Five years now, since Guild Wars 2 was first announced.
Now, I haven’t been following it all that time. Five years ago, I had barely heard of Guild Wars at all – it was this game my brother and one of his friends played. My main memory of it at the time was my brother tackling his best friend in my store because his friend bought him a copy of Factions. I thought it looked interesting, but the whole “online game” part of it put me off – at this point I’d already tried both WoW and FFXI and hated both, so I wasn’t much into the idea of another MMO. He got really into it, and told me I had to try it. I decided, okay, I’ll give it a go. I made an Elementalist in Prophecies and played a bit, and it was decently fun, but didn’t grab my attention. So I left it.
About a year later, during the fall of 2008, a friend of mine started playing it. And got really into it. And insisted I had to play it. At this point, Prophecies was $20, so I decided why not. I’ll give it a go again. However, disaster struck – my mom’s computer decided that after running the game fine for ages it would no longer do so (and I had support completely baffled trying to figure it out), and my own computer was so old that it couldn’t run the game at all. My computer was also old and crappy enough that upgrading it was not an option. After a month or two of irritation, I managed to buy a second-hand computer from another friend and hurrah! I could run the game!
And history was made. Prophecies still had a hard time drawing me in, but a coworker bought me Factions for Christmas, and that was it, I was hooked. I bought myself and my brother both Nightfall that year just after Christmas. I got Eye of the North not much longer after that. I talked about it enough that my boyfriend bought the Platinum edition, and then I bought him a copy of Factions. When helping out at another store, I discovered they still had a Nightfall CE – and it was only $10! I bought it in a heartbeat. I managed to get the Factions CE online. I fell in love with the Dervish profession, and my Dervish became my main.
Then two things happened in pretty quick succession – the Guild Wars 2 announcement at gamescom in 2009, and me getting into twitter.
My first steps into actually becoming a part of the community began when I joined GuildMag as a designer for the magazine. My actual stint as one was rather on and off, and eventually I had to step down entirely as I simply did not have the time for it, but if not for that, and deciding to give twitter a try (I’ve had my account for ages but used to hate twitter) and following the other GuildMag members, I would not be writing this blog today.
The twitter community for Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 is amazing. Optimus writes a bit about it in an entry posted yesterday about the guild we’ve set up (which somehow I wound up as leader of!), but it was my slow involvement in the twitter community that gave me the idea of starting a blog of my own. Many of the people I had followed and became friends with were bloggers, and I enjoyed reading what they wrote, and I had plenty of ideas and thoughts of my own – so why not give it a try?
At this point, when I decided I was going to give blogging a try of my own, I’d been following Guild Wars 2 for almost 2 years. I’d heard of it before the announcement at gamescom, but there was precious little info. Still, I adored Guild Wars. Any sequel to it was something that would certainly pique my interest. Then gamescom 2009 came, and we got some info on it…and honestly, I was a bit put off at first! Persistent worlds? Oh, no! I loved how instanced GW1 was. I am, as a whole, not a terribly social gamer (which makes how things are now even funnier for me). I prefer to do things largely on my own, on my own schedule. I was also very wary of the idea of people coming along to screw up something I had been doing. I didn’t want to have to play with others people.
And that hesitation remained right up until I actually got to play during the first BWE. Now I realize that I was silly to be so down on that fact. But at the time it was a genuine worry.
I had fallen in love with the sylvari from the very first moment I saw them. I remember finding myself highly disappointed on how little they were ever shown and how little info about them we were ever given. When the redesign was announced, it made me even more impatient to see how they had turned out. I wanted to know their lore, what they believed, everything about them. I collected every bit of info about them that I could find, giving this blog a sylvari-themed name. While, strictly speaking, my blog is not sylvari-themed (beyond the name and color scheme), there’s no denying I do write about them a lot, and I rather pride myself in my knowledge of them.
And so in early 2011, I started up this blog. I began to write. I enjoyed it! At first I wrote a lot about Guild Wars 1, and I didn’t really set out to have any specific goals about my articles. I just wrote because I had thoughts that I wanted to express. I didn’t ever really share the blog around much, as I’ve always been afraid of showing off my stuff, worrying that what I write isn’t good enough and no one will care. And then, one of my early posts was retweeted by ArenaNet. It’s probably silly, but that fact put me over the moon. People actually did want to read what I wrote! And on top of that, the people working on the game, thought that what I wrote was worth reading!
At that point, I decided it was time to start taking blogging a bit more seriously.
It’s been a long road, but I feel I’ve carved myself out a small niche. I’ve scored an interview with some of the writers for Guild Wars 2, I was invited to help give away keys for BWE3, and mine and Dak’s posts about BWE3 were linked to in an ANet blog post. As a fan, who does this because I love it and I love this game and community so much? Those things are amazing. I’ve made a lot of friends, all of whom are amazing, and we talk about everything under the sun. We decided to start up a twitter community GW2 guild during BWE3, and wound up close to 40 members just over the weekend, and we decided to keep it going at launch. I got Dak interested in blogging – something that he’d never done before, and now I giggle whenever he flails about his posts getting linked around, because not so long ago at all I was in the same position he was – just amazed and surprised by it all.
And on top of that, blogging like this has made me realize what my real passion is.
So, thank you, ArenaNet, for making a game that has inspired such passion in people, and has given me years of amazing memories while just waiting for the game to release – and is sure to give us years more while playing the game.
This entry is for the fourth GuildMag blog carnival, “Five years of waiting“.