On day five Mortal Online showed me a side of it I haven’t seen before. I thought I had the game world all figured out, the way the noobie villages are strung along the coast, how they’re relatively close together and the way they are each a little world of their own enclosed in a valley, situated on a mountain top or nestled between the sea and the plains. I was disappointed by what seemed to be a small game world. The different ecosystems you’d expect to see in the game were all relatively close together and never spanned over a large area. I thought that in my mind I mapped almost half of the game world just by visiting all those villages. I had no idea how wrong I was.
When I last logged out I was dead (again) at the bottom of a stream and had no way of retrieving my loot. Which wasn’t a problem really, since I had no loot to begin with. I was essentially running around naked and embarrassing anyone unfortunate enough to run into me. The problem though, was that I had no idea where the nearest priest was, despite them emitting a pillar of light that can only be seen when you’re dead. But the way the light fades when you approach it is kinda wonky and I’ve been tricked into running to the far away priest, instead of the closer one, many times because of it.
When I logged back in however, I immediately saw the nearest priest a very short walk away on the other side of the stream. The side I attempted and failed to reach before I died. Win! Now, before I died I was trying to cross the murderous river because I wanted to head towards the mountains I saw in the distance. I fully expected them to form an unscalable wall and that I would have to go around, but I had to check. And check I went.
On the way there I entered what seemed to be an abandoned house. While trying to nick some books (which were just props) I saw a message across my screen: War Drums are heard in the distance of Vadda. I panicked, immediately ran out of the cottage and started apologising for stealing to anyone that might be there. Will this be another untimely demise? No, since there was no one around me. Upon investigating the area it turned out this must have been a server-wide message that announced an event somewhere in the area. Because I had no idea where Vadda was, I just continued with my journey.
On the way I encountered a heard of wisents (which are cooler than bisons), but luckily they didn’t attack me and I was smart enough not to provoke them. For now… Upon reaching the foothills of the mountains I realised that my earlier assumption was wrong. There was no wall of impassable peaks there, just a number of valleys leading up and further into the mountains. I started into the valley mouth that was in front of me, but soon discovered that it was littered by Mountain Spiders and Belbusai, so I decided to climb the valley slope and travel on the ridge. This turned out to be precarious business, as the slope was very steep and the ridge was almost impossible to travel on, as it was too jagged.
Eventually I couldn’t continue my path and had to either retrack my steps or try to descend from where I was. I opted for trying to descend the very steep slope. I didn’t realise just how steep it was until I slipped and slid over an overhang and fell to my death. Cue me facepalming.
Oh well, not like I had anything to lose. I found the priest quite quickly in an adjacent valley. After resting I had a look around. Guess what I found. Bears! It seemed like my initial stupidity wore out by now, because I didn’t try attacking them and consequently dying. Somehow I couldn’t imagine myself killing a bear naked and armed with a shabby shortsword. Instead, I let my frustration out on the nearby weasels. It felt good. Looking around after slaughtering a few I discovered what looked like a cave entrance. A very ominous cave entrance.
My fearless, naked avatar (maybe the two are connected) went ahead and entered the cave. What could be in it? Bears? The cave is too extravagant for them. A dragon? I have never heard of a dragon who sculpted. A dangerous tribe of pygmy penguins? Most likely. I was expecting it to be very dark and regretted losing my torch a few days earlier, but to my surprise the cave was well-lit. I followed the elongated cavern as it went on and on… After travelling what seemed to be the length of the whole valley I realised what this is. It’s a tunnel! Of course, how else would caravans travel across the mountains? And indeed, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. What I saw when I emerged out of it made me tug on my beard and want to go drink some beer.
Infesting this newly discovered valley’s floor was a big herd of pigs. Here I remembered that I needed to train my swordfighting skill in case I needed to defend myself in the future, so I carelessly slaughtered a few, but then got bored and wandered off. Trying to find a way into the fortress towering above me I ran into cougars. I was trying to get a closer picture of one when it suddenly attacked me. I knew that if I try to run away I’ll die, so I stood my ground in a hopeless attempt to kill the damn thing. I didn’t kill it but I didn’t die either. As it was clawing at me and got me down to very low health, I was futilely slapping it with my sword. Apparently my swordsmanship is scarily good, because it ran away with its tail between its legs.
Now I was at low health and in no mood to go chasing the damn cat in order to finish it. I was scrambling to get away from the area and have a rest, lest another cat sees me as a tasty meal. Turning away I had just enough time to see an armored figure running towards me. Then my computer lagged for a second and when my picture started moving again I was dead. I was killed by a player. Seriously, who goes and PKs a naked, wounded and obviously a complete noob of a player? I didn’t even have any loot. My loot bag was literally empty. Bah! (I don’t have a screenshot of him killing me, because my computer froze at that moment.)
After resurrecting by a nearby priest and resting, I decided to forget about this nasty encounter and continued down the valley. I soon came across what looked to be like the beginning of a crude settlement. Coming closer I saw orc and goblin-like figures. One of the smaller globin things was on his own, so I did the only natural thing. I tried to gank it. It didn’t end well.
The little bastard called his older brother who throughly slapped me around until I died. So there I was, searching for a priest. Yet again. But this time, instead of going back to the priest I saw earlier, I decided to go exploring as a ghost. Surely, my chances of dying that way were significantly lower. I set my sights on a beacon that marked a priest who was sufficiently far away from me and set out. Climbing (or trying to) over what looked to be at least three mountains and making my way through five or so valleys, which took at least 20 minutes, I finally reached my destination. The priest was directly under me as I jumped over the overhang. I pressed the interact button so the priest resurrected me and looked around. Guess where I was.
Great, just great. Screw you game, I’m not your play toy.