As part of the #GWFriendships campaign, we had the chance to interview two of the game’s bestest friends… so close in fact that they actually got married after meeting in Tyria. This is the tale of Tyler and Nicole, and how ArenaNet’s MMORPG brought them together.
MMORPG: How did you both meet in Guild Wars 2? Was it a meet-cute in Lion's Arch?
Tyler: Nicole and I met through a mutual friend I knew from high school. The first night we talked was over the cacophony of a Teamspeak chat room filled with a ton of folks I gamed with. Nicole was really bent on completing the map of Tyria and claiming the “Been There, Done That” title. I was happy to have someone to play with consistently and she quickly became the person I looked forward to seeing online the most.
Nicole: Tyler and I met through mutual friends in a guild. All 10 or so of us would get on to do GW things together every day and as people would drift off to their IRL responsibilities throughout the night, Tyler and I would always stay on together. I don’t think we would have been able to do that without GW because it gave us a reason to be on in the first place and it felt more casual than just being in an open channel and feeling like we had to talk every second.
MMORPG: What was it like dating someone inside of an MMORPG?
Tyler: Dating on a MMORPG was a constant adventure. We might have lived on opposite sides of Washington, but Guild Wars 2 let every night be date night. There always a goal we could chase, a new challenge to face, and a huge world to explore. Most importantly, we could do it together. Revisiting familiar content was an opportunity to talk about day to day stuff and of course there was the story, Living World, and festivals to fill the rest of our time with idle chatter and speculation. I got to know Nicole far better by playing Guild Wars with her than I ever could simply calling her and squeezing in a visit across the state when possible.
Nicole: It was amazing. Because I was going to school on the other side of the state, as soon as I got home from classes, we’d spend the entire rest of the night gaming together. We spent a few thousand hours fighting bosses, adventuring through dungeons, gathering from every single material node we went by (no I don’t have a problem. I can stop anytime I want), and working together over the span of two years.
MMORPG: What did your friends and family think about how you met? Are they all gamers too?
Tyler: My family never really played much in the way of table or video games. That said my folks certainly seemed surprised when I told them I was driving 5 hours across the state to visit my girlfriend for the weekend. I have a close-knit friend group primarily from high school and they are all gamers of varying degrees. They met Nicole the same day I did over our voice chat room and quickly added her to the fold.
Nicole: I’ve played video games since I was about 6 so my family knows how I much I enjoy them. I’ve had friendships through Xbox Live since I was a kid so they understand that people can meet and become friends online. But my family is the farthest from gamers that human beings could possibly be. I tried to entice them into playing video games but my last attempt when I was a kid ended with my mother calling my sister a “lying sack of dog meat”.
MMORPG: Please tell me you’re planning to have Rytlock as the officiator?
Tyler:I tried to send him an invite through in game mail, hopefully he responds. Our cat, Lord Faren, has been very involved in our wedding planning, however.
Nicole: Haha I wish! Our friend and guildmate is going to be our officiant, but we do have plans to name our next dog Rytlock Brimstone. Soon enough all of our furry children will be named after GW2 characters.
MMORPG: How did you two finally decide to meet in real life?
Tyler: The first time we met in person was shortly before we started dating. One of our guildies had invited a few of us over to hang out his house. Nicole and I ended up exchanging numbers about that time and I was pleasantly surprised when she invited me to the other side of the state soon after.
Nicole: We actually met IRL before we started dating. One of our guildies had a hangout during spring break when I was home from school and Tyler was there too. He destroyed me in Mario Kart and I guess I just wanted to be second place in every game I ever played for the rest of my life.
MMORPG: Then, as the story goes, what happened? Was it love at first sight in real life?
Tyler: I admit I might have spent the day trying to impress Nicole with my exceptional Mario Kart 64 skills and having clever things to say. She even baked me a cake for my recent birthday. I knew I liked spending time with her on Guild Wars 2 and I was pleasantly surprised to see she was willing, if not interested, to put up with me in person (and still does!). I don’t think I could get any luckier.
Nicole: I actually thought he was a little bit of a goon when we first met. But we spent hundreds of hours talking and laughing together and built a relationship out of that. We reached where we’re at today with a lot of respect, trust, and communication. I think that we love each other now more than ever; even after 4 years together, I still get super excited whenever I see him walk in the door.
MMORPG: To the ArenaNet folks: what's it like when you see Tyria be a part of something like this for a couple? First the story of Sanctum of Rall the server, then this nuptial, and I'm sure there are many more stories to be told.
Mike Zadorojny: It’s always great to hear how your work has touched the lives of so many people. The Guild Wars 2 community has always been a special group of people that have inspired us over the years. I got into games to create stories and worlds for players to explore and hearing about what my work means to people just warms my heart. I’ve made so many friends over the years through my time in online games that it’s nice to see others have such wonderful experiences. Online communities have the power to transcend borders and bring people together who are worlds apart.
MMORPG: Are there any plans to put these cuties into the game now as a couple in their own hamlet?
ArenaNet: We absolutely love Nicole and Tyler's story, and those of so many fans who are sharing their stories of adventure and friendship, but we will not be bringing those real-world stories into the game. We do try to give all of our players ways in-game, like the decorated gazebo area in Lion's Arch and a guild hall decoration that can be inscribed with custom messages, to celebrate their stories. New stories like this are being forged all the time in Guild Wars 2, and we're lucky to have such a friendly community.