This is an article submitted for the Blog Carnival at GuildMag. The deadline is August 9th so be sure to submit your entry too!
What are my memories from 5 years of waiting for Guild Wars 2?
Well to start to answer the question, I have to admit a personal failure. I never played the original Guild Wars, and I’m pretty sure that I never will. <insert gasp> Yes, I confess, I am not an original Guild Wars fan. Thus, I arrived pretty late to the party, roughly two years ago.
When I first played WoW, I fell in love with the world. And for me at least, this is what sets the MMO genre apart from many other games. The world is really a world, that is so much bigger than myself. I am just a small cog in the greater machinery of the system, and I loved the feeling of exploration. But to my dismay, that “world” in World of Warcraft was just an illusion of something far greater. And the more I played, the more I came to realize this.
World of Warcraft had been my MMO for several years, and for the first time I did not know what game I would be playing in a year’s time. I started looking around the internet, and to my dismay I really couldn’t find a game that was offering a fresh approach. It was the age of the WoW clones, and I was pretty disheartened with the genre as a whole.
Only out of curiosity and a bit of luck and perhaps destiny, I stumbled upon ArenaNet’s manifesto video for Guild Wars 2. That video changed everything.
There was a company daring to innovate. Not only that, but they sounded like they wanted to world to actually feel alive. The NPC’s and mobs would no longer be static, and would be actively working towards their own agenda. My choices would matter and have an impact on my story, and for the first time, I could see myself becoming interested in the world around me.
I then began to educate myself on both ArenaNet and Guild Wars 2. Without fully realizing it, I started checking daily for any new information or interviews about the game, I began reading the forums of Guru, or watching the gameplay videos at some of the conventions.
Before I even knew what had happened, I was a full blown Guild Wars 2 fanboy. Hell, I reckon I did even more advertising for Guild Wars 2 than ArenaNet did at the time. I’ve single-handedly convinced my brother and five friends (four of which are/were actively involved in WoW, and one complete noob to the MMO genre). For most of them, it took a fair amount of convincing to even take a look at the game, but one at a time, each slowly fell victim to my seductive whisperings of a golden land without pandas.
I hadn’t even played the game, and somehow I had fallen hard for it. Suddenly I cared about the development of the game, and not only that but ArenaNet actually listened to our criticism. That isn’t to say that other game companies do no respond to their communities, but ArenaNet worked so transparently and collaboratively with us over the last several years.
Because of this, I began to feel like I could make a difference. I’ve always had an interest in writing, and Guild Wars 2 gave me a chance to attempt to be something more than just a fan or player. For the first time, I wanted to become part of the community.
I opened up my very first blog, Divinity’s Reach several months ago. The support of the community has been overwhelming, and I have never looked back. And now, the game is launching this month. (…that still feels very strange to say.) I can’t wait to see the game release, and I’m mostly looking forward to playing WvW and exploring Tyria. Zhaitan will fall beneath the weight of my mighty Asura thief.
In five years, I hope the Blog Carnival is still around, because I’m entirely sure that Guild Wars 2 will be. (In fact, I actually have some money down on that…)Perhaps, the question five years from now will be “What are your memories from 5 years of playing Guild Wars 2?” I look forward to answering that one.
Lead Author of Divinity’s Reach