Wednesday, May 19, 2010

News!

I won the Gnomeageddon 10 step contest, I've resubscribed to WoW, Bleach is an awesome show, Just Cause 2 is too much fun, and Cataclysm is coming! With Cataclysm on the way, and my recent gaming focused on Just Cause 2 I have some catching up to do. First, reserve the names for new characters I'll be rolling; second, level my sub-80 characters especially the Mage; third, finish Loremaster on my Druid; and finally, hoard crafting resources to try out the profession changes. With the new Battleground finder, leveling the Mage should be especially fun. Loremaster shouldn't be too difficult to finish since the Albino Drake is already in my possession, and can't distract me anymore with it's promise of just a few more mounts to go. 
I feel a little guilty about the number of unpublished posts for this blog. I'm going to break out my slash-and-burn editing skills, and push a few of them out. They may not be as great as I would like them to be, but they should be decent enough. That will also give me time to think out some future posts.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nazzle's Shady Grotto Rehabilitation Clinic

This is my entry for Gomeaggedon's contest. Link

Realizing there was a market for rehabilitating Warlocks that was
largely unexploited, the beneficent goblin Nazzle decided to step in
to help with this problem at a large profit for himself. For maximum
effectiveness and profitability we follow the three S'es: Security,
Speed, and Profit. To cover security, we chose a remote cave system to
house our facilities, and caved in the entrance. The only way in or
out is through a portal, so escape is much cheaper to prevent. We also
reverse-engineered the Summoning prevention system used at Tempest
Keep on the off chance that one of our patients manages to bribe
another Warlock. We also have a deal with the Sha'tari Skyguard for
specially trained Nether Ray's to inhibit spell casting, and in
extreme cases provide shock therapy.

For speed we have a specially designed "10 Steps to Freedom" program.
Step 1 - Bag and Demon Removal: We do this to ensure our patient will
not have access to soul shards, remove their dependency on Demons, and
help cut all ties to their old Warlock way of life. This process
usually requires some force, but any damage done will just make Step 2
that much quicker. Part of our Nether Ray training is specifically
designed to prevent Imp summoning as well, and all our patients are
accompanied by at least three Nether Rays at all times.

Step 2 - Death: Warlocks rarely go long without a soul stone, and the
quickest way to remove this is death. It may sound cruel, but we have
trained healers on call to provide resurrection if necessary. Tough
love is much quicker and effective, and time is money.

Step 3 - Fire: Fire has a cleansing effect in nature, and even Druids
approve it's controlled use in forests to clear brush and rejuvenate
the area. At NSGRC we use fire as a form of rehabilitation. It's used
extensively in Step 2, and we use fire spells as a link crossing the
gap between Warlock and Mage. We have counseling sessions where our
patients are allowed to decimate target dummies with fire spells.
These sessions are lead by Mages and are used to train our patients
some of their first Mage spells. Accidents do happen, and our healers
are well trained in treating burns.

Step 4 - Food/Water: Our patients are only allowed to eat and drink
what they can conjure themselves. This does lead to some dehydration
and starvation, but fasting is used by many races throughout Azeroth
to clear the mind. This also cuts down our costs, and increases
profitability. Our on-call healers do provide resurrection when
necessary.

Step 5 - Falling: When choosing our location we ensured that an area
would be available for Slow Fall training without taxing our
overworked healers. The 50 foot waterfall works nicely, and the pool
at the bottom catches the slow learners. Some of our patients are a
bit hesitant about jumping, but a little shock from our Nether Rays is
more than enough to get them over the edge. We have a Water Elemantal
in the pool at the bottom to provide an icy incentive to learn
quickly, and provide an introduction to Step 6.

Step 6 - Ice: Besides the waterfall pool, we also have several Water
Elementals employed in a refrigeration cave. After several sessions
with our fire counsellors from Step 3, our patients tend be
enthusiastic about attending a session that does not involve burning.
This tends to be the most calming part of the rehabilitation as brain
functions tend to slow down considerably at the temperature maintained
in the refrigeration room. In order to cut down on frostbite, these
sessions involve games of musical chairs with chairs made entirely of
ice, and the loser being trained first hand on encasing themselves in
an ice block.

Step 7 - Polymorph: Once a patient has demonstrated their ability to
feed themselves, we transfer the feeding of their Nether Ray guards to
them as well. Like all caves this one is home to a large contingent of
Trogs, but Trogs are not one of a Nether Rays preferred foods. A
simple polymorph however will provide the Nether Ray with edible food,
and being awoken in the middle of the night by three hungry Nether
Rays provides significant incentive to learning quickly.

