This is a guide on how to enjoy Mortal Online 2 in a unique way, without being hindered by many of its trappings, as well as a guide to help people get on their feet before they ultimately decide what sandbox fate they choose. YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS BEFORE YOU UNINSTALL AND REFUND.
Mortal Online 2 is a full loot sandbox, as advertised. While it is early in development and has its share of mechanical issues, this guide was meant for those who “like the game, but…”, e.g. those discouraged by the behavior of other players or the hardcore aspect. There are probably other guides on how to spec your character from creation and how to master the various systems, so I will point you toward those if that is the information you are looking for.
The most important thing to understand in Mortal Online 2 is you have nothing. You are a naked person and nobody can take that away from you, try as they might, until you turn off the game. Everything else you have on your person can be lost, and while it seems hardcore at first, it is an essential feature that keeps the economy and the world running. It makes the living, breathing world that you can exist within. That is the actual goal: existence.
There are other games, think Witcher or Outward, where you play in an open world, and your choices matter, but it will never be non-linear no matter how sandboxy they try to make it, because the world is based on static ai/story. If you go into Mortal Online with the mindset that you are spawning into one of those games yet, instead of bots, the people who drive the world and the story line are unknown variables (because there is a person behind their actions,) you will see the game for what it is: a gigantic, open world where you can do almost anything you want. Both your behavior and skill will influence your experience, instead of having a dialog box of choices, you have text chats, or, if you dare, VoIP. Some might disagree that Mortal Online can offer the same level of immersion, but I assure you that it can. There will be people who kill you, talk trash, say childish things, do childish things, but on a macro scale, the world will be ever-changing, and it is up to you to find your place in it.
Also, more than likely, the people you find most bothersome will either be shaped by the world to try to attain more(not many people are brain-dead enough to sit around cities and try to kill your horses for months,) or they will quit. New, similar people will replace them, but they, too, will be temporary. The world has a way of creating order, again on a macro level, despite what it may look like. Each region is populated by different people, much like a good single player game, so it is worth trying your luck various places until you feel that you fit.
Coping With Death
So, you just got attacked by a group of people who are much more geared than you are. You never stood a chance. They may be talking. They may put you in Mercy Mode and taunt you. They may make obscene gestures. The end result is that you are dead, you lost everything you had, and you are again a naked person. It is frustrating, as death should be. Mortal Online 2 has added a “port home” function, so at the very least you can set it to spawn you back at your favorite city, go to your bank and get new stuff, and enter into the world again.
This experience (especially when it happens repeatedly) tends to lead to two outcomes: joining a guild (strength in numbers? This is the advice most players will give you.) or quitting the game. I would like to present a third option. While you are traveling about the new player island (Haven), invest your first 2.5 gold in the book “taming.” Now, you are still a naked, but you have the ability to grab a horse whenever you see one. Horses are always valuable, both for you and for others (to sell,) there is no investment that leads to as much gain. Later on, when you get your feet set and decide where you want to land, how you want to play, what sort of guild (if that’s your thing) you want to join, you can get rid of it. The only thing you need beyond the skill taming is pet food, which you can pick in the wild. Various things are more effective foods, but anything, including water, will work in a pinch.
This suggestion goes to the core of Mortal Online risk management, and gains against losses. Anyone will go crazy if they continually lose more than they gain. Thus, you first great investment should be something that can give you infinite gain and never be taken away from you, it will keep you from going back to the graveyard every time you die, and allow you to really see the open world. Even if you die, you can res and walk around until you find some mounts to tame, hop on, and go back to playing as normal.
The Argument Against Immediately Joining a Guild
This game will probably always have a small population. Most guilds who see you around will want to recruit you. It is very enticing. They will help you get gear, they will protect you, but they will also have expectations of you. By taking on a guild tag, you are gaining enemies and allies that you did not have before. Your Mortal Online happy sandbox experience just got a bit more serious and limited. My suggestion is, as previously mentioned, figure out what is actually happening in the world and explore it before you join a guild. There is still plenty of bartering/filling in the holes in people’s skill trees that can be done outside of a guild, even with people in guilds. The upside of being solo is you will not be reprimanded for your behavior ( if you have a dispute with “an ally”) nor will you create even more enemies who, for some reason, hate your guild, despite you not knowing who they are.
This is another living world mechanic, and it does add to immersion, but as factions influence how you experience the game/are treated by others in single player RPGs, so do guild tags in Mortal Online. It’s important to note that joining the wrong guild could be a harsh price to pay for attempting to reduce your loss/gain ratio.
Enjoyment and Grief (AKA Playing The Game)
There are many things you can learn as you build up your character. You will continue to gain and take losses, as it is the nature of the game. You will learn safe places, safe paths, lower risk playstyles, etc. You will hopefully be thinking “I need to bank this,” when you come across something valuable.
No matter how freely you play the game, there will come a time that you have to take a more serious risk. People are always talking about RNG in competitive games, but the unfortunate truth is that, for instance, if you have to transport something from city to city, like go to another city to buy a book, there is an aspect of randomness; no matter how careful you are, you could get caught and die. It is thrilling, it is nerve-wracking, but upon arrival, it’s a great release; the feeling of knowing you are going to die while doing this, however, is not so great, and could lead you to want to turn off the game for awhile. That’s normal.
Due to the nature of the game, many people take it VERY SERIOUSLY. You can, too, but you don’t have to. If you are living your game life and end up making enemies in a city and people band together and drive you out, it could really suck. However, do not forget that the people who drove you out probably have enemies, too, maybe in the same city. It is up to you whether you want to forgive and forget or get in with their enemies and exact revenge. Again, things tend to equal out in Mortal. It may seem like a group is very powerful for awhile, but things can swing wildly in an instant, and living in the world during that level of unrest is very immersive and unlike what you will find in other games.
My advice would be find what you love to do, if someone is stopping you from doing it, then find somewhere else to do it, or find a way to keep doing it anyway. It’s just not feasible for someone to keep you from doing what you enjoy long term, it requires too much effort on their part. At some point, they need to go make their own gains. Dust yourself off. Most of the things that happen in the beginning are a form of hazing anyway.
The world needs great empires, and if you want to be a part of that, cool, but it also needs average Joe(s) running around and having fun. Even though the game is still in beta and wildly under-baked, Mortal Online is a virtual world unlike any other. Do not let other people take that away/withhold it from you if you truly enjoy the game. They will relent before you do, trust me.
Then you can say “I WUZ THERE.”