I used to play an online game called Project Entropia (PE), for 1 year of my life I was addicted to it. I’d spend weekends in front of the screen, sometimes playing for 12 hours straight. I felt anxious when I wasn’t, I felt like I could be missing out.
The mechanics of the game was pretty boring, in effect it was just a slot machine. You would hunt “mobs” (monsters), each mob would have a cost to kill (in ammo / damage to armor) and once it was killed you would “loot” the mob. The average return from each loot was less than the cost to kill the mob. Obviously, the skills of the player, the weapon and tactics he used and the difficulty of the creature killed determined the “loot”.
In the end, it game down to a grind where you had to kill as many mobs as possible in as an efficient way as possible. As you killed more mobs, your skill levels increased, which meant you killed them in a more efficient manner, with better gear and skills you could also hunt more dangerous mobs. Also the more dangerous the mob the better the potential loot / greater the cost to kill.
There was also a real cost to play, you could deposit money and buy better gear and even skills, which made the whole thing even more addictive. Rarely you could kill a mob and it would give you a special item or a loot which far exceeded the average loot. We called these “globals”, and “Hofs”, Hall of Fame Entries, or very very very rarely players would get ATH’s, All Time Highs. Which would be a best loot ever in the game, normally the loot window from an ATH would also have some new and amazing item.
Sometimes you could hit streaks, where you would kill mobs and get multiple globals then an Hof or an Ath. you could also unexpectedly do very well with a mob, every shot you fired had a chance to be a critical hit, where it ignored the mobs armor and did double normal damage. There were times when you could get multiple critical hits and the mob would be completely wiped out in seconds.
You could hunt solo, or team hunt mobs, you formed societies where you worked together and would try and develop strategies to do better in the game. When things in the game changed, i.e, when the company that ran the game updated it, we’d always try and log on first. Normally they would have left a hack by accident which meant you could profit easily. Things like free skills for hitting a shop manikin, or a terrain change which meant you could trap a mob so it couldn’t harm you, you could then kill it more efficiently (without damage to armor). It was always then a race to exploit the hack until the company realised what was going on. Once they realised, the servers would go down for a bit, and when you logged back on the hack would be fixed.
In our society forum, we’d discuss which mobs were looting well, which weren’t, how to kill mobs more efficiently, which areas were good. We’d have arguments about how the loot pool and game mechanics worked, we’d rant about the game not working, we’d share tips and strategies and we’d praise each other for our successes. We also swapped screenshots of all our best loots, we’d even film our hunts now and then and put them on YouTube for others to watch.
Seems quite familiar?! the analogy here is pretty obvious, PE is Daygame, mobs are girls, the hunt is the grind, and the player is you.
Yesterday I did a marathon 12 hour grind with my wing in central London, I got 4 average loots and 3 globals. (7 telephone numbers – 4 average girls, 3 cute ones)
My new addiction is better,
I’m looking for my ATH.
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