Death of a Gamer
Today is the day Ashes of Corruption comes out, and yet I'm stuck at work all day just watching the clock tick by. I can't wait to get home so I can play! I've already downed five cups of coffee in the last hour in preparation for not sleeping tonight! Sure I have work in the morning, but I plan to play straight through the night.
The moment I get home I just throw everything aside and turn on my computer, I already had the game pre-installed. Loading it up, I put on my VR headset and loginto the game. With the opening cinematic done with, it's time to pick a server and create my character! The first few servers are probably already packed with people who didn't have to work today, so let's just scroll down a random amount and pick a server further down the list. Now it's onto character creation, just as I click the “Create Character” button, a sharp pain runs up my left arm and into my chest, then dissipates.
I find myself standing in the middle of a white, snow-covered field, sparse trees here and there, but a lot of bushes. It all looks so real, using my VR headset has really helped with the immersion, I really feel like I'm in the game! It's almost as if I can feel the temperature of the area, and the solid ground beneath me. “Well, where do I begin? I guess since I'm one of the first ones here, there probably aren't any towns yet, so maybe I should just start looking for things so I can craft?”
“Well what tools do I have?” As I try to open my inventory, I realize that my hands are no longer on my mouse and keyboard, in fact as I try to do anything, I find that I'm doing it in the game.
“Okay, I know I was excited for the game, but this is crazy, maybe I just fell asleep when I got home. Yeah, that has to be it, well let's just enjoy this! Now how would our character actually acess their inventory...” After reaching around, I realize I'm wearing a backpack. Taking it off and looking inside I see there's an axe, a shovel, a pick and a fishing pole. “Huh, how does all of that fit into this bag? Oh right, dream logic, got it.” I pull out an axe and start to walk towards the trees.
Taking a swing, I see a health bar pop above the tree, four swings later and suddenly 20 sticks appear inside my bag, “Magic” I say as I swish my fingers around. A few moments later, and there's five less trees in the area, and a few missing bushes. I realized that you can't harvest a bush with an axe, if you do, you just wind up with one branch and a pile of leaves in your bag. You have to put your tool away(or in my instance throw is in the snow next to me) and then you can harvest the berries from the bushes. The berries taste bitter as anything, but they were fairly filling!
“Okay, now what? I've already harvested a fair amount, and I have no way of accessing a crafting screen, or even character screen, I guess I should...explore?” With that I set off in a random direction, dredging through the snow. After a while, I start to realize that I am actually freezing, this isn't just a feeling of feeling cold, I am literally freezing right now, it is starting to hurt. “This dream, sure is realistic, hopefully this means I'll be waking up soon if I'm starting to feel pain.”
I pass by a few other people on my travels, however one of them stops me and says “Hey, are you new to the game? You know the temperature does affect your character right?”
“No, I wasn't entirely sure, but I had a feeling. Although, I don't know where to get any other outfits from, so for the moment I'm stuck like this.”
“Oh? Well you can just craft some from your crafting screen! Or, if you'd rather, I saw a traveling merchant just up this pathway, I only passed him like two minutes ago, if you hurry up you may be able to catch up to him!” He looks me up and down, then hesitates “Although, here hold on for a moment,” he then proceeds to just stand perfectly still for a few seconds.
“Are you okay?”
His body clicks back in and he focus' on me again, “Yeah, sorry it took me a little bit, I had to get a drink. But, here you go!” He holds out a rough fur vest to me. “This will help with the cold a little bit, but you should probably kill some wolves, or rabbits and craft the rest of the outfit yourself soon.”
Taking the vest and putting it on, he continues walking. I yell back a thanks to him and head on towards this merchant.
Headed in the assumed direction from the conversation, I eventually start to see footprints appearing in the snow, I must be getting close! “This sure is one realistic dream, I mean I know lucid dreaming is a thing, but I've never been able to enact it myself, this is amazing! Though, I really should try to get myself to wake up because I really want to play the actual game...”
Feeling the pain in my toes again, I start to hasten my pace following the footprints. Soon I find a woman carrying a large backpack, I assumed he would have a cart/donkey combo or something, but I guess this works “Hey!” I call out but no response.
“Hello? Hey can you hear me?!” Still no response, short run hop later and I'm ontop of the woman, placing my hand on her shoulder “Hey, are you the merchant?” Upon contact they stop moving, stand straight up and slowly shuffle turning around to look at me.
“Hello, how many I help you? I have many fine, warm, clothing available for sale. A long with a few food items, but I am currently on my way to resupply. Are you here to buy or would you like to assist me?” She says in one breath smiling, although her eyes have a dead dull look to them as if she doesn't even see me.
“I-uh-I would like to, uhm, buy? Although I don't have any currency myself, can I, uhm, can I sell you some sticks and leaves?”
“Let me show you what I have for sale!” The woman stands there and spread her arms, moments later her backpack opens up and items are sprawled on a table that just appeared out of nowhere.
“Woah, okay now that was magic” Looking through the items, I see fur pants, fur boots, berries, and a sharpened stick each with a price tag attached to them.(I'm even a little surprised to see a price tag wrapped about individual berries) I repeat “I have no money, can I sell you items?” No response, okay what would it be like in a video game? “Ah!” I proceed to take out the sticks and shove them in her general direction, to my surprise they vanish and some coins fall into my hand, repeating this process with the rest of the sticks and leaves I wind up with a nice pile of coins, which I immediately hand over two thirds of what I just made back to her in order to get nice warm clothing.
Now that my feet are slowly defrosting, I just walk away from this woman who stands there with her stuff on a table for another 15seconds after I'm gone before I watch the table and her items disappear then she continues along her original path. “Weird, whomever said NPC's were people too...”
Finding some more berries and collecting more sticks I continue along my way just stumbling around myself waiting to wake up, there was no more rush as the cold wasn't bothering me at all. I eventually see a light in the distance, a torch? No a small fire, working my way towards it I see a small group of three to four people standing around the fire then a large crystal floating in the sky above them. “I guess this is a node? Reminds me of The Sims.” Walking up to the group, only one of them acknowledges me.
“Hey, you planning on making this your home node as well?!” The voice came from a short stout female, probably a dwarf. “I just spawned in this area and decided to set up at the first node I found, I'm a little afraid to go out there, you never know when you might get ganked!”
“Really? I haven't seen anyone besides one nice guy who helped me out, and a traveling merchant, seems pretty tame out there to me!” Looking around, the other people at this camp no one seems to react to us talking, probably all NPC's themselves. “Man this is really weird dream, it's getting the gaming aspects down so well”
“Dream?” The little dwarf looked at me quizzically “What are you talking about? Oh you must be RP-ing! Sorry, I'm not big into that myself, but good for you! I hope you don't mind if I don't RP along with you.”