Who am I to break with tradition? This will be a long
rave rant, so settle in.
After 22 years of me at my most tyrannical, it was finally time to step down. My schedule had switched back to working peak hours, and Mhaldor deserves the dedication and focus of someone who can be there in full. But what a run! Every leader hopes to leave their faction in a better place than they inherited it, and while @Ysela laid the groundwork, I am fiercely proud of what we've built over the past two decades. This is now the City of Evil that I've wanted since I was a slave. I'm happy to close this chapter on such a triumphant note, having accomplished a lot of what I set out to do. The list never ends and will never be quite finished, but that's what the next chapter is for, I think.
There are far too many people to thank, but I'll mention a few who made my tyranny great.
My Viceroys, @Crixos, @Entaro, and Reyson. Together we won a war, won the Staff, and stirred Mhaldor into a frenzy of bloodlust that will last a hundred years! @Pandora was right when She said no one deserves it more, Crixos. @Akri, you represent. We have an incredibly strong combat core, and the heavy hitters like @Dunn, @Dalran, and @Mizik are always offering their skills and services. The no-surrender enthusiasm of the army is what makes Mhaldor Mhaldor! You endured me as a frothing warmonger, and executed my kill orders with extreme prejudice. Glad I'm on your side.
A small city takes a lot of work behind the scenes, so thanks to everyone who kept us functional and in the black. As well as being my #1 Evil Dad, @Proficy is one man furiously shovelling coal into the furnace to keep us warm.
Thank you to all the Sartai, for having come a long way from where we were, and for making the Order a worthy place to be. I've enjoyed seeing a few returning faces, like @Taraus and @Nocroth. To @Jurixe, @Saeva, @Melodie, and @Orzaansyn, for being a big influence on me in the beginning, showing me the many tools Achaea has to tell stories and set interesting scenes. To @Kiet, my mentor and tormentor. I miss you!
If you added your own mark to Mhaldor, weaving yourself into the collective and making the city feel alive with personality and zeal, thank you too. It's great when each and every person is playing some kind of character. It doesn't matter if you don't write much, don't fight much, or only do one thing. You should find your niche, your happiness, and run with it! A handful of people doing what they really enjoy makes a world of difference in Achaea, and it's vastly better than waiting around for someone else to make the game fun for you. Don't be afraid to express yourself, take chances, and try new things, even if there's no guarantee that they'll work out. This is a world where you can come back from death. What's a little scandal and ritual explosion?
Sometimes the city will be tiny and quiet, and that's okay. No need to panic. Mhaldor thrives when it has a purpose, a contest, a point to make, but there are plenty of other stories to be had within and without its walls. Go exploring! Go make trouble! When the team is small, every member is indispensable. I mean it when I say that people are our best resource, so invest in yourself and each other.
I promise that I had a list of grievances, but the euphoria hasn't worn off yet. So I'll talk a bit about story.
The greatest difficulty I had as Tyrannus was not knowing how influential I could be on the overarching story. For Mhaldor, but also for the world and its continuous narrative. I've had opportunity to leave many creative marks on the world, as far as architecture and design, but I still couldn't tell you confidently how to make grand storylines happen without running into the same obstacles. This won't work, this doesn't go here, you haven't factored in the other five factions, Mhaldor's past doesn't support this, etc. I know we're going for consistency over twenty real years, but it can feel like killing momentum in the crib, which makes players less likely to buy in the next time. I can be very stubborn, but no one likes beating their head against a brick wall and getting nowhere, or feeling like The Story is beyond them and will only happen when it's meant to, as intended by The Directors. Especially not in a living world.
If the goal is to encourage player initiative and risks, how do we do that? That's what players and the Garden both want. Combat is a constantly evolving scene, and part of that is because top-tier combatants have a direct line to the admin to give class feedback and contribute to development. Story has no equivalent, other than Someone taking notice. Player contributions are scant. Patron requests don't work that way, at least not in their current form. I've argued for both sides, where I've seen players do nothing and complain that nothing's happening, and I've seen them do their best, create great story and atmosphere, and have it gutter out into nothingness. Neither are ideal.
There has to be a better way than just kicking the ball down the road.
@Reyson! Words cannot express. You've always been there for me, and I'll always be here too. ❤️
@Sartan, you were right. Despite my best efforts, I wasn't perfect. But you trusted me anyway, and I hope I made you proud. Thank you for letting me fall and dust myself off, for supporting me, for pushing and challenging me, and for being here for Mhaldor for as long as I've played. Your involvement has meant so much to us, and to me and Stheno's story. I can't imagine her without You.
It's been a pleasure playing one of Achaea's leading villains!
Give 'em Hell, @Taryius, and don't forget to have fun.
No, I was never one for pretty weather.
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