Wow... Just... Wow...So that time of year has rolled around again. That joyous time when everyone on Earth gathers together in the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood.
It's Return Home to Vana'diel time again.
What? What did you think I was talking about?
See, every now and again, we like to run this special event where we encourage former players to come on back to our lovely little world.
You know... Just for a visit.
This would basically equate to a crack dealer asking where you've been and if you want to hang out.
And maybe smoke some crack.
It's designed to reach out to people that left the game for various reasons and show them that we've made several major improvements since they left.
Over my many years of playing this game, I've noticed a distinct pattern that is only apparent to people with keen observational skills or even rudimentary intelligence.
People leave the game. We can't help that.
Actually, we're trying to help that. We've got some guys in Research and Development working on that right now.
Basically, if you stop playing, you'll just die.
Really, really painfully.
It's a work in progress.
Most players that leave, though, end up coming back eventually. They start to miss the game or they're just curious about things they've heard.
They come running back into our open arms and everything is better again.
Everyone knows this trend. Anyone who has played for any length of time has seen this play out over and over again.
If you read any FFXI forum, you're bound to find the "I'm leaving and never coming back" threads.
You'll also find the unspoken understanding that they'll be back.
Actually, most times, they just say it.
And then ask if they can have all of your stuff.
Unfortunately, some people turn out to be stubborn and decide not to come back freely and of their own will.
What? We're not good enough for you?
No, no. We can't be having that.
Once you're in, you're in for life.
Deal with it.
The Return Home to Vana'diel campaign is our gentle way of saying "quit being a little bitch and log in already".
I'm working on a greeting card.
This campaign has always been a very normal, very regular event.
Due to certain office political situations (read: my supervisor hates me), I was made part of the team in charge of the campaign applications.
His exact words were "How much trouble could you get into?"
People make me giggle sometimes.
I was going through a stack of applications and noticed something funny.
Under reasons for leaving, he had put "was eaten by a dragon."
Apparently, someone I had once banned thought it would be a great idea to come back to the game.
Some people never learn.
Still, I believe very strongly in education. Thus, it was my duty to make sure that this individual learned from their mistakes.
I took absolutely no pleasure in it at all.
Here was my basic plan.
Step 1) Create new GM account in fake name
Step 2) Contact applicant
Step 3) Hilarity ensues
I still have the napkin I wrote it on.
The set up was the hardest part. You'd be honestly surprised how hard it is to sound like you actually care for players.
Once we got through the standard application procedures, I reactivated his account and let him log in.
He was so happy.
I took him on a nice tour of Vana'diel, showing him some of our newest features. We checked out all of the areas that have been added since he left and I even showed him some of the out of the way locations.
Then, to top off the whole return, I presented him with a brand new Anniversary Ring.
All I had to do was wait...
Wait for it...
Player>> What should I do first?
[GM]NotDave>> Can I make a suggestion?
Player>> Oh god...
Player>> OH GAWD NO!
Jormungand hits Player for 15,988 points of damage.
Player was defeated by Jormungand.
[GM]NotDave>> Welcome back.
I decided to let him keep his account for now. I figured he's at least earned a small reprieve.
I did, however, warn him that I will appear at a random time in the future to destroy everything he has created.
You might see him in Whitegate. He's the one who justs stands still and cries to himself.