I don’t play Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG). Not that I haven’t tried. I played Ragnarok Online on and off for a couple months (even bought a subscription for three months at one point, and I managed to play for a couple weeks of it). I played Dark Age of Camelot for a week; just enough to get an idea and be intrigued, and for my parents to buy me a copy to get me away from my brother’s computer — but I never installed it on my own PC or used the two-week subscription it came with.

I played The Sims Online for a while but hated how your character’s abilities decayed. I think I played Diablo 2 online more than any other game, but that was less of an MMORPG and more of a “I play by myself with other people watching” sort of game. All of that changed when my friend Don and I heard about a new game coming out in 2005 called Guild Wars. Not the most evocative title (and I was pretty jaded by then), Guild Wars was going to be an MMORPG with no subscription fees.

There was a bunch of stuff swirling around the Internet at that point that gave us the impression that it would be a lot of things that we enjoyed from the action RPG genre, but with the MMO aspects that let you easily find and hang out with your friends. Guilds Wars is one of only two games that I’ve ever pre-ordered. The other was Diablo 2.