Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cruising, Dungeoneering, Weeping

Let's start with that first one ...

Cricket's not going that great at the moment. We're currently looking at an almost certain Aussie win to tie the series, unless England can pull off something extraordinary to first survive or something very odd to win. Too many runs ahead and a batting lineup that can do wonders but more often suffers fragility.

In any case, it's potentially a long grind to a draw or a depressing slide to a loss. Unless it rains ! Come on rain ! And the target is going to be a sporting 509 in just over 5 sessions. That's actually doable on runs per session but incredibly difficult because the pitch gets more unpredictable.

Come on England ! I won't get to see the end because I'll be at work tomorrow.

Dungeoneering ? I've been checking out a charming new game.
It's called Guild of Dungeoneering and I've had a few emotions so far :

Laughter - at listening to the opening song (yes, it has an opening song)
Sniggers - at chuckling along to the minstrel narrator
Frustration - at having my dungeoneers die over and over (see later pic)
Yey ! - at finally beating a dungeon
Rejoicing ! - as you name a character "The Minstrel" and kill it

It's a game that has you building up a dungeon, putting rooms in, putting treasure in and adding monsters. Your dungeoneers head towards the best treasure they can see, so part of the challenge is making sure they don't head for the big boss at the end before they're ready. Because this game is pretty hard. But also quite fun and I've been enjoying it so far.

Even if my graveyard after just one session is like :
Oops. I've not been playing that long either. A few people might recognise names there. I have a C-Kitten in my guild as a cat burglar. But I've not killed them yet. I've been looking to use names from people I know but ... I'm really bad at it so far ! I don't want to kill you.

Sleepy's a chump (first character type you get) but I've managed to not kill that one yet.

It's going to be one of my chill out games and ... It'll run on the Macbook too. One thing about the Macbook Air, it's a wonderful little machine but to make it that small and have that much battery life, the processor is wound back a bit in speed. So I wouldn't consider trying to run Elite on it but less demanding games ? Yep, it'll handle those pretty easily.

Cruising ? I just mentioned Elite ...

I not long ago got to the assets level where I could buy a well equipped version of the second biggest ship. The Type 9 freighter, dubbed "The Drugged Sloth". That was surprisingly good in combat, fitted so it was bristling with weapon turrets (and could have done better) so I didn't have to point at pesky pirates to shoot them. But I wasn't enjoying the flying. I wasn't enjoying the trading that much either, as I was following quite an old trading route that wasn't totally accurate.

I think that sums up something about me - I don't like guaranteed success where I'm ploughing a path that someone else has done before. I like new things. I like fresh experiences. Although, I'll also fall into comfortable routine where I don't have to think about what I'm doing.

So with my Elite experience, I like flying around the galaxy doing new things in different places. Imagine if you will, a pilot going from one station to the next and stopping off to see what's unique about that particular place.

So when I logged off yesterday, my pilot was in the Heike system, propping up the bar looking out at the stars. (I logged off in a small outpost, not much to see there). A lot of that is imagination though, it's not in game yet. That may be a good thing because most of the time games attempt to outreach their targets, they mess up badly and make something awful. There's a couple of high profile competitors to Elite at the moment :

X universe - it first tacked on an industrial system to the game where you needed to build networks of factories and refineries to access the best systems and weapons. BORING !
Star Citizen - is promising all sorts of things like walking in stations, landing on planets. All sorts. They're not likely to deliver until at least 2016 and I think the whole project will fail as vapourware because they're trying to do too much.

Elite started with replicating much of what the earlier game great by keeping the systems simple, while expanding the galaxy around it. You can't be an industrial magnate like in Eve, there aren't massive player blocs which dominate where you can go. You're a little fish in a massive galaxy but you can play as you like in that universe.

I like it. And although I'm not addicted to it, so I'm not spending all of my spare time in it and craving it when I'm not in game (been there, that's not something I want to go back to !), I enjoy that experience of going from place to place, getting the best trades and seeing all sorts of new places. There's also a bit of hazard and danger from breaking the trade pattern by doing missions that are ... a tad dangerous. Last night I had the rozzers after me because they heard I was smuggling. They didn't like me legging it.

The Drugged Sloth is in its garage at the moment, while I bounce around the galaxy in :
Sleeper Shuttler.

If you read Iain M Banks, you may recognise that name, although I've changed it a little. This ship may be one that I use to lose myself around the galaxy again. Perhaps. But to do justice to the Sleeper Service name, it'll need to be an Anaconda. The ship in the pic is an Asp, which is designed for exploring. The Anaconda is built for being the biggest, meanest ship in the galaxy that will still fit in a space station (there are bigger ships but we can't fly them) but you can also customise it for going off into the Black.

There's one of the popular Elite pilots on the Elite Dangerous Community who has done the run to the centre of the galaxy in about 16 hours in an Anaconda. That triggers a bit of the "Hey ! I can do that too !" And I might try it.

But not just yet. I'll enjoy my cruising, my dungeoneering, my watching of the cricket and ... Biggest of all :

My smile and yey! when a message comes in. And then I'll break from the game and give that Pretty Lady my full attention as I send a message back.

Because real life is far more important and interesting than games. Especially when Pretty Ladies want to talk to you.

And on that thought - cya !

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