We’re beginning our short series featuring some of our writer’s favorite memories from their MMO playing past. Some of us at MMOGames ave been playing MMOs since their inception, some of us haven’t played World of Warcraft, and some of us are newbies to the genre. We all have stories to tell, this one is about an axe and a friend in Guild Wars.
Guild Wars 1 was not my first MMO, but it was the first one I took up seriously. With my career spanning for more than four years since launch, I’ve done just about everything save for most of the Eye of the North expansion. From raiding to pvp, and maddeningly acquiring the “Slayer of All” title, I loved every single bit of that game and all the memories that those experiences yielded. But perhaps the greatest memory I had was that it was the first time that I actually got into a guild that I really liked. I mean, seriously liked. No, it wasn’t because they were the best raiders or best pvpers, but it was because they were the best people. Or rather, the best person. It was still a time when the internet was relatively young, and I didn’t even know what “lol” meant, and there, I soon found the person to teach me the ropes of MMO gaming.
Green Horn Blues
I would come to see Ascalon fall and then find myself lost in the bustling ruins of Post-Searing Ascalon where countless chats, prompts, and speech bubbles tugged the ear of the weary warrior to their wares, woes, and willful wiles. I scantly had any idea of what to do or where to go other than the quest trackers, because I wanted to explore and get to know the world I found myself completely in love with at the time. As I tried a few quests, I was so surprised to how difficult it was to the newbie, especially to someone as green as me. I’d go for days and days just trying to PvE in complete difficulty and soon after I would realize that I needed more than just henchmen to help me against the Charr.
Some time later, back in Ascalon City, I had oddly singled out one of the many chat spams for guild recruitment. I had no idea why, but it seemed to be my thing; or maybe I really just wanted to play with someone I could consider a friend. “Reapers of Lost Souls” was the name of the guild and it was newly formed. It is one of the least creative names I have ever heard. That should have been an a tell to avoid that guild at all costs, right? Well, I didn’t know any better. The recruiter didn’t do the whole horse and pony show with the many guarantees of whatever it is they’d give you if you join their guild, but stated, as simply as he could, that the guild was new and looking for members. Hey, why not?
So I joined and, to my surprise, was the very first member of the guild. Serena Death, a warriors primary, the guild master and sole recruiter, made me into an officer all at once. Again, in a time when all this was new, I felt pretty awesome to be somewhat important, even at a scale as small as that. But because of that, when Serena asked me to recruit from time to time, I really felt obligated to do so. Members trickled in bit by bit over the course of several hours after my own recruitment, with some of them leaving within 5 minutes of joining. It made me feel like I made a big mistake, but the obligation I felt never let up, and I make it a point to see everything I get myself into through. And, hey, at least I had someone to play with.
The days passed quickly and the guild grew erratically, but Serena and I grew to be good friends, helping each other out through everything the game had to offer. When I said ‘helping each other out’, I meant Serena carried me through pretty much everything. I was a clueless idiot that didn’t know the difference between aggro and line of sight, bumbling like a fool as I get us killed by a pack of White Mantle as I accidentally auto-run into them, or not having the common sense to equip the resurrection signet and being unable to rez the person to bail me out of it. Despite all that, I still remained to be his right-hand man; the only person he ever truly trusted in the guild. Sure, the other guys, whose names I forget, were a bunch of stand up people, but I guess being the first guy that joined and stayed throughout had more merit than most.
He taught me everything about how the game worked, what to do, what to focus on, and pretty much everything under the Tyrian Sun, except for PvP, unfortunately. I was his apprentice and he was my master, taking me under his wing without ever asking for anything in return. I remember that there was a time when the minotaurs somewhere in the Crystal Desert dropped a lot of good grey items that sold for quite a bit of gold. He showed me how to farm those with his warrior and even helped me power level my own warrior when he realized I only had my emo necromancer.
