My therapist has always said that I can only get my social phobia under control if I consciously seek social contact. It may well be that I hate contact with people, and it may also be that I hate people in general, but I still have to deal with them, because you can’t always avoid a confrontation, and conscious confrontations prepare you for unwanted confrontations. It is a complicated process. But in the end I understood it and actually activated my companions in Diablo III for a few hours.
Diablo and all comparable clones are games I enjoy alone, in every sense of the word. I don’t want to play them in multiplayer because people either want to steal my loot or just show off their loot. Even worse is people’s urge to optimize their way through games as quickly as possible, only to eventually accuse me of not playing efficiently enough, and would be further along if I would just speed up and finally stop enjoying the game. Have I actually mentioned that I hate people?
At the same time, I also can’t stand it when virtual characters are given to me in “Diablo” games to support me. When I first came across this knight guy in Diablo III, I just thought: “Aha, hello, um, go away?” And was shocked when he stayed by my side for mission reasons and there was nothing I could do about it. Fortunately, there came a point when the game told me that I didn’t really need him to be there, and to make a long story short: GOODBYE! I can never get over the fact that the guy was running around BEFORE my character. I am the hero. I run ahead. JUST GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!
What several years of therapy unfortunately failed to prepare me for was my journey through Sacred. Sometimes there are days when you remember old video games and remember that you actually had quite a bit of fun with them. Then one thing leads to another. You start the game, realize it’s cool, start a video series on youtube, and after many hours of play, suddenly a name pops up in a mission description that will change everything: Wilbur.
Wilbur is a guy you have to rescue first and then transport from A to B for some reason during the main mission of Sacred that is so relevant I didn’t remember it. And then after reaching B, it becomes C. Then D. And it just doesn’t stop.
The problem with this was that I thought I just had to get Wilbur to this bridge. So I explored all the regions BEFORE the bridge for hours first. I sometimes have this tic that I don’t finish a main mission until I’ve completed all the side missions available at the same time, so I don’t miss anything. So I would run around for hours off the main path exploring everything, and Wilbur would do nothing but die, die, and die because he’s like all humans are, which is an impatient loser and I hate him.
Sure, you can equip Wilbur with a new weapon and if you have nothing else better to do, even a shield. Still, he kept just running into hordes of enemies to get slashed by them. And I can’t even describe to you how much I didn’t care. Wilbur was a character for the main mission and couldn’t die. After a few seconds he was standing next to me again, only to run away again and get killed. Gameplay optimization, I think they call it.
It went on for hours.
It was almost funny.
Until it got on my nerves.
Every once in a while this damn guy would even comment on the equipment I gave him, and even though every one of his puny and, compared to me, meaningless character stats was improved by my generous gift, all he would comment on was, “What am I supposed to do with that?” Wilbur is an ungrateful scumbag. Wilbur is so bad that at one point I couldn’t even derive pleasure from his recurring deaths. After all, he kept coming back. Over and over and over and over again and eventually my damn social phobia kicked in and wanted it to stop, this ungrateful, pushy guy to go away, leave me alone, just leave me the hell alone and so I did something I never actually do:
I dropped everything, got on my horse and galloped to the bridge. I didn’t take any more time. I ignored every character with “!?” above his skull. I just followed the marker that showed me where the main mission could be delivered. I ran and rode and galloped and B became C and D and at one point I went to the Internet and typed “get rid of Wilbur in Sacred” into a search engine and laughed briefly when I realized how many people wanted to get rid of this guy. I found an answer. I followed the answer.
In the end, Wilbur left me.
Spoiler: He dies in an ambush at some point during a main mission.
And I was happy about that.
I refrain from contacting my therapist. I’m feeling better by now. I have everything under control. After Wilbur’s extradition I simply went back to the place where I had made the decision to get rid of him. Since then, I’ve been exploring the Sacred map again at my leisure, taking my time, enjoying the side missions, reading the texts of tombstones, and every now and then opening the screenshot I took of Wilbur’s corpse to cheer myself up.
All is well.
Except for the people, of course.
Sacred is a classic action role-playing game. You run around, hack up countless hordes of enemies, collect money and items, get stronger and in the end Wilbur dies.
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