One Year of Glitch – A Reflection

One year ago today, I read a review on Ars Technica about a game called Glitch. It was a little misleading, and I signed up based on more than a few misconceptions. Oh, and the game confused the ever-living crap out of me for weeks. But, for whatever reason, I persevered, and I’ve been playing essentially every day for the last year. In that time, I’ve reached the maximum attainable level – about ten times (twice “naturally,” and another few because of a short-lived bug that caused meditation to unlevel players with high energy caps), gotten 600-ish achievements, played a lot of Game of Crowns, won a couple of feats, and made several awesome new friends – a few of whom have been the highlight of my last several months. Don’t expect a review. I’ll be writing plenty more of those until Glitch relaunches (which, as much as I know TS is depending on a relaunch for their survival, I hope is awhile away; it’s a joy watching the best game ever metamorphose into an even better best game ever). I will discuss the evolution of the game since the point at which I joined though, tying into my personal experiences over the past year. I’m going to try to sort it chronologically by month (for months in which a lot of stuff happened) or group of months (for months in which a lot of stuff didn’t happen), although I may wind up deviating from this a little if I can’t get my thoughts in order. Fortunately, I have a large archive of screenshots to draw upon that should help me remember when stuff happened. Plenty of them will make an appearance in this post; there probably won’t be any video this time.

November 2011

It’s November 9, 2011. I’m bored. I’m reading Ars Technica (their content’s usually pretty interesting), as I always do when I’m bored. I stumble across an article about a game. It’s called Glitch, and it looks different. And in my book, different is interesting. So I sign up. I do the (old, lame) tutorial that I don’t really remember. I stumble into the game, still confused. So I aimlessly wander around. I don’t know why, but I keep going for the next few days. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, but the concept of a non-violent MMO is so appealing that I persevere. Eventually I meet a few people, and start saving up to buy a house (back in my day, houses weren’t in our imaginations; we had to buy them!). I don’t remember the number of my first house; I do remember it was located within Puran Pills Quarter. I then saved up to buy a bigger house, located at 3208 Mangane Gaps quarter, and started to grind levels (finding stuff to grind has always given me stuff to do when bored… although occasionally gone so far as to distract me from other stuff I really should be doing). I begin to hang out in Global Chat (I still remember the first thing I said there: “How do I get the achievement ‘Spent First Emblem of Alph’?”), and upon meeting people there talking about their experiences from the (first) beta, I begin to lament the fact that I didn’t get to take part. Then…

In late November, I got my chance! To my knowledge, a first for any game I’ve ever heard of, Glitch unlaunched. As I always do, I thought obsessively about how I got my wish, and what that means. I began to wonder whether it’s what I really wanted. From the beginning, I always thought the review that led me to join was a bit misleading. There wasn’t really any major player involvement in world-building, as that article made me believe. Sure there were street projects, but street projects were lame and I never got to participate. So new stuff started to flow in…

December 2011 – January 2012

As far as Glitch as a whole is concerned, at this point, we began to start to see the first new features trickle in. Stuff like a keyring so people could visit our houses, and new skills for tincturing and potionmaking. As for me, I continued leveling. I also took an interest in Game of Crowns, and was introduced to the Game of Crowns group. To this day, GoC ranks among my favorite things to do in Glitch (that group could really use some more people; you should join it!). On January 10, 2012, two months and one day (about one game year) after joining, I became the 69th (heh) person to reach level 60 in the old XP system. This is what my house looked like after I’d emptied my inventory for only the stuff I’d need for that grind (by donating sparkly; I’m glad I wised up and did more efficient stuff to grind 60 the next time around…).

Look at that pile of junk in my house. Also, I don’t know how I got the pickle to sit on the couch like that.

Looking at the image above, I don’t miss old housing and its lack of SDB’s, at all. Finally having reached my goal of reaching level 60, and having not yet discovered badge grinding, I chilled out and did random stuff (and played GoC). I also did other things with the GoC group. Like this.

In the small room in Corridor Six.

The events pictured above occurred on January 13. (Wow, stuff was big back then. I kinda miss that. Also, remember the magic rock that used to sit on top of our screens? Yeah. I miss that too.) Anyway, we basically decided to go out of bounds on random streets, and it still ranks as one of my most memorable nights on Glitch. I can’t remember what name we finally decided on for this endeavor, although my favorite was “Crowns Underground, Notorious Tomfoolery.”

February – March 2012

A PBMS party in Timtim Timm. I miss these.

The party above happened on Valentine’s Day 2012, after a much larger party in Ilmenskie. I haven’t been able to get the pictures for that party that I’ve been looking for, but I littered the place with High Class Hoes in honor of VD Day, as I chose to refer to it. It was basically the best party ever.

 

Glitch logo item art.

