Farewell Arete

Oh hello there, I didn’t see you come in.  Won’t you make yourself comfortable?

There’s been a lot on the go since I last wrote and I thought it was well past time to got down a few lines.

Some of you will recall that when I returned to the Realms of Despair that I joined the Order of Arete.  The order was formed primarily by a group of players who were unhappy with the way Dragonslayer was being run at the time.  The details depend on who you ask so I won’t put myself in the middle of it, I wasn’t here at the time.  It seems that in the next little while the order will be shut down.  This is a pretty rare thing in the Realms, the only other order to be decommissioned was Maidenstone.  I’ve written before about the drama that led to my decision to leave Arete and that a number of players came with me back to Dragonslayer which was under new management.  The whole thing was triggered by Raveyn and Jaxxon disappearing, effectively vacating the Leader and First positions and it seems that exodus is part of the death knell we hear tolling today.  I applaud Alex and the others who have been involved with trying to keep the order alive and for what appears to be a substantial effort to close the order in a very fair manner.

Some of you noticed I’ve also left Dragonslayer.  Less drama around this decision but I would say that the new areas being introduced and no one around to explore with was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I see they’ve been recruiting members of GoO again and running S/O and I wish them well.  I’ve seen this exact pattern before and the people recruited ended up going inactive after getting discouraged by maybe this time it’ll be different.

I’ve come to the point of my game playing now where I’m interested in having fun.  If I can’t figure out how to have fun I may as well quit and go do something else with my time.  I have been playing a great deal on my own and I’ve been having fun with adventuring but ultimately I returned to the Realms to have a bit of a social aspect to my game.  My Diablo clan had reduced itself to a few guys who only wanted to run top tier stuff and wouldn’t help anyone who was beneath that play level.  Similarly I see a lot of people on Realms with the attitude “it’s not worth the effort to run it, just buy it off auction and gold when you’re bored”.  If this is how you play can I suggest that there are other games where you leave your browser window open and the gold total ticks up and every so often you have new events available you can watch… and if the gold ticks up too slow you can go all hax0rz on the Javascript and just put whatever total you want in.

As an applicant to Ascendere I’ve encountered a group of players that go and kill things and gear their characters themselves.  They adventure and learn and poke into corners of the Realms  just for fun.  I’ve been to a great number of mobs lately that “aren’t worth the effort, just buy it off auction and gold to get more gear”.  I’ve had a lot of fun actually knocking these things down and seeing how they’ve been written.  There are some less fun aspects to some of these fights but they’re unique challenges.

There is a lot of effort going into recruiting new players.  Last time almost none of them stuck around.  Attitudes are contagious, yours might kill.  If you have a bad attitude consider that just because you’ve been there and done that doesn’t mean others have.  Maybe if you’ve been there and done that to death it’s time to just retire and stop pretending that you play… or maybe you can find a way to put that vast experience to work in a positive way.  Build something, write a quest … try something you haven’t done before, you might find a new measure of reward.

… and Justice for all!

So after a week that’s mostly been about working on the item database (the drop downs will now update your equipment choices correctly and remove any items from your character that won’t work anymore) and trigger writing (reroller, adepting, a little levelling) a nice simple run seemed like a good chance of pace.

Juan and I went over and visited Justice for a few kills.  We did this IP1 just for simplicity shieldbashing and circling away.  We walked away with 1 devout scale and 3 neutral ones for a total of about 2m in repairs but more importantly we got off our butts and went and did something! 🙂

On our third kill I pulled a good old fashioned newbie move and walked into a fight with no sanc on.  Full tankset, no sanc.  *facepalm*  For Justice, this doesn’t matter even a little bit because she doesn’t tank swap unless you style up, but it’s a great reminder to me to pay attention!! 🙂

Rediscovering the Realms

Over the last few days I’ve been reading a lot of websites; RoDpedia, Nelkum‘s, Tokai‘s, GoV and Silverwolf sites all get a shout out here.

I saw that set items have come into the Realms and being a collector of such things in Diablo 2 and 3, this immediately caught my attention.  The Guise of the Falcon set in particular, with a piece of useful face equipment seemed like a reasonable goal to chase; designed to be handled solo and a not bad reward for the effort; the downside, coughing up 5 million gold coins and a jade strand!!

