Last week: boars. This week: giant kobold with a sword bigger than your house
|YESSSSSS!! Time for the second episode of Sword Art Online! I was so excited to see this and extremely happy to have the chance to ramble on about it with Overcooled, but now that the plot is over and done with how are the characters dealing with living day to day trapped inside the game world? I think we will find out today huh?|
|Ready to play with us again~? SAO has been great to watch (and blog about!) so far, so I guess you can say I’m a bit addicted. There’s a ton of action this week as well as you might have discerned from the header image. Level 1 mobs are but a thing of the past now. It’s time to bring out the big guns.|
Forming a Raid for Epic Battles
Raiders-“Dude, those are some easy orders!” Diabel-“STFU AND GET ME SOME LOOT NOW!”
Foshizzel // So it seems like everyone has somehow gotten used to fact they are pretty much stuck inside Sword Art Online; however I was surprised to learn they have not cleared the first floor of the game yet. After hearing that I was like damn…that is one extremely hard MMO! Thankfully there was one guy Diabel who rallied the players together and actually plan out a strategies for their very first boss fight! (Rest in peace Mr. Blue hair) My experiences with that subject go all the way back to one of the original MMORPGS Everquest and of course jumping to World of Warcraft with my whole family. While I played those two games for a few years I remember joining over seventy-two players in EQ and around forty players in original WoW to from raids. I remember raiding with a few players from Denmark! So, what is a raid set up to a non MMORPG player? Basically it is very much like what we saw in this episode of Sword Art Online! In short it’s a massive gathering of players with one goal set in mind, defeat the main boss and get some awesome loot of course, but usually with raiding defeating the final boss usually takes days or even weeks to accomplish.
I remember spending six to seven hours every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night trying to defeat this one boss! I swear I died over and over again until things finally clicked and my guild defeated the boss after several weeks of bashing our heads against a wall. So yeah, I was really impressed with Sword Art Online this week because they ran down the strategies to defeat the boss, but at the same time it quickly turned into Kirito, Asuna and Andrew “Egil” Gilbert Mills (totally a damn badass!) stepping in just to help it with three players! Thinking back sometimes, my raids ended that way with only two players left alive out of the forty in WoW to kill the boss. Honestly after I saw this episode I can say with confidence that Sword Art Online stepped out of the shadow of .hack//SIGN in a big way; however I can’t really say for certain if the other series did such things towards boss fights? They probably did but it quickly shifted into the players dealing with other things.
Choosing to play Solo
Aww, don’t you just hate it when you’re too 1337 for your party?
Overcooled // While most of the episode was focused around teamwork and watching Diabel’s raid party tackle the 1st floor boss, Kirito’s desire to play solo is still there in full force. While Fosh has been in numerous raids and massive parties, I’m more of a solo player who actively shuns parties. It often means less EXP since you simply do not have the capacity to kill giant bosses without help, and things are slower than if you had a competent group of people helping you. The only real plus to playing alone is that you only need to worry about yourself, you can pursue your own goals, and you avoid getting saddled with newbie players who have no clue what they’re doing let alone how to work in a unified manner.
The fact that Kirito and Asuna actively choose to avoid forming parties and prefer keeping to themselves says a lot about them. They want to beat the game, but they don’t feel comfortable enough working with others to get that extra boost. Maybe they’re not good with people or they’re afraid of getting too close to anyone in case they have to suffer the pain of losing them for good if their HP drops below zero. They blamed Kirito for Diabel’s death, so it’d be pretty easy to start rationalizing the death of every party member as your fault for not looking after someone. Keep in mind this would be more akin to murder, so the level of guilt someone would feel could be overwhelming.
The real Kirito is always picked last for group projects in school (and probably dodgeball)
At the end of the episode, Kirito gives the raid party a long, mocking speech before basically peacing out and leaving everyone on their own. Kirito may be a lone wolf, but this isn’t like him. He never spoke up to the party before, and has always been passive. He also took a very deliberate, laboured swallow before starting his spiel as if preparing himself. I trust Kirito’s inner thoughts and the bits we see of how he thinks when he’s alone more than a forced speech in front of a bunch of strangers to tell us more about him. We’ve seen him as being afraid of joining parties with people, kind, helpful, and very intelligent. In other words, I think he put on that arrogant act to try and make people hate him instead of all beta testers.
By shifting the hatred of the party to himself, he stopped the argument and brought the party back together. If he hadn’t done this, everyone would have continued to grow suspicious of each other, trying to find the beta testers amongst the group. It wasn’t all lies though. I’m sure Kirito was indeed a highly talented beta tester and maybe he did get that far. He recognized the skill that the boss used, so he must have seen it before. It was his condescending tone and careful choice of words that really got everyone riled up. I don’t know how long he’ll keep the act up, but I get the feeling that Asuna is going to see through it fairly quickly and remain his playing partner. Or at least…I hope so!
The Loners Asuna and Kirito
You really do not want to know what she uses for conditioner…
Foshizzel // This week we finally got to meet the main girl Asuna, but she seemed to be either shy or just generally quiet? Maybe she was just really scared of the other players? From the perspective of an average Sword Art Player there aren’t many female players running around because most of them were in fact dudes! I can kind of see her using that cloak to keep that fact hidden from the male players of course I could be reading into that completely wrong! Then again it did look really bad ass like she was overpowered Jedi. Other than being shy and quiet Asuna was a lot like Kirito in terms of wanting to be left alone, but didn’t he say at the end you can’t do things alone in this game? Why did he say that when he trolled the other raiders!? DUDE WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING or is that his way of showing off to Asuna and the others? Ah well maybe he wants to be mysterious? Either way he should take his own advice and form a team! That said eventually they team up because obviously they are doing that in the opening.
There is Always That ONE JERK…
Overcooled // You know what I mean. The online world is full of idiots who can’t keep their filthy mouths shut for a second because they’re so intent on discussing your mom instead of how to beat the boss. Kibaou is that guy. He’s not personally offended by the beta testers – he just needs someone to blame for everything bad that happens. His goal is to humiliate beta testers, and to jump at any chance to persecute them. What. A. Jerk.
As much as I hate him, I do enjoy the waves of panic he manages to spread throughout the party. Egil dissipates the first fight, but it takes a lot more to get people to calm down after Kirito is accused of withholding info and letting Diabel die. Part of what I love about the concept of having real deaths in a virtual world is that people go insane after a certain amount of time. It’s human nature. They become paranoid and desperate to the point where they will believe anything they are told. Look at how easily people will follow a leader! Any leader! They are all lost sheep, and they will latch onto anyone who seems authoritative enough to get them through this mess. While everyone may seem like they’re coping with the whole dilemma quite well, I can tell some minds are starting to fray ever so slightly. Like a vulture, I watch and I wait.
Kibaou-“What are you staring at bro?” Andrew-“Dude…shut your mouth before I snap you in half.”
Foshizzel // Overall this episode was amazing for me! Being an old school raider in World of Warcraft and Everquest I can totally relate to forming a raid, but I was never a raid leader like Diabel was because I was just a member of a guild; however I did have some important jobs in certain raids that required use of my priest classes abilities like using Mind control in old school Naxxramus and a few other areas. Random note I liked when Egil shut that orange haired guy up at the start, I was like HAHAHAH YOU JUST GOT TOLD! And then he killed the mood after the raid victory…way to freaking go dude! So what did you think about damn Kirito’s attitude at the end of this episode? Was he just really angsty or was it a way to protect himself in the end and now he is the “beater” Which is the WORST nickname ever!
So now that he knows all the information on the next few bosses how will he use that info? I really don’t think he would use it to make money or maybe he will do that? Since everyone is trapped in this game world you could use that money for something. I almost forgot to mention Asuna! She is a really cute looking character and her laugh at the end? That was instant heart attack stuff right there. So did you notice the amazing TTGL art style shift? That was great during the epic boss battle and the music? OH MY GOD the music was so fantastic! Anyway this was a very interesting episode and I really can’t wait for more fun with Sword Art Online.
Overcooled // I liked this episode just as much as the last, which is a great sign that SAO didn’t just put all of its eggs in one basket.We got to see more of the world, meet Asuna, and witness an amazing boss fight. They handled the group fight very well, showing all the chaos and multi-tasking involved in trying to bring down a big foe. It was intense, but not so hectic that I couldn’t follow what was happening. Kirito’s final blow was a wonderful way to wrap up the fight as well. I’m pretty sure that scene sent a shot of adrenaline pumping through my veins!
We haven’t seen much of Asuna, but I like her so far. Like Kirito, I think she puts on a bit of a different facade when dealing with people (hence her cloak), but she appears to be a genuinely sweet person when she opens up. Most importantly though, she knows how to fight. A whiny, useless, female tag-along is the last thing I would want. Kirito is a great character, but he’s a bit bland without anyone else to communicate with. After all, most of his anxiety comes from socializing with people (an odd priority considering his condition, but ah well).
We’ll be back next week, so drink up your goddamned potion! :3