Episode IV: Burgger: Dueler, Capitalist, Marathon Man
This time I went with the Human race. While not as inherently silly as a scurrying little naked gnome, when created right a human character can come close in the odd-looking stakes. All you have to do is slap on the right face, and musclesbecome a symbol of brawn over brains. Here he is, our double-digit IQ friend.
It seems this look allowed me to get away with quite a lot, for I went into some duels and generally acted oddly and no one really questioned it. It's all in the looks, for better or worse.
First off I found a female. This wasn't that hard, but here was one who responded to my frequent pointings, wavings, or whatever chat-action I was trying as a "line." I sat down across from her. So far so good. I tried a few other positions, not really sure what to say. Burgger is one of those dumb, shy, lovable meatheads, I guess.
I tried dancing too, but she wasn't budging.
So I went with what I was familliar with and took off my pants.
She was gone before I got the rest of it off.
However, I noticed her a little later a little further off, now also naked. I guess it did work. She wanted to duel, so I decided there wasn't any harm in it and accepted. I lost, predictably, because I was jumping and running around most of the time and these confusion tactics don't work well against someone with bloodlust. Upon dying I sat down, and Glori came over and stood in front of me in such a fashion that it looked like things might have been happening, things that should not be shown before 10pm, and most certainly only on cable tv in the US. Fortunately I live in Europe.
Giggling, I got up and went to stand in front of a male character who was sitting down, afk. I really hoped he'd come back to the keyboard to see THAT, but unfortunately it looked like he was gone for long. It's just not the thing you expect someone with a manly name like Darkblack to be doing, and it's a shame I got no reaction.
Bored of standing around, I climbed up onto a small caravan and took a nap.
Sufficiently rested, although without Undead Spring Water, I decided it was time to organize some sort of massive quest. I went into the castle/monastery and explored. It was the usual situation, NPCs forever standing around, players forever rushing to and fro in their ceaseless quest for XP. I found a bench upstairs and sat down on it. Hoping to create some sort of "hockey player"-type screenshot, I attempted to organize a quest. "Need party for Sitting On Bench Action in Hall of Arms."
I guess I didn't make it sound sexy enough.
Disappointed as usual, I went back outside to find the other nerds. I found some sort of elf-thing that could change into a cat and was doing so, much to the general indifference of players standing around. I patted the kitty. It meowed, growled, and ran around in very much a role-playing fashion. In the end someone dueled me. I accepted, only because I figured anyone of level 20-something wanting to duel a level 1 has serious self-esteem problems and decided to do the charitable thing and give him a free win. He appeared somewhere and hit me once and I died. I was sitting down naked in the middle of the grassy field at the time, so odds are whether it brought him satisfaction. My bet is that it did, for he commented something along the lines of ":P". I told him I'd seen better and that he should level up so that he can kill me purely by thinking. He said nothing, so I hope he's not actually off trying to do that while his real life crumbles.
I took a lie down again, and some other naked woman character called Koskar decided to make it rated R. I have to say the cat jumping over the whole thing was a good touch. It made the whole scene seem almost arty, like one of those avant-garde films where no one knows how to hold the camera properly.
I then went off with Koskar to fight a few wolves. Actually she was fighting, and managed to climb up onto the caravan and stood there flexing at the wolf, who couldn't get at her (and vice versa). This looked fun, so I engaged the wolf and climbed up too. We stood there, naked, battle-ready.
At this point I realized that huge mallet I've been lugging around really detracted from the gameplay and so I un-equipped it and decided to fight future duels with only my fists. I had no time to think about dueling, however, because that elf-guy had let it slip that he might have been giving some gold to a fellow player. Female, of course. Burgger went on the whine offensive. "please give" gave way to sob stories about how "I have no clothes, I spent all moneys at gentleman's club." and this then became the blunt "give us moneys, cat man."
I decided to take up a begging position near the entry to that monastery.
Neither "giving me the moneys and I won't spend it on drinks and women" nor "for just 5 coppers you can feed and clothe Burgger and give him pants" had any success.
I went back to harrass cat man.
One player suddenly decided he wanted some cybering. I don't know why he decided this would be the best place for it (I hear Second Life is much better), but I tried my luck with "not unless you give me moneys, Billy." He refused to acknowledge me, leading me to the conclusion that he wanted a female to chat with. I also berated a fellow player for asking for some silvers. She didn't even have a cardboard sign, she called that begging? Billy tried a new approach, as there were quite a few people wanting to duel standing around. Burgger saw a chance to make a quick buck and tried to get in on the action.
