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SWG – Mastery and Miscellany

This CH stuff is all from a couple of weeks ago, in fact, because times they have been pretty busy in the meantime. More on that later (briefly, as it’s mostly RL stuff).

Ysharros went out hunting with the Donkey Business crew and one of the graul mauler lairs on Dantooine spawned an elite at the end. And not just an elite, but an elite + elite baby. Said baby, a Graul Mangler, took no less than seventeen attempts to tame (and trying not to kill the damn thing every time it aggroed after a failed attempt), even with Ysh’s awesome +taming camo pants. She needs more +taming gear, I know, and some whatever-the-taming-bonus-food is. Anyway, she got him. Suggestions for names welcome.

Graul_mangler

Later that same day I hit Master Creature Handler and headed back to Theed, the home base of the Stylish Corpse alt-collective (but not for much longer). I decided to hang out in front of the spaceport a bit and show off my Master status and awesome pets (as is apparently all the rage in front of Coronet Spaceport); within a few seconds another Master CH joined me, pulled out some of her pets, and we got to talking. A couple of minutes later we had half a dozen creature handlers of various levels hanging out and talking shop, and that is exactly what I loved about SWG — the fact that hanging out and chatting with like-minded folks can trump whatever else you might have been about to do. I’m glad to see it’s alive and well in the Emulator.

Turns out the Graul Mangler baby is pretty rare. I wasn’t able to find any info on it and nobody else had seen one before. It is now level 39 (compared to the level 35 normal mauler), so not much help because you can’t pull him out with another graul since Master CH is limited to 70 levels of pets. Baby stats below. I’ll try to remember to take a shot of the grown-up stats.

mangler_statsIf anyone knows or remembers anything interesting about these guys, do let me know in the comments.

Another couple of I’m-a-Master-CH-aren’t-I-awesome screenshots and we’ll move on. Note that those maulers are baby sized; they’re about three times that now.

Graul_babies

Ysh_MasterCH

In more recent news, the Donkey Business crew has finally decided to join an existing player association, SWG-University or <SWG-U>. In an amazingly Luddite turn of events, SWG-U doesn’t have its own website *gasp!*, but they are nonetheless an excellent, friendly, helpful and fun group of people, at least the ones I met. Their basic tenet appears to be identical to mine in most respects, i.e. “Don’t be a dick” — except I’m more exclusive (Just DON’T be a dick) whereas in the EMU, SWG-U is more “Don’t be a dick with characters in our guild” — which is about all they can control anyway, so it makes sense. A few Donkeys have already moved to the PA’s town on Lok (University Campus), and I plan on doing so as soon as time allows, which should be this week because work and that pesky Real Life game are finally letting up a bit. That’s my Swordsman/Doctor to be, Heloise, admiring the Lokian night sky.

University_Campus_Lok

Speaking of Real Life, here’s one of the reasons I haven’t been able to play much lately:

Twiglet_and_CocoWe rescued two Basenji girls who had to be rehomed together as they are litter-sisters and have only ever known each other. I gather they were supposed to be breeding stock for a puppy breeding operation, but the breeder had trouble finding a male and just gave these girls to a rescue. I guess it’s good that the breeder at least decided to rehome them (she says, trying to be charitable). For those who like dogs, might like Basenjis, and might like to rescue one, here’s the link to the rescue site: Basenji Rescue and Transport (BRAT). Do your research though: these dogs are not for everyone, hence the name of the rescue org.

Because the foster-mom was unable to meet us halfway, we decided to drive up to Missouri and get them, which was an almost 2000-mile round trip and, while fun, totally wore us out. But it’s going very well so far — the new girls get on really well with our dogs but are quite wary around people, especially the black one – who as the pic shows is not easy to catch on camera.

So that’s one of the things I’ve been busy with lately, why I haven’t played much, and why I haven’t blogged much. Hopefully the next few weeks will be a bit less frenetic. I wouldn’t mind having time to log into WoW again either…

 

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.

SWG – poor me

I’ve been sick as a slicehound all day today. Of course I have, it’s that MMO gaming rule again: I made time to play last night and the server crashed. Made time to play this morning and spent it wanting to pray to the porcelain god instead. All the fun of being drunk without the drinking part. Ho hum.

Nonetheless, Ysharros the Mundungo-Creature-Whisperer-to-be got lucky in the couple of hours I did manage. As soon as I got in I headed to Mos Espa on Tatooine — I have no idea why, it’s just where I felt I should go to look for critter-babies. And indeed as soon as I step out of town the first creature I see is a baby mynock. TAMED!

mynockbaby

Mynock baby!

 

A little further on I spot a Rill baby… TAMED!! Actually, that one was harder. It was more wary of me, possibly because I killed its parents before I noticed it was in the group. Ahem. /mask_scent to the rescue!

Rillbaby

Rill baby!

