Surviving with No Membership: A(n Overdramatic) Guide

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Subtreea
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If you were to compare me to my brother, you would find a few glaring differences. One of which is the number of dragons we have. 
See, when we were much younger, my brother pestered my mom for a membership. He maintained this membership for a decent amount of time and amassed over 200 dragons. He does not have that membership today, because my mom got sick of paying for a game that he didn't even play. 
He still has Toothless, though. Gotta love that grandfather-clause, right? 
Anyway, now he has well over 200 dragons, while I have 17 at the time of my posting this. He has so many dragons that he can actually have Titan dragons... using Titan Runes. Can you imagine? 
So, as a child raised on table scraps, I'm here to share the best way to take advantage of what the game gives you. Take what you will. 
 
A forewarning: my sense of humor can be a little strange to some. Read on with an open mind. 
 
 
Overture: Acknowledge your position in this world.
You are the underdog. You move with the tides as they shift, ever turbulent, just trying to survive in this world. It is harsh. And all you have is your small glimmer of hope, of becoming someone who is known and feared in this literal children's game. I understand. Our lives lead in similar directions, and I will be your guide to the path of enlightenment. 
You will not complain about the gems you cannot buy. You will not compare yourself to the people who purchase memberships and support this game financially so that it may continue to run. You will grit your teeth, and you will build your foundations from the bottom up. You will take your birthright by force. 
 
Act 1: Your story begins. 
Scene 1: Your starter dragons. 
These first two gifts will be vital tools on your path to righteousness. 
The first dragon you receive is known as your secondary starter dragon, for reasons I refuse to understand. They will be an adult. The dragon that you are given will be important to your first steps in this game. 
If you received a Rumblehorn, postpone your dreams of racing. Yours is a slow path, but inevitably it is a promising one. The Rumblehorn will guide you to a future of Titans. 
If a Shockjaw was bestowed upon you, perhaps you may race. But know that yours is a challenging path. It may be wise to wait. 
If the Flightmare has bonded with you, then racing may be in your future. Your glimmer of hope is shining brighter. 
With the Sand Wraith, you are soaring. You are the sun. You have been gifted with perhaps the loveliest of gifts. Give thanks to your Hamingja and to Odin. This dragon of the tides will surely help you thrive in the coming future.  
For your primary starter, if you have already made your choice, it is no matter. In the coming days,  you need not worry about this decision. All of the primary starters, in due time, will be available to you for gold: a commodity that you will drain to its final drop in your efforts to claw your way to this mountain's summit. 
The most expensive of these dragons are the Monstrous Nightmare and the Deadly Nadder. But the value of the Nadder will be more extraordinary to you in your pursuit of Titan Runes. 
The path that I pursue is a difficult one. I strive to hatch only one of each unique dragon. This is not a cross that you must carry, but you might find it harder to remember the names of your dragons otherwise. The faces of the ones you love. Those who have supported you so far and will continue until the day they breathe their last breath. 
Or perhaps this is only a fear of mine? 
I digress. Do not worry about purchasing eggs from the store. No, be patient. Good things will come with time, and with any luck, they will come cheaper. 
 
Scene 2: The exposition. 
You have two faithful dragon companions at your side. You haven't the room for much more, for now, but it matters little. Your heart, as well as your stables, will grow in time. Have you written the story? Do you know who you are yet, or who you plan to become? Your pages long for ink. Promise them your future. 
You will press forward and complete every menial task that is asked of you. Every piece of gold whispers, and as their quantity increases, so does the volume of their song. Soon your pockets will be lined with the fruits of your labor. 
As you pass through the overworld, you may encounter chests. They will ask for your wealth. Only listen to their pleas if what they request is gold. Always be thankful for what you receive, from the simple boot to the dragon egg. 
Inevitably, you will find yourself in the dark depths. The darkness is your friend today. She will guide your hand towards an essential addition to your team: the Whispering Death. They share the same teeth. Her smile is unnerving as it is beautiful. 
How many quests have you completed? Have you attained enough Ultimate Dragon Trainer points to be rewarded with a Boulder Stable? This is the only one you will gain in this way. Be grateful, say thank you. 
Once you have your Whispering Death, take your time to raise them. Complete all of your other quests. Work until there is nothing left to be done, or until you have raised them until they are an adult. The next step of your journey is about to begin. 
 
