"The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."
- St. Augustine
Asheron's Call Closing
Holy fuck, two posts on WTFMan in one month? What is this, the 90s?
As many of you know, Asheron's Call was my favorite MMO (just edging out UO). The Darktide server was the best accidental slice of perfection ever made for MMO PVPers. But sadly, that time is coming to a close at the end of this month. They had monthly content updates for the first 10 years and I think was even free to play for a while after that, but I only sporadically went back since the glory days.
And now I'm kicking myself for it. I wish I'd played more even after the large numbers dwindled. What made the game special certainly faded, but much like WTFMan itself, there was plenty of nostalgia to visit and enjoy. And now thier final chapter is closing.
What a shame.
Thank you, Turbine, for Asheron's Call. It was truly a pleasure to play for many years.
What's Nighthawk Up To?
I've gotten a couple of emails asking for an update on what's going on in my life. Not many, mind you, but it's still nice that a few people are interested even after the site has been basically an archive of good times long passed.
On a personal note, my life has been pretty good. I got married for the second time in 2016. Sheís one of the smartest women Iíve ever met, super fun, loves to travel as much as I do and sheís a hardcore gamer. SoÖ jackpot. Over the past few years weíve traveled to all the major Hawaiian islands, Japan, did a river cruise through Europe, spent a week in Ireland and did a Caribbean cruise. Thatís on top of the many domestic trips weíve done and the even more Iíve done for work. Plenty of goodness on the personal front.
On the gaming side, I stopped playing console games and slipped back into World of Warcraft a couple of months ago. I knowÖ I know. I have a few friends out of town who play and itís basically a virtual way to hang out with them. Plus, itís nice to go back to something familiar and yet completely different with the Legion expansion. Also, as life gets busier, itís nice to be able to go hardcore or casual in a game and still get something out of it either way.
And since my wife loves the game, itís really hard to complain about gaming with your significant other all the time. Donít get me wrong, she plays plenty of other things. Hell, I gave her Dead Rising 4 for xmas. But for day to day relaxation and entertainment, itís WoW.
We're Back... with forums!
As some of you may have noticed, the site was offline for about a month. No, I didn't sell the domain (sadly), but our provider had a major issue with their webhosting and the site was lost. Thankfully I had a backup, so everything should be back to normal now that the host has their issues taken care of.
The good news is that you guys can stop asking for forums as they're here! I found a copy of the old forums on the wayback machine and at least duplicated the forums we used to have.
I imagine there are VERY few of you left who still visit, but if you get the urge to talk to each other... now you have a way to. Who knows - with enough interest in the forums, maybe the site will have a minor revival. I doubt it though. ;)
You get what you pay for...
So, the website died. Again. Which means I almost lost the whole website. Again. Which means I lost all of my emails. AGAIN.
For fucks sake...
Ryan is non-responsive and I can't blame him too much since he's been hosting the site for free for years and all it is effectively is extra work for him. But, come on man... at least respond to fucking emails. And seriously, if your server dies more often than... EVER... your server and/or backup system plain sucks. Amateur hour.
So, a friend of mine had space on his hosting account and was nice enough to offer to host so here we are. I'm working on the forums, but let's be honest... I'm not working on it not too hard since (as expected) they weren't used much. If they happen, dandy. If not... meh.
Ohio Visit with Ron and Joe
I'm the lead implementation network engineer on my project to do upgrades at my company's sites, so I'm in a nice position to be able to cherry pick the sites I want to go to. Since my buddy Joe and everyone's favorite WTFMan, Ronald McDonald aka: Jason, both live in Columbus, picking this site was an easy choice.
And, I've got to say, aside from the obvious tedium of work, I've had a great time. I actually got to "game" with Joe and Jase for the first time in years with a fun night of Rock Band. It's funny; I still play that game ALL the time and Rock Band parties always seem to make everyone have a good time. Then again, what's not to love about music and playing plastic instruments? I guess a shot for everyone every set of 4 songs doesn't hurt either.
