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.