IANAG Dreampost

I am not a Gamer™ but video games can be an excellent source of fuckery for frustration dreams.  Last night I had a dream about being in some kind of MMO where the game had been designed to punish people for small failures.  There was an urban area that normally had mud splashed up from the road by rushing vehicles that knocked your character down if you didn’t hop just right.  During a patch, maybe an event thing, the rushing vehicles were gone – no more mud.  Cool.

But then I found out trespassing on the streets at night causes some unbeatable giant robots to show up and annihilate your character.  Alternately, if you’re in a corner a robot can’t reach, you’ll get a freaky murder fetish lady like Orin from Baldur’s Gate 3 to do the deed.  I knew the game wouldn’t let me kill her, but thought maybe I could get a ring-out victory by throwing her off the side of a building.  It just teleported her right back to the spot.  On one play-through I was with these orphan NPCs and I figured she’d kill them while I was watching the “you died” graphic.  Instead she recruited them to be murder kids.

You return to a hub in the game when you die, like Agartha from The Secret World.  To keep your death from feeling meaningless, they motivate you to go after your body.  In Everquest and Ultima Online originally, it was to pick up your equipment, which stayed with your corpse.  In FromSoft games, it’s to pick up the currency of the realm, souls or blood echoes or whatever.  I don’t remember what it was in my dream, except it was important, and walled off by instant death.

Worse, there was some kind of a stat penalty, like all my stats were reset to a sad base level.  There was a machine at the hub that was supposed to give you a little boost that you could customize before heading back out into the game world, but instead it drained all my stats to zero.  I thought it was a glitch, but no, just an evil design element.  The machine also split me into three versions of myself with straight zero stats, and I had to get all their stats up again individually before I could re-merge them into one, which I had to do before I could even go try in vain to get my equipment from behind the murder squad.

Sweet dreams are made of these.

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