Act 2: Rising action. 
Scene 1: Battle events. 
Your Whispering Death is your faithful partner in this dance of flint and fire. What did you name them? Have you told them of the glories they will seize? Did you give them soft reassurances, pressing your hand to their head until they were at ease? You should treat your loved ones with care. 
Their soul mother, the darkness, is on your side when you approach the hull of the ship. You wait patiently for your siege to begin. Your brothers and sisters at the School surround you. They are buzzing with the same anticipation you are. 
All at once, you launch your attack, firing shot after shot until none remain, before doubling back, only to surge in again after your brief bath in the tall, golden beacons of light that shine above the firepits, your dragon revitalized. 
Do not be afraid to use your brothers and sisters as shields so that you may fight for longer. They will not notice. The hum of adrenaline in their ears is louder than you. It is louder than tinnitus that screams in your head in the contrasting silence that will follow the fight. You are all struggling for the same prize: gems. 
You will not get them every time. But you watch the sun and the shadows, and you fight in every raid you have time for. In time, it builds up, just as it does whenever you wake up every morning and greet the day. Even five minutes is enough time to take to amass your small fortune. 
When the ship sinks, you do not open the bounties of your struggle right away. You step back. You close your eyes, and the people around you fade. They are no longer there. When you open your eyes again, the faces around you are different. A new ship is there. 
You may not win this battle. But you must always fight it. Every scrap of experience will count, and every chest you reap from the splintering boards will testify your glory. 
Once your second battle is decided, you may breathe. You may open your gifts. Remember to be polite. It matters not if you have one or one-hundred Friendship Arches. Each is a statement of your efforts. They are badges that you will wear with pride. 
As you count your gems again, whether or not the quantity has changed, you will mull over your list of priorities in your head. 
The advanced fishing rod will make your life so much easier. And you heard whispers on the wind that your first Mystery stable holds a gift for you. But after that? 
You itch for new dragons. Perhaps already you have completed the Battle for the Edge. Some may say you are writing your story out of order, but in the end, it is we who forge our paths. The Armor Wing dragon in your fleet has made itself comfortable in your stables. They work hard with your other dragons who go off on missions, reaping in coins and valor. But you need more. 
 
Scene 2: Time moves forward. 
You cobbled together the gems to go on your next adventure. Perhaps you felt guilty for working out of order, and you started at Icestorm Island. Or maybe you wanted to feel adrenaline differently, and you answered the Call of the Death Song, knowing that soon after you would have a Razorwhip at your side, to race towards the golden gleam of fame. Maybe you didn't make either of these choices, to start. 
At this point in your story, your life is in many shades of charcoal and ink. Your narrative is vibrant. What did you name each friend that you made? How did they make you feel when you felt their scales for the first time? Have you painted them in the colors of victory? 
You have played the game of life patiently. You have tirelessly sent your dragons, trained well beyond their years, to collect Titan Runes. Who has been your most reliable team? Were you they with humble beginnings, who sent their Nadder, Razorwhip, and Rumblehorn to amass runes, possibly sacrificing the swiftest racing dragon in your collection? Or perhaps you were they with lesser luck and so sacrificed battle events so that your loyal, gorgeous child of the night, the Whispering Death, could trail after the Singetail and the Flame Whipper in the same pursuit? Your sacrifice is valiant. Perhaps in time, it will pay off. 
And so you play the waiting game. You remember the joy you feel when your first fleet returns victorious. It hardly matters that this is the first rune of the fifty needed to raise your first dragon up to the glory it deserves. You are happy to be making progress. By now, it has become an instinct to give thanks. You feel no need to fight this instinct. It has only served you well in the uphill battle you began so long ago. 
 
