March 9, 2010

The Phantom of the server -prologue-

IN WHICH THE AUTHOR OF THIS SINGULAR WORK INFORMS THE READER HOW HE ACQUIRED THE CERTAINTY THAT THE SERVER GHOST REALLY EXISTED

The ghost in the server really existed. He was not, as was long believed, a system bug, a glitch, a virus, or a creature of the imagination of the artists, a superstition of the players, or a product of the absurd and impressionable brains of the noobs, the mike-spammers, the eight year-old wannabes, the single celled leet hackers, the griefers, or the clueless boomers. Yes, he existed in the code and on the screens, although he assumed the complete appearance of a real phantom; that is to say, of a spectral shade.

When I was called in to service Blizzard’s servers, I immediately started multiple heuristic scans and I was at once struck by the surprising coincidences between the phenomena ascribed to the "ghost" and the most extraordinary and fantastic tragedy that ever excited the hearts of premium account players; and I soon conceived the idea that this tragedy might reasonably be explained by the phenomena in question. The events do not date back more than three months; and it would not be difficult in the least to find players that are still active on the message boards and forums, players upon whose word one could absolutely rely, who would remember as though they happened yesterday the mysterious and dramatic conditions that attended the hacking of Christine Dae’s account, the disappearance of person who played under the alias of Vicomte de Chagny, and the corruption of the NPC called Count Philippe, whose body was found badly pixelized one morning on the bank of the lake that exists in the lower cellars of his manor house in Ironforge. But none of those witnesses had until that day thought that there was any reason for connecting the more or less legendary figure of the server’s ghost with that terrible story.

The truth was slow to enter my mind, puzzled by an inquiry that at every moment was complicated by events which, at first sight, might be looked upon as buggy or even virus related; and more than once I was within a click of abandoning a task in which I was exhausting myself in the hopeless pursuit of a vain image. At last, I received the proof that my presentiments had not deceived me, and I was rewarded for all my efforts on the day when I acquired the certainty that the server ghost was more than a mere bug.