Seven years ago, I made this Bungie.net account.
[url=https://halo.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=48052621]Seven years and three days ago, I made my first post. I said, "plz respond". It wasn't sarcastic.[/url]
To say that I've changed over my years in this community would be an understatement. Like the others who now make up the stoic members of my fireteam, I joined during the Halo era under a different name and emblem, but I got more active during the "Darkness," a time on Bungie.net where the developers were quiet, the community was small, and our only guiding Light was a new [i][url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Profile/254/8011]Gunslinger[/url][/i] who'd eventually take up the robes of a Warlock rather than [i]take the lead[/i].
From then until now, I've loved being a part of this community. Thank you for being here for me to experience, both to the old guard and the new Vanguard. Thank you for the gamenights, for [url=http://halo.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=70585296]the lore discussions and speculation[/url], for the stats, and — most of all — for the lame jokes. I will always be a part of this community, but I won't be around as much anymore. Over this last year, I've been less active in the forums and even in private groups due to school and work. For those who don't know, I formerly worked as a freelancer for IGN. There's a chance that if you were looking for Calcified Fragments or if you were trying to figure out how to obtain the Outbreak Prime that you used one of my guides.
But yes, you read that right. "Former."
I moved from a community member to a community moderator (then back to a community member, whoops!) to a gaming journalism and now into game development. At the end of this month, I'll be joining the community management team at one of EA's studios. It's a really exciting opportunity and I hope it's the start of something wonderful, but that's also not really the point of this post.
The point is to say thank you.
This is really the only community that I've truly felt a part of and that experience has only been heightened by Destiny. A long time ago, a lot of people were worried that Destiny would destroy the community by splintering us off onto four consoles, by introducing elitism between current generation players and the old, or that the new people just wouldn't understand our ways.
In some ways, they were right, but really, they were also oh so wrong.
Yes, the original Bungie-Halo community dwindled from Bungie.net and scattered about, but the death of the old era brought in a new one like a phoenix rising from its ashes. Yes, the community was splintered off onto four consoles (down to three platforms for D2), but we're all still [b]here[/b] on B.net talking about the same great experiences. We've never been more together than now. Yes, some elitists were cropped up between the old generation players and the current, especially with the letting go of them for Year 3, but many more elitists can be found between Hunters, Titans, and Warlocks; between those who wield different types of primaries; or even between [url=http://i.imgur.com/TXb6GhX.png]those who crave competition[/url] and [url=http://i.imgur.com/RKBJGDC.png]those who prefer their own pace[/url], all of which are valid, passionate, and even inspiring at times. Those who shout out their opinions and feedback are the lifeblood of this game.
Though, perhaps the faults have always just been with us and, perhaps, that's okay.
This community is full of passionate people. A lot of them were afraid of losing their mantle and identity in the community with the new age of Bungie and Destiny. In the end, the splintering, elitism, and lack of understanding was just paranoia from those who wanted to be part of a smaller community. Destiny didn't allow for that small feeling and that was scary to a lot of people. However, I think now, after three years, we can all see that there was nothing to fear. Once, when I spoke to the Grizzled Ancient Louis Wu (Claude E.) who had been part of the community during Myth, he told me that the same fears were had about the dawn of the Halo era, but that ended up being the era most of us loved so much. This one is the very same and then some in its own unique ways.
This community is wonderful. Regardless of if I'm on B.net, reddit, Twitch, or anywhere else, I feel that sense of community like never before. I want to remind the Old Guard — the Spartans, the Grizzled Ancients, the Mythics — and those in the Vanguard who are a bit hesitant to join in the fun — the Kinderguardians, the Sparks of Light who like to hide away in private groups, the Taken Tots and Iron Pups who'd rather watch a streamer than send an invite to a stranger — that the community is here for you. It's different, yes, but it's wonderful and chaotic and passionate, just like before and just like it will always be. You only need to reach out and experience it. There's something here for everyone.
Just as I've changed with this community, so too has this community changed with me. I've seen community members become moderators, content creators, game developers, and more. To give some perspective, [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Profile/254/1367634]my name is Byf[/url] used to chat with me and a few others about potential lore before the game came out and it sparked his passion. Now, [url=https://www.youtube.com/user/ReachForgeNetwork]he's one of my favourite Destiny content creators[/url]. This community not only upholds a stronger standard of passion, creativity, and comradery than any other community I've seen, but it also uplifts those Sparks of Light amongst us to help them achieve their dreams. That is incredible.
Meeting people in this community really helped me find my passion for being a part of it and for wanting to do more. [url=http://i.imgur.com/U7pJNs6.jpg]Events like PAX[/url] have held some of my fondest memories and best conversations. I've got to see incredibly talented and skilful cosplayers, prop makers, and other artists bring their visions of the game to life. I also have a picture of Achronos in a wolf-pup hat that I can use as blackmail at any time (you've been warned, Webmaster).
The point is, if there is a point to this, you're all wonderful. Thank you for being you and thank you for making the Septagon — the Seventh Column of Bungie — a better place. I've seen so many of you grow into wonderful people and I hope that you all get to see the same for others. There's still a long road ahead of us and a few journeys, adventures, and battles that will guide our way. [url=https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/60873443t]As DeeJ once said to me[/url], "war is a science." As I replied to him, "with rules to be applied."
[url=http://i.imgur.com/cLue5fE.png]Be Brave, Guardians. I'll see you star-side.[/url]
(Many links have broken as halo.bungie.net seems to be shutting down.)