[Videogame Review] Endless War

ENDLESS WAR is a Discord MUD. It’s also an intimidating concept, even with a guide and contextual lecture explaining the lore. This essay intends to introduce a non-player of the game to it, so that although you won’t be an expert, you will at least know some of the fundamentals. The high skill floor, perhaps, might be part of the appeal. Since playing, however, I’ve found it deeply meditative and worth sharing with other people.

Let’s start with some basic information.

Discord is a chatroom program that uses programming add-ins to change certain characteristics. You can install the program, create your own server[s], add in as many chatrooms as you want, and customize them in myriad ways with bots and scripts.

Endless War is a highly-customized server with specialized chatrooms.

When you join the server, you have no rank or slime, which is the in-game currency. To get slime, you have to go over to #the-mines, the chatroom dedicated to running certain commands, and put in the text command “!slime” with no variation.

Mining for !slime, however, takes up energy.

After you’ve mined !slime a dozen or more times, click on #food-court and type in the command !data to see how hungry you are, and if you’re over 50% hungry, you can look at the !menu to !order food. Once your hunger percentage is under, say, 10% you can safely !mine for more slime. If you want to see how much slime you have, you can check using the command !mine.

After you’ve got some slime, go to the #slime-stock-exchange and !invest.

As M@, the person that messaged me shortly after I joined to ask if I had any questions said, “watch what the others are doing.” The game is not overly complex. There are many deep lore cultural aspects to the game that can make the experience seem overwhelming, but it’s not overly sacred ground to tread with caution. Even if you make mistakes, which I have made plenty already, no one’s going to punish you for that.

It’s just all about having fun before you !kill everyone else.

The culture part comes up when you decide to join one of the two factions in the game: Rowdys or Killers. When you start the game, you’re a Juvey, and after you !mine enough slime, you can !enlist. This is the cultural part that may seem overwhelming. Endless War was created by two members of the Pro Crastinators Podcast, Munchy of the Rowdys and Patreon-Dot-Com-Slash-Ben-Saint of the Killers, and Ben’s programmer friend Krak.

Picking a side is as easy as deciding a color or as deep as cultural ethos.

As Munchy and Ben Saint trade off explaining in their Endless War lecture, the culture around the Rowdy Fuckers Cop Killers [RFCK] community started off somewhere between jokes and experiments to see what would stick. It’s that sort of mentality best summarized by a quote from the lecture: “Why not have a slime stock market?”

There are elements of the game that are more competitive.

I haven’t dug much into those elements yet, although I will in time. Rather, I figured that as I learned the foundations of the game, I would share that out as a means of welcoming newcomers to a concept that might be overwhelming. Through my short time playing the game so far, I’ve seen people !mine at all hours of the day and night, except once you !enlist, then you’re limited to in-game hours when you can !mine.

You have to then check the !time to see when you can !mine.

The aspect of the game I like the most, and might be the litmus test to see whether this is something you might want to try out more than just for a meandry minute, is your answer to the question: How much do you like videogame grinding? If given a task, like level up your characters, defeat a certain number of monsters, or !mine slime, would you enjoy the task or not?

I spent some of the last fifteen minutes !mining slime and !ordering buckets.

I did more of course, and if I were to do that more than a thousand times, I’d probably get bored, but I’ll !mine 100 times in a row, !order a bucket or two, and get back into #the-mines to watch the !mine entries scroll by. Counting up to 100 is meditative for me. It’s fun when there are others around as well, since then you can subconsciously compete to see who can !mine more slime.

With this baseline understanding, everything else should be easier to understand.

I’ll probably keep refining my playing style, but this sort of !mine, !order and !mine then !invest seems to be a good start. I haven’t dug into the lore and admittedly I haven’t finished watching the lecture, in part because I was starting to let all of that weigh me down. That’s when I decided, well… after seeing the link to their Kickstarter to make pins, after thinking about whether I’d be Rowdy or Killer for admittedly too long.

Questions like that, worries about lore, can prevent us from acting.

More than extending a welcoming hand, as M@ did for me, that’s what I think you should take away from this essay. Don’t let everything overwhelm you about Endless War or anything else in life. Jump in! If the water’s too hot or cold, then you can swim around to try to fix that, but if others seem to be enjoying themselves in the water of whatever you’re thinking about doing, why wait? Worst case, you embarrass yourself in front of strangers, and then you just learn to laugh it off. I think that’s the whole cultural root with Endless War, where many aspects of the game were made with that same idea. As I believe it went in the lecture, Ben and Munchy asked each other for their Let’s Play channel: “Wanna call it Rowdy Fuckers Cop Killers?” “Sure, why not?”

Why not try playing now?

Endtable:
Quotes: Quotes from people playing Endless War.
Sources: My gameplay experience.
Inspirations: Since jumping in so early, I wanted to write a newbie guide while I’m still a noob myself.
Related: I suppose this is technically a Videogame review. It could, arguably, be an Applied Self-Confidence essay as well.
Screenshot: In-game screenshot.
Written On: 2020 April 11 [From 4:51am to ““!slime” with no variation” at 4:58am. From 5:18am to “would you enjoy the task or not?” at 5:37am. From 5:53am to 6:02am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 April 11 [Adapted from Gdoc, so, second draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.