Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Three Years Ago - The Community That Was

Three years ago, this very night, the day after the UO Community Day of 2004 in San Francisco, I wound up leading a small group of community members through the downtown areas of that city.

EA had us all out there for the Community Day on Friday, September 25th, a day we got to hang out at EA's amazing Redwood Shores studios with the developers and everyone else at UO. At night, they took us downtown for dinner.

Saturday was ours to do with as we pleased, and I had a personal itenerary for the day all planned out. The other members of the community that had attended, I can safely say, had not planned the day to the extent I had, so a bunch of them followed me into the city.

It was a sixteen hour odyssey only for the strong. Those who weren't strong, well, whined a bit. But all bitching aside, it was a great time and I hope that they had fun too. From downtown to Chinatown to Fisherman's Wharf, and back to the Caltrain Station for the last train out, with folks coming and going from the group.

A highlight of the day was when we picked up some cheap plastic neon-colored weapons at a tourist shop and did some good old UO banksitting:

From left to right are Yukon Jack (of Stratics?)and his wife Partice, me in the back with the shades, a woman named Karen (I think, affiliation unknown), Crazy Joe (Stratics), Fizban (FCB), Trinity X(Ianstorm), Trinity's boyfriend or husband, whose UO name I forget, Fizban's friend, and Nieves of UO Powergamers. Taking the picture was Talanithus Tarant of UOLS

I could write a book on those four days of my life, and the impact it all had on me. But what strikes me the most when I think about it is this - at that time, the UO community representatives that we were said to be were tighter than ever, and Chris "Binky" Lanius had vowed to keep it tight after the event.

Within a year after that event, most of those people were gone from UO and its community, as were most of the developers (and the producer) that we had hung out with there.

Gone from the team were Hanse, Oaks, Vex, Fertbert, Speedman, Toes, Leurocian, and producer SunSword, who had promised at the event to take UO from being the grandfather of MMORPGs to the godfather of them. Mr. Tact held on until recently, and Leurocian returned last year. At the event were new members of the team Lady Lu, who became producer after SunSword left, and Darkscribe, who took over after Lady Lu and departed a few weeks ago.

Almost all of us community people had stopped playing within that time, too, and over at Stratics, the only person who was at the event and as far as I can tell still posts is Sarsmi.

If EA had held such an event this year, it would have been an almost completely different lineup. That event brought the UO fansite community together with the team in such a strong way, with such promise for the future, that it's still hard for me to get my mind around how quickly things turned from that energized feeling of hope we all shared.

Still, I have the pictures and the memories, and I'll never forget those days. In honor of the attendees (the ones that I remember, sorry to those I forget), here's a listing of all of them:

Admiral Ruffie Windjammer (me)
Fizban (FCB)
Fizban's non-UO playing friend
Lady Malynn (Stratics)
Lady Malynn's non-UO playing husband
Lady Beth (Stratics)
Lady Beth's husband (plays UO)
Crazy Joe (Stratics)
Sarsmi (Stratics)
Bella Noire (Stratics)
Yukon Jack (Stratics)
Patrice (Yukon Jack's wife?)
Swamp Thing ? (Stratics)
Trinity X (Ianstorm)
Trinity X's (husband or boyfriend?)
Delilah Jones (Ianstorm)
Nieves (UO Powergamers)
Nevyn (UO Powergamers)
Markee Dragon (Markee Dragon)
Merkere ? (Markee Dragon's wife)
Lady Alexandra (Markee Dragon)
Talanithus Tarant (UOLS)
Dragons (The Syndicate)
Greg Dean (Real Life Comics, and very rude to me at the event when I tried to talk to him)
Liz ? (Greg Dean's wife? in both the comic and reality - I think)
Karen (she was with my group all day in downtown San Francisco, but I cannot for the life of me remember her UO name or affiliation)

That's honestly all I can remember at this point. Wherever you all are, I hope you all look back on those days as fondly as I do.


Paul said...


This is Nevyn. Was feeling a bit nostalgic and managed to find this post on a google search. Doubt you'll see this as I'm commenting on an old message.

As to the end, of your post I look back on those days fondly. I'm actually pretty bummed to have lost touch with most of the people in the community. RL hit me like a ton of bricks, so I left the online community for awhile. When I tried to get back in everyone I knew was gone. Alas.

Ruffie said...

Great to hear from you Nevyn. I was really hoping that the Community Day would turn into an annual event, and we'd all catch up every year.

Oh well. Take care, and thanks for stoping by.

Talanithus said...

Hey, it's Tal.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I think UO has a special place in all of our hearts. I know it does in mine.... or I'd stop paying for my account. LoL.

I hope all is well with you!