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Merch Gwyar

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Blog Entries posted by Merch Gwyar

  1. Merch Gwyar
    UPDATE! MFI has now told his version of events. Go to his blog to read all about it:

    Accidental 15 Minutes of Fame - My View


    Runeshark currently have this livestream going for RS2007. MFI has been watching them since they started, so he was watching this too. He was also in a Skype call with us.
    As he knew where James was slaying, MFI went over there, so he could do the equivalent of 'hi Mum' calls in the background. We all watched and giggled. But then there was suddenly drama. The lad from Runeshark died, losing expensive armour and the such. The whole livestream was gasping in shock and horror.
    But in our Skype call, we knew something more. We knew that MFI had picked up the whip, fury and Dharok helm. We watched in anticipation as, on the Livestream, James hurtled back to the spot. Then he reached MFI.
    There was a trade screen. Hundreds of thousands of people watched MFI trade James his stuff back. The livestream chat erupted! It was so lovely! You've got the like of me, Tabt, Helm Lardar, Replacer and Jyreeil cheering aloud in Skype, as people began yelling things like 'MFI is a legend!'

    We all knew already. But now the whole of Runescape does too.
    I'm so proud. <3
    Edit: MFI is in the Runeshark livestream RIGHT NOW! Watch from 1.06 to see the whole sequence from James dying.
    Edit 2: Here is MFI's skill log!
    Edit 3: MFI has appeared on the Runescape Players Wiki for this!

  2. Merch Gwyar
    It was with great sadness that I learned last night that Marlaine had passed away IRL. H Alger and Fred both came to tell me, which I thank them for. Runescape lost a great player last December.
    Marlaine was an inspiration to many Runescape bloggers. She certainly was for me. Marlaine's Musings featured on many a RSS feed, and was frequently the subject of a Runescape Digest post. She will be missed greatly by those who thrilled to her in game adventures, as so wonderfully chronicled by herself. My thoughts and condolences go out to Primefalcon and the rest of their family.
    I've been asked repeatedly if I knew her. I knew her in passing, as so many Runescape bloggers of our generation did. Occasionally we'd pass in the street and say hello. There was mutual respect there, but we were never actually in the same clan, nor doing things together. But does that mean I didn't know her? Insofar as her Runescape career went, then I think we all knew her. Her pixel life played out so vividly on the page, that it was impossible not to picture yourself here, running alongside her, catching butterflies and pwning bosses.
    Primefalcon has said that her blog will remain and this, I believe, has resonance in some words of dialogue that Clive Barker once wrote in Weaveworld:
    '"Did you ever know the poet?" he asked.
    "No," said Cal. "He was dead before I was born."
    "Who can call a man dead whose words still hush us and whose sentiments move?" Mr Lo replied.
    "That's true," said Cal.
    "Of course it's true. Would I tell a lie on a night like this?"'
    Marlaine's Musings still hush and move us. As a blogger, as a player, she will never be gone; though new entries will be penned by her husband and tinged with sadness. Her own words are just as alive and as vibrant; and her header still says one word: Smiling. And that's how I like to think of her - net in hand, rushing through Zanaris after implings, just as I last saw her.
    As for real life, then my thoughts, as always are with Primefalcon.

  3. Merch Gwyar
    'I had a moral dilemma yesterday standing in Varrock Bank. I was selling anti poison potions and had been for a while, when a group of PKers came in. I naturally did a roaring trade, as half of them had been poisoned and I'd lifted my embargo on selling to PKers. But then one woman, obviously dying from poison, came and stood next to me, just going, 'help me' over and over again...'
    Feeling Evil - my first blog entry on Sal's Realm - April 5th 2007
    Thus it all began. Days which we never thought we'd see again, and yet they're coming back. Has everyone voted in the RS2007 poll? I have. Gri3f came and found me on The Internet. He asked if I'd come back for 2007; and I told him that it would be rude not to. (That's your shout-out Gri3f. :P)
    I loved Runescape in 2007. That's when Lumbridge felt like home; and dangers lurked up the lane to Falador. It's when every path led to a new adventure and I started making friends amongst the pixels. It was when I stumbled across the forums in Sal's, after using the site for ages. It's when I met all of you. Of course I want a time machine to take me back there. Things turned into a huge pile of cachi in the meantime and they were kinder days.
    I want to stand in Varrock Bank selling anti-poison again. I want to log into Runescape without seeing Yelps. I want the magic and the break from the stresses of life.
    But that isn't to say that I'm not deeply wary of this olive branch, which Jagex is offering us here. It all looks a lot like a win-win situation for the company, which I don't begrudge them. If 100s of 1000s of players buy membership just to vote, then that's a huge injection of cash right at year's end. It could well cover up the sins of loss of earnings, from all of the people leaving due to the mistakes of 2012. If hardly anyone showed up, then it gave Jagex the moral high-ground to say, "Stop with all the talk about the good old days! None of you want it!"
    I don't want it at $15, or whatever that is in sterling, above and beyond the usual membership fee. It's pushing it at $5, for a six year old game, released during a triple dip recession. But to walk back there for free, paid for with the subscription which also accesses the main game, then that is talking on my level.
    Jagex have broken my heart this year. But 2007 could tempt me back. I'd have to start blogging again, because I was certainly doing that on August 10th 2007. I was running around Brimhaven Agility Course in slow motion, apparently.
    Rose-tinted nostalgia? Hell no. It will all be different, because my computer doesn't lag this time. I'd be able to make those jumps!
    So what do the rest of you think? Is this redemption or just desperation? The jury is out, but the logging might be in.
  4. Merch Gwyar
    Zach and I stood fishing on the shores of Port Sarim, rushing our catch to the range at Rimmington. A few yards away, Tabt raised her combat level on over-sized rats. Miles away in Falador and Varrock, MFI and Low-Ki were busily fighting for mining spots. Their ores were smelted into armour for us all.
    Someone died halfway across the world. Helm Larder called out in dismay, "I can't get to you! It's hard when you can't get anywhere much in two minutes." It was a sentiment echoed throughout Canting Away. But it wasn't enough to dent the bonhomie. The good-natured reply came back, "It's ok. I didn't lose anything much." Sour notes couldn't last long, when everyone was having so much fun. Adjustments in our reason to be were happening hourly, generally to shrieks of delight.
    Respirte was doing us proud. Each time he logged off he moved to the top of mining. The number one miner in the whole of 2007 Runescape - a Canting man! But then someone else would log off and the registered XP would knock him off his perch again. He'd mine more ore and the great dance went on.
    Meanwhile Warlock, Kicker and Alex were putting themselves through the toughest challenges. They were completing quests like Galadriel's Amulet, charging past bosses with little in the way of combat levels. Laughter, cheers of triumph and smug victory awaited. They emerged as high leveled players at just level 24 combat. Plus Warlock had another mission, which he'd vowed to accomplish.
    He needed the combat levels to get through Paterdomus - to complete Priest in Peril - because on the other side of that dreadful river is Canifis. And in Canifis, there is a shop. And in that shop, there is a hat.
    There was a prize of freshly caught cooked shrimp for the first person to reunite me with my hat.
    But that was all in the future. First there was this.

