24/11/2021

Ten Years of SWTOR: Personal History and Memorable Moments

What's this? A non-PTS post? Thankfully, with the intended release date of Legacy of the Sith now revealed as the 14th of December, BioWare have also closed the PTS again to begin final preparations for launch. I must confess that I'm relieved that it has closed, simply because I found myself utterly addicted to following along with it and trying to understand as best I could how BioWare were doing things.

Still, it's over now, so back to normality from here on in!

As a from-launch player, the past ten years of SWTOR’s history have also been quite a large part of my own life. The game launched when I was but sixteen years of age, so this game has accompanied me through the last years of secondary school, the entirety of not one but two university courses, and has been a major source of sanity throughout the numerous COVID lockdowns.

I can’t celebrate this milestone without acknowledging my own history within SWTOR, so please indulge me while I go through the years, discuss any memorable moments that occurred within, and discuss what this meant for me as a player.

Let’s go!


~~~

Year One: 2011 – 2012

NB: Since SWTOR started in December, the start and end points for all years covered in this post are also set in this month.

In truth, while I did start playing the game in late 2011 it wasn’t really until January 2012 when I really count myself as getting going “properly”. The internet in my house at the time of launch was so-so. Enough to get on with the daily rigamaroles of life, but not enough for sustained online gaming. The most taxing things the internet of yore had to put up with were Club Penguin and Toontown Online, so going from those to SWTOR was obviously one heck of a jump!

Prior to the game’s launch, I had scouted out various guilds, looking for a community that I shared an interest with (and, no, it wasn’t multicoloured cartoon penguins). I found one such guild on the server Vornskr, signed up in the weeks before launch, and there we are. The astute veterans amongst you might remember Vornskr as an American server, and I have only ever played this game from the United Kingdom and occasionally from France. Bit of a problem, you might think, playing an MMO from a completely different time zone? Since SWTOR was my first proper MMORPG, I had absolutely no idea what really a game of this sort offered until several months down the line, so I didn’t initially see there being any significant problem with this.

Of course, looking back years later, I should have started on a European server. Had I been more confident in setting foot blindly into an MMO, I would have been alright with that, but I don’t know if I would have stuck around for as long as I have done if it weren’t for that guild. Great little community while it lasted, and I made some decent friendships there that lasted for several years.

Artist's Impression

My first ever character was a male Trooper by the name of Skarkdahn. I had scouted all of the trailers, keeping a keen eye on things like armour and weapon designs, and Commando stood out to me as an instant pick. I must confess that I have confined most of his existence to the back of my mind, since I was just so very inept at gearing the guy up. I was very confused by all the stats at first since I believed, for example, that "Willpower" was a stat you’d want to spec into to reduce the chances of mind tricks working on your character.

In short, this poor muscly beefcake of a Commando was specced with whatever gear I could get him, from light to heavy, just because I thought that all stats mattered somewhere along the line. He had plenty of brawn to spare, but apparently no brains. I clearly neglected his "Cunning" stat!

Then there’s the matter of how I specced him. Oh, mercy. I remember at various points running with Combat Support Cell active while trying to run Gunnery. The fight against Harron Tavus was basically me doing very little damage (since I was also taking every skill point in the tree, not just the PvE-relevant ones!) and healing M1-4X who was doing as much damage as he could – despite being with gear that was barely better than his gear from Nar Shaddaa! 

Oh, and I also picked up my first speeder on Alderaan after a kind donation by someone who I grouped up with at one point because I was just so bad with credits at that point. Yep, I did the entirety of Tatooine on foot. I’m nothing if not stubborn.

This Commando was finally put out of his misery at level 41, just before finishing Hoth. I won’t go into as much detail with any other character in this post, since few have had as challenging a journey as him, but despite all the trouble I had while trying my best to play him, Skark does have a special place in my heart for being the very first character to try and run the gauntlet. It’s just a shame that I was the person overseeing his life and not someone more capable.

Skark of course wasn’t my only character created during this first year. The others were Deive (Assassin), Lepida (Assassin), Ianiar (another Commando and my first female character), Rahnga (Guardian), Wuna (Gunslinger), Tek’los (Juggernaut), Xeksorl (Mercenary), Cairches (Operative), Kra’as (Powertech), Kriallia (Sage), Lackey (Scoundrel), Skarkdahn the second (Shadow, and my first dark side Republic character), Kleria (Sniper), Vorilakor (Sorcerer), and Kiratahn (Vanguard). There was also a male Marauder whose name I cannot remember. 

