March 30, 2010

IoTM Review: Drink Me

Remember that Disney Channel Alice in Wonderland show where the White Rabbit was a guy in a bunny suit who was force to wear rollerblades so as to be hip? Oh, don’t worry, I found a link for you so you can experience it.

What does that have to do with KoL’s IoTM of the month, the Clan Looking Glass? Eh, not much, I guess, but I’ve been thinking about it since it came out.

Mostly, I think people were excited to see this IoTM because it meant the return of Clan VIP Keys, which were apparently insanely expensive. It wasn’t an issue for me, since I had one from the Pool Table, but, you know, I’m sure that was nice for people. Still, I don’t think one should overlook the Looking Glass, not that I expected them to, perse. But it’s a pretty awesome dump of content with some neat items in it.

I actually didn’t get a chance to get one of these myself, because Val and Cris had already installed one in the Ernest Borg Nine’s VIP Lounge before I even realized it existed. It makes me feel a little eh for mooching. I pitched in for the pool table. I suppose I shouldn’t worry, though, as it’s not like they seem upset. That’s just a problem with this furniture, I guess. There’s always some amount of having to figure out the social issues of picking it up.

Anyway, the Glass basically gives you one “DRINK ME” potion a day, which lets you access the Down the Rabbit Hole area. This has cool shit in it.
The Tweedleporium is a completely heart-based shop. There is a weekly rotation of neat stuffies, an expensive outfit that includes a watch, and puffs of smoke. The puffs of smoke lets you send silly picture messages to your friends. One puff equals one letter. It’s neat and silly, and I really like it. I also like that there’s a good NPC-store-purchasable rollover turn item in the game, even if it is much too expensive to use on any sort of serious run.
There’s a Mad Tea Party, that gives you a random buff based on the number of letters in the name of your currently equipped hat. That’s cool: there’s a lot of nice content in there, and I’m sure some of the buffs are very worth it. It’s hard for me to get excited about this, honestly? But I’m sure there’s at least one buff in there that’s going to become very hardcore-relevant. They’re all solid, and if actually take the time to plan your hat, you can get a nice boost once a day, I would think.
The final part is the Red Queen’s Garden, which is one of my favorite things: a quest that spans multiple ascensions to give you long term goals. I talked about how I liked this back with the Baby Sandworm, and this is no different. Basically, you fight some monsters with some okay drops, but you also work to collect maps to collect parts of a meal. You can get one piece per class, and once you have them all, you can trade them in for a cool reward: a piece of familiar equipment called the ittah bittah hooka. It makes your familiar give you completely random buffs in battle. That is totally cool. I can’t wait to get one and try it out. I like having long term goals.
There’s also a mini-game in the map that you can beat over and over again to get cookies that give you very strong buffs to your base stats. Less interesting to me, but still completely cool.

So, yeah, lots of good content in here. Your clan should pick one up. Three Mr. A’s is still a tough sell if you’re on your own, but I suppose you could always try buying Drink Me potions in the mall or something? It’s cool stuff. I feel like this is a win. Way better than the Pool Table, and a lot of fun.

March 20, 2010

IoTM Review: Vikings are nice, though.

This month’s IoTM in Twilight Heroes is the Viking Games jersey.

It’s red.

Once again, I think this is an IoTM completely not aimed at me. Does it have an effect I’m not aware of? I don’t think so. I think it’s just a stat-tacular shirt. Anyone not spellcasting would love the buffs on this shirt, and hell, even those who are spellcasting still might pick it over, say, the Letter Shirt if they were wanting that +XP bonus while grinding. Stat-wise, this gives you the sort of strong percentage boosts you might want. It’s nice for that.

However, I’ll say it again and again: I’m not really interested in IoTMs as a pure “better than everything” vector. I want them to provide novelty along with the betterness. I donate for IoTMs to keep me playing. I want them to offer options that change up my game, or just be so cool, a la the Personalized Flair on the previously-mentioned Letter Shirt, that I can’t help but want to wear it. I can think of no situation where I would rather wear this than my Prismatic Sports Bra or my Letter Shirt. Sure, it might be better stat-wise in some situations, but it’s just not anywhere near as fun. Heck, even the special attack on the foxy caped suit, when worn with the hat, is much more fun. (Plus it has the term “foxy” in the title, so… yeah.) I just can’t see any time where I would actually use this.

So, you know, I won’t get it. Nothing wrong with it. If you want such advantages, go for it. I just can’t justify it, especially when I play the game, unfortunately, much less than I used to.
Oh well. Not like I can expect every IoTM to be aimed towards me, hm?

February 26, 2010

IoTM Review: Constructions

Kingdom of Loathing loves its Librams, but hey, at least it created a fairly new sort of Libram in the Libram of BRICKOs. This lets you summon BRICKO bricks, which you can then use to build various things. Some are equipment, like the BRICKO Pants or BRICKO sword, but most are actually monsters that you build, and then fight without taking a turn. Many of them take many, many BRICKOs to build, and have unique drops.

This really seems like an item for collectors. Granted, having a potential 10 free combats a day for getting stats IS useful, and you can do that with the BRICKO monsters, but you’ll never be able to summon enough bricks to keep yourself in high level monsters for most of a run. No, it seems like the overall goal of the Libram is to be something you spend excess mana on when you already have enough of the other Libram items. You build up a huge, huge collection, and use it to fight the high level monsters with the unique drops, doing things like building the gilded BRICKO chalice, which is basically another facsimile dictionary, only without having to ascend again, which seems like some people would find a use for. Of course, the main draw for most people would be the familiar, the BRICKO chick, which requires a combat with a Gargantuchicken and 6900 bricks to build. That’s a really long term goal. But it’s nice to have long-term goals.

That’s really what this libram is. It’s a bunch of long-term goals that you can slowly work towards with very minimal to no turn consumption. I like this, and I assume that many other players like it too, since it doesn’t mess with their runs like, say, working on the long-term stuff in the empty bottles and whatnot. Also, it seems like, since you need so, so many bricks, that BRICKO bricks will be a decent source of meat, if you just want to pawn them all off. For a few mana a day, you get 3 of an item that sells for 800 or more meat. Seems like a decent tradeoff to me, if you don’t want to jump on the building bandwagon.

Yeah, I like this one. It’s different. Unique. And, like the best IoTMs, it gives you something else to do, to extend the life of the game. That’s the main reason I pick these things up. I want to switch up the experience so that I have more fun. That seems like what this is doing. I’m down with that.

February 20, 2010

IoTM Review: Incredible Transformations

Because of some footing-ball event that may have happened this month, the IoTM in Twilight Heroes was the Insanely Super XL Bowl. Now, this is an item I get behind. Not only is it mechanically interesting (and also a bit telling about where TH is going to go in the future) but it’s also just got flavor that, for whatever reason, I find pretty hilarious.

Basically, this is a set of four items, one for each of the character classes. Or, at least, each class gets a special benefit from one of the forms. How do you change between these forms, you ask? Well, you rotate the bowl 90 degrees, and, magically, it becomes a Breastplate! Or a Helmet! Or a shield!
I don’t claim to understand why I find this so hilarious, but I totally do. Mostly because it’s such a mundane way to do such a complete and total transformation. Just the idea of my character casually rotating it a little and then going “WOAH,” just… man, I don’t know. I’m easily entertained, I guess.

The stats on each version also seem very useful. The main bowl itself, with the additional item and chip drops, are something that everyone is going to get a good use out of, especially Elementalists, with the spell damage boost. All of them, though, seem like they would be very relevant to their respective classes, and have their uses outside of them, though perhaps not as something you equip all the time.

What interests me the most, though, is that this really, really seems to indicate that you will be able to cycle through the classes much easier in the future. Retcon? Something like that. There’s just no way that these class-specific bonuses make sense unless you have a good way to switch between them from time to time, and transmogrifying just really isn’t a good way to do that. I look forward to that kind of stuff! I know it’s hard to do, and it’ll probably still be awhile in coming, but I do look forward to it. I’ll hold onto this bowl until then.

January 30, 2010

IoTM Review: A knife, I guess?

I… think I just don’t get this month’s Twilight Heroes IoTM. I mean, okay, it’s obvious that the Stainless Steelbreaker has some good stats. The Weakens Opponents is really useful, especially if you’re doing the crazy high level stuff.

But man, I don’t know.

There’s just nothing really thematically interesting, to me anyway, about an offhand dueling knife. I’m really more of a shield person, myself. It’s got a nice little bit of story in the description, of course, but if I equipped it, it just wouldn’t stimulate the silly part of my brain that kind of roleplays while I do such things.
It is also just one of those items that is only good stat-wise. There’s nothing mechanically new about this item. It doesn’t spring up any interesting effects during combat or anything. It’s just a really good offhand item, a slot which I already have a much more fun item for, Zorromir’s Double Tower Shield. Am I going to give up my battlecry, SMILES GO FOR MILES, just for slightly better defense and chance of enemy fumbles? Eh, probably not.

This is pretty well the first TH item I haven’t picked up in a long time. I’m sure it has its place, and I’m sure there are some people who just much optimize and have it. But much like the VR Helmet, it just does nothing for me, and I’ll save my money. I already gave Ryme a bunch of extra for all the new yearly Talismans! Hopefully he won’t starve this month because of that. Heh. (And thank you for the event, by the way, Ryme! I’m glad I noticed it in my busy-ness before it totally disappeared.)

January 8, 2010

IoTM Review: Really? A Diaper? Really?

Woah, hey, look, an IoTM review that isn’t on like… the last day of the month. Shocking.

But seriously, I have some reservations about this thing. KoL is the home of all kind of ridiculous shit. I can attack people with a butt tuba for crying out loud. This is not a very serious game. At the same time, I dunno. Nothing has quite disturbed me before than this month’s IoTM, the Stinky Cheese Ball. This is frustrating, because at the same time, it’s got a mechanic that I really like, and some really good effects on it. It’s an issue.

Why do I kind of hate this item? Well, it’s mostly because of the Stinky Cheese Diaper. The idea of equipping a diaper just… doesn’t sit right with me. Perhaps I’ve seen too many scary furry images in my day, but it just brings up associations I’d rather not bring up! (As per usual, though, if that’s your thing, have fun! As long as nobody is being hurt, fun is of the most importance. I’m just completely definitely against that particular fetish for myself.) Add that to the fact that it’s a diaper made of cheese? Well, uh, yeah. It just really unsettles me.
The kicker, though, is that this diaper is pretty seriously optimal. Unless you have Time Trousers, it is pretty well the easiest and best way to get +Rollover Adventures in the pants slot, a rare benefit. It’s also trivially easy to get them more effective than the Time Trousers, using the neat mechanic that I’ll get to in a second. Not only do I not like the idea of these things, but I’ll have to equip them every time I log off? Yeah, unfortunate.

Still, the mechanics of the Stinky Cheese Ball are actually really neat. It gets more pungent as you use it, and that increases the benefits of the items you can make out of it. It maxes out at 100 turns, but it’s still a very cool little mechanic. If I want the full benefit of the Diaper, which is +10 adventures, then I need to run a 100 turns of another item. Thankfully, they’re all pretty good, and can squeeze into your equipment somewhere. The “equippable at level 1” shield that is the Stinky Cheese Wheel seems like an overall good choice for many characters (I understand that most optimal players use Shieldbutt all the time, so having a good early game shield seems key, though I guess most would rather have the Pilgrim Shield.) and the sword and chefstaff are similarly useful to, at the very least, early-game characters. Probably the most useful way to charge up that diaper, though, is the Stinky Cheese Eye. Not only does it give you +item, which is, of course, what you want, but it also gives you one free Harold’s Bell a day in the skill it grants, called “Give Your Opponent the Stinkeye” This isn’t something I use very often? But I understand how it would be extremely useful, so it’s nice to have around.

