June 1st, 2008June 25, 2008
Recently, I decided to ditch my in-game map (easier than it seems) and would only allow myself to find my way around using a physical, real life printed map with no markers (harder than you would think.) Right away I realized how much I relied on the in-game map and how little of the landscape and landmarks I truly remembered.
I have been getting used to it, and it has been a blast, if not confusing. I am following the other Immersion Rules pretty closely, and mostly using role-play type speech. I have been receiving a ton of emails and in-game letters of support, and my character seems to be growing in my mind as a real person.
I have to say that it is getting hard to play other games non-immersive style. In game maps, tool-tips and markers for quests are getting pretty cumbersome. Everything in other games seems to be flashing by, and seems to be ignored by many players.
Don’t get me wrong, what makes a good many MMO’s great would be their ability to suck you and your friends in and knock you around for a bit, like a thrill ride. And I have characters and games I still play that way in, and still have a blast in.
But I am definitely enjoying my little Raki adventurer the most.
And that’s why he needs to die.
First let me tell you that Vanguard has a wonderful spell that your character can cast on his/herself that will essentially make all XP count for nothing! In other words, with the spell you can stop leveling. Many players could use it so that they can continue to play in a certain area of quest line while their friend is away, and when they return they will have remained the same level. Or it is useful for people that want to get a quest line done without out-leveling it.
I am going to use it to stop my characters growth, period. He is currently level 28. At level 30 he would gain access to another tier of spells, mounts, and abilities. My first thought was to get him to 30 THEN to start this segment of the project. But then I realized that although this experiment is not “anti-level”, the idea is to leave my character as is, like we would be in real life. We all cap out at some point, and there are some “mobs” in real life we just can’t beat, like a dragon. Or a crappy boss.
So leaving him at 28, an odd level, is perfect. No new mounts for me when GU5 comes out. No new abilities. All I can do now is learn my abilities and weapons like the back of my paw, and learn what areas of the world are far to dangerous for me.
Because if this character dies, just once, accidentally or through a bug, then that is it. He is dead, and retired. Now, I am using all these dramatic pauses and extra sentence breaks for my own benefit. Perhaps as I type it I will gain some sense.
I am not worried that I could not go through with it. I have already avoided using the in game map at all. I can avoid “rezzing” my character.
So I am going to start out slow. I am in a major city right now, Khal, and will start branching out from there. I am going to learn basic crafting, so that I can reap and skin the raw materials to make beginner bags. I will make my money that way until I can get a boat. In the meanwhile I will catch rides when I can.
I will have to plan out my route very carefully, and will try to mark my map with warnings and notes on what to avoid.
I don’t want to kill my Raki! I really have grown fond of him. But my ideal MMO has some form of perma-death, as well as different leveling systems, so this is an attempt to test out some of my theories. And it’s fun as hell, too. And Vanguard just happens to be one of the BEST games for this type of thing. It’s large, but can be walked across. It is beautiful, and feels real.
This means that I will be ignoring my mothers map, which, along with the note left behind, asked me to travel to the great volcano area in Qalia. I have heard now that the area is about as deadly as it gets, so I will avoid it.
Wish me luck! If Rikoo dies, I will be a sad sad nerd!