a silly arpuger

There’s this silly “action role-playing game”, which I’ve played countless of hours to date. It’s dumb-easy to get started with, but requires effort to master. Not that e-sports effort though. You don’t directly play against human players, but you can play in this ladder/leaderboard style, where your results are compared with others’. The best part of the game is, that I can play in pretty much any state of mind possible.

I can really concentrate, think, optimise and furiously abuse my mouse, and still have a challenge.
I can be near blackout drunk, mindlessly poking around my underpowered laptop keyboard and a mouse I picked up somewhere, and still have fun.

group effort #

The best part of the game is the cooperative mode. Fire up Skype or something alike, start a conversation and launch the game. For the aforementioned reasons, the balance with gaming and conversation can sway. Which is perfect. The group can gossip, talk politics, or devolve into a mindless one-hour clickclickclick frenzy, anytime.

There’s no requirement to have tens of people around, but 4 players is the maximum. So there’s no dependency on unknown trolls looking to ruin the fun.

loot #

Ah, the loot. The end goal, as I see it, is to gather as much and as good loot as possible. There’s no real character development, as all skills and statistics can be reassigned (almost) anytime. But combining items with different skills and play styles will amass the best DAMAGE PER SECOND. The more DPS, the more enemies and monsters you can dispatch. Enemies drop loot, thus you have an endless loop of loot gathering.

Now there are some constructs like “rifts”, seasons, über-bosses, secret levels, achievements and leaderboards. But for me at least, it’s about harvesting that loot.

Besides just enemies and the few non player characters, there are these “imps” around the game world. Now these aren’t just some undersized enemies. They are the very things that torment the player with their sneaky cries and laughter. The torment is created by the prospect of … loot and gold. The imps they run away, escape into portals or split into two. There’s even a change they leave a portal open and the player can descend into one of them and find a lair of … treasure and loot.

the plot #

There’s a story to the game and it’s predecessors. It’s not really that important, though the earlier parts seemed more serious. Maybe that’s because I was something like twelve at the time. Still, the story has these ridiculous gems like the once-a-paladin character “Jondar”.

“You we’re a templar Jondar! How could you succumb to this coven?”

I suppose it’s not that funny out of context, but goddamn we’ve pulled humour out of these few lines.

The mentor-kind-of-character sounds like Optimus Prime, one of the bosses look the The Cheshire Cat, and I can’t even remember the name of the expansion pack’s antagonist. The main antagonist keeps taunting the player by instructing them on how to reach and eventually destroy him.

evolution #

This game is already years old and it keeps evolving. Sure, the expansion was a jump forwards but in addition to that, it keeps getting features with patches. The pace of progress is kind of slow, which is great for someone like me who isn’t looking for something I need to worry to keep up with.

So in the end, what I have here is just the right combination of things like silliness, fun, depth, social gaming, challenge and loot.


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