Yeah, I think the Stinky Cheese Ball is a winner. While disgusting, I think every one of the items it can morph into has some very strong use. Obviously, the Diaper was the power item, but I can see me using all of them, unlike with, say, the Spooky Putty, which had several items of questionable use attached to the obscenely useful Sheet. This is probably an item you should pick up. Just don’t think too hard about the diaper, okay? Just… really. Don’t think too hard about the diaper.

December 31, 2009

I guess I’ll IoTM: Gifts, Gifts, and another Gifts.

In Twilight Heroes, the Heroes of Twilight have the option, for like another day or something, to purchase The Grouch’s Sack of Loot at the Wok of Stars, and thus increase the number of items they have that randomly makes more items everyday! Huzzah!

This item is almost kind of sort of a remake of the IoTM that started me buying Twilight IoTMs, the Pouch of Many Lost Things. It creates a collection of seasonal gifts, which you can then send to other players through a special menu, or use yourself. If you send them, you and your target receive a buff, this time called Holiday Cheer. It’s an extremely heart-y item, and I do love such things, so of course I had to pick it up.

However, I would go so far as to say that the gifts from the Grouch might be better, overall, than those from the Pouch. (HA! Rhyming!) The Sack of Loot is a constant supply of sugar, one of the two vectors to give yourself more playtime in the game. The Gumdrop, in particular, is the second-best sugar currently in the game right now, according to this handy chart. That’s power. Even though you can’t assure yourself to get many gumdrops in a day, that’s still a great gift to give someone, and a powerful item to be able to pull daily. The most powerful Pouch items are the Lost Phone, Lost Wallet, and Lost Toy. The Eggnog replicates the Lost Toy’s functionality in a debatably better way. Thus, the Pouch is only really better for the XP-grinding skills it grants. Which is a fine niche for it to be in, but man, I’d prefer the more fun stuff of the Sack, I’d think.

Yeah, this IoTM is a winner in my book. Granted, I have a kind of weird take on this stuff, sometimes, but eh, it’s awesome. You should get one, I think. And then you should gift me things, because that’s fun, too.

December 29, 2009

I guess I’ll IoTM: Living Sock

The KoL Item which is sold for only one month could be known as the Stocking Mimic. It’s a Ka-Razee familiar that doesn’t level up as per normal. CRAZY.

Basically, this familiar doesn’t have the normal 20 pound cap. It caps at 100, and only levels up when you feed it candy. However, once you use it for a few turns, it drops its familiar equipment, which makes it level up as per normal, which kind of defeats the whole interesting nature of the “feed it candy” thing. I mean, you know, people really concerned with speed would feed it candy? But this familiar is a Cocoabo. It’s not about speed. It’s about doing cool random shit. So… I guess I don’t really get what the point of that mechanic is. It seems like it would be more interesting to put something like that on a Fairy or something relevant to ascension. But what do I know.

Anyway, once you have the thing equipped with its Bag of Confections, it also sometimes drops candy with some cool buffs. You can, of course, feed the Mimic this candy if you really, really want to, but it seems like it would be more fun to enjoy the buffs? Why does the stupid sock need more candy, I ask you? It has a whole BAG of it. I mean, if nothing else, the Polka Pop seems really, really good, giving a very good +item and +meat buff. Belch the Rainbow from the Piddles gives some great Chromatic damage, and Full of Wist from the BitterSweet Tarts gives you more stats. These are all great buffs, and if nothing else, since people probably won’t be running Stocking Mimics all the time, seeing as they really don’t seem THAT optimal, you can probably sell all these candies off at a good price, one would think. Well, okay, a quick check shows that apparently BitterSweet Tarts aren’t selling for much, but the other two are probably worth selling, and hell, use those Tarts yourself. Level up quicker. Why the fuck not? Don’t give it to the stupid sock.