Last night at dinner, Joe, Jason and I were waxing nostalgic over times past in video games, WTFMan.com, etc. I even made a reference to Jason's old post The Holy Writ of Shit and he didn't even remember writing it, but was highly amused at himself after reading through it. I think he finally understood why we were so popular back in the day - it wasn't because of my pathetic writing (I realize that my humor comes across best in person). The night was just an endless stream of gaming stories: PKing in UO, my tower getting deleted, adventures in AC from defending Zaikhal as newbs to the various wars, and on and on. We talked and laughed for hours about all of our myriad adventures. Since this site has effectively become a monument to nostalgia, it really felt like WTFMan.com come to life.
On the topic of selling the domain, I must say I was surprised when Jason said "why didn't you sell the domain and take me out to dinner?!", but at least that was his version of a blessing if I ever go that route. One thing I did notice from all the emails I got was that no one wants me to sell the domain, but no one had a good reason for it. The site would have lived on as a sub-domain like archive.wtfman.com or some such, so the site wouldn't disappear into internet nether. And let's be honest, passing on several thousand dollars for a place I post on once or twice a year just is a dumb move. ;)
BTW, about all the emails I received, first off, thanks. I appreciate so many of you guys taking the time to write. No one had a good suggestion for a free forum site that I could simply link to externally, so I guess that thought was a bust. Most everyone said what was expected which was they come here to reminisce over times past, but what surprised me was how many people said they were in their early teens back then. I mean, I expected some, but it sure did seem like a high percentage. You fuckers make me feel old! ;)
Anyhow, I figured a great time with Ron was at least worth mentioning on the site.
Been a While...
So... yeah. It's been a little bit since I've posted anything here. Heck, had I not gotten an offer to sell the domain name emailed to me out of the blue, I probably wouldn't be posting, but that sparked the desire to post. I don't know why, but here we are, eh?
Since clearly this site has come down to one extremely delinquent man and has just gone through it's longest idle time in the site's 14 year history, it's quite probable that I'm talking to myself here. Let's say I'm not though. Let's say there are a few diehard fans who still just get the urge to check in... just in case. Now the real question is... what do those people care about? The past glory that is WTFMan is clearly gone, MMO games worth ooohing and ahhing over are long past and my personal life can't be too appealing to anyone but myself and those who actually know me. So, what is someone who comes to WTFMan after all this time looking for?
Short answer: fuck if I know.
Perhaps it's to have some acknowledgement that the Forums that were barely used have been gone for so long. For that, I wish I could say I'm sorry, but since I had no control over it I can't really take the blame. If Ryan had fixed them after the database corruption during his migration of the site from one server to another, I admit that I would still use them, but not so often that it would be worth bitching at him more than the 5 or so times that I did already. FFS, the guy hosts my inactive domain for free, I can't really complain since all I really use it for is an email domain for personal use.
Maybe the rogue return reader came back just wishing that the party would somehow return. That the Ron, Grey and Night express would somehow find its way back onto the tracks and humourous post after humorous post would be found. Honestly, I haven't talked to Grey in so many years I couldn't even lay down an educated guess as to how long it's been. Ron and I talk ocassionally and I try to see him while I'm up visiting Joe in Columbus since he really is one of the funniest people I've ever known personally, but I don't think he games at all anymore. Heck, I barely do much gaming aside from finding one game or another to be obsessive about on Xbox well beyond it's relevant time (which is typically pretty brief to begin with).
My personal life has been great here recently, especially considered the deep depression I was in the last time I posted during my post-divorce phase. Have a great girlfriend, great pets, got a promotion at work, making good money, traveling like crazy both cherrypicking places for work trips and making great personal trips (including Japan a couple of months ago), etc. But, how interesting is that to Random Reader X? Probably not very.
So why am I not accepting offer to sell the domain? I honestly don't have a good answer. I guess I'm holding onto the past glory of the site just like I imagine the viewers are. Hell, I'm still invested in the name enough to have it as my car tag oh-so-many years later: