Asheron's Call - Darktide

Many people decided to heed the call of Asheron. For me, Baelzharon's promises [and Darktide] were so much more appealing" - Sabzevarian of the Xanthro Monarchy

I do not play MMORPGs anymore, but it's still worth reminiscing:

Introduction to Darktide (Asheron's Call Classic PVP server)

One time my roommate was playing the Player vs Player (PVP) server of World of Warcraft and I was watching. I never played that game but I was interested in the status of its PVP. It seemed faction based, and there was no way to kill someone in your own faction, and you couldn't steal items from killing other people. It didn't look very good... My friend was running in a remote area trying to get to some quest, and an enemy faction player came out of nowhere and killed him. He swore and started complaining to me about why the other player did that. " He's way above my level, I was no threat to him, I wasn't attacking their base..." or something like that. I understood his anger (even though he didn't lose items or player strength, just the time to get to that area) but not his confusion about being killed. This is PVP [Factional (side vs side ) PVP moreover], or at least it should be, but in reality, it's a "PVP" server with Carebearslike my friend running around, not understanding or appreciating that a PVP server is meant to be a harsher existence than Carebear servers...


That is why I wouldn't play World of Warcraft, even if I had the time to play it. 


 An example of what makes Darktide (DT) the true PVP experience. I was solo raiding the town of Mayoi, looking for some enemy clan members to kill. I ran down to the beach, and saw Loccsta on the edge of my screen. I tried one of the old pvp tricks, firing a war spell, and then casting the vuln after, so the second the vuln hit him and he was tempted to run away, the slowly moving war spell would hit him right after. But for some reason my vuln fizzled [miscast, a pretty low probability, I might have had harmful inept spells on me from a previous battle, but it was probably just bad luck). But the enemy died in one shot regardless, he was either previously vulned (which he denies), or did not have that protection spell and it was a lucky critical shot. You can imagine it from his point of view, he probably was chatting or looked away from the computer monitor for about 3 seconds, looks back and his character is dead, flying through portal space back to his lifestone. And he ends up dropping one of his signed items, probably something he meant to give to a vassal, trade, or use himself [probably not the latter]. That's the true thrill of darktide, always playing on the edge of your seat, always having the chance of losing something important, or gaining something important (even sentimentally) always looking out for trouble, never, ever, going afk (away from keyboard) while you are playing because when you come back you'll probably be dead, even if you are in the middle of nowhere.


A funny and very true potential conversation between a Darktide newbie and veteran. - "Look at this guy over here in his cheapass leather armour."


Darktide Podcast (archived files)

Why Play Darktide? 

[My award winning essay defending the Darktide server, and promoting the playing of Player vs Player rather than Player vs Computer options in online games]


Merkin - Female Ruler of the Circle of Arms

[A short biography of Merkin]

General Darktide Information - A good introduction to the server.


Dueling on Darktide - Why Darktide is different from 1v1 duels on non-PVP AC servers, and some other MMORPGs.

Pair of Boots - Short Story

[A very short story that was meant to the first of many, and may still be]

 Ballad of Val Kelvartis

Quadi Blood - Short Story

[The long awaited poorly written prequel to the Pair of Boots short story] 

[2012: It is funny how the internet works. Someone used some of my writings (and others) to compose a history of the CoA. Properly citing each other for memoirs written about a computer game... well, at least academic standards and requirements are being met here! ]


A map of Asheron's Call, specifically the PVP server Darktide. We were based out of Sawato for the most part, after earlier stints in Lytelthorpe and the Wild West aka Al-Jalima. Ayan Baqur (an important city that went red) and several other cities changed status after this map was made , but otherwise pretty accurate. Notice how many more red than green cities there are... that's Darktide for you.




The Snydley-Whiplash War

 [A story that is long overdue - the bloody war for revenge where James and I took on an entire clan]  

 [We were recuperating and casting protection spells between raiding sessions to the isolated Snydley Lifestone when a Snydley war party approached on our radar. This is the classic cliff jumping escape that earned us our clan nicknames - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.]



 [Snydley pwned]










[Diplomacy - Darktide Style]










Until the story comes, here's a post from the boards:

Val Kelvartis
Speaker, Circle of Arms
Posts: 545
(1/24/02 12:54 am)
Reply   Re: Snydleys... must die
 could you bring me up to date on this issue? what did they do, what do they want now, what are they doing about it, etc

Scintillating Gemologist
Posts: 595
(1/24/02 3:11 am)
Reply   Re: Snydleys... must die
 They trust kill.


They trust killed before they met Sabz. They tried with Kyardan and me a long time ago. They have trust killed in Fen as well.

They didn't count on meeting Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (aka Sabz and Never -- side note to Merkin I figured out Sabz is Butch and Never is Sundance because Never lets his war spells do the talking...) who left their lifestone littered with many corpses even though Snydely and a few others out leveled Butch and Sundance.

After a couple of weeks the Whiplashers announced they were going anti. On this board, it was generally agreed that going anti wasn't like changing one's armor. Scoffers such as myself noted that trust killers can only work their magic when they have your .... well... trust. Merkin pointed out getting off the KOS list entailed more than announcing you are now anti.

Sabz and Never, never having a shortage of targets, turned their attention away from the Whiplashers. The Whiplashers, true to form, at one point sensed they had the advantage and could have proven their were anti by not using it or reaffirmed they were trust killers and exploit it.

They chose to exploit it. In the interim, they were never taken off the KOS list because they never did anything more than say they had changed their ways....