    The utter freaking delight of that music, that screen, those flaming torches and the old, old interface. I was bouncing in my seat here, thrilled to bits and mistyping what came next in my bid to be inside.
    I made it in eventually and gleefully skipped towards the first tutor on Tutorial Island. I remembered this back then, and how long it took me to walk out how to range a rat. The past was superimposed upon the present; and it was wonderful. I had to restrain myself from giggling, 'I know!', as the cooking tutor told me how to make a loaf of bread. I wanted to hug the blissfully unaware mining and smithing tutor, as he reeled off his speil about furnaces and ores.
    They were ghosts and I was amongst them. They were living reincarnations of something thought lost forever. An historian's dream to be there, moving amongst them, interacting with the past.

    There were so many people there! Even from Tutorial Island, you knew that the worlds would be vibrant and full. We couldn't talk on there, except with the tutors, but out in Gielinor we would. There the happiness was given expression in the constant exclaimations, as each old familiar sight was viewed once more.
    Oh! Lumbridge! I could log onto 2013 and walk along its beautifully rendered, high graphics streets, but I still missed it. This was the Lumbridge which I wished to see. MFI called it correctly. He said that 2007 looked like something a third year university student knocked up in his bedroom; and that was brilliant. Yes! That is precisely it! There is a friendliness to the 2007 graphics, which couldn't be carried into the high polish of 2013. It felt like something we were all in together.
    I danced on the streets of Lumbridge. I leapt for joy alongside the castle walls. I followed the fence off into Draynor, because that's what I did back then! Only then it was so I wouldn't lose my way. The fence led back to Lumbridge, where it was safe. As for the rest of Gielnor, here there be dragons. I followed the fence now because I was chasing nostalgia, not because I didn't know my way.
    Warlock had already diverted the old Canting crowd into the original clan chat. They were all there waiting, like the party had never been over, like the chairs had never been stacked against the wall and the lights switched off. And when Zach logged on, I admit that there were tears in my eyes. Something lost came back. After the horrible losses of the last few years - in a much wider scope than Runescape - the universe handed something back. Perhaps it's not too hyperbolic to call it a balm to the soul right now, at least for me; and, judging by the happy calls all around, for others too.
    When I think of 2007 now, I forget the long hours spent working off a year long redundancy notice at the university; the pain of a sprained knee is finally receding in my memory, along with the mud of that year's Glastonbury Festival. Instead I remember Runescape, during the year that I found it, and all that's wrapped up in recollections of selling rings of life in Edgeville Bank.

    Low-Ki humouring me through a nostalga kick reconstruction.

    The beauty in walking through Gielinor, or fishing, wood-cutting, fighting, coooking, mining, smithing and questing, was not only in the sense that we can somehow go back in time and do it all again. It was in witnessing everyone else feeling the same. Like sins, time and trauma could be washed away in a virtual time machine. Every time another Canting person joined us and went 'wow', I grinned that little harder.
    Doing the quests too took on a new gleaming layer of delight. The first time I ventured into the Stronghold of Security, it was with decent enough stats, but alone. This time, it was with Tabt, MFI and Low-Ki, with hardly a stat to rub between us. But Low-Ki and MFI had made our armour; MFI had plotted our course; Tabt had trained the combat to lead us through; and me... well.. it was combat, so I was as useless as ever. I provided the confusion, the screams and the extra challenge for the rest of them in keeping me safe.
    Completing it was almost as satisfying as getting through a decent grandmaster quest in the main game. It was certainly much more fun!

