Hello, who is this? – I’ve come to make an offer. What offer? – One you can’t refuse. Well, I just did. I’m not interested. Also, how the hell did you get this number? – I have your feet pics. Wait, really? – Oh, yes. You have two weeks. Wait. What do you mean?
– Goodbye. Wait! Wait, come back!
[Phone beeps] *I hope this message finds you well.* *The pact has been made. Repeat these words to your audience- “Play guardians of Ember and Sseth will come out of this unharmed.” Do not try and find us. We will find you instead.* *Goodbye.* Hey, Hey, people. Sseth here. I just want you to know that I’m doing this of my own free will, and I’m in no way, shape, or form, being blackmailed by the 14k triads syndicate in Hong Kong. Today, I’ll be playing a game no one’s heard about. Guardians of Ember. Why has no one heard about it? Because we prefer to forget. Guardians of Ember was originally released in 2016 and published by Insel Games Limited which turned out to be more than just an unfortunate choice of name. Insel Games Limited did a lot of questionable business practices. GameForge, the German based publisher of many free to play MMOs in Europe, grabbed the Guardians of Ember license off Insel just a year ago. But, in doing so, they now have an impossible task in front of them. Picking up the pieces and re-branding this PR disaster into a stable product. Which is why they’ve hired me to rescue this sinking ship and personally I’m leaving with the women and children. Guardian of Ember, which I’ll just call Ember from now on, is described as a “free to slave”, “MMORPGer”, and “Diablo meets WOW”. All I can say is wow! Count me in! As soon as you load into the client, You can tell this game’s got all of your typical RPG fanfare. As per industry standards, Ember takes place in a fantasy world loosely based on the Territories of Great Britain. Right from the beginning you’re presented with making a character. You can pick between the standard RPG races. The English, the Welsh, the Scottish, and the Irish. Then you have to choose one of the two predefined gender roles on offer. Male or female, which are available to all the races, except the Irish who’ve undergone a mutation in their X chromosome that has largely removed the male population from their gene pool. Replacing them instead with hermaphrodites that don’t grow past puberty. I say you can pick a gender for the other races, but between you and me, only a trade anthropologist can tell the difference between a Scottish male and a Scottish female. Which is actually defined by the subtle difference in beard size and body fat ratio. With females typically having much fuller beards, and higher adipose content due to their preferred diet of Gregg’s pasties, and sausage rolls. Males, in contrast, are much runtier and more aggressive, as they largely subsist on foraged raspberries and leftovers by the apex female. After that, you have to pick from one of six different classes. Which can be anything from knight to dark knight. The possibilities are endless. There’s also these little bars at the bottom to compare their stats. Interestingly, there’s a damage bar. The lowest possible value for a damage bar is for the priest who, apparently, only does 80 percent of a damage of any other class. Based on this, I think we can all agree, that a priest is absolute trash. I picked something else instead. A ranger. Right off the bat, there’s an intense introduction to the game with some beautiful animations. Unfortunately, my computer’s integrated NVIDIA G1 05M processor can’t run it on high graphics. So, I can only imagine how beautiful they are on max settings. To summarize the plot, there’s goblins invading- and we have to kill them. Although these goblins don’t really look like goblins. They look more like pugs or pit bulls. From what I can gather, the antagonists of this game are pit bull owners or pit mommies as they’re often called. Despite making up 6.5% of a dog population, pit bulls, contribute to 66% of total fatalities and in the world of Ember they’ve clearly not being spayed or neutered. Leading to a vast overpopulation of pit bullies. Who are more than happy to maul your infant children, and they will, unless we stop them. After disposing of these creatures, they unleashed a fearsome troll which I slayed by standing still and right clicking. I even, occasionally, dodged attacks. For some reason, this troll fight has better hit boxes than Dark Souls 2. Miyazaki is a hack. But I’m a paid schmuck, so who am I to judge? After defeating the troll and washing off the thick sweat on my brow I embarked out into the great wide world of Ember. I got more skills too. You get skills automatically, each time you level. Some of these are pretty good. They can also be upgraded. Bizarrely, upgrading skills can make them worse. Take my bear trap, for example, I can spend all my skill points to make it do half the damage. This is much worse for the knight. She can upgrade her cleave to give her life leech. If she upgrades it again, she no longer has life leech. Similarly, she can upgrade her “Garen” spin to give her life leech as well. If she dares to upgrade it again, without reading the description, she’ll pay dearly with her life. Truly, Ember forces you to think