“Here, take it, it’s yours!” said Serena, as he opened a trade window, revealing to me an awesomely shiny Chaos Axe. It was the first piece of pixelated goodness (that mattered) that I have ever received for free. When he saw my current weapon, he knew it would have been no good against the marauding band of mad minotaurs that would have eviscerated me. He’d take me step by step on how to do it, making damn well sure I did it right, and that I’d use the knowledge to my advantage at present and in the future. He showed me tips and tricks on how to combat the AI most effectively, metaphorically slapping my head whenever I’d do something other than good gaming common sense, and I realize now that he had most likely wasted an entire day just trying to teach me. Surely enough, I continued to do it until it was nerfed beyond use, but his teachings, in general, continue on until my gaming today.
It didn’t stop there; he soon ceased to teach me trite little things like mass farming mobs and moved on to better things. He then focused on the idea of doing duos with me in the Fissure of Woe (FoW) and the Underworld (UW). Always taking into consideration my own convenience, he built certain tactics and characters that could do the job with my noobish necromancer, taking me on trial and error runs as we looked for ways to make loads of platinum to line our Xunlai agent banks. He eventually discovered a way to duo UW with his monk. At the time, the 55hp monk was not well known and I gather him to be one of those that helped develop them, or rather, I’d like to think of it that way. We would do these all the time, racking up dozens of globs of ectoplasm per run, and he would trust no one else to be his wingman but me. I learned far more than tactics in GW1, because it all grew and became my sense of self as an MMO gamer, shaping and honing my skill.
Abiding By Weakness
We laughed and shared stories about life and the grief our gaming had caused to our significant others, poked fun at random bads with bad attitudes in our dungeons, and had an all-around great time adventuring. He soon found me to be his equal and left me to do my own dealings in Tyria, considering that he had already taught me all that he could, though he taught me more than he thought. While I enjoyed the guild as well, Serena was my only real friend, to a point where I had sometimes forgotten there were other people in the guild. But, as luck would have it, through my own fault and Serena’s, we unknowingly recruited a few bad apples into the guild. While it meant nothing to him since he could control them and had the thickest skin I’ve ever seen on a person, it made a whole lot of difference to me. I was still a young adult barely out of his teenage years and was still relatively innocent to the less-reputable side of society.
One thing led to another and a few arguments ensued with newly promoted officers and found myself alone in the conflict. Unfortunately, Serena was out for a little longer than usual due to some real life stuff, but I was definitely sure he would have sided with me. When things got even more difficult within the guild, I decided to leave rather than it escalating any more than it should, as I told myself I didn’t want Serena’s hard work in making the guild grow go to waste because of egos butting heads. In truth, I simply found myself frightened at the prospect of confronting problems by myself; that was the whole reason I wanted to join a guild in the first place.
Serena would come back a week or two later and tried to get me to come back once he found out I left. Whenever I see him come online on my friend list, I’d instantly toggle my status to offline so that he would be unable to whisper me. But then, there was one time I wasn’t able to do so because I had gone afk and he logged in when I did. I came back to my computer only to see his messages logged in my chatbox. All he wanted to know was why I left and that he really wanted me to come back, but, as he said, if I really needed to take some time off for whatever reason that I couldn’t tell him, I should just go do it. He didn’t even want any of his stuff back, despite all the amazing items he’s handed to me that were worth a shit ton of plat put together. Then his last message was, “Take care of yourself, buddy, I’ll just be here.”
I felt like a jerk; a little kid that ruined a perfectly awesome friendship just because a few bad words were thrown at him. I couldn’t bear to reply to him, so I didn’t, and I never really did again. Because of that, I took a break for a month or two from the game, coming back only to never see Serena online again. I betrayed a good friend for no reason, and practically spit on everything he did for me.
Till Next Time
Through Tyria, Cantha, and Elona, that gleaming, blue Chaos Axe kept me company. It’s been a trusty companion much like Serena with my time spent in his guild. I haven’t forgotten what he taught me as they helped me become the best gamer I could possibly be today. The common sense, the tactical thinking, being a good person, and loving a game with great friends is all thanks to that peculiar Canadian, Serena Death. This has always been one of my most important and great, but solemn, memories. Wherever you are, Serena, I had a damned blast playing with you and maybe I’ll bump into you again someday. Take care of yourself and thanks for reading this little story. Hope you all enjoyed, what are your favorite memories from Guild Wars? Let us know in the comments.Related: ArenaNet, Editorial, Guild, Guild Wars