I started AC quite late, and didn't get into it seriously until about february.
When that started, I spent the first 3 or 4 days under Parthor in the AOD (Azile) monarchy. We had a nice leveling spot in Samsur with 2 bronze dillos that we could block between 2 pillars and shoot at without any risk heh. After I hit level 9 or so (about the 1st day) I moved to the Baishi Tower where most of our guys hanged. Heh those were the days, we were total newbies I didn't even know back then how to cast a spell. Then some internal war exploded between our friend Gara OGD and the Azilites. I don't really remember what it was about but it kinda split all of us.
I then joined Hilda no Polaris, french like me, who I knew back from UO. We were under the Mercs (Osium) and I spent like another 4 days leveling 8 hours a day at the arwic pillars shooting Olthois that were blocked by the base of the hill. Heh thats where I first met people like Malaria, Die form Ex (Die-TF), Dread Loch / Loch, Bad Dreams...
Learning politics on DT as my patron broke from The Mercs without telling me...
Then at the end of that 1st week, I was running to Eastam from Arwic to equip my newbie reroll and was about there when some high level Merc (Hiret under Mikey) attacked me... I asked him wtf was wrong with him considering I was under the Mercs too (monarch Osium). He told me I wasn't and had the Dark Doomer tag instead. I had no clue who that Dark Doomer was and my patron wasn't on so I broke and went back to Mercs.
Its that day I discovered about politics on AC. My patron logged on a couple hours later and explained me what it was all about. Dark Doomer had gone at war with The Mercs, followed by Alice-to-katarina, and other big guys like Blood, and my patron had been asked to join them too. Like 4 hours after my 1st encounter with Hiret, I met him again in Eastam and died to him heh, but this time I knew why we were fighting :p
Anyways I was pretty much done with this mega gimped char (I had no life magic, no mana conversion, no creature magic and was a lockpicker lol). So I ran him to the Lin temple where most of our french friends were starting, and I started my reroll Dread Lord Rak (spe life mage).
The next week, more KoC and UO players from Chesapeake were starting AC. Zeke, who hated leveling as much as I, bought a char named Blood to start a monarchy and regroup all our guys under a common tag. As a matter of fact he was under Dark Doomer too. After 5 or 6 days my reroll mage was level 20 and I hit Disaster Mage dungeon. I spent there another 1.5 to 2 weeks leveling along with Nicnac who was 45+ and played by 2 brothers 24/7. There was that annoying little pos named Kal Dagashi who kept bothering me the 1st days but he stayed at the upper levels of DM so I wasn't bothered when I was downstairs :p.
I wasnt much into PvP yet but these 3 guys were always bothering me heh
In about 2 to 2.5 weeks I had reached level 37 but still had no pvp experience due to the fact I was spending all my time leveling. There was no better leveling spot than DM back then but even in the best hours I was only making 200 to 300k an hour... Add to that the fact that I had taken xbow instead of healing...
Basically that wasn't why I had come to Darktide for, I wanted to PvP and all I could see was the need of constant leveling to catch the big guys / stay in competition with the mid guys.
So I decided to follow Zeke and buy a char on ebay myself. I therefore bought Mikey level 53 for 1075 $ which I could afford without any problems, having sold my Ultima Online accounts and stuff for over 11 000 $. My experience of selling on ebay with UO made me beleive that it was kinda like an investment : in the worse case I could loose a few hundred dollars, in the best case I could make another few hundreds. It was still a risky bet, considering ebay on AC was close to inexistant, and I remember being flamed a lot back then for that.
Anyways I now had a high level char but was still a total newbie when it came to pvp since I had spent 95% of my time leveling. So I muled all my items, bought a faran and went from there. Each encounter was an occasion to learn something new. We were established in Lin / Khay which enabled us to raid the Loch / Shollos / Red Devil / The-Feared alliance.
Then splitpea came out which was some good news considering I had only 1 level VI and mostly level IVs... While learning spells outside Lin, someone called Black Rose Noble approached me. He was the GM of the BR monarchy. He wanted us to come and join him and his guild to help defend it against this same alliance (L/S/RD/TF). The problem for us was that most of our guys were still low levels and the lin / khay region was perfect for them to level at. BRN talked to Dark Doomer aswell as to X-Factor and about a week later after being given several infos about the shops and such we agreed to move in.
However us moving in caused several problems within the BR monarchy. As a result their monarchy disbanded the day after we moved to Kara. They then rebuilt from Plateau I beleive. Living in kara made things really easy for us since Lin / Kay prices sucked badly while we could sell our loot for pretty good price in Kara. Our war against the L/S/RD/TF became more serious, we'd raid Mayoi a lot, and the BDC war really started to turn into our favour. We had kicked TF from Olthoi Tunnels and made it our private dungeon. TF was going down and DVN / BIX ended up selling which made it only worse for them. RD and Loch merged in a single monarchy of around 700s vassals.