They dueled, and to make a long story short, both Billy and myself came out unsatisfied. No cyber, no moneys. Oh well, worth a shot. "Will dance for moneys," I tried. Perhaps they needed proof of my skills, so I joined in a multi-user dance. By multi-user I don't mean many users at once, I mean many users in one place. And yes, all these body parts coming out everywhere made me recall a Gnomism.
"I need some help for the quest brotherhood of thiefs - please help me find them! :)" pleaded a fellow player. "If u cyber me?" ventured Billy. I guess no."Will someone please talk dirty to me?" whined a frustrated Billy.
I was losing my patience with these players as well. They just didn't want to deliver what either of us wanted, be it cyber or moneys. I decided to end it all and go running along the road. A nice cross-country trek should clear my head and help me think of new ways to acquire moneys, no doubt. "Marathon time. Who wants to run somewhere naked?" I asked, and got exactly the answer I expected. Or no answer, rather.
When a fellow player wasn't even interested in my near-mint pants, I decided to bid farewell to this bunch of losers and try my luck on the open road.
Not having anyone to even see me off, I said "go" and set off.
However, as I turned the first corner my attention was diverted by a fountain which I immediately jumped into. Another player must have seen my head sticking up over the rim, as he came to investigate.
I took a good long drink. I was going to need energy for my marathon.
"Hi, you want to run somewhere?" I asked. He didn't say anything, but he did follow me out of the fountain and down the road, so I thought we might be in business. I tried not to run too quickly, lest it spook him or something.
I stopped and waited for him to catch up again.
This frankly wasn't what I expected as a marathon, but I hoped it would last longer than the few seconds he had kept up so far. I tried saluting him and pointing at him, to keep him interested. Alas, he ran past me and hita tree. I could tell he'd go on to Great Things, so I left him.
Further down the road I found a dead guy floating in mid air. Interesting.
I attempted to emulate the levitation by lying next to him, or even in the same spot, but I remained anchored to the ground. Levitating would have made my marathon a lot easier, butit was not to be, so I set off on foot.
I arrived in town.
I found a woman in town asking if I had seen a certain player. I said I hadn't, but I said I'd let him know she was looking if I came across him as I was going running. I set off in one direction, changed my mind, and ran through the crossroads again. She was asking another person the same thing. That's some way to spend your afternoon, I tell ya.
Running along, I quickly emerged from the forest into some fields.
I found a dead player and noticed an enemy called a fleshripper nearby. Not good. Better get -
Curses. My ghost appeared in a nearby graveyard and I had to run all the way back to my corpse before a resurrect button appeared. I revived myself running and didn't stop to look behind me. A player said a word containing a load of Xs and various other consonants, deciding to leave out vowels. Not to be outdone, I hit the keyboard too and pressed enter. No response. Further down the road Isaw some sort of evil-looking bird flapping around the corner of the screen and was slightly nervous, but I made it past without trouble. It probably didn't see me. This couldn't be said about the Harvest Reaper.
Quick, before it -
I thought I would make it over to that NPC, but it took one swipe of the Reaper and I was, well, fit for the Reaper. Little did I know I was heading into the dark forest now, where things would keep getting worse.
I found a dead body and was killed by a spider.
I don't remember this happening to Forrest Gump. I went through the whole reviving thing and then arrived at a crossroads. I wanted to keep running, but none of the destinations looked like particularly happy places to go. Stranglethorn, Raven Hill, or Darkshire. Hmm, I wonder if they have strawberry ice cream. I forget which one I chose in the end, but it made little difference.
Now and then a player would rush past my dead body. Attempts to get out of there were pointless too, as no matter where I went I died. So I decided to end the marathon. Exhausted, cold, naked, and, err, dead, Burgger's futile Run for Moneys ended.
Verdict: More people probably go with human, which meant I had a lot of silly people to interact with this time, but I still didn't feel like it was worth it. Most of them seemed to be either about proving superiority in a duel (the fact that I was 20 levels below and naked didn't seem to matter) or soliciting "cybur." I can't say I didn't have fun, but it didn't grab me. The only thing that does sound interesting is being able to wander into cities of fellow factions/races. Unfortunately, a lot of time (and money) is needed to get there alive, as Burgger's marathon proved.
Next: Return of the Gnomes