Interlude: Biding your time. 
Perhaps in the time that you have spent building the foundations to becoming somebody, you have grown bored of monotony. This is understandable, and people will not care as much as you might think if perhaps you go and do something else in the meantime. 
If you, however, are the type to embrace and welcome monotony, there are many more menial tasks you can attend to. 
Have you toiled in the fields, planting crops beyond what you were told to? Perhaps you should work to gain mastery over this craft. Keep an eye on the movement of the shadows throughout the day, however. Your crops are unforgivingly short-lived and will falter if you do. 
Maybe you should make your living through fishing. You have found the niches of the Wilderness that are plentiful in eels and in salmon respectively. You find yourself spending your idle time there. You have it down to a science. Hum a tune to yourself as you let yourself fade into the background noise for a while. It is good to sit and think, sometimes. 
If anything, though, you itch for the fame that comes with racing. You have been practicing on your own racing on all of your different dragons. You know these tracks better than you know your childhood home. You have found which corners to cut and which shortcuts to take. You have decided which dragon is your favorite to race with. 
You are ready to begin your ascent. 
 
Act 3: A new mountain. 
Scene 1: Attaining trophies. 
By now, you have tasted victory, haven't you? The hours spent memorizing each track evolved into rising above your peers, into finding superior racers. It is okay to feel intimidated, but do not be discouraged. You can learn much from these people. Follow their tracks, see what you've missed. If they are ahead of you, it is because they know tricks that you don't. If you discover their secrets, you can rise above them. 
Soon, what once seemed unattainable is now within reach. You work tirelessly to improve. Remember to stretch when your hands begin to ache. Breathe and take breaks when needed. Have you been drinking water? Be sure that you've been remembering to eat well during this time of intense focus. It is easy to lose yourself in the rush of it. 
Those who were once your superiors have become your peers. People have begun to know your name, your face, and your dragon. There is a stir of awe in the hearts of the masses, seeing this rising flame. 
By this time, you have likely been asked by countless people to join their Clan. You do not always have to say yes. Perhaps you are working strenuously to join a particular Clan. Let your heart guide you to your loyalties. You will find your home in due time. 
 
Scene 2: Home. 
Perhaps you received an invite from a Clan whose deeds are known throughout many lands, their names known by all. Or maybe you settled down in a friendly, smaller Clan, with few members but much love. You may have even started your own Clan with a few friends. 
As you rest at night, perhaps smelling smoke from your nearby stables, a telltale sign of your dragons preparing to sleep, do you find yourself questioning your choice? Or are your eyes already closing, queries of loyalties the furthest thought from your mind? 
Perhaps you dream of racing events alongside your Clanmates. Maybe you let one of the friends you've made name one of your newest dragons. You bask in the sun together, doing nothing at all because it feels so good to be with your family. 
You fight and win together, side by side. Your dragons were your first family, and now your Clan is, too. You repeat it in your head as if it will never get old: this is my home. And you mean it, don't you? 
 
Act 4: The spoils. 
Scene 1: Surplus. 
You have been battling hard. You have purchased the egg of a highly sought-after dragon for such a reason. You find yourself dealing more damage to ships than the rest of your peers. You can afford all the stables in the world for each precious new dragon egg you rescue. You no longer feel the need to weep for what was not handed to you. You hold all the bounties you could ever need. You have decorated your land with treasures of all kinds. 
Too, alongside your Clan, you have grown wealthy. People know your name when you enter the race tracks. You have been lucky enough to have people who leave because they know they cannot best you. It doesn't bother you much, anymore. You were raised on the table scraps that they now refuse to take. Taking second place never hurt anybody, and so you only laugh now when they insist that your developed skill isn't fair. They refuse to learn, and so they will never become like you. 
 
