One or two months ago, I was talking with a fellow forumer who also happened to be a guildmate from Derivation. It wasn’t a long conversation – short talk on seasonal characters which later turned into a mini discussion on the RealmEye forum. I don’t recall what he said but our consensus was that the forum is fading, and though I don’t know how it’ll turn out in the long run, there’s no sign of it changing, either. Even at the time of the conversation, I had stopped using the forum altogether, but it did remind me of something. I never wrote my overdue farewell letter, sure, but there was something even more important. When I left this community, I left something unsaid.
Before we begin, I’m Gamma. You might know me if you’ve been here for more than a year. But because I’m no celebrity and because I want to show at least some humility before I go, I’ll assume we’re strangers. If you’ve joined more recently and you have no clue who I am, that might be for the best because at least that means there’s a new generation of forumers that’ll keep this site alive.
I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, but summing up 6 years in one post isn’t an easy task. Unlike many other goodbyes here, this isn’t a wallow of self-pity. I like to think I’ve been a mostly trouble-free user throughout my time here, so even though the following is about my regrets, it’s also a story of triumph.
Something I should mention before we go further – I know people who are close to me are already aware because I opened up to them about it (and if you’re one of them, thank you for keeping it undisclosed), but I realize some people don’t actually know that I’m young. I’m sure I’ve tried to pass off before as 18, 20, or whatever the hell age I felt like being at the time. But I’m young, and I’m saying this now because it’s relevant to everything that comes next.
There have been perks to joining this community at an early age. I managed half a dozen projects which shoved responsibility up my ass, and afterwards I somehow became a Discord moderator which forced me to grow and, in a sense, accelerated my maturity. I hope, at least? I’ll let you be the judge of that. In the middle of my time in the forum, there was an event in my life that changed a lot of things for me and how I live, and it’s something that I tried to move on from by making more jokes, trying my hardest to spot the irony in everything. Basic interactions with the community have shaped the coping mechanisms which still apply to me today, for better or worse. Along with some other game communities, the people of RotMG molded me into who am I now, and even though growing up in this toxic cesspool might be something to be ashamed of, I’m actually quite proud.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a meaningful experience if it didn’t include things that I wish could have gone differently. Never finishing my webcomics, not posting enough on my art thread, not posting good enough art because I put in zero effort, only completing three years of realm rewind, writing concepts for dungeons that I would never show, not being a role model that others could look up to… I don’t think I’ll ever live down the feeling that I quite simply wasn’t enough.
But my Big Regret #1 is something that may be more meaningful to you, because it concerns both of us – my regret is that I can’t go back to what the forum used to be, with all the old people and all the old vibes. And I can’t go back to the time that I’ve lost. And for the longest time, closing this door wasn’t an option because I didn’t have another door to open, and I was afraid I would be caught in a limbo if I shut myself away. The quote “When one door closes, another door opens” fucks you up because a second door doesn’t open as a direct consequence of closing the first. You need to get your ass off the ground and open the second door by force. And because I was scared I wasn’t strong enough to do that, I kept every door open. Until I was strong enough to open a door called d/RotMG.
I think d/RotMG is the future of the RotMG community simply based on how it differs from a forum in a basic mechanical sense. Discord servers like d/RotMG employ real-time chat meaning there’s more people and the conversations go flooding. It’s essentially a hyper-forum.
The irony is when that thing you love most is also the very thing that upsets you. Which brings me to Big Regret #2 – d/RotMG is a hyper-forum. I get that this is an issue with the Internet in general, but especially on Discord where information is exchanged so rapidly, there’s little value in each conversation. Every word in every message is like a drop of water – it’s really worth nothing. And even though the Discord Ocean as a whole might look like something from afar, it’s really just made up of drops of exactly that – nothing. No matter how vibrant and stimulating the server is, part of me wants to go back to a time when instead of millions of meaningless messages, there were a couple hundred thoughtful posts where every word, every emoji, and every imagined intonation mattered. Other regulars of this forum can attest – there were so many funny and meaningful conversations here that happened over the years, and these conversations are still embedded in my memories. But in my five years in the Discord (and even as a moderator), if you asked me what my favorite moment was, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Because truth be told, I really don’t remember.
Even with all the ups and downs and all the hidden drama that happened behind the scenes, in hindsight, my experience in the forum has been a net positive. Easily. And I wouldn’t trade the world for it. Though I have so many more things on my mind, I’ll quit here and I apologize for the rambling. I considered hosting a giveaway for this occasion but I don’t even frequent the game anymore so I frankly don’t have anything to give to the community. I hope a thank you will suffice.
Even though I’m leaving the forum, I’ll always be interacting with the RotMG community through other means. You’ll see me on the Discord, chasing ban evaders and explaining to 13-year-olds why spamming the n-word isn’t nice. If you do, please say hi! My name is Catastal. And even for those of you who don’t frequent d/RotMG, I know we’ll see each other again someday. One random evening much like tonight, many years later, when even I myself least expect it, I’ll decide I want to come back to where it all started.