Ramblings of The Mad God, Day 1: Folly

By Alec Meer on July 5th, 2011 at 2:00 pm.

I've killed 'em all

The plan: a document of ultimate triumph in Realm of the Mad God. Culminating, no doubt, in a climactic mano-a-mano encounter with the titular Mad God himself, Oryx.

I have plan. I will execute it. I will document it. I shall not waver. It will be flawless. I will be legendary.

The reality: a pathetic non-saga of greed and failure.

I start, as I always start, in the Nexus. It’s a hub-world to store, swap and buy loot, and it’s also a refuge from the constant war which wages outside. I’ll need it later, I’m sure. For now though, it’s my chance to become superhuman even before my adventures begin.

Heroes need to travel light. They love shiny things, almost more than life itself (and all too often lose their lives because they’re busy staring at some glittering trinket on the ground instead of at the Undead Hobbit Warrior that’s dragging a horde of zombie midgets their way) but anything more than, let’s say, 12 invariably priceless pieces of loot and they’re out of pocket-space. That makes the Nexus a beggar’s paradise, or at least it would if beggars wanted magic sceptres and Iron Quivers rather than food, booze and all manner of exciting and deadly narcotics intended to distract them from the abject horror of their day-to-day existence.

So I lurk. I’m an Archer in a natty green cap that clearly identifies me as a stoic, deft fellow of the forest, but I’ve behaving like a starving, diseased pigeon lurching desperately across hyde park whenever it thinks it spots a stale breadcrumb on the breeze. I heard the noise! The noise! The noise that means someone has dropped something which is probably just more crap starting gear but might, might, might be a rare and precious bow. Runrunrunrun. There’s a brown sack full of my hopes, dreams and marginally improved attack value here somewhere…

There! Run! Too late. Another Archer materialises out of nowhere, presumably having just pressed the hallowed F5 Key Of Ultimate Salvation which god-damned cowards use to instantly escape a fight that’s not going their way, darts an inch to the left and he’s on the sack. He leaves another behind. I look. I slump. A starting Bow. I look at him, peering at the rag-tag assortment of items he’s carrying. He’s how got an Iron Bow. The bastard. Five seconds earlier and that would have been mine. I’d have been unstoppable. Or, at least, slightly less stoppable.

This cycle of scavenging continues for ten minutes or so, and after a time I’m not in bad shape at all. Let’s see: Iron Quiver, Snake Skin Armour, couple of health potions. Could be better, but could definitely be worse. I’m still haunted by the loss of that Iron Bow though. No matter. There’ll be more. I’m going to have a long, healthy and impossibly rich adventuring career, after all.

To the Realm! Despite being fairly well-equipped, I’m still a tiny, pitiful baby who could be felled by a stern look, so I hang around the coast, picking on pirates and snakes until I’m a little stronger. It’s humiliating, frankly. Snakes? Whoever became famous for beating up snakes? “Yeah, he went to a magical world ruled by an insane deity, but he just shot some reptiles while everyone was battling lich kings and cube gods. Well done him.”

All the while, Oryx bellows about his invincibility, about the many fabulous fiends he’s summoned to defend him. A horde of beefier adventurers rushes past me as I’m disconsolately unloading another arrow into a hapless serpentine throat, and I sigh. They’re off to save the world. I’m just doing pest control.

Impatience gets the better of me. After all, I’m going to be the god-killer: shouldn’t be wasting my time like this. I concentrate on where a group of my more veteran peers are roaming and zzzzzzzzzzzzap! There I am, right with them. The sky is a horde of arrows, throwing knives and magical energies. This is it! This is what’s it about! Heroes, victory, impossible bravery…

“Run away!”
“Nexus lol”
“Give up!”

One by one, my new companions vanish. Apart from the ones who are already corpses. I look down, and without even knowing something hit me I realise I’m a heartbeat from death. If I’ve still got legs, it’s miracle. Something appears on the edge of my vision. Something squidlike, I think. Something a hero would battle, no doubt. I don’t even look at it. Zzzzzzzzap!

I’m back in the Nexus, hoping no-one recognises me. Safe, but shamed. And almost dead. A friendly passing priest wordlessly emits a healing aura and at least I’m no longer visibly wreckage. None shall know my dishonour. Back to battle! This time. This time.

Time passes. Snakes die. Goblins die. Elven wizards die too, once I get braver. I grow stronger. I finally find that Iron Bow. I’m ready. I know it. I identify that horde of adventurers from earlier, concentrate and zzzzzap. Straight to the frontlines, where Oryx’s toughest guards roam.

