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[bass] Status Report 6/2/2013 (813AS)

Well I suddenly realized I haven't done a proper status report since 2011. That's pretty descriptive of where we're at, but not entirely. You see the status reports are primarily used for organized gameplay/battles, ship deployments etc. None of that's happening right now.

I'm still maintaining the Fleet on the 24/7 Freelancer Universe Server. (http://www.freelancer-universe.com.) We still have all our capital ships and LT's. The credits are all there. [bass] is no longer an active clan on FLU, but they're kind enough to let us keep the tags and hardware. Should anyone feel a sudden need to play Freelancer, we've got the gear.

I just created a new ship for personal use. It's a Titan that I've decked out with Diamondbacks and Nomad guns, on the sound basis that they're re-balancing the guns on the server side, in part to make Code Weapons more useful. Plus, it's a throw-back to the early DracO days when they all used at least one for style.

I've gone back to where I started on GOI—Cadiz. I did a startas to get a Corsair rep, got the ship, and now I'm grinding down on Red Hessians until I'm friendly with the Bounty Hunters. Then I might do missions out of Freeport 10 to stock up on Kraikens. Part of the re-balancing made the Thunderbolt weaker than the Kraiken. The T-Bolt is more energy friendly, but I never did see the need for more than 10 seconds of firing time.

They're still working on it, so all that may change tomorrow. But for now there is a plan.

I've also got a few anonymous ships floating around to do missions in Ruiz and such. I'm on more than most people realize, but not as much as I'd like.

Truth be told, between the writing projects I've got going (talesoftheblackknight.com) and the web site work I've got on the side (shutamultimedia.com) and the fact that I've been gainfully employed since 2011, (after nearly a 2 year hiatus on unemployment) I simply haven't had the time to organize and recruit in Freelancer. And after so many years, I have wanted to play some other games.

Most of [bass] is in a similar boat.

I'm still in regular touch with many of the core members, and as far as I know everyone is doing well. We're all still gamers, just moved off in different directions and living life.

I have never solved the mystery of Fleggy's death—real or internet. I'm assuming that it was internet only, and wish him well once again.

I plan to maintain this site and the associated Facebook Page and YouTube Channel on a regular basis, with lots of new content for old members and new fans. There may even be some FL thrown in too.

Oh and FLU is still going strong folks, so stop over if you miss your Eagle. The bar on the Rook is still well stocked.

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Last Updated (Sunday, 02 June 2013 22:51)

 

A Place for My Stuff

Since this is a gaming web site/Facebook page/etc, one can expect that every so often I'll opine on what it is I like about gaming. What aspects of a video game are important to me? What features are necessary for a game to have a long life?

Have I hit enough keywords yet?

So for this blog entry, I'm going to talk about "ownership" in a game.

The other day one of my fellow gamers was telling me about "Dragon's Prophet." It's a new fantasy game that adds a twist in that you train dragons. I know it sounds very Pixar at the onset, but it's aimed at the Wow crowd, who largely accepted the Kung-Fu Panda expansion. 

  It's not all about the concept, it's about the execution. Without all the murder, "Chucky" is a story about a talking doll.

One of the things that caught his eye about this game, is the promise of elaborate player and guild housing. A place to keep your stuff might not seem like a big deal, but ownership—even of imaginary stuff—will vastly extend the life of a game. I know it's a huge factor in my own estimation of a game.

For example, you can only have one home base in Grand Theft Auto 3—and thus only one car. I've hardly played the game. Grand Theft Auto Vice City—which mechanically is very similar—allows you to have multiple properties. Some of those properties have multiple garages. Not only have I completed all the missions, but I've collected an array of rare vehicles, including the army helicopter and the tank. (I got out and pushed the helicopter into the garage, in case you were wondering.)

Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas have the same appeal. Once you get your own, permanent room (or rooms, in the case of New Vegas) you can decorate them with items from the game. I'll grant you the item manipulation mechanic makes Garry's Mod look like a breeze (it's not) but it is there.

Microsoft Freelancer probably has the strongest pull for me. On the FLU server I've got access to a fleet of ships worth billions of credits, most of which (value wise) are [bass] clan assets. I also have a bunch of un-tagged ships that allow me to play as different characters than the ubiquitous [bass]-TheBlackKnight.

There's no player housing per se in this game, but you can land anywhere—reputation restrictions not withstanding. With a bit of imagination, it's not hard to imagine your apartment on Planet New Tokyo, or sparse lodgings in the Corsair base at Cadiz.

I came to the FLU server from the GOI server, and when we all came over we formed the Sentinels clan. It is defunct now, but I've got a bunch of the old [Sent] tagged ships landed at planet Curacao. I rather like to think they're stored at an island fortress in case they're ever needed again. That is the inspiration behind the header graphic on baseandsystemservices.com. I found an island map for Garry's mod, and parked some Freelancer ships there. Since it was clear [bass] was only going to survive if I included more games, I decided to just get silly with the pic. And yes, it took several hours to make that graphic.

There's an expression among gamers, to the effect of "I don't need to get a life—I've got several." All forms of fiction need a setting that feels real. In gaming, giving the player a place that belongs to them, and/or items they can keep enhances this effect. The end result is the game becomes more than a test of hand-eye coordination or puzzle solving skills. It becomes a place to which players can return—where they have their stuff. Players love their pixelated treasures.

Don't believe me? Look at how much Team Fortress 2 players spend on hats.

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Fallout New Vegas: "You'll Know It When You See It Quest" with President Kimball's Speech

It feels like forever since I've uploaded a video, and with good reason. I haven't uploaded anything to the bassTheBlackKnight Youtube Channel since May of 2012!! Nearly a year has passed since I've contributed Machinima to the Vlogosphere!! (Have I been busy? Is the ocean damp? Is the sun warm?) Well, that drought ends today.

It's not a major contribution mind you. Just an annotated walk-through of a Fallout New Vegas Quest. I mostly uploaded it because 1)"Bear Force One" looked cool. and 2) Boone ignored a fellow sniper being thrown off a building.

I had him wait where the Fallout Wikia said the enemy sniper would appear, thinking he'd have that covered. (What? The wikia is the only way to get where you need to go in that game--some of the stuff you have to do to succeed is not intuitive.)

At any rate, you can see what happened here:

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Here's the Youtube description:

This is the quest, "You'll know It When You See It" from Fallout New Vegas, done is such a way that you get to hear President Kimball's speech. Not that it's a great speech, and he has an "off mike moment" at the end where he swears. There's some video-game violence in this video as well--the Fallout series were never meant for kids. So kids! Go somewhere else. There's other stuff to see on the internet that's more appropriate! Shoo! Shoo!!

Highlights? Boone is oblivious to an NCR sniper getting thrown from a roof right in front of him, and you get a great view of the vertibird known as "Bear Force One."

Related Link: http://fallout.wikia.com/

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Last Updated (Sunday, 07 April 2013 01:34)

 
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