Play On The Hardest Difficulty – MGTOW, No Fap and Semen Retention

A tactic I use to get the most fun out of video games these days is to simply play the game on its hardest difficulty.

It’s the fastest way to getting good at the game, and only requires one play through, as opposed to going through the normal difficulty first just to learn the ropes.

This also reflects the two ways that men become MGTOW. Many played the game on Easy Mode and followed the Blue Pill strategy guide only to get a “Game Over” screen after a divorce or some other betrayal by their former lover. Now they have to start a New Game, but potentially with over half of their finances cut, along with children to support (and you know how much we hate escort missions!). Is that the type of game you want to play?

The other way to join MGTOW is to instead front load all the difficulty at the beginning by crushing all of the hopes and dreams you initially had for your future through reasoning that the safest and most optimal outcome for your life requires you to alter or avoid relationships with women and the prospects of parenthood.

But no matter the method for getting through the Red Pill to MGTOW, somewhere along the way, it’s going to hurt.

“The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure. Suffering ceases for him who is pure.” – James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Life on Hard Mode

Ronin Man, one of my favorite MGTOWs, recently published a video critiquing the practice of No-Fap, and he asked a very hard hitting question on whether guys on no fap or other retaining practices appear “peaceful.” I responded:

“It’s not about peace. It’s about self-knowledge, self-sufficiency, and self-mastery.”

It’s such a great question because the context is absolutely true. I will admit to you that I am not at all peaceful. But then again, has any of the work since taking the Red Pill been peaceful? It is an incredibly difficult task to tear down your former beliefs and personality to rebuild yourself entirely from a new core.

The goal was never peace. It’s why we took the Red Pill to begin with. We didn’t want the blissfully ignorant dream that ends in waking to a nightmare. No, we wanted the cold hard truth.

The Game That I’m Playing

One of my core hypotheses is that we function as Organic Intelligence Programs, referring to the plasticity of our brains and personalities, suggesting that with enough tinkering, we can be reprogrammed.

Of course, the body itself has its own vast intelligence. It’s our HP bar with natural strength, agility, constitution, etc. But for the majority of humans, the body has been running the entire game.

For instance, let’s take its desire for genetic reproduction, and the institutions of love, marriage, family, and even religion, that our intelligence programs have created to protect that imperative. You take the Red Pill when you deprogram yourself from this basic operating system.

Since a few months ago, I have been asking myself “Is There More To Life Than Just Food and Sex?”, and so the exact parameters of this game that I’m playing has been to closely control and/or monitor my behavior with my No Fap/Semen Retention practice as well as my Keto/Fasting Diet.

It’s not like I was ever an over consumer on any of the things I’m currently fasting from either. I just need to satisfy this incessant curiosity to know if there truly is something greater on the other side.

We play games to be challenged, and I’ve organized my life so far to do exactly this. I honestly would not recommend someone focusing on taming both their food and sex drives at once like I am, but like I said, the hardest difficulty encourages the most growth at the fastest rate.


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Changing Class Systems

Changing my Character class is another fun thing to do to extend the play time of a game for a second run, where I would create a new character with a completely different play style. For example, the first play could have been a very vanilla, goody-two-shoes soldier archetype, but I might choose a stealthy, squirmy ranger/scoundrel for the second play through.

TFM also had a great rant on No Fap recently as well, specifically highlighting his frustration with the practice and the common occurrence of wet dreams at the end of each month. This is by far the most common wall No Fap practitioners hit during their practice.

Ironically, it disproves one of Ronin Man’s points against No Fap, that the practice is “shutting down the pipes”, which is clearly untrue if they force themselves open every now and then.

But going back to hitting the wall of wet dreams (yikes), it truly is the point in which all pivots are made on No Fap. First off, there is disagreement on whether experiencing one counts against your streak or not. This is where men decide to either continue their training at the school of Semen Retention, or to remain as just a strictly Non-PMO organization (No Porn Masturbation Orgasm).

The decision is usually guided by whether or not the practitioner is more invested in either the biological or psychological effects on No Fap. I was personally more uncomfortable with wet dreams and wanted to figure out how to stop them, and that’s what made me pursue semen retention.

However, other men suffer from a psychological drain from watching porn, and are more interested in developing healthier sex habits. The stages of which these men will set up camp outside the wall ranges from something like masturbating for a maximum of once per week only using their imagination, to no masturbation at all with release only allowed with a partner.

“Continue? Insert Coin.”

TFM couldn’t get over the wall, and so he found Celestina, his sex doll waifu, and is currently living happily ever after until her next upgrade.

But I’m not without my faults. I’ve written about my recent PMO relapse (Losing My Compass – Relapse, Desire, and Dissatisfaction on No Fap), and have also begun questioning if long-term practice is right for me.