    This was gaming at its finest. No-one standing on street corners yelling out gold farming URLs. No-one yet being nasty to froobs and noobs (because we all WERE froobs and noobs). The worst kind of PKers not yet strong enough to enact an effective lure of the innocent. The best sort of PKers already realizing in ecstasy that they can now repeat all of the old tactics, the death dot and more.
    People helped one another in Gielnor last night. Strangers joined in quests. The original taxis between the towns moved in snaking congo lines along the byways. Even the competition was friendly. As Respirte mined his way to number one, his main competitor joined Canting too. They were chatting amongst us, even as their pixel pick-axes strove to strike the other from the head of the hiscores.
    And as for Warlock, he got his combat levels. He did his quest. He brought me flowers and collected enough gp to make a purchase on my behalf. Once, back in the day, I'd stepped into the Wild wearing my first hat; and I'd lost it. Warlock swore then that I would never be without my hat in Runescape for as long as he was still playing. He bought me ten hats to stick in my bank to replace that one which was lost.
    But 2007 made it so much harder to fulfill that oath. In truth my offer of a prize of shrimp was half in jest. I didn't think anyone would actually put themselves through the rigors necessary to claim it. Until one did.


    Warlock went to Canifis and he brought back my hat. And another as a place-holder for my bank. What can I say to something like that? Other than thank you and here's fifty caught and cooked shrimp.

    But what do I mean by that? I mean that I'm back so long as this is included in the price of the main game. Right now, it's pretty much free, because a vote gives you your first month free of charge. In short, voting now means that you don't have to pay for a single month of gameplay, in the main game or 2007. Fiscal sense, really; as the money that you do spend pays for the second month.
    I'm struggling to make ends meet IRL. I haven't got the extra $15 nor $5 to spend on any game. I could just about meet the normal membership rate. That will take 500k votes on the poll. It's currently at 323k. If we don't meet that, then I'll milk the experiences of having 2007 back for all its worth during the next month, then try to gracefully bow out. It's the graceful part which will take the effort. The rest gives me no choice.
    I also want F2P in 2007. It's not the same without them, though Jagex's anti-F2P stance of the past few years is going to make this a Herculean effort. I wish I had money enough to buy them all membership, but I'm more likely to be joining them. The world isn't fair and not everyone has the same recourse to funding. There are parents out there who have a choice between feeding their kid or buying a Runescape game-card. Which parent in the world wouldn't opt for the bread on the table?
    It will take 750k votes to extend a hand to our F2P friends. I'm not at all confident that will happen. Even if we got 500k, then it would take an extra 250k people to want to be that kind. The push will be for 500k and then it'll fizzle out. As a society, we've never been that brilliant at reaching out to lift up the poor.
    Finally, I would have the clan chats interlinked, so 2007 can talk with 2013. Tanya came in yesterday, bitterly disappointed because hardly anyone was in Canting. Well, we were, but in the old style one. There it was vibrant and bursting at the seams. But back in 2013, there were just three individuals - Tanya, a refugee from Sal's and a third whom many suspect may be a bot. This divide and conquer may be one blow too many for those loyal players who prefer the 2013 model. Link them up, so that the clans may talk across the ages.
    As for right now, Warlock fetched my hat. It would be rude not to wear it.
  5. Merch Gwyar
    Is anyone else reading with interest the reviews of Jagex on Glassdoor?
    While I'm well aware that it's most likely the disaffected and unhappy who write on such sites, it does make fascinating reading. And it confirms all that we've been thinking about the input of Insight Venture Partners.
  6. Merch Gwyar
    I've just received a message from MsClick. We need just four more people to pass through the doors of the citadel before the reset, in order to upgrade.
    The work is done. It's just a head count now. Run! Run! Please run! There's a loom upgrade resting on this!
    *blows kisses into the wake of Canters* Thanks!
  7. Merch Gwyar
    Towards the end of last month, two players were permanently banned from Runescape. They had not broken any rules.
    When I first heard this story, I reacted like I guess that most of you are reacting right now. 'Yeah, yeah, they must have done something! Botting? RWT?' I've seen screen-shots of their ban logs. Fargrist and Vivathia were both manually removed from the game, no reason given. They naturally appealed. Their appeals were rejected within hours. No evidence supplied. Still no reason given.
    Of course, we can all jump to one massive conclusion. Fargrist has been very vocal in his criticism of Squeal of Fortune. He orchestrated one of the biggest and most eloquently debated anti-SoF threads on the RSOF. It was called Tick Tock Jagex and only died with it reached max. posts. He also went to a national newspaper, the UK Gambling commission and other external people to express his views about SoF. He came to me.
    But what about Vivathia? She did nothing but marry the man. She even used SoF on a regular basis, albeit only the free spins. She lost her account and we can only assume that it's through association.
    I've agreed to allow Vivathia to tell her side of the story through my blog, as she has none of her own. Fargrist has just started one, which will be used as a back-up for the Tick Tock Jagex thread and other public documents. It includes their copy of Vivathia's Say.
    What follows might look like a candidate for tl:dr. But I urge you to do so. It's a very moving testimony, straight from this lady's heart. Over to Vivathia.

