Today, Justin "Syp" Olivetti covered one of my favorite MMOs of all time in his Game Archeologist column over at Massively.
Rubies of Eventide was a charming, quirky, delightful game that embodied many of the things I most desire in an MMO. An open world that begged to be explored, a wide range of things to do beyond mass slaughter and best of all, unimpeachable internal logic.
It's that consistency of imagination that turns a three-dimensional game into a convincing virtual world. True, the entire world of Rubies of Eventide would fit inside a county the size of Rutland but it felt more like a real place than MMOs a hundred times its size.
I played RoE many times, on and off, over its six-year run. I struggled through beta, when my PC found Rubies far more of a challenge to render than Everquest. Mrs Bhagpuss and I enjoyed a solid run there for several weeks once, establishing some fairly well-developed characters that were later lost in a server merge that happened unbeknownst to us. The character in the screenshot at the top is the Dwarf I made to start over again after that unpleasant surprise.
I never played as much Rubies as I'd like to have done. It was a game I thought I'd always come back to but seldom did. The odd late-night session, an hour or two when my MMO du jour was patching. Then one day I got the urge, went to log in and found it gone.
From what I read on the forums the original and current owner has put the source code out of reach and intends to keep it that way. It's a crying shame. Even today, Rubies of Eventide has more to offer than most MMOs, at least in the things it did best. Maybe one day it will return. I doubt it but then, who ever though we'd see AC2 again?