The History of RPGClassics
The OnionKid Returns (August 2002):
RPGClassics had just settled into our latest digs, and had nearly finished the final touches on the move to Rackshack, when another familiar face from RPGC's past popped up to set in motion large change. Previously in our history, the cameo appearances of older staffers like Rast, Blizzard and Bahamut were instrumental in propelling major site change, such as during The Firing as RPGC ridded itself of its old webmaster, ShaheenJim. This time, a liked long-thought vanished older staffer, OnionKid, returned to visit the site. Upon his arrival he was horrified to see the inundations of pop-ups and banner ads RPGC was forced to use in order to help its financial solvency, since our server bills were now rocketing up to over a hundred dollars a month. He would have none of it.
So on August 5th, 2002, he stormed into Merlin's ICQ window, stating that these rampant pop-ups would in the long run kill off any of the prestige and user-base RPGC had been accumulating over the years. He then offered to pay for the server's bill, for at least the current month and likely more. Merlin, increasingly attracted to OnionKid's idea, offered to split the server cost with him. And thus, Merlin struck off the Focusin pop-up advertisements RPGC had been using since the fall of 2001, which were becoming increasingly offensive and intrusive anyway, on August 6th. Later that month Merlin signed RPGC up for some ad banners from Aaddzz, but those would not last long either.
Summer and Fall Happenings (August - October, 2002):
Despite the advertising changes going on, the site continued to roll. Crotanks finished another shrine, on Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku, on August 9th. Just three days later Cless Alvein, along with new staffers Ezboarder and Tenchimaru Draconis, completed and unveiled their shrine on Shadowrun for the Super Nintendo. Then, the very next day Red Comet finished his latest shrine, on Z Gundam: Away to the Newtype. Continuing with the flurry of activity, Rogue Paladin Trian unveiled yet another shrine on Monstania, on August 16th.
On the 19th of August RPGClassics decided to revisit their old charter to give it a facelift. Merlin made the necessary changes, additions, and deletions that had became necessary, the staff approved it, and the Second Charter was quickly announced, replacing the old one. August closed out with a handful of staffers (Dalton of Zeal, The Duke, Crotanks, and Ezboarder) finishing staff bios, while not a major addition this helped increase the percentage of staff with more info about them available.
At the beginning of September, RPGC had grown tired of the frequent amount of netsplits and other annoying disturbances that had plagued their chat server, Webnet. So, after investigating several chat options, they moved to a new one, Lynxprowler. But shortly after switching servers Lynx ran into major stability issues and the RPGC chat room was in flux for quite some time until everything stabilized. Later on between November and December RPGC briefly explored moving to Zircon.net, but quickly jumped back to where Lynx had relocated them (whitewinged-angel.com) when Zircon proved unsatisfactory.
Then, on September 9th, Deedly joined the staff with his shrine on King's Bounty and on the 16th Hiryuu switched the newsletter sign-up method from the previous manual one to an automated sign-up system. Then, on the 29th of September, Epicgamer was the latest staffer to join RPGC, with his shrine on River City Ransom.
October was a rather slow month update-wise due to most of the staff being occupied with school, but on the 25th a major update did occur. RPGC finally decided to eliminate all of its remaining advertising and go ad-free, there had been some banners and pop-ups being used that Merlin removed. Later on Zeppelin decided that he too could help pay for the server, alleviating OnionKid's and Merlin's current costs.
On the 27th however there was some more site changes, this in the form of new shrines. Dalton of Zeal completed his Little Ninja Brothers shrine, and also a long-time site visitor and oftentimes site-antagonist MegamanX2K finally joined RPGClassics with a shrine on Arcana. RPGC then commemorated Halloween as they did the previous year, this time with an orange and black themed layout. The day before Halloween Orakio completed yet another shrine, this one on Phantasy Star 1.
Along Came Sony (November - mid-December, 2002):
November kicked off with Orian joining the site with his shrine on Wild Arms 2 on the second of November. The next day, Faetan, a visitor who was beloved by most of the community and who had been writing short stories and creating artwork based on RPGC-personalities, joined the site to take over the Fanart section; Nikki Neko was retired since she had run out of time/desire to work on it. Then, on November sixth Cidolfas unveiled his latest shrine, on Bahamut Lagoon, and on the 19th Hiryuu unveiled his game translation subsite, the mysteriously named HTI.
