JohnWillStab is the poorly-named shut-in on a quest to get into MMOs after a failed online career backfired leaving him uninterested in his speciality, strategy games.
He discovers an old, abandoned game with an active, albeit very eccentric, community of no more than five-hundred players on a single server maintained by an unknown individual.
Unbeknownst to him, the game he found is more than just an ordinary WoW clone and after many adventures with his group, they make the terrifying discovery that after two full volumes this story becomes a god damn isekai.
What’s worse, JohnWillStab, the number-one edgelord on the server is somehow ending up in positions of power despite literally being an undead rogue with evil magic tentacles!
Will John’s edginess ruin the isekai? Why does the doctor have the highest kill-count in the game? Is 👑 really a valid character you could use for your username? Can the chef perform an exorcism? Why is God asking John for chicken nuggets? Really, he could just spawn them in - in fact, we saw him spawning food in before!
Find out like… two of those within the virtual pages of Binary Progression!
Post-Chapter Banner by @ThatNoLifeArti1 (https://twitter.com/ThatNoLifeArti1)
Icons for end of chapter image by 'Lorc'
Story updates and shit-posting available on twitter @MrBadWithNames1
Old cover by @EldricthAnomaly
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When I first started the story I thought, "Oh hey, cool. This is about a crappy MMO for an introvert."
I continued reading and thought to myself, "Man, I wish I had a friend like Bonifacius."
I could tell you about the story, how it's pretty solid, how it's good at explaining various concepts and letting you fill in the blanks for more basic things so it doesn't get bogged down.
Sure, the environments are described really well, they don't go on for too long, yet they aren't too short either, giving you a great mental picture of where they are without getting too lost within the details.
Sure there are a variety of quests that we see within the first few chapters, a variety of ways that the developers of the game seem to really have no idea how to run an MMO, and sure, there's a variety of characters and memelords within the story.
Sure, the skills are pretty cool and the defined roles are fairly consistent, giving everyone a fairly unique presence within the story.
Sure there are funny moments and ridiculous antics that will get you to smile, chuckle, and perhaps even giggle.
Let's face it though... You're going to be here for Bonifacius.
Who is Bonifacius?
Bonifacius is one of the funniest characters. He's a real bro. If you're caught by some banditos, he'll come and save you. If you need some sweet gear, he'll be there to grind with you. Bonifacius will never let you down. If every other character was garbage, I'd stick around only for Bonifacius.
Yet... the other characters within the story aren't garbage. Each is unique in their own way; we've got frog lovers, trolls, people far too into roleplaying (you know the type), and newbies who don't really understand the game, but have a fresh view on the game since they haven't been tainted.
I do have some minor gripes with how sometimes the format changes every so often, although that's rare and it only happens for a single line out of maybe a few chapters or so, and that whenever a character speaks it should always be a new line rather than it happen midway through a line, but those are mostly personal gripes.
I have to admit. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I actually do. I normally don't read so many chapters in one go, but I read it about five chapters at a time.
So yes, I think it's a solid 5* because Bonifacius is bae.
EDIT: Okay, so I completely forgot to mention something that I really enjoyed. One of the things that you'll see at the end of most chapters is a little drawing that is relevant to the story, sometimes it's even in the middle. I really enjoyed the way MrAwfulWithNames incorporated these into his stories. In fact, in chapter 11(?) there's one in the beginning that really blew me away, so actually I'm going to bump up the Style score up from the original review that I wrote 5 minutes ago.
Years after the developers have abandoned it, players still roam freely in an MMO, having fun and exploiting glitches, and in that way it's the most "slice of life" feeling MMO adventure I've ever read--the characters are constantly going on quests and fighting things, but it feels a lot more like some online friends hanging out in a shoddy C-tier video game.
Binary Progression in a Broken MMO is very silly. All the characters are eccentric in their own way, half of them outright roleplayers, and they inhabit a world that is decaying, almost literally, to great comedy. We have buggy quests, long-established factions that have taken over far more of the game than intended, and hackers that blaze through the code without a sweat. With lots of fun adventures in this shoddy MMO world, you get a real sense of friendship and fun that you just don't find in other MMO/isekai/LitRPG type stories.
Unforunately, the prose is very sparse and doesn't paint a very vivid picture of this world; the vast majority of the story is chatlogs of the messages the characters send each other. This is very entertaining, but I always yearned to see more of the game itself and see the hackneyed fantasy world and glitchy mechanics that the players mostly ignore in favor of making their own fun. I also want to learn more about the characters outside of the game, especially our protagonist John, who through several small hints has some really interesting characteristics to him.
These things can still happen, especially as the story is surely very early in, but without them the story does feel like it's missing a little bit. Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that this serial is great fun and will be a really entertaining time for anyone who likes MMOs or quirky online communities.
