Gutted.

Man…I have to be honest, the SOE apocalypse is gut wrenching to watch. I’ve read through the Vanguard closing thread on the forums, and that was some of the most painful shit I’ve ever read. Yes, there are one or two people being assholes, but even with them, they can’t quite get it right because it hurts too much.

The Reddit AMA that happened today is even worse. Think its bad when adults lose their virtual homes? Try reading from the 14 year old girl who has just heard the news. Smed says he will get it worse than everyone though:

Two questions from my 9yo daughter about Free Realms closing down: “Do you think if we played Free Realms more they won’t shut it down?” and “Why?”

[–]j_smedley[S] 30 points 3 hours ago

First off – I have to go home after this and tell my 12 year old daughter Rose that her favorite game is going away. I assure everyone out there that I will catch more grief from her than anyone else. She easily plays the game 20 hours a week (ok stop judging me other gaming parents.. it’s a friendly game for kids). It makes me really sad to shut down FR, but the truth is we need our resources elsewhere right now.

And with that one answer, Smed set virtual fire to the other games. The speculation was already pointed in the direction of EQN, and that all but confirmed it. Now the mob is not only mad that their home is getting shuttered, but any hopes Sony might have had about reeling them in elsewhere just got axed. EQN is going to have a long and bumpy road to success, if it gets there at all.

Perhaps the most amazing thing that came out of all of this was the almost-white-knight-charge of Brad McQuaid, who immediately dropped everything and offered to buy back the IP and the game. The answer:

bradwhiteknight

Damn that was ballsy of him though. I hadn’t planned on giving to the Pantheon kickstarter, but I think I’m going to have to do so now, just as a gesture of thanks for making the effort.

Of course, all of this is just a bit two faced, and I admit that. Its been a good six months since I’ve logged into Vanguard, and it never really grabbed me the way I thought it would last year. The progression was just too damn slow. So on the one hand, I am a contributor to the shut down. I should have put more money and time into the game than I did. And why should I be upset that Vanguard is going under when I was such a lukewarm follower of it? Fair points I guess, but still…

It hurts. And unlike Warhammer and some of the other shutdown titles, where a day or two of nostalgia has been enough, I’m going to have to fire up Fraps and make this exit count.

Because I do love Telon and the vision and the game. I love that this is the last great achievement of Keith Parkinson before his passing. I love that this game had the balls to do things that no other game after it has even dared to attempt. And also, like all of us at some point in life (I suspect), we can fall just as in love with someone or something based on what we hoped it might be as we would based on something that was already what we wanted it to be.

Bleh.