Ramblings Of The Mad God, Day 3: Patience

By Alec Meer on July 7th, 2011 at 5:11 pm.

Stop coveting my precious stuff

Continuing a diary of attempts to best free indie MMO Realm of the Mad God

Day two? No, you must be mistaken. There was never any day two, and thus no need to write about it. And if you ever hear that there was a day two, or anything about how many heroes tragically met their end within mere minutes as a result of a reckless player trying to rush their way to the top as quickly as possible, you’ve heard wrong.

(Please don’t tell anyone what I did.)

Day two? No, no. This is day three, sunshine. A day of glittering achievement and untold adventure. This day, surely, will be a good day.

Today, I will not be weedy archer or a cowardly rogue or frail magician: I shall be a warrior. Strong and robust, built for survival. This is his song.

It starts as it always starts: in the Nexus, crawling around the floor picking up other people’s cast-offs. I’m lucky this time, and only have to behave like a despicable trash-scavenger for a couple of minutes. In short order, I’m equipped with these items:

Glass Sword
Bronze Helm
Mithril chainmail.
Ring of defence

With the sword, I may stab hard. With the helm, I may conjure a burst of speed that allows me to stab hard before I’m fried by monsters’ arcane bolts of poison, fire, ice or, uh, purple. With the chainmail, I can stab harder for longer. With the ring of defence, I’m… well, I’m probably mildly less easy to kill. The important thing is I’m wearing a ring.

And out, to the world, to the Realm. Today, I have a mantra: slow and steady wins the race. No reckless pursuit of more dramatic foes or blind hunger that leads to jog unthinkingly to a shiny trinket lying in the middle of a hail of magic missiles. No deciding I can singlehandedly save the damned world all of a sudden, just because I’ve got a slightly better sword.

Slow and steady. Slooooooow and steady. That means snakes and pirates. That means clinging to shoreline and chopping up whatever harmless small fry wanders by until I’m experienced enough to head a little inland in pursuit of an enemy that’s more challenging than something a five year-old could headbutt to death.

Slow. Steady. God, it’s boring. Then, my first test appears. From the blood of a slain pirate opens a portal. Just a little brown doorway, really. It looks so harmless. It’s probably fine. It’ll be good for me, even. I really shouldn’t, but…

So much for mantras. I’m whisked to what’s called a Pirate Cave, but Pirate Open-Plan Office would be more apt. It’s a huge space, stuffed to the rafters with pirates ripe for the murdering. Lots of ‘em probably means trouble – and death. Slow. Steady.

It’s rapidly obvious that I’m being that guy who drives down the middle lane of a motorway at 50MPH. He thinks he’s being sensible, but really it just means his journey’s twice as long for no reason and everyone behind him gets annoyed. A couple of other adventurers, presumably having stumbled across the portal, pop into existence and raise an eyebrow at my inch-by-inch progress, fearfully poking my razor-sharp Glass Sword at anything that stumbles by.

Given everything I hit pops like a blood balloon at the slightest touch, maybe I’m just being a massive wimp about this. For some reason, the idea that there’s anything in between ‘absurd caution’ and ‘suicidal charging’ doesn’t occur to me. Suicidal charging it is..

Fortunately, I appear to be a dark and brutal god of war. Pirates? I laugh at your pirates. A pirate boss? Not any more – just a bag of loot I don’t even need.

SLOW AND STEADY. The blood frenzy is upon me. I’m raging to jump to a bigger fight. SLOW AND STEADY. Deep breath.

I stick to my patient guns. Elven Wizards, Goblin Warriors and similarly menial creature-commanders fall by my blade, and I block out the occasional cries of ‘TRAIN!’ which beckon me to join a horde of adventurers in flashmobbed pursuit of honour. Oh, it’s tempting. A cavalcade of blades, bows and crazy magic, like a street party but with more necromancy. Not this time. Not today.

Oho! Another Pirate Cave opens. Easy experience, safe experience. Pretty boring, come the third time, but it keeps me alive while I hulk up in readiness for greater challenges. It really is far too boring to tell you anything else about the next hour or so. So let’s jump ahead – ahead to the world of goo.

Past a certain point, murdering common-or-garden creatures in their dozens is just a waste of time. Deeper into this realm are hardier, stranger foes. The best of these are the green, nipple-shaped goo beasts. Stab one and it’ll stickily splinter into four little ones. For an adventurer in pursuit of combat experience and trophy kills, there’s hardly a finer beast in the land. Four things to kill for the price of one. Plus, they’re easy.

