Blog Archives

The Repopulation – Hour 1

It’s on sale on Steam for a few more days. Find out more about the game here, or do a Google search you lazy bastards. Here are my very brief first impressions.

  • It’s in alpha. Read it again: ALPHA. Repeat after me: Aaaaalllph-aaaaaa. So stop crying about the bugs, the disconnects, the crashes, the bugs. (And it’s running very stably for me so QQ bitches.) If you don’t want that experience, wait a few months. It’ll be on sale again and it doesn’t launch till Q4 (that’s dev-speak, so I’m guessing May 2016).
  • It’s a sandbox. There’s a basic “here’s how you walk, talk and shoot things” tutorial and then you’re dumped in Mos Eisley one of the two faction starter-cities to sink or swim. However, NPCs are literally spamming your inbox with mission offers and the rest is pretty self-explanatory for anyone with a working braincell. Want to harvest? Find some nodes, swing that axe. Want to fight? Find some mobs, pewpew that pistol.
  • It feels a lot like SWG and the UI elements borrowed all the nastiest, clunkiest, screen-hoggingest crappy bits of the SWG UI (of all the things to copy), but it is most definitely not SWG or UO, so don’t go buying it because someone said it was. It’s ‘inspired by’ — and that’s definitely true. It’s not a clone. Your character may be, but it isn’t.
  • I’m not a huge fan of the graphics or even the art style, but that’s highly subjective. Bodies are reasonably well-proportioned and fairly realistic (moreso than in most games). The buildings in the starter cities are suitably grimy. The outside bits are suitably tree-y and rock-y… But somehow it leaves me cold. I’d almost rather SWG’s cartoonish art than this gritty, realistic and ultimately unpoetic view. So far the landscapes haven’t made me catch my breath, but I haven’t gone far. AND it’s alpha. Always remember alpha.

2015-06-19_00004 2015-06-19_00002

  • The crafting system looks complex. It may still  depend on grinding 1000 craft-foozles to master, but there’s very little way around that in an MMO – at least no fair way. I haven’t really crafted anything but I have chopped down some trees and harvested some flowers and ore. Oddly enough if it reminds me of anything, it’s Anarchy Online, simply because it’s so freaking complex and there are so many recipes and Recipe 1 depends on subcomponents A – M each of which is made by a different crafting profession…
  • However, the game does have a Work Order system, which is the only way you can make genuine crafting interdependence work. I have already sold little bits and pieces to people who needed them for whatever mysterious purpose they needed them for. I’m guessing grinding.
  • I have no idea what combat is like, other than a bit buggy. I pewpew-ed shit with my trusty handgun as needed to reach nodes. I don’t care about combat.

I have a feeling there is a LOT to discover under the surface, especially with harvesting and crafting and perhaps even housing. I will probably carry on discovering, but I doubt it’ll pull me away from SWG or WoW or my main games, not for a while.

SWG – Hangin’ with my Thune and other handy slash commands

Got a little bit of time to play in between massive work-dumps, so here are some more screenshots. They mostly involve Heloise, who is going to be my swordsman/doctor and just got her AOE melee attack (also known as Spinning Attack of Massive Lair Doom). If you scroll down past all that, you might even get some useful chat commands relating to structures (houses, harvesters, factories).

Below, Ysharros hanging with her thune pet in a purely decorative role. She’s not buffed (and just got killed by gurks for being a n00b), so she’s just using her level and her pet’s level to ensure Heloise can get the snorbal missions she desires. For the uninitiated, SWG missions are level-related and although I have no idea how the details work, I do know that more levels = more money (and harder missions, but not that much harder).

hangin-with-my-thune

Hangin’ in Hispania, Lok

Next, Heloise standing in a big pile of dead snorbals. Basically, once you acquire the Spinning Attack of Massive Lair Doom (aka SAMLAD), you target the lair and just spam that one attack while the three waves spawn and stampede in to attack you. Which is perfectly justified if you ask me, but it didn’t stop me from doing my best to cause a mass snorbal extinction event. For the more uninitiated, snorbals are non-aggro, perfectly harmless elephant-type creatures. They’re good milking too, incidentally, but that day I was all about the FILTHY LUCRE. Oh hey, that might be a good character name.

pile-o-snorbals-2

GREAT WHITE ZABRAK HUNTER

In another Hemmingway moment, here’s Heloise killing a Kimogila, yeah baby!!!

