The plan was to re-read some of my ancient posts way back in 2012 and early 2013 to remember how I felt about GW2’s Living
Story World back then.
Perhaps find the equivalent comparisons to the Flame and Frost story instances and Molten Facility / Molten Furnace instances and do a compare and contrast?
It seems like I was a lot more excitable and passionate then, for one thing.
The plan is still in effect, but not today.
Going down the rabbit hole of my blog posts, probably the only one with the gumption to do so, I came across an old post that brought back serious memories.
I’d been doomscrolling the GW2 reddit recently for far too obsessive a time for the last week or so, and getting somewhat unsettled by the seeming brigade of hardcore challenge-seekers clamoring for more rewards for their preferred game type – including exclusive mount skins and high profit rewards – so that they could resume their place on the traditional MMO pedestal of prestige. Aka at the very top of the food chain. In GW2. A game that wasn’t supposed to be a traditional MMO ever.
The old post took my mind off that rather neatly. Perspective, indeed.
Both elderly relatives have now already passed on, by the way. They made it into their 90s, which is likely far longer than I might achieve. Lifestyles were healthier in the old days.
No, what really got me was the commenter at the bottom of that post.
Nov 2012, wrote a note of sympathy. Gone five years later.
Touched enough lives that you can hang out with his virtual doppelganger and bring back his ten rats.
While mulling over his memory, wondering if the faint melancholy of the past few days was worth a post of some kind, what do I see while reviewing the immense Discord detritus I’d accumulated with the Dragon’s End metas and Aetherblade CM release?
(Discord and me don’t get along. Or I have no idea how to use it to its fullest potential, and very little impetus to do more with it. I end up joining a bunch of groups because people want me to listen in, and I join a few other groups of interest where I lurk and every once in a very rare blue moon, scroll through pages and pages of text chat of other peoples’ conversations weeks ago.)
A Tale in the Desert’s Discord chat is one of the latter. I haven’t played the game for years, but I had a nice MMO time with it when I played. It’s a very social, tight-knit, neighborly sort of community (including neighbors of the sort who hate each other.)
But now and then, neighbors become friends.
Something about just seeing the same names over and over again, and having the time and space to have civil conversations without getting interrupted by aggressive virtual wildlife and so on.
Sadly, one would rather not see familiar names pop up in this context:
tehm (aka tehmoosh) and merek (aka Verix) were a very well known ATITD pairing since the early Tales.
My second go at A Tale in the Desert was on Tale 4’s Bastet shard. I’d moved up to middle Egypt to have a change from my previous Tale 3 attempt down south Egypt near the Zfree guild.
Turns out that a pair of veteran players also had similar ideas and we ended up in the neighborhood near each other.
I did my usual solo self-sufficiency hermit thing, just being civil to all and sundry. Imagine my surprise when one day, out of the blue, I got a guild invite to, pretty much, their personal guild. (I was Isaiah, and my alt spouse was Juliana.)
This in A Tale in the Desert, an MMO where if your ownership permissions are set carelessly, anyone can pretty much come along and loot you out of any and all possessions that you set to be shareable. Or even if you intended stuff to be shared, maybe you didn’t intend for one person to take ALL the resources overnight and use it all for personal profit.
Significant levels of trust are involved with guild invites and guild ranks.
Me, I’m not that good. Every time I play ATITD, I have one personal guild that is only me and my alt. My possessions are mine, until I decide to stop playing, at which point, whoever wants them is free to declare open season and nab them for their own use.
The only thing I can do when trust is extended like that is accept the honor in the spirit that it is given, and not abuse it.
It’s years ago now, but I seem to recall that I mostly provided cheerful conversational counterpoint, and the two veterans essentially took newbie me under their wing and taught me little interesting secrets that you couldn’t find on the standard wiki.
This is absolute bliss as an explorer motivated by discovery.
I still have some old screenshots of the pair dowsing for metals and me in the vicinity possibly doing the same thing? We were talking in chat, so I was probably learning how to do it from them?
I remember we mined a decent amount of marble together as well. It takes four players. I had me and my alt. They had each other. (Spouses in ATITD can literally log on as each other’s characters. That’s serious -serious- trust.) I learned how to find marble from them – though if you asked me at gunpoint now, I can’t remember how to save my life.
merek always struck me as the older, calmer member of the pair. tehm had more youthful energy. Both were highly sociable. merek was more of a homebody, he stuck around by his compounds more, while tehm tended to roam further afield and socialized with a larger group of players. As such, I tended to have a few more run-ins and chats with merek (as Verix).
merek also struck me as especially kind and generous in spirit. He’d have to be, wouldn’t he? To open up his guild to an unknown stranger and basically offer mentorship in the ways of A Tale in the Desert.
The devs and world builder team set up a memorial for him.
In order to visit, I had to create an account, download and install the new client, do the lengthy (but now shorter and clearer) tutorial that took about 45 minutes – including lots of grass picking one strand at a time, join the faction that I guessed would put me closest to the memorial, spawn in a random location thousands of coordinates far away from it, momentarily panic at the thought of a potential 45 minute run, recognize a chariot stop and take a guess as to the closest chariot stop to said memorial, guess correctly to much relief, and do a 15 minute run to the papyrus mountain said memorial is on.
But for merek, it was worth it.
A Tale in the Desert Tale 4 Bastet was 13 years ago, in 2009.
The fact that I can still remember his name and associate good feelings with him is testament to his quiet impact.
I’m pretty sure he made Demipharaoh in a couple of Tales. Demipharoahs are players with the power to permanently ban 7 players. Yes, subbed players. If they ban you, you’re gone. RIP your money.
Yep, he did. Second after Pascalito, which shows how much trust people had in him, as a leader and a mediator.
Nice thing about the ATITD wiki, it preserves peoples’ voices, even when they’re gone. I didn’t play Tale 7, but a demipharoah debate in 2015 lets merek speak for himself on who he was in ATITD.
He calls himself an “average Joe.”
I’ll tell you who he was. He was a nice guy.
And I’m going to miss him.