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So when i decided to quit Asheron's Call this week I wrote a two part, 28 page goodbye letter to the community. Here it is.
PART I: It Was A Blast, Thank You.
Almost two years ago my flight touched down in San Francisco. I had travelled all over the UK and EU and met so many brilliant, unassuming people that when I tried to reintegrate with my bubble of friends they all seemed like townies. I was disappointed, i was isolated, in my bubble and wanted something else. The stress of undergrad and grad school overlapping and my new job as a teacher caused me to recede from the usual weekend parties. I knew it was time for me to start gaming again to substitute for my lack of a social life. I started consuming youtube videos about the best, most hyped MMORPG’s with “hardcore pvp,” “open world pvp,” “sandbox pvp,” and “a seamless gaming experience.” This went on for many late nights and I was completely disappointed in what i saw.
Games that advertised themselves as “hardcore” still had safe zones. “Open world” games had loading screens, instances. “Sandox pvp” structures turned out to look more like monkey bars, with ranking systems and leaderboards. I was starting to believe that there was no such thing as a seemless world with massive player populations. They were all full of gimmicks and loopholes that helped them please the mass market demand for polished, standardized graphical engines.
Then I found this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oICrTxvaQQ by @tmripper. I was blown away at his knowledge and passion for this 14 year old game that had coincidentally been the game that had shaped my definition of perfection for an MMO. I watched it over and over again. I showed it to my brother, the original Bow Man Joe, and he said “Let’s play AC.”
So we did. We had a lan party one night and ran around the world of Dereth. I was blown away, completely overcome with nostalgia. Long after my brother and his wife had logged off and gone to bed I was killing lugians in lugian citadel. Bow Man Joe was level 136 and I had 30% vitae when I logged in. It was soon 40%. I killed lugians, at the keys, I killed and killed and killed and loved it. I filled up pack after pack with 5k value armor and weapons and ran back to Qbar to sell. Run after run of loot one percent of vitae at a time dropped until it was gone and the sun was coming up outside my window.
Fast forward a few months and I already had multiple accounts leveled to 150+ with the help of Blackdogs and Redeemed By Christ, http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/18/view/forums/thread/401133/AC-LIVES-Asherons-Call-Darktide-Is-Alive-and-Well-New-Live-Stream.html …
Blackdogs crumbled and I was finding myself reviewing applicants login screens with my personal email while the two biggest guilds on the server, Desol and TPS Report, were vying for my membership in their guilds. I did not want to leave Blackdogs at all cost. I had spent so many hours in voice comms with these guys - late nights - staying up all night Christmas Eve talking about the good ol’ days of darktide. I didn’t even pay attention to who i was talking to, but it was interesting. They were all gone now and Blackdogs was in shambles, 90% were had their hearts set on Fright Night or TPS. But I had TPS and Desol talking in my ear. I decided to leave Blackdogs and take my vassals with me. I joined Legacy because MILF Hunter and Muscarella were huge fans of my live stream, Featheredbread. I honestly dont remember completely why I joined Legacy other than that. I think they guaranteed me good xp spots.
Legacy welcomed me with open arms but it was a deeply broken guild with many long standing rifts. But i fell in love with their flaws. They provided me the resources to grow my macro army. I took intervals between months of hardcore macroing and hardcore pvp. I macro’d low tier spots for xp trinkets, peas, rares, and salvage. I was making stacks of MMDs I had never seen anything close to. Nearly 10k mmds a week I was pulling in from doing small transactions of junk rares, salvage, and trinkets. When AC went free to play the value of MMDs skyrocketed from 5-7 per to 10-12, and finally for a week or two they were selling at 15 per 1k. I sold 11k mmds at 12 per. I bought Periphery with the money. I used my macro money to gear him out and trick out my macro characters with nice suits, or at least, compared to what i had at the time.
Although I was flourishing, Legacy was in crisis. I made a post on the veteran boards that I could no longer be in a guild that was satisfied with bowing out of darktides history. In the following months after this post Legacy made a series of comebacks. Desol stepped up. He is quite possibly the greatest leader darktide has ever seen. The fact that he was able to rally Legacy back to life at my request, after all the guild had been through, and what it is now is unbelievable. Desol almost single handedly pulled Legacy out of the ashes and did so by relinquishing his crown - the ultimate act of great leadership.
