How do you say good-bye to someone who has been an integral part of Avault since before you can remember? You could do a sappy retrospective of their body of work, add an orchestral soundtrack, and bring a tear to the eye of everyone reading. You could write a brief farewell and announcement of their departure for their fans. Or you could say nothing and quietly hope that no one notices the change in the masthead.
But what if the body of their work can be summed up with an acronym and a word? “DRM bad!” What if they have no fans and only adversaries? What if the sudden rantless silence is too much to go unnoticed? Yes, the rumors are true. Doug Lombardi’s Valve has swooped in and captured the one and only (thank the gods) Tsar Alaric Teplitsky.
And while we honestly wish Alaric nothing but the best, he’s stirred up too much controversy over the years to simply let him go with a handshake and cheery good-bye. Instead, we wanted to allow each writer a free shot at him, right out here on the front page. Unfortunately, only one was brave enough to let me actually see what they intend ahead of time, but the rest have vowed to chime in below in the comments (which I hope I’m fast enough to moderate).
What follows comes from the fingers of Matthew Booth…
When I first started writing reviews for The Adrenaline Vault, I couldn’t stand Alaric. Now, almost a year later, he still finds a way to upset me on a regular basis. I’m not sure if it’s the smug, professionally done portrait on his Avault posts, his overwhelming hatred for practically everything, or the popularity of his posts that upsets me most. I suspect my uneasiness with his work is a combination of all three of these things. Regarding his negativity, Alaric hates more games than the number of games I’ve played in my lifetime. In fact, Alaric hates games he doesn’t even know exist.
To keep things fair, I might not relate to his bottomless negativity, but darn it, I respect the man. Alaric is passionate about what he does and I think a lot of his criticisms stem from him having higher expectations than a majority of the population. When it comes to gaming, I don’t expect much so I’m rarely angered by a game. Whereas Alaric, my polar opposite in most things, hasn’t lost his desire to hold everything to a nearly impossible standard. He reminds me that keeping my expectations low reduces my disappointment in the gaming industry.
Alaric, we may disagree on most things, but I appreciate you having a hand in bringing me back to PC gaming, and always being there to tell me I’m wrong (even when I’m right). I hope Valve is ready to step their game up if for no other reason than to avoid one of your infamous rants. Don’t let us West Coast hippies turn you soft!
In the end, Alaric may be a royal pain in the donkey, but you can’t help but love him. He makes sure to keep me on my toes regardless of the hour, and is always willing to plead his point or toss out ideas at 1am. (Make what you will of that regarding his alleged social life.) He’s also not afraid of hard work, and has proven more than once an ability to make the impossible happen. I’m going to miss our late night chats, our arguments, but thankfully not our friendship (I threatened him with grievous bodily harm should he fail to drop by now and then).
Fair winds and following seas, my noble adversary. You will be missed.
Now, do I send Doug a thank-you note or a sympathy card?