Choose My Adventure: Project Gorgon once more proves both engaging and agitating


That headline might sound like I’m about to spend a whole lot of digital ink dumping on Project Gorgon, but I am happy to report that most of my time in this sandbox MMORPG for this column was a lot more of the former than it was the latter. And it’s nice because the last time I took a return visit to this game in another Choose My Adventure, I found myself managing to stand the game for only a week before confusion saw me bounce off of it.

Now I will admit that a lot of my newfound patience with this one might have been spurred by the goodwill and charity of the game’s fanbase seeing its two-person team pull it from the brink of maintenance mode, but I also am beginning to appreciate what this game is trying to do a bit more as well as come to like some of the older ways of doing things are a boon and not a hindrance. Though that’s less because of their inherent design and more because this game knows what lines to cross.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. I’ll begin right from where I picked up when I was broadcasting this game a few weeks ago: within the depths of a cave full of brain bugs and zombies. I was a bit worried that the location I had elected to log out from was going to see me surrounded by foes, so imagine my surprise when I arrived to a whole bunch of slain enemies instead. Just around the corner was another player who was apparently on the same quest as I was, and so without partying up, we both leaped forward to take on the larger ghostly foe that was waiting, got our quest credit, and continued on our way.

I’m not really sure how we got the same quest done considering Project Gorgon has a very stringent enemy tag system, but I have to assume that my random benefactor got his due as well because he was pretty cheery about what had happened. It was a lucky stroke for the both of us that we met, I think.

As I made my way out of the cavern in order to get to the psychic mantis NPC that set me on this journey, I ran into yet another player, which saw the two of us cut a swath through the brain bugs and zombies to get to the exit. Well, maybe “us” is not entirely accurate, since I’m pretty sure the other person was doing way, way more than I was. All the same, I’m counting my blessings that I arrived at a point when ambient help was on offer.

Having completed my quest and been directed to somewhere else entirely, I spent the rest of my time wandering the wilds of Serbule. A lot of my time earlier taught me a fair bit about how the game’s enemies work. For instance, I honestly didn’t know that striking a foe sent out an invisible call for help, so the ol’ kiting technique came into play a lot. I also was starting to come to grips with my sword and psych-wielding warrioress.

To those points I can’t necessarily say that combat is fun, but it is familiar in that classic MMORPG gaming way. Much like combat in other elder titles I’ve played like LOTRO, fighting in Project Gorgon felt a lot like riding a bike in that I never really forgot how to do it. And that’s not just because this game is a tab-target multi-hotbar affair either. I was working out the best use of my resources, the best times for my skills, and the best application of the mezzes I had on hand.

In spite of my rediscovered combat ability, what ended up being old hat for me was my aimless wandering. Most of my time was spent bumbling around Serbule, clearing away the fog of war across the map or heading in the general direction of some intriguing-looking points of interest. A couple of times this ended with my demise, of course, but considering that I was aimless, dying out in a far field to respawn within town wasn’t too hard a hit. I even managed to come across a couple of discovered quests, correctly solved an altar puzzle that gave me a spell recipe that I have no way of completing yet (it requires weird-sounding and high-level reagents), and learned the bandaging skill.

Unfortunately the frustration came when I had a goal, funnily enough. During one of my return trips to town, I picked up a favor for an NPC who sells seeds that I need to complete someone else’s quest. That quest was leading me to a far southwestern portion of the map where a crypt lay, and my own growing confidence led to my doom as I accidentally went headlong into one enemy, forgetting its call for help would draw two more over. The death wasn’t damaging, but it did take me all the way back to town, and the prospect of having to make that journey all over again made me logout instead.

Still, I have to admit that things are feeling good this new time around. It’s hard to say for sure if I’m really enjoying myself, but I have learned enough to roll with some of this game’s punches, and have gotten better at appreciating this kind of MMORPG on the whole besides. I don’t know that I’m particularly in love with the abilities I have equipped, but I also have to admit that the survivability I’m generally enjoying is beneficial. When I’m taking on no more than two enemies maximum, anyway.

But as I mentioned earlier, I am pretty aimless, and so that leads me to one of my usual poll questions:

What should I focus on?

  • Serbule. Quests, favors, and exploration! (50%, 45 Votes)
  • Story questing. Follow Azalak's guidance (if you can) (21%, 19 Votes)
  • South Serbule. Check out a new map isntead. (29%, 26 Votes)

Total Voters: 90

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Polling will wrap up at the usual time of 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 8th. In the meantime, I’ll basically sit on my hands for a moment and let this one cool off. Frustration makes me forget things and makes me rush, and I don’t think that this game does not take to people plowing through it at speed very kindly.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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