Three of my hallmates (slash friends) and I are all addicted, to varying degrees, to an online game called Flight Rising.
It’s currently in beta testing right now, it opens a 24 hour registration period every months, but the last one just ended. My apologies to anyone who wants to play, but, according to their past patterns, it’s going to be at least two months before they open it up again. They’re having server problems.
But the game itself is similar to Neopets, but with dragons. You make an account and then decide which “Flight” to join, out of eleven (Arcane, Wind, Water, Ice, Light, Shadow, Nature, Fire, Earth, Lightning, Plague). Each Flight is led by a deity and they all compete for dominance by “exalting” (sending dragons from one’s lair to permanently work for one’s deity) dragons. You start off with two (your “progens”, or progenitors), one of which you can partially design and the other is random, and start a clan of dragons. You can buy more on the player-run Auction House (as well as other items, such as food or apparel) or breed what you start with. New players frequently get given a few dragons for free by their Flight members.
These are my nests, currently. I’m breeding to exalt the hatchlings while I wait for my preferred pairings to come of their breeding cooldowns (a mechanic that prevents over-breeding and dragon surplus; rarer breeds have a longer cooldown with 35 days being the longest).
Here’s the first page of my lair. It’s got a wide mix of my oldest dragons. I’ll spare you all the rest of my lair, though I will say that my dragons are beautiful and clearly the best.
But, the point of this post wasn’t to show off my dragons, it was to talk about how, in the same game, me and my friends all have totally different goals in mind.
As I never asked my friends’ consent to write this, I’ll neither post pictures of their lairs or give their true names, so be aware that I’m renaming them for the rest of the post.
My friend Ann has a profitable business designing accents (special fan-created things, similar to apparel, to decorate dragons). And when I say “profitable”, I mean she’s now a few-times-over millionaire in treasure (the free currency) and quite wealthy in gems (the costs-real-money currency), despite never spending a dime on the site. She has a monopoly on a color combination and a near monopoly on an entire aesthetic.
My friend Jamie is working out how to also become a millionaire. She likes get-rich-quick schemes and scours the cheap dragons for diamonds-in-the-rough. She’s working on selling accents as well, but has yet to reach success.
My friend Ella only recently joined and is still trying to figure out their purpose. Currently, their goal is to get a Noah’s Ark of dragons, at least one of every time and representing each of the colors and genes, and then they want to collect as many familiars (pets for your dragons) as possible. They’re also attempting to pay me back from my “Welcome to the site” gifts because they’re stubborn, so I’ll add “making 1.87 million treasure” to their list of goals.
Personally, I make fandragons. Meaning, I stare at my favorite characters until I decide which breed of dragon they should be. Then I work to create them. Here’s Shale (Dragon Age: Origins), my current favorite of my fandragons (mostly because she’s entirely done, from apparel to genes).
I’m also working on Garrus (Mass Effect 1, 2, and 3), but he’s going to be expensive. It’s a fun goal for me because these dragons aren’t always aesthetically pleasing for this site, their hatchlings will not sell (note how all of Shale’s offspring are named “Scholar”. That’s what I name my exalts) Their color/gene combinations are generally very rare (because of the first thing). In fact, my Zevran (Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age 2) dragon is one of thirty dragons with his colors and the only one of his breed and genes. So if I want to make a specific dragon, I have to work for it.
Flight Rising has an amazing amount of lore for no plot, so there isn’t anything to nudge the players into anything. It has a coliseum that I ignored for the first two months of playing. There are twenty two forums to meander in, there are mini-games that pay out in treasure, and a vibrant community of people playing for all different reasons.