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You may not remember me, but I won't forget you.


Legacy Supporter 5
Jan 21, 2011
Mid-September 2010, I opened up Penny Arcade to find an image wherein one of the main characters punched a Minecraft tree, and then found that the game has somehow sunk its claws deep into his psyche. I chuckled. Later that day a friend and I were talking about that comic. "Have you tried it yet?", he asked.

"You have to try it."

So I pirated it later that day, started up an offline map and built my ugly cobblestone castle on top of a mountain. I tunneled down to the lake below in what retrospectively was the least effective way possible. I was proud of it at the time. There were caves to explore and mountains to climb as far as I liked. It was perfect.

I dabbled in it from time to time, enough that after about a month I decided I ought to pay the developers for their effort. I realized I could now play it online. "But you don't play games online," I thought. "The Internet is a silly place. Online communities are weird and filled with people who don't meet people offline." Against my better instincts I ended up browsing the Minecraft SMP forums, clicked the second-to-top link, and saw promises of "hardcore!" and "good community!" and "we have toilets!" and I thought "why not!" so I posted an application. I was "whitelisted" by a person named Ashmaker who I have never met before or since.

I spawned at the top of a tower. Signs were everywhere, and I loved reading each one because I like signs. Kainzo said "Welcome, Doreagarde!" Some others said the same. There were around thirty people online. Someone remarked about how full the server was that day.

I explored that server for about a week before settling into Duushdale Hollow after Skaduush gave me the grand tour. Money didn't exist yet, but he accepted ten iron ingots as payment. He offered to let me start building and pay him later, but I told him I was new and didn't want to get into the habit of being indebted to people. Then the Halloween update hit and the map was wiped to give way to a new one.

After about a week on the new map I realized I'd become tired of Minecraft, like I would any other game. I had explored much of the map, and had a taste of mass building in Sovereign Barrows, and found that it was ash in my mouth. The game had been engaging, but now it felt like any other. On the day that I thought would be my last, Kainzo announced in public chat that Herocraft was accepting mod applications in response to its rapid growth. I thought "people who play games online can be weird, but people who mod games on private servers are definitely weird!" I thought about how much more everyone knew each other than I did, and how new I was and how I didn't feel like I fit in in an online community. I thought about how people were using TS3 and making online friends and using forums and how I didn't do any of that stuff. I thought about how goofy it would be, holding power in a virtual world. I though about helping people, but not really helping them because it was just a game and I thought "why not!" so I posted an application. I stayed around for another week, and bumped my application on the forum through a thinly-veiled "edit".

I was logged into IRC when Kainzo messaged me. To paraphrase: "so you want to be a mod?"

"if you'll let me :D"

"well you've been around for a bit and you seem pretty mature and nice so i'm adding you now. join [staff channel] for a briefing."

So that was the last day I played Minecraft and the first day I played this new game that I haven't played before or since.

For the past fifteen months (or at least, the months I was active), Herocraft has been a unique experience for me. This missive is evidence of that fact; I feel like I'm closing a chapter in my life, and that Herocraft somehow "deserved" a final note, if only for my own sake. I want to take a moment to review what playing this game has been like.

Herocraft is the only "leadership simulator" I've ever played. Every day I logged in, every time I spoke (even when it was jokes; it was usually jokes) I was representing Herocraft. I had to be a leader and a friend to everyone I met, even though it was just a game and nothing I did really mattered. But when else was I going to get to do this again? When will I have all this power and so little consequences again? A chance to practice being kind to subordinates with no chance of repercussion if I elected otherwise? What would happen if I used my power for evil? I would get kicked out? That's just losing the game, really. But I play games to win. And victory for me was helping everybody, every day, and I had the power to do so.

The petition list was the greatest feature a moderator could ask for. It's like a quest list, except the quests are real and the NPCs are PCs. I could play an RPG like Mass Effect and be asked to settle a scripted dispute between two characters in a story, my options limited to sentences written around a circle, looking for the predetermined dialogue path that would win me the quest items... or I could open up Herocraft, assign a petition to myself, and resolve a real dispute between two players who are real people and are having real antagonism between each other. I can't roll a d20 to make a diplomacy check, I can't cast a spell to increase their disposition towards me, I can't grind mobs until I gain a level and can put more points in speech. I'm there, right then, with my words and that's all I have to win the quest. If I resolve it, I win no items, receive no fanfare, no congratulatory words appear on my screen other than "PE#361 closed. resolved". If I screw it up, if I misinform or don't follow procedure, I'll wake up the next day and check the forums and read a new thread where they're complaining about how unclear the rules are and how misinformed the mods can be, and I realize I never really logged out of the game, I'm always playing it even now and my fellow players are counting on me to finish quests victoriously, for their own sakes. Moderator is a character class, and everyone in Herocraft is a party, and I need play my class' role well if we're all to succeed in having fun.

Sometimes I grew tired of it (which I am wont to do), and I would disappear for a while and come back, at first announcing to the staff each time, and most recently in January just drifting away again when I was too busy. I even grew weary of the projects in the game, like the Sanctum Arena (which I stuck with to the bitter end) and the MTG:Heroes set (which wasn't really a project anyway); I suppose I never really stick with one thing for very long.

But now I am no longer flirting with saying goodbye. This chapter needs to close, and Herocraft is too special to me to draw it out and make it wonder. I'm saying goodbye, for realsies. I won't come back. Maybe to visit, to show people what we built, but I'll never really be back. I know many of you right now might not remember who I am, or haven't been around long enough to know. That's okay. I haven't played regularly since September, and they didn't think I was coming back then. I like to pretend that they built Dragongarde in my name. They tell me it was, and it's awfully kind for them to play along like that. I haven't been honored in a virtual world before and I may not again. But Herocraft is a special place.

There's a lot more I'd like to say but this has gone on far too long already, drawn out and thin like my time on the server. I ought to break it off quickly, friends, like a bandage tangled up in leg hairs. It's been a unique pleasure, one that I may not have again in a simulation.

Take care.


Legacy Supporter 8
May 23, 2011
Fare thee well, Dore- you'll always have a place on this server, should you change your mind. Y'all come back now, y'hear? Even if it's just to visit!


Jul 30, 2011
I hope you the best, and where ever you go.
The hearts of these heroes will always be with you


Legacy Supporter 4
Sep 26, 2011
Appalachia NC, USA
I swear this was like reading a well written book. I felt many emotions as I read along. I do not know thee, but I do know the forum picture. I started playing about September, so that would explain why. The fact that you turned being a Moderator into a quest game, is a very interesting way of looking at it. I shall remember that for as long as I live.


Legacy Supporter 7
Feb 1, 2011
New York
I didn't know you all too well, but you were always one of my favorite staff members because you were one of those hermits that just didn't care who the player you were assisting was, but loved everyone equally. Never got upset at people, no matter what they said to you, very professional mod.

I'll miss ya, Dore.


Legacy Supporter 2
May 30, 2011
There comes a time when good things pass, but is it always a sign that better things are to come? Will miss you Doreagarde, the ruler of Dragongarde, may the odds be ever in your favor.