Step 8 -  Blink: At this point in the program, the patient is eating
regularly again and has the caloric energy to participate in our
obstacle course. This course is specifically designed so Blink is
required to complete it without falling down a crevasse or being
caught by one of the more dangerous obstacles. Knowledge of fire and
ice magic will also provide an edge on completing the course quickly
and safely. These races are telecast so you can check up on your
soon-to-be Mage friend, and of course we have goblins available to
take bets on the outcome.

Step 9 - Arcane: The arcane Mages we have employed are rather
secretive about their counseling methods, but with the results they
have provided their requests for soundproofing and one way locks on
the doors seem very reasonable. Their record for injuries is also
lower than any other two sessions put together, and the few cases of
partial polymorphation have all been adequately corrected.

Step 10 - Teleportation: This is the final step of the process, and
ensures that our service is guaranteed. Patients are not permitted to
leave until they can teleport themselves out. After our therapists
have deemed the patients ready to return to society, all therapy
sessions are doubled and sleep is forbidden.

Profit is always a part of any Goblin enterprise and NSGRC is no
exception. For the low price of just 20,000 gold we include an
exclusive restraint and pick up service. Our ten step program is
guaranteed to turn any Warlock into a functioning member of society as
a Mage. For legal purposes NSGRC is classified as a prison, but please
remember we treat all our patients with the utmost care. Our legal
status just allows us to rehabilitate our patients that much more
quickly and cheaply than the competition. So please tell your friends,
but please keep Warlocks in dark. The element of surprise is a very
effective therapy tool.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Colonia Magika: Lore

Discussion on Hardcore Casual about PvP systems sparked an idea for a DAoC-like game, and I'm writing it out here. This is just a barebones storyline and design, but I may expand on it. 
A group of three colony ships approach the solar system where they will all be starting a new life, a new Earth. The trip has taken years, but with stasis fields even the crew only aged a few months each by rotating shifts. The leaders and science teams have come out of stasis early to ensure that the landing and revival of the rest of the passengers goes smoothly. The theoretical physicists are especially excited about the approach since it was estimated that the solar system chosen could contain dark matter. Everything goes as planned as they enter the system, but when they enter orbit around the target planet the controls on the ships start to malfunction. Communication between the ships is down, and emergency landing plans are put into action. Unfortunately, the closer they get to the planet surface the less control they have over the ships. Although they miss their mark on the planned landing areas, the pilots do manage to get the ships down with only minor exterior damage and no casualties. The stasis fields started going down with the other systems, and the next few hours are chaos as the newly revived colonists are apprised of the situation. The livestock and other perishables stored in stasis must be taken care of as well.  
This is where the story diverges with each ship's landing location, passenger personalities, and extent of damage the ship took while landing yield vastly different story lines. This draft is getting a bit old(almost a month) so more story may come later.         

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Stockholming Myself

I've started the Stockholming Project as seen on Temerity-Jane.com.
Go here if you are interested.
Here is a little backstory about why I'm doing it. Back in high school I was very active: bicycling, roller blading, walking home from school most days, camping and hiking with the scouts, etcetera. I weighed around 130 pounds and although I was skinny, I did have some muscular definition. After graduating, starting to work full time, and moving out of my parent's house I discovered some things. TV is much better with cable and without parental supervision, video games are much more fun with a fast computer, and the Internet is more than just email. This led to spending more free time inside, but with a labor-intensive warehouse job I still managed to stay at around 125 pounds. Over the next few years I continued to spend more and more free time inside, and after a few promotions at work I got into an office/desk job. I am currently at 120 pounds. Wanting to get back into an active lifestyle, and getting some of my physique back has been in the back of my mind for a little while, and two recent occurrences have prompted me to take action. First, the Stockholming Project made me really look at my whole body in the mirror for the first time in a long time. Second, my SO and I were at his sister and her husband's apartment for a little birthday party for their kid. We were playing the new Super Mario Bros for the Wii, and my niece was leaning against my shoulder when she said that my shoulder wasn't a very good pillow. It was a funny little comment from a tired kid, but it did stick in that place at the back of my mind with the Stockholming Project. So now I have an exercise plan: upper body on Monday, Wednesday, Friday; lower body on Tuesday and Thursday; and bicycling on Saturday and Sunday. This may all sound vain and 10 pounds may not sound like much, but that was 7.69% of my original weight.      

