(hey, that rhymed! i am *awesome*)
It's really easy when writing this to get flowery and poetic; to start busting out purple prose about my feelings on the matter, or about my history with AO and all of that good stuff. The truth is, though, that for as hard as this can be to write, burying it in one of my standard wall-of-text posts would just come across as less genuine than I'd like. You guys deserve more than that, and in my final address to the AO community I want to provide more than that.
(edit: reading over what i wrote i guess i ended up with a wall 'o text anyway ;P at the very least i promise it's all from the heart)
So yes, with all of that said this is my final address - Everyone here is well aware of the recent changes that have been taking place at Funcom and, unfortunately, this means that my own time at the company has drawn to a close. For the last eight years I have played, volunteered for, and worked with Anarchy Online - I have made friends close enough to be called family, had opportunities for personal growth and development I never would have had otherwise, been able to explore the world and travel from my roots in Mississippi to Norway to Canada and back again. It's funny to sit there and think that an online roleplaying game can cause so many amazing things to happen to an individual, but there you have it. All those parents who told their kids that playing video games wouldn't get them anywhere in life? Suck it. I'm living proof.
(edit: just for the record my mom and dad are awesome and always supported me, so props to awesome parents too - love you guys )
I started working for Anarchy Online five years ago, wide-eyed and no clue what the hell I was doing. Now, at the end, I've gained a slight (very slight ;P) clue... but I still find myself wide-eyed every single day when I step foot into this office. We've talked a lot about the level of talent that the Anarchy Online team has been blessed with over the years, but it's no lie and no hyperbole - I have had the pleasure of working the last five years with individuals who truly *shine* with their brilliance. Talented, energetic, intelligent, driven and capable, the entire lot of them - Creators and artists and writers and coders who are all more than anyone would ever guess, and together were greater than the sum of any of their parts. I have been challenged, I have learned, I have gone through fire and pain and rollbacks - I have seen tragedy and comedy, often in the same game update, and through it all I have been accompanied by some of the best and brightest to ever set foot in the gaming industry. From Craig to Colin to Tony, Sjur, Helene, Yngvild, Fia, OJ, Nina, Anton, Henry, Kjetil, Patrik, Dave, Rob, Osman, Bjorn, Remco, Enno, Jeremy, Daniel, Michael, Jennifer, The Wills, Glen, Alan, Jon, Morten, Dan, Rakel, Laurie, Alexander, Michelle and all the rest that god knows I'm probably forgetting right now - I have never, not once, been happier every single day to get out of bed and stumble into work. All of those individuals (and many more unsung heroes that most of you, sadly, have ever heard of) made that effort of putting one foot in front of the other worthwhile. My thanks to all those who have been my mentors, friends and family over the last five years - No matter where I go or what any of us do, none of you will ever be forgotten. =)
The same goes for all of YOU as well. The community, the players, the people that I worked *for*. Sure, Funcom always signed my paycheck, but money's just money - I can get cash from any number of jobs. I came from where you're sitting; staring at that same forums screen, staring at that same game window - One day I woke up and said to myself "I want to do that". And so I did. And in doing "that" I always hoped that I could give back to the community of players that keep love and devotion for this old bird alive - That I could do right by them. I won't say I've always hit the mark in every bit of content I've made and released, but overall I feel happy with the work I've accomplished in AO over the last five years; hopefully, when you fight one of my bosses or read some of my dialog, it puts a smile on your face. If so, then I've done what I came here to accomplish, and I can leave without any regrets.
I also know that as I head out Anarchy Online is left in good hands. Those remaining behind to carry on the work don't have a task I would call "easy" or "envious" ahead of them, but as I said before - The AO team has always been comprised of some of the best and brightest in the field, and if anyone can do it? It's these guys. When I go on I know that Anarchy Online will be carried forward by people I genuinely trust to make the right decisions and steer the game I love in the right direction. I may be heading out but the team that is left behind is quality, and they definitely deserve your respect and kind thoughts - I can't wait to see what they manage to accomplish after I'm gone, and I think you guys will be more than happy with their talents as well. The future is bright for AO, and though part of me hates not being here on the ground to see it happen "first hand" I know that what's to come will be well worth the effort and the wait; even if I'll be experiencing it as "just another player" I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labours. There's definitely good stuff on the horizon, with an incredibly talented and capable team to take us there - Should be fun times. =)
Five years is a long time to do anything, particularly for a guy like me. For as much love as I have for Anarchy Online, Funcom and all of my fellow co-workers, I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't excited by the opportunity to do something new and different. As a matter of fact, I already have a couple of potential "new and different" things lined up that I am *incredibly* thrilled to be looking at (and a few things that fall under the "old and samey" header that can pay the bills ) - You guys can keep watch over my Twitter and Facebook accounts to learn more about what's happening in the life of Kintaii and where I'm headed next. Soon as I know my Next Big Thing, you guys will too - Would love to see some of you again, later down the line. =D
And now, with all of that said, I'll draw this to a close. My official last day is the 21st of September (next Friday) - In the mean time I'll still be hanging around helping out with moderation and whatnot, so don't expect this to be my last *post* before then. Just letting you guys know what's up.
Before I go, though, there's one last thing to do.
One final action I have to take.
One last hat to give away.
As The Fates will be taking off with me (they're thinking about going for a long vacation down in the Bahamas - they've heard its nice there this time of year), there will sadly most likely be a lack of hats in the near future. Though I had thought about taking mine with me when I left, I figured it best to pass it along to one of you.
So how do you get your hands on my hat? The rules are simple.
- Leave a post in this thread that amuses me somehow.
- Do not break the forum rules or face my wrath.
That's it. Your method of "amusement" can be a joke, poem, a screenshot, a hand-painted life-sized scale model of a leet; whatever you and your imagination dreams up. The contest closes Thursday, Sept. 20th, 2012. Whoever amuses me the most will, on Friday the 21st, have my hat placed onto their forum avatar. Please make sure that if you enter this "contest" (and I use the term loosely) that you're already using the avatar you want the hat on by that Friday - You probably won't get another shot at it.
And with their innovative method of saying goodbye, Lordcabro wins the contest! Please enjoy your new purple hat - It may be a little big from fitting on my inflated head, but it should serve you well and keep you warm.
And you have it! That was me, wrapping it up. Again, my thanks to everyone I have met along the way - Players, community leaders, co-workers and the like. The last five years have been... a long, strange trip, and one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
Fight the good fight. We'll see you around. =)
Edit: PS - You guys are gonna want to show up for this. One last time unto the breach, and this one should be a doozy. =D