Hidden 1 mo ago 23 days ago Post by Artifex
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Artifex Mightier than the Sword

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In 2067, gaming has reached new levels of awesome. VR gaming is basically the norm thanks to Interactive Immersive Interface (i³) technology, and the Nexus allows the world to be continually connected.




Several years ago, a mysterious MMOVRPG appeared suddenly on Axis, the world's premiere video game digital distribution platform. The game was completely free and in the description, players were promised a chance at the 'greatest prize ever given in a video game contest'. The developer and origin remained undisclosed and most people believed it to be a virus or malware. A few brave souls (or complete morons) had downloaded the game to see what the big deal was, and had found that the game was legit. But that wasn't all. It turned out that the game, known simply as Paragon, was the most expansive, customizable, and engaging video game experience of all time. The contest, however, was not an immediate experience. Players gained entry into the contest by earning a glyph which was granted as a prize for reaching level 100 in the game. This turned out to be a nearly impossible task. Whoever these developers were, they had created the most challenging game ever, and only the most elite gamers in the world would manage to complete this extremely absurd feat. There are only 1 million glyphs available to earn...which would seem like a whole lot if you didn't consider the fact that Paragon currently has 1.3 billion active players. The game's contest is set to begin 24 hours after the last glyph is collected.


With the global population cresting 10 billion in the last few years, the planet is getting a bit crowded. Pollution and poverty are at an all-time high and the Earth is becoming less pleasant to live on every day. Multiple space programs are being funded by both governments and the super-rich so we can all get the hell out...but even if that were to ever fully realize itself, we all know who would catch those first seats. There are a few rumors that claim there is a shuttle already prepped and the contest is about winning one of these precious spots...but let's be real. Whenever the Earth does bite the big one, we're all going down with her. So in the meantime, we have the glory that is Paragon to take our minds off this shithole.

While most games focus their characters and setting on a single genre, Paragon manages to encompass nearly every type of game in one massive amalgamation. Since the game is essentially a VRPG at its core, there is, of course, a class and leveling system, but the openness of the gameplay puts games like GTA and Skyrim to utter shame. Players travel to different worlds...yeah, not levels – entire worlds...to complete all kinds of tasks and challenges. Some worlds are simply for farming or recovery. Several spots are even built purely for fun and relaxation. And did I mention that players can purchase in-game real estate to build their own locales? And there's no limit to this stuff. Apparently, the servers for this game are the size of the Taj Mahal and powered by several nuclear plants because this game hasn't stopped growing and has never lagged or crashed.

As for the playerbase, it's just as diverse as the game itself. With 1.3 billion users, you're, of course, going to have those who just play the game 'for fun', which is actually most people. Then you've got your major try-hards who take the shit way too seriously like it's life or death. Then somewhere in the middle are the true elite, those who face every challenge with such determination and finesse that people are forced to mash that spectate button or camp out their notifications for that player's next Optica vid.






Okay, so remember how we mentioned life and death earlier? Well, it turns out some people had the right idea all along. Because our little 'contest' is absolutely critical on a whole other level.

After the last glyph was earned, the world went into a frenzy. It seemed like forever and a day had gone by before this mysterious contest was finally going to be revealed. The million elite players who bested the game had 24 hours to prepare before the challenge of their lives would begin. The mixture of nerves, confidence, and pure excitement throughout the world was palpable.

As the final moments counted down, the number of active players at one time absolutely crushed any previous record and players' livestreams were packed to the gills. Each player with a glyph had a timer displayed on their screen, ticking down to the reveal.

5...4...3...2...1…

That was when the world stood still.

Those million players with glyphs? They vanished into thin air. Gone. No trace. Leaving nothing but whatever clothes they were wearing in their wake. Not only had their physical bodies disappeared, but their avatars had as well. What. The. Fuck.

A few moments later, every device on the planet with Nexus access received an eerie simulcast. The screen was totally dark and an ominous voice spoke in…an alien language. The creature's words were translated into captions at the bottom of the screen.

Hello, creatures of Earth. We hope you've been enjoying our little game. It appears that quite a few of you have participated. But, unfortunately, only the best of the best are worthy of facing the real challenge and claiming the ultimate prize. How does the title of 'Earth's Savior' sound?

(The screen changes to a view of a massive alien satellite that appears to be for some type of military use.)

This is one of several of our devastator satellites that are orbiting the Earth at this very moment. Don't worry about trying to detect or disable them because you simply don't have the means. These satellites are equipped to completely obliterate planets much larger than yours, so we should have no problem reducing your Earth to cosmic dust.

I guess you're also wondering where your precious players are, right? Oh, well, they're right here…

(The screen switches to another view of a domed island floating in Earth's orbit…and gigantic doesn't even begin to describe it. At nearly 10,000 square miles, it's about the size of Massachusetts and is visible from the ground on clear days.)