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dragon's Eve: Modules Part 1

The module system in Eve is used to customize the capabilities and attributes of a ship. At first glance this would appear to best translate into a gear system, but there are several problems with that. For example, a typical battleship has about 20 slots spread between three different types of slots. Your typical fantasy hero only wears 10 pieces of gear, and that is counting each boot and glove separately. Also, a typical battleship can field 6 to 8 weapons simultaneously, but your typical fantasy hero only wields one or two weapons at most. So I decided to use a rune system for the translation. Like in Eve, runes will come in high, medium, and low power types, and the fitting requirements CPU and power grid will translate into rune affinity and rune power. In review, bodies will have a set number of rune slots that can be fitted with runes as long as the body has enough rune affinity and power to use them. Now for the details about different types of slots.

With the large variety of modules I will only be covering high power slots in this post, and will have another post or two covering medium and low power slots. Since the vast majority of high slots are weapon systems I'll cover the four main weapon types first. In order to translate weapon systems accurately the damage types have to be defined first. However, damage is damage whether it is caused by magic or technology so there isn't much to translate. EM is electrical, thermal is fire, kinetic is physical, and explosive is explosive. First, laser weapons cause mostly EM damage with a little thermal damage, and lightning causes mostly electrical damage with a little fire damage. Lasers use crystals as ammunition, and this doesn't need any translation. Lightning runes will require a crystal to focus their energy, and different crystals will provide varying range and fire damage. Next, projectile weapons and missile launchers cause varied types of damage and have a varied range depending on the ammunition. They don't require any energy to use, and a magic arrow or magic missile rune will do the same. The runes will require enchanted ammunition that provides the power for it's usage, and the rune will just be used to activate it. The only difference between the two is that arrows will just fire in the direction of the target, but missiles will actually follow the target. Finally, hybrid weapons require power to activate, use up ammunition to cause only thermal and kinetic damage, and hybrid arrow runes will do the same.

The other two high slot weapon types are Bomb Launchers and Smartbombs. Mana Bomb runes will take the place of Bomb Launchers, and function similarly to magic missiles. Only instead of following the target, bombs go in a straight line in front of you and explode at a set range. Smartbombs will become Aurora runes causing damage to everyone and everything within a set range of your character. I left out most of the details for these weapons like amount of damage, exact range, and the myriad different types of ammunition, but the only translation to those will be scaling down from spaceship size to human size. There will still be two versions of the main weapons for long and short range, meta/tech levels for the damage multipliers, and the balance between the weapons will remain the same. Now onto other high power slot items including mining lasers, drone upgrades, cloaking devices, interdiction sphere launchers, tractor beams, salvagers, energy vampires/destabilizers, and remote repair systems. The mining lasers and drone upgrades will be covered in general articles for mining and drones respectively. Cloaking devices, energy vampires/destabilizers, and remote repair systems will translate directly with the only change being their names, scale, and they use magic instead of technology. Tractor beams and salvagers will be covered in a salvaging/loot article, and interdiction sphere launchers will be covered in an article on warping. I'm pretty sure that is all the major types of high slot modules, but if anyone can think of others please leave a comment.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dragon's Eve: The Avatar

Avatar, a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet. In Eve Online the image most identifiable as a player's representative is their ship. So that is what I'm using as the avatar in Eve for the purpose of this translation. The avatar in most fantasy games is the body of the character you play so for the translation a ship becomes a body. There are ten different factions of ships in Eve, and here is where the first decision is made. Should there be elves? Should each faction of ships be a different mythical race, or should they all be human? Personally I think playing as a mythical race is one of the more interesting parts of gaming. So in Dragon's Eve each faction of ship will be translated into a different race.

Ships are further categorized by 13 main classes and 19 secondary classes. These would be translated into different tiers of society such as soldier, scout, miner, trader, etc. I'll go into further details about which faction and ship class will translate into what in another post. The attributes of the ships are more easily translated. Shields and armor will stay the same but magical instead of technological, structure is replaced with health, and the capacitor is replaced with energy/mana. I haven't quite figured out the details for the module system, but once I do it will go in another post. The pod and clone mechanic would translate into a ghost system.

In summation, you will be able to swap bodies like you would swap ships in Eve, and there will be a choice of different racial bodies and societal roles to choose from. If your body is destroyed you will pop out as a ghost instead of a pod, and if your ghost is destroyed you will show up at the spiritual facility you interred your extra ghost at. Don't forget to update your ghost.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What is Dragon's Eve?

Dragon's Eve is what I call my translation of Eve Online from science fiction to fantasy. Like all translations not everything can be translated exactly, and there are a few differences that will not be entirely necessary but in my opinion would make it a better game. There is very little chance this game will ever be made, but it will be a interesting thought exercise and an in depth exploration of the mechanics that drive Eve. It might even convince some people to try Eve that wouldn't otherwise, and maybe help a few people get further along the steep learning curve. The first article I'm going to do will be about how the ships would be translated into avatars.