July 24th, 2017
There is a Discord server still running where former Casualites still reside. To connect click here. You'll need Discord installed to chat with them. I plan on poking my head in as time allows.
July 19th, 2017
It's been (literally) almost a year since I've visited this website, or even thought about RO. A number of you have been contacting me as of the past few months asking if I will open cRO or another RO server again in the future, and/or asking for the server files so that you could open up a remake of CasualRO or a similarly structured server. While I've been more than happy to give out the files (as they are, they require a great deal of recoding to make them work with the emulator in its current iteration), the short answer to the former question is simply: I don't know.
As (most) of you knew, I was an undergraduate student finishing up a degree and was heading off to begin my graduate studies. As of today's date (7/19/17) I am entering my final year of a dual-Master's degree program, teach full-time, and am constantly either working to improve my own skill set or completing research to better support my students. In addition to my education, several events took place in the past year in my personal life which also distracted me from my online presence, from health issues of my own to those of an immediate family member, to a former close friend being nearly expelled for his actions against myself and another student, my life has been hectic and truly a whirlwind the past twelve months.
RO was, and always will be an important part of my development as a human being and an adult, and while I've long since had time to focus my time and attention to the game/community as a whole, I do genuinely miss it, but know that I am, in several ways, unwelcome back into the community after essentially turning my back on this project to focus all of my attention to my "real life" endeavors. The skill set I was able to develop over the course of a decade of devoting the majority of my time to operating RO servers has proven invaluable and has afforded me several great opportunities as a result. Dealing with unruly community members, working to resolve bugs (to the best of my ability), and coordinating efforts with a volunteer staff from all walks of life from all over the world, was a challenging but rewarding experience.
No, I do not believe that I will personally run another RO server again in the future unless a) I feel that I can devote the necessary amount of time to doing so, and b) I have a large enough staff that is willing to put forth effort to provide a quality experience to the playerbase. At present, I do not feel as though I am capable of devoting enough of my time or resources to provide the quality experience that I would myself expect to find in a game server, and as such, I have no immediate plans in the foreseeable future to re-open or to open a new server. While, yes, I do have an RO server running (that I've affectionally dubbed "PrivateRO: You can't sit with us.") that I jump on daily, it's a barebone Hercules install where I tinker around when I'm feeling nostalgic and need to re-immerse myself into an environment that brought me an incredible amount of joy over the years. There aren't many custom NPCs (as of right now, none are actually loaded in since they all require recoding to work with the current Hercules version), and none of the custom content that made up my servers in the past exists on it. I digress, yes, I miss RO, as many of you have shared with me you miss our server as well, but I don't have the time to make things work again as they once were.
The reason I'm writing this explanation is in response to a thread by Fraterna, a long-time supporter of my servers (having been on my first server, SerenityRO, MANY years ago) where he boldly addressed me directly. Unfortunately, I didn't actually see that thread until this morning. In fact, no one to my recollection except Fraterna ever addressed me directly asking me to give an explanation as to my disappearance from the server. To Fraterna directly: Thank you for writing what you did nearly a year ago. I wish I had seen it sooner. All I can offer is a sincere apology, but I know that words mean little, especially where as deep of devotion as you yourself demonstrated over the course of 6+ years. The community members deserved better than I was able to provide and deserved an explanation of my departure. In retrospect, I wish I had just passed the server over to someone else's capable hands, but having attempted to do so in the past always resulted in disaster, so I simply left Casual, Hercules, rAthena, and the RO scene all together. That was immature of me to do, and unbecoming of the person I wish to be as well as the reputation I built for myself over the years in the RO community.
To anyone reading this who played Casual or any of my other servers over the years, thank you. You enriched my life so much more than you will ever know by allowing me a creative outlet to discover who I was, and to explore my imagination. Some of the best years of my adult life, and certainly the most important from a developmental standpoint, were spent running around in-game, getting to know, literally hundreds if not thousands of you over the years, and creating content for you all. Even with all of the support tickets that made me want to pour water on my motherboard or the people like Marinia who would exploit bugs, or Asmodeus trolling people on @main, I am thankful to have had the experience I did, and am thankful for our time spent together.
Who knows what the future holds in store for any of us. My parting wish for each of you is to pursue what makes you happy with a ferocity and passion that makes others envious. Only one life is promised to each of us, and so I encourage you to make the most of it, find the silver lining in all situations, and most importantly, be thankful for each day that you're given.
If you'd ever like to reconnect, feel free to send an e-mail to eiphes[at]casualro.com or jtynne[at]casualro.com
With sincere gratitude, until soon,
Eiphes, jTynne, Serenity, Justin