Is Guild Wars a CCG?

So with Alan Wake winging his way back to Gamefly, last night I hopped back into Guild Wars.

Now, I have to beg your patience, all you Guild War veterans… I’m probably about to cause you a great deal of eye-rolling.

I’ve added a few more heroes to my roster and each one brings some skills with them, and I’ve picked up the odd skill here and there. I could buy skills, but haven’t yet, since I read I can earn a bunch of them for free in one of the other campaigns, and so far I’m getting by with my limited selection.

But staring at those skill bars, and prompted by someone (my mind is like a sieve) mentioning how skills interact with each other and the best way to build a set for your skill bar, my brain suddenly switched into collectible card game mode. So all my skills…those are like my deck of cards, and part of the fun of the game is collecting more. The skillbar is like a hand of cards that I can put together and will eventually tweak depending on circumstances and companions.

Right? Am I right, Guild War vets? I mean, obviously there’s a ton more to it than just this skill collecting/arranging sub-system…

Anyway, another new thing I learned was that you can have more than one hero with you. I have no idea how I got it into my head that you could only have one. Last night I did a Mission with a party of 6, even though I was playing alone. I had my character +3 heroes +1 NPC who was part of the mission +1 Fire Imp ally. Crazy fun!!

Though, *gasp* at one point I thought “This would be better with friends.”

I unlocked the mission that in turns unlocks Eye of the North, but I’m sort of engaged with the Nightfall story now so I’m not sure I want to divert. And the mission I did had a bonus objective that I screwed up, so I’ll want to go re-do that.

Still having a lot of fun…still kind of bemused at how I wound up here after all these years.

My next goal is getting better about giving Heroes orders. Right now I let them run around in default behavior, which means swarming whatever I’m attacking. I was reading the Wiki and apparently you can ‘lock’ them onto a target, which, combined with calling targets, could be pretty handy if I’m a fast enough mouse clicker!

7 thoughts on “Is Guild Wars a CCG?

  1. Aye, the CCG parallel is something that sticks out if you have experience with them. I think it’s great design, as it allows for both customization and a drive to go get more skills… but it’s playable without getting all of the elite or esoteric skills. It’s a nice balance between a huge potential set of play options and limited choices at playtime, effectively offloading some of the decision making to building your “deck” beforehand so that you don’t wind up with too much to decide when you’re fighting. It allows a lot of variety as well, though as always, the metagame tends to settle in a few given directions, especially in PvP.

  2. I actually *like* this analogy, and it helps to put the game into a new perspective that will help me when/if I ever return to give it a serious whirl. Being a huge fun of CCGs back in the day, I can see myself getting in to that aspect 😉

  3. GW as CCG is a well used comparison and fair enough. Particularly in pvp.

    You should be prepared for a bit of a long haul depending on how many points you want in the HoM btw. Some things are easy to unlock, others, not so much.

  4. I played GW in 2005-2007, and i played only with PUG-s, 3-4 chars to 20.
    No henchman, no heroes.
    I miss those days…

  5. I’ve been saying for years that Guild Wars is sorta the love-child of Diablo and Magic: the Gathering. Well, I shouldn’t take credit for that — one of the devs or CM’s said it during beta and it stuck with me. =)

    Absolutely, the skill collecting and builds (I’ve been caught more than a few times of referring to it as “building my deck”) are very much analogous to CCGs. That mentality can really help when building a–see, I almost did it again!–when making a build. A lot of players, myself included before I learned better, slap on a lot of combat skills. Again, perhaps this is one of those areas where I say “if you play GW like an MMO, you’re playing it wrong” because how many combat skills does the typical MMO give us to litter our hotbars? You typically only need 2 or 3, 4 absolute maximum, while the other skills (I typed cards then had to fix it) should be something to boost your offense and/or defense (depending on the role your build caters to) or perhaps something to support the group such as an area buff, heal, or rez. Just like in a CCG you’d have (using generic terms) offense, defense, and resource cards.

  6. As for ordering heroes around, I try to avoid micro-ing (GW shorthand for micromanage) them and usually give them builds they can automate. Their AI isn’t always great so it takes a bit of research to get them setup with a quality build versus one a player would use.

    There are the odd times when I might want to send a warrior (or someone less squishy than a healing monk) in first, in which case I’ll bust out his little skill bar, choose a target then click one of his skills.

    Otherwise I pretty much just rely on keyboard shortcuts to order the entire party around. If I CTRL+[Skill] (also CTRL+Space for default action, which is “Attack” if I’m targeting an enemy mob) that will announce “I am attacking [target]” (or “I’m using [skill] on [target]”) in the party chat channel which tells the party to attack it too. It also puts a ‘T’ icon on the party chat next to whomever issued the order so that if you have real players in the party, they can press ‘T’ and select whichever target was called. Heroes and henchmen will automatically follow your commands. Or, again since my main is a monk and I don’t like to be the first to rush in, I’ll use CTRL+Shift+Space (or CTRL+Shift+[Skill]) which will simply announce “I’m targeting [target]” and send your AI companions off to battle without causing you to start fighting as well.

    Also don’t forget holding CTRL displays all enemies within rendering range, and holding ALT shows all NPC’s and object. Space, being the default action, will run to an NPC or object to interact with it, or run to and start fighting an enemy. That’s why I don’t complain about the lack of jumping–I rely on spacebar for everything else!

  7. I played GW once but I absolutely hated it, maybe it was because I never did much beyond the newbie zone, and/or maybe because I didn’t like the UI? I don’t know, I found the world of warcraft UI to be superior, but now that I can’t play wow, maybe one day I will go back and give GW a try, before GW2 comes calling

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