I literally laughed out loud while I was reading this at points. Keep me giggling and I'll read it. This is the first time I've read a LitRP where the game is abandoned, and the playerbase MAYBE a little toxic. However, I sure as hell have PLAYED those games. It's fun to read it without having to actually, you know, deal with it!
Biggest things that hold this story back is the Style. I hesistated between putting it between grammar and style, but the biggest issue I have is the formatting, and I'm. Throwing that unders style. I'd have the chat lines. Seperate from actions of the characters, personally. Having said that, it doesn't throw me too much, or too often.
I didn't know what I'd think of John at first, but he grows on me. Our main characters so far are pretty interesting. Very real to how people tend to act in games in general.
The story is starting to take off. New player in a game picks all the wrong stuff to start, and gets in trouble. I have been that person.
This is a normal MMORPG novel.
No isekai, VR or trapped in the game.
It is a hillarious advenrure in an old broken game that has loyal players in it.
Lots of roleplaying, memes, jokes, emotes, buggy game parts. It really reminds me of the time i played old school RuneScape.
Give it a try!
Binary Progression takes a distinct, comedic tone which helps it stand out from most LitRPG stories. While held back a bit by its presentation, it is certainly a fun read with some unique scenarios and whacky characters. More details in the 'Overall' section.
The way the story is structured is a little messy. Some of the stylistic choices, like how the dialogue is presented, makes the flow of the prose a bit disjointed. Still, I can definitely see what the author was going for in making it seem more like an MMO chat, and in certain ways it does pay off, so it's more of a personal thing.
Mostly good, probably nothing that'll put you off as a reader. Within what would be considered normal for a web serial.
Binary Progression shines through its whacky tone and strange scenarios, heightened by its chosen setting of a janky MMO that has lost developer support. It's a subversive take on the genre that makes fun of things like fetch quests or killing X whatever. This is by far its greatest strength, and while I'm personally not a huge MMO buff or anything, I still got plenty of enjoyment out of that aspect.
The story is fairly light so far, mostly a string of standalone quests and chapter-by-chapter set-ups for gags. I think this suits the story very well, and makes it easily digestible and enjoyable.
The characters do what they're supposed to. Some provide more laughs than others, but I suspect this will vary from reader to reader, as they are fairly distinct. My personal favorite is the hacker simply because of their devious, impish attitude.
The MC is also competently written. I like the twist the author chose to give the usual LitRPG protagonist, John being a person who doesn't play MMOs or know anything about them, making for some funny gags at his expense since he doesn't know his way around the basics.
I recommend this to anyone who's looking for a more light-hearted, comedic take on the genre. It has a fairly immediate payoff in terms of plot, characters, and gags, so it's a low investment on the reader's part.
Early review, forgive my grammar.
I won't write long, the story is interesting and quite funny. One guy talked in Shakespearean English, hard to understand at first but it set the atmosphere of the story. And don't worry, it gets better.
Some mistakes about the grammar and typo but nothing major, it's very much readable.
The novel is mostly about the character's dialogue, some of them are about silly/funny situations... depending on your take.
Overall, you may or may not like it but you should give it a try.
This story is an interestingly written mmorpg novel with some pretty hilarious moments, so far the interaction between John and Bonifacius works really well, i'm curious about what other kinds of friends he will find.
Most of the story is written in dialogues, so giving a proper style score is rather hard. I would like a bit more descriptive paragraphs and the old-english dialect dragged on for a while to long.
Similar to the style score, the grammar is hard to evaluate for dialogues, but there were not few punctuation errors as well as some missing words, definitely should be revisited when the story is done.
This is one part, where this novel shines, even tho the overarching story seems somewhat generic (not much choice for a mmorpg novel tho) the subplots are great and entertaining.
The characters are fun and work well together, their behaviors are somewhat exaggerated, but this fits well with this kind of novel, so full rating from me for that.
This is a very good light-hearted comedy. Crazy and broken quests really add to the story. There is no overarching plot for now, but in a way this is like a good sitcom, characters in a weird situations really cary the story. Quests, boss fights are all well done and always give something new to laugh about. Humor isn't recycled which is really good.
One issue I have is with style. There were some cases where character would say something in chat but author would continue with the description without some indication that character was done with talking. So it made it confusing.
Grammar was mostly fine, but I am not an expert. Anyways, it's readable and it doesn't take away from the experience.
I enjoyed the characters, like other reviews mentioned, Bonifacius is awesome. They really reminded me when I had my own gaming clan.
This is a good story if you want to relax, chill and have some laughs.
Welcome to my first "Royal Ramble" where I take a 1000 words to essay a Fic.
First Chapters: If you reading this review, it's truncated. The full version is actually posted on the final chapter of Volume 1. This is a spoiler-free review.
This is funny stuff.
In the first few chapters, this story ended up being way different than I thought. Badwithnames captures perfectly what makes a game bad, and broken. Throughout, I was impressed, and thought the author played a lot of Roblox. That's more than a joke - the game world in this fiction has hackers running amok.
