the lifestone flinches


I won’t use this tag very often, but today’s blithering is centered around the first MMO I ever played, Asheron’s Call. Warner Brothers, who owns the content, is shutting the servers down tomorrow. I figured this day would come, they announced a couple of years ago that they would no longer be updating the game or producing any more content, and beyond maintenance and in-game admin, they were going to just let people enjoy the content there is.

My server was Thistledown, also known as “TD”. I met some really neat people in it, including [Hroth] (who abhores social media) and [Skylatron], who has made a living out of gaming since. TD has also been home to a small number of (known to us players) celebrities like Maggie the Jackcat and the team who, out of all the servers, succeeded against Bael’Zharon during an early event in which players defended the crystal so much that the devs finally had to intervene to get the damned thing to die. rofl

I have many, many memories of this game, mostly under the tutelage of my patron, Butterfly Soul, who showed me the unique server memorial from the above event, helped me figure out how this whole game thing worked, and patiently tolerated my many “yay, I leveled!” exclamations. He faded away, but he will always be well thought of. I parked myself under Hroth later. My guild didn’t talk to me much, but tolerated dragging my newbie ass on all the things. It’s there that I realized I like shepherding newbies more than advancing my own character, and I developed some really deep friendships as I went. Their character names are lost to the sands of time.

Sometimes I owned a house, and occasionally a villa, but I wouldn’t play for a spell and forget to pay rent, and the property would go to someone else. It was still fun.

I printed out many, many, MANY MANY pages of notes, maps, and quest guides over the years. I may still have that binder somewhere.

I lost interest in the game after the introduction of luminescence and higher level caps. It got too complicated for me to grock, after having played the original game for so long. I did try, but it never grabbed me like it had. Also too, they never upgraded the polygons, so it looks dated, for all the literal thousands of years of lore they’ve produced for this game over the years.

My favorite NPC was Ulgrim, who was always chugging a beer and muttering nonsense about Easter eggs that the devs wrote into his ever-changing dialogue each patch. Close behind would probably be Martine, who collected some interesting things in his underground room.

And I always thought the amuli pants looked like a quilted blanket wrapped poofily around one’s legs.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Turbine titles because of this game.

I don’t want it to go away, and I hope some company is someday allowed to take this abandonware and create the ability for us old farts to log in again, or create private servers as was once spoken about as a thing they wanted to have happen.

A few friends will be streaming it today, and I will watch. And probably cry.

I hope he attuned before the servers went offline.

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