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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Today brought a number of surprising discoveries. One of which brought my attention back to this blog. Regardless, I have had 7 hours of sleep since Wednesday, having 3 physics sets due yesterday and a philosophy paper about the existence of evil and God due today (meaning the day before 4 am this moment). If people wonder why I have trouble reconciling my two lives, this is why. While I am in mid-story, I am faced with distractions by my roommate and COD4 (14th prestige, baby), my girlfriend of 2 years, my other friends, a motherload of physics homework, the inevitable mid-quarter shortcomings brought about by a random event (this quarter is an unprovoked assault and a concussion), and my own absence of inspiration… and 4 physics sets and 2 midterms for next week. It’s hard to get in the mood sometimes when you feel so down about the state of MxO already. After being in this position for so long, I recognize the patterns in subscription cycles. However, the coinciding of the trough with a period of negativity within the community has left me sorrowful and uninspired. The only tangible reward I get out of what I do is the enjoyment I perceive in participants.  Coupled with the anonymity, you can’t be rewarded with recognition for accomplishments, so the only pride you can take in your work is when people either praise or at least don’t complain.  So in a time of disappointment and anger, I can have trouble directing myself properly to continue.

This brings me the only other spoilerish material. Only to say that I have been beset with many more delays than were originally planned. Mostly because I have not had the time I deemed necessary for the current action to play out appropriately. The original plan called for a complete map assembly by June of 2008, just as the original plan called for the release of BA52 in December of 2007, not long after I completed the majority of the content for it. The current plan for “KYEO” is entirely altered. As such, there is a great deal of unreleased content which keeps me tied to the current course of action. Even if I find that I must delay further in order to provide the work output necessary to maintain the workload that I feel is necessary. That is part of what causes my doubt, because I sometimes have trouble reconciling the fact that the current content is a year overdue, simply due to my inability to have the proper time to do all the things that must  be done before the next chapter. Not always an easy task for one man living multiple lives.

On that note, I suppose it is noteworthy that at the completion of the Joker nodes in 2007, I had written in excess of 60,000 words of story content for MxO (in the form of journals, nodes, reports, etc.) Since then, there have been several maps worth of journals, many opinions and logs, and of course, reports and static dialog.

Okay, one more spoilerish thing. I appreciate that the current approach has been met with a reasonable amount of favorable opinion. The current story is the product of  the Watchmaker, the Jokers and Dr. Raj, the Brick Dissuader, and other general learnings. As I have heard, this story was crafted to be more like an onion, which allows for something that is favored by each facet of gamer within MxO. It allows RP for the heavy RPers, puzzle solving for the puzzlers, collecting for the hunters, information gathering for the RPer/reader/writers (yes, this particular subclass seems to exist), and a certain aspect of competition for everyone in general. While it has not turned out exactly as planned, mostly due to time issues, I continue to learn from mistakes and plan for the future. I always feel guilty that I haven’t been able to put in the time that I feel this plot deserved. Funny enough, it was intended to be a simpler and easier to follow story in the wake of the Joker finale. However, I can’t help but see the connections that exist in this complex web of storytelling. So while this story seems to explain a lot from my perspective, it is most likely even more confusing than ever. It is only my pride in having created a beautiful story that keeps me trying to convey it to others. If it were shoddier, I would have packed my bags by now. Anyways, I hope the onion can continue to entertain for now, especially since I am trapped in one of the periodic creativity dead zones in which I cannot devote the prerequisite time that the story deserves.

At this point in the blog, it is my primary intent to canvass a variety of memories pertaining to the lifetime of SgtSteele, Entropi, and the Jokers. Now is not the time, however.

Random Trivia #1: All the personas I have ever “acted” existed as real individuals as far as I have been concerned. To the extent of my knowledge, they each had a birth, a full life, and in some cases, a death. They have existed as real personalities with potential to respond to external stimuli and grow, so far as that from time to time I have actually inadvertently found myself speaking with the persona of a fictional character while in the company of others who do not share my vision. As far as I am concerned, each of these people were/are real in their own sense and I will never refer to myself having done something that they did of free will, for each of these characters exercises free will and responds to very specific criteria with which players can influence.


I’m beginning this blog in the aftermath of an assault that left me out in the street with a concussion. It’s one of those bad times that has pulled me away from MxO while simultaneously wishing I could immerse myself in my stories. I love to write. Since I was young, I wanted to become a writer. Instead, I am studying physics and working as an engineer. While I enjoy what I do, writing remains my passion. Some day, I will write the stories that are in my head, however I don’t see writing to be a lucrative career for supporting a family. So instead, I do this work and wait for the day that I can retire and write.

