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Community Focus: Rampancy.net

A common theme found in a number of Bungie games has been Rampancy – that moment when an artificial intelligence construct becomes dangerously unrestrained.{{more}} Long before Cortana started to unravel on the Chief in Halo 3, players of Marathon wrestled with their own mechanical companions run amok. As a metaphor for community, some of the most time-worn players of Bungie games are also the most fiercely independent.

If you’ve stood in line for more than a few launch dates, you should be no stranger to rampancy.net. If you’re getting acquainted with the Seventh Column for the first time, allow us to introduce one of its oldest pillars. Before Halo evolved combat, their website has been a source of news, insight, and challenging commentary on the games we want to play.

This week, we’re focusing on their lead webmaster (an old friend we know as Narcogen) about how he’s leading an old community into a brave new world…

When exactly did Rampancy get its start? What was the first Bungie game you supported as a community leader?

Rampancy started in 1999, at the same time the Halo.Bungie.Org forum opened. The site was founded to follow Halo, then known to the community only as “Blam.” Originally called The Core, it only went rampant later...

The site founders were Noctavis and Ferrex, both previously Myth webmasters. Noctavis left the site for Real Life™ reasons, and I think you know where Ferrex ended up. [Editor’s Note: Ferrex ended up being Bungie’s own Tyson Green, Staff Designer and Boonie Hat Enthusiast.] I was a fan of Bungie since Marathon, but unaware of the online community until Myth.

I joined the Core staff when the job of posting Halo-related news got a lot bigger. The vision for Rampancy was a single site for all Bungie games, new and old alike. I wanted to be able to give people a reason to be nostalgic about the old games as well as excited about the new ones.

As a long-time player of Bungie games, you’re uniquely qualified to observe how things have changed.  How has the Bungie Community evolved under your watch?

The answers to that must be as large and diverse as the Bungie community itself. It's grown so much larger than it was, and has become quite a bit more diverse. There are almost as many reasons to like a game like Halo as there are people who like it. Community discussions are very lively when people like something enough to debate to the death what is good about it.

I think it's a testament to how inclusive Halo has been built to be; how it has allowed, both within its gameplay and its fiction, for so many diverse people to find a place to live and express themselves.

Now that the Bungie Community is in for a change all over again, what has you excited about Destiny?

As good as Halo was (which was very good indeed) I always had the sense, especially early on, that Bungie's vision for the game was much larger than the technological and commercial constraints of the time. I think Destiny will be the original vision for Halo more fully realized, as well as a new look at some familiar Bungie themes.

As an avid player of Mass Effect and a one-time player of Eve Online, I like the new focus on player customization, classes, and factions. Bungie may be laying the groundwork for all kinds of play: solo, cooperative, and competitive. 

Before you succumb to old age and become violently uncooperative, what can the Bungie Community expect from Rampancy to help them endure the wait for Destiny?

First of all, we want to forge ahead with ‘Anger, Sadness and Envy’ which is R.net's podcast. There's an episode out this week touching on the Destiny reveal. Once a game is out, we do some long-form audio and/or video features taking a look at each level of the game from both the story and gameplay perspectives. We hope to continue to do that, perhaps even expanding to some ‘Let's Play…’ style videos.

Over the years, Rampancy has also become a repository of fan transcriptions of the music from Bungie games; mostly Halo, but also Myth and Marathon. We'd love to do the same for Destiny, as well.

In addition to that, of course, I’ll still be speculating wildly about what the finished features of a game yet to be released might look like based on a few glimpses... In fact, I feel another one coming on soon.

Narcogen speaks the truth.  More glimpses of Destiny are yet to come - in time.  Until they arrive, rampant speculation is a great way to pass the time, and rampancy.net has always been a great place to dream about what may come.
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