MMO Earth - The Culling

by Craig Kobayashi

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Fantasy Sci-fi GameLit LitRPG Magic Male Lead Post Apocalyptic
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

Earth becomes the full immersion experience litRPG readers fantasize about, but at what cost? 

Figuring out how to cast spells without the luxury of a controller or keyboard was the least of Garath's worries when The Culling got underway. Though some elements of the new interface were familiar to the lifelong gamer, there was a lot he'd have to learn the hard way.

What exactly did The Culling have in store for mankind? What would loot be like on this new Earth? And if this was supposed to be like an MMO, where were all the god damn hot elves??

Follow Garath as his mismatched group of friends and neighbors try to survive the twenty-four hour Event.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
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  • Character Score
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter One - Dawn ago
Chapter Two - Company ago
Chapter Three - Discovery ago
Chapter Four - Preparation ago
Chapter Five - Enter Athios ago
Chapter Six - Transformation ago
Chapter Seven - The Culling ago
Chapter Eight - Breather ago
Chapter Nine - Daisy ago
Chapter Ten - Growth ago
Chapter Eleven - Fight or Die, Win and Live! ago
Chapter Twelve - Doing Better ago
Chapter Thirteen - The Band of the Hawk ago
Chapter Fourteen - Curiosity Killed the Cat, You Know? ago
Chapter Fifteen - Fight or Flee ago
Chapter Sixteen - Apocalypse 1/3 ago
Chapter Seventeen - Apocalypse 2/3 ago
Chapter Eighteen - Apocalypse 3/3 ago
Chapter Nineteen - The Emerald Glade ago
Chapter Twenty - The End of the Beginning ago
Part Two: Aftermath - Chapter Twenty-one: Your Egg is a What? ago
Chapter Twenty-two - Guild ago
Chapter Twenty-Three - And then... ago
Chapter Twenty-four - Murder of Dave ago
Chapter Twenty-five - Aquawood Depths ago
Chapter Twenty-six - Urgency ago
Chapter Twenty-seven - Plague ago
Chapter Twenty-Eight - Rinse and Repeat, Right? ago
Chapter Twenty-Nine - Clash in the Depths ago
Chapter Thirty - Loot ago
Chapter Thirty-One - Search for Leviathan ago
Chapter Thirty-Two - Vengeance ago
Chapter Thirty-Three - An Old Friend ago
The End ago

Leave a review

  • Overall Score

Good story, rough start

This story starts rough. The entire first chapter is the main character playing with menus and character choices, when we don't know why we should care yet.

It's like if The Hobbit had started with "Bilbo was going on a journey", then the first chapter was him meticulously packing a bag.

However, it gets much better from there, and at the point when the secondary characters get introduced, it starts to pull you along. 

Worth a read.

  • Overall Score

Review as of chp 27 - good ideas but inconsistent

This is a story of a magical apocalypse/invasion, undertaken by an unknown people who install a System (yes, definitely capital S) and at the same time transplant various species from other dimensions onto the newly magical earth. Typical mayhem ensures.

The MC picks a class that promises to be the most powerful one available and proceeds to live (play) it strangely. Not using the class' strengths is one reason for my comparatively low stars, but when you chose a summoner/DoT mage and use neither summons nor - in the final fight at least - DoTs, something went wrong with the storytelling.
Yes, it ratcheted up the tension, but at the price of any attempt at logic.

The supporting cast is kinda strange as well. It's easy to understand from a meta PoV that the author can't make use of all 200 survivors, so the mass of them must remain faceless and action-less, but we need an explanation for that. As it stands now, the majority of the survivors just refuse to pick a class and act as dead weight without reason given.
Similar story for the reaction of everyone about the MC's class. It's patently obviously evil, but nobody bats as much as an eye. At least some mention or demand for explanations wouldn't be amiss, especially considering his prominent position.

The tone of the story is not quite grimdark, but not all sunshine, hope and "Wirtschaftswunder" either. It's somewhere in between IMHO, but given that not much time has elapsed inside the tale, it could still go either way.

A promising sign is that - finally! - we get a glimpse at the downside of Garath's powerful class. For the first two dozen chapters, he got to enjoy his more-ability-points-per-level-than-anyone-else and quite useful spells without paying the price advertised in the class' description. So all gain without pain....till now. I'm curious how this latest introduction of dangers will play out for sure!

The story's workmanship is quite good. Not many errors to be found, tenses seem to be kept steady and switcheroo words are pretty much absent.

Not-yet-final overall verdict: 3,5/5. Good read but not without severe flaws that tend to throw you (or at least me) out of the tale.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
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Pacing Problems Galore

Overall Score is 3 stars as I started skimming chapters after wave 6 as things got weirdly rushed.

Style is good, fairly smooth action sequences, some decent comedy and decent prose.

Grammar Score is 5 as I didn't notice any grammar errors or spelling problems throughout.