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    Thank you for allowing me my own Opinion (rant).. yes I even rant at my husband (aka Fargrist)
    As you know by now I'm his other half, Vivathia.. the long suffering wife.. ok, well I don't suffer that much, I just make sure I nod in the right places, I've sat here for.. I'm not too sure how long, my minds a blank when it comes to anything SoF related, and I've listened to my husband discuss it (this is the part where I nod in the right places) I'm neither against, nor for SoF.. heck, I take my free spins and run with it, it's got me a level here and there and it's got me a nice shiny new outfit too. But my husband feels strongly about it and I happily (but silently) back him for his own beliefs, but do my own thing regardless.
    But, it seems that due to my association with Fargrist's account, my account has been banned, association through the same credit card used to pay for membership. I really don't know what makes me mad, I can admit to feeling mad at the man behind Farg for pushing this SoF thing, my main thought when he got banned was, "what about me?"
    (Disclaimer, they didn't give a reason as to why we got banned, so I can only assume why he got banned and the reason I got banned was the association with him)
    I'm more than mad, I was really upset, heck I got upset when way way back when I first started and I got trade scammed and I bought a mith pickaxe instead of a rune for 25K + my adamant pickaxe, when the guy did a last minute swap in the trade window without me noticing, I did the usual I'm not playing, but Farg went out and worked hard mining gold ore to make that money so he could buy me a rune pickaxe and cheered me up.
    So I am very upset at the fact that I've lost my whole account. I had some great times and have some really good memories from the people I met in game, be it having been a brief meeting or something that became more of a long term friendship.
    So, my point of view is just as important as fargrists and my anger is directed to the fact I've never voiced a like or dislike about SoF, Fargs side of his banning is very much SoF related, mine, I wish I knew.
    how I feel, I've played this game for 8 years with my husband, our skills are pretty similar here and there, we've worked(skilled) together, we've helped each other out, one helping the other out with one skill as the other helps with another.. there hasn't been one quest done where we haven't done it together, we've individually solved quest problems helped the other out where and when needed during quests, we've stood and watched during big fights should one of us die.
    I've never botted, never swore, never scammed or done anything against jagex rules and conditions.. it's not in me even if the above was allowed, I like fair play, I like a reason to play, to work hard for the rewards of all I put into it, I don't care about having the most cash or items in game.. you only have to look into my bank to see that.
    For me it was the content of the game, the skills and quests, mini game and every other reason that makes a game interesting to me, including a shared gaming interest with my husband in which we've laughed over many silly incidents, more so when he accidentally attacks me in the wildy or so he tells me that is was only an accident, or he's escorted me to places I don't like and I die anywhere and I get to blame him.
    The game meant a lot to me, for the laughs and teasings we had over it, I have so many stories to tell of the adventures Vivathia and Fargrist had, people will roll their eyes at and probably not find amusing, but it's stuff we still do laugh about. So many "do you remember when's" gone for and with no reason. This whole incident has really take away a lot from me because of their treatment and the loss of my respect in the company that took over a game I once used to enjoy playing.
    I feel shocked at jagex company for their lack of caring, my appeal denied by an automated reply.. my ban status updated with "appeal denied". No one has read my appeal, no one has told me the reason I was banned, I know no one will, I'm happy for this to go to court, For me its not about SoF, but about getting my account back, I'm 99.9% sure I wont ever play Runescape again, I'm 100% sure I wont if Fargrist doesn't get his account back because it wont be the same playing without him.. but that's a different Story. I still want my account back because it has nothing but an immaculate record of fair play and I'm prepared to fight for that.
    I can only think Jagex assumes we're a couple of kids who wont make a fuss, rather than a middle aged married couple, one of us *points at Fargrist* being hot headed enough to take it as far as he can.
  8. Merch Gwyar
    I've barely stepped foot in Runescape this past couple of months. I do miss the Canting gang, and I do feel guilty about not pulling my weight in the citadel. But every time I log in, I see that Squeal of Fortune crap appear. It reminds me of all who left. It reminds me that this game is no longer a reasonably level playing field. It strips away all that I loved about Gielinor. It does not put me in a great frame of mind to just carry on regardless.
    Terraria is much less stressful.
    However, I did nip in briefly a couple of nights ago. A friend of mine is a brilliant IRL crafter. When I saw what she could produce, my mind flipped over to my long-standing desire to have my in-game hat in the real world. It would do for Runefest etc, but it would also do for Glastonbury (zOMG! I have my tickets! *hysterical scream of happiness!*), going out in the sunshine, doing the housework, making cups of tea, going to bed...
    She agreed to show me how to make a Canifis hat! MFI and I went in-game to get some screenshots for her and this is the result. Wish me luck as I embark upon IRL Crafting levels. I've never felted a thing in my life before, so I'll need it!
    PS Logging in told me that Jagex had randomly just given me 700k xp in a lamp. I have no idea why. Just for being the last person around too lazy to cancel her subscription, I'm guessing. Dunno what I'll use it on. I just left it in my bag.
  9. Merch Gwyar
    I've met them now and they are both ridiculously tall. They are also a lot younger than you imagine, when you are canting with them on the interwebz.
    I'm with them in a city centre, typing on a Mac in an Apple Store.
    Testing complete.
  10. Merch Gwyar
    Another good man left Runescape today. In reality, it's not the day that Egghebrecht walked out - that was when Squeal of Fortune was introduced to the game - it's merely the moment when his membership finally ran out. You can read all about it, in his words, over on his blog.
    So many people going. Their names are in danger of merging together, a list on a memorial board, while new players rush into the breech never knowing that Runescape was once a game that we enjoyed and had fun in. A stress relief. A social gathering. A place to have pride in our own achievements, based on the merits of our play. One of the few places left on Earth where hard work meant something (if only in pixels), rather than the weight of your wallet.
    I hate microtransactions. I hate Squeal of Fortune. I hate the endless goodbyes and the bam, bam, bam erosion of all we built. So let's not forget those who have stuck to their principles and laid down their swords.
    Who's gone now? No-one at Sal's needs an introduction to Egghebrecht. I'm writing this largely for whoever else may be reading.
    Egg has a heart as big as his community spirit. I doubt there is anyone in his orbit who hasn't, at one time or another, borrowed his Bandos or his Godsword or whatever other weapon may be needed. I've known him log on especially to loan these things out. Last year, Jagex was all about clan building. Egg was that ethos personified. He was in at least two clans to my knowledge, keeping up with both concurrently. No event was too small for him to show his face. No player too noobish not to gain his support. But most of all, his humour kept those clan chats laughing. No matter how bad my day, I always cheered as he typed 'hello', or, in his case, 'bump'.
    But what most will remember of this remarkable player was his ever patient insight into (legally) making money within the game. I was able to afford 90% of my expensive things by following his advice. I learned to do things like look after my kingdom to its full advantage; buy battlestaves; and use my gp to generate more gp, instead of letting it fester in the bank. No need for fast-track spins of game-breaking squeals, when you had Egg's research, calculator and tips to hand. He made it more fun. He even tricked me into enjoying maths on occasion; because it was in the context of Runescape, I hadn't realised that it was maths.
    He represented Sal's Realm in the hidden forums, letting our voices be heard there. We owe him that debt.
    It is players like Egghebrecht who are leaving now. What future can Runescape have on the other side of the SoF updates? None that I'm too keen to see.
    Goodbye from Gielinor, cariad. You'll be sorely missed by those who remember what this game was and what kind of players it lost to greed.
  11. Merch Gwyar
    It was with great sadness that I learned today that Mod Poppy has left Jagex. I appear to be a couple of days behind the news, but thank you to Tasoansteel for letting me know.
    I was genuinely shocked when I found out about this. I've met Poppy three times now and, on each occasion, her love and enthusiasm for the company seemed boundless. She really appeared to love her job; and that feeling was infectious. Even when I was mid-rant and furious with the direction Jagex had chosen to undertake, Poppy could calm it down. She made me remember all I did like about Runecape. She caused me to look more kindly at it all.
    I've seen her do that a million times with other players too, on the forums or in person. That was just her positive personality, bubbly and wry in equal measure. Of course no-one can say whether she jumped or was pushed, but I do know that Jagex lost a key communicator here. Someone with the 'common touch', who really did make the players feel like a JMod was listening.
    Her Twitter and Facebook accounts are swamped with messages from well wishers. I'm glad to see that. I do rate the Grrrl as one of the decent ones. I also strongly suspect that she's being inundated with people asking for information, which she cannot divulge. I ask you all to back away from that. I know what it's like to have to keep quiet, when good friends are desperately trying to find things out. You feel like you've betrayed some great and noble cause; but there is nothing that you can do about it.
    We haven't all the courage of Bradley Manning, especially when the information isn't a matter of life and death.
    In the few times that I've chatted or observed Poppy in real life, I've been struck by her kindness and compassion. Mod SteveW talks about her charity work (p 41). I don't know anything about that, but it doesn't surprise me. I've watched her pick up paralytic gamers and ensure that they've been safely dispatched to their beds. I've been the recipient of an unscheduled tour of Jagex Studios, after the official one was done. Mod Poppy did that, because she thought it a shame I hadn't seen it. She always appeared to me to genuinely care about the people in her orbit.
    But most of all, Poppy is fun. She has a wonderful sense of humour and an unending capacity to party. That, I think, is what I'll remember most about her, if that was the last meeting. I really hope that it won't be though. She feels like a keeper. Good luck in all that your future holds, cariad.