A couple of these are notable. Lackey was the character whose existence led me to finally learn about primary stats for each class as well as the first to complete his class story. Kiratahn was for a while my main raiding character before I realised after a horrendous night in EC Hard Mode that I had committed myself to the wrong role (tanking). Finally, Rahnga managed to last all the way into 6.0 before I returned to what is now Satele Shan to delete him, making him my longest-lasting character from the 1.0 bunch.

Kleria was notable in her own way as well. She and Lepida were created on the Tomb of Freedon Nadd server to try and allow me to play with a friend on that server, a plan which fell through pretty quickly. Despite this, Kleria’s existence led to me realising that I quite enjoyed the Sniper playstyle, which proved to be quite an important revelation for 2013 onwards…

Despite playing from Europe, I was able to make a couple of raids which my guild organised in their early afternoons – about 19:00 my time. Despite my eventual realisation that my chosen role wasn’t for me, I did enjoy them and I wanted to see more. I also really enjoyed PvP activities and flashpoints, to the extent that my Vanguard was recognisable by name to a handful of people whenever we joined up for stuff via group finder. Good times.

~

Year Two: 2012 – 2013

The most notable thing I can remember happening between SWTOR turning one year old and 2013 was the creation of my Commando, Ziodus. I remember it being New Years’ Eve when I created him, and I remember at one point typing “Happy new year from the UK” in Ord Mantell’s general chat.

Ziodus was created following my realisation that Vanguard tanking was not for me. Having tried Scoundrel and Vanguard DPS a bit when required (albeit in healing and tank gear respectively), I knew that neither was right for me at that time. It seemed right to me that I give Commando another go, since I had learnt a fair bit since Skarkdahn the first’s deletion.

“But wait”, someone may be thinking, “you mentioned another Commando, Ianiar. What happened to her?”

I’m known for being someone who deletes characters a lot, and at the time I was playing Ianiar there were two things really hindering her chances at surviving. Firstly, Kiratahn was already well-established by this point and seemed at little risk of toppling, so I wasn’t too sure about continuing with another Trooper beyond a certain point (Nar Shaddaa, which proved to be the endpoint of many a Trooper after Ziodus). Secondly, I was not very comfortable with playing female characters in 2012. I remember feeling very awkward about it, not sure if it was ‘right’, or whatever, so neither Ianiar nor Kriallia lasted very long at all.

Sometimes I wonder what my past self would make of my future self.

Ziodus proved to be a successful character. Following the announcement of Rise of the Hutt Cartel and the system to convert Unassembled gear tokens to Classic Commendations to buy Campaign pieces, I sent him on many a Flashpoint run and even a triple-dose of EV, KP, and EC one evening just to gather as many of these tokens as I could. My plan paid off, and as soon as 2.0 launched he had a full set of Campaign gear at his disposal.

I have something of a penchant for being ridiculously over-prepared.

2.0 proved to be the expansion where I really got going with SWTOR, both in terms of solo-play and group play.

Going to university and living by myself gave me the opportunity to attend raids early in the morning, and since I am a night-owl in life anyway this meant I could still function reasonably okay with lectures the next day (it also helped that I only lived a five-minute walk away from campus). A friend and I both took to running hard mode flashpoints together occasionally, with them tanking, me DPSing, and our companions doing their best to DPS or heal respectively. This would continue until 2017, and it was great fun to do.

My time in 1.0 only saw two class stories be completed, although one of them was completed twice over: Smuggler and Trooper. 2.0 saw at least one member of the other classes complete their stories as well, with one Agent, one Bounty Hunter, one Consular, one Knight, two Inquisitors, one Smuggler, and one Warrior all completing their storylines in 2013.

As successful as I was during this time, this also spelt the end of two notable 1.0 characters. I had already deleted most of those I had identified in the previous section, but Kiratahn and Lackey deserve special recognition due to their existence allowing me exposure to the endgame scene. I had just fallen out of favour with them by this point and was keen to do something different.  

Sad though this was, 2013 saw the emergence of some quite familiar characters to long-time readers of this blog. Keen to get more experience with the Sniper playstyle – and to forget about Wuna the accidental Kira Carsen clone – I created the Gunslinger Kirtahna (amazing naming convention) and the Sniper Pippera. Kirta has gone through several names in her life, but she is now known as “Cal Pheiya”. Additionally, Vahnora the Sorcerer was also created in this year. All three characters are now the only ones left in my active roster to have been created in the 2.0-era.

