Rare is the MMO that continues to thrive alongside its direct successor - or, for that matter, get a direct successor at all. By all accounts, the original Guild Wars lived a good, long life. It loved, it lost, it learned violin, it saw the ocean one last time. Also, I don't know why I'm talking about it in the past tense, because it's not dead yet. True, ArenaNet's already itsy bitsy GW1 live team is moving on to bigger, less eight-year-old things, but unlike NCsoft stablemate City of Heroes, these guilds will war on. How? Robots. Find out more about your imminent ice-cold oppression after the break.
OK, it's not actually oppression. All things considered, Guild Wars' new fully automated infrastructure sounds quite nice. Sure beats a screeching, community cratering shutdown - something NCsoft definitely hasn't been shy about in the past. GW1, however, will live to fight another day, and it won't even end up that far removed from its current state in the process.
In short, the stuff that's currently being handled by the live team will mostly keep churning away, just with algorithms' tick-tocking gears in the background instead of people's fleshy keystrokes. Automated tournaments (which weren't actually fully automated), map rotations, weekend events, festivals, and even birthdays will continue, albeit with some minor changes. For example:
"We'll be making some changes to our weekend events. Specifically, these won't just be weekend events anymore, they'll run for an entire week on a completely automated schedule. This will be an incredible boon to folks who are still working on finishing out titles for their Hall of Monuments, as they'll no longer be constrained to packing as much play time as possible into just the weekend. Now everyone will have five extra days to take advantage of these bonuses."
Obviously, new content is out of the question, but this doesn't sound like too terrible of a place to leave the bits and pieces that are already there. Hopefully, as more MMOs reach the end of the line, we'll see developers and publishers adopt this kind of approach as an alternative to pulling the plug. I'm not getting my hopes up (servers cost money, and out-of-touch Business Laws dictate that even the smallest scrap of cash is more valuable than goodwill), but it'd certainly be nice.