It all began on a dark night… some 21 years ago that I would find myself in a heroic fantasy realm as a Gharu’ndim War Mage named Shai Ilu. Much fun we had, no manuals, no online guides, a confusingly mysterious spell system with scarabs, herbs and tapers where no one could figure out how to cast anything let alone an all powerful Acid Wave AoE spell, all except one player, who had unlocked that secret.
Knowledge was truly power in Asheron’s Call back then and it was coveted and only shared among initiates, which could mean winning a PvP battle or losing it, esp. if one from your own ranks betrayed you.
As with Ultima Online before Asheron’s Call had it all and then some, including dying to a mob somewhere out in the Gharu desert and then trying to find your corpse for hours so you could get back all your stuff, before anyone else had the chance to loot it. No corpse marker, no nothing. Just running around, searching sand dune after sand dune. I will never forget the moment I finally found it, with all the stuff still there. Maybe you can relate, if you only know today’s MMOs you maybe don’t. That’s OK. I wouldn’t want to do that again either.
I have stumbled across old screenshots and lo and behold also one of my stories that Microsoft published back then in 2001 on their now defunct Microsoft Zone Player Chronicles: The Talla’Karan Heart.
Here’s a screenshot of our guild headquarters on Thistledown, including our very own sparring dungeon.
Oh yes, fun was had. While Asheron’s Call is no more since 2017, I would wager a remastered version would do quite well, esp. with all those remastered titles popping up left and right these days.
I have also found some old Ultima Online screenshots, but that’s for another time…