As per my word I am reporting this tonight. Hopefully the mods will see that this is relevant and on topic for U Hall and people wont delve into off topic nonsense that will drive this into spiels and rants. This post was originally drafted by Ravenwaves and is a very interesting read. I'm starting to worry. For a while it's been kind of a joke for me that Old school UO players often put Ultima up on a pedastal similar to a first love. They remember all the good times they had, feeling that no game had ever given them before, and if a comment is made that paints UO as anything less than the perfect game, they turn as bitter and jaded as an ex girlfriend. (Just try mentioning WoW or Warhammer in U. Hall) I too am guilty of this behavior. However, the metaphoric relationship pattern has taken on a whole new disturbing twist lately. Skimming forums is showing me that people are afraid to play the game now! Brittania-the land where you can do anything, as long as it does not include buying rares/artis, penning animals, or mentioning URLS. I am seeing people asking PERMISSION to build stables in their custom houses!! When I was playing on Pacific there was a very legit super-mall that was THE place to go. Prices may be high, but they were always in stock with anything you needed. The Rare & arti vendors had open door buying policies to keep stocked. I'm glad they closed this great place down a year ago, because this backbone of the community would certainly be ruined now! It's plain that the game has fallen into a legit pattern of abuse, and that is disturbing and shocking, as it's not really an MMO's role in life to have you pay for the privalige to be afraid to go about your business as usual. For clarity on this matter, I looked up some reasons why women tend to remain with abusive partners, and it worries me how many appear to apply to subscription holders. from EAPpartners.org (no banner adds there) <i>SURVIVAL: Fear about her own and her children’s safety if she leaves. </i> Many people have family members that play. How will they know not to make a guild website with free hosting unless you are there to remind them? <i>FEAR: Of being alone, fear that she cannot cope with home and children by herself. </i> Fear of the empty hours you might have without banksitting, house designing and grinding Swoops. <i>RELIGION: Pressure to keep the family together. </i> Religion, pressure to not "sell out" to a more current "lesser game" <i>FAMILY: Extended family pressure to keep the family together. </i> Guilds and in game friends talking you into staying and keeping the shard community together. <i>LOYALTY: If he had cancer, she’d stick by him. </i> Because of your shared history together. <i>RESCUE: If she stays, she can “save” him and help him “get better.” </i> I don't even need to elaborate. <i>FEAR OF HIS SUICIDE: He says he’ll kill himself if she leaves. </i> If too many subscriptions drop, the game will die and be gone forever! <i> DENIAL: “It’s really not so bad.” </i> Is it really? You're telling me that you would have put up with this 5 years ago? 2 years ago? <i> LOVE: She loves him, and he is quite often loving and lovable when he’s not being abusive. </i> UO today isn't the same animal as what it was in 2000, 1998, or XYZ year. And the special events with new rares are great, until they make an impact on the economy, get duped, cost too much money, raise prices on other items, or make another area of the game obsolete. <i> IDENTITY: Many women feel that they need a man in order to be complete. </i> If you are no longer the UOer you've been for 10 years, 5 years, 2 years, just what have you been doing all that time? what defines your e-identity? <i> SHAME, EMBARRASSMENT AND HUMILIATION: She doesn’t want anyone to know. </i> "It's still the best game on the market!" <i> LOW SELF-ESTEEM: After years of being criticized by her abuser, she believes that it must be her fault, she must deserve it, she’ll never find anyone better, “a little love is better than no love at all.” </i> The prevailing attitude I've seen on the forum is that this is a nessesary purging, this is our fault for making artis so valuable that people wanted to dupe them in the first place, our fault for the ebay trade, our fault for farming too much gold and sky-rocketing inflation. Theres no other game out there that will give you so much freedom. The Five of Friday is a lot of work, the devs are busy, just hang on to the next town hall when they might announce something really awesome. <i> GENDER ROLE: “That’s just the way men are.” </i> "It's their game, in the end they can do anything they want and I just rent my account from them." Now, I'm not interested in having this thread locked. This is not intended as an open attack on Mythic, but rather note of behaviors that I find really distubing that I seem to be seeing. No one can deny there is a bit of fear and worry from most anyone as of late, and the whole "stick it out it will get better" and "don't bother leaving because there is nothing else" platitudes have been going on for years. I also take domestic abuse very seriously as the daughter of a domestic violence survivor and I am very sensitive to any questionable patterns that come up, and I could not ignore this any more. Normal players are afraid to play the game. And that is inexcusable. I've been enjoying myself playing those "lesser games" to one extent or another for years and finding community and enjoyment isn't as impossible as many people make it out to be.