It's Justin here, player for both Nisavi and Seir. I've made the decision today to quit Aetolia again, likely for good this time, and I've reached this decision after a number of factors and events that occurred over the last two weeks. I'm not going to get into all of them, and I'm trying to really not make this post one of this livid, "burn down the house on the way out" sorts of deals. I am going to say a few things though, and share well wishes to those of you who made my last year in Aetolia truly special.
The first, and probably most important thing I want to say to anyone reading this and playing this game is: Please remember that those you play with, both in the Pools and your regular player, is human. We all have different views, perspectives, feelings, and many of us do not approach each other with blatant malice. As such, I would encourage all of you to not assume maliciousness from people unless it becomes obvious that this is their intent. On that front, I owe an apology to the Pools for my outburst a few weeks ago, much of which that I know was pinged on Omniscience. I said really callous things in anger that were the culmination of little frustrations that exploded after the tea kettle finally spewed out too much steam. I was out of line and I should've made my criticisms known in a better, more respectful format. The truth is that no one in customer service is paid enough to ever deal with abuse, whether they make minimum wage or six figures.
With that out of the way, I'm going to start with why I made Nisavi and what initially made me want to return. When I initially made Nisavi, much as when I made Seir, I did not intend to get involved with PK. I have PK'd across IRE for probably the last sixteen years and I've managed to do what I would consider to be a success. To me, getting involved with solo PK in IRE tended to be a cardinal sin in my book, especially after my time playing Seir, because balance conversations and just the very nature of that aspect of the game tends to be hostile and one of those "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here" elements of the game. Nisavi was intended for roleplay and the occasional group PK assist every now and again. Yet, an IC event occurred where two players attacked her in a non-PK area unprovoked, and thus I committed my first cardinal sin: "I want to get better at solo PK to have Nisavi defend herself". To that end, I was offered Rime by @Mjoll
and the core of a slightly dated Sciomancer offense as designed by @Bulrok
as part of Rime's core packages. I spent days upon days experimenting with things, messaging Keroc to try to understand specific mechanics in my skills, trying to understand every nuance and element to the class, coding and adding additions to the Sciomancer offense LUA with Rime, because I genuinely wanted to get better at it. I always thought Sciomancer was interesting, and at the time, people kept telling me about how the class was bad or how no one was using it. Still, I didn't let this deter me and I pushed forward all the same with @Rijetta
offering me guidance by providing a look at her own offense's code as I developed my own offense.
Nisavi then started being successful in Sect, and then in my desire to maybe try to achieve both Order Champion and Sect Champion, I committed a second cardinal sin in my book: "Balance discussions". I have said in the past that I don't believe in having these discussions with other players, because they tend to get heated no matter what and it's very rare that you'll get anyone to concede their point. I have said that I don't believe in self-nerfing for a variety of reasons because the Classlead system is inherently an arm's race, and this is true in any IRE game, so the only people I attempted to appeal to were Keroc, Razmael, and other folks who make balance decisions because they were ultimately the ones who made the decision. I would provide comments, logs, and other details as necessary. Many can attest that regardless of which side someone was on in the game, I was more than happy to provide assistance to them whether it came to understanding Sciomancer, how to counter the class, or basic coding advice or how I would go about using the offense for their own class. I volunteered in good faith nerfs via comments in Classlead reports for my own class with the caveat that Sciomancer was fragile, despite the perceptions from many that it was a very strong class. There are some who disagree with me on that view point, but I will maintain it all the same and agree to disagree. Nonetheless, all of this has culminated into yet another downfall where I broke two sins that I swore to myself that I would not repeat upon trying Aetolia again.
What has resulted has been a number of discussions that has alienated me, sometimes justifiably and many times not, from folks on both sides of the game. I feel that PK inherently brings out the competitive elements in people and, as a result, some of our worst natures come out -- especially when balance is concerned. Many of us spend real life money trying to accrue many of these skills and for some, learning another class is financially unfeasible. No one wants to have their class languishing in a state of uselessness for six months or longer because of classleads submitted that, more often than not, tend to be disingenuous and filled with falsehoods. I once believed that everyone should have an opinion on PK, regardless of whether they're active, a group combatant, or were once a fighter. I have since changed my stance on this after seeing many of the arguments brought forth by people, the most egregious being: "It's okay that Hound Track is changed to be useless because every class has useless skills". I think we can all agree that any one of us would have a negative reaction if the table was turned and that argument was levied against you. What has hit me the hardest though were people who railed against me behind my back, or sometimes to my face directly, about how all of my success was owed to others and none of it was due to my own achievements and work towards that end. This was largely the straw that broke the camel's back, as I was now dealing with abuse from folks on both sides of the game, some of which I considered to be good friends.
(I feel that it is also pertinent to mention that my departure is not combat-related, nor related to any of the recent Sciomancer changes. Aside from a minor disagreement with Pulsar change, I think all of them were good, healthy moves for the class and for PK balance as a whole. I think Sciomancer will continue to be effective for those who take the time to learn and play the class. I've passed on what knowledge I have of it to many of you and I hope it has been useful moving forward).
In any event, over the last two weeks since I took a break from Aetolia, I was swiftly reminded why I stopped playing in the first place. While I love many of you, I maintain that Aetolia has one of the most toxic communities that I have ever seen across IRE, or from any game for that matter. I believe that the vast majority are good people who play the game to have fun, but there are truly toxic individuals that try to domineer conversation, start snide/foul rumors about other people, assume an inherent maliciousness where there is none, etc.. I do not know why they do this, nor what their motivations are. What I will say is that it caused me to make the recent decision to leave all Aetolia-related Discords and thus the game itself.
Long walls of text aside, the culmination of all of this is simple: I have since come to the conclusion that playing Aetolia at all is a cardinal sin for my health as a whole. It does not matter how much I may have matured, it does not matter how much I miss some of the people, it does not matter how I much I miss being able to roleplay. None of that is worth a lot of the headache, frustration, and disdain that is routinely thrown about by members of this community. I, myself, have been guilty of it, but unlike others, I acknowledge my mistake when I do it and I try to be better. Others elect to double down, and I have long insisted in cutting out negative influences from my life and I've finally realized Aetolia to be one of them.
I truly do love many of you, and because I don't want this farewell post to end on a negative note, here are people that I wish to truly thank.@Mjoll
- The three of you were immensely helpful in cultivating my understanding of Sciomancer. Mjoll was always eager to share coding advice, answer questions if I had them, and so forth. I had hoped to repay such kindness many times over by making contributions where I could to Rime as a whole. Bulrok and Rijetta taught me everything I know about the core of the Sciomancer class, which allowed me to take the core Sciomancer package and build my own offense with it. I remain grateful to the three of you.@Saidenn
and so many others -- You have all made me have a wonderful time playing in both Spinesreach and on Shadow as a whole. I cannot understate how important it is for people to play on both sides of the game, to learn and realize that the "other side" is not "the enemy", but rather that they are people. I have enjoyed roleplaying with many of you and Nisavi would not be the smol bat that she is without the influences, conversations, and roleplay moments that I've managed to have with you all. Thank you. I wish you all the very best.
To many others, I owe you a gratitude of thanks and there are simply too many names to list. I wish you all the absolute best in life and the strength to tackle whatever challenges and endeavours it decides to throw your way. I've gotten to know many of you over the years and I can safely say that some of the friendships I've made from my time playing Aetolia have shaped me into a better person for all that I've shared with some of you.
In any event, for those who still want to maintain contact, I can always be found on Discord at ParadoxPancake#7128. If you'd like to continue speaking, please feel free to shoot me a friend request. Once again, thank you all and take care.