After 264 days offline, the much loved Bootleggers Moderator Sky, has finally returned. Just about everyone was happy the man in green back, and most were curious as to why such a prolonged absence from the game. Sky posted a topic explaining himself in the Game Forum, entitled “Long Overdue.” Here is the topic explaining a bit about his disappearance and reappearance, in case you missed it! (Where have you been?!)
I have been neglecting my duties for 264 days. I've been offline over two thirds of a year. That is wholly unacceptable and I don't know how I make amends for that.
As to why I disappeared, you're not going to like it. I'd like to say I was busy with work, I'd like to say I was busy with real life, but in actuality I was just bored with the internet. I consider this particular corner of virtual reality to be my home but I just couldn't stomach signing, for whatever reason. I've suffered this before becoming green too so it's nothing to do with the extra responsibilities, it's just a failing as a human being. I've taken small breaks before, never this long and never this noticeably, and an absence usually makes my heart grow fonder, and I'm pleased to say this time it did too. Nevertheless the method by which I went about it was lacking in decency, I owed an explanation regarding my absence to my colleagues and to the players, and I never gave one.
Please accept my unreserved apologies for just leaving and not coming back. You deserve better from a Moderator, you deserve better from a developer, you deserve better from a human. I've missed some big moments in the game, I'm completely out of the loop, but I'm going to do everything I can to get back into it and become a productive member of the Bootleggers community.
Please use this as a space to shout at and belittle me, it'll make you feel better. Also please offer constructive ways I can make it up to you, I'm here for you and no other reason.
Seeing this topic, The Buzz thought it would take the time to ask Sky a few further questions regarding his disappearance and reappearance to bootleggers. Sky was kind enough to answer all these questions, which are as follows:
The Buzz: Was there a particular reason why you decided to "run away" and not sign in for all this time?
Sky: The main reason why I just went dark and didn't sign is because I just couldn't face signing in. I couldn't stomach it. I don't know what it was particularly that stopped me but I just had no interest. That said I should've still signed in to say "I'm going to be gone for some time, see you in 264 days" but I wasn't that clever.
The Buzz: What made you, after all this time, decide to log back in at this time? Why today instead of 3 months ago?
Sky: Why today specifically (Wednesday 14th January), well today is a day off of work and I don't go in until 5PM tomorrow so I have a lot of time to dedicate to BL in one huge chunk.
Why this point in time, well I'd been avoiding thinking about Bootleggers after about August because it made me sad that I'd basically run away, so it was easier not to think about it. Every now and then the thought would re-emerge and I'd be overwhelmed with guilt and stop thinking about it again. I'd already ignored an email from Mika to my great shame, and then in September I got one from BSF2000 which isn't an everyday experience for Bootleggers players, and not only did the situation deserve a reply but the sender deserved one all the more. I let him know that I was basically taking an extended break, and I didn't know when I would be able to say I was able to come back, which let's acknowledge I should've told him half a year beforehand. I told him that I didn't expect to be kept on in the Elite Guard and I would totally understand if he just flat out fired me. To his credit he was able to relate to the feeling and gave me time to decompress. I expressed that after Christmas would be the earliest I'd know if I was ready because frankly my job took over during the festive months.
Then on the 7th January I got another email from the benevolent man in red checking in. Cue another four days of guilt before I finally respond. I tested the waters on Sunday, briefly coming on to Skype invisibly for the first time since April to talk to my closest e-friends, to get the lowdown and ease myself in to returning. I was hoping to see Mika or BSF2000 online but unfortunately they weren't visible so I wasn't able to speak to them at the time either. I replied to BSF that night that I'd finally feel comfortable returning on Wednesday and that I'd hope to get back into the full swing of things. The real test I suppose will be whether I'm still online and active when this issue comes out!
The Buzz: The reaction to you coming back has been overwhelmingly positive. Has anyone actually shouted and belittled you? Anyone been particularly angry?
Sky: No, and it's really annoying. I want to be shouted at, I deserve to be, and everyone's being bloody nice. Even within the Elite Guard there's no anger, and you would think that would be where there is the most anger.
The Buzz: What were you doing with your time off, away from the internet?
Sky: Mostly I was on my Xbox or gaming on my PC. Bootleggers filled the rest of my day that wasn't already taken up with work, so when I wasn't working I had nothing to do. I'd play GTA5 or I'd play some games on Steam, I got the odd message on Xbox Live from BL players who had my gamertag who understandably wanted to know what was going on, shamefully I ignored them too.
The Buzz: What is the biggest change from when you last logged in to now?
Sky: Not that much has changed to be honest, I saw what I expected. The Elite Guard has been restocked with capable Moderators, a second pair of hands was understandably brought in to help kill the bugs, the Help Desk is well staffed as well. At first glance it seems the game is running at full capacity again, but as usual the biggest issue amongst players seems to be balance, and that will never change.
The Buzz: Have to ask: How many thousands of messages did you have in your inbox after all this time?
Sky: I had 1568 messages when I signed in, most of them game notifications that get sent to me automatically when certain actions happen. Due to the way the mailbox works, messages sent to me months ago would've been automatically deleted so I missed most of the worst of it.
The Buzz: Any plans for the future? Anything you will get stuck into and start working on?
Sky: Nothing immediately. I need to catch up with what's happened, decisions that have been made, new ways of working within the Elite Guard processes. I've always considered my role one of making life easier for people so I'll listen to players, the invaluable HDOs, Buzz writers and my brothers (and sister) in green and do whatever I can to make Bootleggers easier for them.
We thank Sky for taking the time to answer some questions. In the past few days, he has been active, making a few updates and creating a Russian Roulette for players. Let’s hope Sky is back and here to stay. For good.