…OK, it’s actually only a baby kimogila. I feel guilty about it but I did take a selfie all the same.

Kimokill

RAWR

Let’s see, what else is in the pix folder… Oh yeah, my Entertainer-to-be busting some really, really, REALLY bad moves in Mos Eisley. I’d forgotten quite how bad beginning dancers are. She hasn’t had much playtime so she hasn’t improved, and I haven’t quite made up my mind to go the AFK-levelling route yet. I did it at the keyboard the first two times, dammit, and it was FUN. And, as it happens, Mos Eisley cantina is a totally happenin’ place, so maybe I’ll give it I shot. Dunno yet. Having too much fun using the SALAD — no, wait, SAMLAD attack on snorbal lairs.

Fleurette_begins_her_career

Stayin’ alive

OK last one, just to show folks the effect of using the various SweetFX mods as well as the ClearSkies mod (direct DL link here). It lets you see almost too far into the distance, something 2003 computers probably would have struggled to do — I know mine did — but it does cut out the insanity-inducing whistling sandstorms and the incredibly thundery rainstorms. Which, since I now live on Lok as a proud member of SWG-U, does make playing a little quieter. Even if those distant mountains look a little polygon-y…

clearskies-and-Nims

Nym’s Stronghold, Lok

Now on to some actually useful stuff for other SWG-EMU players. And if you’re not playing, come join us. You know you want to.

SWG Slash commands

These are for people — like me — who don’t like using radial menus because they’re slow, clunky, slow, annoying, and slow. If you’re extra-super-smart you’ll find ways to combine these into macros, such as a harvester maintenance-adminchars-power-naming macro that lets you do a bunch of things with a single button press (in this case add money and power to the harvester, name whatever alts you need as admins, and give it a funky coloured name if you’re into that sort of thing – which I am). They won’t make coffee, select a resource to harvest, empty a hopper or decorate for you, but they are useful. Check out this page if you want even more of them, just note that not all these commands are available in SWGEMU.

/pay [amount] — e.g. /pay 1000

Adds the specified amount of maintenance to the structure you’re in, near, or have targeted. Easy enough for houses and factories, can be a bit more hit-or-miss when you have a harvester targeted but are closer to another (assuming it’s also yours). You can’t add maintenance to structures you’re not admin for, so no worries there.

/setpermission admin [charname] — e.g. /setpermission admin Ysharros

Toggle command which adds [or removes] the specified character from a structure’s admin list. This can be a house, harvester or factory.

/setprivacy (toggle)

Makes the specified structure private or public. Pretty sure this only affects houses, and it allows other people in. Or not, depending on which way you’re toggling.

/addpower [amount] — e.g. /addpower 20000

Or if you’re really lazy — like me — /addpo 20000. Adds the specified amount of power to the harvester you’re near or have targeted. Can be a bit hit-or-miss when you have a harvester targeted but are closer to another (assuming it’s also yours). You can’t add maintenance to harvs you’re not admin for, so no worries there. I think.

/structurestatus

Brings up a structure’s status menu that tells you how much maintenance is in it and other details depending on the structure.

/transferstructure [charname]/target — e.g. /transferstructure Ysharros (or to whoever you have targeted)

Does exactly what it says on the tin. I can’t remember if it works for ALL structures or just houses and factories, but I suspect all. You get a lot back and your target loses a lot (or more depending on the structure).

