Friday, August 1, 2008

Kongai: Late to the Party

Well, looks like Kongai got released while I wasn't looking. Had an update and everything. You'd think there'd have been an announcement or an e-mail or something but, well, guess I missed it.

Hardly even stole enough up time to visit the site at all. Except for checking in every Friday or so to check out the latest challenge and spend the twenty minutes or so to get the new card. Today, though, lo and behold, but there was a challenge on the main page leading to Kongai itself (The "beat up on the AI for the Pimp Cup" one.) that made me go "Wait a minute..." and actually look at the news section for once. Go figure.

Basically, I haven't been playing for, well, about a month. Maybe longer.

There were really two reasons why I stopped - no time and not wanting to get burnt out. Like the end of all such online gaming, they're really the justifications I used and only the tip of a growing icebergs of concerns and ennui that led to dissatisfaction and then disavowal.

Busy with other things and all, not really comfortable with devoting hours of my less-than-free time to playing a video game, so I'd stopped (Along with blogging and several other treasured activities that had apparently been keeping me sane.). No Kongai for me, I had to come up with completely new ways of wasting my time and making sure I didn't get anything done. Which I'm frighteningly good at. But, really, I haven't been able to devote the time I've wanted to playing so I simply didn't bother.

Which was alright with me because I wanted to cut back on my play time anyways. See, I'm one of those weird people who both want to gobble up content as fast as it can be shoveled into my waiting, wide-open maw and, at the same time, relishes each and every experience. I'd gotten into beta, I'd seen enough of the game to realize I liked it, felt I made enough contributions here and there to justify my presence, had some fun, but I didn't want to overplay the game. Not weeks, if not months, before it actually came out. I wanted to save a bit, set aside for me to come back to and enjoy, before it was all gone. I'd been playing pretty consistently - as long as there were people to play with, of course - and if I'd kept that pace up then when the game opened up at release I'd be jaded and worn out; bereft of the joy of simply getting to play with everyone. A bit of time off to rest and recharge my interests would mean that I'd be fresh when the game arrived for real.

Because, at the time, I was getting burned out. I think it all has to do with the introduction of the random card drops not to mention the win-loss based level system and the skill rankings. Because, at that point there because *something* to play for. Beyond, you know, the value of actually playing which is pretty cliche these days (I mean, if you're not getting constantly rewarded with shinny carrots and bright flashing lights proclaiming that you are, in fact, a winner, then what's the point?). Even if they were all going to get wiped out at release, they still provided an incentive. A reason to keep playing. To dive back in for one more round, one more match, no matter how I originally planned to dip in for a few quick matches before getting on with my day. The knowing that I was only a few wins from my next level or that a brand new card could drop from the sky at any point, meant that I'd spend way longer than I wanted to, because I'm weak and prone to ++ery. There was no point and yet I was still getting too wrapped up in it all, pulling dick moves just to eke a win, getting into pissing matches to avoid a loss that, in the end, didn't matter, and, in general, becoming way too invested in a stupid flash game.

Because Kongai, especially in beta, was never a game that I wanted to play to such exhaustion. It's only ever been a minor diversion (And, I know, I know. Really, it's a nice game and I like it and write about it, write a lot about it, but I'm not so terribly enthused by it to the point of letting it consume my life, at this point or any other. I'll let you in on a little secret: I write. A lot. And what I write about is whatever's on my mind at the moment.). That elusive game I could play when I only had fifteen or thirty minutes to kill and an urge for something more complicated than Solitaire and less taxing than checking my e-mail.

So, I went away. And now I'm coming back. Hopefully, I'll stick around, not having been frustrated by the fact that dozens of people who've had weeks to play are now better than I'll ever be - I'm now outside of the community and I was never really a huge part of it, I've been here before and it's not exactly an easy thing to get back into the scene. But, honestly, I'll probably never have the time or the talent to be the best player. At this point, I'll settle just for being a decent one. Who could be better with practice.

Turns out there actually was a reason to keep playing in the beta because those random cards won have been carried over - I only ever won 2 but they're two good cards that I'm happy to have. I've lost my starters, of course, but that's not exactly a bad thing, if you ask me since I made some pretty bad choices the first time around. But my dilligent work in keeping up with the challenges means that I have 36 cards at the moment, not including duplicates. Add in those three starters and I've only got about 7 cards left before I'm UAX. Off the top of my head, I'm only missing four characters: Tafari, Ubuntu, Anex, and Le Morte. All solid enough cards especially with the latest changes but none that I'd desperately want if I was starting from scratch. So, I'll probably wind up going the items route with my starters, pick up a spare GenSig and maybe that Girdle that I'm still stubbornly missing even though it's not as important to have now that PalmSpam isn't the dominant meta anymore. If I can, I'll probably blow my Starters on gray items - General's, Girdle, and Stoneheel - because those are the ones with the most utility, no matter how many new sets get released and how old cards go by the wayside, those general use items will presumably always be available to slot in.

Really, there aren't any cards that I don't have that I'd break the bank to pick up. I'm short those four characters, a few gray items, and four out of the five purple bordered items. The one item I do have for the Martial Artists is the Scroll and, well, if you were going to pick one item to have for all the Ninjas, it'd have to be the Scroll. And I've got two. Add in double challenges and the chance to unlock through wins as I work my way to the middle of the ladder and I'm perilously close to having everything unlocked. Which is nice but I guess it means I should start thinking about deck construction now instead of hitting the random button.

Of course, I'll have to set up some smurf accounts, too, and work to stock them up as well. So I'll still have something to progress towards even if my main account gets "done".

So, anyways, expect to see some postings about the game in the future. Or not. You never know with me. I'm going to have to spend some time looking into what other people are saying and getting reacquainted with the game before I start issuing things like "Rex's Top Ten Cards You Absolutely Must Have Or You Are A Stupid Newb That No One Will Ever Love" or screaming about what's wrong with the cards.

Haven't picked up this week's cards yet, either - The Cup is easy but I remember Age of War, it's an old game and the kind that gives Flash a bad name. Slow, boring, and lacking common sense items like a mute button. Or a pause button. Getting through it takes some sitting still and I haven't had much time for that lately. And I really lack the patience not to tab out my browser about a dozen times a minute - it's the old ADHD in me but I like to multitask. Extensively. But I'll get to it soon enough.

Once I do, I'll have to decide what to do about the old Card List. It's woefully out of date now but a quick look around reveals that a few other sites have taken up the task of providing up to date information on the cards, including the wiki I never got around to setting up. I should probably just save myself the frustration, retire the card list, and pitch in there, if they'll let me. On the other hand, the layout of the wiki is an atrocious jumble, full of contradictions that I'd spend long hours ripping apart in order to get consistent and to my satisfaction. The multitude of ads are an eyesore, too. But, most importantly, it's not mine and it'd never be - a big part of the reason why I started this blog was to have more control over the content that I spew forth onto the web, in feeling if not in practice, after all. And the sad part is that I'll probably wind up going over and taking down all the information on the cards anyway, if only to double-check that they're all what they say they are. It's not much more work to input that all into the HTML it takes to build the card list, just a few boring data entry sessions ending with hammering the list smooth with the hammer known to man as Bugcrusher.

But, either way, knowing me, I'll probably have something to say about the game sooner rather than later.

1 comment:

MdeLeon said...
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