Friday, August 3, 2012

Lower The Curtain. Raise The House Lights.

About five and a half years ago, I was dabbling with blogging using personas different than my own (for reasons that I don't really remember anymore). On a whim, I tried writing a couple of posts from the point of view of the character I was playing in this video game some friends had introduced me to a couple months earlier. For whatever reason, it just clicked for me, and a collection of pixels suddenly came to life in my head, with his own distinct personality, goals, and mannerisms.

Over the years, much has changed. Other characters in game have taken over much of my playing time; some of these developed into characters in their own right, and some did not. Guilds have come and gone. Other blogs I read have come and gone. Readers of this blog have come and gone. One day a reader sent me a short letter thanking me for cheering her up on days when she felt down and a month later, because she is the most awesomest person in the world, I asked her to marry me. And, because she is also the insanest person in the world, she said yes.

But through it all, Ratshag has stayed Ratshag. Slightly more refined and experienced, perhaps, but still tough, loyal, horny, not all that bright, and marching to the beat of a drummer who is very much his own. And now, after a much much longer time than I ever expected this to last, I am ready to say goodbye to him and find new and different outlets for my creative impulses. So yesterday I sent him off just as he would have wanted: shouting defiance in the face of overwhelming odds, and taking the fluggernubber down with him. Enjoy Valhalla, old friend - you've more than earned it.

Don't really know yet what directions my newly-freed creative juices will flow in, exactly, but I'm hoping to do some longer fiction writing in universes where the story isn't constrained by a video game company's motivation to maximize profit. I'd also like to get back into photography, and maybe even start drawing characters again. We shall see. Hopefully, there will be a lot more activity at my writing site and my tumblr. And if not? I'm okay with that.

I'd like to close by saying that it has been an absolute joy to share this journey with all of you. I wish you all the very best, in whatever form that takes.

Michael

75 comments:

Redbeard said...

Damn, man. I'm going to miss you.

Make sure you pop in from time to time.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much Mike for sharing your creativity and these stories over the years. Your approach helped influence my own enjoyment of WoW and even after I had moved on from the game, I've continued to follow your group of characters.

Much luck in what comes next, I'll be watching and would love to see some longer pieces.

Zwingli said...

I'm feeling incredibly sad at this moment, more than I should. It is kind of the same feeling when BRK stopped hiw wow blog.

It's been said that the pain we hurt as much as we love. In that case, know that I've thoroughly enjoyed your blog over these years. It has been an utter joy, many LOLs.

Thank You, Michael. May your future writing bring you and your readers much joy. I know that you've done so in my own life with this little space in the blogosphere.

Zwingli

Pike said...

Best of luck to you, Rats. I'm glad I'll continue seeing you on Twitter and Tumblr and do let me know if you ever need a cute little picture done of something!

Elise said...

I had anticipated this announcement after reading his final story.

The adventures and insights of Ratshag and Company are one of the few WOW related sites that I continued to read almost two years after quitting the game.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing where you go from here.

Kayeri said...

Well, if you get the urges with your new creative directions to share a little with us, you know I'll be around to enjoy it. You have so very much to offer.

I was speechless when I read the last post, so much so I couldn't even comment. But my WoW journey took a major pause back in December and hasn't resumed yet. I think it will at some point, just not sure when, so I completely understand when it's time to move on.

My current exploration is in swtor, which I'm very much enjoying right now. The stories are so rich, but give you plenty of wiggle room for your own character's personality. And who knows what the future holds? =)

PhiLogical said...

I have always enjoyed your blog and writing. Thank you.

Rev said...

I, uh, really don't know what all to say. I will definitely say that I will miss this blog tremendously. I came to WoW very late and wish I had been around for much earlier days of the game and your blog. I guess the main thing to say is thank you so much for creating all the personalities and stories that I've seen here. It has been a consistent day-brightening and entertaining read. Good luck in all of your endeavors, and please give us a heads up on new projects and such.

Very much thanks to you.

Saif said...

Best of you luck in your future endeavors. :)

Grimmtooth said...

It has been said many times by myself that this blog was one of the very short list of blogs that got me interested in writing my own. Of those, only one now remains, and Hydra's been pretty quiet as of late, so who knows?

It also has to be said that the flavor of mine own was greatly influenced by this one, which I have also mentioned in the past, and which I say again, because, well, blame must be firmly affixed.