There’s not really a lot else to say about 2013. It was a great year for just helping me find my footing and establish myself properly in the general SWTOR life, and I look back on this time very fondly.

~

Year Three: 2013 – 2014

2014 started out pretty much the same way 2013 ended. Ziodus was still my main, and I had a Guardian, Gunslinger, Marauder, Operative, Powertech, Sniper, Shadow, and Sorcerer in reserve. By the time 2014 was coming to a close, I still had Ziodus, but he was now a reserve character, my Gunslinger was my main, and I had deleted my Operative, Powertech, and Shadow and had replaced the latter two with new characters.

Early 2014 was about the time that I had begun realising that Gunslinger was becoming my favourite character to play in PvE content. Indeed, by March of that year Cal had claimed her final Dread Forged gear-piece and was on equal footing with Ziodus. She subsequently went on to earn a couple of Dread Master pieces from the quite decent amount of progress she made within nightmare Dread Fortress.

As for the rest? This was also the year when I began really trying to unify the characters I had across my legacy and try to match advanced classes. My Marauder was the sole exception to this since I still wasn’t too sure about Guardian and I wanted to hedge my bets. I did have a new Juggernaut from 2013 – Cynaereth – but he was on hold until such a time as I knew what I wanted to do.

The new Mercenary and Sage, Korrtahn and Eirahnos respectively, both formed levelling partnerships with characters of that same friend of mine from the 2013 section. They created a Juggernaut and Shadow for this purpose, leading to the oddity of seeing the Consular story essentially twice over: once light side, once dark side.

My Sniper also hit max-level in April 2014, just before Forged Alliances started. She had yet to even start Act II of her actual class storyline by this point, courtesy of just subjecting her to Kuat Drive Yards many, many times. I did of course take her through the rest of her story later that year, although of course everything was trivially easy due to her being max-level and in a mix of Dread Master and Dread Forged gear and mobs being at most twenty-three levels beneath her.

Oh, the days before level-sync, how I do not miss you.

With me now having a well-geared Imperial character, this meant that the duo-flashpoint runs from 2013 could also now migrate to that faction rather than being restricted purely to the Republic side. I learnt so much both about my own enjoyment with the game and flashpoints from those days. Good times…

This was also the first year that I was beginning to maintain a solid income of credits, courtesy of the various daily zones and reputation grinds. I had earned my first 24 million credits or so by June 2014… at which point the first Nar Shaddaa Nightlife event began. I knew what to kind-of expect from the PTS, where I had won a Rancor fairly quickly – although it cost me about two million credits in the process.

Cue the event hitting live. Those 24 million credits which I had been so proud of, that had been the work of weeks if not months of play? All down the drain. I won that Rancor alright, but at great cost to both my finances and my sanity.

To make matters worse, I later won a second Rancor for my Sniper at the grand cost of only 100,000 credits.

It’s only virtual money…

2014 also saw the collapse of my first guild. Certain long-time members had been dropping out throughout 2.0, and shortly after the launch of the nightmare Oricon operations what remained of the leadership announced that we’d be merging with a friendly guild. Apparently both guilds had been helping each other out for a while before this point, but I was not aware of it until this moment. A few members from the original who I was friendly with stuck around beyond this point, which I was of course glad to see, but it was still sad to say farewell to the guild I had called home for the past three years.

In a more meta sense, 2014 was also a big year for me since it saw the birth of Spawn of the Dread Master, the direct predecessor to Galactic Antics. I had tried creating a blog before, but I lost interest in it fairly quickly, so I was keen to have a fresh start with the experience. I’m still going, obviously, so I guess it worked…?

~

Year Four: 2014 – 2015

Much like the previous year, this year started and ended with two different characters as my main character. Cal started out as the main before Pip succeeded her partway through 2015.

The reason for this is simple. Having now realised that I could not keep up my late-night raiding long-term (especially since now the only raids I could hope to make consistently with my guild were at 4:00 in the morning…), I began to look further afield shortly into 2015. I found my new home in an Impside Australian guild, as they were hosting raids at 11:00 my time. This worked perfectly for me, as on the day when raiding coincided with my lectures I was done at 10:00 and didn’t need to be back on-campus until 14:00.

