The following is a guest entry from sevendash for GuildMag’s 4th Blog Carnival. We’re more than happy to host it for him here. :)
I need to start off first of all by saying that this account of my wait for Guild Wars 2 hits on some really emotional subjects for me. It includes the passing of someone I looked up to as well as the progression of myself emotionally, being homosexual, and how I learned better through gaming to be a part of a community.
For five years I have awaited the release of Guild Wars 2. The sequel to MMO Guild Wars. I came into Guild Wars soon after Factions had released, and was thrust into everything if offered. This was my first MMO.
The man who brought me into the game was named Chris. He was my first relationship, and something very foreign to me. I met him just after I graduated High School and loved spending time with him. One of our interests happened to be games. So when I moved three hours away to Glendale, California, he talked me into trying out Guild Wars.
Glendale was quite the experience. I lived with my mom and older brother in a one-bedroom tiny apartment that had no air conditioning. Clothes and my computer were all I brought and truthfully all I needed. We hit record heat that year, and being in an apartment with horribly airflow, I’m surprised I was never injured. I would spend hours playing Guild Wars Factions with Chris talking to each other while I learned the ropes.
He had me join his guild, The Flaming Turtles and I was immediately learning about guilds and how it was alright to ask people for help and to socialize. I certainly wasn’t going to have my head bitten off by my guild-mates! Regardless, I still wasn’t a huge part of the guild by any means and mostly kept to myself for a while.
Nightfall came out later that year and by that time I was living in Long Beach. I loved being able to explore all this new content that nobody quite understood fully. It was quite the experience. I remember finally running more missions with other people in my guild as we progressed in this campaign. We especially had to band together and help one another out in some of those missions toward the end like Gate of Madness! Boy did that one give us all a bunch of grief. Nightfall definitely became my favorite campaign, with the dark tones, the inclusion of heroes and the fact that I got to experience and learn it with everybody else.
Not too long after Nightfall the rumors began about the next campaign to come out, Utopia. We saw mock-ups of some of the landscape and enemies. I’m not one to get too crazy about something early, but I did look forward to once again getting to experience fresh content with everyone. Unfortunately our hopes for Utopia were dashed. It was instead announced that we would no longer receive new campaigns for the game. Instead we were to get one expansion and a sequel to the game would come out. ArenaNet simply wanted to give us content that the original couldn’t provide.
Eye of the North was great and I fell in love with it, but I took a break shortly after getting through most of its content. I stopped gaming for a while, was in school, worked, and eventually moved out of my house and begin my second and biggest relationship to date. This man’s name was Nathan. I got him into gaming a little bit, and while he was never good, he did enjoy it. He just didn’t learn games as quickly as I did.
The year 2011 rolls around and I decide we need to get back into playing Guild Wars. I unfortunately found out that a ban wave had swept across the game in order to eliminate bots and my two accounts had both been hit. Try as I might to recover my accounts, NCsoft wouldn’t budge. Apparently you should never throw away your original game boxes because the serial codes for the Bonus Mission Pack were not enough. So sadly I lost all that time in the games, all the skills unlocked and pets gathered as well as the BMP I had purchased. Nathan and I decided to pick up a Guild Wars Trilogy each as well as the Eye of the North expansion to play together.
Returning at that time was bitter-sweet. Full hero teams were not yet implemented and most of my guild was inactive. The one person who was always around to give me a hand was the leader of the Flaming Turtles guild, Greg aka The Deathmonger. I had a blast playing with him and it meant the world to me when Greg, Nathan and myself got to run Fissure of Woe together. FoW is by far the my favorite mission in the game. Being able to consistently see a helpful person in game like that, and the fact that he always wanted to help without hesitation was great.
I was getting so motivated to play hard and get points for my Hall of Monuments because ArenaNet released information once a month or so. I even got really impatient at times where it was longer than a month. I definitely burned out of the game really fast, as Greg warned I probably would. I took another break pretty early in the year, and came back to check out both Embargo Bay and the April Fools mission. Both times chatting with Greg about how we liked each one before I departed again for a while.
Now the part that hurts the most. Greg passed away just after his 30th birthday later that year. Fellow guild members and personal friends to his had talked to him to confirm plans to go out the following day, and that was possibly the last anybody had heard of him. After days of trying to reach him, they eventually had to ask police to make a visit to his home, where his lock was picked and he was found. It was a tough pill to swallow for me, because while I had never met Greg, he still meant a lot to me.
Speed up to the first Beta Weekend Event for Guild Wars 2. I had a blast, but it was another point in my life where I was living in Atlanta after moving there with Nathan, but I had left Nathan not many months prior. I had a blast but honestly I didn’t spend as much time in it than I should have, after being obsessed with following the news of this game for years. I spent most of it working or drinking at a local bar.
Second Beta Weekend Event rolls around and I was in a better place. In fact, the Flaming Turtles had possibly our biggest group outing ever. We ran through the Charr starting zone and I think the shining moment for all of us was when we happened upon a field of earth elemental mobs where an event started. We were to kill the elementals for an item an NPC wanted. Boy did we get our butts handed to us as the event scaled to meet the numbers in the area. It wouldn’t have been a Flaming Turtles outing with some kind of epic fail involved.
At the end of the event I sent a whisper to one of Greg’s friends in the guild, Cindy. I just needed to express how weird it felt without Greg there. I swear I could just see him with us in-game chatting along and laughing, as he would. I had spent so much time talking with Greg about launch day and running with the masses into content, and of course I always pictured him there with us all. As he always was.
Now the game comes up and I of course plan on dedicating one of my character names to him. Other than that, the anniversary of his passing will be about a month later, and I know I’ll be honoring him in-game with others then too. Hopefully with an epic fail at a run in the Ascalonian Catacombs or something similar.
I’m not just part of the Flaming Turtles anymore after all these years but I also am a part of LGBT guilds, and always offer help and community to others because that’s what Guild Wars meant to him and helped teach me. Mostly because that’s what I saw in Greg while I played it. Regardless, I will always do my best to mimic his qualities as I meet new players in Guild Wars 2. It’s been a long five years, but the wait has definitely been worth it. I couldn’t imagine living any other way to spend the wait.