I’ve been getting to know some people over at Arete, one of them, Raja, was up for a run so I suggested we go hit Jade.  In short order Raja, Feitt and I schlepped over to Seth’s Fortress to layeth the smack down.  I managed to forget to switch styles and start quaffing heals when she switched the tank to me and I died on the 2nd kill, but c’est la vie.  Jade took a real shine to Feitt and loved on him for most of the 3 kills but kudos to him for staying alive on his first “big” mob run 🙂

Thanks guys!  Looking forward to doing it again soon.

Getting my feet on the ground

It’s amazing how many of the commands and how many details of the Realms I instantly recalled.  It didn’t take too long to track down Arca who has been keeping my chars alive for years.  Only a few autodeleted, like Raspberry the Paladin and Darhma the Thief (Darmha and Tharius were mudmarried back when she was Julie’s thief).  A big thanks to Raveyn and Kyrna of the Order of Arete for helping with that.

Unsurprisingly in the years that Turlough held the characters and the years since that Arca has held them, a lot of the equipment has been shuffled around, used elsewhere, traded, sold or whatever.  In all fairness, if I held someone’s characters for a decade I’d think of them as mine and do pretty well what I pleased too.  Notwithstanding, by shuffling things around I’ve got several very usable characters ready to use.

So the big question was do I rejoin the Order of Dragonslayer?  I felt at home there, once upon a time, and since I still had Claws of the Wyrm on my hands I thought it was a no brainer to go ahead and rejoin.  I remember Sophie and Joe from Guild of Druid runs to Danbala (and elsewhere) and think well of them, I’ve had no problems with either of them and I haven’t been around if there have been controversies.

Something I realize in coming back to the game is that I’m looking for a social environment.  I joined and left Diablo 3 clans for that reason, I can play well enough alone but I am looking for some comradeship.  When it comes to Realms I enjoy exploring and running.  It’s ok to spend 3 hours and only come home with a green line of text because that’s the game.  Not really all that different than Diablo farming in that regard, you’re building up characters and using them to take you further into the game.

In the first few days back I was very excited to be back and active.  I wanted to jump back into running and to help rebuild Dragonslayer.  Hell if I had my way I’d also build a Facebook app out of the Flash MUD client on the Realms main page and herald a new flow of players into the Realms.  I got re-inducted, asked for and got wiki access and proceeded to straighten out some of my characters.

It’s times like this that I get myself into trouble.  I take on too much, get disappointed when I don’t get big results, give up and move on.  I’ve learned a few things along the way and I have to take a breath and acknowledge some things to myself; the current situation is not my fault and no one expects me to fix it, I contribute best when I am engaged and that it’s okay to just want to participate and set my own goals in the game.

While getting organized I chummed with Raveyn and Arca a fair amount, naturally.  I came to acknowledge that in the time I was online there were always a number of active Arete around who have been pretty friendly thus far.  Simultaneously with the exception of 2 old friends, I have seen very few Dragonslayers online.  Lounging at the Summit was a frequent activity, back in the day, but there were always people coming or going.

When I was asked if I’d like to apply to Arete I really had a moral crisis.  I want to help Dragonslayer rebuild, the order was good to me and I think it’d be very satisfying to see it active but I’ve come to question whether I am at a point where I’m able to help.  Yes, I can be around and be active but with my current commitments to family, school and work I don’t think I should make any serious time commitments.  Next, I need to relearn the runs and learn to play at competitive level like I did in the past.  That means I need mentors to learn from or else it will be a very long process.  As much as it stinks, I don’t see a mentor like that in DS for me.  Yes, some of the players who are playing in DS could fill that role, but if we’re not on at the same time or miss each other, then it doesn’t work out.

I understand there’s been some housecleaning of old, inactive characters (ha, like me!) but more than that, there seems to have been an exodus a little while ago to Arete.  I have heard bits and pieces about this and I believe there are hurt feelings among those directly involved, so all I’ll say here is that my decision to leave Dragonslayer and join Arete was purely based on my own situation and not a reflection of what has gone on over the last few months (especially).  If I could have kept a foot in both orders I would have but neither order allows it.  Perhaps I should have held off on the request for re-induction or for the wiki access so that there’d be no question of my motives.  I wish DS all the best and if I can still contribute from Arete, I’m happy to help.  Creemore, Sophie, Joe, I hope there are no hard feelings and I hope that we will run together soon.