Since then I decided to play on a harder difficulty, and this time completely cut out indulging in any pornographic or sexually stimulating content as well. Yeah, that even includes avoiding a lot of racy click-bait as well. However, I only made it to 28 days on that avenue, and contemplated on admitting I got a “Game Over” once again.

But the game wasn’t over. Not even close.

This whole time, running in the background, my semen retention streak counter has reached 45 days! I made it over the wall!

It was like I was trying to fill up my special move bar and got upset that I missed the opportunity for a flashy finish. I wanted to reset the entire game just because I ranked up an ability in a skill tree path that’s a bit outside of my class archetype.

Role Playing

Role Playing is another tool I use to spice things up if I’m no longer interested in a standard play through.

In Monster Hunter, I made a female character who is only allowed to use light weapons. In Fallout 4, I didn’t pick up any loot when I first started until it made narrative sense to start collecting junk and eating meat from the irradiated animals.

I was doing the same with No-Fap. I can’t say my 12 years of watching porn hasn’t altered my sexual interests. Unfortunately, my belief in the brain’s plasticity has backfired on me. I believe I’ve been reprogrammed towards a certain sexual interest and want to see if there’s a possibility to return to original factory settings.

Man, that’s one hell of a side quest. And this is exactly why I say I give out “Red Pills that are out of this world.” I’m willing to believe and experiment on very esoteric practices.

I shouldn’t be watching porn anyway, because it could end up interfering with my progress on semen retention. But I just want to clarify how I’m tweaking my difficulty settings on No Fap.

I’m running two simultaneous counters: one for semen retention, and another for No-PMO, where an infraction on any of the letters in the acronym results in a reset for that counter.

Min Maxing

Min Maxing is a character building strategy used in RPG games in which a player sacrifices (minimizes) growth in certain stat blocks in order to emphasize (maximizing) their strengths to produce overwhelming effects compared to more balanced characters.

In my opinion, this is MGTOW. We’ve ceased putting points into the marriage/dating/society skill trees, and are completely invested into other areas of personal development.

Sometimes, the game can feel like it’s really hard, but that’s because we still don’t understand how to play with this new class archetype. Some men want to dual class with having a girlfriend without marrying, or go purple pill. Others go full monk, or sub-class with pump and dump, etc.

When we experience hardships during our transformation into the MGTOW lifestyle, we must consider what our characters will look like at max level. The Blue Piller chose the easy path with the standard ending, only if he can somehow avoid the final boss (divorce rape). But going MGTOW is like getting the DLC expansion pack; new maps, skills, and alternate endings.

But those first few levels on MGTOW mode are brutal. Absolutely brutal. For a while it felt like you were just spinning your wheels, replaying the same level over and over again (red pill rage) while the Blue Pill men were leveling up.

But the true sweetness that is earned from a play through on these sorts of games on the highest difficulty is not just the satisfaction in taking the road less traveled, but taking the challenging task so difficult that it forces you to improve to levels beyond what was previously foreseeable.

Effectively, the game itself begins to disappear, because victory for any man who goes his own way is ultimate and imminent. You begin to realize the true battle was always between you and your former self, and any of your perceived limitations.

This is what playing on Hard Mode is, and this is what it takes to become a Champion.

See you on the Far Side… – Monk Moon Base

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Aerois D&D Campaign Review: Episodes 1-47 [SPOILERS]

I’m back with more High Rollers D&D Aerois content after my Three Episode Rule story for the start of the series.

Clearly, I’ve been binge watching the campaign, only ten episodes away from being fully caught up, but unfortunately, the only reason why I’m even stopping for air to write this review is because since Episode 37-38, the series has really begun to lose steam for me, and I’d like to reflect on my experience thus far and investigate if I’d like to continue or not.

Why I Stuck With Aerois

The other D&D streamed campaigns I’ve shopped around for previously were either too casual or too linear, but Aerois offered an expansive sand-box style campaign adventure along with generous yet challenging scenarios that rewarded players for quick thinking, and empowered them with free choices that were occasionally met with interesting consequences to move the story forward.

The exact moment that hooked me was actually the “Fire Bear” stunt the players tried to pull during the Bitterwind Chapter, where they encountered a pack of distracted wolves, and were planning to scare them off with an illusion. However, they deliberated for too long instead of acting, and unfortunately, this reduced the effectiveness of the plan

Secondly, Mark demonstrated how much scarier an open-air wilderness can be as opposed to a still mysterious but quite contained dungeon crawl experience, as enemy camps and scouts could show up any time, for example. The players had to think critically about time and resource management to survive, and I was surprised they all arrived to the next town in one-piece.