Everything was going great for us, a good town, some of the best leveling spots... Then suddenly, BR came back. I was recalling with Seth from BDC, having cleaned the pit, and we were welcomed by a good 10 of them with 5 or 6 high levels (Lauae, Schatenkind, Lews, Hog-The-Feared, Ben-The-Feared...). The fight didn't last very long seth got dropped by them as he materialised at the ls then I fought myself for a few mins and managed to drop Lauae, Hog-the-feared before being badly debuffed by Ben / shot by Lews. I went to clear vit and came back to have my revenge on Lews :p
For a week BR / TF / Schat raided us but it wasn't that bad although we only had about 4 high levels on our side when they had at least 10 of them. But after that things got out of end about 7 anti guilds joined the conflict, it was us vs BR / Schats, TF, Lop, CeD, CoA, CoS and several other individuals. As I said we only had a few high levels and our average level was level 30s while most of the raiders were 40+ with a good proportion of 50s. This is when we mostly started to build our pvp experience. Fighting outnumbered all the time against other high levels was the best way to improve.
While our high levels could live with it, it must have been hell for our lowbies which is why after a good 3 weeks of fighting we decided to move out. I would like to point out that none of our cores ever left us for another monarchy eventhough times had been really hard for our guys after all these guilds had allied to fight us.
Our lower guys were already in Qalabar but I didn't like that town really much so I went to explore Dereth to find a town with suitable prices. After a few hours I came by Lytelthorpe and was simply amazed at the sight. There was a castle and the buildings really looked nice. It even had a meeting hall which back then was a rare and nice thing :p It also had portals to towns like Holtburg / Rythwick and some place called Adventurer's Haven enabled us not only to go to lyth but aswell to Yanshi and Samsur.
ROFL poor guy I felt bad killing him with 10 of his vassals chassing me
Haven was the home of several antis from CeD and smaller anti guilds, while Lytelthorpe was the home of Pathion the Elf and Towels. Sadly for them they had literally no chance against us, just me vs 12 of them had lead to the death of their monarch and 4 other of their higher levels. Zeke got here on Blood to see how the place was like and agreed it would be nice living there. So within a day our whole monarchy was moving and slaying the local population.
From there we established a pretty strong base and although selling prices weren't that good (60% for 5k+ armor / 100% for 5k-), regs were awesomly cheap (28p tapers). We continued extending our control over new leveling spots.
QB and PLG would die so many times...
Some flavour monarchy of the month called Fletchup (the pluggers from UO) had built itself in Fort Teth pretending at 1st to be anti, then going pk... They quickly reached the 800s and were kinda allied to Loch/RD monarchy and were pretty close with Broken Tusk too. However their PvP skill wasn't really good. Plg / Qb would die a lot and I'd kick them out of BDC all the time.
BDC wars kinda changed, it was all about high levels now, we would have mad fun there me on Mikey, Loch, Lop and Jackie Chan...
As for Haven, we would get some raids from antis / neutrals from time to time but nothing really bad. TM rerolling.
Shollos had gone on his own with Broken Tusk. Mercs made a come back, Hiret going mage on Prong, and Qwik going archer. They kinda merged with Shollos, Broken Tusk and DDH. They raided us a few times but mostly got locked on the town of Ayan Baqur which had just opened and had been taken by mel anoma / lop / antis.
Then the BSDs opened, we took over the AB BSD, a few of our guys leveled in BH BSD too but it was mostly controled by the DDH / Shollos / Broken Tusk Alliance. We re hitting the 180+ phear us !
Blood was now a pretty good monarchy, BDC was ours at 75% Olthoi tunnel at 100%, AB BSD at 70% and we had a pretty nice town. Our numbers were growing as we were reaching the 180s. We started to see the benefits of leadership and xp chains when I swore Mikey to Seth and was still passing almost everything to Blood.
Then came the Spe Curve patch which made Mikey and Blood really great chars to play since we were still able to wand even once inepted (we were both spe War). We really had mad fun, I'd take up to 10 people at the same time and laugh at them when they would inept me lol. But a patch was anounced for the following month which would lead to the nerfing of wand speed...
Taking that in consideration I threw Mikey on ebay in order to get my cash back while I was at the top. The char was level 61 and was about the 10th highest level char of the server. I made a pretty cool looking page. Surprisingly enough, the char sold for 5100$ and is yet the biggest sale to ever happend on both Darktide & Asheron's Call. That was 4025$ of pure profit over this account heh kinda funny if you remember how much people had flamed me for "spending 1075$" over a game :p The guy wanted to have the cofounder of Blood and we never saw him logging on after 2 weeks.
With some of that money I bought Asa of C o S which was a level 55 spe resist mage. The char was fun to play although I kinda missed Mikey The following patches changed AC a lot, first wand speed was nerfed, then AB BSD was made untyable, and finally hollows came out meaning the end of robes and need of high strength to wear an armor.
