Thank Grog It’s Firday!
It has been an interesting week. And by “interesting,” I mean the kind of “interesting” that one says when asked how a crappy week went, without wanting to “bum out” the person who asked.
But, I’m not going to lie. “Interesting” doesn’t really cut it…
Life is full of inevitable avoidance with inevitable consequences. There is no doubt about it. The “cycle of life” has a conclusion, and the fact is, it is rarely when, or how we expect it to happen.
We have been speculating all week about the “death of TSTO.” Speculation runs wide and wild, from “This is it…the game has been put on life support and is sliding into a coma,” to, “They will never let this die! It’s too important to too many people…and it is still vital!”
The fact is, I’m really not sure what to expect, or how I feel about it. Because, after spending the last couple of days looking back at countless posts from the past, there is little doubt that TSTO will never see the “glory days,” again. We have slid into the same weird predictability as a modern day Rolling Stones concert tour. The kind of thing that leaves you saying, “Man…I saw them when they were great…for a whole lot less money. Keith looks like the Crypt Keeper, and Mick is gonna break a hip trying to prance around…he’s too old!” (And had heart sugary this week).
OK. That was kinda mean. But, the fact is…TSTO hit its peak for all practical purposes a couple of years ago. Now, just like hearing “Honky Tonk Woman” played by a high school marching band, you get the sense that “Yes…that’s the song…I recognize it…it’s kinda the same…but, it isn’t as good as the original.” The game (when there IS a game to be played) has been reduced to 4-hour chunks of grinding, and a plethora of items and characters that definitely feel like they belong on the clearance table at a “Ross Dress for Less” store. “Brand Names…at Clearance Prices!” Out of date, and presented without much flair.
The question needs to be asked, “It is time to let TSTO go, before all sense of dignity is lost forever?”
Sorry. That is a dark analogy. But, as I said…all things in this life come to an end. Everything. And as a game, TSTO may have reached a place in the cycle that is just more trouble than it is worth to keep alive.
They have given us a huge chunk of land. Enough land to allow us to get every single item available in the Year Book, which is almost everything that has ever been issued. They have not killed, altered, or slowed down Donut Farming…house farming…or any other sort of way to accelerate the ability to earn currency. So, it’s like they want to make sure that we get everything.
And…they have given us a tool to archive our work. A tool that with a single screen grab can record years and years of building, planning, and creating, in order to keep us from going insane with anger if they turn off the server at some point.
And like it or not…that day will come.
My sense, is that they will give us fair warning. They aren’t going to just keep us in suspended animation mode. Something will happen soon…good or bad…and we will be thankful just to know the outcome.
There is no doubt that being on the downward slope in the stockpiling of “Life Currency,” (as in I’m getting old) that I see things with a different perspective. I have lost a great number of friends in the past couple of years. Most younger or near my age. Some have fought long battles with persistent illness, while others have just “croaked” with a sudden blast of circumstance from heart failure to brain hemorrhages. Every time, I ask the same question, “Do I want to go fast, or have time to say goodbye?” I always opt for the latter. I feel the same about TSTO.
This is an admittedly morose way to reflect on the possible death of a game. And it seems callous to compare the loss of a life to the loss of a game, even though many of us have dedicated almost 7 years to it…playing, blogging, and building a community.
But, thinking that somehow something you love is going to go on forever, is simply not realistic. And hoping to choose the way in which you say goodbye ends up being the only option you have.
I’m not done with TSTO yet. I’ll keep building, and creating, and upgrading as long as there is life in the server. But, I will take regular snapshots of the progress…never really knowing when the last one, will truly be the last. I’ll “keep hope alive.”
I wish it was that easy in life.
Nothing in life is a “sure thing.” The only “sure thing” is that it comes to an end, for everyone.
This week, after getting amazing news about my friend Terri’s cancer prognosis a couple of weeks ago…the prognosis flipped.
I got a tearful call from her husband last weekend, that the cancer came back, with a vengeance…and has invaded her spine and is moving rapidly toward the rest of her system. Due to the pressure the tumors are putting on her spine, she has lost the use of most of her body…and the very best prognosis, is to extend her life by a few weeks and maybe months, with massive doses of radiation, and more chemotherapy.
He told me that when the doctor delivered the news, the doctor was clearly shaken up and emotional. Terri simply said, “I’m so sorry…this must be very hard for you…it’s OK.” She is that kind of person. Unflinchingly sweet. There are so many crud-buckets in the world who should go instead. But, that’s not my decision either.
Writing those words is brutal. It makes it real. I’m praying like mad for a miracle. But, the fact is…I’m not sure what I am praying for. A few more weeks? A complete “God came down and healed her” kind of miracle that only happens at Lourdes, or when there is a face of the virgin on a tortilla involved? Or am I praying just because I feel helpless to do anything else.
I made up my mind to just keep hoping and praying.
But after a week of uncertainty, and speculation (about something that actually mattered), Deb and I got a call while we were driving to work this morning. It was Terri and her husband Kevin. Upbeat…and sounding very much like she isn’t going anywhere soon. Radiation is helping. She is getting some feeling back in her legs…but her voice was chipper, happy, and had the power to wash the pain away in an instant.
It humbled me. And made me realize that you simply can’t give up hope, or spend time speculating on things over which you have no control from the outside. We are but spectators in this…but, her cheerfulness and thanks for the love, support and prayers, was enough to make me start cutting deals with God again.
So yes…I have been a bit distracted from lamenting that there hasn’t been an update in TSTO. The fact is, I got the kind of update I wanted this morning. And I’m not going to give up hope.
Keep the prayers coming. Keep the prayer throttle on full. She is convinced that it is working…and who am I to argue with someone like Terri?
Sorry for the “Bummer” post. But, choosing to place my attention on a struggle for real life …or the life of a virtual game…it’s not even close. Be happy with the fact that TSTO is still up…and may surprise us all. Or, will become a snapshot of virtual lifetime spent.
For the rest of us living “normal lives,” it’s all just another reminder to make sure and not waste time on things that don’t matter. Love one another. Tell people you love them. Don’t let the silly stuff get in the way of enjoying the stuff that matters.
And, never give up hope.