If I were to give this post an alternate title, it would have to be “Failing epically”. In my last diary entry I decided to spend some time getting enough money to buy some armor, because adventuring turned out to be a hard thing to do while dressed in rags. I ended one-upping the rags and adventuring naked. Curious to find out how this epic fail came to be? Then read on…
I tried getting money by killing boars and their selling carcasses to skinners, but after finding out that I could only carry back two kills worth of loot and that no one was buying them I opted for chopping wood. Sigh, it always comes back to being a lumberjack. I’m starting to wonder if that is my destiny. Thus I spent an hour staring at the chopping animation and listening to podcasts. This resulted in my character turning into the incredible Hulk (but more intelligent) and me having enough money to buy a few armor parts. I opted for the bodypiece, the leggings, shoes, shoulderpads and a helm. The logical parts. The illogical thing is that you have to buy shoulderpads, gloves and sleeves separately for each part instead of buying them together a pair. Which makes them more expensive than some of the other pieces. Blargh.
In any case, I crafted a few hammers and shields from the leftover wood and set out to explore and conquer (but not before buying a torch!). My first destination were the Mountain Spiders. I haven’t tried killing them before so I had no idea how strong they were. But I was a gorilla now, had my new armor, weapons and a shield. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything, that’s what. It’s kinda hard to kill a monster that is either clipping through you or dancing around you and can kill you in six hits to top it off. Note: do not engage anything bigger than you unless you can run away. I failed at running away.
No matter, the priest was close and a short trip later I had all my gear back and was on my way. My second destination were the woods where I met the scary Belbusai (pl.?). Revenge will be mine! Except that it was the same story as with the spider. I died fairly quickly and with having no health bar for the target (or me missing it), I had no idea how good or bad I did. I assumed that I got my ass kicked (chomped off). The biggest problem though, was that the nearest priest was quite far away. Luckily my loot was still there by the time I came back. Unluckily, I crashed right when I looted it.
When I logged back in there were two of those hell-hounds guarding my, now cold, dead body. All right, I’ll just run back, the loot was still there. While running back I saw some other noobie dressed in rags running away from the spot where I died. Later I found out that you can loot other players’ corpses. I’m not sure if my loot got stolen or simply timed out. What I do know is that none of my precious armor or weapons were where I died. Cue me rage quitting. But not before I attempted to counter-gank a vicious looking hell-boar. Of course, it called a mate and double-teamed me. After which I really had no choice but to rage quit.
The problem was that I thought my hard-earned armor would take me a few levels higher in power, while in reality it’s mostly your fighting skills and stats that dictate what you can kill, not your armor or weapons. I should have realised that I’m likely to lose all my expensive gear, and even had I managed to safeguard it, the durability stats on the pieces meant that the whole thing will eventually decay. I should have realised that if I’m going to adventure, I need a viable source of gear. Be it crafter alts, guildies or player merchants (in which case you need a way to make money). By relying on things that are hard to replace I was just setting myself up for a disaster.
But not all was lost. Surely the few hundred stats I gained while roleplaying a lumberjack would be enough for adventuring. And I still had my two noobie tools that you don’t lose when you die, an axe and a short sword. But I left my indestructible noobie rags (which are there only to cover your unmentionables, not to provide protection) in my vault, which meant that I’d have to play an adventuring streaker. No problem, the first person perspective means that the full frontal nudity of my character would only bother others.
Bolstered by all this knowledge (and a somewhat streaker attitude), I logged back in and continued my journey. I gave the dreaded forest of Belbusai a wide berth and headed towards what looked like an apple orchard, which slowly turned into a peach orchard. On my right there was a big city surrounded by a stone wall. All the entrances were closed though, so I continued along the coast that was bordering on one side of the city. The landscape way pretty bleak until I came to a crumbled tower and finally realised where I was. I remembered that if I continue along the coast for a few minutes I would eventually reach another starting village, this one nestled between sea on one side and a vast savannah on the other. I knew all of this because I started there in the beta.
I first needed to get there though, and with nasty hyena-looking creatures (ominously called Night Stalkers) surrounding the tower, I realised that might be a bit difficult. But I had nothing to lose really, so I came close to one of them. It was completely ignorant of my existence. Until I smacked it a bit with my sword, that is (for some reason I hit things with the hilt more often than the blade, lack of proper training is probably to fault for that). Funnily enough, instead of eating me like most things bigger than a weasel, it died rather easily. Huzzah! I proceeded to slaughter all of them (carefully avoiding Belbusai that were around), but since they never dropped anything other than carcasses and with me having the carrying strength of an asthmatic otter, I soon gave up and continued towards the village.
Approaching it I had the bright idea of slaughtering some pigs and selling their carcasses (and the ones from before) to players in the village. Unfortunately the pig feeding grounds have been moved so I ended up straying away from the village in order to find them. A short way away I was distracted by what looked to be a small skirmish between players. I stayed out of it and continued towards something resembling a grassy knoll. I turned out that was the border between the savannah type area and the prairie one. And look, there were bush pigs! Effortlessly slaughtering a few I suddenly realised I’m quite some way away from any settlement, which would make the trek back take ages. To top it off, I was encumbered from the crazy amount of animal remains I was hauling, and therefore moving with the speed of a 70-year old in a cashier line. Bah humbug! I dropped the excess loot and headed off in a random direction once more.
I came near to what looked like a pine forest. Oh at last, a return to my roots! This is what I was pining for! I suspected this forest was the same forest that contained the viking-type starting area (the one I started in before). And indeed it did. This meant that the three starting areas I knew about were rather close together. Mind you, when I say close together I mean no more than an hour’s walk apart (real world hour). I was a bit disappointed, since unless the starting areas were sort of bundled close together in one part of the game world, this meant that the whole world was a bit small. This bore further investigation.
Starting out away from the pines I soon came across a tall wooden palisade. The entrance was closed but from what I could gather by peeking between the timbers it housed player made structures and most likely belonged to a guild. Neat.
A minute’s walk from the palisade there was a stream and I was determined to cross it in order to head towards what looked to be a mountain range. My previous experience with deep water resulted in me almost drowning, but since I was aware of that possibility now the whole ordeal should have been rather simple. I would just need to keep my head above the water and swim over the stream. But as soon as I enthusiastically charged into the water I started sinking like a stone, and nothing I did would keep me afloat. I couldn’t even climb up the riverbank since it was too steep. So I drowned. I don’t know if I couldn’t swim because of the weight of everything I was carrying, or because I was pressing the wrong buttons (all of them). But that didn’t really matter at that moment, since I realised that I have no idea where the nearest priest is and I couldn’t really be arsed to go looking for him. Screw the loot and screw the corpse, I had enough running for one day. I logged out.