During this month, the long awaited news regarding this Japanese Earth Eternal called Ikimonogatari comes to a head as Sankando announces Ikimonogatari was entering it's Closed Beta phase.
Being only local to the Asia-Pacific region, this meant that players outside this area likely would not be able to join, to the chagrin of the former-SPM players still eager for the return of their favorite game.
As a result, some of these players create accounts on the Sankando servers using translators such as 'Google Translate' as an assist to get into the game. However, this results in several problems.
While the Japanese audience doesn't mind their foreign counterparts playing alongside them, some members of the old EE community 'cause problems' resulting in a number of them 'being banned' from the game.
This results in a major division as a few of those 'banned' complain that the only reason they were 'banned' was because they were being accused of cheating when all it was, was them being very familiar with the game itself having played the original Sparkplay version. Even still, the backlash mars the community.
Piggypops expresses 'disappointment' in the Community's behavior over on Iki's servers and tells them it was probably best not to try to play on it. Even still, members of the community advise that if some still choose to play on Iki's servers, to 'avoid region chat' so as not to interfere with the Japanese players trying to enjoy the game.
In secret, Grethnefar also creates an Iki account for the sole purpose of 'data mining' the game, though his account, too, gets banned eventually.
Like all Asian MMOs, Ikimonogatari gets a 'short window' between its Closed Beta phase in April, it's Open Beta phase that begins in May, and it's 'release' in June. This version of EE is perhaps the only one to be given a 'sort of' full release.
Ikimonogatari is 'advertised' in Japan as a 'casual game' with the 'stay at home mom' or 'young woman' demographics as the primary focus.
On the EEF forums, major divisions in the community begin to surface as concerns over how Ikimonogatari looks and feels is revealed. Primary among the issues is the appearances of the 'new character models' and the fact Ikimonogatari only has 12 of the original 22 player races available. Many players still hold out hope that an English re-release of Earth Eternal will come with the original SPM models and hopefully their old characters as well along with all 22 races being available.
During this month, the dreams of the original SPM EE community finally come true; however, their hopes are dashed in the process.
Piggypops announces the reboot of Earth Eternal English Version which will be called Earth Eternal Reborn. Days later, the website for EER comes online.
Unfortunately players make a horrible discovery that utterly tears the community apart. While Earth Eternal had finally come back after nearly a full year, the eager players hit a most unexpected roadblock. To even be able to play, they had to have a Facebook account.
If this horror was not enough, those who force themselves past the Facebook requirement soon discover that Earth Eternal Reborn is, in fact, pretty much a carbon copy of Ikimonogatari translated back into English.
The rift in the original community finally completes as many players refuse to play on EER due to several issues. First, there is the Facebook requirement. Many players become outraged that they should even be forced to have Facebook just to play their favorite game. Some players from overseas countries complain that they can't even use Facebook for local legal reasons.
The second issue involves the new character models which many former-SPM players think look too childish, ugly, or just stupid. For some of the races, their changes do border on the horrid. Third, not only were the models the same as Iki's, but, the number of available races was the same as well: 12. Worst here, was that the 12 races available in EER were NOT the same 12 races seen in Ikimonogatari. The reasons given for this being that the other races, along with newly planned ones, would be pay only or event release only.
The fourth and last major issue that divides a once strong community is the discovery and open admission that the old player data had been wiped. For many players, this last one was the final straw.
Between being insulted by a Facebook login requirement, the loss of their old characters, and being unable to even select many of their favorite races, along with the 'ugly' new models, a new exodus from EE takes place.
This also sparks many arguments on both the EER and EEF websites.
Those that DO push past these issues find a host of other issues await them ingame.
Changes to the game itself include a new 'Lobby' system permitting players of a certain level to freely 'port-on-login' to specific locations ingame, the reduction of 'free' characters from four to only two (though the total amount is increased to eight), a partially revamped UI (though this feature is still being worked on), the revamped zone of New Earthrise and the 'sidekick' system, which players discovered via Iki is not a pet system, but, more a player 'buddy system' allowing offline friends to gain partial experience via an online friend if sidekicked to them.
