I was content to sit in my rocker on my porch and watch my favorite reality show; the erosion of democracy (He wasn’t.) Upon my mantle, my legendary verbal shotgun sat collecting dust. I left on MY terms! But You couldn’t let me be, could you? I did not ask for this, I did not want this! (But I did!) Tim was Tireless but Tireless was a past life. (Yahssss, say my name again it makes me stronger.) I put him down and moved on! (He tried, he failed like he always does.)
When thousands of voices cried out at once, then suddenly went silent from the unveiling of Final Stand; Ragnarok (Rag) you unknowingly group cast res on me! (On us!) In the silence, he spoke again and my great detractor was resurrected…(O-M-G can he be any more dramatic? I’m not THAT bad am I?) Sigh, yes, yes you are. (I am what you are too weak to be!)
How could this be? We backed Camelot Unchained, an RVR MMORPG. Not only was Rag NOT an MMORPG, but it lacked the decency to feature PVP! It was a PVE game and worse yet, it was unveiled during a stream that had been hyped for Camelot Unchained! (Salt!) As if that wasn’t bad enough, in the stream, it was being played on a tool used by our less evolved cousins, a controller! (PC master race 4-life.) This was a joke? A dark, sick, twisted joke! MJ you scamp! At least, that seems to be how many reacted, albeit with stronger words than scamp. (Like rascal.) I can only speak to my own reaction.
This had to be an elaborate marketing ploy I thought to myself! Mark is a mad MMORPG genius, surely this was all part of the RVR grandmasters plan! (4D chess.) Camelot Unchained was built upon the foundational principals, principals that Mark vowed would remain unbroken! Were several of these principals sacrificed in the Depths to forge the Frankenstein that is Ragnarok? (The foundation of every empire was built with the corpses of those childish ideals you hold so dear.) I was in a daze…my stomach ached! (Over a game lolz.) What had I gotten myself into? (You can only blame yourself.) Should I refund? Maybe I will decrease my pledge…I…I don’t know what to do!
I spent a few days in shambles; confused, sad, angry, and above all else, disappointed. The emotions came and went like Veilstorms; roaring, dominating, then slowly fading away. Disoriented I lost my way and when I stumbled upon the path again it was too late. A dark passenger had reattached himself. (Compliments will get you nowhere!) That wound brings us to here and now.
Behind this keyboard sits a much different person than the one from so many years ago. Time is the ultimate PVPer. I have lost things I can never get back; friends, family, hope, the painless days of youth. (You will always have meee!) Things could be much worse, or much better. I sit somewhere in between, just existing. I speak to You through my now aged spaceship with which I explore the vast uncertainty of life, the universe, and MMORPGs. (Still with the shameless pop culture ploys.) You brought me back to one of the few realms where I feel the most understood, where I feel I understand You the most. I returned to my MMORPG kin. How silly it is to relate to faceless avatars hiding behind their masks; to feel connected with them despite never truly knowing them. Yet I do and even though most of You will deny it, You do too. That brings us back to the Ragnarok announcement.
We were wounded, a wound of the MMORPG soul, and it hurt. It actually hurt us. That is a testament to the relationship many of us share with Camelot Unchained, and the relationship Mark Jacobs has forged with many of us. Perhaps that is why so many felt such sorrow? Such fear, such anger, and of course, such hate. (The foundation of every Sith empire was built with the corpses of those childish ideals you hold so dear as well newb.) Some, albeit the minority of backers, lashed out at not just Mark, but his crew at City State Entertainment as well.
If the, clearly failed, game crowdfunding movement has done one good thing, it’s that it created jobs for hundreds if not thousands of people to get experience in this challenging industry. Being personally attacked for having a job to support yourself, your family, to pay bills and put gas in your car; a tragedy of the times. I would wager most of us have had to do what we were hired to do, I can not fault any of them for doing just that. (Even the ones that think Stargate>Expanse.) So who deserves the blame? The hate? Does Mark Jacobs? He certainly took the brunt of it but I am not sure any person DESERVES that kind of hate.
You guys like inside information right? Here is some for you. More than a few developers have dodged or flat out refused my questions in the past. Mark has tanked every, single, one. Yet this time the words flung at him were even beyond what I have been able to muster! His armor was broken, the light streamed from it as it disintegrated. Beneath it was a humbled man bearing his soul in an apology stream. (A year away has made you weak, maybe you should let me take over…maybe I can!)
Based on my observations of Mark Jacobs he is many things. Let’s put this in MMORPG terms. If Mark Jacobs were a character in one of his games, he would likely be a tank with secondaries in crafting and a wordsmithing. His boons would be genius-level; intellect, business management, personal communication, and creativity. (And his pocket healer.) His banes would be mass communication, staying on target, developmental road maps, and of course, the bane of all game Gods, launch dates.
More than all of that he is a human. Seeing him as one of the Gods of MMORPG’s along with names like Koster, JTodd, Walton, Garriot, Smedley, and respectfully, McQuaid allows us to forget that he is…that they are human. (Lizard people, all of them!) Humans make mistakes and, as Mark admitted, he did too. Unfortunately this time it hurt hundreds of his most ardent supporters. He took his lashings. Our relationship with him may never be the same, but I hope we can move on. What we need from him now is to unite, to lead, and to help us heal. I see no reason we cannot try to do the same for Mark and everyone at City State Entertainment. (You speak for no one!)
Trust can only be mended in small increments, 90 days of trust at a time seems like a good dose. He has 90 days and a road map. If successful I suggest we ask for another 90 days and another road map, and 90 after that and so on and so forth until this engine resembles the game it was always meant to be. (Your demands mean nothing!)
Does the observational data from the last seven years tell me that makes sense? Hell no! Did I crowdfund an idea on paper because it made sense? Hell no! I did it because of how I feel about MMORPG’s is not logical, it is irrational and emotional. I suppose that is what some call…love. (Love, you know nothing of such things!) My trust may be compromised, but my resolve has never been stronger. (Big words while the refund policy holds.) I am determined to see this game not only get to launch but to do whatever I can in the interim to help it be as close to what was promised as possible.
I do it for myself and my dream of hauling goods then running away into a vast open-world forest when the cherry pickers come hunting! (COWARD!) I do it for my genre as an F-YOU to big publishers that claimed MMORPGs could no longer succeed! I also do it for a fallen god that descended from the mountain over seven years ago and tried to talk to his people about a new world he was dreaming of right on this site’s forum.
Just as now he was verbally ganked and left laying when I stumbled upon his body; bloody, broken, defeated. I gave him a res and mended his wounds. In return, he gave me his ear. As we spoke I began to see him not as a God of the MMORPG genre but as one of us. Last, even after Ragnarok, I still strive for this game to be completed because I want to see him restored to his former glory atop the MMORPG mountain. Even after all that has transpired, I do not think it is too late for him to deliver us the new world and make that climb. Ragnarok burns but I still want the same thing he does, the same thing so many of you cry out for; not a game to play in, but a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Play WORLD to live in! That is why I remain. You? You have to find your own reasons, rational or not. (You…I…me too Tim, me too).
About Tim Eisen
Embedded reporter relaying news from the front lines of the MMORPG development wars, Tim and is passenger offer YOU eye witness accounts of what it is like to be a fan in the never-ending chaos that is MMORPG game development.