Story Score is 3.5 the story went downhill at chapter 14, where 3 waves of monster battles were just skipped over with a paragraph. This was a complete failure of pacing as not only did we miss out on 9 hours of character interactions, monster battles, we don't get to learn how any of the characters fought, leveled up, strategized during that time. 

Character Score. This is probably the worst grade as the main character is supposed to be a gamer but nothing he does really mesh with that concept. He doesn't really seem to maximise his own skill set or skill tree, nor does he seem to truly maximise the synergies of various team skill sets. There's also the fact that he just seems to add attribute points to whatever seems like a good idea at that moment. Not to mention picking a class and skills because they 'speak' to him via author/plot contrivance. 

There's a secondary main character Athios who sort of gets some character development & some Blink style fighting style but sort of also gets sidelined. There were a couple of other characters that were sort of around but they didn't really add much to the story. 

Then there's an invisible cast of 70 something non combatants who were probably baggage, though it's never addressed as to whether they simply didn't pick a class or were support class eg healers, crafters or merchants whose contributions weren't addressed. 

I'm kind of interested in how the story progresses but I also don't care enough about the characters to really be eager to read more. I feel like this would benefit from chapter 14 being rewritten & reworked, adding more details about everything. This it went from a systematic step by step following of the main character to just skipping 9 hours of plot & character development for no apparent reason. 

Daniel Jon Dunn
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An interesting read, and I highly recommend giving it some attention.

On that note, I'll give the three best things I liked, and three things I thought could use improvement.

1) Menu: I like how you've given everyone in your story the same basic menu, and they all have the same starting options. Plus, I could totally see people panicking because they've never played videogames, or maybe never played RPG's, and the options that the basic menu gives you are actually geared toward survival.

2) The Culling: The messages and event itself give this a great flavor for a story. It sets things up so that it's clear the first part of this is going to be all about survival, as well as being a good lead in for more down the line.

3) The Classes: So I would totally agree that 30 classes are a bit too many for a videogame, but I also play D&D, so 30 is actually about normal (at least if you've played 3.5). I can't wait to see what some of the other classes are, as we've only seen maybe 10 at this point.

Now for the not so fun part (and please realize that this is just my opinion)

1) The numbers: I'm not really getting a good feel for the numbers in the story yet. For example, when MC has damage dealt to him on purpose, you tell us how much his health goes down, but beyond the pain and bleeding, we don't get a feel for what those numbers really mean. Possible solutions are using percentages, or possibly having the "health bar" change color and describe that to the reader.

2) The classes: I know this is one of the points I liked, but that's why it's also here. Having 30+ classes for your world can become very difficult to manage, especially if eventually those classes can upgrade. I don't know how you're going to deal with that, but I know that creating all of those classes and then having to create skills and other options for all of them will be difficult. So for this one it's just a good luck!

3) Survival viewpoint: What I mean for this one is simple and complex all at once. Judging by the use of PST early on, I'm guessing this is West Coast (and if you said it was I missed it) but several things about this threw me for a loop. First off, you have more than a hundred people in a church, and onle a small portion of them are fighting? Plus, you mentioned that there is a Navy Base nearby, which means you should theoretically have some sailors or marines there as well. (Just as a hint, there are a lot of gamers in both branches that would be royally pissed if they weren't able to be fighting as well, and most live between 15 minutes by car to up to an hour away by car) But I didn't see any real mention of them in the groups that showed up.

Altogether though, it is well put together. The story is flowing, and it is understandable if some of the points I mentioned have gone straight past the MC's head for now. But, please keep in mind the nature of people going forward! And I'll be looking forward to more of your work. Also, I wish I could give out quarter and three quarter stars, cause Story would be three quarters and Character would be a quarter.

  • Overall Score

Pretty average but on the better side of it.

So I have read so many of these kinds of stories that it’s really hard for the to hold my attention, but as soon as you said Everett high school you grabed it. Mostly because I want you to blow it up, it would be even better if you blew up say glacier peak high school to ( you might be able to tell that I was a Snohomish Panther during my high school career).

  • Overall Score

Let me start by saying that this isnt a book. 

This is a prequel or a prologue of sorts. It introduces the world, the main character, and the plot. It's to short to be a book on its own in my opinion. 

I like it. What more can I say? The author introduces you to the world in a way that gets you invested and wanting more.

I hope to see more on royal road. 

  • Overall Score

Looking forward to watching this author progress. Enjoyed the book. Agree with other reviews about pacing and the soul corruption. Overall good read. Thank

  • Overall Score

More and more interesting

Succinct and to the point with short chapters, but a good take on both the litRPG and apocalyptic genres. The first hints of world building are poking through (I'm writing this after reading chapter 19) and I look forward to seeing more.

  • Overall Score

Great start and very entertaining.

Well worth a read.