This week has been quite the interesting week, starting with this past weekend. Having been out of town to attend a function, coming back home to both a game anniversary and launch… it’s been fairly crazy. We pick up the ongoing series after a successful upload (finally) and immediately note some changes in the way of doing business.
So I don’t know why I have trouble with YouTube uploading sometimes. It really bothers me, because it’s not possible to find a fix without knowing the root problem. /sigh. Regardless, upload was a success, so a 2-fer this week! Yay!
Let’s Start With The News
There are two things of interest to me that have occurred this past week, and I think they are quite telling in how each play out.
Stated without proof: the majority of the MMORPG playerbase today has no clue who or what UO is. Celebrating 15 years of uptime, and being the founder of the graphical MUD-to-MMORPG concept, Ultima Online turns a quiet page in its history. Progress is measured not in leaps and bounds but in systematic steps, and UO provided a crucial step to pave the way for the genre we enjoy today.
Taking the opportunity to reflect on this, Raph Koster gives us nice, personal insight to the game that makes all of this possible. Note that on this event that we have the opportunity to learn more about the game.
Wonderful: Obsolete Waypoints
Launching in its 5th iteration, the game we are all familiar with has caused some changes within the game (yet again: talent trees). But the real tell here comes from the community. It has come to my attention that on the eve of MoP’s launch, old.wowhead removed all old items, NPCs, quests et al from their database. As of this posting, the titles are still present in the database, but the links aren’t:
This is yet another resource destroyed. Sad times indeed. (At least we still have the Wayback Machine! And that bad boy ain’t going anywhere.) Note that here, during this momentous event, we have lost the opportunity to learn more about the game in question.
The Future Is Written By Historians
This is a telling time in the MMORPG genre, for those who care to take note. One one hand, we have a title with workers who take pride and have the freedom to share about the history of the game, how it was made- to include the black stains of lawsuits. On the other hand, we have a game that routinely erases its previous iterations with updates to obsolete content and a community that removes the history, the timeline of progression.
Without a past, there is no future.
Now’s a great time to reinforce the value of this series. The whole purpose at hand is to catalogue every last detail of a game’s soul so that the past won’t be viewed through rose lenses, can’t be claimed to be done so by those with bitter feelings. The past will be cemented so that the future of the genre might still have hope for what makes it great.
The Play Session
No more pure questing! Today we Shadowfang! The wonderful joy of forming groups… now made simple with Ez-Grp Pro! Seriously, I’ve never, never understood the gripes with groups. As has been demonstrated today, and will likely continue to be demonstrated in the future, the recipe is so easy a murloc could do it: mix 2 cups of communication, slowly add 7 scoops of forward planning, and add a pinch of patience.
Death Count: (+3) 13
This Arugal has long taunted me. He sends his Sons to cultivate the herbs that were destined to be mine. Thief. He sits atop his keep, spreading his plague through agents. Coward. His whisperings of mockery taunt his enemies. Bastard.
Others wish him dead as well. Two strange humans residing out of a tent in southern Barrens seek some relics, one of which is held in Arugal’s stronghold. They’ve promised to craft a potent staff in exchange for its acquisition. I’ve no qualms with settling a score and getting paid for it. Little do they know I’ve a personal bone to pick with Arugal. Ha-haha! Bone… to pick. Oh deadbeats, the lot of you. Your humor is bland and innocent. May you live in death like you did in life.
And so I will collect these deadbeats to enact my will. I’ve learned through a recent Orc’s sacrifice that the most powerful ability in my arsenal is the one I don’t need to use. I will gather up a band o’ merry men whenever a visit with undeath might be lurking, and test the waters with their souls instead. There is much to learn by watching the fall of others, and I am an observant student. I will grow in power, I will shake my past, I will be the shadowcaster I was unborn to be.
Arugal, have you met Tabby?
Series: Vanilla Preservation Project