Until you find yourself in the middle of four of them. Because that swiftly becomes sixteen of them. Six of ‘em? Start necking health potions like they’re the last beers in the universe.

Slow and steady. Slow and steady means being weak is a necessity. I end up back in the safety net that is the Nexus, emitting the embarrassing red glow which denotes near-death, more times than I can count. In my mind, everyone was watching and tutting. In reality, of course, they didn’t even notice because they were too busy scouring the floor for free swords. No-one cares. Easy enough to slink away.

Monsters come, monsters go and grim determination and extreme cowardice somehow keeps me alive. But I’m doing so well! Level 11 marks my longest adventure yet. Soon enough come 12, 13, 14, 15… I fight (and flee from) elemental yeti things, floating blue-flamed skull horrors, gooey cubes of every hue. A moment of reckless sees me zoom to the front lines, where giant things that chill my blood lurk. For the first time, something addresses me directly. Something that calls itself an Oasis Giant.

“Minions! We shall have Ento for dinner.”

Oh God. Oh God no. I don’t even wait to see what it was, though admittedly that’s because it starts raining laserbeams from my left.

RunawayRunawayRunawayRunawayRunawayRunawayRunawayRunawayRunawayRunaway.

And continue. Carefully.

Then came the Snake Cave. Level 16 had been reached, a new sword had been found, and I felt ready. The multiplying goo things were no longer much trouble, so a cave full of snakes? I eat snakes for breakfast. (Actually I eat Alpen for breakfast, but nobody respects that).

This wasn’t the snake cave I was expecting. Snakes, in this realm, are tiny green things I can kill with a stern look. This is full of GIGANTIC UGLY THINGS FIVE TIMES THE SIZE OF ME. They’re white, they’re red, they’re pink and occasionally they’re green, but whatever colour they are they’re very clearly going to kill me and dance on my pathetic grave. I’m about to put my tail between my legs again when a wizard appears. We don’t speak, not one word, but we move close together and slowly carve our way through the writhing horde. This is a-okay. This is what I need. I’m growing stronger, the snakes are drying and whoever silent magical Bob here is, he seems determined to stick by my side as we battle our way to the snake queen.

Then everything goes wrong. A storm of serpents swarms over at once, leaves me clinging onto life by a thread and forces me to drink all my potions. Slow and steady. I should run, replenish, tackle something a little less taxing. Something no-one will ever compliment me for doing, but I won’t care because I’ll be alive. Slow and steady.

Fuck slow and steady. Look how well I’m doing! Only just staying on the right side of dead, we make our way to the queen’s chamber. She’s a Medusian horror, spraying orbs of death, summoning a constant rain of baby snakes and orbited by – oh for god’s sakes! – winged serpents which rip off about 60% of my health every time they hit me. Yet… we’re doing ok. We’re still alive. We hit and run, hit and run, hit and run, dodging everything, whittling away the scaly foe.

Then I notice I’m flashing red. Had taken my eye off myself while I was busying giving a winged serpent what for. One more hit and I’m dead. No health potions left. Yet… if I can kill maybe two more of these things, I’ll be promoted to Level 17, and have all my health restored as I do. Level 17! Surely, surely I’m almost ready for Oryx by that point. I should run. I must run. And yet… The queen releases another white orb of ultimate doom, right at me, at speed. It spells certain death, unless I act fast. My finger hovers over F5, the button that would whisk me back to the stark safety of the Nexus in a heartbeat… And yet… I hesitate, just for a moment.

TO BE CONTINUED?

__________________

« | »

, , , .

50 Comments »

  1. TomSmizzle says:

    My most high-levelled character was an archer that I took on little adventures with a crew of other various characters. At one point, I suggested we go into a spider cave and _everybody_ died almost immediately, except for me.
    I stole all the loot I could carry and did the rest of the spider cave slowly and carefully, levelling up really far.

    And then, as always, I got greedy and died. You live and you don’t learn.

  2. PodX140 says:

    Train. Train train train. They made the least MMO game into the most coopertive and fun game in an instant for me. For those unfamiliar, a train is a huge convoy of continuous bullet shooting from a party of 30 or so people following a road, running through everything and anything (I once was on a train that took down a god, and just kept moving without even looking at the loot. A GOD!), until finally circuting back to their starting position. And then they do it again.

