A Re-return to Guild Wars

How long have we been together, Guild Wars? 73 months now? Maybe more, if we count the beta weeks (and we are!). It started out great. You took me to a wonderful and beautiful world rich with lore and secrets all while keeping me on my toes around every turn. You kept challenging me, just as I had thought I understood it all, and even after mastering, I kept going on, playing in unnatural and unique ways. Eventually, the shine you once held began to wear and fade, and at times it felt like you were taking advantage of my rose-tinted spectacles. I hate to bring it up again (no I don’t), but do you remember Aura of the Lich? Ah, the fun times I had using that skill on my necromancer who wielded it with an axe and laughed watching waves fell upon his shield only to die seconds later. This was the first major argument we had, Guild Wars, and it sure wasn’t the last.

But, each and every time I try to leave in a huff, I somehow always find my way back to you. I thought this last time was final. The last straw, as it were. Yet, at the time of writing this article, here I am in Longeye’s Legde on my necromancer, who traded his old Vampiric Axe for a Zealous Recurve Bow, getting ready to start the line of quests to unlock the assassin hero Anton. How in Grenth’s name did I end up here and why do I keep coming back?

Clearly, Winds of Change had something to do with it.

It’s true, when Winds of Change finally came out, I got excited…at first. I did the first few quests on a warrior and that was about it, until this past weekend. That was when I rounded up my father and brother, both of whom are Guild Wars vets like myself, and dragged them on to livestream with me as we battled through ArenaNet’s new content. Needless to say the livestream was a failure, but a good time was had by at least 2 out of 3 of those part of it. However, all the while going through it, I kept thinking to myself, “I hope it gets better…” but it never really did. It could be said that my dislike of Factions has something to do with that, and you would probably be right, but regardless, Winds of Change didn’t do anything for me, except remind me how much I dislike Factions.

What about your latest run through Factions?

Oh, I forgot about that. On a whim, I went and made a new Faction’s Character last week to play through all of Factions and eventually Winds of Change. It took a few days, and with the help of my brother, we made it through relatively unscathed. There were ups and downs, a few laughs here and there. However, most of the time we made ironic statements about loving Factions to death. But, it’s Factions, and as I keep bringing up, I dislike Factions. So, it couldn’t be that. Come to think of it, for all the dislike I give Factions, I seem to be playing it a lot of late. Hm.

Then it must be the community!

I always praise the Guild Wars community any chance I get, even when a part of it is being silly and complaining about the difficulty of Winds of Change being too much for them. The community is the main reason I’m still hanging around a number of sites, even if only to lurk. The community is really one of the better MMO gaming communities I’ve been apart of, especially after seeing how big Pink Day was last year. But, could that same community draw me back to play the game I have threatened time and time again to leave?

If not one of those, then all of them?

Yes, that must be it! The community has always had some sort of hold on me, but after playing through Factions and then Winds of Change all last week, I suddenly had an urge to play Guild Wars again. For no reason, when I woke up one morning, I decided to get some Hall of Monument points. One thing lead to another, and a huge snowball of solo-fun later, I’m sitting in Longeye’s Ledge on my necromancer with 7 heroes in my party ready for more action. Action I had done a number of times before on other characters, yet action I was almost excited to run through again.

So, how did I get here? How did I come back to Guild Wars after all of my complaints and disappointments? At the end of the day, a number of things always seem to bring me back. The beautiful world I now look at with a strange sense of nostalgia. The possibilities for unique ways to accomplish my goals through abnormal builds. The community of fun people I hang out and laugh with. And, I guess, to get 50/50 for my HoM calculator. Maybe. When it comes down to it, it’s all of those, I suppose.

Curse you, Guild Wars. I wish I knew how to quit you.

To the readers – Have you ever left Guild Wars high and dry only to find yourself back a few weeks or months later? What brought you back? If you haven’t left in a fit of rage (yet), what keeps you playing the game?

About the author: TheLazyGeek is a long-time Guild Wars player who enjoys ranting, raving, and pondering about the game he has dedicated a majority of his game time to. He then likes to share his musings with the community to incite discussions and thoughts about player’s own experiences. He can be found on Twitter and his personal blog.

Further reading:

  • http://www.facebook.com/belgeode Drew Bolton

    While I cannot speak towards Factions (I have two characters based in Cantha whom I have barely touched), I am loving the HELL out of Nightfall and Prophecies. My first character in Prophecies (Ghita Shrike), I actually put in some long hours trying to get her and the crew out of Ascalon. She is now on vacation in Lion’s Arch, as I switch to my main (Bel Geode), who just managed to evacuate the beaten forces of the sunspears from Kourna.