When it comes to characters, the main characters are JohnWillStab and Bonifacius. John plays straight man to the entire world. Most of it seems whacky because he's playing the game like a normal player. Problem is, he's not walking into a normal world. John is also the smartest player in the game. He acts as strategist, figuring out plans for beating even impossible to beat monsters. For example, he considers using the environment to beat up one monster.
Bonifacius is an RPer. He likes to talk in broken, false Shakespearian English. At the beginning, John cannot even understand Bonifacius. Bonifacius is an abnormal person in an abnormal world. When he's with John, he acts as a mentor. Except... Bony's honor gets in the way sometimes. He'd rather drown than be enslaved by Crown.
Next is Crown. Her harsh sarcastic demeanor always provides more to the comedic aspect of the world. Her introduction is literally "No [email protected]#$ I'm a hacker, my name is a crown." And she provides quite a role in being an assistant to John and Bonifacius. Being the resident hacker, there are things she cannot manipulate. Certain scripts elude her, and if she was to mess with them, she could flat out crash a dungeon or server.
John, Boni, and Crown can be considered the main characters. However, Foxly and Bromy could count as secondary. Bromy being someone who makes weird abominations. Foxly being a joke character almost. His whole race being toad people are considered to be the worst race in the game.
The story picks up in chapter five when they take on a quest about urinating in graves. Then next chapter there's dialogue trees where John accidentally tells a kid to screw off. Not even that politely.
Prose... exists. Most of the story comes in the form of chatspeak. It's mostly one-liners of dialogue, with occasional paragraphs thrown in. There isn't any Lovecraftian Poetry. The prose is perfunctory, straight to the point. One problem is there isn't a separation of action and dialogue during the text. It might read something like, "JohnWillStab: This machine looks fine! The machine sprung open and ate him and his children".(Not an actual quote... that I know of.) There are also several moments where the story pauses for the author to explain certain aspects such as what Ping is. I know that it's useful to people who aren't used to online gaming. However, when there are information boxes at the end of the chapter explaining gameplay materials, it's excessive to have explanations in the text itself. There are also a lot of spelling errors. One box says "Video Biology Assosiations", for instance. It gets better and the writer takes more time to describe the world as it goes on. Plus there are accompanying images a few times.
The writing is in third person omniscient. If someone is laughing behind the screen, it's mentioned. There isn't anybody's perspective who gets cut out, we're all important here at this juncture.
To me the biggest part of this that makes the story is the humor. It's never tasteful. It's sometimes raunchy, and a lot of times about how much of freaks these characters are now. It's about a broken world, and characters act realistically. I can imagine it all clearly, and the work being put into the authenticity is astounding. By authenticity, I mean how everyone talks or reacts. It's not written like a book, it's written almost like a person is recording their own experiences. Fair warning, the story uses fourth wall humor too. It's not too often, and I don't feel like the author takes it too far. After all, fourth walls have to be broken eventually, right?
The plot is nonexistent. It's not going to an end, like there's one major big bad. Instead each "arc" has its own characters to fight. Some of them include - an organization of elitists who believe they know what's best and act like mods. Pirates who cut off buttocks. Or even a hacker who is great enough to change the game entirely.
However, keep your eyes on John. He has hidden depths. With him, I always knew something was up. There are vague hints over the course of the series, but it won't be until thirty or more chapters that you get more of the picture. He's not simply a high school drop out who's playing video games all day. Well, he is, but he's more than that.
But the final part to talk about is the volume one ending. It's... weird. That's most of what I can say about it. However, unfair it is for me to say it's completely out of the blue. Basically, if you think the world is too good to be true, or it's too advanced... It is.
All in all: This isn't a story to sleep on. I enjoyed reading it, and as I advanced in the book the more and more I felt like reading. It had a great flow to it, unlike some fictions where I start and can stop at any point. After the first few chapters I found myself stuck in this little world. Everything about it is bad it's good. The making of the world itself is bad it's good. The characters are whacky and bad... And bad enough they're good. Look, the phrase "so bad it's good" has never meant what it has to mean. It's fairly overused as a term. But Badwithnames figured out not only how to do it, but do it with a style that it's great. It's hard to make everybody or everything weird, and bad, and annoying, and make it appealing. Make it feel almost normal, good, and satisfactory too. I had to consider all of this when realizing I had to give more than four stars.
Don't worry if you're not a hardcorez gamer. You'll probably like this anyway, okay?
A good overall story about a guy trying a new MMO. There is a lot of chatspeak in the story, and most (if not all) of the dialogue is like this:
Character A: Says something
Character B: Replies
On one hand it does evoke the setting of an MMO where people are typing to each other at all times. On the other hand it can feel a little jarring if you're used to reading 'normal' speak in a story. I do think it helps more than hurts though.
There are also a lot of images and drawings making this story feel more alive and setting up the world in a great way. There's a bestiary and a whole 'chapter' for maps. If you love in-depth worldbuilding this is a good start.