I signed up to one of their teams, was added as their ninth, and carried on content to not need to be getting up incredibly early in the mornings anymore. Both with this team, and with the guild as a whole, I was able to earn every single operation title available at this time with my Sniper. Furthermore, when the guild completed HM Monolith I was fortunate enough to be the only Cunning user in the group who didn’t have the special 204-rating rifle that dropped. As such, Pip became my first-ever character to reach the highest attainable gear-score in an expansion. Yee.

Given how prolific I was during 2015, it’s quite amusing to think that this period only lasted about four months or so. Knights of the Fallen Empire was on the horizon, and my team was pretty much all going to call it quits when it came out. So, after four months of decent raiding progress, finally able to do things at a reasonable time, I was… done. Back to just doing things at my own pace, plodding along with the story content, doing dailies, heroics, etc.

This was also the expansion when I really found my footing with Guardian gameplay. I had been stumbling along a bit beforehand, but for some reason this expansion is what really made it ‘click’ for me. Thus, Ferokii the Marauder was deleted and Cynaereth stepped forward to replace her.

2015 was a good year, but due to the general weirdness of 3.0 itself it’s also undoubtedly one of the strangest of SWTOR’s years to look back on.

~

Year Five: 2015 – 2016

With Fallen Empire continuing in its way, I was quite happy to just continue with doing heroics and flashpoints or whatever with my friend and just ‘existing’. It seemed unlikely that I would get involved with any form of progression content any time soon, but SWTOR offered more than enough to keep me around so I wasn’t too concerned.

I had, after all, been really enjoying my time with my new Jedi Guardian, Miora. There was still much to enjoy about the game’s planetary content, and I just happily plodded on.

Then, in April 2016, something happened which I had long given up hope for. Regional server transfers opened. At long last, I could transition over to a European server without losing all the progress I’d enjoyed making for the past four-and-a-half years! Huzzah! I sent across Cal, Cyn, Miora, Pip, and Vahn at a steady progress and established myself quickly in my new home – The Red Eclipse.

I originally tried to set myself up with an Imperial guild but found that their general attitude wasn’t correct for me. They were very much a hardcore raiding guild, and if there’s one thing which I knew I had been missing out on from being a European player in an American guild, it was a sense of community. I already knew that I had missed out on some events and things like Conquest-guild-screenshots due to being asleep at the times they occurred, so while I didn’t mind getting involved with raiding again, I wanted my new guild-home to be something… more.

Fortunately, I knew of a couple such guilds from my history as a blogger. Bloggers Ravanel and Shintar both had spoken highly of their guilds on their own blogs, and I investigated both as options. It was fortuitous timing that I happened to be in the market for a new guild at the same time that Twin Suns Squadron was hosting an outfit competition!

All these years later, and Twin Suns has continued to give me that strong sense of community and just general ‘fun’ that I felt I had been missing out on. It’s a wonderful guild and I have made some very strong friendships there. I don’t have much else to say that isn’t mushy, so moving on.

Mid-2016 continued to illustrate to me that I had made the right choice, as during this time BioWare organised the Dark vs. Light event. This required players to create new characters and do pretty much anything you could name with them: kill enemies with HK-51; complete every flashpoint both in veteran and master difficulty; kill certain operation bosses; and reach level 50 with one character from each origin story.

Being with a guild like Twins made that event very bearable. I’m sure I would have done fairly okay with it on Harbinger, but just being with such a fun guild with many members who were just up for anything was fantastic. I was of course perfectly happy to help other members once I was done, which I think also really helped to solidify my feeling of being part of a community. If I had been part of a guild I didn’t really care for, I probably would have just moved on and not looked at it once I had no more part to play.

The thing which really made me feel properly at-home within Twins occurred not in-game but in real life. Star Wars Celebration had come to Europe again, in London, and with it came the second UK-based SWTOR Cantina. I had (officially) just been too young for the first and, of course, I would have known nobody, so even though I wanted to go I could never have really justified it to myself. This time around, I was of an appropriate age to go, and I at least could talk to other European players as an equal.

However, this wasn’t the most important thing. I had arranged to meet with Shintar and her now-husband Innins at the cantina, making this – so far – the only time I have actually met people I knew primarily from the internet face-to-face in real life. While we struggled to really hear anything from where we were seated, it was just nice being able to actually see one another instead of just listen to our voices. That makes so much difference – much more than I could have originally given credit for.

