They like to say that there are certain life moments in which you will always remember where you were. On December 30th, 2005, I was dancing on top of the great Deru tree, bearing witness to the end of the world. The sunsetting of Asheron’s Call 2. It was like losing a friend for those of us who still knew and loved the game. Players cried, and went through stages of real grief over it. And to this day, people on the Facebook group comment about how much they miss their Tumerok Hivekeeper (ok, that was me), or playing in a Drudge rock and roll band. If you look in the comments section on any AC2 YouTube video, you'll see a constant theme of "oh man, this brings back so many memories, I wish I could play again."
The developers who worked on the game also had an emotional investment in it, and felt the same loss when the closure was announced, especially since they'd really done some great things with the Legions expansion just prior. There’s a really good article on The Game Archaeologist about the story of AC2 and its final days from the dev side of things by former Producer Eric Heimburg.
SO, those were sad times, and even though we’ve had time to get over that after SEVEN YEARS, I would still go back if I could. People have, during that time, worked on emulating the game, but not with complete success, and I don’t personally want to get into the weeds enough to figure that stuff out (though the fact that they were doing it is yet another indicator that this game holds a special place in peoples’ hearts). The people at Turbine who made the decision to axe Asheron’s Call 2 are long gone, but are there any remaining who still remember, or feel the level of affection for the game that I do?
Evidently, there are. And holy @#$%*… they just did the unthinkable. Asheron’s Call 2 is back.
It’s free to play, all you need is a subscription to the original Asheron’s Call. There have been some changes made, so the old installations of the game won’t work. It would be astounding if people actually HAD old installations, of course; for me that was at least two computers ago. You’ll need a fresh download, which they provide here. Also, old characters are not there. Which I think is a good thing overall. I am perfectly happy to start over and get re-acquainted with things.
Over the years, I’ve tried to get back into games I used to love. My husband and I dabbled a little in World of Warcraft, and I installed Dungeon Keeper, Caesar III, Sacrifice, and even the Sims. They were all fun for a few hours’ walks down memory lane, but then I’d move on to other things. This is different.
Thanks, Turbine. Thanks for listening, for caring, and for taking the time to do something like this when all hope was lost. I can’t wait to go back, and I hope this allows some people who never knew AC2 to discover and enjoy it.