Our incredibly humble start began in a text based nation simulation game. If you're not familiar, it's quite alright. Back in 2006 a Texan named Kevin Marks created a spin-off of NationStates (a game that author Max Barry created to promote his books). Fast forward to 2014 and lets just say that spin-off wasn't doing so well. A college student named Alex Winchell (a guy who has a questionable fondness for sheep) created a "direct competitor" that was, in the eyes of the few hundred players who play it religiously, truly better in every regard. Greene did not disagree with the assessment, and Mr. Marks' game was also struggling with activity. Joining Politics and War at the behest of a couple of fellow players, Greene was invited into a fledgling alliance (a group of players who commit their nations to a common goal, think real world NATO, only not really). The third member of the Celestial Union, he was named leader by the alliance's creator, and Greene's brand of cult-like leadership gave rise to what you see today. Of course it wasn't immediate. Duat was founded, coinciding with Greene's ascendancy, on October 26, 2014. We also use the date October 28th since that's when he really assumed the position of leadership. But we're going to need to move it along. Acquiring some great members was absolutely a must for success, so that's what Greene did. First with Rob, and then with Mikey.
We need to clarify: this isn't an effort to Stalinize (revisionist history) our past, merely summarize it heavily. You have to realize that Duat existing in Politics and War from 2014 to 2017. Three full years of playing a text based nation simulation. Three full years of making back-room deals and amassing amazing fortunes in a text based nation simulation game. If you think we didn't have lives, you'd probably be pretty darned close to the truth. Anyway, circling back. With the domination of a certain sphere (think continents) we changed our name to the Cobalt Clique. It matched our personality better while simultaneously evoking the dominion we exerted. During the Cobalt period, we began to really experiment with community structures. This is also when the cultist mentality really started taking hold. For our one-year anniversary, Greene stepped down for a few months to allow another member to rise to the forefront of in-game politics. Let's just say... that didn't end well. He ended up having to keep active in the backroom wheeling and deeling to avoid the alliance's collapse, and he resumed formal, official leadership five months later.
The realization, however, that publicly the damage was done came over Greene, Rob, and a large portion of our community. Determined to save us, Greene ordered the Great Scatter. This was basically where our alliance publicly dissolved and our entire membership sought new alliances across the spectrum of the treaty web. Notice how serious we took this game? This is going to be a pattern for us.
Following the Scatter, we silently planned our resurgence, and a few months later we reconvened as the Land of Confusion. Mikey and Rob came up with the name, and Greene endorsed it. Rob would assume the position as leader of the community allowing Greene to focus more on a pet project of his. Several months later, Mikey would take his turn as head of the Land of Confusion, before returning leadership to Greene. In case you hadn't noticed, there's a lot of Greene involved in leadership. If you're wondering why, scroll back up and look at what the page's title is.
During the Confused Period, Duat's community flourished. We grew, we started really trimming off the lackluster concepts and drilling down on what worked for us. A meeting of the leaders took place, and the community voted to rebrand ourselves... the Lands of Duat. The idea for Duat was to separate ourselves completely (publicly) from the foreign affairs of the game. We chose instead to act and operate almost exclusively underground and behind the scenes. At the height, we controlled approximately 40% of all of the money in the game, and Greene invested heavily in several player-run banks and economic initiatives. Promoting Duat every step of the way was integral. Nevertheless, our community was getting burned out from Politics and War.
Sparking a war as a pretext to quit the game doesn't seem like a good idea, but it was sure fun! We picked the most "serious, hardcore" alliances and pitted them against each other. The concept of pixel hugging was never our thing, and we wanted to impose our will one final time before we took our gog and went home. Having successfully lined up the destruction of several of our most disliked opponents, we walked. Almost every member deleted their accounts altogether. 20% of the game's wealth was destroyed instantly with the nations being deleted. An additional 10% was redistributed to aid in the destruction, and the last of our wealth was squirreled away, eventually being deleted voluntarily.
Having thrown off the yoke of oppression, Duat set to work restructuring ourselves as a general gaming community. We actively set up communities or bases of operation in twenty six different games. Our ranks swelled from just twelve members at the time of our transcendence to over eighty members in just six months. And then Greene and Mikey went on vacation at the same time. Rob needed to step back to spend time with his new wife and his new job, the upper echelons of Duat were effectively decimated in a matter of about a week. And then... Greene's ego struck: hard. Refusing to accept that we had over-expanded, Greene not only doubled down, but continued trying to bring new games into the fold. He went so far as to encourage a cabal of D&D players to set up shop and operate out of Duat.
The massive expansion? It didn't end well, and in August 2018, Duat underwent the coldest winter Texas has ever experienced. The community was effectively depleted, the activity disappeared, and we went on a hiatus. Three months to the day, Mikey and Greene began the arduous process of rebuilding Duat from the ground up. Remembering what worked, preserving the past, recognizing our mistakes, and implementing a new path forward. The biggest bit of lucidity was the acceptance and embracing of the one-game success. When we were solely focused on Politics and War, we were a beast of a community. Our plan now is to go full HAM on Destiny 2 for at least a year, and then after that, we can very slowly, very carefully, and very methodically expand into a second, and only a second, game. At least, that's the plan. Let's see if Greene's ego can be kept at bay.