Monday, June 9, 2014

The Stomping Land: Day One

Well, as of June 1st I purchased the new game The Stomping Land which I've been looking forward to for months, and thought it would be fun to talk about the events that took place on my first day of playing in just about the precise way they took place. So much of this will be in the form of my thoughts as I blunder about in the new game world.

Day 1: I started out my new grand venture by selecting single player mode so that I could figure out the basic mechanics without being immediately murdered by any fellow human beings. The game started alright and I took the form of a tribal warrior with some awesome body tattoos, a short ponytail and a stone hatchet. There I was on a sandy beach, with the ocean on one hand and the dark, brooding forest spreading out before me. I felt very much like a castaway and felt it would be best to not run immediately into the thick foliage on what might very well be Skull Island from King Kong and decided to stay on the beach for the time being.

My first order of business was to figure out how to make things and I began whomping away at a tree until I got a single piece of wood. This I dropped, being unsure what to do with it and then saw one of my favorite dinosaurs saunter into view: A stygimoloch! My first dinosaur in game, whoohoo! How gracefully it moved, making all sorts of strange sounds which I am glad the design team worked so hard on.

So of course my first instinct was to sprint at the thing and smack it over the head with my stone hatchet. This... was unwise. The animal was completely unimpressed by my attack and proceeded to chase my tribal arse, and was swiftly beaten down face first into the dirt. Sixty seconds in and already I had met my untimely demise at the horns of a two legged herbivore. Master survivalist here!

I respawned shortly after that and decided it would be best for the time being to not throw rocks at the huge saurian so that I wouldn't again end up as filth to be scraped off of the bottom of their feet and again tried my hand at making things. Again I started whacking away at the trees on the beach. Then, rather by accident, I made an extraordinary discovery! You see, at first I laid down one piece of wood, then, acquiring a second, I thought "Hmmm, I shall make a little pile here so that I know where all of my wood is should I be needing it."

Then, upon setting the second piece of wood down on the first, something amazing happened! Instead of there being a little pile of logs, there was now a tiny basket! Wonder of wonders! And when I looked closer at it, I found that it was a box that contained items, at the moment just wood. Although it sounds silly on text, you would not believe what sort of childish joy this discovery brought me. I then discovered that the more wood I put into a single box, I could get more options for building things. Something about crafting in games is unrealistically fun.

I had the options of making a torch and a cage, but not much else, which I thought odd, seeing as how I knew there were many other items in the game that I could make. I wanted to build a fire as night was closing in, but was unable to. I read something online saying that this was a feature not available to single player mode, and thus took my first steps into the multiplayer world. I wasn't disappointed by the behavior of my fellow man.

Soon I was acting amongst other humans and hoping that I wouldn't be immediately murdered by the first person I saw. That didn't work out so well. Anyway, after querying my fellow players about how to build anything besides a torch or cage and was informed that I had to chop rock away and add it to the supply box. Chopping rocks with a stone axe! Of course! I swiftly built myself a firepit and ignited a glorious blaze.

At last, I had made one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind, the creation of fire! The power immediately went to my head and declared myself chief over the entire island, demanding the loyalty and service of everyone on the server, as I was the Fire Shaman. This... did not work well. I mentally sighed and worked on making my campsite. Luckily I was in an excellent position, as I had rocks and trees very close by right there on the beach and proceeded to make myself a tepee and all sorts of weapons such as a bow, arrows, bolas and a spear. Heck yeah!

However the arrows seemed to be made by Nerf, as I dumped arrows at passing herbivorous dinosaurs and they didn't even seem to notice that anything was happening. Well. That was a bit of a downer. I continued tinkering with the items, giggling like an idiot as I was actually having fun, and then I looked up and soiled my loincloth.

Standing right there was another tribal guy riding atop a carnotaurus, which is just a bit out of my league. However, I was not deterred! I bravely charged... into my tepee and offered him everything that I owned in exchange for not being horribly mutilated. Luckily he was so impressed by my bravery that he gave a nod and rode off, clearly not wishing to start a fight with the likes of me. Phew!

Having gotten a decent handle on the basic weapons and tools I decided that I was ready to forge on into the depths of the jungle and explore! Through the misty leaves I ran, stalking like a panther through the undergrowth. This island is huge! Ah, but then I found a river and something that caught my attention: A cave! I knew that in the caves there were healing herbs which I could use to mount dinosaurs and ride about like the physical incarnation of awesome.

I happily entered the yawning cave, looking for the tell-tale sign of glowing herbs in the darkness. Then I fell off of a ledge and plunged into an underground lake from which I was unable to find any escape. The problem with the inside of the caves is that there is virtually no light, so I couldn't see a bloody thing. Unable to find my way out I did the only reasonable thing I could think of: I swam to the bottom of the lake and let my lungs fill with water.