It has been a very great pleasure following the exploits of Ratters and his gang. Thank you so much.

/raises tankard
/tosses it back
/falls off chair

Syl said...

Ows! even if WoW lost me as a customer quite some time ago, I've always considered bloggers like yourself part of my 'hood'. you always stood out to me particularly for having created such a unique persona for yourself. man, I will miss reading your hilarious comments in orcish in the blogosphere - had me smiling and laughing countless time! :)

alas, 5 and a half years is a respectable time and it feels like that orc deserves his rest. all the best with your future projects and indeed, I still hope to read you around sometime. take care,

Syl =)

Chris Pearson said...

I still remember Galertruby's eloquent comments on the finer points of BC play. To date, I've never read anything funnier.
Thanks for extending the game experience to the blogosphere and making it all that more enjoyable for me. All the best!

laura said...

I don't play wow anymore, and haven't for a year and a half but I still followed Ratters cause he made me laugh. I'll have to make note of your other sites and keep and eye out. :)

/salute

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great reading over the years. I quit WoW years ago but couldn't unsubscribe from your blog. I look forward to reading non Warcraft related fiction from you in the future on your other site.

Again, Thank you.

The Godmother said...

See my Blog tomorrow :D

Baade said...

I have been a reader for a long time, though I rarely comment. But I would like to thank you for the years of entertainment you have provided, and I look forward to whatever future forms your creativity will take.

Shoryl said...

Goodnight, Ratters.

Michael, I've been awed by your creativity, by how well you bring your character's lives to the fore in your writing.

I've also been humbled by how eloquent you can sometimes be with only a few simple words; and how down to earth and caring you show yourself to be through many of your paragraph posts.

I'll miss seeing you here, but I'm off to bookmark your other sites to be sure I can keep up with whatever else might be happening.

Unknown said...

crap! I discovered your blog only about a year ago, and I have been enjoying it thouroughly since - I will miss Ratters, I'll peek around the archives to get my fix from time to time! :)
good luck in your next endeavours and I'll certainly follow you around (in a non-creepy way, of course, ehem...)

Steve Hall said...

Sorry to see Ratshag bowing out, but if you need a place for encouragement, assistance, and good friends to help those creative juices flow, there are a couple or three (at least) people you know at Saucy Ink. We'd be thrilled if you'd stop in (and I know I speak for a certain gun-lovin' dwarf chick and Ego the Priestess).

Khol Drake said...

Hm. Can't think of anything appropriate to say just now. So, I'll just say thanks. To you, Michael, and to Ratters, Mouse (one day...), Kinna, Pali and all the rest, thank you for your creativity, your humour and wit. And doubly thank you for being part of the inspiration to start my own little corner of the intarwebtubes. I wish you the best of luck in everything you choose to turn your hand to...not that you really need it, with your talent.

Nightravyn said...

I know how you feel, moving on to other things, yet still having the need for the creative part of you to speak out. You were one of the first to welcome me into the WoW blogging fold, and one of the funniest. You have that sometimes rare ability to not only recognize the absurd and laugh at it, but also revel in it while never coming off as "mean". Thank you for being a gentleman, even in the roughest of times. We salute you. /bow

Jacob said...

Thank you so much for all the good posts over the years; I've always looked forward to a new post here.

Siha said...

You'll be much missed. I can't think of any other blogger who's made me laugh and cry so much, in near equal amounts.

Good luck, and may Ratters enjoy Valhalla -- he's earnt it!

Anonymous said...

You brought the Horde to life for me.

Going to miss your backstories to the quests :(

xxx Success in whatever endeavour you approach - snort now would someone translate that to Ratters please ;) ?

Astoreth said...

Thank you. Thank you for sharing Ratshag with us, and all of his thoughts and adventures. Thank you for bringing these colorful characters to life, for giving them voices. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

This blog was one of a handful that motivated me to start my own. I aspire for it to be as regularly entertaining as this one. Someday I'll get there. ;-) In the meantime, I look forward to reading your other works!

Shorel'aran, Ratshag. You've earned your rest. You will be missed.

Tahko said...

Ratters/Michael,

Thanks so much for sharing. Like others, even when I didn't play WoW, I read and really enjoyed the blog and the stories.

Good luck in your future endeavors.

Steve (Taconite of Thrall)

Tahko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spinksville said...

It hasn't really felt the same since Wrath. Good luck with wherever you go, it's been fun and you'll be missed.