This is where the defenders of your planet will reside during our game. Don't worry, they will have everything they need to live, but unfortunately, they won't be coming home anytime soon. You can keep an eye on them through one of the endless number of cameras present on the island.

So, now comes the time for all of this to fall into place. Each of your million players is being equipped with a device that attaches directly to their nervous systems. These will sync with their individual avatar identities in a very personal way. You see, once a player's avatar is destroyed in the game, the device in their neck plunges them into a deep, dark coma from which they won't ever awaken. And we are minus one player.

Once the player count reaches zero, the Earth and everything on it will cease to exist. Plain. Simple. But if just one player is able conquer Paragon, we will spare your planet. And before anyone decides to dismiss this as some sort of hoax...I believe you called this...Tokyo?

(The screen pans to an aerial view of Tokyo, Japan. Moments later, the city is hit dead center by a shot from one of the alien devastator satellites. The world watches helplessly as the entire city is leveled in a single crushing instant.)

And that isn't even close to a fraction of what our technology is capable of. So, enjoy these last moments of your existence, creatures of Earth...because no one ever wins.

Game on.


So, yeah...we're screwed. No, we're dead. Earth is pretty much done for. And how do we get to prevent our inevitable apocalypse? A fucking video game. Oh, and it's not just hard. It's nightmarish. Grueling. Impossible. In the beginning, our numbers plummeted fast as people failed challenge after challenge, task after task, boss after boss. Eventually, we got a little smarter and a lot more cautious. I mean, the fate of the world is literally in our hands and we have to win. We have to win. Period. Or we're all dead. All. Dead.


Other Notes
  • We'll be among the players trapped in space; we've been playing the game for a few years
  • This is only a slightly altered version of Earth so most things that currently exist IRL will be relevant (even if it's a different version of it)
  • Feel free to ask me anything at all

This is a basic premise...more details to come
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Akayaofthemoon
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Akayaofthemoon

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This seems pretty interesting! I will keep an eye out and might end up joining :)
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by RisqueBoots
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Seems like an interesting premise!
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by datadogie
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datadogie Cloak and Dagger

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I am interested in this, seems pretty cool! Plus, I'm a fan of Ready Player One. ;P
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Artifex
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Artifex Mightier than the Sword

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Thanks for the interest! ^_^ First post has been edited with more info.
Hidden 27 days ago Post by Witryso
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Witryso

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I'm definitely down for this.
Hidden 24 days ago Post by Artifex
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Artifex Mightier than the Sword

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So, I've edited the first post once again. I was saving this new development for a plot twist, but I decided it was best to have it start out this way instead.
Hidden 24 days ago Post by Sewer Rat
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Dude. Love it. Interested. And I'm wondering how strict you are on deadlines for posts? It's the school year for me and a fire's been lit under my ass.
Hidden 24 days ago Post by PigeonOfAstora
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I'm interested in how this plays out. How many players are you planning on taking?
Hidden 24 days ago 24 days ago Post by datadogie
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datadogie Cloak and Dagger

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(The screen pans to an aerial view of Tokyo, Japan. Moments later, the city is hit dead center by a shot from one of the alien devastator satellites. The world watches helplessly as the entire city is leveled in a single crushing instant.)
The Original Post

I guess the aliens thought two bombs weren't enough. (That's a joke)
Hidden 23 days ago Post by Artifex
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Artifex Mightier than the Sword

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@Sewer Rat
I'm not really strict on posting speed because I know people have lives outside of RPing...especially since school is starting for a lot of people

@PigeonOfAstora
I was thinking of capping it at...ten? I like to have a good number for variety but I also don't want it to get overwhelming

@datadogie
Still too soon. :P I almost picked another city like Moscow or Budapest, but I think Tokyo has more impact for some reason.
Hidden 23 days ago Post by datadogie
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datadogie Cloak and Dagger

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I think Tokyo has more impact for some reason.


It certainly has an impact crater now. Maybe the aliens have studied enough to know we would make more japan bombing memes and spread panic. :P
Hidden 21 days ago Post by Shiyonichi
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Interested.
Hidden 19 days ago Post by Sewer Rat
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Sewer Rat

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@ArtifexHow's the OC going?
Hidden 19 days ago Post by Artifex
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Artifex Mightier than the Sword

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Hammering out a few details and I'll have it up soon
Hidden 18 days ago Post by Melkor
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Melkor The Original Dark Lord

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Interested!!!
Hidden 15 days ago Post by Artifex
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Artifex Mightier than the Sword

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Hidden 14 days ago Post by Ninian
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Ninian Oracle of Destiny

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Here’s the OOC before it gets buried: Paragon
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