[Heads up: this is a long post, and in some ways an irrelevant one, so feel free to skip it. Also, this is really not meant to be a "look at me" post (which may not be apparent at first) but rather a "look at us" post. And if you didn't get mentioned by name please don't feel slighted, because I used names that came to me at the time of writing, even though there are many more members that have contributed.]
I thought that for my 1000th post I would do a little (or perhaps not so little…let’s see how it goes) article reflecting on my time in the EoN community over the past year or so. And speaking of which…1000 posts…really!? I have been involved in a lot of gaming communities over the years, and I think this must be a milestone for me, although to be honest I am not sure if it an “interest in a game” milestone or a “sad life of a geek” milestone.
My wife would probably say it is the latter, but I digress…
I joined the EoN community in November of 2010, and if I remember correctly that wasn’t too long after I joined the Rift community. I don’t actually recall how I stumbled onto EoN in the first place, but it was my interest in Rift that led me to discover Trion. Obviously, somewhere along the way I heard about EoN, and here I am. I never did get into playing Rift and I drifted out of that community quite quickly, but something about EoN intrigued me at the time, and continues to do so. Clearly I am in for the long haul.
I have played a lot of games ever since the days of the Atari 2600 and the Commodore 64 (I am an old timer). I have enjoyed playing a wide variety of games over the years, but almost all of my competitive online gaming has been in the FPS world (Unreal Tournament FTW!) and more recently in MMOs. And yet, I have always had a special place in my heart for RTS games. I played many of the early RTS games, such as WC, C&C, SC, TA, AoEs, DR and many others I simply can’t remember. Eventually I arrived at my favourite RTS of all time, Ground Control!
After GC came and went I moved away from RTS gaming. Oh, I suppose I have dabbled here and there over the years, but nothing serious (this is sounding like a drug story). Probably the closest I have come to playing RTS games lately is my extended time playing League of Legends, if one can even call that RTS gaming. Anyway, I have been waiting for a game like EoN that can hopefully recapture the magic I found in the early RTS games, especially Ground Control. My League of Legends experience notwithstanding, I have never really played competitive online gaming with a true RTS game, so EoN will be a new venture for me in that regard. I fully expect to get cremated repeatedly by you youngsters with tons of online RTS gaming experience and godly APMs.
Anyway, the point of this little blurb about me is to say this...
There are probably a lot of gamers out there like me who have gotten away from the RTS gaming and moved more into MMOs, and who would jump at the chance to have an experience that marries the two genres. If EoN pulls it off, then it could provide a nice re-entry into the RTS world for many MMO players that, like me, have a secret longing to return to some great RTS gameplay. I for one am very excited about the prospect, even if it does mean I will get thoroughly trounced by most of you out there.
But enough about me…let’s talk EoN 2010 and 2011!
The end of 2010 was a pretty exciting time in the EoN community. Pretty much all of us were new to the community and EoN was a completely unknown quantity that was waiting to be explored. And, of course, we were just starting to meet each other. As I wander through the early pages of the Introduce Yourself thread and some of the early discussions, I see many members that were active and year ago but who have sadly (and in a couple of cases, not so sadly) disappeared. But, by the same token, it is great to see the names of people that are still around, such as the_killer, Sunp0t, MikeyC, and Leatherneck, as well as some others, and I am sure they will remember what I am talking about. We had so much information to read through and digest, and many of the early discussions were lively speculative debates since pretty much no one had seen the game. Zann and Droo were our guiding lights back then. From the get go they established a great tone for the boards, and were far more interactive than I had ever experienced from typical devs/mods.
So it was a fun time. We had many great debates, discussions, and suggestions surrounding the game as we knew it. Back then, EoN involved three commander types (Strike, Artillery, and Tank) that dictated the type of units a player would use, and the game was clearly going for a very delineated rock-paper-scissor mechanic. We also still had our player owned bases back then, which caused no end of discussion and excitement at the time. Still, there was only so much to read and only so much information to geek-out about, and eventually we needed more. The devs promised that more information was forthcoming, and so we patiently waited.
The information drought that began at the end of 2010 and continued for a hefty portion of 2011 was a bit of a low point for the EoN community. Many active members drifted away, and other lamented that EoN was clearly vapourware. We still regularly checked the boards, although at times it seemed like it there was only two or three of us still around. Thankfully we had a slow trickle of new members during that time who asked questions and gave us something to talk about. Nonetheless, it was definitely a slow and boring time for the EoN enthusiasts.