I look forward to having fun with this one. I like the randomness and whatnot, and the fact that it grabs its familiar equipment for me makes it likely that I will use this familiar on my next 100% Hardcore run. Still, it’s probably not a game changer. It’s just a fun little thing. Maybe when they adapt the “feed for weight” thing to something a little more relevant, you’ll have something that really changes the game up.

November 30, 2009



But that’s okay, I don’t know how much I have to say about either. Mostly because I, uh, don’t have much experience with either.

For example, the KoL IoTM is the first one in a long, long time I haven’t picked up. It’s the Movable Feast. It’s… kind of mind-boggling. Sure, it’s an all-around familiar equipment. Sure, it lets you buff up your familiars, I guess, and it adds some damage and familiar experience. But man, I just don’t know. It only seems worthwhile if you’re switching familiars a lot. At the same time, if you’re playing softcore, you’re PROBABLY playing casually and don’t switch familiars all that often, and this doesn’t do much to entice you if you aren’t trying to train up multiple familiars concurrently. It’s just kind of uninteresting to a casual player, which is who I always think about these softcore-only items being aimed at. It’s especially less useful when I have a Mayflower Bouquet, which, while more random, I feel is better in pretty much every way for my purposes. And while I passed the little box of fireworks up for a similar reason that I passed this one up, it’s still extremely close to the cost of 1 Mr. A in the mall and still seems way, way better than the Movable Feast in every way.
So yeah, I just don’t get who this is aimed towards. So I didn’t pick it up.

In Twilight Heroes, we have the Atmos Spear, which works both shortened and extended!
Twilight Heroes kind of likes these changeable morphable items like that. As is, in the current gamestate, it seems like the extra chips from the shortened version seems like your best bet, as it’s clearly the best weapon in the game at the moment with that kind of enchantment. And the flying on both versions can be useful to free up vehicle or other slots, not to mention the lighting strikes.
I just, I don’t know. I’m kind of burned out on the grind of Twilight Heroes. If there were some way to redo the quests, I’d probably check in more often… it’s a great game, that’s why I’ve supported it for so long. Just… yeah. I can only grind for so long! Especially when I have so many other distractions.
Still, you should at least read the utterly ridiculous story that Cris wrote about the thing. Because it’s pretty awesome. The idea that something I can go buy in a store is so important is kind of silly. And awesome.

Anyway, there are some thoughts. DECEMBER, HO!

October 28, 2009

IoTM Review: If I could see my character, I’d probably never equip this.

I mean, helmets in RPGs suck. My characters look so lame in helmets. So my superhero in Twilight Heroes would look incredibly lame wearing this month’s IoTM, the Mask of Odysseus. Cause, you know, it’s a mask. Nobody could see my neat face! Maybe!

At first glance, this is just a worse Wolley’s Index or, of course Hero’s Cape. I mean, that’s 5% less Item Drop, and that’s the good stuff!

Of course, you can equip this WITH the other items, but maybe that’s beside the point.

Basically, I see this as a more fun Wolley’s Index. The Index is boring. It’s pure statistical benefit with no fun involved. The Mask does interesting combat things. Interesting combat things make me happy. I do smiling when I’m happy. Unless I am purely grinding for items or really, really want to be optimal, which probably won’t happen, I really can’t think of a reason why I would equip Wolley’s Index over this ever again for that reason.

Maybe I like things for stupid reasons. Maybe I should just work to be the best and have the biggest stats, etc.

But I’d rather do it with STYLE, man. Fucking style!

Even if that style involves a mask that I wouldn’t actually like to see on my character.