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This annoucement by the Ryzom PR team is causing a lot of chatter in the Ryzom community today. The Saga of Ryzom team have decided to merge all three Shards (servers), and as a consequence, they have also decided to do a full character reset. This means players, such as myself, who have toons that date from aqs far back as 2004 when the game was still fresh out of the (pre-WoW) box, will lose everything, including their loot, their dappers, and their Titles (I'm still proud of my Karavan Champion Title from a server event in early '05).
While most players are in shock at the announcement today, some players are still putting their hands up in a show of support for the game they love and are looking at the positive sides of the annoucement. I remember, when I first started out in Ryzom, it was a natural part of the player experience to know that there was no one around who could craft your Q80 Heavy Armor, or your Q120 Amps, and any other such items, other than you yourself. It was, I feel, the most defining part of creating the community that is still one of the best in the MMO Gamer world. There are /never/ and Chuck Norris comments in chat, nor is anyone called a "carebear", ever (sic WoW, EVE)!
You might notice my MMORPG.com account was created in 2004. That's because its the year I started playing Ryzom, it being my first ever MMO experience. I could have done worse.
I have spent more time out of Ryzom than in it, but it still draws me back over and over again like an old movie you love, years after my first experience in the open beta (August 2004). I've yet to find a community that can match the friendlyness and intellegence of the gamers I've found in Ryzom. I sincerely hope this community gets more than "one last gasp" of a game that we've enjoyed on so many different levels.
I sincerely wish the Ryzom team the best of wishes in this new venture and I'd just like to say that, Ryzom has a lot of special memories for a lot of people, thanks to all the people who have worked on and played the game over all these years - so don't mess it up @RyzomDevs! )
Ian O. Stolz; aka Oscarian.