Since the announcement that Electronic Arts is  merging Mythic and BioWare, I can’t help but feel like a longtime friend (Mythic) has died a less than honorable death. With the ousting of DAoC’s General Manager (and lead designer of DAoC) Mark Jacobs – the end of an era has been irrevokably marked.  Now BioWare has been put in charge of EA’s new RPG/MMO Group, even though BioWare has never produced an “E-Ticket” MMO.  Is the writing on the wall? Clearly.

I’ve been a Mythic fan ever since joining Dark Age of Camelot back in the Spring of 2002. DAoC was my first venture into the MMO genre.  I think most MMO players remember and sometimes even revere their first MMO experience.  I remember it being being quite literally as magical.  Friends from work had talked me into trying the game, so I had downloaded and installed it – which seemed to take forever.  And I had to wait some more while the game was patching.  Somewhere during that process, I had joined a teleconference with my friends from work, letting them know my progress, etc. 

Back then, characters of different backgrounds started in different areas of the world.  I made an Avalonian Cabalist, and as such I started  at the Lethantis Association deep in the Campacorentin Forest (usually more simply referred to as “Camp Forest”).  My friends at work had already been in the game for awhile and had met up near Camelot itself.  I had no idea how to get there or what they even meant – I was too busy looking around at the cool buildings of Lethantis and trying to kill naughty pixies and wild bobcats.  One of my friends, who had just joined the game earlier that same evening, said he’d ride a horse down and show me how to get up to where everybody else was. 

After awhile (it’s a long horse-ride from Camelot to Camp Forest), I met my friend “in-game” for the first time.  It was kind of surreal for me to be talking to someone on the phone that was controlling a computer character in a game I was playing.  I dunno, it was somehow very different than playing Diablo2 with someone else. D2 was really a “flat” game, DAoC was truely 3D, and your characters/avatars actually walked around and interacted with the environment – falling from a height could kill you.

Anyways, it was all magic as far as I was concerned.  From that day on, I’ve been inexorably hooked on the MMOgenre.  I went on to try on many different flavors of MMO: Anarchy Online, Asheron’s Call 2, Dungeons & Dragons Online, Conan, Lord of the Rings, EVE, City of Heroes, etc. etc. But there will always be a special place in my mind for DAoC.

I hope Mr. Jacobs can establish another company (if he so desires) as successful as Mythic and continue the magic.  And hey, I’ve got a game idea for you (like every other MMO fiend out there, LOL).