The leadership and the members stepped up and overcame a number of setbacks and wave after wave of petty drama that threatened the guild over a period of months. I was eventually elected core after writing a few short novels worth of ideas to improve the guild. As a core, I continued to badger people about my vision for the guild as a legit club, a real community, like a book club or sports club. I wouldnt shut up. I picked fights with a lot of respected cores and a few of us got threw it and were stronger for it, some left the guild because of me, and some stayed but we never fully resolved our differences. Needless to say I think Jiminey felt sorry for me and made me second in command. Although I was not well liked, I was such a god damn try-hard they I couldn’t be ignored.
I am now second in command of the biggest and best guild on Darktide. I have 13 accounts capable of macroing all tier 8 hunting spots including rynthid. I can make 2500 legendary pulls in one day and still have enough time to make 2000+ prom notes in colo. My main character is only a few thousand MMDs away from being 50/35 18/12 with 561 health. I am not very good at pvp but I feel like I have gotten all i can out of my current set up given my general lack of talent in twitch pvp. I can run around and fight with some of the better PKs on the server. I can macro the best spots in the game. It only takes me a week to get a brand new player pvp viable. I have risen through the ranks of the political game. I have squabbled with the trolls and lost my sanity a few times. Most importantly, I have observed and enjoyed and taken seriously everybody in this community. I have endless characters in my mind to think about and laugh about and ponder, whether it be Rayne, Christopher Stephens, or Hammer on You. They are real people who have affected me through a digital medium.
I have done so much in the past two years. I played obsessively for most of that time, rushing home after work to check my macros, nearly crashing my car while typing in WhatsApp about our plans for the evening. And yet I know that I have only scratched the surface. But for some reason im at a stand still. I need to shake things up. Ive lost passion for this community. I cant penetrate the troll culture. I honestly still dont even know what trolling is. I know it has to do with a complicated mixture of sadistic hate and self pity. It seems like a lot of people in this community have come to the conclusion that what they say doesnt matter so why try. I dont understand this. I dont believe this. Everybody’s words matter and I try to take everybody at face value. And when i take this community at face value i see a lot of potential, but I also see a lot of negativity. Useless negativity that is killing the game and ruining it for serious gamers. Trolling has killed this game for me. I’ll still play through the quest line on my noob Arqubal The Dark as I do research about the game but I will no longer play AC conventionally, pvping, macroing, lum loops etc.
As much as you all think you do not matter, you are real. Your words have a real effect. Trolling has gotten out of control and it is pure poison to this community. AC will overcome these dark ages but it will take a few great leaders like Desol and the rest of Legacy leadership. The few great leaders left in PB and UD, who are suffering under the succubuses that call themselves trolls but are really just insecure, stunted individuals who rely on the affections (pity) of better people to fuel their egos. For those of you who are laid back, who just want to enjoy the game, who care about this game, who want to see it succeed, who play AC like its a hobby not an addiction, who are stuck in guilds with megalomaniacal or stunted individuals, its time for you to step up and cut these maggots loose. Dont let the Darktide Narrative end here in a mess of fractured pointless squabbles on Postcount that dissolve the community into gangs and impotent thugs.
Asheron’s Call is a work of art. We are experiencing the most potential moment in MMO history. People are looking back at what made the grand old games great. AC is the epitome of a classic, influencing the genre while remaining nearly forgotten. The designers of this game were geniuses, far out on the cutting edge of technology, culture, and art. They have given you this. Don’t fuck it up.
When I stepped off that plane in San Francisco it was like I had woke from a dream. I quickly dove back into a dreamlike state with Asheron’s Call.
I have 13 accounts for sale, including *********** who has 50+ lum augs, a lvl 32 paragon, and gauntlet jewelry. I would like to sell all 13 accounts as a bulk deal. ? of the accounts have 10-20 lum augs. ? have 20-40. And ? have 40-50+.
All accounts have suits and are macro ready. There are mules full of shit there is no way i can itemize the accounts. I could probably print up a readinv spreadsheet or something. Many people have dumped off their mules onto my accounts so i have mules full of stuff i have never even looked at.
For those of you who donated accounts I hope you are not offended that I am selling. I really appreciate your generosity and I put the accounts to good use, particularly *********.
For details please PM me.
Serious offers only.
Reserve the right.
