Yesterday I logged out after crafting a weapon and a shield intent on taming one of the ferocious weasels. I had to prove my superiority somehow and what better way than to enslave your enemy, I ask you. However, things didn’t go according to plan because the server is incredibly unstable at the moment. A surge of trial players has exposed a memory leak in the login process which kept restarting the server every few minutes. So my first hour of playtime was spent playing a few minutes at a time and trying to log in the server in between. Later on the server did stabilise somewhat. The bug should be patched soon™.
On with the show! Today’s post could alternatively be titled “On the nature of rabbits”.
Setting from the village with the intention of taming one of those wicked weasels, armed with my trusty wooden sledgehammer and wooden shield (which I can’t see the look of, since the game is first person only), I began looking for my prey. Which doesn’t require a lot of effort, since the three species I’ve encountered so far, the rabbits, the weasels and the wolves, seem to inhibit separate and distinct habitats a few seconds of walk from each other. So I can’t really claim to be an expert tracker. In any case, my initial taming attempts all failed and I puzzled out why. Taming skill depends on two parent skills, intelligence and psyche, and since both of them looked like they only attribute to the mana pool I wisely skipped them when creating my nordic giant of a man, who was clearly destined to be a great warrior and not a maniac prancing around in robes. As soon as he can get his revenge against those rodents, that is (actually weasels have their own family called Mustelidae and are not rodents – wise Ed.). Naturally, with one of those attributes being very low – I have gained a fair amount of intelligence while cutting down trees, imagine that – the difficulty of taming anything was way higher than it should have been.
I figured I’ll have to go for the next best thing, taming a rabbit. Granted, rabbits aren’t as noble and ferocious as the mighty weasels, but needs must. And I really needed a pet. Have you ever seen a mighty warrior without a pet rabbit? You haven’t seen a mighty warrior with a pet rabbit? Well that’s exactly why I need one.
I’ve attempted to tame a rabbit before, but it was just too difficult to keep track of them. You see, when you are taming a weasel he will sit still and stare intently at you with those inquisitive eyes, or if he decides he doesn’t like you, start attacking you. But at least he stays moderately still. Which is important since you need to be in the proximity of at least two or three paces from the animal you are trying to enslave. Now a rabbit will run as soon as he catches wind of you and never stop. And because the grass is knee-high almost everywhere, it completely hides the rabbit and thus makes the whole ordeal incredibly frustrating.
But using my superior intelligence I soon learned how to wrangle them by running on the side of them I didn’t want them to veer in, which I imagine must have resulted in some hilarious benny-hill scenes. It was hard work I tell you, but I soon struck gold (not literally, I’ve yet to strike anything other than gravel, wood or weasels)! I tamed a genuine rabbit! This was to be my first minion, a stepping stone towards complete world domination. Granted, not a very useful minion. I named him Vicious, in the hopes that the name will inspire him to act the part. To see if he will do my bidding, I tried a few commands. Graze, stop, attack, nothing happened regardless of what I clicked. Then I noticed the chat spam. And that’s when it happened.
I learned the hard way that spamming pet commands drains loyalty. For some reason the rabbit didn’t hold much loyalty for me in the first place. Must have been the name. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained. Not that it was a particularly heavy loss, there were plenty of rabbits around. So off I went.
I soon had my second specimen tamed. Being careful not to spam any commands I renamed him and proceeded to test the mettle of the creature. Seeing how I have to fight an unfair battle against wolves every day, I decided that he should be fighting weasels. Selecting one of the noble almost-rodents, I ordered my minion to attack.
Now I’m guessing that the rabbit and the weasel were of mexican descent, because what unfolded was a classical mexican standoff. Neither opponent moved, but they instead stared intently at each other. After watching a couple of tumbleweeds tumble by I realised that this wasn’t a mexican standoff and the rabbit was merely giving me the finger. Apparently my handling skill wasn’t high enough for an animal such as rabbit to obey my commands. In anger I pulled out my wooden hammer in order to engage in some self-teraphy by smashing the weasel’s brain in. I missed, the weasel hit me (it gnawed on my big toe for 2 damage) and the rabbit attacked. Turns out it had been set to defensive and was attempting to defend me from the weasel. It got aggro and, well you can imagine the rest even without reading the chat.
What pathetic pinching. I guess it was the name, pressure because of high expectations and all that. I decided I don’t want such a pathetic animal for a companion after all and that they’ll be merely stepping-stones towards the ultimate goal, the semi-rodent. I won’t be naming them anymore, to ease the burden that the loss of rabbit lives would have on my soul and to hopefully increase their performance. The latter more than the former.
I wasn’t sure if I could handle any more failure, so I didn’t satiate my curiosity and try to tame a weasel. I wanted to get a few more skillups first. The next part is a bit depressing, as it deals with wolves. Not for the faint of heart.
Rabbits must have caught up to what I was doing, the sudden disappearances of their brainwashed kindred couldn’t have gone unnoticed. And they devised a plan to foil my efforts. One of them, an especially nimble fella, was particularly hard to wrangle so I ended up following him while attempting the taming. He led me to my doom, as he ran straight into a pack of wolves. He passed through unharmed, while I… Well you can imagine the usual running around and screaming that ensued.
