I quit Kingdom of Loathing recently. I guess I was a bit hooked to the game, as I did play it almost daily. Sure, I did earlier say that I didn’t play RPGs, but I guess KoL was something else to me.
In short, KoL is a browser-based turn-based RPG and is riddled with puns and parodies. The above image pretty accurately describes the art style of the game. It’s stick figures and total insanity with weapons like the Staff of the Midnight Snack and pets like Adorable Seal Larva. The game requires love for puns and knowledge of pop culture, otherwise many quests aren’t funny or don’t make any sense1. The game has insanely difficult puzzles, including the hardest logic puzzle ever as part of the final showdown. Fortunately there’s a very comprehensive and spoileriffic wiki, but I’m not going to link to it because it really spoils the game.
One of the key differences in the game is that the playing through the main quests doesn’t take long, maybe 30-90 days depending on class and difficulty. For long, that was everything there was and after that you could reincarnate and do it all again2! The game until recently was also basically single-player but now has raids and also some special events affect the whole world.
The fun in playing the game again and again is that you get to keep your inventory and some skills and so the gameplay is different every time around. There are different class quests and there’s new game content quite often. The game is completely different from what it was just a year ago. One of the great things about this game is that there is very little grinding or farming for drops. Also, every subsequent ascension also decreases the need to farm or grind, if you select to make skills that increase drops permanent.
The game is also full of surprises as it is not tied to any single theme, but has everything from mariachis and pirates to zmobies (sic) and giants. No single possibility to make a joke or a bad pun is left untouched, from the quests to item descriptions. And yes, it does get a bit tedious in the long run.
The whole ride was enjoyable. But after so many years, it’s time to move on. I had ascended just about 24 times, but that was enough to do it in hardcore, bad moon and oxycore for all classes, including the new nemesis quest for all. Other accomplishments are 81 tattoos and 54 trophies and permanent unlock of Bad Moon. I didn’t really get any of my friends to play KoL with me so there’s also that.
I don’t even want to know the total playtime. I’ve spent way too many hours playing this game. It’s not World of Warcraft but those stick figures get you hooked just as well. There were still achievements to get, special items to collect and skills to hardcore perm.
Sure, I never went to under the sea and didn’t do any clan dungeon raids, but those zones are a bit too hardcore for me. Those are the new end-game zones, but they are out of my league. I would need to grind the world to level up enough to be able to survive. And that’s not fun.
I just feel there’s nothing left for me to achieve that is worth my while. Of course, this might change if significant new content arrives in the coming years but I don’t see myself going back.
I’m going to miss the Christmas event.