/createvendor

Go on, guess what it does. Useful for creating vendors without going to the structure control terminal or whatever it’s called. Vendors are created in your inventory and require a house to be public, because what’s the point of having vendors if nobody can come in? (Storage. Company. Decoration. Moving on.)

/tip [amount] [charname]/target bank — e.g. /tip 1000000 Ysharros bank or /tip 1000000 bank (with target selected)

Tips someone from your bank with a 5% service charge if you’re lacking in ready cash as I always am. I could also be wrong on this one. I always forget the syntax. You’re welcome to try it out exactly as written above if you’re playing SWG. /halo

That’ll do for now. I may turn that list into a handier and dandier reference page if there seems to be enough interest. Or maybe just to remind myself how to bank tip someone. Speaking of mundungous tips, apparently I missed out on a ONE MILLION CREDIT handout two of my fellow Donkeys lucked into the other day. Dammit.

On the RL front, the rescuees are doing well, thanks to those who have asked. :) Here’s a crappy phone pic of them enjoying some sun. It’s still extremely hard to get near the black one, but she’ll creep closer when her sister is getting tickles.

girlygirls

 

SWG – May the Fourth be with you

I had to.

The screenshot has the UI in it so SWG-oldies can see nothing has really changed. Which is both good and bad. Remember the auto-targeting?

Fourth

Got some playing time in during the weekend, even if it was less than I would have liked because I’m still sick and yes Mum, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow. (At 7:30 in the morning. Who DOES that? Military doctors, that’s who. Ungh.)

Ysharros is now 4-4-2-4 in Creature Handler, while my crafty characters have done exactly nothing other than leech all Ysharros’ hard-earned credits. Making money as a crafter is going to be difficult on a server where everyone can have 10 characters and some of the older players probably do. You don’t see 2-4 vendors in most houses, you see 5-8, and the malls have over a dozen. The South Eisley mall has so many vendors in the guild hall main room that you can’t even tell what their names are. Doesn’t help that they’re all identical, which wasn’t a style call I would have made, but other than that it’s an impressive shopping venue — and for all I know, it’s all run by one player.

So for the time being, Ysharros is the money-maker, which means there isn’t much money floating around because I only have a very small capacity for fighting things just to be fighting things. Instead, I spent my buffs going to Endor and taming everything that moved, which included a cowardly gurreck, a couple of mereks (nasty male drow looking things, spiders with humanoid torsos and heads), and a mantigrue. No real gurreck and no bluurg – yet. But anyway, I’m not making money very fast because I get distracted and/or have to quit and go lie down.

But hey, who cares. It’s SWG. :)

Last but not least, for those who want to come back and take a look, check out Obzzarver’s site. It’s where we’re hanging out. We’re currently trying to decide on a guild to join because who knows how long the nostalgia kick will last for any of us, so making our own is not the best idea.

SWG – The Week in Pictures

Weirdly, I actually played for hours this week — or rather, I had 2 clients running for hours this week, but most of what was happening was that my crafty characters were sampling resources while I was either working or sick in bed. None of which is worthy of pictorial comment.

I did get a little creature handler play in, though, and spent most of it taming any cat-shaped mobs I could find.

Soon there will be three!

Soon there will be three!

At master you can call three pets at once as long as their combined CL is under 70. Three Greater Sludge Panthers adds up to 66. They may not be uber, but they look it and that’s all that counts.

Wrix

The wrix is the smaller cousin of the Endor-dwelling Gurreck, which I shall head out to tame as soon as I am capable… but if memory serves, the Gurrecks are around CL50 and Ysh may not be able to tame them yet; she certainly can’t control a CL50 pet until she gets a few more CH boxes. But it might be worth a shot anyway — it’s been a decade since I went to Endor. All I remember is that the ewoks are nasty little blighters. Hrm. I wonder if Endor is where I got my bluurg back in the day… (Yes, I could look it up but it’s fun to be vaguely noobish.)