PART II: Thanks For All the Good Times
Hey guys I just thought i'd say a little something here as a good bye courtesy...
I apologize for leaving on such short notice. I started thinking about leaving pretty shortly after Jiminey promoted me to 2nd. I wasn't sure why I was having thoughts about quitting but looking back i guess my time with AC had matured to a point and although there was still so much to be done with the guild I felt like it was the right time to step away. The past two years have far surpassed my expectations for an online gaming experience. I grew up having big lan parties with my family my whole life. Being a part of legacy reminded me of those family Christmas vacation lan parties. You guys gave me an escape during stressful times and you all surprised me with real challenges that taught me real life lessons.
The thing that really made me want to sell my accounts and completely leave Darktide was this…
For the past week i have been doing research about AC’s development history, applying for teaching credential programs, and working on an MA and a PHD thesis. I have been reading interviews by writers, developers, and producers of AC. I have been reading books about my subject. I had been working on a plan to construct an MA thesis proposal and grant proposals on a my subject. But I am also planning on a larger project, a PHD thesis/grant proposal about the state of gaming. I know you guys dont want to hear about the shit i do. Its very technical and boring but its important to me. For the past few years I have been at a stand still in terms of research. I had too many plates in the air. I was finishing a BA that overlapped with an MA all the while I was working multiple jobs and starting new, more challenging jobs. I was pushing myself too hard and my research suffered as a result.
I came across some family money and my family has allowed me to stay at one of their estates free of rent. I can live off of mature bonds and do my research, I can finally chase my passion for research so im going to go for it. Two nights ago one of my professors emailed me a chain of leads that opened a lot of doors in my research. When i got that email I was struck with the sudden realization that If i wanted to chase my passion and actually knock out these MA and PHD projects, and do them right, I would have to quit gaming completely. It hit me a couple nights ago and I slept on it and decided that if i still felt the need to completely quit AC when I woke up then I would do so.
Last night I started working on my good bye post for Postcount. I wrote a rough draft and edited it a couple times. I decided that I would read it through once more around 5-6AM on Monday morning and if I still felt it was the right thing to do then I would post it in a goodbye thread. This morning when I read it, it felt right. I am detached from the way I used to play AC, macroing, and PVPing, the conventional grind. I will still be around on my noob, Arqubal the Dark, snoopin around some quests out of curiosity and taking notes for my research. I will probably start up feathered bread again as a bi-monthly noob night, so if you want to catch me in game, tune in to the stream.
For the body of this post I want to talk about the guild for a bit. I know only a few people will be able to read this post all the way through, and I do not expect all of you to. But I hope the few that do read this can use it as a guide, as a stand in for my leadership while I am gone.
Faulkner taught me that virtue is always relative to our circumstance. Legacy has faced and overcome HARSH circumstances. Asheron’s Call is not a popular game, and the few people left playing can be real assholes, with weird reasons for playing. Asheron’s Call is truly in its darkest hour. Never at ANY time in the history of Asheron’s Call has there been so purple a tide of darkness to strive against. The waves of negativity are seemingly IMPENETRABLE, and often baffling. The pure hatred that flows freely in this community is remarkable and incomprehensible. LEGACY HAS STOOD UP AGAINST IT AND SUCCEEDED. You should all be so proud of yourselves that you helped to make this guild what it is today. You took the wasteland that was Darktide and you cultivated it. And it flourished.
You all, but particularly Desol, Jiminey, and Shoff, took your positive attitudes toward life and applied them to this game and the game is still alive because of you. When I think about Legacy as a guild, and what we’ve become, it makes me want to hop right back up in the saddle and start macroing again, start PVPing again, brainstorming events, reviewing applications, recruiting new members, because Legacy has so much potential. Legacy is such a positive environment and it is mind blowing that you all have kept that alive in spite of the constant flow of negativity that has come at you.
But I can’t jump back in the saddle. I have way too much work to do. I have an entire aesthetic theory to tweeze out of thin air. I have thousands and thousands of pages of reading to do and probably a thousand to write myself. Circumstances have brought me to a point of massive potential in my life and I would be a disgrace not to attack life with full vigor at this point. But if I am going to do that then I need to get serious. I wish I had a normal 9 - 5 job sometimes so that i could get up in the morning and set up hoshinos with Bruce and Conduitz if they are still in Legacy, so i could rush home after work to see if I looted a skelley key or a nice CD2 piece. But my calling is a weird one. I’m a researcher, I am a full time student, a life long student, this will be my life and I am beyond lucky and thankful to have it.
