Legend of the Green Dragon

Posted on May 23, 2007. Filed under: Fun n Games | Tags: |

Legend of the Green Dragon was introduced by my fellow officemate GM, this game is heaven sent to us since we are working on graveyard shift and this baby here keeps our soul awake and makes the duty hours less stressing.. And one more thing, this game is safer compared to flash games that we used to play here in the office, because once you get caught its the slums for you jim 😀

Legend of the Green Dragon (abbreviated LOGD or LotGD) is a humorous text-based multi-player browser based game. It is a WWW-based implementation and homage to the classic BBS door game Legend of the Red Dragon. Originally written by Eric Stevens (“MightyE”), the copyright now contains both his and JT Traub’s names. Version 1.0.0 was released in April 1, 2005. The final release from these maintainers, 1.0.6, was released in January 1, 2006.

Eric Stevens began writing the PHP version of the game as a side project and after several months opened the game for testing, only to family and close friends. In around 2003 it was somehow seen by a reviewer at Slashdot [1] and despite the reference not being on their front page, character registrations increased dramatically. As of October 2006, MightyE’s server at lotgd.net has approximately 4,600 players, and there are some 5,500 players at the largest German server, lotgd.de. There are some 300 servers listed in the LoGDNET list.

While it could be described as such, LotGD is not, strictly speaking, a MMORPG. The only feature that is “multiplayer” in the strictest sense is chatting and chat-based roleplaying. While the game offers player vs. player combat, it is one-sided. LotGD could perhaps best described as a multi-player game where players compete on various ranks, while the actual gameplay is mostly a one-player experience.

Game Days

Game primarily progresses on daily basis. There are limits on how much combat can be done in each game day. There are usually one or more game days in a real-world day; MightyE’s lotgd.net server, for example, has two game days for every real-world day. All dead characters get resurrected at the beginning of the day.

Characters

The player starts by creating a character. Characters can be male or female (which only affects the level titles, and marrying), and players can pick a race, which somewhat affects the abilities. Typical fantasy races (humans, dwarves, trolls and elves) are represented, as are some atypical ones (felynes and storm giants).

Instead of character class, the game has different specializations – Dark Arts, Mystical Powers, and Thieving Skills – which determine what abilities the “use points” the characters collect over time give.

Combat

The basic idea of the game is to gather experience, gold, and gems. This is done either by going to the forests and killing various monsters, or by fighting other players. After the character has gathered enough experience points, he/she must fight the trainer in home village to advance to next experience level.

The monster combat is done in forests around towns. Characters can look for monsters that are of same character level as themselves, or go slumming (looking for easier monsters) or thrillseeking (looking for difficult monsters), which will give an appropriate bonus or penalty to gained XP.

Player versus player combat is very integral part of the game, though it is not necessary to attack other players to advance in game, and many players refuse to do so. A player may choose to get certain bonuses in return of not attacking people and still risk being attacked, or choose to be completely immune from attacks, which also makes them unable to gain those bonuses and also to attack other players. The game only allows combat between logged-in and logged-out characters: If a character logs out, he or she goes sleeping on the fields, where anyone logged on can attack him/her. It is possible to go in a well-guarded inn for a night, which helps things somewhat, but even that won’t save the character from PvP combat completely. PvP combat between two logged-in players has not been implemented due to several problems arising from statelessness of the HTTP protocol.

The combat system itself is turn-based. The combat itself is very simple, the only options available are fighting, using special abilities, or fleeing. There is also automated combat, which can be used if the player feels there’s no real danger of dying (but which can be fatal if the player miscalculates something, or has a streak of bad luck). The combatants end up either hitting the opponent, missing, blocking the blow, or doing a riposte (causing damage to the attacker). Randomly, a “power move” is executed, which does a large amount of damage.

Dying in combat, or for other reasons, is not particularly harmful; an experience point penalty and loss of held gold is all that happens. The dead characters get resurrected in the beginning of the day, but resurrection can also be granted earlier by Ramius, the overlord of the dead.

Equipment and Special Abilities

As well as experience points, combat gives gold coins and gems. Gold is usually spent on better equipment. Gems can be used on various special things. Primarily, gems are used to buy mounts or familiars, which will fight by the character’s side for a part of the day. Gems can also be used to purchase various potions, or spent on certain special events.

Goals and Secrets

The goal of the game is to fight the Green Dragon that is terrorizing the land.

Upon completion of the task, the player must start over from the beginning, although not without a few benefits; the player has the choice of extra hitpoints, attack, defense, or forest fights. He or she may also keep any hitpoints he or she has gained permanently, as well as any gems, jewelry, and the pet/familiar.

One secret is an instance of meeting Crazy Audrey randomly while exploring the game. Characters who meet Audrey can pet her kittens, and play her kitten game. Rewards or penalties follow depending on the outcome of this game.

A large part of the game doesn’t have any kind of obvious documentation, and other players tend to refuse telling “game secrets” to other players. Part of the joy of the game is to discover various things, since generally, nothing that happens in the game has any sort of permanent damage – though it may have a long-lasting good effect.

Notable Non-playing Characters:

  • MightyE, weapons merchant
  • Pegasus, armoress
  • Foilwench, sage
  • Bluspring, master trainer
  • Tynan, gym teacher
  • Elessa, banker
  • Seth, bard
  • Violet, bar maid
  • Cedrik, barkeeper
  • Dag Durnick, bounty hunter
  • SaucyWench, cook
  • Merick, the stable keeper
  • Deimos, haberdasher
  • Petra, tattoo artist
  • Heidi, witch
  • Lonestrider, leader of band of thieves
  • Ramius, Overlord of Death

In tradition of many role-playing games, many of the characters (or at least their names) are based on personae of the game implementors and contributors.

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