This morning I read the announcement that Ryan Shwayder, known as Blackguard on the SOE forums, was leaving his position as the community relations manager for EverQuest 2. This will no doubt be a blow to Sony. No person is irreplaceable, but he has a passion for games in general and EQ2 in particular that he is able to communicate when speaking or writing. This can be difficult in a large corporate environment. (My own company just issued its 36th “soulless press release from the undead” this year, so my test for passion is to compare it against those, which are… what is the opposite of passion? Well, whatever it is, these are in the same ZIP code.)
While I have never interacted with Blackguard in person, I find I own him a debt.
As I understand it, he was a driving force in getting the official SOE podcast going.
And the SOE podcast was the first podcast to which I ever bothered to listen.
A lot of people criticized the first SOE podcast, and with good reason. It was heavily scripted and pretty lifeless, but there was enough there to show me that podcasts were a viable information source for the MMO world. Even though I do not play EQ or EQ2 currently, I still remain interested in what is going on with the game, and with a podcast I can avoid the various forums which I find physically painful to read most days.
I began looking for other podcasts covering gaming in general and MMOs in particular and have found a couple to which I now listen regularly. They in turn have expanded the amount of news I get about the MMO world and blah blah blah. I will write more about other podcasts at another time.
Anyway, thank you Blackguard! Good luck on your new path!