That patch meant the end of AB BSD for us which lead us to takeover BH BSD instead. At the same time the Aerlinthe Island was opened. It was made a no war zone and was a cool spot to hang at, prolly the only spot of Darktide at which you could go afk knowing noone would even try to kill you heh. I leveled on the coral golems for a few days so that my str would be high enough to wear a decent armor against hollows.
The neutral bear / anti population was maxed out, while us pks were at war with both of them and wared each others, they were all allied making Kara / AB pretty hard to take.
So we decided to put our fights aside and regroup ourselves. Our force was mainly composed of Bloods, Patryns and Red Devils. There also were a few individuals such as Shollos and a few guys under Samuel. Vengers and TDM were meant to be with us too but kinda backstabbed us in the process.
Our plan was in two steps, first attacking AB to make the whole anti / neutral population focused on defending it, then if it didn't work, attacking Kara which defense would be more easy to come by, specially after our work on the boards made to isolate BRs from antis. First AB wars
AB wars were really fun, we were far from having the needed numbers but we still didn't do bad at all. These wars enabled us to change the way Darktide worked : it enabled pk monarchies to start working together and caused antis to split. We used that political work to execute the next phase.
We suddenly moved all our forces from AB to Kara and things worked pretty well for us since local forces were already weakened by Lauae's departure from BR to Blood, but the poor support they had from antis made it even easier.
Having taken Kara. The Blood monarchy started to grow, from 1200s followers we reached 1700s once Red Devil and Shollos swore to us. Our 1st step was to take leveling spots back from TDM which was a pk monarchy that had used our time in AB to take over leveling spots. Their monarchy disbanded pretty fast.
The real test of our power was the opening of a Kara portal, making raids on us 10x easier for our opponents. The Feared who had announced they wouldn't let us keep Kara launched big raids on us using help from other neutral / antis. As a matter of fact it only made us stronger by reuniting a population that was slowly carebearising heh.
Loosing ground on us, TF started the godmoding mania aswell as other guilds such as IC, but they were still unable to kick us out and several of our guys learning it too made things worse for them. TF which had reached the 1000+ first lost 2/3 of these numbers in a few days and went back to the 300s before exploding in 3 different monarchies.
Then came the second test : who could control Aerlinthe Island ? TF who had rerolls with no tie learnt felt they were in a position to break the peace that was agreed there by the whole server. After a week and several agressions from them we decided to declare it an official war zone. Their ties indeed did help them a lot considering they'd camp us at the the portal drop and would attack us coming out debuffed from the diamond golems. But ties became more spread and when Tai got a gating mule to provide us recall ties to the island, fighting became a lot easier. We were finally in the same conditions we pretty much kicked them out of the island. Soon antis had their own gaters but it still didnt make much of a difference. Island was owned by us as much as such a wide place can be owned by a group.
For several months we continued to grow, having the best leveling spots, setting awesome xp chains, and benefiting from our past work... We were heavily raided but lived pretty well with it and in fact several raiders ended up joining us over time.
There was not much left to do other than taking over AB from the antis / neutral bears. Those same neutral bears made it possible when they decided to create GEN and go RPK. Each anti / neutral bear that had left to create GEN was one less anti we would have to fight, making numbers a lot more even...
With that said AB was now easy to get since their only force was their high numbers. However we also knew that the sooner we would attack, the sooner they would all make peace and ally again. Instead of attacking we told our vassals to start making DIs / cash for a war, and started board propaganda to prevent both camps from reuniting. The day The-Feared showed their true face and allied with that RPK force, we jumped on this occasion and kicked both camps from AB, taking it for ourselves.
GEN threatened us and said they would never let us take it, they even allied with BR but were forced to run away. They were given the right to eat what we had left behind us though (Kara + BH BSD). Several antis (mostly Deborah & HoS) fought us for a couple weeks then gave up too but I got to give them credits since they did give us nice fights and did stand for what they beleived. Second AB Wars
Game Over - It was over, all our goals were reached there was no real opposing force left so lots of our guys started to stop playing / selling by the end of January.
While that, GEN allied with half the server from ex-alberons to HoCs, and when I sold in late January I was told by their leaders we were leaving because of them and that AB would be their's in a few days... However, if GEN did grow to 3200+ peeps while we had 2300+ guys, they failed in all their attemps to get rid of us. As a matter of fact, several of their guys left them and the monarchy lost half its numbers.
Nowdays Blood is a 3300 peeps monarchy, there isn't much left to do, just sit and wait for the new game. Either the monarchy will die due to the departure of most of its cores (which surprisingly hasn't happened yet), or the new generation of Blood will take control of it and run it for even longer (quite possible since several active members who joined several months after Blood started, currently deal with most of the problems (such as the xp chain).
(Last update : April 2001)