In late February, some people came together underneath Corridor Six (it’s a really fun street for hacking…) to make this Glitch logo artwork. While I had no part in its construction, I still think it’s the single best example of what Glitch is about – a bunch of people coming together to make something awesome. Even stoot himself showed up to admire it. Sadly, as with all other artwork made in public spaces, it eventually got stolen. Looking back through my old screenshots, I found this lone capture of it, and would like to use this time to honor its memory, and also to pay tribute to those who made it, even though I can’t remember who all was involved.

New Housing Party

On March 1, the new housing system was accidentally discovered hours before its release. The screenshot above is of Danny’s Home Street, which led to the discovery. A party ensued as we marveled at the new stuff.

My old house, an example of why new housing was needed.

Old housing. It was unscalable, and didn’t really give a good way to organize your stuff. Also, you couldn’t customize it. Those were dark days…

My test house. And yes, we finally had a way to organize stuff!

Then along came new housing, at first in testing form. We each got a brand splanking new /home, that we not only didn’t have to pay for, but also could fully customize! Oh, and did I mention it had these wonderful things called Storage Display Boxes that could hold a near-infinite number of a single item? Unfortunately, we only got a limited amount of testing furniture, so as seen above, it didn’t quite prevent me from tossing crap all over my floor. But hey, at least it was way better than what we had before.

Anyone remember this? That screen that showed up… every… single… time?

April – July 2012

Only 7052 iMG?

In May, TS replaced XP with iMG (Imagination). Basically, it exists as a lifetime count that determined your level (which was the sole purpose of XP), and as a balance that you could purchase character upgrades and cultivation items for your yard and street with. The level cap remained at 60, but levels were re-scaled. Anyone who was level 60 in the old system was moved to level 42 in the new one. So I began to grind levels again. While I hit level 60 before the discovery of the upgrade card strategy (that was later nerfed), I still did reasonably well for myself, and became the eighth person to reach the maximum level in the new system.

A hard day’s work. Not as good as some others have done, but still decent.

This badge was painful. I stand in awe of anyone who got it before home streets were introduced.

After leveling out, I switched my focus from levels to badges. A lot were insanely boring grinds (like Supafly Flycatcher, pictured above). Others (like Monarch of the Seven Kingdoms, and any of the other GoC badges) were quite a lot of fun and didn’t feel like grinding at all (while these weren’t introduced until months later, the hi sign badges remind me of the GoC ones – challenging, but not grindy). I hope to see more challenging yet un-grindy badges added to the game in the future.

Badge grinding also gave me the opportunity to torment 503 Juju Bandits. Also, why are these things not edible? They look like candy.

August 2012 – Present

During this time frame, feats were introduced to the game. Perfect timing, since I don’t have a bunch of badges left (although new badges have been added, including some for feats). Aside from their use to unlock new content (which puts Glitch more so in line with how I pictured it after reading that review months ago), they also provide an opportunity for the occasional all-nighter of grinding. Which is a nice change of pace from levels and badges (slower grinding over days or weeks). This more or less brings my casual overview of what’s been happening with Glitch as a whole to an end (I’ve written several reviews though, if you’d like more detail). As for me nowadays? I grind on occasion (feats and a badge here and there). I also play Game of Crowns, whenever I can assemble enough people (not often, unfortunately; if you haven’t joined the group already, don’t make me beg…). When I’m not grinding (and sometimes when I am – together we won the Deaths and Reminisces feat), I’m usually found hanging out with Gwynne, the best artist in all of Ur.

A larger-than-life homage to Game of Crowns graces Corridor Six. Sadly, a few snaps are all that remain of this crown.

She’s done numerous item art installations, including the giant crown pictured above, as well as a snail in Firozi; and Glitch SDB’s, a purple flower, and a conch in her tower.

Conclusion

My, Glitch has changed so much in the year since I’ve joined. If I’d have been able to look forward in time to the game I’m playing now, I probably wouldn’t recognize it. But almost all of those changes have been for the better (except triple jumps and movement speed upgrades no longer working in GoC; that completely sucks), and Glitch is now the game I thought I’d signed up for a year ago. A fully-customizable housing system (with practical storage!), assorted new map regions and skills (including a couple of my favorites, Jal and Nottis), as well as the iMG system and hundreds more achievements than existed when I signed up, have made Glitch much bigger, better, and more fun. I’ve loved watching it grow over the last year, and here’s to hoping the next year is even better than the last!

Thanks Gwynne, for everything.

I’d like to conclude this reflection by thanking someone who’s done a lot for me. Without her help, I would’ve never won the Deaths and Reminisces feat, or written my last review. And this post would’ve been full of typos and other mistakes if she hadn’t painstakingly proofread it numerous times as I wrote it. So… yep. Thanks Gwynne, for everything.

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