It took me 2 seconds to remember the commands I used to use for attack, follow and store (shockingly they are attack, follow and sleep (which I preferred back then and don’t mind now)). Getting xp through combat was going to prove something of a challenge, however, given that these babies have a whole 33 hit points…

But then I spotted a bio-engineered non-CH pet store… And then I spent ALL MY HARD-EARNED MONEY on a bio-engineered bluurg. Because I used to have one and this guy looked just like him. TAMED!!! He lost most of his stats, of course, but I’d never have been able to tame a bluurg at this stage even if I could remember what planet they come from.

Boozy beggar

Vegas baby!! (Also, Boozy beggar.)

I’m thinking of going with philosopher names for my pets this time. One needs a theme, and given how I felt today it seemed appropriate — I intend of course to be guided by The Philosopher Song for my selections. I can’t actually name them in-game yet (need a fourth command and eleventy-zillion CH XP), but we’ll get there.

Last but not least a comparison of the client graphics with SweetFX and without. Looks better don’t it? The backpack and hair textures are pretty good.

SweetFXNow back to feeling sick and sorry for myself.

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!

 

 

 

Sims 4 Chariots of the Sims

So this happened in last night’s play session.

Abducted by aliens

I stopped there because cliffhanger! (and because apparently I could), so it’ll be interesting to see what – if anything – happens to Yvana during her stay on the mothership. It’s a rabbit-hole, so all I can tell is that her needs aren’t changing.

What if she comes back *gasp* pregnant?!

Sims 4 Expansion Goodness

The whole Sims franchise is like a well-oiled juggernaut of simmish addiction, at least for those of us who play. Every new version of the game launches with a very small set of features compared to the mature (and much-expanded) version it’s replacing, and then feeds us expansions and stuff packs several times a year to keep our enthusiasm whetted and our wallets empty.

Or maybe it’s just me. I didn’t play the Sims 1 or 2 very much at all, but 3 hooked me at launch in 2009 and is the single-player game I go back to the most frequently. Or was, since it’s now been replaced by the Sims 4. Which launched its first expansion — Get To Work — this week.

I haven’t had a chance to explore absolutely everything or even a small fraction of everything, and if you want that kind of coverage you’re probably already reading Carl’s site. (I can’t imagine being a Sims player and not knowing that place. It’s like being a WoW player and not knowing WoWHead.) But what I have tried out is surprisingly fun, even if the novelty is likely to wear off in about 6 months… Just in time for the next expansion. Like I said, well-oiled machine.

All I’ve tried so far is the Detective career, which is pretty much like any procedural you’ve ever watched on TV complete with clue analysis, crime map, and good-cop / bad-cop suspect interrogations. It’s fun. It won’t be fun forever, but it beats watching the clock roll round while you wait for your Sims to emerge from their career rabbit-holes. The only thing that worries me a bit is that there appears to be almost no career progress when you don’t accompany your Sim to their ‘active career’, but I guess that’s the downside to what appears to be slightly quicker progression than the standard ‘vanish off to work’ careers.

Working DetectiveGiven that I tried what I thought would be the least fun career first (the new ones are Detective, Doctor and Scientist) I’m hopeful the other two will be quite entertaining and perhaps a little less repetitive. The major problem with the detective career is that it’s not exactly demanding of the little grey cells, at least as far as the player is concerned. But then again, the Sims was never conceived to be demanding in that particular sense.

The other thing I’m trying out is Retail, where you can open (or buy) a store and sell pretty much anything you can think of that’s buyable in the game. Old Sims 2 players apparently really missed that feature, and I can see how it would be fun, but I haven’t been able to do much with it yet. It requires a fairly sizeable cash investment even if you’re building your own store rather than buying an existing one, and if you don’t use cheats (which I could have, I suppose, but it didn’t occur to me in this case) it takes a while to build up that kind of money. And it really makes the expansion earn its title, because one of your Sims has to be in the store to manage it when it’s open, so my current household of two roomies who each have a ‘real’ job have been spending their weekends at the store, wondering what happened to their already-precious free time.

My wannabe retail mogul is Yvana Trumpe, because Yvana Sellyoustuff seemed a bit tacky. There she is eating one of the first meals she ever made, which looks disturbingly like Soylent Green.

Soylent Green is people!

Soylent Green is people!

She’s also an author, but her real aspiration is to have a pool filled with Simoleons that she can bathe in. That’s on hold for a bit (I’d forgotten Sims can change their aspirations whenever they want if you’re not playing under the Legacy rules), but it’ll be back. Someday that store will make money, and Yvana will have an army of children lackeys to run the store for her while she bathes in bills.

(I lie. Yvana is really nice, and her roomie Rebecca is really nice too. I can’t play nasty Sims. I tried locking them in their original basement room by deleting the stairs out but I couldn’t stand their piteous mewling for more than a Sim-hour. I’m weak.)

(I lie twice. They didn’t mewl. They turned on the boom-box and danced, and I still felt bad and let them out. I even let them live above-ground now.)

 

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