Ok so I have not been around for the full 5 years, at least not as rabidly as I have recently. After reading about other people’s experiences watching the game grow, I wish I had been around longer.
I first heard about the original Guild Wars about 5 or 6 years ago. My boyfriend was playing it and tried to get me into it. I was really into EverQuest at the time (can’t remember if it was 1 or 2, probably 2) and was very reluctant to try it. I ended up trying it anyway and I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it because I was comparing it to EQ at the time. I deeply regret that now and I wish I had stuck with GW. It might have been the class I tried (I think I went Necro) or it might have been something else, I’m not sure. All I know is that it didn’t strike me as the type of game I’d want to play. Plus no jumping really turned me off. It was no EQ.
All the time over the years, I had been fed snippets of GW2 stuff from my boyfriend who followed it more than me. He would tell me about the dynamic events and no griefing. I thought this was cool but there was no release date so it didn’t really catch my eye. It was intriguing, but I didn’t get really hyped until last year around July.
I had been playing EQ2 for about a year since it went free to play. I was max level in both crafting and adventure level and I was bored to tears. I needed something different.. I don’t remember exactly what was the catalyst for my obsession. PAX East footage? Some other footage? I’m not really sure. All I know is that I got super hyped and went crazy. I bought the original Guild Wars and all the campaigns and the expansion. I got through a good portion of the game with just me and my boyfriend and our wimpy heroes. We just plugged along to get points in our Hall of Monuments. We didn’t really plan on going all the way to 30, but that all changed after October.
October, if most don’t know, is when there is a very special event called Pink Day in LA. I had no idea about this and just stumbled into it by accident. I’m not entirely sure how I found out about it, but it was one of the best things I have ever accidentally stumbled onto.
I will write more about Pink Day in another blog, because I don’t want this to go on too many tangents.
Anyway, I went to the Pink Day celebration in Guild Wars and I had a blast!! It was amazing. It was the best experience I’ve ever had in a video game and got me hooked on the game and the community. I ended up in a wonderful guild that took me under their wing and helped me get points in my HoM as well as became great friends of mine.
From there, I jumped on Twitter and discovered a TON of people that were a lot like me, not to mention the people who were actually making the game.
Peter Fries, Anna Megill, John Ryan, and Matthew Medina (just to name a few) became a great source of amusement for me and many others. At first it was kind of weird when they would actually respond to me because I have never experienced any devs that have done this. I felt like I was talking to a rock star or something. I was a bit starstruck. Then they started to follow me and I kind of freaked out a little bit (in a good way). I was so excited and kind of surprised. I never knew devs acted like this.
After a while, the star struckness faded and like many have described, it was more of a close friend and family relationship. We tease each other, share our hopes and fears with each other and just act like we are one big happy, albeit dysfunctional, family. Although, I still get excited when someone from ArenaNet follows me or favorites/retweets one of my tweets.
I’ve only played a few MMO’s and none of the communities have really sucked me in and assimilated me like this one. From the players to the developers and everyone in between, this game and community has changed my life. It’s changed the way I view game companies and how I view video games. It has given me more than any of the creators or the players will ever know.
I have gone from not having a lot of direction in what career path I want to take, to knowing I want to work in the gaming industry. I have made friends all over the world and learned about different cultures. I have discovered things about myself and who I am and who I want to be. That means more to me than anything.
So I haven’t been around for as long as most people, but in the time that I have been around, I feel like I have gained a lot. I have experienced and learned a lot and I am deeply grateful for that. This community is the best gaming community I have ever been a part of and I can’t wait to see what things lie in store for it. I also can’t wait to meet some of you guys in person someday. We will have a blast!