Are you there, [playername]? It’s me, Kingdom of Loathing.

Our dear friends at Kingdom of Loathing sent out the following open letter, or rather a message to inactive accounts. It was sufficiently amusing that I thought I would pass it along after the break. Hey, I had not heard about ascension changes. Besides, some of you still have not tried KoL, which is strange.

Dear [playername],

Okay, I’m not good at this kind of thing, but I feel like I have to give it a try. So, here goes:

I was hanging out the other night, listening to some old mp3s, and I was just overcome with memories of when we used to hang out all the time. Remember? You were an intrepid, fearless adventurer, and I was the free-to-play, fun-and-funny online role-playing game that won your heart. Do you still remember those good times? I can’t stop thinking about them.

I mean, I know things got kind of messed up at the end, and believe me, I’m sorry. If I could take any of that back, I totally would. And I know people grow and change, and you’re not the same person you were then, but hey — I’ve changed, too! I thought and thought about how to win you back. I figured I’d make you a mix CD, but I couldn’t decide what “our song” was. So I just concentrated on becoming a better game for you, and here’s what I came up with:

Remember how much fun you used to have with your clan? Alternately, remember how you never joined a clan because you didn’t see the point? Either way, clans now have clan dungeons, group zones where your whole clan can work together. Crawl through sewers to Hobopolis, a vast underground vagrant vacation vista! Slide into the slime tube, and stir-fry sassy slimes!

I know I wasn’t the prettiest game when we were together, so I had some work done. Almost every interface got an interface-lift. You can even manage most of your inventory via chat commands! I also came up with a way for you to automate some of the things you don’t love about the game, so you can spend more time with the parts you do love.

Not only that, but there are way more animated .gifs than there were before. Don’t worry; I haven’t lost that low-fi edginess you love, but I’m a lot easier to play with now.

You can also have a custom title now, just in case you didn’t feel like I appreciated what made you unique as an individual.

I should also say
Haiku Dungeon’s been revamped.
See what I did there?

Maybe you quit because you got sick of always adventuring above the water. I admit that seems unlikely, but I fixed that, too — there are a bunch of underwater zones with new food, equipment, mechanics, and challenges.

I really took a good, long look at myself and admitted some of my quests could use a change. So I’ve completely redone a bunch of them, and am working on revamping all of them. New mechanics, new art, and new ways to solve quests abound.

I even took on the sacred rite of ascension and made deep, fundamental changes, the first changes since ascension was implemented years ago. There’s new gear for you to find in the afterlife, new ways to preserve skills, and time-limited challenges to keep things spicy.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, trust me. I’m still the silly, clever, deceptively-complex game you fell in love with, only with about 95% more awesome.

So, I’m just sayin’, if you can find it in your heart to give me another chance, I won’t disappoint you.

If you don’t drop by, I promise I won’t bother you again. I just really felt like we deserved one more try.


The Kingdom of Loathing.

8 thoughts on “Are you there, [playername]? It’s me, Kingdom of Loathing.”

  1. haha that’s a very good exampleof web copy here, thanks for sharing it! never heard of that game before, but this mail made me want to try it. never played an mmo with doodle visuals, lol

  2. Huh, I have 73+ ascensions to my name, haven’t logged in for months, if not a year, and no such email. Guess the spam bot doesn’t miss me. :P

  3. I like it. It is something you can only get away with once I suppose… well, unless you really want to play the needy ex card… but it worked this time.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Dear Kingdom of Loathing,

    Yeah, things really got messed up at the end there. I thought we had a great rhythm going, we were Ascending to Heaven and back 23 times or more, that was our song, you know, and it was being sung every 2-3 days and things were good.

    But then stuff changed. I don’t want to get accusatory here, but you changed on me. Kept shuffling your heels and putting more obstacles in the way of our sweet sweet celebration. At first it was only nine things you wanted, but then it grew to eleven, and before long I had to go hunting for thirteen gifts and there were all these other errands that you said I didn’t have to, but it was in that tone of voice that strongly suggested it was in my best interests to get.

    What’s worse was that all the rules I thought I understood got changed on me, and you got all mysterious about what would make you happy. After wasting so much of my time chasing loose ends, I realized that I was getting the best results just opening the guidebook and following the advice of all those who came before me and discovered everything and recorded it. You and I, well, our relationship just wasn’t the same anymore.

    It got so that I felt I was running in bigger and bigger circles for the same reward, the same smile or praise that you used to lavish so readily, suddenly got stingier. Maybe, you say, that is as it should be. I should work for it and finally earning it would be so much the sweeter. But I have a before to compare to the after, and I just can’t get used to the new you.

    Hun, ultimately, I’m sorry. It’s not you. It’s me.

    Your Ex

    1. This describes my breakup with KoL well – and, incidentally, describes my breakup with my ex well, too.

    2. Part of this is why I fell out of love with KoL as well. I adored the mysterious item combinations and puzzle solving at first, but found myself returning to the guidebook with increasing frequency. Does anyone feel like games would benefit from wikiproofing (for lack of a better word)? Should developers attempt to randomize elements in a way that would make it virtually impossible for players to write walkthroughs?

  5. Discovered KoL at Phoenix Comicon. Really great group of people, was able to interview one of the originators of the game for one of my other projects.

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