Rose Hall

The Rose Hall chapter impressed me once again, but in hindsight, it was also the beginning of an ever-so-slight railroading habit that would inevitably snowball into my declining interest in the series.

Here’s the first side of the double edged sword: I did enjoy that Mark was teaching the players to cover their bases, as he dropped several hints to about their NPC companions not being able to afford rooms for the inn, leaving them vulnerable by sleeping in the stables. The party’s neglect resulted in a murder and kidnapping of said NPCs.

Now here’s the part that I did not enjoy: The only reason why this murder/kidnapping was able to occur was because the Party was unfairly diverted into meeting with the head conspirator (Brookstone). They were initially leaning towards declining a meeting with him, but Mark decided to paint a solid portrait for Brookstone by having the locals suddenly claim that he was a harmless man, which influenced the party in Brookstone’s direction.

Due to this betrayal, being “Brookstoned” is now a frequent meme and paranoia for the party. It was their choice after all, and the whole ordeal did result in exciting storytelling, but I believe it was the first infringement on player agency by manipulating their pool of available evidence to skew their perception to follow an intended direction.

Kalie’s Rest

Rose Hall was just a yellow card, but The first red flag was thrown here, as the party met with the Head of the Harvest Guard, whom did not wish for them to leave without her blessing. The party was more interested in just passing by and heading to the major city of Goldthrone, but Mark had bigger things planned for Kalie’s Rest.

The stay ended up being worth it, as two of the players participated in Spellclash, a national tournament league for spellcasters, and the party also made a rival in the necromancer Guardian named Breeze.

Unfortunately though, the party overstayed their welcome.

The Players’ First Major Mistakes

Back in Rosehall, the players weren’t interested in being heroes, as they passed on some paid work that would have helped the town, and opted to explore an abandoned pre-sundering town (Dwalinden) instead to collect some quick loot. It was for a good cause though; they were trying to heal the broken leg of their NPC friend Arval.

But somehow, someway, things changed in Kalie’s Rest.

A good deed went punished when the party tried to stop a librarian from being forcibly escorted to Brightflame Abbey, a religious center that has been usurped by a racist cult, and the resulting fight left the library in flames.

The party’s morality was tested again when Breeze was going to use one of the Brightflame Abbey members in a human sacrifice to extend the life of a more pure hearted Guardian, which the party chose to intervene.

However, it was after this point that the party’s decision making ability began to degrade.

  1. They allowed the key witness to the Brightflame Abbey’s plot to purge the “foreign” citizens to leave town without first confessing to the police.
  2. They chose to infiltrate Brightflame Abbey above ground, even though there was an option to travel further underground using the same system they just used to find Breeze.
  3. They chose to infiltrate Brightflame Abbey at all.

I believe it was Lucius that first voiced his concern that the party was in over their heads trying to do anything about the militant cult in Kalie’s Rest. Kim also joked about leaving town right before they started the game on the episode for the stealth mission.

They should have left, and I suspect they would have if the campaign was not being streamed. I don’t actually want a scripted TV show, I want to see an open world adventure game, and this is one major problem I have with streamed D&D games. Then again, it was, on face value, the player’s choice after all, and it’s only my speculation that they were peer pressured into it.

Brightflame Abbey drastically changed the course of events for Aerois. Not only did Sentry die because of the party’s mistake, but it also forced Mark’s hand into showing his cards too early in regards to the plot.



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Mark’s First Major Mistakes

The Brightflame Abbey infiltration was so poorly executed I really can’t blame Mark for revealing Calus Starbane, the legendary villain of Aerois that caused the sundering, as early as he had to. He claimed the scenario was at the bottom of his list, and it was still up to chance, as the party not only had to fail, but also have Valla, their NPC ally, separately succeed in not dying or being captured to execute the Starbane plotline.

It actually turned out pretty awesome, as he teleported them to another continent, which resulted in an even harder expedition through the wilderness than their first journey through the Bitterwind forest in Chapter One, as they now had to deal with violent thunderstorms and giant beasts whilst carrying not one, but later on, two dead bodies.

No, Mark’s first mistake was making the connection between Hadar (an even greater evil) and Starbane, when he revealed Starbane’s intentions to Nova in a direct dream conversation. It’s a cool idea in itself, as it’s reminiscent of Magus’ quest for power against Lavos in Chrono Trigger, but something like that should have been left to the character’s investigations, because as soon as he did that, the player’s focus would become singular now from level 6 all the way to level 20, if the story even gets that far.

Revealing the main villains this early makes me feel like I already know the ending of the story.

The Breeze subplot won’t really matter if he ever returns. Participating in Spellclash would be a sin with the balance of the universe at stake.

Even individual character development was impacted, as the party did not have time to look into Aila’s original clan ties when they were conducting research at the Gusthaven libraries. They may never return to the spooky ghost mansion they desperately escaped from many episodes ago.

