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"We Love Re-Tooling": The History of Damasca

Damasca went through a lot of revamps over the years! In fact it's probably the one thing we did most besides goof off.
Here's the big grand list of every iteration known, based on memory or talking to people who knew.


  • Comet's Arrival
    Winter 1999
    Engine used: Pen and paper, various web tools
    The Staff: Delain (Kirath), Celine
    The Factions: Warriors, Amazons, Clerics, Mages, Explorers, Gathione
    Players who started here: Galphous, Darnaus, Veros
    Website: Tripod
    What was it?: The project that became Damasca! At first, it was a fantasy campaign crafted by Kirath, then called Delain. Players met after school using various web tools and instant messaging programs to come up with new scenarios and have fun.
    What killed it?: Delain changed his nickname to Kirath, and came up with a new version of Comet's Arrival, calling it Damasca. Later on, the web tools were shelved in favor of a new game engine that happened to resemble The Legend of Zelda...

  • Damasca Clan Wars
    Winter 1999 - February 2000
    Code Name: Comet's Arrival
    Engine used: Graal 1.28
    The Staff: Kirath, Celine, Linkson, NightLord
    The Factions: Warriors, Amazons/Archers, Clerics, Mages, Explorers/Rangers, Baddies, Chameleons
    Players who started here: Scythe, Malus, GrimReaper, Dart Zaidyer, ZeroFX, Ceyne, Infamous Freak, Anthrax
    Website: Tripod, Clanpages
    What was it?: The first version of Damasca under Graal 1.28. It briefly ran under a very squarey and boring self-designed world before switching to the canned Hyrule clone later referred to as Dureign. The major focus of the gameplay was the Clan Wars, and later, fighting off the Gathione. It lasted approximately 4 months, during which time we mostly just goofed around making all kinds of useless shops, personal houses and tiny quests. But we didn't care, it was OUR WORLD and not Graal's world, so we could do whatever we wanted and it would be awesome.
    What killed it?: At some point, Kirath and Celine decided a new world would be better than the cluttery Zelda one, and NightLord (somehow) stopped being a reliable host. The re-launch more or less coincided with a website relocation, and the Clan Wars were eventually phased out.

  • Damasca Kingdoms Shard
    March 2000
    Code Name: Damasca Kingdoms
    Engine used: Graal 1.28
    The Staff: Kirath, Darnaus, Galphous
    The Factions: Slea, Salamando, Deseptemi
    Players who started here: Suz
    What was it?: This weird spinoff ran concurrent with the Clan Wars server for a while as an alternate.
    What killed it?: Nobody played it and it was stupid. Slea got backported to Clan Wars near the end of its lifespan, though.

  • Damasca Second Age
    June 2000 - February 2001
    Code Name: d2a
    Engine used: Graal 1.28, 1.31, 1.41, 2.0
    The Staff: Kirath, Celine, Linkson, Mafukie, Dart Zaidyer, Malus, Scythe
    The Factions: Warriors, Explorers, Necromancers, Mages, Clerics
    Players who started here: Gafgarion, Citan, Sacro, Joseph Tarpetal, Bowlich, Kreep, Frozen Pixie, Water Buffalo, DarkSoldier, Millow, Turles, SlayeR, Baron Grimm, Ryban, Trixter, Pickle Weasel, Shaun, NIQ
    Website: GraalNet, Realgamers
    What was it?: A bunch of empty grass fields, mostly. (I kid, I kid!) This was the second most remembered version of Damasca under Graal. Most people would call it Damasca's Golden Age. Linkson spent a lot of time plotting out the gameplay and nuances between Clans for this, and the infamous Basilisk monsters showed up here for the first time. The hosting duties had changed hands to Mafukie, who was able to run a server that kind of mostly worked right. Celine and Malus first created Deuce Town here, and Suz whipped up the first extremely unfair and buggy version of his dreaded puzzle: The Vase And Balance Beam Maze From Hell.
    What killed it?: Kirath had the attention span of a magpie. Eventually he cooked up designs for a new continent that would make more sense than d2a, and a new roster of Kingdoms to go with it. They were half-ready when a certain Fancy European Business GuY showed up and delivered a choice: Empty legal posturing that would nevertheless be hard to shake, or join up as a new member of the official Graal Playerworld line-up. Kirath took the second option. Historians still argue whether that was a good idea or not. Even so, when the server went up sometime in October or November 2000, courtesy of NightLord, d2a was the world we had to work with until TCK was ready.