The biggest moment in this period of RPGC's history occurred in the middle of November. Sony Computer Entertainment of America, yes that Sony, contacted Merlin, asking if we'd be interested in running a contest for the upcoming release of Wild Arms 3. Not only would we be given 5 copies to hand out to contest winners, but also another copy would be sent out for us to review. Obviously after little debate we jumped on this opportunity, and after some discussion over what kind of contest to run, RPGC began its first contest on November 9th, 2002; Sinistral and Kagon would review the extra copy of Wild Arms 3 that we were sent.
The month of November rounded out with a few happenings. First, d_Galloway joined the site with his shrine on Quest for Glory 5; and Spoonybard, another old staffer from RPGC's past, managed to (easily) convince RPGC to host his webcomic (OnlineLife) on our server. Later on yet another new staffer was added to the RPGC lists, Stonerocker with his shrine on Star Tropics 2: Zoda's Revenge. Orakio and Black Ninja also completed their shrine on Lunar: The Silver Star. Early to mid-December updates included Deedly deciding to take over the languishing RPGC Games section started by Mr. Saturn (before he came up with a bad case of Real Life Syndrome), he began work on that section on the 2nd.
The 3rd Millennial Fair and Beyond (Late December 2002 - April 2003):
RPGClassics decided to continue its increasingly annual tradition of our Millennial Fair, a period of time from slightly before Christmas until slightly after New Year's where we try to unveil a flurry of new site additions, such as shrines, new sections, etc. This year Kagon organized our soiree. It kicked off with his own Dragon Warrior 5 shrine, and Ryuuhi also unveiled a long-awaited shrine on Xenogears.
Amongst the other new shrine unveilings during the Fair include WoodenLeg_10's joining of the site with his shrine on Hydlide, ClothHat's joining the staff with his shrine on Fallout 1, Crotanks completed shrines on Orphen: Scion of Sorcery and Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden 2, d Galloway unveiled his shrine on Quest for Glory 3, and Kagon and Skankin' Garbage finished their shrine on Saga Frontier 2. In all nine new shrines were added during the Millennial Fair.
There was also a multiplicity of other site updates to celebrate the Millennial Fair. Sephiroth Katana added a MOD archive subsite, and Rirse and Orakio both updated their own subsites as well. Other sections of the site and other shrines received updates too during the MF; such as the RPG review and soundtrack review sections. The 100th Mailbag was posted, the winners of the Wild Arms 3 Contest were announced, even the site history got updated during the Millennial Fair! :P
But the largest and likely most important update to come out of the Millennial Fair is the long-awaited resurrection of the RPGClassics Database. Mazrim Taim and Ackbar (who would join the staff as a co-maintainer of it) had been working on the Database for months, RPGC's expansive library of hundreds upon hundreds of RPG walkthroughs and other information, and its final completion would be triumphantly unveiled on New Year's Day, 2003.
RPGC had just wrapped up a successful Millennial Fair and was now focusing its attention on the New Year; little did we know it would be our most difficult yet. On January 5th Sir Percival joined the staff by co-maintaining the Paladin's Quest shrine with Hiryuu. Ray Argor joined the staff also at the end of January with the Battle of Olympus shrine on the 29th; Ryuuhi co-created it with him. Behemoth then joined the staff with a shrine on Legend of the Dragoon on February 14th. The staff spent the remainder of January and February relatively quiet, many sections of the site received various updates (like subsites, the Game Reviews section, the Fanfic and Fanart sections, etc.) but there weren't any major debuts or changes; we had used up a lot of update-ammo during the Fair.
Then on March 13, 2003 Teran unveiled another shrine, for the PC game The Bard's Tale. The rest of March was pretty light in terms of significant updates, but on April 5th Walhalla joined the staff with a shrine on Grandia 2, and d_Galloway completed a shrine on Quest for Glory 2 around the same time frame. Orian unfortunately elected to quit the staff at some point in March or April, giving his Wild Arms 2 shrine to Dalton of Zeal to maintain. As the staff got ready to celebrate our second "Neo-RPGC" birthday on the 10th we were unaware that a number of problems would appear on the horizon that would give our site its greatest trouble since April of 2001.