Hail All! You may not know me, and that's totally blinkin' kosher. I'm not only a member of the Nudists Of Magicalologists, I'm also the founding President. I like to refer to other members of NoM as "nomnoms", and we affectionately greet each other by saying, "Nom nom nom nom!". When I say this affectionate greeting, I usually add visual "oomph!" to this by me eating someone's head. Mind you, I'm not actually eating their head as I do hover approximately 10 inches away, but here's a poor example to illustrate: Where was I? Oh yes, it's good seeing some new and old faces here, and I sincerely hope that everyone's 2008 is going blinkin' great, and if not, I'll definitely do a sake shot (or 10,000) in your name! It's definitely hard seeing players leave Sosaria and all its funky/cool wonders, but real life definitely takes precedence. For those who have left and still lurk the forums from time to time, I salute you and wish you the best: happiness, health, and good oral hygiene. On a side note, is it me, or are there a myriad of online games that have erupted from the loins of the MMORPG Hermaphrodite God/Goddess/Thingy!? It's like this asexual reproducing God/Goddess/Thingy one day said, "I need more cheetos with this cannibus. I KNOW! I'll make everyone else experience my dilemma and frustration by fornicating online games by the bajillions!" Next thing you know, there are banners, ads, and commercials all over the place for these online games. Granted, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, but holy bajeez, it's getting pretty saturated out there. Some of these games are pretty damn nice! Great visuals, great controls, great codpieces, great loincloths, etc... Granted, I've beta tested quite a few games out there, and in kind, played quite a few as well, but there's always that "certain something" that the next gen games seem to lack. At this time, I can't help but compare and contrast UO with the newer stuff. I still think that UO's skill system was/is beyond its time. I mean, COME ON... You could be a warrior blacksmith that's able to stealth, cook fish steaks, repair your gear and blinkin' mine for precious ore while tailoring new loin cloths. Whilst making undergarments, you could also smack an indiginous creature with an arrow, skin their hide, and then flamestrike an ogre who looked at you the wrong way. The beautiful thing about all this is that it's not a class specific thing. God only knows how many times I "down arrowed" a skill in order to learn another skill only to find out six months down the road, eh, it's time to work another skill, pre-soulstone era. Granted, people opted for multiple characters for their mule needs, their PvE needs, and even their PvP needs, but speaking for myself, there was a sense of accomplishment. I'm talking about a true sense of accomplishment, and you know the one... an afterglow usually accompanies one's accomplishments. Once again, speaking for myself, that feeling is few and far between. These other games that I've tasted left a lasting impression on the palette and some of them were pretty dang tasty while most of them left a sour aftertaste. I will say that community and friends make the online experience infinitely better, and quite frankly, owning the "best" armor or weapons or gear in-game mean nothing when the only thing to witness this accomplishment is that ogre NPC that's scratching itself in an unmentionable place. Then again, to each their own, so I must respect a person's playstyle. Here's my 2008 shoutout to everyone who's out there, and yes, I still remember the events, the people/players, the GM's, troubadours, Seers, and community that helped create UO and Sosaria. If you see me in a drunken stupor while riding some unfortunate beast (in-game), please say "Hello!" Chances are that I'll be more than happy to strike up a conversation as I'm inhaling the ol' sake. Mmmm... rice wine... Nom, nom, nom, nom!