Acutely Mortal – Day 3

After a massive hiatus I have returned to my Mortal Online trial. The reason I took a break in the first place was the server being unstable and kicking me off more times than I managed to died (true). The server got fixed a few days later, but I was in the process of formatting and reinstalling two of my PCs, after which I needed to redownload and reinstall the client. And then, I have to be honest, I didn’t feel like playing MO. I felt like loling around in LoL or playing The Witcher, but not like playing MO. But through sheer force of will (I kept telling myself the game gets better) I went back. And I really had fun. I have no idea why I didn’t want to go back in the first place.

Brawl area closed in Fabernum

Bummer...

I had to make a new trial account since my previous one expired, but I didn’t regret the loss of progress on my other trial account, simply because there was none. I was screwing around, trying my best to tame something that would fight for me and failing, since the best I could do was a rabbit (albeit a very brave one). I had a bit of fun, but later I realised that the game might appear boring to me because I’m not taking advantage of that big, mystical, unexplored world. So I set out to remedy this on my second account.

The second character I made.

You wouldn’t want to meet this guy on the street at night. Well, you probably wouldn’t want to meet him at all.

I decided to make a different type of character this time. The previous one was of a Viking-like race, a big hulking brute that started out in a Scandinavian looking area. This time around I went with a race that fit the description of ancient Romans, with the starting area being a bit more Mediterranean.

The view from the starting area.

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” - Turns out Aristotle knew me exceptionally well.

I had a clear plan this time around. Explore! Vanquish! Conquer! Though by being dressed in rags and wielding a rusty sword I think I may have set the bar a bit too high with the last two. Regardless, I had a look around the starting area, decided it’s far too bland for me and upon seeing the view from an overhang decided which direction I want to head in. Leaving the area, I got a bit distracted by gathering mushrooms that were growing around and selling them to a vendor that seemed to be making a killing by buying underpriced mushrooms from newbies and reselling them, but seeing how they’re only worth one copper each I decided fate has more in store for me than being a mushroom hunter (yes, mushrooms are hunted).

Fabernum village square.

The idiot that was chopping down the main square tree is a little bit to the right of the picture.

I did visit a village called Fabernum though, but with no money to buy anything and it looking pretty much empty (aside from an idiot doing his best to cut down the village square tree), I quickly got bored and left. Adventurously descending alongside a stream (I later found out it was actually the only way to descend, I was simply on the wrong side of the stream, on the other side there was a wide road) I made my way down into what seemed like a suburb. There were houses everywhere! Approaching a few I deducted that they were player owned houses (it said so on the door knob). After spending a few minutes trying to convince the housing NPC to sell me one of them on the account of me being an up and coming hero (those buggers are smart), I noticed a pair of antelopes (springboks). Yay animals!Player owned house.

You can guess what happened next. No, I didn’t try to tame them, try the other option. Yes I died. Apparently those things pack a punch and I was wrong in provoking one. And it turns out they’re ruthless to top it off, because even though I was on my knees begging for mercy at one point, the darn thing showed none. Luckily the priest was near. Going back and giving the antelopes a wide-berth I started up a mountain only to be greeted by four pairs of hairy legs and god knows how many eyes. Mountain spiders! Weirdly enough, I didn’t die this time. They haven’t noticed me, so I quietly took a picture (they didn’t hear the click) and got the hell out of there. Fortunately, there were only two of them or I would have probably ended up dying by backing into one.Mountain spiders.

Narrowly escaping death I ran off only to tempt fate once more. I attempted to break into a player-owned house by chopping down the (wooden) door. No go. Oh well, I’d probably get arrested, killed, or teabagged (or all three) if I succeeded anyway. It was time to head out into the wilderness. Although seeing how much of a hazard simple animals like antelopes were for me, I could have stayed in that area and called it adventuring.

After a short trek I came to the shore of a lake. This was my second ever encounter with water in MO and I simply had to give swimming a go. It didn’t turn out so well, since there is no indication of how long your character can hold its breath. I narrowly escaped drowning, ticked off “try diving” on my list and ran off.

