Dark Evolution was just the largest Merovingian faction (guild) on the hostile PVP server at the time. There were a lot of people in it so when Giant Bomb dropped in with Tonkatruck, we had people all over the place. Luck of the draw I guess. Dark Evolution got large because it was one of the most fun factions to be in. There were Events an such that surrounded the faction thus making it famous, but the reason it was fun was because everybody in it was pretty much bonkers crazy. Sillyness, randomness, an all the stuff friends are made of on the net. There was a searious side yeah, but for the most part it was the crazy stuff that was the most fun. Zion was the good guys, Machine was the bad guys, an Merovingian was kind of in the middle.
On our server though Zion was the bad guys, an the machines ended up being all the folks in Zion that got tired of Zion. Most of the original Machines moved to Merovingian when this happened. So right near the middle of the game's lifespan there was a great migration of Machine to the Merovingian. All the remaining machines that were true to the cause ended up very angry an very alone holding onto once vast factions which were now empty. This being even worse from the Zion part time machine players joining their faction but hardly ever showing up. I'd be mad too. The folks that did move to Merovingian found that it was the one that had the most fun. Who wouldn't want to hang out with a bunch of vampires among the rest of the crazy underworld characters.
It was frustrating somewhat when Giant Bomb jumped in at the last minute with TonkaTruck. I mean we had tons of fun like normal. But it was like oh geez we have a new friend that just started an oh by the way it's being filmed. By that time there was a whole book of knowlege you would need to know to actually play the game then months an months using that knowlege. So it was kind of like... Oh dang with only a tiny amount of time left they have missed out on this whole big chunk of why the game is fun. Idk what can you do the dang game was being dropped.
I started at the launch of the game. The city was so large that you would get lost in the hood you was in which was roughly 1% of the game world. There was a map an the interface could be have it's transparency adjusted so you could have a 1600x1200 map you could see thru while you were running. You still got lost though. The scale was so large that no matter how long you played or where you were you always knew that you were lost. Even looking at the map that Yellow arrow in the middle you knew that arrow "was lost" I reckon that was part of the apeal to me.
I had no idea how MMO's worked. So I just ran around fighting. I noticed I leveled up so I kept doing that. Then I started losing fights. Which I didn't understand you had to buy skills an abilitys an all that stuff. Take Dead Rising 2 if all the cool stuff you get as you level up had to be purchased an manually set then you pretty much have an idea. Yah I didn't know so I got frustrated from losing to stupid npcs before I figured out how to actually level up an spend money an points. Had fun being a matrix punk though.
Right around Halloween all kinds of nasty stuff would crawl up from the underworld. In certian parts of the districts Zombies would attack you 3 at a time in waves. If you got bitten then you got infected with their virus which changed you into a zombie. You could then run around all gimpped or limping around OUAH OUAH BRAINS and infect other players. When they attack you they just keep comming in waves. So players would get together an have zombie killing fests.
The bodies would stay there an stack up until you couldn't see the ground anymore. Players would create attack macros that put them on auto pilot an just walk away, then the lower level players could level up this way. The last time it happened I paired up with someone an we killed zombies for days an days. More near the end of the event the whole faction had zombie killing parties. The killed zombies just stacked up on the ground. If you killed someone an didn't loot them, matrix code would flow backwards from their body toward the sky.
I think the zombie killing parties was all about leveling up the lower level players. They would get lots of XP but didn't have to run anywhere and plus the zombies spawn based on the player they are about to attack so the lower levels could even fight. We mostly just would chat while this was all going on. For example on the roof of a diner you would have the "Pitt" an on the sign for the diner which was higher up you would have the bombers that would toss down logic bombs killing everything in the area. Down in the pitt you would have whoever wanted to be down there drawing out the zombies an fighting.
The Matrix Online Died
It's a good example of what the genre used to be like. Customer Service didn't really exist. Sure it was there an you could submit a "petition" (yah they called it that) You actually had to use the word "petition" uh... Then everytime you put one in you had to type out all your information. The really stupid kind of information. Character name, server, level, profession, all the game data stuff. But the computer hardware software had nothing to do with it. I'm sorry sir can you please type in your characters name an server. You know the whole time this being performed on the same account that you log into the game with. However many years past an they got much better. The kind of customer service you get now is much better. Anyone that tried it back then, if they tried it now they wouldn't believe it. It might not seem like a big deal but it's a large part of maintaining your customer base over the long term. Mxo never really did have that. It was only after it closed that SOE even started to get any customer service skillz at all, much less good.
The Matrix Online died for 3 reasons I reckon.
1. Customer service- It wuz aweful from start to finish. Anyone dealing with them pretty much wanted to leave the game afterwards or certainly was more inclined to never again ask for help from them even if they needed it. This also spreading from person to person while in the game an in certian ranting flames spread across the net. It was common everyday conversation to run into "such an such sucks" "I hate WB" " F*&$ SOE" ** This happening in the game a lot. So I mean if you are trying to have fun playing a game an the players just stand around talking about stuff like this it can't be a good sign. The customer service just served to run people off.
2. Favoritism- The game promoted this somewhat from a person being awarded items which others could not get which probalby sounded cool. The reality is new players come in later on an find out about it. Now when you lose is it because you are not any good or because you joined in the game too late. There were also many ways in every version of the game which allowed exploiting an cheating. These would leak from the support staff an dev's to the players they knew or liked. Others would figure out parts of it on thier own. None of this was shared information. Don't tell anybody... Rampant cheating... Fun to watch, but it runs people off. Fair is fair an this game never was fair that's the answer to the "question". :P One of the masters could roll the lowest attack over an over hitting each time while even excellent fighters would only get about 40% hits.
3. Complexity- Bah geez you spun the camera around with the mouse while running an fighting an used it to open doors or shoot at people. Then bindings that went on for days an days (you know which were all wack by default) Never ending combinations of equipment, Base Stats, and ability load outs. While interlock was great you had to figure out your next move every 4 seconds which is hard to do in the moment. (It totally fried your brains) How to create macros to push buttons for you. Just the simple control of the player character was difficult to grasp. You also had to be rich an had to have friends. So in the longterm new people were run off from it just being difficult.
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