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Reflections of a DARK Sandwich
In my time in TFC, which is now, oh god, do I dare say over 7 years if not a little more or so less, I can't even remember, I've never had a level 50. I've never been an OM, been feared amongst players, most just knew me as the guy that died a lot and couldn't pk worth crap. My only successful pk tactic was to get pummeled by another player until that player felt so confident of a win they spam c 'rift' or disarm ten times while my hidden or disregarded level 50 friend steps in to deal some pain. I've never had a simple, a ND weapon or bag, I've only held a 4dmg once. For such a long career in the game it seems odd I didn't achieve any of these things. But then I never really cared. I played to have fun. Dying was fun. Getting lost and begging for help was fun. Being bait was fun. Talking to people I'd never or would ever see in RL was fun. I enjoyed the game. I played it to enjoy it and I never cared that among the "elites" I was a joke, if I was even noticed. The last time I could say I truly enjoyed TFC was a few years ago. Now I feel like I'm back at church, I log on to check notes, make lip service to my loyalty, and then log out. Sure I have a few laughs, but nothing compared to the times I used to spend four or five hours a day playing. Why? Why did I just lose joy in the game?
It's not that I found the world of video cards and graphics and team-speak. I still mudded, more actually, just on different muds. I just now realized why I lost my passion for the game, I screwed up. Granted I didn't cuss out an immortal, break off ties with everybody I knew, or something like that. I just didn't do enough. When players started measuring cyber penis-size in collections of dmg/da combos and what not, I ignored it. Let them play their game and I play mine. When players started taking OOC issues into the IC realm and called it RP, I ignored it. Let them play their game and I will play mine. When players started using forums as places to complain about rules, other players, or to talk about other online games, I ignored it. Let them play their games, I will play mine. People having issues not with characters but with players themselves. Constant flaming and a never ending string of lame, recycled, homophobic, anti-this and anti-that rhetoric that did nothing but incite more of the usual. Then the usual "That was just me screwing around, I don't actually mean it" as if that held any weight after the page long rants about how character fantasies about another. Of course let us not forget the random and unpredictable barrages of somebody deciding to really stir things up just for a lark. Then we go to rule changes, which always add a pleasant feel to the forums and note board. Rules being put in then several players screaming bloody murder because it hurt them. Nobody stopped and said "Maybe this rule is better for the game, which is more important than me being able to log my level 15 cleric, find my pk target, then log on my level 50." I just said let them play their game, and I did. Then it hits me, I don't have a game anymore. TFC isn't the same. Not the community of people from all over the country and world sharing one expierance, not people generally having fun doing what they are doing. It is nice to see people starting fantasy football leagues, showing off baby pictures (baby Sol/Kat is cute as all hell) but that seems swallowed by the sea of stupidity and immaturity. Now its a place of trash talking, whining, baiting, accusing, and the same players killing the same people. I was stupid enough to think if I just ignored things they would just shift back to what they were.
I didn't do enough to preserve the game I wanted to play. I didn't do enough to help TFC in the way I wanted it to be. I didn't complain to the proper channels about my issues. I didn't try and bring new players that were outside the constant politics and braggarts. I didn't do anything, so I blame no one but myself and every one else that might feel the way I do. If you don't enjoy TFC, chances are it's your fault. Those, if any, and I admit there is probably not that many like me in this regard, feel like me, look back what you've done, what you've seen, and what you let happen. The loudest and the most persistent people shape policy and relations. The few that could stand a lesson in empathy, respect, maturity, and a few more lessons regarding basic human interaction took over things. It is a different game than it was. Some like that. That's fine, I never wanted to stop people from playing their game. But nobody made that consideration for me. Some may say "Go out, play, have fun. Forget the others." and I tried that. I went out, I even gained a few levels, and then would get pk'd, mob die and get looted, bad recall and lose corpse, or just grow bored. Kill centaur, c 'light' and rinse and repeat. Nobody over ftell felt like chatting, so I sit in kitchen and read. Occasionally I would get haunted and would just log off to save time. I'm tired of logging onto forums and seeing nothing but posts about WoW (which looks like a cool game), somebody flaming somebody, or the rare PK log that is posted and then subjected to a chorus of "You suck so bad. I can't believe you didn't do this this this this this. God why do you even bother playing?". I guess when it comes down to it, most people play games because they want to win. I play games because I want to have fun. How do you win at a MUD? Hit max level? Have the best set? The highest pk to death ratio? The most glorious exploits? Become the Implementor? That's why I liked TFC, I could never beat it. That made it that much more fun. I started a newb and remained a newb. Maybe that's why it stopped being fun. I wasn't good enough to run with the big dogs. That could very well be the case I suppose. I still only blame myself and maybe those that feel like me and just did nothing about it too. I look back now and look over the note boards I had saved out of boredom or the forums and I realize I would never let hypothetical children play this game, hell even my siblings. Sometimes I think it's better if they just played GTA, then at least you can tell them its just pixels on a screen, the sad reality is here is that these aren't just pixels on a screen but real people. Real people doing idiotic things, saying idiotic things, and just being idiotic. Some say it is just their character, others pass it off as just saying "Hey, its a game, it doesn't matter", it still seems odd to do what is often done "just to do it" I think maybe I should kick a puppy and then claim I'm normally quite nonviolent was just doing it cause there are billions of puppies in the world. But I digress... If you've read this far, I am not in anyway pointing the finger at any specific player. I blame myself mostly, people did what they did because they wanted too. I can't and shouldn't be able to change that. If you feel personally attacked by these reflections, chances are you did something to feel guilty about. That's your issue, not mine. If I had specific issues with people I would have called you out. I don't hold any grudges, I don't care why this person did this or that person said that. I am just saddened I let myself ruin a game I truly cared about. I've probably said this before, but Tynian got me off the streets. I can't imagine what kind of dumb crap I would have gotten into if I didn't spend the majority of my time on this game.
In the end of these reflections, if it wasn't obvious by line 3 then hold on for the plot twist, I officially announce my complete retirement. Thank you to Tynian for creating a wonderful game that I have spent so much time on. To Vash, for getting me to start, and to the Booga, one of the best reasons to play TFC. To everyone else I may have met, thanks for the good times.
Gyro/Chuy/Lorg/Nero (long long time ago)/and a host of others I've forgotten.