Disclaimer: I apologise in advance for the Tirun-like length, but I never thought I’d be using this section of forums.
As many of you have seen, I have begun playing EL again. I was playing another game and was reaching the endgame point where it was time to move on. I had played several other games since I left EL in April, but could never find the sense of community in any of them that I experienced in EL, a sentiment echoed by many players who return to these lands.
July ’09: Fatboyjaxx gives me the bot Minerva with no provisos or stipulations, and indirectly, control of our old shared guild AoI (as Minerva is the rank 20) and he liquidates his storage as he is leaving EL. His girlfriend ezmerelda had already stopped playing, and the other main AoIer who had anything to do with Minerva, Cruella, had long since stopped as well. Other than that, it was a dead guild. I gladly took over as I had no RL-$$ to spend to fund my own bot.
April ’10: I decide to leave EL for an unspecified time as well. However, I don’t get rid of Minerva, because I feel I will return one day.
May or June ’10 (can’t recall exactly): I log on and empty Minerva for safety. I fear with me not around she is especially vulnerable to hackers.
mid-Dec ’10: after logging on several times over the previous couple months, I log on again. I PM Minerva to see if she had been locked yet (she was due for renewal in late Sept or early Oct, but Radu often lets it slide for a month or 2). To my surprise, she’s not only not locked, she’s stocked up as well. Shortly after, I get a PM from Cruella saying she had renewed Minerva at the beginning of December and was running her again. I was shocked and unimpressed. She told me that she, fatboy and ez had all recently returned. She said that fbj had tried to get a hold of me. I check my Yahoo (which I rarely check) to see if I had an email from fatboy. Nothing. I didn’t have a Gossip message. I didn’t have a forum PM. I wonder how exactly contact was attempted to be made? Shout out in local chat at VOTD sto and pray I heard?
Day or 2 later: I log on again when I check Players Online page and see fatboy online. We chat awhile. I’m Buddhist irl, and very non-confrontational, so I try to be very pacific as we talk. After all, we’re old guildies and friends, and since I haven’t commited to playing full-time yet, I feel it would be uncool of me to force the situation yet. We agree to jointly run Minerva and if and when I decide I want to run her again solo, they would use the gc and items from her to get another bot. As a show of good faith, I deposit 1.4 million gc back on Minerva a couple days later (she had 1.3 mill gc or so when I took ownership)
January 6th ’11: I start playing again. I don’t use Minerva for the first 2 weeks or so I play – I’m out of touch with prices, and unsure of what I’m doing again, what kind of projects I want to focus on, etc. I just want to get my feet again, so to speak.
January 21st: I PM fbj again, and mention that now I’m settled again, I’d like to take over Minerva again as we discussed and fbj himself suggested in December (I do too many skills in the game to have a 4-way share be practical). At this point, fbj says that they are not prepared to give Minerva up, despite what he had said previously. He indicates I should just get my own bot, as it’s easy with Dogbreath’s service, etc etc. A short while later I log off for the evening.
January 22nd: I log on in the morning, and lo and behold, they have taken me off of Minerva’s admin and I can’t access her anymore. Again, no Gossip, no forum PM… nothing. Maybe they thought I would do to them what they so callously did to me? Sad that people think so little of my honesty. I could have done that at any point since mid-Dec if I so chose, but did not.
That brings us up to today. As of yet, I still have heard nothing. No doubt they have been waiting for me to post here and are waiting to present their side of the argument. Let me say that I understand where they are coming from: they have some history with Minerva. She was bought and paid for from funds raised through guild projects, blessing and all. Fatboy even hosted Minerva for awhile before the Dogbreath free service came along. Cruella ran Min when fbj and ez weren’t really playing all that much, when AoI was in decline. And they are 3 old players from the same old guild (they never even returned to the old guild mind you, just went straight to Nano – they just want the guild’s old bot). I understand all that. But Minerva was given to me, and I’ll say it again, with NO provisos or stipulations. She was registered in my name, I paid for her year out of my own pocket. And even if I was not in the game for awhile when they came back… so what? What is the statute of limitations on ownership? I had control of Min for just shy of 1.5 YEARS. If they had come back after a couple months, I would have had no problem with giving her back, but one and a half years? Come on. If Eviljoe somehow got unbanned and came back, would he expect to have Tina, etc back? I seriously doubt it.
The only real mistake I made was to leave these folk on the admin and not change the password, which out of laziness, a sense of courtesy or nostalgia, I didn’t do. It’s like a guy gets a job that requires him to move overseas, so he gives his friend his old car. Friend registers the car, insures it for the year, etc. then he decides to go travelling for awhile, so he parks it at his parent’s house. Original owner moves back to home country, finds the friend gone, but sees the car parked at friend’s parent’s place. Luckily he still has a set of keys, so after talking to the parents (in this case, Radu) just takes it.
Fatboy said it was easy to start up and get a bot going… that’s great to hear. Why not just do it then? I’m not the computer savvy guy that he is, undoubtedly it would be much simpler for him. And I doubt getting a bot together with 3 gainfully employed people would be much of a challenge either. I even offered ALL the gc from before (which is still on her) and would throw in some items. I even offered to Western Union or PayPal Cruella the $$ for the entire year, even if I wouldn’t use the bot for the whole time.
I loved having Minerva - made my game-play fun again. I’m locked out now and I don’t expect much to come of posting this. I waited some time to gather my thoughts and not speak out rashly. I just needed to get this off my chest. This isn’t the wonderful community/spirit I remember when I decided to come back. At worst, it’s an out-and-out theft, at best it’s a very shabby thing to do to an old friend. I guess might (3 of them) makes right. Here are some screenies to have a look at if you haven’t gone cross-eyed yet from reading all this….