Markus said...

Another great WoW blogger bites the dust... Thanks Ratters and the crew, it's been fun. Now I'll update my feed list with your other blog, just as I have done with others before...

Take care!

Sephrenya said...

Oh my. That made me cry. I can completely understand and appreciate everything you say, but boy will I miss your fun, your sense of what it all means in this mad world. Your comments on my little blog were at times a light in the darkness. I will never, ever forget the one of your that made me giggle so much - your date with Jaina. I can't see her as Blizz try to portray her any more.

Then, the Vyp story - a complete masterpiece.

I wish you and Julie all the very very best for the future wherever it takes you.

Hugs Seph xxx

obscurefox said...

Thanks for the great storys, I'll miss new ones, but surely whatever you will be writing in the future will be great too. Still it's sad to see someone leave.

arcanewordsmith said...

I heard the news via The Godmother. Was very surprised at the news, but I entirely understand.

You were always a great read and your company was always appreciated when you (and your daughter) could make the Laid Back Raids.

All the best Michael.

Stormy said...

I raise my mug o' dwarven stout in your general direction, Ratters. You're a good egg.

Night said...

Sorry to see ya go, but excited for more Aleksander Liyosh :) See yas around

Vallani said...

Well, that orc finally did it. Ratters, may you find endless supply of exotic valkyries in Valhalla to show off your amazing virility; it's been a very long journey, my ol' friend, and you really deserved it.

/remove hat and bow

Mike, good luck in whatever you doing; this (blog)world is in need of a story-weaver such as you.

Hydra said...

I am glad you have gifted the community with all the time you have. We are better for it.

Don't be a stranger.

bravetank said...

Will miss you. Always appreciated the wisdom Ratshag shared with me in my blog comments. I learnt a great deal. Thank you.

Navimie said...

I think I echo everyone's opinion when I say that the blogosphere will be a little poorer.

Thanks for the great reads over the years.

Targeter said...

Happy trails, Ratshag. You were a unique, brilliant voice in the blogosphere.

Kadomi said...

Ratters! I will miss him, for sure. He was such a unique personality, an orc after Kadomi's heart.

It's a huge loss to the WoW blogosphere, IMHO. You were one of the few voices left from a time when I started WoW blogging myself. I lost my enjoyment of the game but I never lost my enjoyment of your blog and Ratter's crew.

Please keep writing! Will be sure to read your writing blog.

StaggerLee said...

Bugger .. ... This well-written little gem of humour will be sorely missed.

Thanks for sharing

Cryptography said...

Thankyou for the brilliant writing. As others have said you've brought Azeroth and the Horde to life for me.

Best wishes for your future endevours and I'll be sure to check in regularly!

Jessica said...

I don't have tumbler, but I've added your writing blog to my reader and hope to keep following your future creative activities there. I'm postive you'll need an outlet.

Thank you for all the joy you've brought us. We've shared quite a few pints over the years and it's always been a pleasure.

Hugs from a certain pigtailed gnome!

SpiritusRex said...

Mike, thank you for sharing your writing talents over the years with the rest of us to enjoy. Since sharing a beverage or two at the Inn a certain pig-tailed mage owned a few years gone by, it's truly been my pleasure to follow the adventures of your crew of crazy characters. By your words alone, you've given life to pixelated fantasy and enriched our lives with your ability to do so in a kind-hearted and humorous way. I wish you and Julie well in all that you both will do in the future. Thank you.

Scott a/k/a SpiritusRex

Ted A. said...

Like many others, I continued to follow your blog long after I lfet WoW. Your characters are wonderful, vibrant, and real. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Best of luck!

Ted aka Honorshammer

Marylin said...

But bu..bubu... but... Ratters!! You're the only WoW blog I've read throughout it all! I'll miss hearing about how his adventures are going. Really will. :(
/hugs from Softi

BethE said...

Thank you. Just...thank you.

redcow said...

Thanks for your many wonderful contributions to the blogiverse :) Ratshag died a hero *sniffle* Best of luck to you in whatever comes next!

Angelya said...

Thank you so much for sharing your writing with us over the years.. I've always looked forward to seeing your new posts pop up in my reader :) Best of luck in wherever the muse takes you next!
Ps. My inner orc has lost her hero *cry*

~Nikki said...

