Dec 212012

A Mayan Calendar
A truly beautiful Mayan calendar
Warning: Any rumors it contains regarding the Earth’s death have been greatly exaggerated

Yes, if you can read this then the Earth and those on it have successfully entered the new Mayan Long Count (as of 4:00 am EST) and managed to do so without cataclysm, apocalypse, or other massive-life-ending event.

Phew, that was a close one. Except not really, at least, not according to NASA.

Still, it was kind of sad, contemplating the end of all things, even though you knew that day was far in our future. Someday there will be a Ragnarok, not today, but someday. Eventually, existential blackness comes to all things. And not just real things, but virtual things too.

This is somewhat old news, but City of Heroes went dark last month. Launched the year before DDO went live, City of Heroes was the original superhero MMO. I never played, even when it went free-to-play, partly because the F2P model they used was very limiting (who wants to play a superhero when they don’t even get to design the costume?), and partly because DC Universe Online already existed and Marvel Heroes is on the way.

I was troubled by the loss of CoH. At one time it was a very successful game, with a successful expansion pack (City of Villains), and a stream of regular updates. If it could happen to CoH, it could happen to any game. I can’t even bring myself to type it but you know which game I mean. The sudden discontinuance of French and German language support in DDO did not exactly provide reassurance.

See? Dark thoughts. Unpleasant. Maybe it is just the Solstice getting to me. I am a creature of light, I hate getting up in the dark and still getting home from work in the dark too.

Ill-at-ease, I cast about for a way to address this, not just in this blog but also in my head. I couldn’t think my way through, every time I started to write about the topic it got away from me, skittering about and crawling into uncomfortable places that made me give up and erase the whole thing; even a blank page was less irksome than what I had written.

And then, a ray of hope, more than a ray, a beacon, gleaming forth from – of all places – Turbine itself. Asherons Call 2 is being restarted! It will be on a new server, with newly-added Free To Play. Many of us remember the pain it took to add F2P to DDO, but that is not the point. The point is the game is being brought back!

It is going back into beta, which seems weird for a game that is ten years old, but Turbine has to figure out how to support it again. Plus there will be the whole F2P thing.

As DDO players, this is such good news! Has WB/Turbine devised a business model that supports games indefinitely? Even low-popularity games? What about the game engine? Isn’t it supposed to be the same engine that DDO uses? Does this mean maybe we can even hope for the kinds of engine updates that were previously unthinkable due to game age and lack of a business case?

Root for this to work. Cross your fingers and pray (or meditate or visualize or whatever it is you do) that this beta accomplishes whatever it is that Turbine is trying to do. Because if it works, DDO may never go down for the Long Count.

Mayans or no Mayans, we could be looking at DDO forever.

Wouldn’t that be something?
🙂 😀 🙂

p.s. Please do yourself a favor and follow this link to the original site containing the Mayan calendar I used in this article’s illustration. This is apparently not actually a Long Count calendar, but regardless, it is a piece of breathtaking beauty and craftsmanship. My snippet does no justice to it, go see the original image in all it’s 2500-pixel glory.

  2 Responses to “Chen P’a’as (for those of you who don’t speak Mayan, “Just kidding”)”

Comments (2)
  1. Well, if our beloved game ever does go down for The Big Sleep at least we will all have each other! (sniffle)

  2. If ddo dies I will throw my phone at a wall. My phone will live. But I’m pretty sure my sanity will be gone.

What do you think?

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