It’s carnage. Fireworks of doom and death and triumph. I can’t see a thing through the horde of other adventurers, but I loose arrows in every and any direction and seem to be rewarded for it. Somewhere, something is dying, and apparently I’m contributing, though I’m not really sure how. I just smile and nod and making convincing noises, but hide at the back of the crowd and spamspammityspam. Hey, battle is easy! I’m growing stronger and stronger, gaining a torrent of experience from the derring-do of the bigger, braver men at the front of whatever the hell this battle is against (I literally cannot see what, if anything, is being slain in such vast numbers) and I don’t even have to do anything. That’s how good I am. I’m unstoppable! All I need to do is hang around here a little while longer and I’ll be more than ready to take on Oryx. This is it! This time! This ti..

Oh.

No. Noooooo. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This isn’t fair. I was doing so well! I had such good loot. I had… I had a blinkered hunger for self-satisfaction that caused me to pay no attention whatsoever to what I was actually doing.

Right. Well. Let’s try this again, eh? Next time: godslayer. Definitely. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully. Reaching more than level 6, anyway.

Play Realm of the Mad God for free in your browser here. Experimental full-screen version here.

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66 Comments »

  1. DarkFenix says:

    Fun. Harsh. I quit in a huff yesterday after losing my level 18 wizard. I can’t stop going back for more.

    • Aska says:

      Agreed! I keep coming back for 15 minute sessions (that’s about all my browser seems to be able to handle before everything starts running choppy)

      Reloading is easy though, and I go back for 15 minutes more.

      I love how this game encourages co-op by something as easy as giving equal XP to everyone on screen so a 50 XP mob gives 50 XP to everyone. You run around by your lonesome killing mobs and then suddenly another guy joins, and another, and before you know it you are 30 people running a rape-train of explosions through the map.

      Also the incremental class unlock is brilliant, it almost makes you want to kill yourself when you are maxed out so you can try that other class out.

  2. anotherman7 says:

    6? Pfhahahahaha. Level 15 archer since your last post, suck it Meer. I have a bitchin crossbow too.

  3. President Weasel says:

    Who do you think you are, Alec Meer? Quinns?

  4. Gothnak says:

    I played this for the first time on Sunday. Got a Wizard to level 9 or so. Best place to fight was the green one eyed goo things that spawn smaller ones, xp farming for the win!

    Anyway, Oryx summoned us all to his lair, and we killed him…

    Now the game seems more than a little flat.

    Have i missed something?

    • Dominic White says:

      You joined just as the game was reaching its final phases – your little Level 9 wizard probably contributed approximately nothing to Oryx’s downfall in the end.

    • Gothnak says:

      Ah, i agree, i probably didn’t, but frankly i have no idea. Which meant it all felt rather pointless.

    • DrBomb says:

      You’ve still got to enter the wine cellar to face the real oryx :P
      And max all your stats, suffer inside the dungeons bla bla bla

    • Strangineer says:

      You’ll want to get that wizard to level 20, and then a rogue to level 20 as well, so you get your assassin! And then level that assassin to level 20, so you can get your sorcerer! And of course, find amazing items for these guys as well!

  5. Joe Duck says:

    Nice game choice. Nice approach to the task at hand. Nice bow. Nice storytelling.
    Very nice…

  6. malbogio says:

    Hit level 20 with one of my characters yesterday finally. I’m starting to get into a pattern.

    First I zoom out in the minimap and use the teleport function to group up with other low levels for quick kills on low level quest targets. Repeat until about level 5. Then I teleport over to a group of high levels now that the level difference is smaller and I can leech more than 5XP from their kills. I carefully stand far behind them, Nexus out if I fall below half health, and wait for a quiet opportunity to loot their dead for better gear.

    Generally if I keep my head down, stick to the priests like white on rice, and don’t get greedy I can get pretty high level before a lapse in judgement causes me to stand too far in the front of the group for too long and get taken out.

    Up until level 10 it’s well worth checking for trains of 20+ friendlies dashing about on the roadways killing everything in sight. You don’t even have to fire off a shot to farm XP like mad.

    • malbogio says:

      Just went in again and hit 19 with a priest. Was on the verge of hitting 20 and unlocking a new class but I had to go and get reckless, charging ahead down the 4th or 5th hallway of lava, healing myself as I went, only to realize that this time I was at the front of the charge and that I couldn’t run away back down the hall of lava as I was out of mana to heal with.

  7. simonh says:

    The way to do it is to just hang around the nexus until someone opens a dungeon. Since XP isn’t split between players, everyone gets full XP, it gets totally insane when you’re in a massive death-blob of players running through hordes of monsters, way worse than leeching the Secret Cow level.
    It was a while ago I played it though, fired it up again when you mentioned it here and this time there were no dungeons, seems like you have to pay real money for the dungeons now?

