One of the things about a game like DAoC is that it allows those who play the game to pick and choose from various types of server and within that choice there are multiple realms to choose from and these days once you arrive in your chosen realm you can create up to 10 different characters... each character with a different name, characteristics, benefits and skills available to choose from... something I will come back to.
When I began playing Takitothemacs there was an innocence in my thinking and I was unaware of how seriously some people took the game. Among the more serious "hard core" gamers there was so little tolerance for mistakes that very quickly some players judged others by their performance in certain situations... as a hero my role was to provide protection to the druid who was healing others in the group, well at least that was what I was told having spent 2 minutes chasing after a troll who was trying to beat up one of our caster classes, unfortunately our druid was bludgeoned to death by a rather vindictive dwarf with an axe... I wasn't ready for the hard core criticism that was directed towards me for such fundamental errors, errors which I know now to be so basic that they would be unforgivable now so I opted for random groups with friends who all knew we were more likely to go out and fight and possibly die horribly but ultimately laugh about the fight and the mistakes we all made.
As time progressed my original guild that I joined when I started the game seemed to change and the tolerance for my silly play and comments earned me some scorn so I decided to leave and start a guild of my own with some other friends, we had high hopes... just like the ant and the rubber tree plant... however Phoenix Rising was lacking in substance and no matter what we did over the months of the guilds lifespan we couldn't seem to get things moving... after a time the guild disbanded and I went in search of a new surrogate family (guild).
Having spent some weeks running throughout the game while grinding out the killing of monsters to progress my hero and bard combo to the goal of getting to level 50 where everything would get easier I grouped with various members of the guild Chosen, all of who seemed to have a similar outlook to the game as I did... it was after all called a game for a reason... it was supposed to be fun. Finally I joined Chosen and found some excellent people in the guild, grouping was fun again and one of the key figures who I spent a great deal of time with was a blademaster called Gitt. Even when we met in real life for the first time we reminisced about a session grouping in a dungeon called Coruscating Mine where we took a group of lower level characters for what we called a "powerleveling" session and began attacking some of the toughest monsters in the place... abysmals... with my bard playing endurance for the 2 of us, my hero and his blademaster chain killed these monsters for hours. The group changed and there was a queue of lower level characters waiting for their spot in our group when another person dropped out of the group. Banter was good and in the group channel we had a number of "noobs" saying how amazing it was to be getting great xp from 2 characters in their high 40's when it all seemed to go wrong... perhaps our communication went awry but Gitt pulled one way and I pulled the other... all of a sudden we had the entire spawn of these mobs attacking us... the lower level characters casting all they had in terms of damage and heals on myself and Gitt... my bard healing all he could too. Gitt and I using all our toys as best we could, tripleweild, spirit of the hunt, ignore pain, first aid (back in the days when you could drop out of combat, pop the RA and get back in the fight in seconds) and afterwards we sent messages to each other on the private chat channel saying how we both thought we were about to have that most heinous of DAoC situations... a group wipe!
With the arrival of Shrouded Isles there were new areas to explore and it was decided in the guild that those of us that hadn't made the last push to 50 would all help each other out and get that top level to allow us to compete as a guild in RVR... of course it would be easy once we hit that magical level 50.
After 43 days of real life time invested in playing the hero from level 1 it finally happened... Takitothemacs hit level 50 on a day when Gitt had decided to stick by my side in the game until I hit 50... from early morning to late night we moved around in the Shrouded Isles... but finally attained my goal... or so I thought.