From Moria on the EQ2 Forums:
Dear Mr Smedley.
You don't know me, personally, and I don't know you. However, I know your work.. and I admire it. I remember Keys to Maramon on the Amiga, I remember 989 Studios and I remember Verant software. I remember your pride in the development of Everquest, and being a beta player, you often replied to our posts on the forums and discussed mechanics, objectives hopes and fears with us. I remember how much you cared about the community and the way that the company and the players together were making waves and changing the face of online gaming.
I remember coming out of Beta and starting on a new server called Rodcet Nife. I was one of the first players to level 20 on that server and in those days, to get a surname, it involved a GM who came and tested the player and their knowledge of lore prior to granting the surname. I was the first in my guild, and 4 guilds all came out to Antonica to witness the ceremony and the party.
We were a family. The developers, the GM's the Guides and the players. Presumptious on my part I know, but I felt that way anyway. Rodcet Nife had a majority of players from Europe, and at that time I was living in Europe. ( I am british by Birth and I have fought for my country to preserve the right of people to choose their own destiny. My father was present, and ashamed, when the Berlin Wall was built by the Eastern Block.. I was present and proud on the day it came down).
I stayed with EQ when it was bought and became a new company SOE and we ALL celebrated your achievement in becoming a senior member of this new organisation and we were proud of you. We were still the EQ family. Then EQ2 came out, and like many others, I moved, although my EQ account is still there. My EQ2 house still carries with pride in it the origional painting for people who were on EQ1 and my little pet dragon. All my EQ2 characters have always carried the suffix "of Rodcet Nife" Many of the friends and guildmates on EQ came to EQ2 and I still talk to them.
I flew from the UK to US for one of the early get togethers of players and staff, and I shook your hand. Nothing at that meeting made me feel any differently about how I felt, or who I thought I knew.
I have had breaks, but I also have my 7 year rewards in EQ2, not great and not 8 year, but not bad.
Friendships change, people move. Me I became dual citizen (I still don't know whether that means I will be considered EU or US in this change), I am now a citizen of Canada and the UK, however that is completely irrelevant for this post because I am a citizen of Norrath. I do not exist in the real world when I am in game, my real world nationality has no bearing on me when I am playing, or didn't until now. Not even my server was relevant as I could still chat with friends on other servers even if playing on another.
What has happened here is like taking the world and saying all the Freeport Aligned players over here.. all the Qeynos aligned players over here, and by the way, Freeport players can no longer go to Antonica, and Qeynos players can no longer go to Commonlands.
I can't believe, even in my wildest dreams that the John Smedley that I thought I knew from Verant Software would do this... did your aims and ambitions vanish, or have they been overridden by corporate need and dollars?
I finally understand now, that this means nothing to the current you. I finally understand now that I mean nothing to the current you. I realise that whether I leave or not, or even if I never buy another sony product is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things to the current you or to your company. I also realise that if every single player left, or threatened to leave Everquest2, that the "Product" still exists, so even with the number of people threatening, or actually, leaving in this thread do so, it's irrelevant to the current you.
All I want to say is how dissapointed I am that someone who I thought I knew even slightly, could allow this to happen to the people he once laughed and cried with as a developer of games, when it was the game and the community that mattered not the company, and when looking after those same people meant there was a company rather than the other way round.
I still don't know if I can delete my account and all those memories so quickly, but perhaps it will come, but it will be irrelevant to you, the fact that inside I am dying as I hit the delete button will also be irrelevant to you, and to me that is the saddest part of all this.
I wish you well, I just hope I never have to be involved in a project or company run by someone I once admired and trusted, ie you.
Goodbye from someone you don't know and never will.