Scene 2: Await. 
There are always more adventures on the distant horizon. You may be unable to see them against the red-orange hue of the setting sun, or they may be obscured by the thick ocean fog. But there are still empty pages in your journal begging to be filled. You hear them nagging at you ceaselessly. You stroke the leather-bound spine of the book comfortingly. Soon you will give them what they long for. 
You idly wonder if there are things hidden behind the sea stacks, or hidden in the cracks of the places you've already seen. Maybe there are still places left unexplored. Wasn't there that island you swear you saw in a dream, once? Embraced by a caldera, the sky a burnt umber that matched the haze that hung over the island. You wonder if you'll ever get to see it up close. 
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CuddlesTheFox
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Wowzers

*claps slowly with jaw on floor*

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Subtreea
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*theatrical bow* thank you, thank you! i'll be here all night

It's been a while since I've written anything, and I wanted to do something over-the-top and gaudy. Needless to say, I found inspiration in School of Dragons. I then proceeded to type this up at around 9pm yesterday, working until maybe 11:30? I did some final, minor proofreading this morning before posting to make sure I didn't make any big mistakes in my sleep-deprived state. (There were... a couple grammar fixes to make here and there.) 

I'm super proud of how it all turned out! I'm glad you liked it. I hope to find more things to write about like this in the future, but writing is a fickle beast, and there is no guarantee that I can wrangle her. 

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Nice!

I will need this advice now that there are no more videos to watch for gems...to be fair though I have made it pretty darn far with only two three-month memberships in my lifetime...

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Subtreea
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the loss of videos has hit us all hard, friend

I'm glad to be of any help! Especially when, slowly but surely, we've been getting less and less. I wonder why the ads are gone? They were starting to sway me, honestly. A couple more videos about ring pops and I think I would have given in... 

Not to mention, getting rid of potential ad revenue seems like a strange decision to make. The system has been in place for years. Maybe they figure that it will encourage us to spend more money? (Yes, let me dig some of these moths out of my wallet. Are these legal tender? What do you mean, no?) 

I guess they aren't really very transparent about what goes on behind the scenes, though, so we'll probably never know!

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Yum, ringpops...

I've already given in to ringpops, and I admit I love Blue Razzberry ones. Yummm...... oh, yes! As a member myself, I anounce the thread as helpful for anyone, I can use these tips anytime!

Subtreea
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edit: oh man

It looks like videos are back and we all overreacted! Excellent. I have never been happier to have been wrong! 

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Subtreea
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warning: entering teacher mode

I... okay. I understand that this is a meme. I feel like I should start with that disclaimer. I know what memes are. 

(Also, it's a really old meme. What? Icanhascheezburger? The whiplash I am receiving is intense. I can see it now: the endless cat pictures. The stealing of buckets. A more recent memory of my own grandmother discovering the website and looking at funny squirrel pictures. I am recessing to a simpler time.) 

 

But it isn't sarcasm! 

Or at least, I don't remember writing anything that was explicitly sarcastic. I guess the 'literal children's game' part was a little biting, but in no way insincere. 

There are elements of personification (books, chests, and gold talking or whispering, speaking about the darkness as a person, etc.), lots of exaggerated language, and recurring themes (saying 'thank you', everything being a gift, stuff like that). I might also have at least one metaphor in there. I genuinely can't remember. 

If I was going to write something of this length that was wholly sarcastic... I feel like that would be a little something called 'satire'. Which is always fun to write. 

To be honest, other than 'really dramatic' I'm not sure if this style of writing is quite classified as hyperbole or not, since it's really only the language itself that is exaggerated and not the elements of the story. It's pretty much just... me being a classic theatre kid. 

 

...please note that I am really bad at taking jokes. It comes with the field. 

 

Anyway! I'm under the assumption that you enjoyed reading, and if that is the case, then that's great! 

 

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A wild post appeared!!!

