Here’s something that I can’t understand…

Why do people “powergame”? This is something that I see a lot of when I’m just going around, doing stuff because I feel like it in RuneScape. My day varies from running an agility course for an hour to going on a unicorn killing spree because I get bored and I need their horns to complete my stock of antipoisons before trekking into the Rift. But whenever I stay in one place for a long time, say at the fishing beach near Catherby, there will always be that one person who asks “You bot?”

There are several things that go through my mind at that point, one of them being “Why would I pay for a membership to just bot and do none of the other stuff that I paid for, like kill ogres or complete quests?”. The other is something along the lines of “Is that what you ask all of the other girls?” but that’s not the issue at hand here. It could be another post, though; it’s kind of sad when you can say that you’ve been hit on by “Inuyasha” on a roleplaying server.

But, yes, “botting”. I must say, the practice baffles me. I know I run around doing things solo, but that’s mostly because my friends either a) don’t know what RuneScape is, b) look at me quizzically when I admit to playing a game that hails from the early 2000s and ask “Why don’t you play WoW then?” or c) have an account, but don’t play anymore. But there is a bit of a differance between playing the way I do and doing something for a very, very long time: the bots have a goal. I usually don’t, other than “I’m bored of shooting wolves in Ardougne Zoo. Let’s go fishing in Catherby!” Bots are probably people who have some goal like “Cut down 15,000 maple trees” or “Gather 1 million gold by the end of the day”. Those are concrete and very time-consuming tasks, which I find myself unable to accomplish because it just so happens that woodcutting and getting money for money’s sake is so utterly mind-numbing to me.

Whatever happened to playing a game for its own sake? Why are there walkthroughs? I mean, I’m not above looking an item up in a database to find out how to get it, but using the strategy guide to play through the entire game? Why? How is that possibly fun? It can be argued that getting 100% is the best experience, but I’m not too sure about that. So what if it turns out that the pistol is the most useful weapon in Deus Ex Human Revolution, I’d rather use those upgrades for my combat rifle or my shotgun instead. It’s not about having the fastest clear time or unlocking every single damn thing for me. It’s usually about skulking about, sniping dudes in the face, and then quickly hiding when they become alarmed or whatever.

Surely I’m not the only one who feels this way. Why else would a bunch of different “Let’s Play” series exist on YouTube? I don’t watch them and fastidiously jot down notes, I watch them because it’s funny and because the people who are playing the game are (spoiler alert!) actually playing the game.

And someone just swooped in on my fun, wearing black dragonhide no less. They’re definitely a higher ranged level than me; I can only wear blue dragonhide. At least they’re nice enough, letting me snipe the wolves, though they don’t seem to know that an Ava Accumulator requires the completion of Animal Magnetism, a quest I’ve been eyeing for a while now because that Accumulator would help me conserve ammo while shooting stuff.

Needless to say, I’ve already added them to my friends list. Good convos are so hard to come by. Not to mention that they were trying to scope out my stats, asking me “What’s your attack? What’s your defence? How much money you got?” Nice try, foo, I was on Tutorial Island before you were even created, m’kay? Though I’ll give you points for trying; you’re been a lot more subtle than the first whackjob that tried to shake me down by claiming that they’d rented Varrock Castle and, as such, was taxing me for being there.

And now we’re gonna do some Slayer co-op. I’d better deposit all of my money, just in case I get led into the Wilderness. I’ve got more than enough to replace my blue dragonhide armor, so I’m not too worried. See, this is the way to play: shooting from the hip most of the time and just going with it, even though this person is being suspiciously nice and helpful. Lesson of the day: trust no bitch. Oh, and botting is no way to live.

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Filed under Summer 2012

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