Friday, May 6, 2011

Guild Wars to Guild Wars 2 - You Can Take It With You

My Rewards vs. Experience post got several comments, one of which was essentially "everything you get in a game is transient because you can't take it with you when you quit."  This prompted a friend of mine to write me an e-mail and pose the question "what if you could take it with you?"

That's a good question.  Right now, as far as I know, there are no MMOs where success in one game will give you any sort of advantage in another game, even a sequel by the same company.  You don't get any advantages in EQ2 for having a full set of raid gear in EQ (which in many ways might account for the relative failure of EQ2 compared to EQ, but that's another post entirely).  MMO companies have shied away from giving rewards in new games based on gear collected in previous games.  They almost did it in EQ2 with the heritage items, but changed course and made them quests available to all instead.  It seems reasonable, since allowing rewards to carry over gives an unfair advantage in the new game to those that played the old game compared to those who never played the old game.

Except Guild Wars is doing just that for Guild Wars 2 with the Hall of Monuments.  While Guild Wars isn't a gear based game and so there's no real gear to transfer over, your new characters in Guild Wars 2 can earn a variety of rewards (including gear) by completing certain goals in Guild Wars.  A Guild Wars completionist will have a host of rewards waiting for them if they make a Guild Wars 2 character, and it's hard to argue they won't have an advantage over someone who never played Guild Wars since many of the rewards are items.

Regardless of whether it's a good idea or not, it has to be noted that in essence you can "take it with you" to Guild Wars 2, and the release of the Guild Wars Hall of Monuments resulted in a flurry of increased activity in Guild Wars.  People have been hitting the game like never before, trying to fill up their Hall of Monuments before Guild Wars 2 releases.  It's also strange to think of the meta-gaming involved here, it seems entirely possible that people will be playing GW after the Guild Wars 2 release in order to earn rewards in GW2.

One has to wonder at the (rather horrific) monetary possibilities behind this sort of thing.  Imagine if EQ2 players COULD get rewards by playing EQ, and suddenly you had people playing both games, and raiding in EQ to equip their EQ2 characters.  Somehow I won't be terribly surprised if Blizzard (the kings of squeezing money from customers) create some sort of link between WoW and Titan, even if it's nothing more than titles or pets or vanity mounts.  Imagine if each expansion of WoW had new bonuses that could be earned for Titan.

Any thoughts?


  1. I still doubt Titan will have a monthly subscription fee. I think the area of subscription fee games is over.

    SC 2 and Diablo III both don't charge monthly fees but the game comes in multiple chunks. That's the way to go and I wouldn't be surprised if they took that model for Titan.

    But to get back on topic. What if you could take your character with you from one game to another? What if you could play one character for an hour in WoW and then play the same character in for another hour in Rift or in SW:TOR?

  2. Meh. I won't comment on Titan because I find most speculation on the title to be mostly assumption.

    I'm sure players from Everquest would have loved to get gear from their original characters when switching to 2. I think it would have been a great idea. Rewarding their original playerbase would have been a straight boon to their sequel.

    Creating a link between games is difficult, and Guild Wars is seemingly taking the route of giving items that won't necessarily give a huge boost to its former player base. A boost, yes, but given Guild Wars game design it won't be as drastic as, say, giving Everquest players full raid gear in Everquest 2.

    That being said, I don't think its such a great plan in the world of MMORPG's. Standalone games have a much better time with it (See Mass Effect 1 & 2, Dragon Age) because they can afford to give their loyal customers things because it won't infringe on other people's gameplay. That, and it very well may create a division between experienced and new players, the bonuses creating a gap in performance and subsequently a social gap.