Recapping the Asheron's Call sunsets

Just before Christmas, we learned the sad news that Turbine would not be transferring Asheron's Call and its revivified sequel to Standing Stone as part of its Daybreak deal. No, Turbine planned to sunset both games on January 31st along with their forums, which provoked outrage, attempts to save the games, and open distress from players and developers alike.

But now it's done, and no last-minute reprieve or sale has materialized.

While it's still fresh in our minds, I wanted to collect our streams, retrospectives, and community efforts all in one place. Enjoy.

Streams

Massively OP's MJ Guthrie and Andrew Ross ran half a dozen streams over the last few weeks that we'll be able to keep forever. For MJ, it was her first time in either game, and since account creation was turned off, I sent her into Dereth armed with my old accounts. For Andrew, however, it was a sweet farewell to a long-loved and long-played favorite franchise.

Here's a playlist of their journeys, though I'd say you should try to catch the last few minutes of the "final farewell" stream if you do nothing else, as it shows the end of both games simultaneously.

Retrospectives

Because we had an expert on both games handy, we let Andrew run wild with feature pieces on the series, including his rant about the way the whole shutdown and transition was handled, retrospectives of the games' early days, and lessons to take away from the life and death of worlds.

Community

The number of people playing Asheron's Call in 2016 might have been small, but the community of Asheron's Call players through its long life is enormous, as evinced in the huge number of people who came together to try to save it. In fact, whether they're working on emulators, videos, petitions, or galleries, many of them are still trying to save it in their own way. (Some are even continuing to negotiate with Turbine, for what that's worth.)

We want to bring attention to a few more. This PC Gamer video shows the end of AC just as ours does, only the streamer is visible -- and visibly breaking down by the end. Believe me, dude, I've been there -- way more times than I'd like to count. You should have seen me bawl when Star Wars Galaxies went dark, and I had six whole months to prepare. Don't ever let anyone tell you it's just a game. It's not.

Vice has an interesting interview out with former Turbine developer and AC designer Jesse Kurlancheek, who's dropped by MOP a few times to reminisce.

YouTubers Daniel Wedding and Flargenyargen have collected a ton of the game's vignettesand cutscenes for posterity, and ArkalorHG has collected nearly 2000 game screenshots and handed them off to the community. Expect more collected over on Asheron's Call Archive.

And finally, while work on emulators (yes, illegal, but there it is) continues, it is possible to log into the game in a way that'll remind City of Heroes fans of the Icon project. You won't be able to do much but run around, but at least you can look around and explore.

Hope you see you around again someday, AC.

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13 Comments on "Recapping the Asheron's Call sunsets"

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Hostagecat

Its a sad time, people looking for a home. AC was my first MMO, i played it for quite a while then moved on. But i will always have fond memories. Rest in peace.

Reader
Rob Williams

Thanks a ton for all of the AC coverage! I admit it was a little surprising to see the game get so much coverage after the shutdown announcement, but you guys really went above and beyond. I was hoping by now we'd be able to read of an official emulator that was released, but thankfully some fan groups are already making great progress.

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Vexia

I've never played Asheron's Call, but I always hate to see a good game go down. I know tons of people loved this game over its lifetime, and I hope a good emu starts up sooner, rather than later.

Reader
socontrariwise

Funnily enough I was interested in trying it out 3-4 years ago but AC1 was on lockdown, no new accounts allowed. I believe if they had announced long enough in advance a "newbie event" so a group of people together at the same time could have started with new accounts this might have ended up very different (or more precisely: might have not ended).
Look at project Gorgon etc, people are not so visual-forced anymore as a few years ago when it comes to MMO's, you have a good number of people looking for more complex gameplay features and especially a few years ago with the massive "Wow-ification" that was very hard to find on the Western market.

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MesaSage

Good video. I feel for those folks. I experienced this with Glitch, after a much, much shorter time. I can't imagine losing my game after 17 years - it's really like a death of a loved one. I hope they can get the game back and running. I've given up on getting Glitch back, but this is a much different beast.

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Suikoden

thanks for the post

Reader
Jack Pipsam

It all hasn't really sunk in yet.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

It was nice to have a reason to write about Asheron's Call so much in so little time, but man, I wish kinder circumstances had been the cause -_-

Tizmah
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Tizmah

And that's the sad fate of MMOs. They aren't like single player games you can revisit 30 years later. Sure, emulators might be around, but even still the activity will be largely gone and you can't get past the "this isn't official" feeling.

Cherish the MMOs you love now! They will share a very similar fate in time, because Asheron's Call was once a lively place to be at one point too.

Reader
rawhunger .

So very true. Nothing lasts forever, gang.

Reader
Schlag Sweetleaf

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Ac players. You have my sympathies.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

It has been a sad week for me. Have not felt up to gaming of any kind since my time in AC Monday night.

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