    Like the early '90s were never over.

  12. Merch Gwyar
    Who was the blogger who used to (possibly still does) give advice on relationships? I've got one for him here.
    You probably all know by now that I'm writing loads of articles over on Wizzley. As part of that, I have an analytics program which, amongst other things, tells me what people have typed into search engines to find my stuff. I was looking through it earlier, when one question leapt out at me. I based a whole article on it.
    I'd be grateful if you'd read the query and add your thoughts to the duel box below it. I've no way of knowing if the individual will come back or ever read it. But if they did, it would be nice if the advice was sitting there waiting for them.
    I've linked you halfway down the article, where the relevant question is asked. If you want more context, then scroll up from it. It tells you more than you probably ever needed to know.
    Update: I can't really respond on a duel comment (though I could in the comments at the bottom of the article), so I'll do it here:
    Kamil - The advice that you left is amazing! I absolutely agree 100%. Thank you for sharing your wisdom there.
    Tabt - That is such brilliant advice! Yes, it would open the way to more conversations!
    Tasoansteel - Your response made me cheer. All we need is love indeed!
  13. Merch Gwyar
    Canting Away met Sal's Realm of Runescape in Soul Wars today. Naturally Canting emerged victorious! Thank you very much for those players on both sides, who came to join in.
    I do love my clan! I love the healthy mix of terrifying fighters and laid-back skillers, which lead to comments like these:


    I'm soooo ferocious that I will hold my meetings in the cooking guild and delay preparing for the fight, because I'm too busy cooking sardines after strange stones! Rawr!
    All skilling done, it was off to Soul Wars in world 71. Plenty of people were milling about the place, which made me nervous. I thought they were all Sal's people. Unfortunately, it turned out that they were random skillers using the one click bank. While a dozen Canters amassed, there were only two or three members of Sal's Realm there!