Another detail players discover is that, in order to hopefully stem the tide of players reaching the upper levels and having nothing to do, in both Ikimonogatari and Earth Eternal Reborn, player levels have now been hard-capped at level 50.
In the newly revamped zone of New Earthrise, more horrors await. Beyond being inundated with a near flood of pop-culture references, players find themselves facing the 'invincible' Level 30 mob the 'Anubian Abomination' which has apparently been placed in strategic locations to 'force' the players down a specific path. If this insult isn't enough, there is also the 'misplaced' level 35 epic mob from the Down Below, the Completed Construct, roaming freely and smiting hapless new players who get too close to it. Although Piggypops admits this one is a mistake and that it will be removed, this never actually happens due to the events of the next months.
Grethnefar signs up on EER for the sole purpose of completing his data mining of EE and continues to do so for it's entire duration online.
As had been done during the SPM era, Rockfire Redmoon reappears for a time to assist players wishing to play EER on Linux in getting their clients running in the Linux environments. By this time, while she still uses a newer version of Play On Linux for this, she also has begun to use the Wine emulator as well. As before, Rockfire opens up her ArmourEE site for players to view the old armor sets and other stuff she has on the site. She will wind up being among the early departures from EER, though.
Late in the month, a group of level 10-12 players converge on the new Level 55 World Boss Kilvath L'Vithian on Avalon Island in Anglorum. They are able to defeat it with the help of higher level players providing healing and resurrections. In response to this, Piggypops 'upgrades' Kilvath to have a ranged attack; but, a second 'raid' of these same level players proves even that measure to be ineffective.
The first major problems of Earth Eternal Reborn begin to show up during this month.
From items 'breaking' such as the XP and Speed Tomes (which in their cases results in infinite use) to intermittent 'spawn failures' among other things that often requires the server to be rebooted, players soon discover there is something seriously wrong with the game.
Worst of all, the dev team has suddenly gone silent for the entire month, the bug reports filed by players mostly going unheard.
Unbeknownst to the players, TurnOut Ventures decides to abandon Earth Eternal around this time and reassigns the dev team to other projects. Piggypops begins looking for other employment during this time as well.
Flames and many thread locks infest the EER forums during this month as the division between the community reaches a head thanks to the silence of the dev team.
During this month, the first player to reach the level 50 hard cap does so with a group of onlookers as he and a few others battle the Level 55 World Boss Ni'Lania Vexus over at the ruins in the Midlands lake. Ni'Lania is the first Legendary ranked boss to be made active in the game.
Amidst days to over a week's worth of full region spawn failures, server reboots, dev team silence and an already diminishing playerbase, Piggypops finally reappears after nearly a month of silence, only to reveal that he is no longer working on Earth Eternal and has found a new job elsewhere.
With this announcement that Piggypops is no longer at the helm of EE, along with the existing issues with the game, players already begin to see the beginning of the end for EER. For many players both old and new, all they can do is either wait to see what happens or simply walk away.
Players finally 'discover' the third Level 55 World Boss, Thara Vikath, hidden in Deadwood.
With no dev team at the helm, Earth Eternal Reborn has now been left to it's own devices for over a month. Every now and then, the servers are rebooted to 'temporarily fix' the spawn issues that are now lasting up to a week or two at a time.
Clans that had re-established themselves at the onset of EER now begin to once more fall apart amid the certainty that EER was doomed.
Sometime during this month, Sankando announces the imminent closure of Ikimonogatari to the chagrin of players.
Due to the certainty that both Ikimonogatari and Earth Eternal Reborn were going to close, Grethnefar makes the decision to release a special client 'patch' that allows players to modify their characters in several different ways. Among the mods is the ability to utilize the SPM Patch 0.8.8 character models instead of the Iki/EER models, the ability to change earsize and tailsize or even gender, and the capability to appear as any of the 22 races or even an Anubian if the player so chose.
