Choose My Adventure: You're nobody till somebody loathes you

The Kingdom of Loathing banner
Last week's Choose My Adventure poll was not really much of a race, was it? Almost from the beginning, The Kingdom of Loathing took the lead and held it, eventually winning the day. In my experience with the column, the strong front-runner can sometimes be overtaken by a slower community. In this case, however, it was a knockout. I shared the link to the article across the community boards for each game (save one that wouldn't allow me to for fear of linking to other games), and the response was immediate. It just goes to show that sometimes the largest communities have the least active forums.

So here I go into the odd world of The Kingdom of Loathing. I played it before and enjoyed it somewhat, but in hindsight, I think the game is just not really newbie-friendly enough to make a week's worth of play worthwhile. I found myself a bit turned off by the attempted humor, but as I have read more about the game, I've realized there's much more depth in store for me.

So click past the cut and get to voting. And hurry it up -- that meat won't gather itself!

The Kingdom of Loathing screenshot
Last time I played KoL, I found myself enjoying the fact that it ran within a browser. As my other columns prove, I'm somewhat of a browser and mobile nutcase. If you can access a game from any PC from almost anywhere, you have already opened the doors to almost anyone. As I played KoL more, though, I discovered a very insulated community with a very particular brand of humor. Now, don't get me wrong; I have visited plenty of oddball communities in my gaming life. Heck, I've survived the drama of Ryzom, the emote-speak of Mabinogi, and the adult tantrums of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. I'm a bit used to the weirder communities. In fact, I prefer them.

Having said that, I suspect my recent look at Family Guy Online should make it obvious that potty humor only goes so far with me. Heck, much of the discussion in the comments section was not about the gameplay but about whether or not I was some sort because I disliked the television show the game was based on. I'm not even sure what that means! I can say that one of my least favorite words in the world is "snark," so am I even capable of handling the non-stop snark of a game like Kingdom of Loathing? My guess is that I'll survive.

As I've seen during my preparations for this edition of the column, many of the community members on the Kingdom of Loathing boards have been fantastically helpful. Some also questioned exactly how much I suck, but most were wanting to turn these next few weeks into a positive experience. Those community members want to shine a brighter light on the game and are willing to use me to do it! One member in particular, Nightvol, has been helping me decide what sort of polls I should include for you all to vote in. After all, Kingdom of Loathing is not a typical MMO; I can't ask you to vote on activities typical to standard games. Yes, there seem to be classes and levels to achieve, but I am hardly an expert. I needed someone to point me in the right direction so that I could avoid putting up a poll that makes no sense.

The Kingdom of Loathing screenshot
Which class shall I pick? There are six, and each one seems as hard to explain as the others. Basically, each class depends on one of three main stats: moxie, muscle, or mysticality. There's also a set of unique skills for each to use. Here are the official descriptions for those Massively readers who have no idea what I am talking about:
  • Seal Clubber: Seal Clubbers hail from the frigid Northlands because one character class always hails from the frigid Northlands. They rely on their Muscle to survive.
  • Turtle Tamer: The Turtle Tamer's mystical connection with his or her terrapin brethren imbues him or her with great power. She or he excels at moving very slowly and winning footraces with smug satisfaction. His or her Muscle is the key to his or her success and to his or her long lifespan.
  • Pastamancer: With his or her mastery of the arcane secrets of Noodlecraft, the Pastamancer is a force to be reckoned with. She or he relies on his or her Mysticality to get ahead in the world.
  • Sauceror: Long engaged in an uneasy truce with the Pastamancers, the guild of Saucerors protects the secrets of the Ancient Brotherhood of Gravymakers. Their Mysticality is their most important attribute.
  • Disco Bandit: The Disco Bandit boogies to and fro, hither and yon. Whence comes she or he? No man knows. Whither strikes she or he next? All men live in fear of him or her and his or her Moxie.
  • Accordion Thief: The scourge of mariachis and polka bands, the Accordion Thieves have plied their malign craft since time out of mind. Their Moxie serves them well in both their adventures and their interactions with "the ladies and gentlemen."
Now then, I need you vote on one of three starting areas for me to begin my journey. I've been told I will hit at least two of the three, but pick one and I'll follow your lead. Lastly, I want to know which item to buy first. Honestly, I am not really clear on what the items do, but I was told they will be important and will make for a good vote. If not, find the player I mentioned above and give him a good throttling. I've read a few newbie guides, though, and he seems to be on the mark, so I think we're ready to vote!

I'm cutting the votes off a little early, on Sunday, August 5th. I'll stream the game live on Monday, August 6th, at 8:00 p.m. on our livestream channel. That way I can play around with the choices that were made and file my report on the Wednesday after. Then, the cycle repeats. I'm going to really need the community's help on this one simply because Kingdom of Loathing uses so many odd little terms and mechanics that even with research I can easily find myself grinding my gears.
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For this round of Choose My Adventure, Beau Hindman wanted to try something different -- different for you, anyway. So he's diving into the world of browser, indie, and offbeat MMOs! Come back every Wednesday to vote on what he does next; goodness knows he needs the help. Tweet feedback to him at @Beau_Hindman!

This article was originally published on Massively.