Like many others, I continued to follow your stories after my time in 'the game' came to an end. I really enjoyed reading your posts--thank you for that! Please keep writing and please let us know where (I've greatly enjoyed the Aleksander Liyosh bits from your other blog).

Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing!! ^_^

Jezrael said...

Oh Ratters :/ I shall miss your posts! Reading your blog over the years has been intimately tied to my experience of the game and the game community.

All the best!

Fimlys said...

We'll miss you man! Thanks for all of your support and good luck on your future endeavors.

Rades said...

Didn't really know what to say at first Ratters. So sad, but what a great way to go out. Great reading your writing over the years, will miss the escapades of my fellow orc. Lok'tar.

Vidyala said...

Damn. We are going to miss you. I have the utmost respect for your decision, though, and for your willingness to admit to yourself that it's time to move on. (I think it sounds easier than it actually is).

All the best to you. I will follow along in your other endeavors for sure!

Zellviren said...

To say you and I don't see eye to eye would be an understatement; but that shouldn't imply that I didn't enjoy reading your work and typically enjoying it.

A lot.

The best of luck for future endeavours, and my best wishes to Julie - I'll keep following her counter for as long as it stays up.

Kamalia said...

Thank you for all the amazing, wonderful, inspired and inspiring stories you've told. I'll miss having new ones to look forward to. May you fare well in your next writing adventures!

Rilandune said...

Best of luck in your next projects!! Looking forward to seeing more things to come from you!

Stabs said...

Thank you for your excellent writing and best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Bright Blessings. I always enjoyed your blog.

Dwism said...

/Bow

Sedna said...

Thank you for sharing your incredible talent with us. Your work is that rare and wonderful mix of hilarious and deeply touching- it's been a pleasure to read. Looking forward to seeing what's next for you!

Darraxus said...

It was a great run man. Enjoy life.

Julie said...

Thank you to all of you for your good thoughts. I will miss his writing as Ratshag just as much as many of you. Take care and best wishes to all.

Donnie said...

Awesome blog, awesome characters. Michael, thank you for the years of blog posts on Ratters and the crew. My feed-reader will not be the same without your posts.

foreveranoob said...

Sad to see you go, but I wish you the best in whatever direction life leads you.

theanorak said...

Bravo sir.

You are one of a *very* small group of wowbloggers (past and present) who have managed to be distinctive. NMR has needed no byline, no graphics, no signature to be instantly recognisable.

Good luck with your future projects, whatever they may be, and *thank you* for a lot of smiles and laughs and a distressing number of "I wish *I'd* thought to write that" moments.

Best wishes to you both

Ano

theanorak said...

Bravo sir.

You are one of a *very* small group of wowbloggers (past and present) who have managed to be distinctive. NMR has needed no byline, no graphics, no signature to be instantly recognisable.

Good luck with your future projects, whatever they may be, and *thank you* for a lot of smiles and laughs and a distressing number of "I wish *I'd* thought to write that" moments.

Best wishes to you both

Ano

Kusamoto said...

Mike,

I can't tell you how much not being able to read the conyinuing adventures of Ratters & Co. on the bad days (and the good ones) is going to affect things for me. But that's what good writers do, and you are one of the better ones I've seen. I've actually picked writing for fun back up, in large part, because of your blog here. Happy trails, my friend. ANd I look forward to Ratshag: The Book (you know you want to).

Lon (Kusamoto, Katsuko, and Tsurii, formerly of the Silver Hand Horde. Fighting 107s huah)

Tahko said...

Its been 21 days and I still keep checking back regularly in with the hope that you have changed your mind and written something new.

criscopolo said...

I started reading your blog sometime soon after you started it, but slowly stopped when I quit playing Wow almost three years ago. It was always a joy to read your stuff, and I wish you the best of luck in the future.

Siobhann said...

Thanks for all the smiles. I'll miss Ratters, Maurice's singing, and the Feral & Pali adventures. Your blog was great fun and I'll be looking forward to that book.

Kauket said...

Thanks for the great characters, stories, and style.

Best wishes,
Kauket

Shy said...

Oh man...I come back to blog and one of my favourites...

sigh

I do wish you all the best and hope that you will keep the sense of humor you have shown in your posts throughout your life. If you can laugh a little at what happens around you life is so much more fun.

Thank you for writing and inspiring.

Shy~

franck bushbaum said...

stumbled upon this blog one drunken night about 2 years ago, decided to stay.. sad to see you go man.

franck bushbaum said...

sad to see you go