As Lucius said about the events surrounding his father’s death in a conspiracy plot: “It all seems so inconsequential.”

Gusthaven

Even after the big reveal, the campaign was still recoverable. There was one last sliver of hope and innocence left in the world: “Daddy.

Lucius’ constant referencing of his father became the most recognizable meme in the early days of Aerois, so much so that viewers began taking bets on how many times the word would be mentioned in an episode, and after a long journey through the storm-ridden continent of Voxar, the party was finally ready to visit the first sky city of Gusthaven, and revive their fallen friend Quill.

Behind the DM Screen, however, the subplot was secretly killed much earlier, about the time the party got to Kalie’s Rest, as they discovered a reward for any information regarding Lucius’ well being after the Airship crash was rescinded after two weeks, which confirmed some suspicions from the other party members that Lucius father wasn’t as keen towards his son as Lucius would have us think.

Upon arriving, we discovered that Lucius father was murdered in a conspiracy. Lucius presented himself as being delusional, believing that his father and sister might still be alive, that it was a slightly botched teleportation experiment that ruined the house but preserved their lives.

I hoped he was right. I didn’t think Mark would be this cruel. We were waiting to see Lucius reunite with his father since Episode 1. Separate from that, I also think the player characters deserved a break after over a month of non-stop drama since the airship crash, and I was expecting Gusthaven (previously Goldthrone) to be that refuge.

But no. Our last relevant subplot and only interesting distraction left from the seriousness that is saving the world and stopping Starbane was ripped out of our hands. I’m not even convinced Lucius, or Chris Trott, even cared about the murder mystery anymore after that.

As soon as he got his inheritance money, he started plans for an airship to leave. Mark Hulmes (in character) was even caught off guard when Lucius said the conspiracy seemed “inconsequential”, incoherently replying that every person had some role to fill, whether big or small.

But then again, the players could have actually had a lot of fun with the whole ordeal, and this is just my speculation. I only know that I wanted something else.

Conclusion, and Moving Forward

My chances for returning to Aerois aren’t looking good at the moment. For the past few episodes I’ve been unafraid of spoilers and scrolling through the comments during the video precisely to know whether or not something exciting would happen so I could stick around or skip ahead when I start to get bored.

I just feel like the path is already written at this point. Individual character development doesn’t really matter anymore, since they are all currently sacrificing for the greater good anyway. That is the cost of being a Hero.

To delay the Hadar reveal plotline, I would have had Valla contact Nova in the dream instead of Starbane, at the very least. To delay it even further, I would have Valla close the planar gate with herself and Starbane on the other side, as a pseudo-sacrifice to buy the players more time.

Many intermediate subplots could have been introduced before Hadar. We still don’t know what exactly The Remnant, the leftover forces of Starbane’s army, or Zakira(?), Starbane’s second in command, are actually up to. Best case scenario, neither of them are currently aligned with Starbane, as his absence has left a power vacuum. Something like this would delay Starbane’s advancement, and introduce the same “lesser of two-evils” moral dilemma Mark was intending with Hadar, but on a much more manageable scale.

I don’t think there’s anything that will shake the inconsequential nature of things right now.

A part of me wants to skip ahead, because I know it is all just means to an end to become powerful enough to fight the main villains. But if I do that, the final fight won’t be as interesting because I wasn’t invested in the character growth that was needed to get there.

The difference between this and a TV series is that each episode of Aerois is going to take me three hours. 3-4 episodes of Aerois is about a season of Game of Thrones, but a lot more is forced to happen in a series like Game of Thrones because of the time constraint.

How I’m Running My Campaign

I’m really committed to the sand-box style, and I’ve developed my story with the idea that my players aren’t even the main characters.

I have built in heroes and villains, and intricate story lines for an interstellar battle of the Gods, but I intentionally have most of that running in the background, because I don’t want the players to feel obligated to take on such major quests like that if they don’t feel like they’re up to it.

There will be plenty of other opportunities for fame, fortune, and character development outside of my main end-game scenario, so if my players want to be the Heroes, the main characters, then they are truly going to have to fight for it.

Otherwise, it’s their story to tell.

I am a firm believer that the DM should set the stage and scene for the adventurers, but it’s the players that write the plot.

With great power comes great responsibility, but the Aerois characters are trying to save the world at only level six. There are no more stars in their eyes. They’re all grown up, and frankly it’s just too soon for my tastes.

Getting the airship was so freaking cool too. But I think it’s time for me to call it. T’was fun. Really fun. And I learned a lot. But I think I’ll just focus on having fun for my own games now, or potentially, not even be play much in the near future and just go back to working and producing more content for this site.

So there’s that.

See you on the Far Side… – Monk Moon Base

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