I'm not sure where to begin. I suppose at the beginning. On April 12th of 2012, I noticed a post on Facebook from a high school friend of mine about a relatively new game based on Marvel. I hadn't picked up a comic book since 1994. Yeah, nearly 20 years. But maybe with 40 closing in and having ended a two year affair with the, in retrospect, completely stupid Mafia Wars. I'd tried a few other FB games, like Castle Age and a card based MMA game, but something about Marvel spoke to me a bit, even though I had no intention of seeing the Avengers movie.
I had a large comic habit in high school and college. And while I looked at DC, Image and other indy book, it really was always Make Mine Marvel. My first comic that I can remember was Sgt Fury and his Howling Commandos. Not the monster squad, the one with Dum Dum Dugan, Frenchie and Jones. In high school, it was always X-Men. Claremont spoke to me as he did so many others. As a hidden other due to a religion that my parents didn't feel strongly about and that I didn't feel at all, I was probably a bit like Scott Summers, other but passable as a white guy. Wanted to be more like Logan, but was likely on track to be Xavier. At any rate, my friends were all multicultural or into heavy metal and the X-men. The civil rights message was us, and to a large extent, still informs my view of justice and right and wrong. Formative.
Any rate, I asked my friend if this Marvel game were any good, and he said yes. So, checked it out on April 12, 2012. Hawkeye, Widow, Iron Man, and the agent. Interesting game play. Six whole chapters to play through. A PVP that was an entertaining laboratory for team concepts in the game. Within the week, I was mildly addicted.
I found the official forum a week or so later, looking to get better. I read nearly everything. I argued about the game with folks, I chided whiners and new posters who started with a complaint that had no basis and could be solved using the search function. I contributed to a thread that talked about comic books and got into Hickman, Planet Hulk, House of M and more. I contributed to a short lived but well remembered thread that compared game items to sex toys (nearly all of the original consumables either had a sex toy name or shape, turns out). We all got marks on our permanent records for that one. Eventually, I got enough points on my permanent record to get banned. With no appeal. And using a second account to appeal got no response beyond banning my account permanently and my IP address forever.
I was bummed. So, I went looking for something else to fill my forum time. I found this wiki, in its infancy. I didn't know how to code the wiki, and there weren't very many people around. So, I used the random page feature and left comments on any page I came across. A few weeks later, as traffic picked up, maybe around the second special operation, I was invited to be a rollback. And I think I started my blog.
I got a ton of enjoyment out of writing my blog. Once I found an audience, writing guides to special ops, writing about PVP, doing ISO builds, it really took off. Before we had the forum or a useful chat, we had my PVP blog to discuss the tournament. One of my proudest in game moments was winning Deadpool in the first PVP tournament. Finished in the top 500. Was the hardest I would work. And got thirty or forty comments on a blog about the last day. Amazing.
I've had my moments here. Dark times when a troll got me down. Times when life wasn't working so great for me. And yet, there was always a community here. I didn't create that community. You all found your own way to the wiki, same way I did. Id like to think that I helped to shape that community, and make it a better community. The community was always there. And for every jerk who preyed on my darker impulses, my self-doubt and my fear, there were five or ten of you who wanted to have a conversation about the game or just about life beyond the game.
I've been far from perfect as a moderator. I'd like to think that I did the folks that I felt I had to moderate something like fairness. I'm pretty sure I was closer to that than the moderation I got from the Playdom forums. I'm sure I did someone wrong. I'm sure I was soft on someone I should have been harder on. The long and short of it is that I never liked the moderation aspect of being part of the wiki, but I always felt obligated to take it seriously.
I dunno how I did it. But in the four years I was heavy on the wiki and in the game, I managed to be rated exceptional at work for three of them, and highly successful or some such in the other. I think my work made me better at the wiki and the wiki made me better at work. I don't know how that works, but it's amazing that it does.
I have to thank the entire admin team here, both past and present. You've done a lot of the work that makes me, the "face" of the wiki, look very good indeed. We've been a team, and we've come and gone, but we did great work together and the wiki would not have been what it was without each of you. Especially Lycentia, Mckrongs, PHTC, DocBobM, Xobai, Cyrus, Nathan, Scarlett, Shizoida and really everyone else who has been part of the team.
I have to thank the users of the wiki. I may have helped shaped the community a bit, but you are the community. And, if I believe I am just a user of the wiki with more admin duties, then we are the same and we have learned as much as we have taught and we have been friends as much as we have argued.
I'm gonna miss the game. I'm gonna miss the new releases that make me remember my comics and I'm gonna miss the new releases that make me google. I found every non-spider interesting, and maybe even a few of them. I tried to find the way to play every hero and I used to do that for every gear. I've leaned on the community to keep me up to date on newer things and I've shared my opinions on nearly everything. I'm richer for having been here (despite being fiscally poorer for having played this game).
I will miss you guys. But until September 30th, we still have a game and as long as we have a game, we have a wiki. As long as we have a wiki, I hope we have a community and I am proud to be part of that community.