Yus, that! Thanks Lizzy! I had a feeling it was something along those lines, but it is nice to see it confirmed once and for all!
Where there any cool exploration areas that were never discovered?
Sometimes it is hard to remember the right questions, so... what did you guys, as DMs find to be the most mind blowing spoiler you found out when becoming DM?
Also, what was the idea behind the secret bedine npcs that wandered around at the beginning of V5? Think they were mostly done by Lizard man?
I started distributing loot in the open for this very reason, rather than going back to the Mage guild (Is that still a thing?).
It always bums me out when people ninja steal loot. That is why I loved questing with CB. No one fucked with him during distribution of loot.
From someone who loved venting rages on irc and discord, I can safely say that it often happens, when you put too much focus and emotion into your character, rather than focusing and placing your emotions into the overall story.
It is iffing hard sometimes, especially if it is OOC stuff like timezones that gets mixed into it all.
But if you can find the courage to take a step back, you will realize that it the beauty of CoA, is that you are not the only narrator to the story.
I hated MrGeek a bit for stealing what I believed would be my 15 minutes of fame, when he grabbed a piece of loot that I felt I had worked hard to earn. But instead of my character "merely getting a cool sword", the situation turned into a vastly more awesome storyline, touching many characters and became a defining aspect of MrGeeks character. He took it to a whole new, epic level, and told a much better story that the sword in my chatacters hands ever would.
Roll with the punches my man. Stop worrying about winning, and focus on the story itself, even if the story turns into something you had not imagined when you started.
I am not sure you can use this for anything, but if constructive feedback can be useful for you all, to bring back the glory that was once CoA, I will be happy to share my thoughts. Three things led to me departing the server.
The first, was that part of the Player base, supported by the most active DMs on the team, effectively changed CoA from a roleplaying server, to an action server. The mechanical challenge became more important than telling a good story. Values of "playing your stats", "telling a good story" and "rewarding interesting concepts & builds that portray something unique", as well as focus on a major narrative through the setting, were replaced by maximizing the mechanical challenge, and surviving insane encounters. If you survived, you got epic loot, and epic dm attention. If you died, you got told to "get better".
The second was the death of CoA Europe. I work long hours, so I could only give the game roughly 10 hours a week. And for a mover & shaker, I experienced it as almost impossible to have any impact on the game. This was caused by the Plot DMs being purely American based, so plots and progress occured outside the 17-22ish EU timezone. This made players in the EU timezones leave, and killed off the time zone entirely.
This leads me to the third "thing." Improper Community Management. With the death of storytelling and focus on mechanical challenges, with the balance between EU and US timezones, buddies of the active DMs were rewarded, and the RP focused individuals slowly drifted away. For years, we had 2 or so active IG DMs if lucky. That is not nearly enough, and it led to frustrations and stress being taken out on the player base. Instead of collaborating, the mindset of the playerbase drifted to competing for sparse DM attention, and the gap between those who had it, and those who did not, became bigger. To put it bluntly, you began nursing the weeds rather than the flowers, because the flowers needed more care, and the weed was resilient, did not have too many demands, because they only played when they needed a break from EFU.
Instead of maintaining the differences between EFU and CoA, you allowed the worst from EFU to be brought into the CoA community, and laughed at all who argued against it. And now the flowers in the garden are gone, the movers & shakers, and the storytellers have vanished, because you wanted to play "who can spawn most suicide goblins or run epic death traps for your EFU buddies.
If you want to change it, change the mindset of some of the current DM team, or remove some, who have burned out, and are effectively no longer contributing positively. Reach out to the Netheril community, and find common ground, and a way to combine forces once more.
I wish you all the best.
With the withdrawal phase well over, I can do this in a more official and trustworthy fashion. For more than 15 years, CoA has been my sanctuary, the place I could hide from the world when things got a bit too tough. However, a lot happens in 15 years, and just as the game changes, so too does the player. Having spend most of my teenage years within this magical world, it is hard to say goodbye, but this is going to be an official goodbye for me. With a busy RL, it needs all the focus and attention it can get, and this game is just too time consuming and addictive to fit into life as it is.
I wish you all the best, and while I am still sad I was never poked to become a DM (mostly kidding ), I wish you all the best. For those of you who wish to stay in touch, you can always find me on Facebook. And if I you have no idea who I am outside of this lovely fantasy realm, shoot me a pm on the forum, Ill likely to answer that.
Spiffy, Puffy and the rest of the DM team, I hope you wont give up, but will continue to keep this place alive. I know many of the community use it as I once did, as a place where the world is as it should be, not as it sometimes is. It is odd, isnt it, that fire breathing dragons and horned demons are far less scary than all the shit we people have to struggle with outside of this game.
Keep the plot wheel spinning, and keep the world alive. I wish you all the best!
Olouth / Mr Vigilante / Rusty / Christen