[Kingdom of Loathing] Don’t you hate it when you write something and it goes nowhere? My intro to this post became rambling contemplation on the various kinds of blogs, but I decided that it wasn’t all that good, so we’ll skip the foreplay and get to the topic of the post. (Would the world be a better place if, every time someone wrote something sub-par, he hit “delete” instead of “publish”? You could real all the best blogs in an hour or two.)
Shadow’s Light is a player of Kingdom of Loathing, and he was one of the testers for the endgame. Since then, he has been doing Hardcore speed runs, and he is a far better player than I am. He has been blogging since the end of his first run, tracking his daily KoL-ing. It is kind of like Hogit’s Story, in that we are following one specific person through a fictional world.
I have been reading his blog’s history, which provides great insight into what I could be doing better. KoL has rather little in-game to support community, except a clan system that does not seem to do a lot, especially for a Hardcore player. The community exists out-of-game, through forums, a radio show, and some web sites. (Oh, there is chat, but I have always avoided chat rooms so I cannot comment on it.) It is surprisingly robust for a little browser-based game in which the non-solo options involve trading buffs and items. In a world of forced grouping, you face the Kingdom of Loathing alone.
Now to be somewhat less specific to Shadow’s Light, I have realized how some others are getting through Kingdom of Loathing runs so quickly: they have spent a lot of money on the game. Well, not a lot compared to what most of us spend on MMOs, but they have donated $70+ to a nominally free game, in order to get donation rewards. I do not know how many people regularly donate or shop at the Mr. Store, but it is a nice little system that provides incentives to donate. I suppose that some of them did not donate money; they just exploited dupe bugs long long ago and have been trading stacks of in-game cash for others’ donation rewards. Donating $10 every month or two to support a game you enjoy is not a bad thing, and maybe I should have sent more donations (I did so once before I knew there were rewards, once after). It is just surprising to see tips that recommend using, say, 3 Mr. Accessories ($10 each), a Coffee Pixie and/or Cheshire Bat ($20 each), Wax Lips for that pet ($10), maybe a Pygmy Bugbear Shaman ($10) or an Inflatable Dodecapede ($10? $20?). That is a lot to spend on a free game.