    Madness, but brilliance.

    • wccrawford says:

      Thanks for explaining “Train”. I had mistakenly assumed it was the old MMO train where a whole gaggle of mobs was following someone and everyone had better look out.

    • inawarminister says:

      Yeah accidentally teleported into one right now and oh Lord, it’s really glorious….

      4 > 16 in 10 minutes OH YEAH
      (I need better loot though)

    • FakeAssName says:

      the road is your friend, even without other players you can level really quick because bosses are constantly spawning just off to the sides of them: meaning that you have virtually no downtime between battles (unlike if you go cross country and end up with stretches of empty fields.

  3. McDan says:

    Argh! So much suspense! Although death is inevitable in this game. You know it’s coming but you thunk you can cheat it this one more time… but you can’t.

  4. Antlia says:

    Who else thought they missed day 2 and tried to search for it?

  5. Sardaukar says:

    I had a level sixteen warrior too. A ring of +100 HP, Mithril armor, natty bronze helm, and some sort of sword of shadows. He valiantly slew the eldritch horrors lurking in the heart of the forests, and even laid eyes upon Oryx. During one such sojourn, he became overwhelmed by Ents, and in an act that was standard protocol by now, I pressed X to punch out to sanctuary. Except I was fractions of a second too late.

    I haven’t stares so coldly at my vile, useless hands since a little dog got hit chasing my bike.

  6. Temple says:

    Managed Lvl 18 with a wizard. Had bunch of other chars opened up. Quite liking my non-registered account…

    Pro-tip -if Youtube is not working do not open up Flash options and delete all of your Flash player settings. It deletes, well, all of your settings including any save games you might have for any incidental, in no way addictive, mindless flash games that you’d spent the last 3 days playing.
    Also, google is no help when trying to learn how to undelete you flash player settings whilst gently sobbing at 1am.

  7. Blaq says:

    On my first playthrough I took down two gods by myself at level 13. Then the third one killed me. Gods are these Cthulhu-like things in robes right? At least that’s what the score screen said.

    I honestly think Mr. Meer is in an alliance with the creators of the game and writing this in an attempt to get everyone playing the game, if not out of interest, then out of sheer competitiveness. I’m sure I can do better than him!

    Oof, almost fell for it.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I don’t think Gods have a fixed look… they’re just big bad shut-yo-mouths. Kinda mid-bosses.

  8. DarkDobe says:

    Speaking of taking on things you shouldn’t – I think my ultimate nightmare was a lonely jaunt into the Sprite World. To say the place is a nauseatingly intense hallucinogenic experience simulation would be an understatement… and as if it wasn’t enough, the population of enemies is immensely annoying and dangerous.
    Suffice to say it was a one way trip. Rest in peace, Wiz the Priest – you and your top tier tome, robes and Oryx ring.

  9. Lamb Chop says:

    The fact that the endgame is filled with inevitable and random death makes me sad because I end up avoiding the fights that I’ve been leveling for an hour to get to, like the pentaract or, god forbid, the skull shrine. Of course, then I usually get bored, unequip my dragonscale armor, and boldly charge into the fray only to die instantly because my backup chainmail doesn’t really cut it against a Phoenix Lord. On the plus side, I’ve unlocked almost all the classes because of my wanton recklessness.

  10. Jake says:

    I respect the Alpen. It takes a strong man to eat Alpen for breakfast in a world where there is such a thing as Coco Pops.

  11. Edherr says:

    Y’all need to get on the train! 1-20 in 20 minutes. Then you still die like all the time. They’re very hard to organize though because half the people are fighting crazy things and half the people don’t understand how to use tele proper or even know what the train is.

    • Edherr says:

      It’s unfortunate, yet likely inevitable, that it is associated with “rape”; however, people yelling “choo choo!” is so perfect for the experience and so funny everytime.

  12. Shark says:

    Cursed be the Magical Meer!
    First he hooked me to this very site with his Risen report and now I’m addicted to this goddamn beast of a game.
    Also, this is more comparable to Quake and UT than anything like torchlight (Also also, press T to spare your mouse button)

  13. OctaneHugo says:

    I’ve been playing for a while today, a level 8 wizard. While playing I kept seeing messages in chat from Oryx talking about how invincible his Skull Gods and Skull Shrine were. I also kept seeing someone named tdubs asking for hp and then saying “thx”, presumably to whoever was helping him.
    After about 20 or 30 minutes of this, tdubs kills some Skull God King or whatever, and Oryx shouts that he will die alone for he has closed the realm. About 5 seconds later, after a couple of people congratulate him, I see the message “tdubs has died”. How brutal.

