the party murders his doppelganger, ascends and talks to a dragon who then reveals: oh shit there's this profecy and you are the dude that must travel through the mountain, fuck with some dwarves, get your shit straight and fuck those mursaat over once and for all. Oh and don't mind the fact the Vizier is actually an Evil Lich that will release the titans, you're important!
Guild Wars: Factions
No not Guild Wars 2, no not an expansion, a whole standalone campaign. The professions Assassin and Ritualist originate here. You begin as a Canthan (Cantha, new continent) student under the teachings of Master Togo (a.k.a. Must survive, or the mission will fail. YOU FAIL. Gee I think I'm beginning to see a pattern). A mysterious plague ravages the monestary and you must investigate what the fuck is up with this and who invited Nurgle to the party. It is revealed that Shiro Tagachi, weeaboo fighting magic that has been dead for 200 years after killing the emperor, has returned and seeks to regain mortal form once more. So the group travels to the mainland which is 50% Imperial City+sewers, 25% petrified Kurzick (german gothics with too much make up in japan) forest and 25% sea that turned into Jade and a 100% FUCKED. After fighting Afflicted waves in the city and sewers, getting Closer to The Stars (ascension 2.0) and realising oh shit we need help the player goes to help the Kurzicks (blue team) or the Luxons (red team, they have turtles, with cannons, that shoot slabs of Jade. [[[awesome]]]). Players arrive at the temple where the emperor got killed and behold! a Dragon appears! It uses Reveal Great Truth! Shiro is at the new Emperor's doorstep and must be fucked over STAT. So the player fights 8 construct bosses (each one having a different profession and able to fuck the lvl 20 party over, because they are lvl 30.) and behold! Master Togo is a brother of the Emps and kills himself on Shiro's blades, causing Shiro to regain mortal form. No the players must FUCK HIM UP!
Guild Wars: Nightfall
Yay another standalone. Now with Paragons (spear chukking shoutan magic skirt wearers and nipple armour (the bad kind)) and Dervishes (scythe wielding rapetrains of point blank area of effect magic of FUCK YOU!) You now find yourself in Elona, as part of the Sunspears group. And civil war is just around a doorstep near you! You are under command of Kormir, the legendary MustSurvive bitch of the new continent you're on - and the biggest killstealer of gaming history. You quickly discover a long forgotten god Abaddon (no not an armless failure, although his hands aren't connected to anything) has awakened and is trying to break out of divine prison. So not only must you resolve an international conflict with your sword/axe/hammer/shield/bow/staf/wand/focus/daggers/spear/scythe and protect a bitch (who gets blinded by daemons) at the same time, but also must you consort with undead and rich people to travel into the Realm of Torment and kill a god. Simple right? It's really the age of humans!
Eye of the North
A real expansion in which you ally with the Charr, the Norn, the Asura and the Sylvari (oh no not yet) to fight the Great Destroyer! Yet another draconic end of times boss (only to be revealed it's like an expendable lieutenant of shit). The expansion forms the bridge to guild wars 2 together with some extra missions added later in time.
Guild Wars 2
As a video game, Guild Wars 2, despite having a great start and plenty of potential, has slowly devolved into a boring, dying husk of a game. There are a number of causes for this and it warrants an in-depth look at problem areas. It does not live up to the spirit of its precursor game, to say the least. However in October 23 2015, the expansion Hearth of the Thorns was released, which only further built on the problems currently present in the game and, arguably, made things significantly worse.
"Living" World Content
Its "Living World" content patches have delivered as little content as ever and offered little in the way of developing non-grindy and challenging content. While it had a strong start with the Halloween Event of 2012, the patches afterward began to add less and less meaningful content. Much of the events in the Living Story only lasted, at best, two weeks. While the intent is to make the world seem like it's "living" and dynamically changing, it means that resources were wasted on content which only a select group of players could enjoy in this limited timeframe, as opposed to continually building up a larger and larger amount of content for everyone to enjoy.
While some effort has been made to introduce a solution to these problems, there is also the issue of what permanent content they're adding. Much of what they've made is extremely repetitive and grindy, as opposed to creating something fun or interesting for the players. It's essentially the same content every time, just with a slightly different setting or flavour.
Compare this content with Guild Wars 1 and its expansion packs. Guild Wars 2, with its microtransactions, is taking in more money than Guild Wars 1 ever did, yet offering less content than ever before.
Its story has devolved into an SJW shitfest where the player is forced to follow a crippled Asura, a tsundre charr, two lesbians and a stupid Norn whose problem solving ability doesn't go beyond "If I hit it with my mace enough times, it'll go away!" All while the actual hero of the story, the player, is completely ignored in the narrative, doing little more than listening to this group of idiots prattle about their problems and obediently solving their problems for them.
Despite having an amazing setting to build off, much of the old lore has been squandered.
Balancing and Diversity
Balance patches are few and far between with the game now. As of September 2014, it took them a total of four months to introduce a balance patch. A third of a year had gone by without any kind of balancing despite the lack of build diversity present in the game. This lack of frequent patching and balancing has left much of the game stagnant and boring. More recently, ArenaNet took a stance to balance the game effectively and release balance patches more frequently (every 2 to 4 weeks). However, this only lasted a month or two and they returned to balancing every 3-4 months. And even then, they have been known to nerf under utilized abilities and buff meta builds on occassion. (Though there have beensome good balance changes.)
Due to the way weapon skills work, builds are extremely limited in their nature. If you have a rifle, you only have five skills to use with said rifle. You can add some dumb utilities to it, but these will only slightly change your gameplay at best. [S]In addition, there has been a total of nine new skills added since the game's inception. All of them are healing skills.[/s] Several skills (a new weapon and 5 utilities) have been added to each class with the expansion, though the balance of theseskills is dubious.
The argument made against introducing new skills is so that the developers can balance what they already have. Alas, with the previously mentioned lack of balance patches, we can conclude that this argument is bullshit. They aren't already balancing what they already have.
Compare this lack of diversity and balancing with Guild Wars 1. Each profession had hundreds of skills to choose from and near infinite choice with their builds. In addition, balance patches came frequently with the game, helping to stem builds which were dominating the meta.
While leveling is intially satsifying and generally a fun experience, there is no real sense of accomplishment to leveling in this game. This is primarily due to "downleveling," which makes it so that your character's level changes depending on which region you're in.
Arguably this "downleveling" makes the gameworld more credible (Bandit lvl 1 compared to Bandit lvl 80 should no be like a Child compared to a SUPERPOWERD TERMINATOR) It also helps the ingame economy as the stuff you get with lvl 1-60 is actually still worth something.
The Defence Force
Probably what really cements this game being terrible as it is is the defence force it has somehow accumulated. Criticising the game in any fashion on any medium will unleash a floodgate of "U DUN LIEK DUN PALY" and other such witty responses. Due to the presence of a huge number of players who do not question the quality of the content in the least, the game will most likely continue down this path of stagnation.
Residental fa/tg/uys are working on a tabletop version of the game, both for GW1 and GW2.