Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Asheron's Call Turns 10
From our front-page news:
I don't post much MMO-related news on the site, unless of course World of Warcraft sets yet another record, but today is special for a good reason, and I can't go without saying anything. On November 2, 1999, Turbine Entertainment Software (now Turbine, Inc.) released its very first MMORPG called Asheron's Call (Asheron Realaidain being the focused character), and ten years later, it's still going strong. Where MMO's are concerned, that's a huge accomplishment.
When AC was first launched, the competition was slim. It was 1999, and MMO's as a whole were barely beginning to catch on. Of the competition, Everquest, which was released six months earlier, was there and popular, and for the most part, most gamers considered EQ and AC to be the two main choices, so it came down to a decision of the two. Given that MMO's inherently act as time-sinks, you can't very well play two at the same time and be successful in both. Back then, it wasn't uncommon for players of either game to go to the opposite game's forums and debate over which was better.
Today, AC has a much smaller community of players, but it's still rich with activity. Without skipping much of a beat, the developers have continued to release monthly updates to the game which introduce new quests, items to collect, monsters to fight and once in a while, even a brand-new mechanic. Given the sheer number of updates since the game's launch (over 100), I'd be hard-pressed to believe that another MMORPG could match AC in terms of raw content. Even as an eight-year player, I still stumble on content I haven't touched before, and there's a lot more out there that I haven't partook in as well.
With current MMO's such as Aion and Darkfall, it's easy to look at AC and scoff. The game was released in 1999, and only had one graphics update, and even that wasn't too major. But, the age-old saying that "Gameplay is more important than graphics" couldn't be more true here. Even as players have moved onto other MMORPG's over the years, the vast majority tend to agree that no game could match AC in terms of gameplay, storyline and overall depth. I'm of the same opinion.
As bizarre as it may sound, it was my playing Asheron's Call that lead me to the events for me to start up Techgage, so in some regards, I feel I'm indebted to the game for those string of events and allowing me to today do what I love to do for a living. Here's to another ten years, AC! *raises glass of Wah Chon's Winter Lager*
Old-School Shot of Pre-Release AC
Asheron's Call develops a heroic fantasy setting familiar enough to draw you in yet mysterious enough to draw you onward. A varied host of monsters populate the benighted, medieval terrain; mysterious artifacts of great power embellish vast treasure hoards; and sorcerers, fighters, and rogues plot both heroic alliances and base villainy. However, Asheron's Call retains a strong flavor all its own, with an original backstory and creatures, and unparalleled flexibility in character creation and development.
Source: Asheron's Call Official Site
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