Asheron’s Call – Ten Years Already?

250px-Asheron's_Call_CoverartSometimes it’s hard to fathom how fast time seems to pass by.

It doesn’t seem all that long ago when I played my first FPS, System Shock I on my new 486 laptop (DX2 66 FTW!) It also doesn’t seem that long ago that I installed my first MMORPG on my PC.

That MMORPG happened to be Asheron’s Call, and it was only chance that it was AC being installed and not Everquest.

You see, I was in a bit of a gaming funk one evening around May or June of 2000 and finally decided to try out one of these MMORPG thing that I’d been hearing about. I’d previously dismissed the idea of a game (UO) where you had lots of players socializing along with playing. And the idea of a monthly subscription was ludicrous. It took a couple of years for me to come around to the idea. So when I finally got the urge to try a MMORPG, the only name I knew (aside from UO) was Everquest. I did a little research on the Internet, and headed out into the Autumn weather to a computer store.

When I got there, there was no Everquest on the shelf. Instead there was this box with a brownish artwork. It wasn’t Everquest, and to be honest that artwork wasn’t really that great. I was a bit dubious, so I studied the blurb on the box to make sure I was getting what I wanted, headed to the counter and bought the game and headed home to install it.

Of course, the best laid plans and all that. After I installed Asheron’s Call, I couldn’t log into the game. I’m taxing the old memory here, and can’t remember the exact reason (I suspect it was something to do with the Microsoft passport system), but I spent a while looking though the online FAQs and finally, disgusted, I logged a support ticket.

I was so disgusted in fact that I almost decided to write the whole thing off as a bad joke. However, a day or two later, support resolved the issue and I logged in to Dereth for the first time.

It really didn’t take very long to hook me.

It was incredible to have the freedom to run around and do whatever I wanted to do, which was die a lot early on. I spent the next few months happily playing my completely gimped jack of all trades, Axis, before I realized that it was important to properly choose my stats and skills early on and rerolling, and rerolling again. Hmmm. Maybe AC is to blame for my altitis? Nah.

And like a gateway drug, I have since gone from one MMORPG to the next. Sometimes spending a lot of time in the game, WoW had me for four years on or off, EQ2 probably the next longest stint.

Oh, and I did eventually get Everquest. It didn’t last as long as AC though. There’s something about a first game that imprints a set of expectations of game play that no other game can really ever wash away.

So yeah, all that seems like it didn’t happen all that long ago.

The 2nd of November, 2009 marks the tenth year that players have been tooling around Dereth, called by Asheron to help clean up his mess.

It’s been a good run, and I for one would be happy to see Asheron’s Call around for a few more years.