Wednesday, May 5, 2010

done a deal with the devil from a heart made of steel

For the uninitiated out there, this post is going to be, nearly entirely, on Runes of Magic. Bear with me. This was too weird not to cover.

It all started in the Khalara Plateau, where we ran into a fellow seeking a group:

Runes of Magic,spam,spammers
(Click on the larger picture if you have trouble making out the text.)

This really messed with my head. It's bad enough they shout things in open chat, in zone chat, in World chat about how we can buy gold from their stupid rip-off sites; it's worse that they've infiltrated the game to the point that every fifteen minutes, some nag floats across the screen about how, if we buy gold or tiered stones (yes, these idiots have managed to crack the tiered stones coding in the game), our accounts will be banned; noooo, the morons have to then plug their alphabet-soup names into every little nook and cranny they think will get them cash for gold!

Honestly. Are there people so idiotic as to actually keep these people in business? They can't be making money this way.

Next up, gender-shifting!

Runes of Magic,games,gender
(Again, click on the larger picture if you have trouble making out the text.)

This is Harlem. Harlem runs the research group dedicated to the lifeforms found in the Khalara Plateau. Coincidentally, the Khalara expedition holds the one title in the game you can only get if you're female, because it's well-known to be an exclusively female research team. Save for that guy who's arguing with his friend across the bridge. And the Dark Glory soldiers hanging about. Oh, and the expedition leader.

Save...Harlem's name used to be Anthonia? And he used to be a she? Curiouser and curiouser...

Runes of Magic,games,harpy,quests
(Adley the Alcoholic harpy. No, I'm not making this up.)

Then, traveling through Hawk's Height, trying to keep away from various flying things who tried to peck out our eyes, we noticed one brightly-colored harpy weaving her way towards us.

Turns out she wanted booze. And she wanted us to get it for her. She told us to go to the camp of the Tempest Heights hunters, and said there would be gold in it for us. Of course, she threatened our lives before that point, but hey, we're adventurers, we do the weird stuph for gold and acclaim...right?

Or something. So off we go to Tempest Heights, where we cheerfully pummel several burly hunters into forking over some barrels (barrels?? seriously??) of liquor. We then dutifully ferried them back. Adley, of course, immediately drank them all, and proclaimed loudly that we should go down the mountain to see the Tempest Heights shaman and find out why she wasn't getting her quota of the good stuph.

So down we went. This...is where things started to get deeply odd.

Emilly: So, get this for a quest line: an alcoholic harpy sends us to the tribal village to get booze. We speak to the leader, who says, oh yeah, we used to do that, but we've stopped worshipping them. Go talk to our shaman.
Emilly: We go speak to their holy man who says, drat, wish I could help, but all our tools for making booze are in there with the harpies. And they're mad at us.
Emilly: His assistant says she has a brilliant idea. Go kill 16 crows--for their eggs--and 15 scorpions--for their necrotic, poisoned meat--and they'll make OMELETTES
Emilly: for the HARPIES
Emilly: to make PEACE with them
Emilly: .....


I am not kidding! This is the quest! We were sent out to kill crows for their eggs, which would then be mixed with foully green scorpion meat...and served up to bird-winged harpies to pacify them!

Are they insane?!?

Emilly: I kid you not, we get back with this, and the chick says, "You wouldn't mind taking this back to them would you? There are three worship totems. The harpies might attack, but they'll stop once you show them the offering."
Emilly: Yeah, bird-women generally stop fighting so much when you feed them POISON


Honestly. This is ethically worse than the quest line in Harf that had us running back and forth between the servant of the man in love with beauty (who wanted his master to stop dating a guy in a dress), the beauty he was in love with (who, near as we could figure, had the burden of terrible fabulousness and just wanted to be loved), and the man himself (who didn't seem to care one way or the other about the gender, just that he loved how that person looked!).

Insanity.

Plus the harpies attacked us anyway.

Melody,harpy,Runes of Magic,games
(Melody hiding behind a tree.)

Then there was Melody. Runes of Magic is a game that has a fetish for disguised researchers. Just about every single large monster group has one guy or girl in a monster costume, trying to "observe native behavior".

In this case, we have Melody, who transformed herself by potion, but apparently the harpies found her clothes and shredded them. Who knows why? So she's now hiding behind a tree...because she's shy. When she transforms back, see, she'll be...completely naked!

Yeah. The chick who's been 'researching harpies' by flying around naked anyway. Now she gets shy.

Oh for the love of...

So she wanted us to go beat up people until we found an intact set of clothing (so not kidding on this one). So we went back to Tempest Heights and pummelled more hunters.

Runes of Magic,furs,quests
(The multi-species fur pile. Also note: the white wabbit, so concerned over getting lost in the snows of Harf, changed his coloration to buff. Just in time for the deserts of Khalara! Way to go, wabbit!)

Next we were told by a furtive merchant hiding behind the Tempest Heights' hunters' tents of a special, not-to-be-mentioned deal with a lady in Obsidian Stronghold. Seems he wanted us to enforce a trade agreement that had gone, well...pear-shaped. He'd sent her a pile of harvested skins of some animal, and some other designs made since the dawn of time, and she was supposed to send back gold.

Only...the promised largesse never arrived. Maybe we could go to the Stronghold and look her up?

Emilly: Next quest, the game essentially told us that the merchant lass didn't want to disappoint the tribal shaman, but since she stole his designs she feels guilty. Maybe we could go back up and get some tribal totems for her to copy--err, resell?
Emilly: The ethics behind this game get so iffy at times.
Emilly: Another quest: not only will we be getting 'Pastry Chef Shoulder Guards' to go fetch ant sugar from the hives where the mutant ants live, but they're made of leather!
Emilly: The confectioners in this game are perverts!


I really can't add to that. Save for a couple bits of explaining on the talisman quest: first, Mihan's quest partner-in-dubious-dealing is named "Shitalu".

Yes, really.

And the reward for completing his quest? The "Shaman Robe of Shitalu".

OH HELL NO. We are selling that robe as soon as we get it. The hell.

And next, it's really a bunch of running back and forth, essentially. "Kill these twenty hunters and grab their books! Great, now kill these fifteen shaman and take the pottery shards! Bring them back! She will give you gold and experience! Then come back and see me!"

I'm tired just thinking about it.

But wait, we're not done! From here, we've been engaged to follow the tragic tale of the lilac-haired damsel in the Obsidian Stronghold, who is deeply in love with the shoulder-horn-wearing barbarian from the Khalara Plateau...and their plight to love in spite of it her father, one of the leaders of the Order of Dark Glory, wanting her to wed a su9percilious class-conscious jerkface--who sent us out to pick flowers for him to give her to start all this off, because picking flowers was beneath him!

Currently, the barbarian sort wants to make a necklace for the lilac-tressed lass to remember him by, and the hope her love gives him...and to make this necklace?

We have to gather red crystal tears from the wraiths and shades (euphemistically termed Mummified Men and Women, and Male and Female Withered Souls) near Tempest Heights. Because killing ghosts and harvesting their creepy remaining fluids is representative of hope.

Riiiiight.

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