    Canting Away ready to take on the hordes of Sal's, but...


    Yes, Helm, we soooo can have that on the record!

    In the end, Luftwaffe swapped sides, just so we could get this party moving. So yes, a Canting member was over there! Later on, it transpired that some other strangers were there too. They weren't anything to do with Canting.
    I can only surmise that they had been in the Soul Wars lobby and just joined in. Apparently they were trolling Sal's members. If that had been someone from Canting, then I'd have have Stern Words. The only true Canter fighting for Sal's was Luftwaffe and he did attack us. I know because the git nearly killed me once!
    It was a fun fight in Soul Wars. For a while it seems that Sal's were going to win. They had our avatar down to 24%. I went on Operation Collect Bones and managed to knock the slayer level up to 95. That 24% didn't get any lower after that. Meanwhile, our lot were fighting all over the world. I've never seen the areas change hands so often.
    Finally Oldmaroon ran by telling me to get to their avatar. It was nearly dead! I legged it all the way there, only to be viciously slaughtered by MFI and Sellador within sniffing distance of the avatar. ;_;
    It was no matter though, because the rest of Canting was up there and the Sal's avatar was finally dead. Woot! We managed to keep it like that until the end. Canting 1 - Sal's 0!

    Canting immediately rushed back into the blue waiting area, only to discover half of Sal's in there with us. LOL It soon became obvious that a rematch wasn't going to happen. With the reputation of Sal's Realm trampled firmly into that accursed soil, we relocated to Fight Pits.
    Being one on one, I only lasted to the final two or three because I wasn't much of a challenge to kill (and I hid a lot). I did manage to win one Fight Pits round! Though to be fair, there was only Warlock left and he 'accidentally' took off all of his armour, recalled his familiar and forgot to hit me back. He even tipped me off that I was using the wrong prayer. -.- But who cares?! I won Fight Pits!

    Once again, thank you all who came to defend the honour of our respective clans. That was a lot of fun! And a particular thanks to Sellador (for Sal's) and Warlock (for Canting), who organized it all.
  14. Merch Gwyar
    Before I go into the fine detail about my trip to Jagex, I want to address the contentious issues of Squeal of Fortune and the NDA. I know that many of you reading will only be interested in those, so it'll save you wading through the rest of my waffle.
    There was a NDA, as we all knew that there would be. It wasn't the one on the door, that everyone has to sign. It was a separate, single-side of A4 letter, which was handed to me by Mod Poppy. It was in plain English, not legal speak, and it did not even seek to silence me beyond the hours spent in Jagex Studios. Even then, we're talking restrictions, rather than shut up about it. In a nutshell, the NDA stops me giving away spoilers or compromising player safety or game security. As far as I'm concerned that's fair enough.
    As for Squeal of Fortune, I knew my duty there. It was to ensure that I'd raised player objections wherever and whenever the opportunity arose to do so. I did that. I crow-barred some opportunities into the mix. I handed over the Sal's Realm questions, which mentioned it. I talked about it constantly throughout the afternoon. Poor Mod Poppy, Mod Murray and Mod Emma F heard it so often that they must have inwardly cringed whenever someone inadvertently gave me an opening. They all had the patience of saints and never once told me to STFU with SoF protests already! Short of standing in the stairwell or central courtyard and screaming it, so that even the people working on Transformers, 8Realms and the like heard all about it, there's little more that I could have done.
    With the emphasis on 'little more'. I was halfway down the motorway when it occurred to me that I'd missed the biggest opportunity of all. I'm sorry. I called myself every form of freaking noob when I realised, but by then I was roughly at junction 28 of the A14, battling through a torrential downpour in the dark, and the moment had long since past. Right at the end of the day, I'd briefly bumped into Paul Gower. I should have complained to him about Squeal of Fortune, but it didn't cross my mind. I don't know why. It had more than crossed my mind all day long to the point where I sounded like a stuck record. All I can think is that the tour was officially over with Mod Poppy just ninja-ing an extra hour on the end (in her own time) to show me the rest of the building. I was tired, hiding cramps, but utterly fascinated by all that I was seeing. I relaxed too soon and for that I'm really sorry.
    If my remit was to waltz in there and get Squeal of Fortune taken down right now, then I was never going to win. If it was to get the words said, the impact understood, the pure emotion of feeling that we're all losing our game, then I did it. Hand on heart, I can say that dozens of J Mods heard that plea. They all listened intently. None of them apologised for it.Your Tweets and Facebook messages, while I was there, helped too. I did my absolute best.
    I was invited as a guest of player support only as a result of an article I wrote on Internet Safety and as much as I tried to crowbar SoF into every conversation Mod Murray made clear from the moment I arrived that we wouldn’t be discussing it that day, we would be discussing only player support related matters. I don't even have any impressions to share with you about the future of micro-transactions. I wish I had.
    For the rest of the trip, I'm going to unfortunately have to direct you over to Wizzley. Sorry!
  15. Merch Gwyar
    That's the remaining people crying after Fred logged out.