Kima baby

The kima isn’t technically a cat, I don’t think, but it looks like the love-child of a cat and a gremlin and it’s huge fun sending three barely-visible critters after fambaas or other large animals. It’s like they keel over from a case of spontaneous dying if you aren’t sharp-eyed enough to spot the three Mogwais gnawing at their legs. What can I say – I’m easily amused.Theed2

And last, a few of Theed from the Spaceport entrance. That SweetFX makes the game look rather nice for its age.

SWG – The Master Speaks

I mentioned Raph Koster’s post a few days ago, but as it turns out there are a bunch of them about SWG and I’m still cursing the loss of Google Reader (yes I bloody well hold a grudge, at least in this case). So for my own convenience and that of a couple of other people who keep saying they need to read those posts — and they do, they’re fascinating — here are some links.

Designing a Living Society in SWG – Part 1

Designing a Living Society in SWG – Part 2

SWG-tagged posts

That should be enough to get you started.

It’s weird how often Mr. Koster says they didn’t end up with what they wanted for various systems in SWG (especially crafting!), when I and many others still remember it as the best crafting system ever, bar none. Actually to me it was the only real crafting system ever, bar none. All the others were just… bleh. Even EQ2, and I love EQ2 crafting — but it never even remotely compared to SWG crafting. The difference is one of several orders of magnitude in terms of complexity and depth. EQ2 is fun, but it’s whack-a-mole: once you’ve figured it out, you’ll never get anything but pristine (and yes, that was true even in the days when Death By Forge was a possibility).

And this is why SWG worked for crafters and people who wanted to be part of a society and not just someone who ran a ‘toon’ (apologies to all of you who use it, but I hate that term). It’s also why I doubt anyone will ever design another SWG. More’s the pity, but at least we have the Emulator:

I get asked this question all the time. In fact, now that I do consultancy from time to time, it’s not unusual for a company to come to me and say “can you put in crafting like SWG? Our players say it was the best ever!” Usually, they have actually, you know, designed their game already, or even built it. And I have to tell them, “No. You build your game around it, not the other way around.”

In other more fluffy news, I managed a little bit of playtime in between bouts of being sick and feeling sorry for myself. Here’s a pictorial account:

Coronet by night

Coronet by night

Poor Heidegger, can't hold his liquor

Poor Heidegger, can’t hold his liquor

A gift from a princely Master CH in Coronet. I shall pay it forward.

A gift from a princely Master CH in Coronet. I shall pay it forward.

SWGeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.2

A couple of people asked for pix, here and on FB, so prepare for full-on (mega-newbie) nostalgia.

My first char (can’t make another until tomorrow) is a crafter, which means she’s going to spend the next 3 days sampling till her lekku fall off. Because no resources = no crafty = no money, and you can put those in whichever order you wish. Currently I’m running artisan survey mission in between sampling because those training NPCs must live in gold-plated mansions in Kadaara when they’re not busy fleecing poor saps just off the space-boat.

Theed!

Theed!

Fambaa baby

Fambaa!

Maulers

Eeeek!

 

 

 

SWGeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

That pile I was talking about last month? It just got bigger.

SWGEmu1

One of my favourite games EVAR and one I miss perhaps even more than I miss Asheron’s Call (which was a wonderful MMO-virgin game nevertheless). I miss it like the spousal unit misses UO or hardcore raiders miss EQ. I followed SWGEmu a number of years ago but time, life and the state of the emulator’s progress back then conspired against me and I never got to try it out.

This is about to change. Well, in 2 or 3 days when my pooey internet allows me to update.

I’m not even going to mention the NGE and the CU and if you don’t know those acronyms you’re much better off, trust me.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I’m really excited about this. My workload is pretty heavy right now but I may have to make time (i.e. lose sleep) for this one.

A propos nothing, it’s the game I was playing just before I got caught up in the Warhammer hype and started this blog. That was back in 2007-2008. Man, that was a long time ago, and despite all the changes they’d brought to the game it still had something unique going for it. Can’t wait for that update to finish…

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