NEVER GIVE UP
I was able to rise to 2nd in spite of a lot of people thinking I was a joke because I was relentless. I had a vision for Legacy and I still do. I want this gaming community to thrive, to take control of every situation, to be the most powerful presence in every game that you play, and use that power respectfully and with a love for the game and with a love for the community. Practice self-mastery so that you can express your excellence RIGHTEOUSLY. Lord your power over others for THEIR OWN GOOD.
Never stop being FIERCE. Never lose your edge. Never back down.
You will need sharp teeth as you rise to the top because the WEAK will try to take you down. They will try to poison you and corrupt you from within. Legacy is an ANTI-GRIEF Gaming Community. We strive to be the best and most fair. Desol, you have a target on your back but you should take that as a compliment. Everybody in DT wants to be you and they will try to take you down because they burn with jealousy. Officers protect your true king. Back each other up and keep each other accountable. Let their negativity fuel your positivity. You are the strongest leader EVER to emerge in Darktide history, I believe you have even eclipsed Fists of Vengeance. Because you let Legacy experience a “Full Pheonix.” This guild has been reduced to cinders multiple times but you always come back and bring us out of the ashes. And every time that happens we shed the weaker parts of ourselves and emerge unimaginably stronger. I MEAN that. Almost a year ago when I posted that I didnt think Legacy was the right place for me anymore, I meant it. I did not believe Legacy was going to be able to rise out of its ashes. But WE DID. And the guild has grown into something that I had never expected possible. We brought the best people in Darktide together in our mumble and we were able to bridge guild lines in multiple games, accepting UDs and PBs and even Get Downs alike into our community in Mortal and Rust, 7Days and Rise.
Legacy As A Multigaming Community
Asheron’s Call is and always will be the backbone of this community. Never abandon it for another game. Keep your presence in Darktide strong and you will always have something to fall back on. When you branch out into other games be ready for a testing ground. There is a huge potential for growth during these times when new games launch but there is also a lot at stake and a lot of tough decisions to be made and information to take in. We have learned it multiple times with new games that we can give and give and give and people will still try to destroy what we’ve built. As long as we are the better gamers in the end and we keep a positive attitude we can have fun “on our own terms.” That’s all that matters. Use these new games to set an example to other darktiders of who Legacy is, who we are, and how we play. We play fair but we fight like hell. Use these opportunities to build relationships with other darktiders across guild lines. Pull all nighters and have a blast but never forget what brought you all together. Never forget where you started.
Recruitment and the Overall Health of the Guild
Every officer and leader should be constantly building relationships with new people. We need to be a social and lively bunch, unassuming and open to new personalities. Just because somebody is extremely different than you are, or grew up differently, doesnt mean they arent a good fit for Legacy. They might have something to offer that you dont. Keep your fingers in a lot of pies. A lot of the best people in this community are stuck in shitty guild situations. They feel obligated to their immature leaders. For example Rotation and Blaspheme feel obligated to Matt because of what PB stands for or some shit. Even though they are not a good fit for PB, they should be in Legacy. Sinis feel obligated to Rocx. Dillinger feels obligated to Tom, even after all that shit. Pollard feels obligated to Ghosted, i think, or something. Pollard is a mystery man. There are a number of GREAT people who are in guilds with SHIT leadership but they wont admit it because they are afraid to cut those ties. Keep your eyes and ears open and focused on these good people and help them break from their abusive, stunted, self-pitying leaders. Guide these well intentioned people through the process of discovering new friends. Show them what a healthy community is.
Keep your eyes and ears open constantly and never shut up about Legacy. Even if people hate you for it. Getting the brand out there is important. People need to know who we are and where to go to put up an application. Stay active on reddit and MMORPG.com. These sites are where the games base will grow. Make sure you have active ads up at these sites at all time in all the proper subreddits and mmorpg forums. Accept as many applicants as possible but DO NOT BE AFRAID TO CUT PEOPLE AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN RECRUITED. Its ok to trim the fat. As leaders you should demand a certain standard of each member of the guild and if they fall below that then you need to let them go, nothing personal. Booting people is good. It shows everybody that we are serious about quality membership.