    Sorry I didn't get everyone on this! I was too busy helping set, then stamping on balloons while we were all there. Then only started taking proper party pics after most of Canting had left!


    We did get a star turn-out though. Spirit of RS turned up to say goodbye to Fred in person. Spirit of RS is one of Runescape's most passionate player defenders on the RSOF.


  16. Merch Gwyar
    I'm obviously going after those three at level 90, though it's a long haul as I'm not playing so much at the moment. Real life keeps happening to me. The obvious way forward is to do Slayer until I get 91 in Defence, Strength and Attack. As Slayer is the next one up, that will tick four boxes. Beyond that, I'm not sure where to put things like Penguin Points. Summoning or Slayer are both favourites.
    You might have spotted that I'm finally closing in on my first 99. I half don't want to! LOL I know that sounds silly (because it is), but I've spent so many years not getting 99s, that the proximity of one is just weird. At this point, it's actually more of a challenge not to have a skillcape (beyond the Quest Cape, obviously), which is what makes it fun. Plus I'd miss out on the quiet amusement of incredulous people gasping out, 'How have you not got 99?!' :D
    I achieved 98 Construction when Fred met me in the Enchanted Valley. He'd been preparing his bank for F2P and there was an effigy there requiring 97 Construction. I'm his woman there! So we stood amongst the centaurs and butterflies and I got my level assisting him.


    LOL! I hadn't noticed the white rabbit watching. Win! On so many different levels...

  17. Merch Gwyar
    On May 6th 2012, at 4pm GMT, all members of Canting Away are cordially invited to come to the Canting citadel. It's Fred Gwyar's leaving party and it will include around 30m gp worth of drops too.
    Not just Canting, but Gielinor itself is losing a very good man here. I doubt that there is anyone in our clan, who hasn't benefited from his good heart over the years. No gravestone left unblessed; no losses suffered without his generosity in gifts and a consoling word; no battling into unknown lands with scary monsters, without him offering to walk alongside.
    And I'm not just talking in-game here. His gallantry never ended with the log-off screen.

    So what went so wrong here? He loves this game. Over 5000 hours of his life has gone into it and many close friends are waiting to play it with him. He's worked his way slowly through so many levels, including his pride and joy - 99 Slayer and that wonderful cape.
    Then he watched another player get 99 Slayer in just two weeks, having bought enough tickets on Squeal of Fortune to achieve it in XP lamps.
    Things like that devalue achievements. The hours which fed into Fred's Slayer cape suddenly felt cheap. Worst still was that slap which reversed the ethos so long held at Jagex. We'd been sold out for a quick buck on Wall Street. No more level playing fields. The real world rich kids got it all on a plate.
    It was this bitter taste in the mouth which forced Fred's hand. The words of protest on the forums went unheeded. As the days of no response turned into weeks; and, in the face of all that, yet more additions were made to Squeal of Fortune, he cancelled his membership. No more screaming into the void, but voting with his wallet.
    And that has broken a lot of hearts.

    Fred and I spent a couple of hours yesterday, just sitting chatting and remembering all of those years. We've both been in the game for a long time, building our characters.
    The Enchanted Valley is a great place to sit in memories. The nostalgia is all around. Hit a tree and the tree spirit comes. Try fishing and prepare to face a river troll. This is where the old randoms came to live out their days.
    And where old players come to say goodbye.
    But goodbye isn't necessarily farewell and sayonara. He thinks that he gave me gifts. He actually gave me part of his bank to look after until he can come back. I won't give up hope that the blasted goblin will go away and Fred will feel happy coming back. After all, this is where his clan is; and his on-line home.
    Next week is when that clan will meet to honour our sweet prince. Canting Citadel, May 6th, 4pm. It'll be four days before his membership runs out and he'll disappear into whatever exists beyond the log off screen. And we'll miss him dreadfully.

  18. Merch Gwyar
    Warlock and Gri3f had begged until I went to do a Dungeon with them. It was the usual chaos of me basically trying to keep out of trouble, while they, Dan M and Luftwaffe raced about being efficient. Warlock assured me that keeping out of trouble was the best that he could hope for me. Win!
    There wasn't time for another Dungeon after that, so we all made our way out and into the foyer. I lagged well behind, too busy chatting in Canting to react to anything quickly. But when I did step up that ladder, it was into a shock. My blood really did run cold and I stared.

