I’ve recently had the joy of discovering the wondrous Project: Gorgon, an indie MMO that harkins back to what MMOs were a decade and more ago. Rich, detailed worlds full of discoveries, exploration, and without a directed guiding pathway to follow. Quests don’t provide a level – and indeed, many can’t be done the moment you pick them up if you are a new player without a high level combat skill or two or three, nor do all of them tell you where to go. I have many deaths to my name as I work out what I can handle, and I will likely have many more. I’m having a blast as I fumble around racking up death XP (see my section on death below) and figure things out. But it does mean that the learning curve can be a bit steep.
In keeping with the theme of exploration and discovery that this game espouses, this will not be a follow the dotted lines to the specific location type of guide. I will be keeping spoilers to a minimum, with the bulk of them at the end. If you’re here looking for a specific item or location, you can skip down to the checklists at the bottom.
However much fun I am having with it, this remains a unity game, so character creation is very basic. You pick a race, skin color and your hair and that’s about it. One thing that is not explained anywhere, at least not that I’ve seen, is that your race does matter to a certain, very minor, degree. There is no “best race for X skill;” however each race has a behavioral preference and ignoring that preference will hit you with a minor (1%) XP penalty and likewise give you a small (also 1%) xp buff if you follow it. Worth knowing if you care about the tiny details!
Rakshasas hate killing sentient creatures, and their comfort counter decreases when they do so.
Elves hate being dirty, and their hygiene count decreases as they kill things.
Humans get lonely, and their social count decreases as they spend time away from cities.
I’ve mostly played an elf thus far and I already make it a point to splash through every lake and river I come across, and jump in every fountain to keep clean. If I go too long without bathing, I will gain a filthy debuff. So elves, go forth and jump in ponds! Splash through rivers! Play in fountains! It certainly makes for some interesting RP as I am cleaning off my filth in a fountain right next to someone filling water bottles for cooking…
Now that you’ve created a character, before I go into specific areas, here is what everyone needs to know when playing this game:
Let me repeat this, because it is so important, and I see a lot of questions that are only asked because the querying player mindlessly clicked through text:
There is even an in-game area for writing notes, accessible in your quest journal, if you don’t want to deal with keeping out of game notes. I have a decades old binder where I keep MMO notes, and it is slowly filling with Gorgon related sprawls.
UI Fiddly Bits
Once through character generation, you appear on an island with your only skills being sword and unarmed. A message pops up telling you to open a nearby backpack, and from that point on you are largely on your own! It’s a delicious experience that I have sorely missed in recent games. With inventory open, your UI looks like so:
Down the side to the left are special abilities. I don’t have any yet on this newbie character I created for the purposes of this article, but you can put things like potions there, some buffs, pet charming skills, armor repairing, and I’m sure there are tons more.
The bar on the right is your standard systemic bar where you can access (from the top down); bug reports, inventory, chat, skills, the map, quest journal, crafting recipes, pets, character stats, options, and social. Most of it is self explanatory if you’ve played an MMO before, with the most confusing bit being skill selection. If you click the skill button, all it will pull up is a window telling you what skills you’ve got and at what level. I will note that it will only display skills you have, so unless you look up the skill list on the wiki, you truly can have a fun discovery game.
If you want to change the abilities on your hotbars, click the little arrow to the left of the hotbar and select the skill line that you want. As you level it and adventure, you will learn more and more abilities – these are selected by hitting P, clicking the abilities tab and then dragging and dropping to your hotbar. I find myself constantly reviewing my skills as different situations call for different abilities, and mods on gear can completely change your rotation.
There is also a stat tab under persona, that displays the finer details. Many are recognizable MMO staples such as health, regen, resistances; but it also shows the comfort, loneliness and hygeine stats I mentioned above.
Oh, for the lack of inventory spaces… Or rather, the lack of organization. I hate inventory management. It is the bane of my existence in just about every game out there – and this game is one of the worst. I can’t ever find anything. The icons are tiny, and to top it off bank space is scattered across multiple NPCs – this one will only take alchemy items, that one only equipment… so here is my advice on inventory:
Learn to drop items, or not pick them up in the first place.
There, I said it. I am an inveterate hoarder, so this is a very difficult thing for me to say, let alone practice. Everything in this game serves a purpose. Vendor trash in Project: Gorgon is … really just a state of mind. And you will invariably decide to toss something because you don’t need it at the moment, only to need it 5 minutes later. But inventory space is limited, storage space is limited, and there are thousands of items … so learn to drop them or you will go mad.
Dropping items to the ground is done by clicking the icon and holding, then dragging it down to the box that appears, which you can see here, above. You can also see my inventory problem. Everything in this game can be used to gain favor with the NPCs and/or craft, so you’ll need to learn the art of prioritizing what you pick up.
Unfortunately I ihave run out of room, so keep an eye out for part 2! I will be going into more details and providing checklists of things to do on Anagoge Island (newbie isle) as well as other features!