Keep an eye out for those players who are powerhouses; guys who are chomping at the bit to learn more and ask a lot of questions, the ones with above average gaming talent, the ones who are super competitive, the ones who love to macro, the ones who love to fight, the ones who can lead. Keep an eye out for the right leaders and promote them quickly and demand a lot from them to see if they can put up. If they cant then demote them, nothing personal. Keep the guild DYNAMIC. Its ok for titles to change. Demotions and promotions should not have too much weight. You are not your title, you are a personality. Make sure to balance the number of pvp only people with the number of pve only people. Find those really good teachers in the guild who know how to pass along macroing tips and tricks. These macroers will be the backbone of the guild so you can go out and dominate on the field.
Always be listening and learning from your members. Figure out who is spreading poison. Who is spreading negativity. Cut them. Be merciless. Watch out for TPS report. He is a troll at heart and those kinds of people spread negativity. Also watch out for Sozin. Be wary of those who speak carelessly.
Watch out for anybody that relies on you liking them or being attached to them. They are leeches. Keep people around for what they contribute positively to the guild. Legacy is a team, emphasize that. Legacy has a function: to provide a fun gaming environment to its members. Value people who contribute to that environment and get rid of anyone who takes away from that.
PVP: Strive for Spectacular Fights
Don’t be pussies. Drain that damage reduction and go for damage output and high health. Get a solid supply of coals and meads for the guild. High damage and high health is the key to spectacular fights. If you die, who cares? Strive for spectacular fights. There’s nothing like hitting for 500+ and theres nothing like getting hit for 500+ and living to tell about it.
Its ok to be a little bit rude in mumble if it means winning a fight. If someone is chattering over you and you are trying to call targets just firmly tell that person to be quiet or go to another channel.
You cannot rely on talent to win fights. We are not PB or UD, we are a big open guild that is welcoming to new players. Figure out a system of commands that will help you coordinate your actions in the heat of battle. I am a huge fan of this three step process:
Vuln and Call Vulns (target callers call out who they are vulning)
Select and Check (Call the target and have everybody check in when they have that target selected)
Call the Cast and Call to Shot (“Call the cast” means wait until the target starts casting, then tell everybody to shoot “call the shot.”)
If you guys really push this system and take initiative then you can quickly teach it to new members and greatly improve your chances of winning a fight. Remember mumble is not a social club. Its a tool that we use to improve our gameplay experience. If someone is a blabbering idiot, tell them to be quiet. Its not personal. Think of it as a sport, bowling team, or whatever. Have some self respect, don’t let yourself lose your temper.
I have one last petty remark/request/demand of the guild. I know I have been pretty bossy in this whole address but I want to throw my weight around one more time while I have access to these boards: please change the guild colors to black and red. Here is why I think this would be a good idea for Legacy:
Black is the color of class. Legacy is the black tie party of Darktide.
Black is the color of shadows. We do not flaunt, we do not showboat, we do not talk shit. We quietly reign from the shadows. We are everywhere and everybody fears us. We are part of the atmosphere - an element of Darktide that needs no recognition but demand respect through our actions.
Black is the color of dark. We are no longer an adolescent guild. We have matured. And with that maturity comes a loss of innocence. Our leaders are hardened individuals who are willing to make tough choices and reap the consequences of those choices. We are positive people but there is a darkness there too. We’ve been through shit and come out the other end. We are rough hewn and carry deep scars with pride. With age comes a certain stoicism that is earned.
Black is the color of flesh that been touched by ashes. Legacy has been through multiple life cycles. We have been burned down and risen from the ashes. We will burn and fall and rise again. We accept the inevitable. We seek the refining flame because we know it will burn away our lesser selves and potentiate those ashes into a greater visage of our prior form.
Black is the color of Denzel Washington’s skin.
Red is the color of embers that burn low. Red is the color of blood. We are brothers and sisters together. I am proud to call Legacy a brotherhood that was part of my life for almost two years. We are vital. Darktide is the heart and we are the blood that beats against its walls; formidable, virile, magnanimous.
Legacy has overcome great odds but we remain. We are Blood. We are Marcus Illiandor. We are King Desol. We are The Last Stand. We are the life and death of this server. The responsibility is ours but I pass it on to you.