Wait, hear me out. I am not missing the pug that made you weep and run to Guru’s cursing out that stupid player that over agroed everything, cursed in chat, and then quit right when you were about to finish causing all those minions he had up to go wild and attack you along with those last 4 groups he pulled on to the group. I also wish that I was making that up.
No, I am missing the group you found in Vizunah Square, and you stuck together working as a team until you found yourself at Gyala Hatchery running the mission the front way because no one knew about the back way yet, and you found yourself finishing with expert because one turtle died, and you are proud of the great work you did. The pug you hated to leave but well you had been playing for way to long and your wife is giving you that look that if you try and continue you will be sleeping on the couch. And for a moment you think one night way be worth it. That is the pug I miss and the pug I am afraid I will never again see in my beloved Guild Wars.
And here is why:
Up until a few weeks ago I hated factions, when the chapter came out I had given myself a 5 day weekend including the head start to play the game and just have fun. My wife and kids were going to visit the in-laws and I had been given a pass, play as much as I wanted. I wish I could say I enjoyed those 5 days, but alas I learned to hate, I cursed Arena Net I cursed the new classes I cursed the new henchies which seemed to be worse than the ones we had before. Basically I cursed a lot. I did get my first character through the game that weekend and in the months that followed I got my two original characters as well as a second Canthan born. The day Nightfall came out I swore to myself I would never set foot in Cantha again. Recently I broke that promise when I rolled a Rit to get survivor. I played as little of the factions content as I could and as soon as I got to the point I could leave, I left for Elonia and to the Eye of the North.
However, after seeing stuff from Fan Day and the little tidbits of information on Winds of Change, I just felt I need to have enough of Factions done in order to enjoy that part of the story. Now I was really worried my Rit is working on true survivor; not a single death and at the time just about 700k XP, and I am planning to take her though missions that I remember wiping on time and time again. And the first one I was going to do was Nahpui Quarter, I told myself I would go slow and at the first sign of trouble I would map out. I finished the mission in 12 minutes. Now mind you masters is 25 minutes. At that point I was feeling really good, I must be a lot better player than I was before. After doing Tahnnakai Temple in just over 10 I figured it must be the build; I must be way over powered (mind you I am using an SOS build so I am a little over powered). Few missions later I figured the game must be easier now than was before. This is partially true when hard mode was introduced, Arena Net did make Factions a little easier. But is wasn’t until I beat Factions and Night Fall with almost every mission on masters I realized what was different. I was running with 7 heroes that I had made builds for to go perfectly with my play style. With only minor changes in the line up I can take on almost anything the game has for me, without worry and very little risk. I didn’t have to worry about another player with a bad reaction time, or a lag spike killing us all. In fact I have hit lag spikes and come out of them not only ok but my heroes have continued the battle and all I have to do now is pick up the loot. In short Guild Wars is no longer a challenge because I don’t have to worry about other people. The other day I was playing on my ranger and talking to someone, and they made a comment that I am so good I don’t have to look at my screen. It was at that point I realized I had just cleared out 25+ mobs on auto pilot. And it is for this reason I miss the pug, but even if I wanted to pug no one really wants to pug with me. It isn’t because they think I am not good it is because they think I would add a risk they are not willing to take when they have spent time equipping 7 heroes to fit the play style they want.
The good news is Arena Net has seen that these are issues and are addressing them with Guild Wars 2. No more making a group feel like they need a certain player to be competitive. No more worrying about find a group in town to play with, instead just join people out on the field. No more auto pilot play, we as players are going to have to pay attention or end up taking a dirt nap. Once again we will be challenged inside the world of Tryia.
To the readers: Do you have any pug stories you would like to share?
About the author: Tagon has been a Guild Wars fan since the release of the game, and is now eagerly awaiting the release of Guild Wars 2. He is also very bad at writing about himself. Follow him on Twitter, if you like!