Two Thousand Forty-Four. The world of games changed long ago.
"Ascension" has become one of the most popular VRMMO games. It is a huge world divided into a hundred Floors, with each Floor a boundless location with its own countries, tribes, and millions of players.
The object of the game is to unlock all the gates and conquer the top.
Having joined the game, Will Thomson doesn't realize that he is all by himself. Then he accepts the first quest ...
Cursed Rat: level 46 ...
My Opinion: 509 pages, $2.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
According to the novel description, this is a translation of a popular Russian series with over 300 chapters in the original version and a planned 1000 chapters. As a translation expect some translation or technical writing issues occasionally.
This is a multi-narrative story that switches between the main character (MC) and the higher level stuff he's trying to get through, and other players. The MC is a new MMO player that starts in a high level area by accident instead of a starter town. He has to figure out a way to level, gets skills, and money when even the rats are 40 times his level. The other POVs are particular clan leaders looking to find out who the MC is, or just random players used to tell a short story or develop a quest line background.
I liked the initial thoroughness of the story. There weren’t any illogical cheats or OP abilities. For example, the MC can't afford the high level gear or items on his level so he finds a friend who spawned on a lower level to send him gear and level appropriate stuff. Still the MC has to grind social quests because he initially can't survive the combat quests. This shifts a little bit as the story hits the midpoint and the MC gets a little higher level and is able to contribute to combat, eventually getting unique skills and equipment from the high level quests.
The actual game mechanics are fairly standard and are picked up from MMOs. There are lots of item and skill descriptions and the MC levels up eventually picking a class buying skills and equipment. Mid to late story, the actual leveling up becomes less important and is used mostly to show the power difference between the MC and the monsters or other players. The bigger game progression comes from gaining unique skills and equipment that changes the way the MC fights and adventures.
The end of the story isn't really an end as much as a pause. The novel description mentions that this is only a small part of a much longer serial and this ending reflects that really just pausing the adventure at a convenient place.
Overall pretty good, as long as you’re not expecting a traditional novel structure and don’t mind a few translation issues.
Score: 7.6 out of 10