"I did a lot of research into alchemy in the first Telling, as well as flowers. In the second Telling, I did a lot of research into cooking, and I literally wrote the guide on mining." As Chichis outpaced technology and ran out of things to research, he turned to the pursuit of Leadership. "I realized a few things [about Leadership]. First, that I enjoyed it a lot more than most other things, and second that I was able to succeed in the pursuit. Leadership isn't a discipline where success is guaranteed, unlike Worship or Architecture." In Tale 2, Chichis passed one of the most competitive tests in the game, the Test of the Demi-Pharaoh.

Chichis was also the leader of the House of BES, a prestigious mid-sized guild. "Having a guild made the game more interesting and kept me playing in times I might have quit... Being part of a group that works together to succeed is fun. Being alone and aimless is much less fun. Being part of a guild helped [me] get through the times when the game was lacking." Chichis ended up quitting due to boredom, not burnout; he felt that the game was moving at too slow a pace, and he was running out of things to do.

Lead developer Andrew Tepper agrees with Chichis that community makes all the difference. "In an MMO[G], you tend to intersperse playing with socializing. I even do this - I spend lots of time coding, and then take breaks [for] socializing, running events, chatting with players. Playing can be an intense activity, and socializing a relaxing one, so you can self-adjust the pace. This means it's possible to enjoy the game for longer individual sessions."

Tepper also points out there is increased activity during events, more so than when a new technology comes out. Player Dragyn, Oracle of Three in Tale 1 (no small accomplishment) agrees with this.

Dragyn started ATITD about halfway through Tale 1, and immediately started playing as much as possible in an attempt to catch up with those who had been playing for months. Like Chichis and me, Dragyn spent a lot of time researching the open-ended technologies that weren't well understood, such as beer brewing and flower crossbreeding. Dragyn and his guildmates have bred over 1,500 flowers in Tale 2.

While Dragyn passed at least 29 tests in Tale 1, he is trying to hold himself back for Tale 2; "This Telling, I'm more focusing on the tests I think are fun or have good rewards, and letting other people get a chance to fill the Oracle roles." Even with this casual outlook, Dragyn was one of the first to pass the Test of the Singing Cicada!

Again, like Chichis, Dragyn did a lot of groundbreaking research for ATITD. He worked on Alchemy in Tale 1, and, in Tale 2, did research on mining, wood treatment, beer and gearboxes. Dragyn also writes helpful spreadsheets and 3rd party programs, which can be found on his Wiki page.

So far, Dragyn has kept himself occupied, but he's having trouble finding new things on which to focus. "It's not so much that I don't have stuff to do, but I'm running out of things I want to do." He plays more when new techs come out, or during events.

Remember how I said I quit? Let me rephrase that: I took a break. Like any good addict, I eventually returned to my vice, saddling up my camel and heading back into the desert for Tale 2. This time around, I lasted only a few months before again moving on, though as the winter months roll around, I begin to feel homesick for the warm sands of Egypt. Maybe just one more go, for old time's sake ...

Laura Genender is a Staff Writer for MMORPG.com, and is also an Editor for Prima Strategy Guides.

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