A Farewell Tribute to Eric "Dalmarus" Campbell

By Reuben Waters -

From the moment I knew we would be creating a community site for Star Trek Online, there was no question as to who I wanted to see sitting in the captain's chair as our STO community manager. I knew that Eric was driven, passionate about MMOGs and had a particular flair about his writing that I felt was a perfect fit for the role. From our very first meetings about the project I knew that I'd made the right decision, as Eric quickly picked up the ball and ran with it even further than I expected he would.

Captain Dalmarus

Eric was clearly always meant to lead our Star Trek Online team.

What followed were many, many late nights chatting as we attempted up the ante for how we'd go about presenting content for the site. It never failed to crack me up that on a good number of those nights Eric would be working from his unofficial office at IHOP. In fact I wouldn't be surprised at all if they have Eric's name engraved on a brass plate and nailed to his favorite booth by now for all the nights he spent there weaving his magic on our network.

Having been with Ten Ton Hammer for nearly three years, the STO site isn't the only part of the network where Eric left his mark. Originally brought on board by our current PR Specialist and Features Editor Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg to be one of her minions for our Vanguard site, it was clear from the very beginning that Eric would go on to do great things.

"When I first "met" (virtually) Eric he was a wide-eyed writer marveling at the notion that he could actually get paid writing about games. He was one of a handful of Chosen Ones selected to interview for a position with Ten Ton Hammer's Vanguard community team, and I put him through the interview paces. It's so hard to find a good minion these days, but I had a good feeling about Eric. As minions go, he definitely turned out to be one of the finest. Not only was he willing to do the tedious work of putting together things like spell lists or populating databases, he actually seemed to enjoy it. (Most good minions possess masochistic tendencies, I've learned.)

Plus, we totally hit it off. We learned that we liked the same types of games, and that we were pay-to-play snobs desperately trying to take free-to-play games seriously; we could get our geek on talking about Star Trek (which is one of the many reasons why Eric made such a great lead for Ten Ton Hammer's Star Trek Online community site); we were annoyed by bad grammar; and we were both trying to curb our habit of swearing like sailors (or, in Eric's case, like a former Marine).

Throughout his time here, Eric has been a superb minion (if only briefly before he moved on up the food chain), an awesome coworker, and a great friend (something I know he'll continue to be). I wish him the best of luck in his new position, and I hope those folks at Blizzard know just what a fine catch they've caught."

Executive Editor Benjamin de la Durantaye also fondly recalls his early days of working with Eric on our Vanguard site.

“It wasn't that long ago when Eric and I started working at Ten Ton Hammer. We were both hired at the same time to write for Vanguard under Shayalyn's lead at the time. We were both young, new, and scared. Often we'd call each other in the middle of the night shivering with fear and excitement about the new job, and then giggle about girls until the wee hours.

Ok, not really. Eric's happily coupled, and I rarely giggle (though I am known to chuckle, chortle and sometimes titter). But the fact remains that we did share a time line and working with Eric was always rewarding. We both loved Vanguard and his commitment to the content lasted well past the decline in server population. But that's the kind of guy Eric is - committed and focused. Any time he took up a project, you knew he'd not only see it through to the end but put such hard work into it that it would invariably kick ass.

It was no different when he moved to the Main Site. He'd get an idea with sparkle in his eye and he'd run with it, and he'd run far. He's a man with drive and values. Blizzard's lucky to be getting him. That doesn't mean that I don't hold some resentment for them for taking him away. But I guess I'll just have to titter by myself for a while.

Many other staff members echo Karen and Ben's sentiments that Blizzard is lucky to be getting such a driven, talented individual, among them Xerin, our current community manager for World of Warcraft.

Eric is an awesome guy and Blizzard is lucky to get him. That in itself speaks leagues about him and the quality of work Eric has produced since he's been with Ten Ton Hammer. Lucky bum.

EverQuest II community manager Savanja jokingly attributes Eric’s new position with Blizzard as part of her grand scheme to snag Star Wars: The Old Republic beta keys before the rest of the staff.

Dalmarus and I never actually had the chance to work together closely, even though he had been at Ten Ton Hammer working on the SOE title Vanguard for a few months before I had started working on EverQuest II. We always seemed to be off doing different things and our paths really didn't cross that much.

That is until the fateful day in which we were asked to share our 2010 predictions. While the original banter was cut from the published version, the battle over who would get SWTOR beta keys first raged through out the company wide e-mail. Dalmarus declared that he was certainly going to get in first where a couple of us were willing to play dirty to snatch that possibility from Dalmarus.

Alas, I had shown my hand. I had fool-hardily shared my plan for beta key domination thus lowering my chances of success. It was then I decided to hatch an intricate plan of sending Dalmarus off to the motherland of MMOGs, Blizzard, in order to get him out of the way and securing my shot at victory.

Sure, it may appear that I have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Dalmarus' move to Blizzard in any way at all. Does a good puppet master reveal their tricks of trade?

I think not.


IHOP - Eric's unnofficial office space.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one on staff who got to experience some epic late night chats with Eric as he busily worked from his local IHOP, as contributing writer Martuk adds:

I don't have a lot of past war stories so to speak, aside from his epic battles with the Tutty Fruity IHOP breakfast while trying to meet a deadline. May his waffles fly just as true in his new position.

Personally I couldn’t be happier for Eric as he embarks on his newest adventures with Blizzard, though he will certainly be missed around the network. Wherever his path may take him from here, Eric’s dedication and drive will no doubt take him far. So shine on you crazy diamond Eric, shine on!

For those of you interested in keeping up to date on Eric’s latest escapades, he’s also created a new blog, The Dalmarus Chronicles, because after years of writing week in, week out it can be hard to give up the habit. Be sure to add your own thoughts or favirote articles that Eric has written in the forums!

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