2017 was the last good year for this forum. At least, role-play wise. Our inspirations were being tapered, but we hadn't resigned to retire just yet; real-life priorities and accountabilities were more malleable, work scheduling and family/friend events more flexible. Our passion took precedent, and we weren't afraid to admit it.
God knows I miss those times. These recent years, the past two in particular, have proven the shift in priority over passion easily. Three RPs die out, within months/ a year of each-other, no rhyme or reason to it? No. We decided, long before the Bat-Flu, that this place wasn't our home anymore. I missed those moments, those precious days or weeks or even months of indecision and unanimous apathetic stagnation. I wish I hadn't. Or rather, that I knew what I know now. That I was as improved a writer as I am now.
Fading Hope was an absolute dumpster fire, no two ways about it. The original Idea was a "medieval zombie apocalypse" with a 'What-If?' cherry to top it. It became so much more, and if not for the bloat caused by the "Open" tag, which perpetuated a constant shifting focus from group to group with no real stakes or investment-to-payoff, or my dependency on an intrigued cast of writers far more talented/weathered than I, well... It would've been an RP to be trifled with. Hands down. It was my baby, and I let it go. Not a day goes by when that missed opportunity doesn't bother me.
The core of this issue of stagnation and inactivity is a mass vacancy. Not to toot any horns, and I mean that. But most of us, the "original cast/ writers" either outgrew this place, lost interest/sight in our place in it, or tried and failed to support/write in the resurgent RPs/ structures that followed in recent years, teasing story premises that would never hold. Life happens, I agree. But to what extent are we willing to commit our time to the stories that stop us from scrolling and instead, presenting a Character Card?
I watch now, a little everyday (in spite of technical issues with the website), because I miss it. The Hunt. Reforging An Empire (1-2). Among The Stars. Ascension. The Ruins. A Fading Hope. Victory's Price. The Corrupted Guardian. The Republic of Free Men. Age of War. Family and Honor. Into The Dark. Revelations Of Violence. Forsaken Agreement. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on. All frozen in time, and all still so lucrative to me.
I witnessed, like many others, the repeated re-convergence of massively experienced writers, and cursed but intriguing amalgamation of story concepts that slowly, but surely, snuffed out our passion. Or maybe I'm an a**hole, and I've naively ignored the real-life ramifications of the Bat-Flu in lieu with mounting responsibilities in the face of inflation and a political storm of crisis. Maybe, like I've read above, we just need to wait for that next wave of newcomers to flush life in here again.
All I know is in 2013, at the age of 14, I used to sit in the local McDonald's to siphon their free-WiFi and post to my heart's content. Staying up until 2 a.m. to post once or twice, with no regrets. Even on vacation, I found that time, because I loved it. While I'd barely managed that balance back then (between personal time and forum), I wouldn't change it for the world. Not for anyone.
I have no regrets. I'd do it all again just to end up back here. I scheme and plan and write the fan-fictions that may never be. In an attempt to inspire what once was to be again. A hopeless romantic praying on the grave of my lover, to resurrect and wake me. More mellow-drama, I suppose.
Anyways, thanks for coming to my TED talk