Grethnefar's attempt to post this 'patch' on the EER forums results in the thread being locked and the post deleted. Undeterred, he reposts it on the EEF forums instead where it is more warmly received. While the changes in the 'patch' are client side only, it gives players something new and fun to mess with in the waning days of the TurnOut Ventures Era.
Also during this month, a group of players meet up and chat with Piggypops in the Camelot Market. During this chat, Piggypops reveals a few things the dev team had been working on in Earth Eternal.
The first thing he talks about is PVP combat. He mentions that during the Sparkplay days, 'PVP wasn't very fun' so the TOV team had taken it out for the relaunch of EE. Their plan was to include a revamped PVP system in an 'expansion' of EE sometime in January 2012. This revamped PVP system was to include 'two rival political factions in the world of EE' and that the 'core storyline focused on the two factions fighting over resources'. He adds that 'the plan was to create a zone in Europe that was constantly being fought over' and that 'players would pick a faction, then fight each other for control of resource nodes'. Piggypops states that 'holding control of a node would give your faction an advantage' and that, for example, 'one node would spawn NPC faction troops to help your side' and that 'one would give a buff to everyone in the faction, etc'.
Regarding how EER currently stands, Piggypops confirms that development has been put on hold and the developers have all been reassigned to other projects. He does mention that this was not due to the game's performance, low playerbase or anything of that sort; but, was instead, due to business purposes. As for Piggypops himself, he mentions his new job and that he can't talk about his new project just yet. Piggypops does add that the higher ups at TurnOut had been very nice to him over the past year and that he would be involved in helping 'a new lead designer come to grasp the backend of EE'. He even reveals that 'Earth Eternal had five people, at most, working on it' and that 'it is very difficult to make an MMO with 5 people'.
Piggypops then reveals a bigger surprise: Earth Eternal was not the team's only project. They had been working on a mobile RPG based on EE. He expresses hope that this version sees the light of day as 'we did some cool things with it'. As for EER itself, when asked if EER would go down just as Ikimonogatari was going to, Piggypops states that as far as he knew it would stay up. He does admit, though, that he does not know when development will continue and that 'for right now, it's basically just a totally free MMO'.
Following this, he has some fun with the players and spawns a few bosses for players to fight followed by an Anubian boat, all right in the middle of Camelot Market. After that, he leaves; but, not before telling players 'please enjoy EE, share it with your friends, bring new people to the game' because 'a lot of people put a lot of hard work into this game'.
In spite of the optimism shared by Piggypops during this exchange, the players' fears would be realized the following month. As for the 'mobile RPG' mentioned by Piggypops, sadly, it still has yet to see the light of day. This discussion is the one and only time this version of EE is known to have ever been mentioned and it is unknown if the title was ever finished or scrapped.
October 31, 2011, Halloween, Ikimonogatari shuts down after barely just over six months online putting the final nail in the coffin for Earth Eternal Reborn.
Information over the next months will reveal Sankando has been experiencing problems of their own, including the complete loss of an entire MMO. These problems will eventually lead to both legal action and Sankando's ultimate demise.
This month marks the end of the TurnOut Ventures Era.
During this month, the majority of players abandon EER and entire clans vanish. By the middle of the month, only the most hardcore players remain and Village Idiote's clan Villains Absolved begins to absorb all players left from the other clans into itself. It will be one of the last clans standing, along with at least one known survivor from The Furry Group and Kitty Bock's personal group, The Primal Fur, by the end.
Also during this month, Matt Mihaly makes a brief appearance on the EER forums and chats a bit. Among the things he posts, he expresses 'disappointment' in TurnOut Ventures for how Earth Eternal has been handled.
In the middle of the month, the long expected end of EER is finally announced on Earth Eternal's Facebook page. To those still hanging on, the news is still saddening in spite of already knowing it was bound to happen.
Two 'farewell' gatherings at Bastion Island and in Camelot take place in EER's final 48 hours.
On November 24, 2011, Thanksgiving Day in the US, at around 7:06 pm PST, with the last few players gathering in various spots to wait out the end, the Earth Eternal Reborn servers and website finally go offline. This date marks the end of the TurnOut Ventures era and all official versions of Earth Eternal.