    For those missing the significance here, I'd like to momentarily direct you back to another blog entry from 2008. It will bring you up to speed. But right then, I simply stood there for long seconds, then gushed out, "Did you know Ashley?"
    There was no response. I waited, thinking her afk. In the meantime, I typed into Canting, "I'm standing next to Fat Wrecked in the Daemonheim foyee." Just on it, she moved, running past me to disappear down the ladder.
    The Canters who'd left before me had already encountered her. They were not complimentary. It appears that she finds it funny to claim a name like that. She had responded to them and her conversation had made it obvious that she was a troll, moving around Gielinor upsetting the veterans. I went down the ladder.
    "Excuse me, did you know Ashley?" I asked her. She was dancing with a friend now with no response at all to my questions. It's possible that she now had public chat turned off. Gri3f had already reported that Views were Exchanged between them, when he'd come out. It's also possible that she was simply now ignoring the lot of us.
    I should reiterate here that I never personally heard her trolling in Fat Wrecked's name. All I saw was that she wore it. And a man who had prided himself on very manly attire, as befitted his high attack level, was now a lady in pink. That is all that I saw. But trusted clan members heard more and I'm inclined to believe them.
    There's nothing that any of us can really do about this. The name became available because the teenager who made it famous has been dead for four years. It's not even precisely the same name. She doesn't have a space in the middle. All I can do is add my sentiments to those who declare this utterly disrespectful; and to hope that she is never in a position where pathetic bullies do unto her, as she has done to others.
    And if Fat Wrecked's family and friends are reading, I'm so sorry that such cruelties get perpetuated for laughs in this way. But please note that wherever she goes, players are voicing their disapproval.
    RIP Fat Wrecked.


  19. Merch Gwyar
    Hi all,
    I'm back home and freaking knackered! Fortunately there were no major adventures on the way back, just a very, very long run in the rain and dark.
    By necessity, there will be some delay in recounting all that happened today, but I do have something immediate to share with you. As promised I presented that A4 sheet of questions to Mod Poppy, practically as soon as I was through the door. It got handed to the head of community relations, whose name is Mod Stevew. It was handed back to me with answers at the end of the visit.
    Not all questions received answers. Those were just left blank, but for clarity I'll put 'no answer' after them.
    Herty: What's your stance on RS2006? Could you release Runescape from before August 2007, like the RSC release?
    Mod Stevew: Each time we update the game we don't keep any of the old assets, and we only change things when we genuinely believe it's an improvement. So, even if we did want to revert to an older graphic set, we just couldn't do it.
    We are aware that a desire exists to have a version of the game with older graphics, but like many things in life - we do tend to look back on the past and associate it with good times, and then we find that if we actually revisit those things that we treasure so much from 'back in the day', they are not quite as great as our memories would have us believe. As the joke expression goes 'nostalgia ain't what it used to be!'.
    Hilbrande: Why do they make F2P so bad? They were talking about account transfering; are they considering changing the rules?
    Mod Stevew: We believe that the free game far exceeds other offerings in the industry in terms of play time and immersive content.
    Lonely: Is the game going to be shut down soon and now you're just trying to drain every penny out of it?
    Mod Stevew: No, we are fully committed to the future of RuneScape and making sure it is around for future generations, making RuneScape the best it can possibly be and continually evolving the game with regular updates and improvements is what make us get out of bed in the morning!
    Gri3f and Minerex: Tell them to make me a mod pl0x!
    Mod Stevew: Enjoy the game, have fun, support the community and we will spot you!
    Fred Gwyar: 1, Why not make the SoF only give cosmetic and lucky items, why include XP?
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Fred Gwyar: 2, Why not market 'special emotes' or decorative clothing/skins (as the green skin with RuneFest) for a few $?
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Fred Gwyar: 3, What do they think about the all time high of rants on the Forum, especially the +16k thread about SoF?
    Mod Stevew: We are fortunate to have a passionate community who give us almost instantaneous feedback about all we do - sometimes we have to agree to disagree, but we do read feedback - and when sensible and well thought out comments are made, we always afford those suggestions careful consideration.
    Fred Gwyar: 4, Considering Jagex hired JacMob (bot scripter) and the bot nuke a few months ago where Jagex told us only 2% will be still working, why do we have so many bots back now??? I'd like to see a RS free of bots before the Mayan prediction comes to term...
    Mod Stevew: As always, the lat thing we want to do is let bot developers know what we have planned next - we can say that we are totally on it, we will never give up and we share our genuine players desire to have a bot free game.
    Conspicuous: When can I "officially" buy gp from Jagex?
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Conspicuous: Why didn't they increase subscription costs?
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Conspicuous: Each member, what football team they support?
    Mod Stevew: We have a Jagex staff football team so they are widely supported by everyone here at the studio. We are not quite ready to take on Barcelona yet but watch this space!
    Conspicuous: What their stand is to the concept of Communism and Capitalism.
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Conspicuous: If they like the Freemasons.
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Conspicuous: When they're going to fix the combat triangle (general answer will be nice).
    Mod Stevew: Combat you say? Hmmmm. We are very close to being able to let the whole community know what plans we have - 2012 is an exciting year for Combat in RuneScape, more news very soon!
    Conspicuous: If they're going to reduce the power of OP weapons.
    Mod Stevew: No answer.
    Those were all of the questions and answers. There will be more to write, but right now I am genuinely exhausted and drained. I hope to get a full blog about the visit out over the next few days, and I'll certainly aim for it to be asap. I'm well aware that everyone is waiting on this.
    I would like to answer this Tweet though:

    I was not offered a mod status and I most certainly would not have signed a NDA that read anything like that. I retain full freedom to write whatever I wish to write before and beyond this afternoon. If that includes criticism over Jagex, then that will happen. Equally if I feel praise is due, then that too will happen. Freedom of speech is one of the human rights that I hold most dear; but I also understand that freedom of speech includes courtesy, respect and personal responsibility. Today the latter must come into play.

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