Think of it as a training ground for your real life.
You are presented with a game title screen. The game's called LIFE. This game title screen is where you are born, or spawned rather. Metaphorically speaking, you 'Enter' (and not just the tip), and then for 9 months you have a loading screen. Loading... loading... loading...
Wait, it's about to start – it's at 99%. Loading... loading... loading. Wow, that's a long 99%. Boom. There you are - a n00b. Raring to go.
Think of this as a waiting period to get your Aadhar card for the game. Image source: youtube.com
Welcome to the MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) of LIFE. Skip tutorial? No can do. LIFE has a god-damned unskippable tutorial – 18 to 25 levels of tutorials (depending on how quick you are to learn). These tutorials will help you create, enhance and evolve your skills as a player. The first few levels are interactive cut scenes where you just see a lot of random things but can’t make sense of. You have no option now but to wait for the actual game to start. (LIFE? More like Half-Life 3.)
From level 3 onwards, you start to move around and interact with the environment, but you do not have enough skills to survive on your own. There are two other players you get to interact with on the limited map that is available to you. They're called 'Parent Players.' These players are available for your assistance to take you through the start of the first few tutorials of your life in LIFE. There may be a few cases where you have one such parent player or even none – let's notch this up to difficulty settings. Now, some of these parent players may not have farmed enough experience points in their "Parenting Skills" due to which the beginning stats for the game are really screwed up for you. In other words – Parent Players play a key role in how you start your game of LIFE. If they've played their own games well enough, and have upped their skill levels well enough, then you will start off well. You'll have a good base to grow from.
Always, always listen to your parents. Don’t be a rebel, or be one, it’s up to you. Image source: simsnetwork.com
When you reach level 5 or 6, you will unlock the 'Friendship' and 'Learning' skills. Now it really depends on you, how you farm more experience points in each of these spaces. I'm sure you've heard of players that may not have developed their learning skills, but are very good at the game. So, level 5 is where the real game begins.
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Like in any other game, you have to go through the entire gameplay and not be a hacker in life. Hackers are the bad guys and trust me, you don't want to be one. Because hackers get banned from the server and once you're banned, you can NEVER PLAY AGAIN. The gameplay for the first 15 levels is really simple, all you have to do is go to this building on the map called 'School.' I know, weird name for a building. But you can't blame the developer for this, it's a game! You just have to spend 8 hours at this building, 5 days a week and you keep levelling up. Now there are 2 ways to enhance your experience here. You can either skip the cut scene where the 'Teacher' player speaks for 8 hours or for an immersive gameplay experience, you can actually go through the cut scenes and follow the story of your player. I suggest you keep a balance of both. It's important that you have a certain grip on the story of the game. There are also a few interactive side missions within the cut scenes called, "Exams.” (It is really like life.) It’s important that you play these 'Exam' side missions, as some of them are very important and may be a problem when you're trying to level up.
They say you miss school once it’s over, but not this one. Image source: simscommunity.info
Now this routine of school and exams goes on till level 15. Once you finish the first levels, the Parent Players will start making decisions for you and make you pick your tasks, which you will have to do for the rest of your life. You can fight them there and make your own decisions, but then you'll have to deal with an unnecessary boss battle. Pick your boss battles well.
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Now taking into consideration that you're on the India map, you will be given a Doctor's task or an Engineer's task if you are a male character. If you're a female character, there is a very high possibility that you will be given a Chef's task – maybe not professionally, but as a forced side quest (yup discrimination). A Doctor has to heal all the other players when they are either injured in battle or have caught some digital virus during their game play. An engineer will have to build a few things for other players so that their in-game experience is better than it was. Think of them as in-game bug reporters. A Chef's task is to make this thing called "food". All, and I mean all players require food to survive in the game. You will have to do these tasks for in-game currency called "Money." There are several types of money, but on India's LIFE map, you'll earn "Rupees".
Level 15 through 25, you will realise, what you learned in the first 15 levels is useless and you now have unlocked a "Profession" meter. The better you are at this skill, the better stats you get and the better in-game experience. If you are good at your tasks, other players will be scared to fight you in the game as well. To enhance the profession skill, you will have to go to another building called, "College." But for college you will need something else... something you have to really pay for...
DLC – Downloadable Content.
This is where the skill level of your Parent Player matters – the better they are, the better DLC you get.
An accurate representation of what you go through in the game. Image source: uniladgaming
Let's get to the mid game now. This part generally takes place between levels 25 to 60. At these levels, you unlock a relationship meter which you are supposed to fill as your Parent Players will force you to play with another player of the opposite sex. You may be one of those players who would want to be with a player of the same gender, but on India's map this is illegal and the game will do its best to stop you. Throughout these levels your biggest focus will be filling the relationship meter and making more in-game currency.
When it comes to generating more in-game currency there are several ways to do this. The best way to do this is to exchange your play time for Rupees. I'm sure you must have noticed a few players in the game by now that are just running scripts. These players are AFK or ‘Away From Keyboard’ and are earning in-game currency to be a bot in their gameplay and not doing anything by themselves.
Money hai toh honey hai. Image source: planetcalypsoforum.com
If you're one of the players that is willing to figure out ways to generate in-game currency by yourself, well, good luck. Most players on the Indian map have taken the easy way out by doing what their parent players have assigned them to do. While figuring this out, you will also have to figure out what you want to be as a character. Do you want your character to have a lot of in-game currency? Do you want to focus on your relationship meter more? Or do you want to max out on a certain skill set to be the best at that? There is no right way to play here, since these are the levels where the game is opened up to you and your decisions shape the way the game goes on. Most players on the Indian map usually give all their in-game currency to the newly spawned players that they are assigned to and help these players out by being their Parent Players. Like most MMORPGs, it may take a while to finish, but make sure you enjoy the gameplay without ruining it for others.
Now the mid game goes on till level 60 where the top players of the game tell you not to perform your task anymore and "Retire." These tops players are the rule makers of a map and they've named themselves the "Government." They're usually fair, but don't mess with them. Their high level skills and support from other players from the map makes them very strong to defeat and at most times, you will lose.
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At level 60, there is a very high possibility that you will have a lot of in-game currency and now you will be able to enhance the skills that you have wanted to enhance. The problem at the end game levels is that your character starts to encounter a lot of bugs which limits the movement of the player and starts decreasing the health bar. This is because it’s an MMORPG and with as many as 1.2 billion players on the map, the servers focus on the newly spawned players more since these players are more likely to buy the downloadable content than you are.
On the Indian map, most players have a 100% relationship meter by this level, usually because they are scared to fight each other since it may cause their social meter to lose experience points. For some reason, the social meter is the most important for the players on the Indian map. With all the in-game currency you have saved, you can go explore the map more and if you have enough, maybe even unlock other maps like America or Russia. These places are very expensive but if you have enough, you can explore that as well.
GG bro. Image source: youtube.com
Around level 75, you'll start encountering a lot of bugs and eventually your screen will turn blank and that's the end of the game. Most players wonder what happens when the game ends. Some say that the good players go to a place where there are only good levels that a character likes and they can play them forever. Others say it's an endless void of nothingness till you buy another game. Some even say you respawn as another player. It doesn't really matter though.
What does matter is that you have a GG (Good Game) all through LIFE. And that you'll never, ever be salty. No matter what LIFE throws at you.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101india.com
By Mohit Yagnik
Cover photo credit: lifehack.org