2016 saw the closure of one chapter of my SWTOR life and the opening of another. It’s telling, really, that I’m talking more about my guild-adventures and the like than my characters’ journeys. I know where my priorities lie.

~

Year Six: 2016 – 2017

At this point, I have to really look back to my blog posts to see what was happening, as with the shift away from “big new exciting things!” of the old days to “do the same things over and over again!” of current-SWTOR a lot of what is memorable from this point forth is mainly anecdotal. A funny interaction here, a random game glitch there. Things which to people present in the moment mean a fair bit, but just warrants a head-scratching response from others.

For me, 2017 has one main thing which I think is worth mentioning again. The Vanguard Experiment.

I’ve only mentioned one Vanguard by name in this post, that being the original - Kiratahn. However, there have been multiple Vanguards as part of my roster across the years. Colhara, Colhara the second (who was also my second dark side Republic character), and the DvL Vanguard Iyaniar… I just kept on creating them, never really finding a foothold, and deleting them when they reached level 20 or so (the exception being Iyaniar, who had to reach 50 as part of the DvL event).

The reasons for deleting these characters are similar to those behind the deletion of the original Ianiar, the Commando who suffered deletion while Kiratahn was still active. With a well-established Trooper character already in-use, and who I believed I was fairly competent at using, there was very little reason for me to put much effort into these newer characters. Thus, to the Vanguard graveyard they went.

This changed in 2017, as I had grown so tired of Commando gameplay that I was just looking for any out I could get. Having had my already-solid love of Guardian reinforced by the changes making it more mobile in 5.0, I was inspired to check out Vanguard one more time just to see if its own changes would yield a similar result.

Long story short, it did. While I do find Plasmatech a bit clunky, it is at least a spec I find relatively manageable and fun. While I am very much looking forward to switching my Trooper to Concealment in 7.0, I have very much appreciated finally finding enjoyment of the Vanguard playstyle at last.

It’s also worth mentioning that with Galactic Command, I began using all eight of my characters and gearing them up properly for the first time. 6.0 would build on this even further, but prior to this expansion I have only ever had a couple of my characters be used on a regular basis. Everyone else would just sit there once they hit max-level, only coming back out of hibernation whenever a new level cap was released.

So that made for a pleasant change to the status quo!

~

Year Seven: 2017 – 2018

The thing I remember most about 2018 was the release of the Rishi stronghold. Not because the stronghold itself was such a big deal, but because the membership of Twin Suns held a vote to see if it could replace our Tatooine guild stronghold.

I was one of three officers mostly-to-definitely dead-set against it, as I could see that the things that were attracting all the “yes” responses were just gimmicks that ultimately would end up being unused. Oh, sure, it has PvP and Huttball arenas, but would we actually use them enough to warrant getting it? “But of course,” several players stated, and so we tore down our fully-decorated Tatooine Homestead and bought the Rishi stronghold.

To this day a single PvP match has yet to be held within it, although this will finally change on the 13th of December. The one time we hosted a guild-based PvP game as part of the occasional Twin Sunmer Games in the Stronghold was hosted in my own Rishi stronghold, although that’s because the vote hadn’t actually concluded yet. Still, even if it had, that would bring the total number of PvP matches our guild stronghold would have seen at this point to… one. 

Well worth the investment, I’m sure.

The only other things I remember happening this year were all my characters reaching 248-item rating (a big deal at the time, as this was the first time all of my characters had been in what was the highest-attainable gear!) and the inclusion of a certain Kel Dor Jedi Master who I had really wanted to see featured in-game for years in Jedi Under Siege.

I don’t seem to recall that update having anyone else significant returning… oh, yeah, that's right! Malora came back!

~

Year Eight: 2018 – 2019

With Ossus in late 2018 came 252 and 258 gear. I remember being adamant in conversations with guildmates that the highest gear I personally would farm would be 252, which at one point elicited the response along the lines of “yeah, but at some point, you’re gonna want to get 258” from the GM.

I stuck to my guns and only attained 252-rating gear. As I said earlier, I’m nothing if not stubborn.

