I guess now that I've had a day to digest the whole zOMG! being s**t-canned thing, I can better articulate my thoughts on the matter.
I was pretty pissed off when I found out Monster Galaxy was being developed because they had fired some of the zOMG! development team and reassigned others to work on MoGa. That pretty much meant the end of new events and greatly delayed the possibility of zOMG!'s expansion. Then Alchemy came along, and I had somewhat mixed feelings about it, but again, I found I was more pissed off with it than anything. I was pretty chapped when MoGa got scrapped, because there were people who played it and really loved it. Gaia just took that away from them and never gave a really good reason as to why. Then here comes Heralds of Chaos, which took away our last developer, ensuring there would be no events, no more expansions, and no hope zOMG! would have any future other than cycled servers. With the failure of HoC, fans lost their game almost as quickly as it was given to them, and the last developer was shown the door. Meaning there was no one left who even knew zOMG!'s coding. That's when I knew the game's days were numbered. Whether Gaia pulled the plug or shut the whole site down because of their epic failures as a company. A company that once won an award for being the best interactive site of the year.
I'm going to miss nearly everything about zOMG!. The melodic hum of the Null Chamber, the peeping sounds of my Easter chick Summons, dressing up as a Pumpkin Fluff and being followed by four Pumpkin Fluff Summons, that breaking porcelain sound and grumble of a dieing gnome, watching people emerge from Deadman's Pass with Stoochie wondering along behind them, the scream of an attacking Kokeshi Doll, the death cry of a Tiny Terror and the way their masks fall off revealing their horribly disfigured faces, discovering an intact chest or crate, Marshall's double entendres and creepy demeanor, and of course, the music. I've got the soundtrack which I could listen to at any time, but it seems empty without all the other sounds to go along with it. I'll miss teaming up to do raids with friends and strangers alike. I'll miss farming with my friends while engaged in hours of conversation. I'll miss hanging out in Village Greens and introducing new players to the game. I'll even miss the glitches and lag.
I'll miss the z!F. Sure, it pissed me off sometimes. There were some major assholes who passed through. People whom if I were face-to-face with them I'd have cracked them over the head with a shovel. Most times though, the forum was filled with wonderful people. Some of them I even came to love and admire. I enjoyed helping people who came along with questions. For a time I pretty much lived for it. Doing so made me feel useful. I prided myself on knowing every aspect of the game.
I miss the Dev Meats. Some of the most dedicated players and z!F members gathering in one place in zOMG! to discuss the game and its future with [JK] or one of the other developers. Usually followed by a massive mob spawn. I went through so many revives during those spawns, but it was such an honor to do so.
I miss the events. Being on a layer with a hundred or more players as we crack into a Golden Egg or defeat Jack. Oh the lag that would occur. Especially with Jack. It sometimes took nearly two hours to kill Jack because of that lag. Still, it didn't take away from the fun of it all. I rarely slept during those two weeks. The zOMG! events were a lot more fun than the main site events, and at that time, those were pretty damn fun too.
As I sit here reminiscing about all of this, it reminds me how zOMG! was a key element in getting me through a very depressing period in my life. A time when I didn't have many real life friends and my family was not talking to eachother. It was a period where I don't know that I would be alive today had it not been for zOMG!. Let's face it, I was feeling pretty low at that point. I credit zOMG!, the interactions from it, and the purpose I derived from my involvement, for saving my life.
Sure, I've been pretty inactive as of late, and at other points in my Gaia life, but I never fully went away. I'd peek in every so often to see what was happening, and I always came back. Now that it's gone, now that I know that constant isn't there anymore, I don't know what I'll do. It almost feels like my Mother died all over again. There's this huge hole in my soul that can't be filled. I've tried. I've looked for other games like it, but nothing was like zOMG!. Sure, there are better MMOs, but it wasn't just the game. It was the people, and the community, the interactive developers. It was the whole package that made it what it was. You can't replace that by simply finding another game to play. I've seen people say thing like, "You'll get over it". "In time you'll forget about it". "You'll find another game, another site". But that's not true. I spent four amazing years being a part of this. I formed friendships, shared some great times, and made some amazing memories while playing zOMG!. You can't just forget about that. You can't replace it as if it were an old toothbrush. This is a very important piece of my life that just had its plug pulled. I know nothing lasts forever, but I hoped maybe it would be around for a while longer. Maybe Gaia would eventually realize that the game deserved a second look. That it was worth saving. Maybe I'm being silly and have too many emotional attachments to a series of codes, sounds and graphics. Maybe I'm irrational. Or maybe I just appreciated the game for the masterpiece it was. Maybe I recognize that the game was my rehabilitation during a time when I was sick and dieing. Maybe, for the first time in my life I felt like I was a part of something special and don't want to see that vanish. Everyone views things differently, but from my perspective, the game is far too important to just throw it away, as Gaia just did.
Gaia is a quickly sinking ship. Has been for over a year. I know it's not the same site that was first formed, and it's certainly nothing like it was when I first joined. When I first found it, I was in love with it. Gaia was so much fun. The events were amazing. Christmas at Gaia was, for a couple of years, the only Christmas I had, and I was okay with that. I loved chatting in the holiday forums, the gift exchanges, the joy and friendly, festive atmosphere. Most days were like that anyway, but it was amplified during Christmas. I felt welcome here. Not just by the members, but by the site itself. I felt like they wanted me to be there, to be a part of the community. Now I feel like they want me to shut up and hand over my wallet. Sure, there's still holiday events....if you're willing to pay for them with real money. Oh, and forget about friendly forums and pleasant chats. The forums are ground zero for battles. That's the event. Even at Christmas. Fight, fight, fight. Choose a side and battle for supremacy. You want to do something like that during the Summer when everyone is wild, uncomfortable, and irritated, that's cool. But pitting everyone against eachother during Christmas is stupid. Not to mention recycling and reskinning the exact same event engine for every single event is just lazy. It just shows that Gaia has very little talent. After firing some and making even more uncomfortable enough to leave, the company has so few resources left that they have no choice but to keep using old material and have one of their artists make it look different.
I've covered all of this before and frankly, I tire of beating this dead horse. Gaia sucks. They have become a money-hungry corporation who doesn't care about its employees or its customers. They keep making stupid decisions that drive away seasoned members and have created an atmosphere that is not conducive to retaining new members. Pulling the plug on zOMG! was monumentally stupid. By far the worst decision I've seen them make since I've been here. What better way to ensure you'll drive a large number of people away from your site than removing the one feature that kept so many coming back and tolerating your bullshit. ********, Gaia. Well, count me as one of those who will be leaving and has no plans of returning. Sure, I'll see what's up at Christmas, but after that, don't expect to see me for at least several months. I'll be like Punxsutawney Phil, poking my head out of the ground and leaving for another six weeks if I don't like what I see. Basically the only thing that would bring me back is if zOMG! is restored, or an updated version is introduced. I know that will never happen because Gaia no longer has the talent to pull it off. They still can't even get Towns 2 right.
Gaia is destined to fall, and when they do, I'll feel sad. Not for what dies that day, but for what died a few years ago.