Returning to a world that you invested so much into for so long, is damn near impossible.
Sure you can make a new name (or reboot the old one), new nation to rule, join back in the old alliances and basically be you again. But if you were away for any serious period of time, it won't be the same. Your alliance has changed and moved on, the Governments of your allies have changed hands, the gameplay is familiar but excruciatingly slow and you miss being much bigger and stronger.
And if you were out of the loop for several months, you find people have simply forgotten about you and what you did. When once you could walk into a room and be hailed, now they barely raise an eyebrow. The heir-apparent children of your success have turned into the Paris Hiltons of the Cyberverse. The fact that you built the mansion they lounge around in doesn't appear to matter. Though perhaps that's just an inability for us re-rollers to accept the alliance is different now; in new hands who simply do things different. Still, it's more about "What have you done for me lately?"
Though the people who hated you, remember you. Oh how they remember you. The stupid thing you said a year and a half ago? They have it logged. Regardless of how much the world has evolved, how much time has passed - even if you are humbled and apologetic - they still remember the grudge. And so you're left struggling with irrelevancy on one hand, and resilient bitterness on the other. Hardly a great encouragement to get back involved, is it?
So you end up feeling like you're out of place in a world you once felt comfortable in. And when you were in this world for so long - 3 or 4 YEARS even - then it's a terrible realization to face. You're not who you were, you're a has-been. The guy who quit, who left the game, who is only back to recapture the glory days, being constantly reminded that those days are over. You can't get involved in the politics, you're constantly unhappy with being out of the loop. You start to wonder why the hell it is that you came back at all. No, really. Why did I do this?
Or it could just be up to perceptions. I'm sure for everyone who's struggled to get back into Planet Bob, they has to be those who found it incredibly easy.
For anyone who is interested, I was previously Working Class Ruler of Foamtopia.
And I always find, yeah, I always find somethin' wrong
You been puttin' up wit' my !@#$ just way too long
I'm so gifted at findin' what I don't like the most
So I think it's time for us to have a toast