  • Damasca: The Conflicted Kingdoms
    February 2001 - May 2001
    Code Name: Dlansca, Damasca Final Age
    Engine used: Graal 2.1
    The Staff: Kirath, Kreep, Bowlich, Dart Zaidyer, Trixter, Linkson, Celine
    The Factions: Alkemia, Arnoth, Dyankian/Delthia, Ganiada, Halkonas, Kiyanda
    Players who started here: Water Buffalo 2, Crono, Psyker, Jadis, Victor, Richter, Aeglos, Sukotto, Serberus, Lucreto
    Website: Realgamers (and here's a big chunk from the forum there)
    What was it?: The biggest version of Damasca ever. Three separate overworlds, six Kingdoms and a robust player count to back it all up. (30 on average!) Except it was a huge mess. Kreep and Bowlich pulled WAY ahead on Magrathea, despite Kreep feeling really bitter about the way he was treated by the players and the rest of the staff. Dureign was back, Makarda was clumsily generated from a tool, and we actually got away with it for about three or four months.
    What killed it?: Lots of reasons have been cited: Dureign looked like Hyrule, Makarda was pointless, several Kingdoms had no following at all, et cetera. But the real reason was terrible management. Kirath was almost always busy, unavailable, or tinkering with new ideas. So the rest of us just did what we thought we could and argued a lot. Kreep and Zaidyer didn't get along, and were badly overworked. After an argument, Kreep decided to quit. He also deleted his work while he was at it, which was pretty much most of Magrathea. Kirath reacted very badly to this news, but it became quickly obvious that we had developed a ton of other problems while he was largely a non-presence on the team. So then Kirath quit. Since Zaidyer had been doing most of the high-level administration, he found himself promoted to Captain of a sinking ship. By then, rumors were running rampant about having to pay money to keep a Playerworld going, so with the remaining staff, we talked about it and decided to shut down.

  • Damasca Forever
    May 2001 - 2008
    Code Name: Damasca TCK
    Engine used: Diaftau's Damasca Engine 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6000, .NET
    The Staff: Dart Zaidyer, Diaftau, Celine, Trixter, Bowlich, then EVERYONE
    The Factions: Alkemia, Arnoth, Delthia, Ganiada, Halkonas, Kiyanda, Keldor
    Players who started here: Diaftau, AvPPoW, Anthonius, StarStrider, Jack of None, Cyril, Joan, Spook
    Website: f2s, Xodian, Diaftau's webspace
    What was it?: The endless quest that killed Damasca. We were gonna make our very own game this time, with our very own engine and it was gonna be so awesome, the best ever. How could we lose with such talented staff members, right?
    What killed it?: Ignorance. Arrogance. You could write an essay on this topic alone. The only comparison that sums it up is with Duke Nukem Forever. We ran this project exactly like 3D Realms did, minus the huge amounts of wasted investor dollars. (We really only spent enough to keep the website up.) Diaftau is truly fortunate to have walked away to a real job after this. Near the end, the internet had changed so much that our niche appeal evaporated, along with our time and interest. All hail World of Warcraft now, ye dogs!

  • Damasca Neo
    2002
    Code Name: Electric Boogaloo, probably
    Engine used: Graal 2.1
    The Staff: Celine
    The Factions: A new roster of Clans, details never revealed
    Website: Subforums on Damasca's f2s site
    What was it?: Celine and a few other players realized Damasca Forever wasn't working out fast enough, so they set to work on a revived, smaller version of The Conflicted Kingdoms as a new official Graal Playerworld.
    What killed it?: It was never actually finished, despite making it to the "review" process at Graal HQ, where it was unceremoniously rejected. Celine doesn't even remember it now.

  • Damasca NWN
    2003
    Code Name: NWN Module
    Engine used: Neverwinter Nights Diamond
    The Staff: Aeglos, StarStrider, Sagrim Greather
    What was it?: A badly missed opportunity, that's what! A few of our NWN-savvy forumites decided a Damasca module would be cool, so they started one. It was on track to be a Persistent World-- that is, tricking out the server and DM tools to run an endless game session.
    What killed it?: We sidelined this puppy in favor of DF. Plus, most of us were still poor students at the time, unable to afford the game.

  • Damasca Forever-er
    2008
    Code Name: Damasca TMW Fork
    Engine used: The Mana World custom Damasca fork
    The Staff: Crush, Dart Zaidyer, Bowlich
    What was it?: Right before we could get our act in gear and finish Damasca Forever even if we only had two rocks to rub together, Diaftau finished University and applied to a job with a high-profile game development company, using his work on Damasca as part of his portfolio. He was more or less instantly hired, so we were left with nowhere to go. TMW programmer Crush just sort of appeared from nowhere. He offered to help us out with our very own fork.
    What killed it?: We really wasted Crush's time by not doing one single thing. Turns out we didn't have even one rock to rub together, everybody had already left. with no time on our hands to learn how to work with the sophisticated guts of TMW's engine, that was the end of it.

  • Damasca Classic
    2009
    Code Name: The Damasca Reunion Special

    The Staff: Dart Zaidyer, Scythe, Gafgarion
    The Factions: Delthia, Halkonas, Ganiada

    What was it?: A failed attempt to re-launch with only the finest Conflicted Kingdoms content. An eclectic band of former players returned for this outing, including a few who hadn't been here in forever like Joseph Tarpetal and Gafgarion.
    What killed it?: A disappointly low player count that dipped even lower once the nostalgia had melted off. Attracting a new player base was also next to impossible. All hail Word of Warcraft, ye dogs!