Luckily I was able to respawn at my tepee. Hooray! I had to rebuild all of my tools, but I was sort of alright with that. After rebuilding my gear I decided that it would be best to stick to the beach and ran along the left side of the beach. This time I just wanted to explore and pounded out on the right side of the beach, finding a decent fishing spot where I began trying in vain to hit one of the stupid fish with my spear. I thought I was alone, but got a small hint that I might not be completely lonesome when I heard a reptilian roar behind me.

With my loincloth feeling suddenly heavy, I turned and saw that gent riding the carontaurus again who was far too close for comfort. I then jumped into the deep water while squealing like a stuck pig as the gentleman laughed his tail off and asked me to come out, promising that he wouldn't hurt me. I was slightly less than convinced, but he managed to talk me into coming out to help him with something. This is the part of the game where you have to eat in order to not starve, and he couldn't cook his own food while riding his mount and wanted me to help him out. Still being a noob however, I had some trouble fixing him a meal and he sort of ended up starving. Oops.

I then tried claiming his fearsome mount as my own, but that didn't quite work out. Then shortly thereafter an anklyosaurus rumbled from the forest and charged the animal. A terrific battle broke out, both brutes slammed into each other, shaking the earth beneath their mighty tread. In the five seconds we'd been together the carnotaurus and I had built up a strong bond, much like this girl from high-school that I had one conversation with and knew that it was true love, although she disagreed vehemently. (Not a true story there, relax) Although I knew it was a fools hope, I began charging in to aid my dinosaur friend, spear held in front of me and ready to impale the armored beast.

Then a second anklyosaurus came out and I turned tail back towards the safety of the ocean, terrified urine marking my trail. A most dignified exit. So, I was alone again and tried making a new campsite. Then a stranger came into my camp. Now, on one hand I try to be a nice person and not slaughter strangers on sight. On the other hand, this is an MMO, and Murder is the most popular sport out there. However, this actually worked out and we two became allies, working together and enjoying the camaraderie. Hooray!

The two of us then decided that it would be wise to acquire herbs and get dinosaur mounts so that we could reinforce our camp and become feared warriors. Like shadows we slipped through the night, evading other hostile tribesmen and aggressive dinosaurs. I concede that I felt so cool as we stalked through the undergrowth, acting like primitive commandos. My companion managed to get some herbs from a cave, but none respawned for me, so we began heading further along the beach towards another set of caves we knew of. However, someone else had built a small tribe there along the beach. Even worse, they had captives in cages strewn along the beach.

Savages they were! Capturing and caging poor players, leaving them inside to rot. We began preparing for war. My companion acquired himself a herbivorous stygimoloch as a war mount, and another disgruntled player joined our small cadre. We then rushed into battle to release the captives and slay the slavers. I wasn't of much help, but we actually kicked their arses. Our leader's dinosaur got killed, but he survived. In fact, we didn't lose a single man! We destroyed the cages and I plunged into the cave as our leader tried coaxing another fellow down from this waterfall, who seemed to be an innocent bystander.

I got my herbs at last! And then things went downhill fast. The guy from the waterfall who was supposedly innocent was in fact part of the tribe we had just butchered and killed my two friends, then got another recruit who managed to ace me as well. That didn't go well. Our leader signed off, it being quite late but I was a bit delirious and kept playing. Ironically enough after being murdered by another player I respawned near the waterfall just in time to see the savages trying to capture another poor sap.

Here was an opportunity to avenge myself and my tribe! I brought out my stone axe and began charging across the sandy beach. Like a hot wind I swept down, believing that I would be on top of them before they knew what was happening. I was confident that soon I would rend my enemies apart with a ferocious whirlwind of axe strokes. One man seemed to see me and jumped aside, which I presumed was him retreating in terror from my mighty oncoming onslaught.

I raised my axe into the air, ready to bring it down upon my opponents head and split his skull, spraying his brains across the beach and thus avenge my fallen comrades! Then the other fellow lassoed my legs and I fell face first into the sand, making one or two rude comments about his parents as he dragged my sorry butt across the beach like a sack of embarrassment. I clawed at the ground helplessly, enduring what was easily one of the most embarrassing online gaming moments I've ever had in my entire life. As I was pulled around his companion began building a cage, of which I was placed and trapped in. One of them then referred to me by a popular name often used to designate a submissive position within a prison system.

Scarcely before have I felt like such an awesome warrior followed by such cataclysmic ownage. It is easily one of the most silly moments I've ever experienced in a game. Things were pretty poor after that point, as I wasn't able to cut my way out of the thing. So much for the mighty tribal warrior shtick!

So, first impressions of the game are actually not too bad, as I did actually have quite a bit of fun. The crafting has a strange charm to it and the map you explore is huge. Some of the mechanics need work, since the arrows don't do crap at the moment and hit detection can be a bit dodgy, but this is a brand new release after all so some kinks are inevitable.

I'll letcha know more as I play some more later on! Busy busy week!

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