One of the best things about Guild Wars is the ability to play with players located anywhere in the world through the International Districts. In most online games, you must choose one server and may only play with people on that server. Not only are you limited by the server on which your characters live, you are also limited by the territory you play from. When I played World of Warcraft, I played from an American server, Magtheridon. If I wanted to play with friends on another server, I would have to create another character for that server or pay money to transfer my existing character to the new server. It would have been impossible for me to play World of Warcraft with my friends in Europe unless I bought a European copy of the game and paid another monthly subscription fee.
Prior to the 23rd August 2007 game update, Guild Wars players had to choose a Home Region and they could change their territory a limited number of times — five in total. When I first started playing Guild Wars, I selected America as my Home District. In practice, my choice didn’t matter because I played (and still play) almost exclusively from International Districts. People from all territories could go to the International Districts. Some outposts in International Districts are underpopulated, and for some Missions (and prior to Heroes) I occasionally needed real people to fill out my party. I decided to change my Home District to Europe so that I could play with random Europeans, who are generally better behaved than random Americans. At this point, I no longer had access to American Districts, so any American friends had to travel to the International Districts to play with me, which worked out satisfactorily. I later joined a guild with many members in Europe.
Later, an American friend started playing Guild Wars. A few months later, a friend of his (also American) started playing. They expressed interest in eventually going to the elite PvE areas of the game, the Fissure of Woe and The Underworld. These areas used to be inaccessible from International Districts. A particular territory had to have Favour of the Gods, which is gained by people in PvP, before anyone in that territory could enter. With this in mind, I switched my Home back to America, using up another chance to change my territory back to Europe.
Earlier this summer, ArenaNet changed entrance requirements to the elite PvE areas. Favour of the Gods is no longer based upon PvP achievements per region in the Hall of Heroes, but is now based upon PvE achievements globally. ArenaNet also removed limits on territory changes for an account. You can change the territory you’re playing from via the drop down menu in the District List or from the map. Now you can set your default region to International, which is great for me. I have switched between European and American several times to play with people based in those regions. I’m incredibly happy about this change. This gives me even more freedom to play with whomever I want, regardless of where they are located or what territory they usually play from.