  14. Snoken says:

    If you want to level fast and not die, just hop on one of the daily “rapetrains” (as we call it). it’s basically just a mob of 20 or more players running at full speed on the main road through every tier region in game at the speed of light, healing, spamming buffs and leveling like madmen without the slightest risk of dying. Got three chars to level 20 in under 2 hours…

    But then again, why would you want to play a game you can beat that easily? If you want high level gear just wait in the Nexus till someone drops all you need right in front of you (ten minutes for full set of epic armor, weapons and other stuff for your class).

    All of this makes the game more than pointless…

    Nice idea, but in the long run the game is way too easy and unnerving.

  15. Coins says:

    I like this game when my characters do not die. I hate this game when they do.

  16. dirtyword says:

    “That means clinging to shoreline and chopping up whatever harmless small fry wanders by”
    Somehow I did a spit-take without drinking any liquid.

  17. thebigJ_A says:

    So, I gave this a go last night after reading the first of these journals.

    It’s a twin-stick shooter, like XBLA is flooded with. Sure, there’s other dudes running around and shooting, but it’s just a twin-stick shooter.

  18. Bhazor says:

    A snake cave? Thats the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard.

  19. luckystriker says:

    It’s R-Type meets Diablo meets Wall Street (greed is good).

    What a brutal, unforgiving game and I love it.

  20. HeavyStorm says:

    It’s 1h30 AM. I have a full day tomorrow. Two meetings, then off to see (please) customers. Then back to make plans, write documents, get angry at my boss, tell my men to hurry… But it’s 1h30 in the morning and I’m playing RotMG. Fuck! I have bought Witcher 2, the first one of the best games I’ve ever played, but still, here I’m, playing RotMG without even installing W2.

    I need help.

  21. Dworgi says:

    I died today in a ridiculously powerful rogue trying to solo a Cube God. Another player came slightly too close, triggering the boss to fire in the direction I was standing in and I died in one shot. There was no “Oh shit” moment, just a flash of red and the death music to mark 4 days of effort to get that rogue kitted up. It was utterly brutal.

    And yet, I know I’ll be creating another rogue tomorrow, because taking down Cube Gods and Skull Shrines on your own feels like an accomplishment unlike any other.

    I thought that rogue would live forever, and certainly not die today…

  22. Hybrid says:

    My character died in a Demon’s Lair and then my next character died in the Nexus. Yes, the Nexus. Well, sort of. The death music played, the screen went back to the menu, but somehow once I closed the tab and reopened it, my character was fine. Thankfully I was still low level or I would’ve tossed my keyboard out the window, lit it on fire, and thrown the ashes to the wind.

  23. MartinNr5 says:

    Haha, well written as always. :)

    Might give this another go – first time round didn’t really do it for me.

    • Wilson says:

      It didn’t do much for me, either. Personally, I’m going to wait for Desktop Dungeons to get my unlocking new classes and stuff fix.

  24. KilgoreTrout_XL says:

    The term “rape train” is defined in the RotMG’s wiki. So, there you go, I suppose.

    I wish players could think of better rape train jokes to spam into general chat though.

  25. tyrsius says:

    I highly recommend rebinding your nexus key to something you can hit without moving your hand. I use “R” because my reload-key-twitch is a near instant automatic response.

  26. JellyfishGreen says:

    So today I finally got to level 20 with my 4th archer, taking things gradual, then joining a train at level 16.
    Then I had a new stage of zen enjoyment where I stopped getting xp, but helped out others on trains and quests anyway, levelling them up, handing out loot, and only rarely venturing near godland.
    I helped out with a group that had a Cube God and his minions trapped in a ruin. Doing not too bad until a Beholder and his chums came in from the flank, then it was all over faster than you can say “situational awareness”. Still, it was a really good run for Juice the Archer.
    As Metallica said,
    Disconnect somehow
    Never stop complaining now
    Almost like your fight
    And there it went almost like your life
    That was just your life.

    n.b. I’ve been using the alarm function on my phone to interrupt the game for life functions… partly successfully.

  27. Allan says:

    Level 20 is easy, just be the right place at the right time, at the right level!