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Right, then. The content of this post has been long in the making thought-wise, but as I've recently been toying more and more with the idea of putting it into written form, here we go.
I started playing Achaea at a relatively young age - somewhere in my early teens - and I was quick to become completely fascinated by the whole concept, the storyline, the atmosphere and the fact that what happened in the game was largely thought out and orchestrated by other players - real people. I spent hours reading through room descriptions and in-game books, as well as being completely spellbound by the structure of guilds and cities and the hierarchy and community associated with them. Somehow, I came to view the characters and the persons behind them as my elders - which I suspect they also were - and it brought with it a perhaps slightly strange but also welcome feeling of being fostered, as my character was taken in by organizations in the game and I became better at reading and understanding the English language and practiced interacting with others. In fact, the reading and writing bit probably remains one of the most positive effects that Achaea has had on me personally, as a non-native English speaker.
Today, I'm 26 and have played as a few different characters, of which Autio has been one of the most recent. As I've grown a bit older I've found myself valuing different parts of the game more and more, namely the interaction with other players and the thrill of being a part of a cooperative narrative. However, I've also found that my enjoyment of the game and what I am able to put into it has turned out to be more correlated to how much available time I have to dedicate than I would like to imagine. It's not a terribly uplifting conclusion to arrive at, but simply put - I don't have the time any more.
This brings me back to the first little paragraph about having thought about this for a while and the will to also make a brief post about it. After all, it wouldn't be very polite of me to not say good bye, although I am well aware that I have already for quite some time been fairly scarce, and that my characters probably are completely unknown to the most of you. However, in this context that doesn't really matter, as I'll try to explain below.
Alright, get ready for the main point of this post. I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to the staff and those of you that I in different forms have come into contact with over the years, for providing an experience that I've enjoyed and valued immensely. Please know that many of you have touched me on a very personal level and that I'll continue to keep quite a few of my interactions with you in fond memory. If I may offer any advice, it'd be to for us to now and then and reflect over what a particular community this actually is, compared to many others, and marvel at, as well as take pride in, the fact that it's something we're able to appreciate and develop together.
That's it, guys. Thanks for all the fish, and best of luck to all of you - both in and out of the game.