Random Screenshots

[Sawato - Neverdie, Spell Slinger, and Sabzevarian conduct a little town enforcement]

[Owning some backyard town monarch (Glacial Mist) who thought we were an easy target in our old hang out place Al Jalima]


[Glacial begs for the return of his looted items]

[Glacial Mist and his cronies try to backstab us again, before Neverdie can even give him any good items back. Running Glacial Mist out of his town, despite our buffs having expired]












[Homophobic player brought to a timely end]












[Sometimes I died]                              







  [But I usually went right back for revenge...]


[Dave (Elfonso) gets initiated into our regular raid sessions] 

[Bringing justice to the city of Holtburg]


  [The clan gets singularity weapons]

  [The Sawato War]



[A very old pic, - meeting Qadi Blood, the original. We were so weak, he didn't even bother killing us. I should write down the story eventually, because this was our very first night playing Darktide, and James and I started a chain of chaotic events that lead to Blood himself coming in to deal with us]




Screenshots from another old CoA member:

Political commentary / comparisons of the day



1v1 battle logs with some PKs that bought the other mansion near Sawato. Marshal Law and the rest of them were good players and quite honourable, and they eventually ended joining our Xanthro monarchy due to the mutual respect that built up while we fought them. I find this part the funniest, after I looted Voodoo Man, and he came back: Voodoo Man says, "bastid you even got my shoes. Against taz, I did a risky maneuver at the end, health to mana, which put me in danger for a second but I really needed the mana to finish him off as my clanmate Cyker just entering the radar screen and Taz was probably going to run back to this mansion for backup.  Against Marhsall, we had the class mage vs melee battle, with him dodging very well and waiting for that eventual chance to strike. I was too low level at the time to cast war 7's effectively with inepts on, smart move on his part.

Darktide Player List - An interesting idea, a compilation of one person's experiences with players on the server.  It was very hard to know if someone was likely to attack you or be treacherous, would have been nice if one of the in game decal plugins could have pulled information from this file out and projected it when you met someone new. That's part of the new level of mods and player added features that would be in a future PVP game of the same scale as Darktide. Player behaviours change all the time, and one would remain careful; paranoia was a matter of life when playing PVP on Darktide =P I am on this list, I was added when I was low level.


On the current status of PVP (by cr0ss)

What a pity.

So in the midst of all this Grand Theft Auto: Multiplayer drama and Darkfall: Vaporware fun, I needed a fun game to play with all my newly found free time. Apparently I’m a masochist as there is no worse punishment than playing World of Warcraft again. Now don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy the game from time to time, as I am right now, but it’s kind of like light beer. Yeah you can drink it, and sure you feel like a woman while you do so, but it’s still beer and you’ll be drunk soon enough. 

It’s come to my attention that we, the “mal-adjusted” generation of gamers coming from Ultima Online and Asheron’s Call, basically the pinnacles of Player Versus Player interaction, are a huge minority. I’ve known we were small in number, but I just never realized how small when you compare our craziness to the players of, say, World of Warcraft. I’ve read so many forum posts on how changes to PvP should be made, how Blizzard should add a variation of Guild versus Guild combat or get rid of honor or wipe the arena system and re-code it so that warlocks always win.

This kind of shit just makes me realize that 90% (read: a mock up of bullshit percentages) of the people who play World of Warcraft for the PvP have never really played good MMORPG style PvP like us.

That makes me sad.

We have our glory days, the times where we felt we had the most fun, the most intense fights or moments, but for those masses who are playing games like World of Warcraft or Everquest 2 – hell even Star Wars: Galaxies – the only glory days they’ll be reminiscing are of these.

This isn’t another “lets get a new PvP game going!” post, this is more along the lines of a “Wow, I feel sorry for the new generation of gamers and their lack of awesome PvP” post. Sadly, this is going to be the new generation that sets the bar on all future games to come. This is why all the new games coming out are also not set on amazing PvP. Look at Warhammer – PvP in basically the exact stance as WoW Battlegrounds with a twist. How about Tabula Rasa? In this game, PvP was an afterthought with only minor guild versus guild combat – who knows with what rewards.

When it comes down to it, PvP just isn’t what it used to be. It’s no longer “In your face, flee in fear bitches!” kind of PvP, its now more along the lines of “Shall we dabble into the taboo arts of Player Versus Player combat today, Charles?” kind of PvP.

Welcome to the new age of shit. $50 at the door, please.

- cr0ss





 There should have only been one copy of the Nexus Armour on every server.


Links to other sites: 

Darktide's Past by Schattenkind: 

History Asheron's Call Darktide by Rak of KoC: 

Funny Stuff Asheron's Call Darktide by Rak: 

Quests Asheron's Call Darktide by Rak: 

Deleted from Wikipedia - Darktide: 

KoC History by Rak (scroll down to AC section): 

Dereth History Image Gallery by WarCry: 

Real Dereth Images (not history but sick AC gfx): 

A Chapter in Freeman History by Dawkinson of TFK: 

Templar Darktide's screenshots (

The Adventures of Quilla Quicksword (one of my rerolls) - By Elfonso (NR)

She strides into battle with her long flowery hair
Running free down the small of her back
To mens' hearts she will bring only despair
It is your skull she is seeking to crack

She is Quilla Quicksword,
Brave player killer of the north.
Seeking to enlarge her treasure horde,
She stands in the the face of men, of all sorts!

So beware,
And if you dare,
Though it brings my thoughts to a scare
Challenge this brazen bitch in her unholy northern home and weyr