Friday, February 20, 2015

Still Sailing

The Loonetta

I'm on a roll, but I'll never make up for losing almost two years of blogging.

So I added a couple more boats to my collection: The T-12, finally, from Trudeau Classic Yachts. I don't know why I missed that one but it's a perfect small boat for skimming mainland waters, or just going out with one friend. Yeah, it holds more than one, but I like it for smaller groups. I got the party boat (the New York 30) for that reason - partying with lots of friends.

I've also added a Loonetta, finally. I'd been eyeing that boat for some time and it's just a marvelous bit of engineering. So many places to sit and so many animations! I love the steering animations when you stand at the helm. It's just a quality machine.

At the Helm of the Loonetta
It's a different experience from sailing a Trudeau and honestly, I prefer Jackie's method for sailing when in control of the ship. Maybe I just need more practice but it's not something I'm used to and I think the sail luffing looks better on the Trudeaus. The Loonetta is a perfect boat for cheating easy sailing, though, with the motor. My life is stressful enough, sometimes you just need to chill.

  Chillin' Out

Pics are from a casual cruise around Corsica and over to Gaeta.  I started off at Tradewinds, but I really want to comment on Danshire Yacht Club, over in my old nemesis, Knaptrackicon.

Danshire Yacht Club

Quite the difference from this 2009 photo:


My thoughts at the time:
Lovely sim, eh? Well this bitch is nigh impassable. These folks have access to 2 protected Linden ocean sims, north and south. But they apparently don't like seeing all the pretty sailboats come through, because they haven't bothered to leave enough open land to let that happen. There is a very narrow strip in the west that I had to edit myself through, because not only is it shallow, there are things there that obstruct passage. I need to double check that, but it was pretty convincing to me when I couldn't pass this one particular papyrus that the plant was solid. I'll try again in the Leetle Cat, because the Ketch has a pretty deep keel. Overall, it's just a DICK MOVE.
Change can be very, very good.

To Recap...

It's been a long time since I've written anything.

I know I needed to, but I've just been mentally preoccupied even when nothing was going on.  It's just a block, it happens.

Minx Visits Beforehand
So in the past almost two years, I'd finished playing at Mystara and joined a new historical sim.  I had replaced Cristalle with a lovely Avariel named Liriel, of whom I have some great pictures.

Liriel was supposed to take Cristalle's place as Tyaro/Diplomat, but that plan changed when she applied to own the Vanya Sulie and she became the Keeper instead.  I stuck that out for almost a year, but then I began playing in Wystenra, a historical sim set in a fictional country on the European continent.

Edmund & Anne
I found a love for all things not magical, as I felt like magic was being abused to keep people alive when they probably should have died.  I understand that people get attached to their characters, but I'm more attached to stories and magic as the constant means to evade death became a turnoff to me.  I'm not singling anyone out, a ton of people do it, and I find it more than a little lame.  The amount of fruit that Cristalle's death bore was amazing to me, and even just a few haunting scenes were enough to make those of us involved teary eyed and runny nosed.  There is power in consequences, and yet that power is often abdicated.

Unfortunately, Wystenra also closed near the end of 2014 due to some unfortunate rl circumstances with the sim owner.  But it was a great time, with many wonderful stories and a few friendships to come out of it, some of them very special to me.

After 6 months of ambiguity in Wystenra, I decided it was time to commit to working on something that came to me over the summer, an idea that began to grow.  That has resulted in me now running my own rp sim, Lightbridge, also historical but in a different place and time from Wystenra and with very different rules. In a way it's more rigid about the realism, as the thing I want to capture is that consequences matter and the choices we make in rp matter over time.  But upon further introspection, I realize that maybe I take the difficulty of the character generation process for granted, and I am mulling over some ways to make that easier for people to just get in and play.

Lightbridge Docks
Running your own sim is difficult, and you need good help.  That isn't easy to find, and sometimes even if you have good help you just need more.  It's rewarding but also a source of stress.  I'm very proud of the build I put together for Lightbridge, as it is on a homestead and the prim limits are very tight.  It's months of work and love and that's before you even let anyone else in.

City Square
So that brings me to the announcement that Mystara is closing, which makes me sad.  Few sims could ever match it in its beauty and all current pretenders to the throne pale in comparison.  This is not to denigrate anyone's hard work, but Mystara is a visually stunning sim that is currently unparalleled and it is a shame to see it broken up and sold off.  You couldn't ask for a better physical environment in which to roleplay.

The new village, at night
That's the one constant feature of Second Life, though: change.  Everything eventually goes away, and something new comes to take its place sometimes.  Some things and sometimes some people are lost forever, as they are irreplaceable.  We take things for granted in our youth but even youth fades and life can be taken from us while we are still young. I wish Annie well and I expect that in time Mystara will be back in some shape or form.

So now, on to Lightbridge... and yes, I'm still sailing.