Part of the appeal of Puppet Guardian is that its idiosyncrasy, its many unique and slightly odd qualities, tickles its users. We smile a little at the way the faces are illustrated, at the way users combine items into funny outfits, at the shape of those amusingly trimmed beards and mustaches, and even the way a player will wear a muumu with steel boots, while carrying both a lance and a teddy bear at the same time. I even saw a character wearing nothing but a very long and thick beard. The funny thing was, that was enough. He didn’t look less well covered than any other player.
The game’s humor doesn’t suite everyone. One reaction we have seen is that some MMORPG players, who are conditioned to expect a neat and tidy progression of rank and status, with the power of arms and magic enumerated on the dot, don’t care for the broad and mysterious way that the game accords titles and status now. To quote one apprentice player to whom I explained the status and title scheme: “That sux”. Then he called me a “‘tard” and logged out, forever, I assume. And no, “Tard” is not one of the game’s titles. I think it’s short for another word, kinda like “Nique” is short for Dominique.
Anyway, key or rare items with special qualities confer titles. One such item is the Silk Veil. Silk is hard to come by, a player must defeat the very powerful Genie in Tower 6 many times in order to get enough silk for a veil. Once they do, they can craft a veil. And when they wear that veil they will have the title of “Beguiling”. So if your guardian character is named Jane, and that character has taken to wearing a veil, she will appear in the game as “Beguiling Jane”. And the player who adorns herself with a veil does indeed gain a beguiling air about her, so this title in particular makes good sense.
But there are no points and no rank. Just a tag or designation taken from an item that it is logically related to and that took skill and effort, sometimes a lot of both, to obtain.
So how is that funny?
It isn’t. But it starts to get ticklish when users obtain items that give them status in addition to their titles. Status comes at the end of a name. So if Jane combines a veil with a Jack-o-lantern mask (also not easy to get), she becomes “Jane the Beguiling Grave-digger”; with a status and title like that, you can begin to see the humor creep in. I saw a player in the game the other day named “P______n, the Strong-armed Noble Lady”. Because she wore a heavy gold bracelet with an elaborate Gold Down Dress. Another player in the same team was named “W___s, the Bespectacled Gladiator” because he had made glasses from the rare Eye of the Beetle and had a Zoa Hammer, which comes with the title “Gladiator”. They were a funny pair with a pair of funny titles.
This system provides humor. It’s also a kick, once you learn from someone else what title or status comes with which item, to try to get those items and fashion your own unique moniker from new and different combinations of items. It may not be the conventional way of doing things, but it’s a lot of fun and can be good for a chuckle. And it’s another thing which sets the game apart, and in my opinion makes it special.