Here is something you should know about ROK II: it is a thinking man's game. Unlike linear text Role-playing Games where it takes you in a particular direction with ROK II you have to figure out which direction YOU want to be taken.
The foundation of this kind of 'thinking' is reading all that is presented to you. Skipping over things will make you spin in circles. For example, during your first start of the game you are given the choice to create your Character right away or understand the Rules of the game. If you chose to skip the Rules then you would have missed the game's mechanics much to the determent of your own Character. Make sure to read Rules & Start in its entirety if you have not done so already.
Text Role-playing Games: Reading vs Comprehension
One of the frustrating things about administering a Text Role-playing Game is the fact that some people do not read, and where they say they read they do not comprehend.
People often mix up reading skills with comprehension skills but they are two different things. Reading, by definition, involves knowing the words you see and understanding their individual meaning, however with the advent of the internet I think reading has a different meaning. Comprehension is knowing how to apply the information you have read.
JB's Definition: The new meaning of "Reading" for some people is to see the words but not necessarily understand them or skip over the words but still expect to understand what is being communicated.
When they do this new kind of 'reading' the results are as follows:
1. They ask questions already answered
2. They assume things that aren't there
3. They try to open a door without a key
4. They become frustrated and go in circles
Here are some examples of why online reading is different from understanding what you read using ROK II:
1. The story specifically states you are 16 years old and have lost your mother and father, yet people will write that they are 25 and visit their father for counsel.
2. Someone wrote that Charges are provided and yet no way can be seen for those Charges to be restored even though on the same page of the Charges and as part of the story it specifically says who and where to go to get Charges renewed.
3. The Advisor specifically warns you to not get into any combat situations in the beginning, and guess what is the first thing most people do? Yes, they go looking for combat! You are 16, that is part of the story, you need to learn how to fight and build up your defenses before you can look for a fight.
4. Players complain that they do not know how to inform us about an error or bug when there is a "Submit Your Text or Bug" at the bottom of every page of ROK II!
5. A Player just joined, and creates a Character, dies multiple times within the first 15 minutes and now announces that they are ready to Post a review of the game. Players that have actually Played ROK II as opposed to just passing through or breezing through know that is not possible. There is no way your Character should die if you play properly and understand what your Character is supposed to do. There is so much to read, dive into, and experience in order to understand what ROK II is about.
If You Came Here Because You Are Simply "Bored" -- This Is Not The Game For You
As mentioned many times in the introduction… ROK II is a thinking man's game. This is why I am sharing these basic examples -- not to put down anyone but to help people understand that ROK II is like reading a book, if you just jump over things your Character WILL die.
Also, I share them especially for new Players who think that for some reason this free game and my time is owned by them - a sense of entitlement that is prevalent on the internet. Do not get me wrong, I love to give help and receive feedback, but will only consider and reply back to those genuinely interested in ROK II and not trolls or lazy Players who do not want to read but instead just want me to answer everything for them.
Its not just me that sees this… thank goodness there are really good Players in ROK II as well who understand the game and do really read the story. Here is what one Player wrote in answer to a Player who complained that his Character died often:
I can understand that. I have gone back and reread some things in the towns and just to make sure I understand things better. I do know that if you read things carefully you can gain some interesting tid bits that do help you survive a lot longer.
Raising my hand sheepishly - guilty. When I first played I have to admit that I was going through things fairly fast. I did read but not with any depth. When my character died the first time I slowed down. Looking back I think the initial excitement of seeing what happens next makes you want to get passed anything keeping you back to see what happens in the story of the game.
My experience is similar to Stacia. Getting into a game like this is exciting because you really do want to see what happens next but its an irrational way to play since the game is about reading so if you don't read you just don't know what you get into. I'm at a high level now but I carefully read everything because I know misreading something can get me stuck in a location or dead.
I think some of it is due to being in competition with other players instead of just playing a solo game. Someone comes in and sees other people so far ahead of them now. They try to race through the game to catch up to the leaders. The new players probably just skim over the reading to get to the next page.
Kyrroeth made a good point about the competitiveness of ROK II being a driving point. Therefore, I started a new Thread about this: Winners & Losers In Ruler Of Kings II.
I like it - thorough enough for the non-reader. You could even use those words for the other Role-playing Games too or even the general conversations.
Sighs, now I know and understand I have done this though in my defense I do generally I a strong speed of reading and comprehension so generally it works out well. Still, I have been more careful and pay more attention so things have gone much better.