    Point I am trying to make… the STORIES are what keeps me going. I am totally riveted to this game at this point. All I need now is to pick up EOTN so I can start getting HoM points.

    I absolutely loved this article… and you have inspired me (not that it took much) to log into Guild Wars this morning! Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I think for me, it’s the community, honestly. Which sounds totally and completely geeky, but.

    I love exploration, dungeons, and pvp, but the thing that keeps me in a game is the social aspect of it. That’s why I played WoW for so long, even way after I started to hate so many things about the game and how Blizzard was changing the way they handled things.

    I love GW to pieces but it does get repetitive once you’ve beaten all the campaigns, and the state of PvP is pretty .. well, fickle to say the least.. but making friends and getting more involved in the community has in turn resulted in me having a better time with it. 

    I’ve always come back to it whenever I rage-quit something else. GW is the BFF you’re secretly in love with who’s always there after every major break up for some pity sex and pizza.

    • http://twitter.com/thelazygeek Connor

      Would you say the state of PvP is like…META WARS?!  Hahaaa…

      Also, the metaphor made me chuckle, except for me GW is the BFF I bring everywhere and say “Look at GW, aren’t they fantastical?!”  Rose-tinted glasses, and all.

      Also also, Master Togo dies.

      • Anonymous

        You’re a terrible human being. 

        • http://twitter.com/thelazygeek Connor

          Well someone has to be for TT.  Might as well be big ol’ lovable me, right?

  • Anonymous

    I think for me, it’s the community, honestly. Which sounds totally and completely geeky, but.

    I love exploration, dungeons, and pvp, but the thing that keeps me in a game is the social aspect of it. That’s why I played WoW for so long, even way after I started to hate so many things about the game and how Blizzard was changing the way they handled things.

    I love GW to pieces but it does get repetitive once you’ve beaten all the campaigns, and the state of PvP is pretty .. well, fickle to say the least.. but making friends and getting more involved in the community has in turn resulted in me having a better time with it. 

    I’ve always come back to it whenever I rage-quit something else. GW is the BFF you’re secretly in love with who’s always there after every major break up for some pity sex and pizza.

  • Anonymous

    Haha, I love Factions! The plot is ridiculous but I do like the subplots about the different factions and everywhere but the city is just gorgeous.

    I haven’t really ever left GW, but I’ll go and not touch it for a couple of weeks and then play non-stop for a few days. I’m not really sure why; on one hand it feels like I’ve done everything, but on the other every time I think that I realize that there’s a bunch of stuff that I haven’t yet done that I’d like to. I’m not a big fan of PvP, and I generally play by myself…I guess I just haven’t played the game out to the point where it bores me yet.

    Also, MLP <333

  • http://twitter.com/TriggerSad Marcos Perez

    I love Factions… Though it’s mainly because it was my first experience with Guild Wars, and because I can get a level 20 character within a weekend of playing with them. Also, I like the story more than the other games. Sorry.

    Anyway, I can’t really say that I’ve left Guild Wars for personal reasons. There always seems to be a more technical reason that makes me stop playing. I break my computers frequently… Shut it. Still, I always fight my way to get back to my game. I always do. I don’t really have a specific reason though, I just really love this game. I love the art direction ArenaNet has used. I love the game-play aspect of Guild Wars. I love the lore that ArenaNet has set forth within the game. I just love this game, and being apart from it for too long is quite detrimental to my health. Obviously.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, I think being an unabashed Anet fangirl also has something to do with it, since you mentioned it.

      The fact that I love so much about what the dev company has done and is doing with the game is another big reason I stick around. GW2 may not be perfect, and there may be things I don’t like about it, but that’s just how it is. Nobody’s going to be 100% thrilled with the game. People are just too different. 

      But I never have been with any game, and I never needed to be. :) <3

      • http://twitter.com/thelazygeek Connor

        Hmmm, I didn’t think about that as well.  Completely slipped my mind (has something to do with AotL, I bet!) but I agree wholly.  ArenaNet is a huge part of the game they’ve created rather than just sit behind a barrier watching others play their game.  They interact in huge ways with the fans, whether on the forums, in-game, at cons or whatever else.  Truly, ANet has my heart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/belgeode Drew Bolton

    2 thumbs up!

  • David Scott

    I have left a few times. But I always take the break knowing I will be back. I may try a game or two, but none of them keep my interest for long and I am right back to playing Guild Wars. To me that is one of the best selling points for the game. I bought it I own it and I don’t have to pay every month to play it. I can take a break and come back all refreshed

  • Anonymous

    I have to say, I play because I’m so close to GWAMM that if I leave now it will bug me forever! (anyone got any booze/party points?!)