The Matrix Online was a surprising opportunity that gave me the opportunity to write for a very interesting audience. When I tell people about my hobby, they tend to think that I’m creating this stuff for a niche group of hardcore Matrix fans. However, I find that many MxO players aren’t actually fanboys of the franchise. I know I never was. I can say that I’ve seen The Matrix less than 10 times in the past 10 years. And that’s including the times I watched it while searching for inspiration or specific canon references.

I have always wanted to write some sort of message for the players of MxO with whom I’ve been interacting for the past 4 years. Due to my unique situation, I am only allowed to write stories for them in this capacity for as long as I remain hidden and secret from them. Rules that were created for people who still played the game and had factions and friends. The last time my player character ever logged into Vector was years ago. Only a few people are still subscribed who even remember him. So I’ve been waiting these years for the day that I quit and can spill my guts to all my virtual pals. Unfortunately, it’s a lot harder for me to quit than one would think. I’ve become a writer junkie and I can’t seem to give up this situation. So while a certain clown was always meant to be my grand finale, somehow an even larger, more involved, and more time-consuming story was born.

While friends and family might complain, I do not. I love writing.

So now I’ve begun an anonymous blog to record my thoughts. While I imagine that there is a small chance someone from MxO might chance across it, I doubt that will be any time soon. Meanwhile, I’ll build up a stockpile of thoughts to share when that fateful day comes. Or maybe I’ll never tell anyone and it will remain a hidden gem lost in the sands of the internet, the answer to my final puzzle.

The reason I’ve always wanted to communicate OOC was simply to tell the players how much I enjoyed their participation and patronage over the years. You’ve all been (mostly) supportive and convinced me that I actually could make it as a writer if I tried, even while having no idea who I was the whole time. However, it’s always been sad to me when a player leaves MxO and I can never say goodbye to them the way I want. One name that abruptly comes to mind is an old Syntax player by the name of Nathics. He and the Joker used to have lengthy exchanges of poetry. While some of those exchanges were included in the Joker nodes, I never had a chance to tell him how much fun I had trying to think up rhymed responses that matched his timing and structure while still being a proper Joker-ish comeback.

Likewise, there are the funny moments I’ve had over the years. One Sunday morning long past, one of the Jokers was left idling on a Richland rooftop while I showered. Nobody was online and there wasn’t anyone for the Joker to toy with, so I deemed it an appropriate time to shower. 20 minutes later, I returned to the screen to find a crowd of 20 or 30 people encircling the Joker on that rooftop, each and every one demanding something different. I was left with a few panicky moments to try to come up with something to satisfy them. I don’t recall what it was I did. If I went with odds, I’d say it was a backflop suicide, but I know that would probably have pissed off a lot of people so I imagine I did a little Q&A first before doing the deed.

This reminds me of my greatest experience of all time. It is one of those simple pleasures that I do not expect to ever leave me (no matter how many concussions). Nor do I ever expect it to be topped. I’ve spent awhile trying to search for this particular screenshot but I have thousands so I’ll have to edit this in later. The Joker was bantering with two players when one of them, a somewhat new player, said to the Joker “You make me feel like Alice in Wonderland.” That was reward enough for all the time spent in-game “acting” and writing out all those reports. It’s something I’ve held with me ever since and it’s part of what keeps me writing journals and designing puzzles.

It’s getting late and I need to eat and do several physics assignments that were ignored while I was in the hospital. I’d like to give a parting farewell from SgtSteele, Entropi, Stiveston, TheWatchmaker, TheJokerOfSpades, TheJokerOfDiamonds, TheJokerOfClubs, Muse, Shades, CoffinsNail, Mari, Doctor Rajlich, BrickDissuader, SlasherScalpel, Strayshot, MorrisPeterson, Gaia, Kabarr, Caigne, Diced, Phasmata, Kitasu, Kisoku, ToroFurioso, Piqo, Schwartzwald, Alexander, ZAITSOProxy (I cannot take credit for ZAITSO, but I did come up with a new role for him to play), a nameless array of [errors, broken programs, seeker drones, couriers, puppets, bluepills], and the rest that will remain unnamed for fear of spoilers.

Stay safe. Woot, 991 words.

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