I spent the next few minutes in the spirit world trying to reach the priest. The server had other plans as it restarted itself just as I reached the village. Mortified over losing all of my loot, except for the pickaxe and the rags I was wearing, I logged in as soon as it came back up. Not even bothering to rest I ran out of the village and started looking for the packet that remains after a player dies. In horror I realised that in some perverted twist of fate my packet was riding on the wolf that killed me. Was it a bug or simply someone teasing me after I described the exact scenario in a joke last post? Regardless, another wolf noticed me while I was trying to take a picture of the freak occurrence, presumably to prevent any evidence from surfacing, and promptly killed me, as I only had a tiny portion of my health left, having ran straight from the village. The server restarted shortly after that. With my spirit dampened I didn’t feel like hanging around to see it come back up.
During the day I realised that I haven’t really lost anything. Every piece of loot in MO is expendable. It’s how the game is designed, from the full loot system, to the short durability values and the ease of acquiring new items. The items that were lost to me were a wooden shield, a wooden mace and some wood (what can I say, it runs in the family). I haven’t lost my axe, which meant that I could simply go out, gather more wood and easily remake all the items. Because I know how. Since I didn’t lose any of the knowledge I have gathered so far, the loss of loot was only a minor setback. The only valuable commodity in MO is knowledge.
Though there was another problem. The durability on my axe was dipping low and a new axe cost 100 copper pieces. I had no money and nothing that I could sell to the vendors. But I remembered that each log sells for 1 copper piece. So I found a nice tree and started chopping. At this point, I have a confession to make. I didn’t sit around watching the character chop wood. I went and had a bite to eat while the guy was slaving away. Normally I’m opposed to anyone afking in order to get some minimal gain with no effort, but I feel that in these circumstances where there was no way I could meaningfully contribute to the act itself, it was justified. I’m not a fan of watching the grass grow, paint dry or an infinite tree getting chopped at. So sue me.
It turns out the server restarted while I was away, but upon logging in I noticed a healthy stack of wooden logs. I sold some to buy a new axe and crafted myself an even better shield and mace. Order restored, I set out to finish my seemingly futile quest. Bah, rabbit chasing.
After a few successful rabbit tame attempts and successive dismissing of them via the loyalty loss system I got bored. I decided my skill in taming advanced enough and that it was time. However, I couldn’t just leave the terrified, and by now, Geneva convention-citing rabbit kin without a proper goodbye. It was time for the ultimate test. It was time to send a rabbit against a wolf and see if the little bastards have any fighting spirit at all.
This time I didn’t commit the previously fatal mistake of naming the specimen and thus raising the expectation bar too high. It was a do-or-die type of thing. So with the mind controlled rabbit obediently following me I set out to look for a suitable target. But, as I’m sure you can imagine by now whenever you read the word wolf, things didn’t go according to plan. I accidentally startled a one I didn’t see and the usual ordeal of me running around screaming like a madman was about to unfold. Only that I didn’t count on my harmless looking pet that I threatened with a death sentence a few seconds earlier.
When the wolf landed his first bite on me, the rabbit who was in defensive mode bit the wolf, probably not even doing enough damage to ruffle his fur. Which doesn’t matter at all, as the rabbit got aggro. Now I was scrambling, discontent that my experiment had gone this wrong and bemused by the rabbit’s mettle. He was as good as dead if I left him there and if I stayed we were both as good as dead. So I futilely clicked the follow button a few times, certain that he wouldn’t obey me because I wasn’t commanding enough (it’s certainly hard to be commanding when staring death in the face), and started running towards the village as fast as my feet would take me.
Halfway there I noticed a distinct lack of mauling being done to my rear, as I was well versed in the affairs of running from wolves. I spared a few moments to look back and there he was! The heroic rabbit! My stalwart defender, hopping as fast as his tiny feet would manage. Bravely running away from a wolf, running after his brave owner who was attempting one of the bravest tactical retreats you’ve ever seen. But the wolf wouldn’t give up. Somehow it was faster than the tiny hero and attempted to cripple him. Three times the wolf lunged forth and three times the rabbit evaded. Having entered the village I turned around and saw the wolf make one final attempt. It was to no avail. The rabbit had escaped, having protected it’s owner and ensured his own fate at my side.
I have no idea what drove the rabbit to such heights of self-sacrifice. As much as I would like, I cannot contribute that to the overwhelming amount of loyalty the rabbit held for me, as you can see from the screenshot, nor can I claim that it was because of my superior pet handling skills, as I have virtually none. Was it his doomed fate that drove him to choose dying for a cause, rather than just dying? I’m afraid we will never know, because he can’t speak (do rabbits make any sounds at all?). I was simply glad that he saved my life. With that single courageous act he redeemed his whole kinship in my eyes. I would give him a name, a glorious name worthy of his indomitable nature. I dubbed him Robin, Brave Sir Robin.
Sadly, shortly after this the server restarted again. I couldn’t be asked to stick around and see whether Brave Sir Robin is still accompanying me. I shall have to find out tomorrow.