    I love factions, however, and have always considered my spiritual home to be the jade sea – even though my main is a Tyrian.

  • http://twitter.com/Judge280 Matthew

    I’ve left a few times in rage, but I too recently found my way back. Somehow how dull the Winds of Change was for me something had clicked and made me want to dungeon crawl+ everything else I have done in the game so many other times. I have always enjoyed the scenery of GW, maybe the nostalgia of that brought me back, but i’m not really sure. I believe it to be a curse albeit a good curse, a curse nonetheless. 

    That and the community. Working with Gw-en, we see a whole different side of the community. Ranging from the person that started an hour ago to the vet who has 20 something Gwamms. Good times with good people…. only thing missing are good pugs that don’t need metabars. 

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  • Punchki

    As much as I love the game, I’ve only left it once, and that was because my account got hacked and I get pretty mad at myself for falling for one of those “give me your info, and i’ll give you this…”  Other then that, what keeps me playing is that I refuse to do speed clears, and I always do things the hard way >.<  Nothing is more fun then trying out new builds, for example my guildies and I went through a whole dungeon using 2 monks and Fast Casting Mesmers with Water builds (wtf right?).  But its really the community (<3 my guild Attention Deficit Pancakes) and the random things you do with them that keep me in the game.

  • Saolue

    No matter how much i think i’m bored of the game, i always come back, whether it be WoC, which i have only done the first 2 missions on normal mode (it wasn’t fun), or figuring out how much fun it can be to get z-keys slowly but surely with a destructive wastrels mesmer in fort aspenwood.  It’s just that little bit of fun i guess that keeps me coming back, and the community.  No matter how many times i do a dungeon, no matter how many times i’ve beaten prophecies, no matter how many dang times i level a pet from 5 to 20 and put it in my menagerie.  
    I just love the game.  I’m not addicted by any means, i mean i get on maybe once or twice a week? for maybe an hour or less?  but it’s like you do with all of your old pets that have died.  You think about them, pull out their pictures, cry over them and sob on and on about having the best times with snappy the turtle (just an example), and then you find out you did this last week and say, why the heck do i keep doing this?  I have a dog now!  That’s the best analogy i can come up with and i hope it confuses you as much as it confused me ^.^

  • Carararaca

    I ke coming back just because of the friends i’ve made. I’ve been playing Guild Wars for over 3 years and i’m tired and sick of it, even with the War in Kryta and WoC updates. It’s really just because of the friends i’ve made.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t like Guild Wars at all. It just isn’t as good as people pretend it to be.

    • Anonymous

      you’re entitled to your opinion, but, I’d argue against the way you put it. Nobody’s “pretending”. Everybody has different tastes in games. To some GW is excellent, to others, not so much. I certainly don’t think it’s the best and I’m fully aware it has it’s limitations and drawbacks, but it’s still good. 

  • Wonderfulct_12

    I keep coming back to guild wars because i have 44 HOM points and i rather get 1 more so i don’t have 4 wasted points. I keep leaving because vanquishing sucks. I don’t particularily enjoy the new GW content but i do enjoy the campaigns and elite missions.

  • Tyrian Scholar

    I must say that I am a newbie vet, if that makes sense.  I first played Guild Wars back in 2005 but quickly grew disenchanted with it due to playing with friends in college who eventually switched to other games (first DDO and then WoW).  In 2009, thanks in part to the publicity of Guild Wars 2 (well played, ANet) and the inclusion of HoM perks I found myself purchasing the trilogy to start all over again.  I have been on a hiatus from the game on and off since last summer but that is only due to my life (postgraduate study, travel, my Vaio disintegrating) and I still am looking forward to tackling the content once I have a new computer on which to play it. I am not sure what changed between 2005 and 2009 but I do enjoy Guild Wars more now than ever!

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  • http://twitter.com/EleriTMLH Eleri Hamilton

    I am an uber-casual GW player. I play for a bit, wander off and do other things for a month or so, come back and play more. I don’t team, don’t PvP, Have a Guild but it’s me and my hubby (who plays less than I do.) I actually *just* got Prophecies (I started with Factions. If I’d started with Prophecies, I think I would have been less inclined to keep going.) The thing that is 100% guaranteed to cheeze me off, and make me not log in for months on end is hitting a roadblock with a major mission. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I can’t get to any of the “Beyond” content because I’ve got two character just sitting at those final story arc mishs. What, go in and try to kill Shiro *again*? Re-arrange skills and weapons and team *again*, on the off chance it might work? After the 7th, 8th, 9th repetition, it stops being anything remotely like fun. It feels like punishment for not memorizing game mechanics and researching The Perfect Build and having all the most bestest Stuff.

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