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.
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.
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.
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.