If a Game Falls in the Forest, Does Anybody Hear?

A weird thing happened the past week. I stopped logging into Project 1999. Project 1999 has been my go-to game for what literally feels like 20 years (convenient, right?) although when I click on my category “Project 1999” I really started posting regularly about it in April of last year. So almost a full 12 months of dedicated emulator gaming.

It was a literal braking test – I went from 100 to 0 overnight. I was logging into this game daily, and playing it like a proper EQ person does – 40+ hours a week, having it logged in in the background at work sometimes tunnel questing, the whole 9 yards. And damn, I was loving every minute of it!

And then I stopped.

Not for any reason either. I just started playing another old game. And I was at the top of my game in Project 1999 – my druid was a session away from 57, Enchanter was 56. I was raiding and getting access to gear I could only dream of in the good old days, and was (am) part of an awesome guild of really nice people – they just do /random rolls in raids because DKP (etc.) puts unfair pressure on everyone. You show up, you contribute, you have a chance.

I have seen this too many times, and I always wondered. Dryse, who I played with almost everyday at the beginning, was gone. Then Sunburn. Tanga, who told me he had a new baby on the way that would impact his playing time just disappeared too – although somewhat expected. Sufferin moved in real life and must have in game as well. These were some of the most hardcore, dedicated players I have ever spent time with in a game, and they were all gone.

Now it’s my turn. I was the druid to get a ride from during the day. I dropped everything to help people. People would send me tells because they heard I was the guy to lend a hand if you were stuck. I had built a nice reputation on the server. And now I too, have exited stage left. I wonder if anyone notices.

That’s the great thing about the game – I can’t imaging playing WoW again as I stopped so early in the expansion that the game is miles away from me. If I ever decided to go back to one of the best MMO experiences I have had in my life, Project 1999, and all of my characters will be waiting for me. Without a couple years of patches and expansions to catch up on either.

Where did I go? X-Com 2, War of the Chosen. I hadn’t every played it. But that post, my dear friends, is for another day.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I do this all the time. Play every day, enjoy myself, then stop logging in for no reason at all. Well, there’s always a reason but it’s not always one you know.

    It’s completely normal. It’s one of the great attractions of the genre. Pick up, put down, pick up again. Remember when MMOs said they’d delete your characters if you stopped playing? EQ had a three month cushion, officially, although I don’t believe they actually deleted anyone. They pretty soon realized it was in their interest to keep al your stuff safe for when you might want it again.

    From my perspective, having more expansions and new content waiting when i decide to come back is a huge incentive not something that puts me off. I love getting up to speed with all the new tricks, doing the levels, kitting my characters out all over again. I guess that’s why fly in amber servers like P99 never really appealed to me. It’s good they exist, though, for those that like change even less than I do.

    1. For me it was just very sudden and strange – I was fully motivated to hit level 60, until, well, I wasn’t. And as mentioned not an event or thing to point to to say “this is why”. Was just my time, I suppose. Wait, that almost sounded morbid….

  2. I usually know for a few weeks before I stop playing something that it’s coming to an end, though I never know for sure what evening will be my last until it is. The major exception is when RL forces me to stop playing something for a week or two unexpectedly. It’s very random whether I will pick up again where I left off, and I have never been able to make sense of my own behavior in this regard. It feels like my subconscious rolls a ten-sider and consults a chart.

    In any case, enjoyed your P99 posts for the last year. Happy Xcoming!

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