It was the only suitable meme I could find... So I posted it using scarcasm as an umbrella term for irony. I mean, this isn't 'Modest Proposal' level of satire but you could argue that there are certain elements of it. So i unwittingly clicked 'save'.

 

Then the wrath of my Advanced English Composition teacher was released upon me in a firey hailstorm of vocabulary words I haven't bothered to memorise since the 5th grade and yet can't seem to forget.

 

So, for the sake of my fragile sanity- can we all just agree that English is a messed up language?

It can only be understood through thorough thought, though.

Subtreea
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oh, absolutely

Oh no, I genuinely appreciate the meme. It's a classic. And I more or less figured you knew the difference, I'm just incapable of taking jokes. It's... something I'm working on. 

Think of me as... a human version of Blathers. You've played Animal Crossing, right? 

 

Trust me, the English language is nobody's friend. Like, I don't care about the historical contexts of word origins, if the plural form of 'goose' is 'geese', the plural form of 'mongoose' should be 'mongeese' because the word goose is right there inside of it

The only reason I know this much is because... yknow... I have to know at least some things to survive in college. I just accidentally actually memorized things, instead of 'knowing it for the test and then forgetting' kind of learning. Now I just know things about the English language. I can use a semicolon. Who in their right mind can use a semicolon? 

Also, grammar rules, historically, change constantly. So there's that. 

Waveclaw
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Awesome! Absolutely

Awesome! Absolutely gorgeous!!!

Subtreea
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hey!

Thank you very much! I really do try. 

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That is an awesome text that

That is an awesome text that can help many players, good job :)

I will not use it personally... cause I acquired more than 280 dragons without paying for any membership or gems and I’m already happy with that.

I can show this to my sister though ^^

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Subtreea
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ah, yes. the joy of siblings

Honestly, I was more or less just flexing my writing muscles after they spent so much time getting very little use in terms of things I actually wanted to write. It was, and still is, difficult to make school assignments interesting. I hate writing papers. Let me write you a novella and turn it in at the end of the year. I can prove that I know what 'rising action' is so much better if I just show you. Please. Don't make me write another paper about football. I don't watch football. 

...I have some personal issues to work out. 

Anyway, I'm glad to see you liked it! I still think that having anywhere over 100 dragons is just a bit much, but I guess that's because I get overwhelmed pretty quickly by that kind of thing. Here's to success without memberships, though! I hope your sister has the best of luck, too. 

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Ahh yes. theatre, also known as my life

Very helpful. I myself have gone on this daunting journy. I'm in fact doing it a 2 time. 

 

 

One question though, how come four acts instead of two and the ending scene? other than that, I appreacate the dramatic writing, do you do theatre by any chanch? 

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Here's a few of my pieces of artwork in link form! 

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Subtreea
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i only have theatre kid ENERGY unfortunately

Honestly, I’m not entirely certain why I chose to write in so many acts. I think that, for the most part, it was kind of a mentality of ‘ughhh, acts are so long. and this is taking such a long time to do. this is a nightmare. gods help me’ or something along those lines! Plus, honestly, there isn’t that much of a hard rule on how many acts any one play can have. You can have two, or five, or whatever you really want... although your audience is likely to get bored the longer you drawl on. 

Luckily, this is a situation where I can basically say ‘it’s mostly improv’ and get away with writing a few summarizing paragraphs in each scene and shrug off the rest. Hooray for being lazy! 

 

And uh, I never got to do any sort of theatre stuff in school or anything, actually. Always wanted to, but middle school was rough for me (hashtag... clinical anxiety) and in high school they just said I didn’t have enough experience and so I just stopped bothering! 

I did some stuff in choir, though. Never anything fun, since apparently only the men’s choir was allowed to enjoy themselves. But I do have like... nearly a three-octave range, which is probably kind of impressive? Maybe? Either way, D3-C6 means that I can sing along to a good number of songs I like without having to go up an octave, and isn’t that all that really matters?