When Asheron's Call, an MMO that had run for 17 years, closed its servers for good players from all over gathered with their friends to await the final moment when they would be booted from the game and all those years would become only memories. For one Twitch streamer, loud_lou, the goodbye was particularly emotional.
"This is where I grew up," he said before becoming noticeably choked up. For Lou and the thousands of players still there on the final day, the closure of Asheron's Call hasn't been a happy farewell. When developer Turbine liquidated several of its games, including Lord of the Rings Online, to a new independent studio, Asheron's Call and its sequel were curiously left out of the transaction. Soon after, it was announced that after 17 years the publisher, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, would be shutting it down for good. Fans were devastated. "Over 10 years… these were my friends growing up," Lou said.
Each server had its own kind of ceremony for the final moments. Lou and his friends gathered at a large boulder to await the end. As the clock ticked closer, Lou issued a final plea to Warner Bros. "If you hear this, I haven't played in three years, but I always knew I could come back to it," he said. "This was my home. Please don't let it go away."
"Don't let Dereth [the world of Asheron's Call] go to waste, and all these people and all of their items, and everything that we've worked for. The friendships and the relationships, and the marriages and the kids and the friends—everything that people have had. Don't let this go to waste."
Then, all at once, the dozen or so players around Lou raised their hands to the sky, a pink mist enveloped them, and they disappeared. "Thank you," he said. But the server shutdown didn't happen immediately. With the final few seconds, Lou looked over his character, fondly commenting about his skills and best weapons. And then the screen went black.
"The connection to the server has been lost."
Rest in peace, Dereth.