    • Protagoras says:

      OH GOD SECRET COW LEVEL OH GOD I LOVE YOU.

    • Robsoie says:

      The dungeons always exist, they appear very rarely once some specific monsters are killed.

    • wyrmsine says:

      Yep, killing pirates or the wee cubes has a chance of opening the Pirate Cave. Which is, near as I can tell, the only low-level dungeon. I don’t know what I killed to get to the Spider Den, but the difficulty had jumped considerably.

  8. malbogio says:

    It really helps if you don’t hit your chest for better gear with new characters until you’ve hit level 10 or so, lest you get ripped apart while your HP is in the tissue paper range and lose it all.

  9. Tom De Roeck says:

    Trying to make up for Quinns leaving?

  10. mxjcmxjc says:

    Working on my next level 20 Character. See you in the Nexus. Screenname “LUVABBW”

  11. Furius says:

    I don’t know much about bows. But an iron bow? That doesn’t sounds like a good idea.

  12. Moth Bones says:

    Snakes? What snakes? I had to go seek out tricky buggers who throw fireballs. Pleased that I made level 2 on my first go though. Fun.

  13. Temple says:

    So, I thought I didn’t like bullet shooters. Turns out I do to this sort of level difficulty.
    Anyone know of similar difficulty bullet shooters? – I really like (and am looking for something with) the option to just run away and come back rather than being on a scrolling screen that gets harder and harder.

  14. wisnoskij says:

    With a wizard I did nto find that any grinding needed to happen. Finished the tutorial and then just went in search of quests and easily bested them, the nova spell special ability is pretty awesome, kills everything on screen with just one hit for most of monsters I have encountered thus far.

  15. psyk says:

    Choose char teleport to a train run around till lvl 20 rinse and repeat

    • Alec Meer says:

      But that sounds very boring.

    • Temple says:

      People do have a weird idea of fun don’t they? You imagine them being the same who would riot if the developers sold lvl 20 characters in the shop.

    • Lamb Chop says:

      the trains aren’t even efficient. You’re much better off finding a relatively fresh server, leveling to 5 or 6 on the various low-level wizards and then hunting out the oh-so-sweet gelatinous green bags of xp. Then find a spider den or snake lair, and that’s another 4-5 levels. Also, dear lord, the only reason to go to the front lines before level 15 or so is if you’re feasting on the corpses of your friends like some item-entranced vulture.

    • psyk says:

      :D Start a new char, jump around until you find the group surrounded in projectiles out in the outlands(?) and prepare for bullet hell and stupidly quick leveling. Might not be classed as a train (though you do slowly move around) but it has the same effect just more dodging required and in a smaller area.

      What’s the point of slowly leveling when you can do it near instantly? as a bonus you can get some stupidly high level gear as well, if your quick enough on the pick up.

  16. iWHUT says:

    Haha! I’m hooked! I stayed up till the birds started singing again outside my house! (11:45 PM)

    But really I’ve had a chat with who I assume is the developer in the past and all I can say is nicely done!

  17. jay35 says:

    Yet to see a single gold drop anywhere. Are there coin drops within the game or is purchase with real money the only option?

    • DrBomb says:

      Realm Gold is bought with real money strictly speaking so no drops :(
      And fame doesn’t buy good stuff except for the amulet of resurrection that costs a shitload of it

  18. Stuart Walton says:

    He’s right about the loot drop sound. I’ll dump a ton of trash in the Nexus just to see them all scamper over each other to get to it. A mass of pixels smothering the loot bags at their feet and a few seconds later they’re all gone. It may be trash, but it’s their trash now.

  19. Devenger says:

    Part of the beauty of RotMG is how quickly you can go from useless leech to magnanimous hero… and back again. Yesterday I got my Rogue to level 20, and was doing swimmingly. I could run faster than almost all of the gods’ projectiles, turn invisible for enough time to kill two gods without them getting a shot back at me, and whenever I returned to Nexus I would just discard +6 rings, mithril armour and better wands than most clerics even see in a lifetime, because they were of no use to me, and it was better someone had them. I was glorious.

    Just later that day, after some poor luck with both that Rogue and a couple of follow up characters, I was playing a Wizard who hadn’t even found anything to put in his Ring slot despite being level 12, hadn’t yet secured an improvement over the starting fire burst spell, and was so skittish he’d warp out to the safety of Nexus whenever a god’s projectile even entered the screen. I had been humbled.