For all the previous two years of all my characters being of identical rating, except for augments, 2019 heavily favoured four characters. My Guardian, my Gunslinger, my Juggernaut, and my Sniper. All four were used to farm 252 gear items, and in quite good time all four had full 252-rating gear. This was, of course, shortly before I learnt that my “self-defined” rotation for Balance – which I didn’t think was correct and, while fun, not enough to warrant taking the class beyond flashpoints – was pretty spot-on to the actual Balance rotation.

Still, at least that gave me something new to focus on for the rest of 5.0’s lifespan: getting a new Sage to max-level to correct the perceived flaws of the then-current one (she was an instant-60, so she had no class titles and no familiarity with companions). I have a very long list of things that could potentially warrant a character’s deletion.

Happily, I haven’t found reason to delete a character for well over a year now. As such, all characters present in late 2019 are still around to this day, so I shall not be touching on them individually beyond this point.

~

Year Nine: 2019 – 2020

2020 is notable for me for two main reasons.

Firstly, it was the first year where all eight of my characters acquired the highest-attainable gear-rating which would remain so for a whole expansion. They even acquired the same level of augments as one another, whereas in 5.0 some were left with the Traitor Among the Chiss augments while others had the ones from The Nathema Conspiracy. I loved the ease of gearing in 6.0, but I also don't have too many complaints about 7.0 returning to a slightly more measured gearing experience. It's still going to be reasonable for alts, so I'm happy.

Secondly, it marked the first time that every single one of my characters in existence at any one point were up-to-date with any and all story content. This one is mainly due to lockdown giving me more time than ever before, but I’m still really happy to be at this point at long last. Finally, when the expansion comes, I can just get each character to max-level by doing the most-recent content rather than have some still doing whatever story content they’ve been left behind in.

Huzzah.

~

Year Ten: 2020 – 2021

There isn’t really a lot to say about 2021, to be honest. Things are just continuing on as normal. Still the same eight characters, still the same guild, still the same general attitude about things. Really, with how things are beginning to wind down towards the launch of Legacy of the Sith, a fair portion of my time in-game had been spent investigating things on the PTS. I am glad to be delivered the opportunity to take a break from it.

I am looking forward primarily to two things when 7.0 lands. Firstly, adopting Operative and Scoundrel as combat styles for my Trooper and Hunter, to give them both less clunky and more fun playstyles than they do currently. Secondly, for the first time since 2016, I will be switching main characters yet again. I absolutely love what BioWare are doing for Balance in the new expansion, and I am convinced that the various changes will make it more viable for a lot more fights in endgame content than it may be at the moment. 

So that's something, at least!

Until that point, it’s just continuing with digital goings-on. I have at least been able to offer something different for Twin Suns’ social nights by organising datacron runs instead of just the usual operation, which is nice. As infuriating as the Makeb Endurance and Mek-Sha Mastery datacrons can be, I do kind-of miss doing certain datacrons on multiple characters. It’s nice to do them again and help others who still needed them unlock them.

So that’s 2021. More of the same, but spicing up where possible. That’s more than enough for me, as I don’t like things being “big” or “exciting” on a frequent basis. Just enough to keep me occupied, and I’m happy.

~~~

Conclusion

As you can probably tell by the nature of the last three sections, I have really settled into the repetitive lifestyle of an MMO within SWTOR by now. While I don’t mind this, it definitely makes it much harder to identify iconic moments from more recent years. I actually don’t mind this as much as I thought I might: sure, it’s a nice idea to think of a game constantly giving players new things to do that are big and exciting, but sometimes some of the most memorable stuff comes from the familiar.

It doesn’t have to be memorable in such a way that you can tell it to everyone, just memorable enough that it forms a strong bond with people you’re doing stuff with, or a strong affinity for certain activities. Even if these specific memories fade into the ether, just knowing that you’ve made greater friendships or found higher enjoyment of the game because of these anecdotal events is a joy by itself.

That’s really what I view SWTOR as. It’s “just a game”, sure, but it’s also a place where friendships can be forged over some silly moments, future spouses can meet for the first time, and players can essentially form an online family. It has its rough moments, sure, but then everything does. It’s found a special place in my heart across these past ten years, has taught me more about myself than I think I ever really knew, and through it I have got to know some really great people.

Ten years feels like a lot of time. But it’s been a wonderful ten years that I couldn’t have asked to spend any other way.

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