There's something about Guild Wars that I don't see mentioned much: it has a very friendly interface that encourages casual play.
- The CD doesn't have to be in the drive. When I'm thinking of playing, I don't need to take the previous CD out of the drive, put the Guild Wars CD in, and then start the game. I can just start the game right away. Since it's no hassle, I play a lot more.
- When I start the game, it goes right to the login prompt. No publisher splash screen. No developer splash screen. No video card maker splash screen. No sound library splash screen. No introductory movie. No copyright screen. No disclaimer screen. No menu. No loading progress bar. It's really quick and easy to get into the game. This encourages me to play more.
- While you're playing the game there are Minimize, Maximize, Close buttons at the top right corner. This lets you easily switch to another application or run the game in windowed mode or just stop playing. It acts much more like a standard application, and it's very smooth. I feel like I can play at any time, and then switch back to whatever I was doing.
All of these seem very minor but I think they add up to something big: I'm playing Guild Wars a lot (over 200 hours). I wish all games would be this way.