and consider your actions. Since they might end up accidentally killing your character. On top of skills, you also have attributes, These are described as the four humors- black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm. And if we’ve remembered our understanding of Hippocratic humorism, under the revised elemental model proposed by Empedocles, then we will also remember the dangers of humoral imbalance. To this end, we will assign our attributes equally to avoid any of the negative temperamental states. To demonstrate the dangers, here’s another character I made. An Irishman named Seamus O’Shaunessy. He died of severe jaundice and got eaten by the family pig. Meanwhile, my ranger had a long and generally healthy life adventuring in Ember. That was until I started jumping. Jumping, combined with my character small stature, caused me to glitch inside a brick wall. In panic, I tried to jump some more. Instead, I started to sink into the ground. After some time, I accepted my fate and took on my new role as the local tower ghost. I haunted this place. I could never leave. I could only warn others about the dangers of jumping. Some even try to help me. But I told them I was beyond help. “Go. Live your life. And don’t make the same mistake I did. Life is brief and extremely precious. Don’t waste it on smashing your spacebar all day. Or you’ll end up like me. Forever clipped inside this shitty tower.” And so, I started a new character. A knight. It was then that I noticed there’s a thigh slider on the character creation menu. There was also a buttock slider. I set these to max and made my knight as dummy thicc as humanly possible, with a curvy case of lordosis to top it off. I feel that me and Runewaker’s Studios, despite being thousands of miles away from each other, now share a deep spiritual bond. The sort of bond that transcends our differences in race, opinion, and culture, but unites us instead as men. Who can truly appreciate the ass. One of the best features of Ember, of course, is that it also works in a window. So I can multitask while playing the game. Oh, looks like this guy is winning. All right, where’s that copypasta? Ember’s also got lots of other activities. Like fishing, mining, and owning real estate. Mostly though, you’re gonna be killing people and collecting quest EXP. So, to fully immerse myself in the world of Ember, I took the time to personally read every single line of dialogue by every NPC. No matter how unimportant they are. It was at this point that I realized that the saddest job in the world isn’t being a games journalist It’s being the dialogue writer for an MMO. I’m fairly certain that, of a hundreds and thousands of people who’ve played this game, only two of them have actually read the deep back story and lore of Guardians of Ember. Those two people are myself and the writer. This has to change. So, let’s appreciate some of this intense dialogue together. Bowloli has challenged you to a duel. Wait. What is this? Of course, I accept. I don’t care if you’re a child or a 2000 year old legal aged fantasy child. You’re gonna get a goddamn beat down, you loli hag. Most people just smash the keyboard in situations like this. Instead, I like to do what I call the Royal keyboard flush. This technique ensures that your hand is likely to hit most of the keys you’re meant to anyway. Naturally, with my superior technique and tactics, I won. Coincidentally, I ran into the same lollies later that day and we dueled again. Turns out, they’re actually one of the few people in this game who speak English. I’ve seen Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, and Polish being spoken on the global channels in Europe. But, never once have I seen English. Anyway, we quickly became great friends. They even invited me to lunch. I couldn’t really attend so they just sent me some instant lasagna in the mail. It was nice. A little moldy. But hey, that’s free penicillin. Overall, I had a fun time. I came in with minimal expectations, but the people and the community really make the game worth playing. Also, It’s much more pleasant than my last experience with free to play MMOs. Since, the last time I played a free-to-play MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, was also the first and last time I tried Israeli hash. I smoked that shit and thought nothing of it. Then I went off to play LOTRO with the boys. I told them after some time “Agh. Go off and do this dungeon without me. I’m not feeling too great”. Then, I collapsed and started panting, sweating, and physically convulsing on the bed. Turns out, I was fiercely allergic to Israeli hash. After about 6 hours of pure hell I decided that was the last time I’d ever play Lord of the Rings online. Now, given that I don’t associate Guardians of Ember with anaphylactic shock, I give it a very good score. I’m now contractually obligated to say these words- Play Guardians of Ember today So Sseth can live tomorrow. Help me. *Did he deliver?* -As well as can be expected. *And the merchants?* -Displeased… -But we got what we came for. *Good.* *Accelerate production of the model 2.* *This one’s getting…* *Defective.* -As you wish Chairman. *Dismissed.* *M’Beke… what an expensive mistake you’ve turned out to be…*