    (That Wizard was killed, instantly, by mistiming a movement while near one of a Cube God’s lieutenants.)

    It’s a stunning game.

  20. Hatsworth says:

    I played it once, ignored the advice given to me half-hoping to die fast, but it never happened. Was quite boring as a result. Most attacks were easy to dodge, and once I encountered enemies where that wasn’t the case(or just got surrounded), they did lousy damage anyway.

  21. McDan says:

    I’ve been playing for months and still don’t know how to teleport…

    • KilgoreTrout_XL says:

      Just double-click on a green dot on the minimap (use the mouse wheel on the game map to zoom out). That will bring up a list of players with a button labeled “teleport” on the top. Just click that and you’re all set.

  22. Robsoie says:

    Zoom out the mini map on the upper right (the little white arrow up and down) , left click on a lonely or blob of green squares and select “Teleport”.

  23. DrBomb says:

    I always die for being impatient and porting to the gods.. I have only reached 20 once and 19 around 5 times.

  24. Betamax says:

    After your last post about RotMG I went back to it after months away and had a blast zooming around as a little Rogue. Got upto level 15ish before the cockiness overcame me. I had killed a squid god, and a giant robot. I had survived hordes of roving… things. When the quest to kill one of Oryx’s prized minions sprang up not that far from where I was I thought “why not? How hard could it possible be?” plus by this time I had become far too comfortable ‘ghosting’ and zapping to the nexus if I got in over my head.

    Yeah, I walked – nay ran, into a clearing with more than a handful of very large beasties all firing deadly beams of (oh so pretty) light at me. I think my shadow is still burnt into a tree over there.

    Rest in peace Dandilyon the rogue.

    But yeha great to see another diary pop up! Always enjoy reading these around here. :)

  25. Sardukar says:

    Oh, Alec, Alec, Alec. That sounds like much too much fun for an MMO. Stop yourself immediately. Optimize your grind pattern, get an addon to grab loot and another to sort it, maybe find a bot to do the actual adventuring…this is about the results, sir! Results!

    I spent more time with Mad God than I did Age of Conan recently, even though I just restarted AoC. I’m sure that says something. Something pithy, no doubt.

  26. fuggles says:

    I just don’t understand this game. I solo’d as a wizard until level 11, because I only ever saw 2 people who were much faster than me. Nothing even got near to killing me and I just kept grinding out the same three boss quests for about a half an hour until I had to turn off the PC. Nothing happened at all – what did I miss? It was really quite dull.

  27. Aska says:

    Well, there you go Alec.

    I got the urge from reading this, and did a session with my lvl 20 archer… with TRIPLE SHOT BOW OF AWESOME and +6 rings et all.. and I go down into a snake pit and get flattened by the Snake Queen … oh well, I now have a LVL 1 rogue to raise up! :D

  28. JuJuCam says:

    Those people who say they’re missing something here or they don’t quite get it, the trick is to keep playing until you die, and then try and match or surpass your previous effort. It’s surprisingly addictive once you get into the swing of it. You quickly figure out ways to get greedy or impatient and attempt to take on out of depth enemies for quicker XP gain, and that’s what gets you killed early.

    And there is “endgame” content, which amounts to hunting gods till you pick up the exceedingly rare potions that raise your stats until you could feasibly tackle Oryx almost single-handedly. Personally that’s an unexciting grind. I guess once I unlock and reach lvl 20 in every class I’m going to get bored and give up on it, but the way I play that’ll take quite some time.

  29. Mr Bismarck says:

    Whoever became famous for beating up snakes?

    There was that one guy. In Ireland. He got a day named after him.

  30. Dworgi says:

    So after your post about this, I checked it out, died a few times before hitting 20 on one character, died, created another and did the same thing. And then I tried to figure out what the endgame was – checked the wiki, checked the forums and then I got it (potions, tiers, etc.)

    And now I’m properly hooked. Diablo 2 hardcore crossed with a bullet hell shooter, with an endgame that is as terrifying as it is tedious – yes, please. This is the same way I got into EVE – there’s something exciting to me about having something to lose. Every god I kill I worry that I might run into 3 medusas waiting around, who will instantly destroy me.

    So far, I’ve lost 4 potioned characters and half a dozen others before I got to the stage where I’d decided if I wanted to commit to keeping the character.

  31. Hybrid says:

    Nice! I’m looking forward to the rest of these diaries. Sadly I lost my lvl 20 priest a few days ago, but hey! There’s more classes to try!

  32. Kerbobotat says:

    Whoever became famous for beating up snakes?

    Saint Patrick.

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