Forgot to mention, the magic system is cool and the author seems to have a good grasp on how real world affairs work.
Alright, I really wanna talk about this, so here I go. I'll begin with what I like and what the author does well. Currently at chapter 628 so be warned of spoilers. And this review is long as hell. The selling point of this novel is the world-building; it's easily the most fleshed out and fully realized aspect of this whole thing. The author has done an excellent job at creating an interesting and detailed world within the game. The player interactions are genuinely hilarious (some of the time); I feel like the writer has a nice grasp on the gaming community. However, some times --scratch that, most of the time-- the sense of humor devolves into this perverted mess, which gets annoying with how repetitive it is. We get it, they're horny bastards. It was funny maybe the first few times, but as of recently it's just vexing. Especially with how much like pedophiles they act (we'll get to THAT later). Now on to the bad. This novel is severely held back by "game" issues, Gary Stu-ness, author completely abandoning plot lines, blatant ***ism and a plethora of other issues. First off, the game as a whole doesn't work as a game, like at all. Roland is unexplainably powerful, even by mage standards and can easily destroy groups of other players at his level. My problem with these game novels is that they're pretty much always broken in some way so the main character can dunk on everyone else. There's simply no balance as a game. I would be able to ignore all this, however, if it was confirmed that the game world is an actual alternate or parallel reality or something. Roland is still over-powered though, which makes it hard to have any real tension. Speaking of Roland, he's a decent protagonist for the most part, not an idiot (mostly) level headed, and calm. Can be annoying to read about sometimes. When he first enters the world and starts making discoveries, he shares pretty much all his secrets for some reason on the forum. He has no instincts as a gamer sometimes. He was kinda annoying at the start, but he's more or less inoffensive these days Roland is also pretty much a Gary Stu; everything works out for him all the time. If something doesn't work out, it does eventually. He faces conveniences like no other and there are too many examples of this to list 'em, you'll have to read it yourself to see what I mean. This is a glorified power fantasy. One very frustrating problem with this novel is how writer completely forgets or abandons plot points. -White Amber is made out to be such a huge deal for Roland to increase his power, just for him to get it and never even bother with the damn thing for the rest of the novel -He meets with this vulpera village/city and they're built up to be somewhat of a focus just for us to never hear about that community again. -Night Tide Pod or whatever-her-name-is is built up to be a potential romance candidate, and Roland even considers marrying her, just to forget about that whole thing for the rest of the novel. He considers himself to be a traditional man just to fool around with Vivian and Andonara without batting an eye. What happened to his values? -The moral dilemma Roland faces as he struggles to differentiate the game from a simple game or a real world is just ignored after a while, even though it's a pretty interesting and important aspect. These are just a few I could think of off the top of my head but please believe there are a a handful of others. It seems AW (using this as author/writer from now on) got over his head. The ***ism and stereotypes are unreal in this. Every single female character is described or valued by how sexy they are and objectified. Every single action they take has to be described in some sexual way, it's just cringe worthy. Sometimes I feel like AW just needs to get laid with the way he will not chill with relegating every female to just being eye candy that everyone lusts after, and Roland of course woes in some way. There are a handful of moments where AW goes "all men love yachts" or "all men are this or that". The same is done for women. it's just funny to read this cringe worthy BS. *This next part is a rant* On the note of sexual content, the AW has officially gone too far. These players are genuine pedophiles, and it's played off as a joke. And yes, I'm aware they aren't technically children, but they are PHYSICALLY. Actually scratch that, Margeret is a child by dragon standards. When she was introduced the author spent so much time describing her features (as he does with every single) and we basically get the sense that she's a child. Doesn't matter though, doesn't stop AW from writing all the male characters to lust after this child-like body like it's nothing. The moment an AW calls their own characters lolita you know you're in for some crap. In the most recent arc, we meet the True Ancestor of the vampires, and as expected she's described as this young girl with an alluring aura. There's this line where the AW says something like "even though she looked to be 12 she was still alluring"... Uh, what? Not even bothering to hide it? lmaoo. I also call BS on the fact that she lived, AW clearly has a bias for this chick. There's absolutely no reason she should still be alive. With that, my review is over. I could go on and on about other problems, but then I'd be here all night, and other reviews have gotten into some of the issues, like the nationalism and whatnot. Cliffnotes version: If you're looking for a power fantasy with decent world building, an OP MC, and a story you need to turn your brain off to read sometimes, you might enjoy this. There was a lot of potential outside of the world building but it's kinda squandered. Regardless of all that I've said I cannot stop reading for some reason. Kudos to those who've made it this far.