Upward movement in a downward spiral

So, a lot has happened since I last posted here. I remember talking about my struggles with Scarlet Blade. I have not deleted this game three or four times since my last post or even repented of liking it. I have dived in with both feet. I have made a lot of progress in the game, which feels like the opposite of progress in my life, my social / emotional health, my physical condition, and even my spiritual walk. I still love the game. I feel awful for liking this game, but it is so good. I’m actually really sad when I hear people saying it is dying.

Side note: If you’re looking for a game to play, you’re at least 18, and you don’t mind being sucked into a game with ridiculous hyperbolic innuendo and mildly offensive graphics, come join us! Let’s keep SB alive. We need some new players. Message me if you need help getting started. I have character on almost every level, and I would love to help you get started.

The Bartle types

So, I’ve mentioned before that I am a Socializer (This refers to the Bartle Test. I am all about interacting, helping folks out, and making new friends. I have made some solid social connections in this game. Somehow, I got invited to one of the most bad ass, OP, PvP guilds in my faction, by the guild master no less, because I like talking to people and helping out. That, to me, a total n00b, is cray cray, as they say. I mentioned in an earlier post that finding other folks in-game that understand single-parenthood is difficult. Well, these folks are totally cool with my consistent in consistency. They get it because many of them have been there. I also have made some very OP friends in other guilds as well. I feel so humbled by the people I get to hang out with. Oddly, along this path I have found that there is a little bit of a Killer in me. Since my guild is so known for PvP, I have a bit of a target floating over my head, and the other faction tends to gank me to the exclusion of others in contested zones. This has me really focusing on my PvP game and working to become as OP as I can be on my meager budget.

Again, luckily I have friends, and I have my guild. I have found that OP friends not only help with acquiring gear, but often they have the best advice on what gear to acquire. I have found that you not only need to pay attention to the overall rarity / quality of gear but also to the individual stats each piece has and whether or not those stats compliment your other gear, your skill set, and a number of other factors. This is way more complex than the D&D I played as a kid.

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Hanging with Katie, Hugs, and the gang, killing Behemoth

Finally, I have to note that ultimately it is nice to go “where everybody knows your name”, as Gary Portnoy once said, even if it’s your character name. Yesterday afternoon, I logged on and bought a new weapon. I went to Viledon, a pvp zone, to try it out. When I arrived, I was immediately greeted with hellos all around and invited to a team. The screenshot above is from yesterday afternoon. I had so much fun, mainly because I was there with a group of friends. Over the last six months here in this imaginary world I’ve come to know and to care deeply about a number of people I will likely never meet in real life. I know their hurts, their struggles, and their dreams. I look forward to hearing about their lives. I pray for them when they are hurting. Say what you will about this, but I have found deep and profound community in this least likely of places.

I have to say, that I still can’t really talk about this game to my real-life friends. I feel ashamed for liking it so much. I feel like I’ve experienced a downward spiral into complete depravity for being so desensitized that I don’t even notice the overtones and graphics anymore. So what, I kill monsters in sensible heels… that’s not awkward at all…

Hurt and Confused… How did this happen??

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Turnpike pvp battlefield

So, have you ever just woken up one day and asked yourself, “How did I get here? Did I take a wrong turn one day? How did I let things go this far?” No, I’m not talking about my miserable divorce or any kind of chemical or physical addiction. Somehow, I ended up finding my game; the one I like… the one I can’t stop playing… the one I’m willing to spend money on… The problem is, it’s not a game you tell your friends about… or anyone for that matter. It is really embarrassing. I’m not even sure I want to tell you, my detached anonymous reader.

I wish I could say I loved WoW or Neverwinter or Blade & Soul or even Kabod. I’m not sure how it happened. I think someone recommended that if I like Blade and Soul, I should try Scarlet Blade. I think they thought I must have liked Blade and Soul for the character design rather than the game… One way or another, I ended up installing one of the most universally offensive games in the history of MMO’s on my computer. I had my doubts when it loaded for the first time, but I was feeling rejected and somewhat rebellious toward God so I played the introductory quest with a Punisher (PU) and a Whipper (WH). It’s a bit of a blur what happened between that and level 25, but suffice to say, I was having a good time. I love Scarlet Blade.

For one thing, the game runs smoothly on my crappy hardware and bad connection. I only lag or crash when in a huge multi-player event, like a monster spawn or pvp arena.

Second, the game is well made… surprisingly so. The story is really good. The NPC’s are voice acted well. The Arkana – Commander relationship the game is based on is unique and well conceived. The soundtrack is good. The tab targeting / hotkey combat system is probably the best I’ve experienced yet. The game is good.

Third, I have made social connections in the game. I have been included in guilds, team dungeon runs, and more. I have had players who possess way more in-game bad-assery than I do come to my aid when I was being spawn-camped by the opposing faction. Folks are generally nice and helpful in this game, which is more than I can say for any of the other games I tried, including WoW, Runescape, D&D Online, Neverwinter, Celtic Heroes, and Blade & Soul.

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Electric Tempest: One of my super-fun AOE throw downs

Finally, this game has one thing that no other game seems to have, at least that I can find, and I’ve Googled this a lot trying to find an alternative. This game boasts a character class that specializes in Melee AOE (Area of Effect) attacks. I can find classes in other games that might allow you to cleave more than one enemy every now and then, but we’re talking consistent AOE throw down on packs of mobs… by a melee, tankish character… not a wizard. That, in itself is worth the price of admission… which is free, unless you want to survive in pvp for more than five seconds.

The only thing that is bad about this game is the insane, over-the-top player character models. Saying you like this game for the game itself is similar to claiming you like Playboy for the articles. It may be true, but it sounds really fake, shallow, and ridiculous to anyone you try to explain it to.

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The characters are not exactly practically dressed…

I have struggled with this… a lot. I have deleted this game three or four times and repented of even liking it. I have given it up, reinstalled it, and gone whole weekends doing nothing else. My friends want to know what game I’m playing. My students ask what my favorite game is. I either lie or mumble some cagey answer. I feel awful for liking this game, but it is so good.

So, there it is. My guilty pleasure. It’s embarrassing, but it is what it is… Expect more posts about this amazing game.