Into the nearest woods. Hurray, home ground at last (the starting area was a grassy knoll). I immediately noticed big brownish shapes moving between the trees. Boars (bush pigs)! Every MMO has boars, that’s a universal fact, so I have no idea why I was so excited. Because of all the excitement I made one of my recurring mistakes. Trying to come close enough for a good picture I got the animal’s attention. Are boars aggressive? You bet. Commence hysterical yelling and running away. I thought I was done for, but I noticed that my backside wasn’t being ravaged, as it’s usually the case. It seemed like the boar I provoked had bad tusks (or maybe he was old and they all fell out). Scrambling to run and at the same time unequip my axe and equip my sword, I managed to turn around and make a stand. And what a glorious stand it was. Needless to say, the beast was stunned. Whip-crack went its rumpy tail and the beast was done.

A dead bush pig.

The looting of the beast. The loot was 3381 boar carcass. I have no idea what that means.

While I was resting and healing my wounds I noticed some of the boars (bush pigs) were strange. They were bigger and leaner than the rest. I had to investigate. Getting in range of one the game told me it was a Belbus (no idea). It was a mass of muscle and teeth, which in itself looked very dangerous, nevermind the sounds they were making and the way they were flexing. But I had to get a nice close-up picture you know. So I could… um, study them later and assess how dangerous they were.

Getting killed by a Belbus.

The only reason I can see my body is because the damn thing chewed my head off.

I died. Interesting fact, apparently you remain conscious for a bit when you head gets detached, so you can experience your head flying through the air when it’s lobbed off. It was becoming increasingly clear that if I am to explore the world I can’t do it in rags and with a rusty sword in hand. I need some armor and a decent weapon. I saw a vendor that was selling these things back in the starting area, so the only thing I needed was money. Which seems to be impossible to get. But I’ll try anyway. I’ll slaughter some pigs and try to sell their carcasses to crafters in Fabernum. Failing that, I’ll chop wood (and listen to podcasts – RadioLab and VanHemlock ftw) until I can afford some kind of protection and a decent weapon.

It seems the struggle in this game starts in the starting area. So be it.

Domestic pig climbing stacked firewood

That’ll do pig. That’ll do.

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5 thoughts on “Acutely Mortal – Day 3

    • After writing this post I realised I might be setting people up for a disappointment. The game is very very different from themepark MMOs, predominantly in its sandboxiness and the level of accessibility. It’s very hard to get into it and although there are a few basic tutorials and two tutorial videos (accessible from the launcher), after you are done with those many people will be left wondering what’s next. The game doesn’t guide you by the hand, you’re simply free to explore, learn and do whatever you want. But then there’s the issue of money, 0 crafting instructions (you have to find out everything the hard way) and the brutal combat (it’s hard to kill anything bigger than your big toe).

      Plus, the game is incredibly slow compared to themepark MMOs. Getting from A to B, gathering resources, resting, everything takes a very long time (at least in the beginning). Which might be a turn-off for the instant-gratification hungry players. The game is crude, yet unique, mysterious and strangely satisfying (in the long run).

      But at the same time, making a trial account and downloading the game costs nothing but a bit of time, so maybe I should just shut up and let people have a go at it. I just thought a fair warning is in order.

      I will write a complete review thingy after I’m done with the diaries (planning on 7 or so entries).

  1. This game doesn’t seem (so far) as bad as everyone says. It’s still a ways down on my Challenge list but so far it doesn’t look too bad. You haven’t been griefed or PK’d at all. It is open world PVP, right?

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, it it HAD to happen, I think that you’d probably want to be arrested, killed, and then teabagged- in that order. No sense being alive for that final humiliation imho :)

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the series. The game isn’t bad at all, it’s just extremly hard to start in it. If you’re going solo the only source of income is wood (rocks and carcasses can’t be vendored). And then it takes a lot of money to buy armor. But if you’re going the crafting way, there’s really no way to be self sufficient. If you’re a lumberjack, there really aren’t that many skill points you have left to pick up, say shield crafting or bowmaking in full. If you’re going the skinner route, it’s really hard to fit armor making in there along with sufficient combat skills to actually kill the beasts you get the skins off. So the game really promotes social interactions and player driven economy, but at te same time there’s no auction house (a mail system is incoming next patch).

      It’s not bad at all, it’s a great sandbox game. But you’d really want a group of people to play with, that can help you and give you advice when you’re starting out.

      I’d really hope people won’t jump into it before I can finish the series and get my review thingy up. They might be disappointed.

      Oh, and all the PvP is completely open world. You can kill anyone you want. But doing so marks you as an outlaw (unless it was justified by a complicated flagging system) and you’ll get on the city guard’s KoS list. Every first character you make on a trial account is yellow flagged, which means that they are basically invulnerable unless they do something illegal (like kill a non-outlaw target).

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