Thursday, November 19, 2015

Moar Than Meets The Eye...

~or “Tur Explores a New Verse, on Foot… (and brings his camera!)”
I logged into Star Citizen last night after a bit of trouble with the client. I could not find a reason but the Launcher would not install the client. Finally used “Run as Admin” and that solved the issue. This was, essentially, my first real exploration of SC as the few times I had logged on before I just boofed around the hangar, checking out my ship, the Aurora MR, that’s me up there, ol Tur, sittin in my Aurora in the hangar bay… (I highly recommend you watch the… commercial).

My Aurora MR "Ignobilium"
OK, so initially I was boofing around in the Hangar and checking out my singleship, trying out the camera, looking for good shots to capture the moment as twere. The First Person aspects… are definitely in the Win column. Walking around the world, entering your ship like you would IRL, climbing in through the airlock, taking a seat in the cockpit or climbing into your bunk. Yes, I said
climbing into your bunk.
"Feenominal Cosmic Spasship!!  itty bitty living space..."
The Aurora has a by the gods bunk in the back and you can get in it to ‘sleep’ (IE logoff)… schweet. One thing I want, I want name my ship. In EVE we can do this as a mechanic in the game, in ED we can’t and I don’t see a Ship Name option offered in SC… that one goes in the Boo column.

The Captain's Quarters, Star Citizen style...
Anyhoo, so I ended up wandering around the Hangar Bay and found the door out… Yes Virginia, in Star Citizen before the game has even been released, the Door works. Ironic huh? So I found that there is a short corridor, really just a largish airlock, between the Hangar and… well, a city. Or at least several blocks of a city. I walked through Customs, with the std non-interactive mannequin NPCs and out into the Area 18 courtyard in ArcCorp City on Stanton III, keeping in mind that ArcCorp City is, well, the whole damn planet (this is the alpha of the Social Module in SC). It was… impressive to say the least…

View from the lobby between the Hangar Bay and Area 18...
Now here is where the fun begins. First thing I did was do the tourist thing… you know, wander around with my head on a swivel and my pie hole open catching alien flies of course until I saw a stairway leading up to another level. I thought to get a better overall view from there and started up it… and when I veered a bit to the right to look over the railing… I fell through a glitch. Yup… fell right through the effin railing to a ledge I could neither jump or climb up from nor safely jump or climb down from. Frak. I spent a quite a while there… enjoying the view, wondering if I was gonna die, and knowing that, in SC, you are NOT immortal… (moar on that little bit of depressing news later…) So, yup… in my first 10 minutes logged into SC I had gotten myself stuck onna ledge that… well, watch your feet, cause that first step is a fukkin doozy…

Damn computer glitches...
Anyhoo… I explored both sides of the ledge and jumped and jumped trying to climb up until my mouse finger, well, dint bleed actually but you know what I mean… until I gave up. Then I tried, very carefully, to see if I could jump down to another, lower ledge… you know, just in case there was another way around or… nope. YYYYYAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaa! Splat.

Well. That was interesting, and you wake up (respawn) in a hospital... LOL
Having inadvertently figured out life and death in the big city, now we get to the fun part… exploring!

Ye Olde Gunne Shoppe...
The anticipation I felt when I saw a gun shop across the courtyard was… well, I’m an American and as so many of my EU friends have said, “You Americans and your love affair with guns!” (said with a sneer in a strong British accent) The which always strikes me as very strange when said in chat in a WAR GAME like EVE or in an FPS… You know, a First Person SHOOTER game, in which you SHOOT people… a lot of people, with guns and machine guns and lasers and rocket launchers and tanks FFS… but they have an ‘issue’ with me ‘liking ‘real guns… sheesh.

But yes, I do have a strong interest in firearms… I have been a hunter all my life, since I was 8, I have been a target shooter, a registered PI, a gunsmith and a firearms instructor… so yeah, I have an interest in firearms, virtual or real and a gunshop in a spaceship game… well hell, of course I’m excited! Until I went inside…

We are not impressed...
What is with game Devs vision of stores in the future? Why do ALL of them have HUGE wide open aisles with a vast amount of empty floorspace?? No retailer worth his weight in Vaduul ears would ever allow so much wasted space! I know whereof I speak, I used to be a gunshop manager FFS!! There were like 17 guns on the rack in this shop… I had in one shop easlily HALF the floor space of ‘Cubby Blast’ (effin ‘tarded name there BTW) and 10 times that many guns!! Not to mention aisle racks loaded with holsters, cleaning kits, knives, hunting kit and gee-gaws and tons of military surplus gear and ammo shelves!

So, disappointed I was and am… Could not actually buy a gun, could not use the range, couldn’t even find a door for it and the asshat behind the counter was a mannequin and the counters… don’t get me started about the counters!!  EMPTY!! Has anyone ever seen store counters as devoid of merchandise, outside of Russia at the height of the cold war?? I haven’t… so much work needs to be done here!! But at least the posters were cool.

Schweet! Long damn time for a meme to last though...   =P
OK, so next up… G~Loc! A swanky-low-brow-spacer bar. Granted ‘twas the middle of the afternoon, so dead was not the word, but, if they ever get to where you can really interact with your avatars, the atmosphere and décor are at least interesting enough… that and I’d love to see this place IRL. Downsides? Wayyyyyyyyy too few bottles for a real bar… Ever been in a real bar? Ever seen just 27 bottles on display or ready to pour? Nope, me neither and what’s with the wall mounted bottle holder/pourer things? What, bartenders of the future can’t do the flippin bottles thing?

Ya just gotta love this sign!
Not bad, nice ambiance...
Where's the bottle rack? Beer glasses? Wine glasses? Shot glasses?
What in Sam Hell are those bottle holder things??
So next up was… a clothing store. I could not give less of a fuck for how my avatar is dressed up. All the people who threw such a fit back in Incarna were all on about how “World of Darkness” was nothing but “Sparkly Barbies”… and while I desperately want FP gameplay in EVE, the ‘dress-up’ part of avatar based gameplay holds absolutely no interest for me, whatsoever… So I walked right past Casabas. Besides, who names these places? Isn’t a Casaba a “…winter seasonal melon of a variety with a wrinkled yellow rind and sweet flesh?” How is that a good name for a clothing store? I mean really?

A wrinkled yellow sweet flesh clothing store... meh.
Onward… Around the courtyard is a stairway leading to a flying walkway over… well, I don’t know how far up we are from the ground or groundfloor of these buildings, but I found I have a fear of railings now in SC… go figure, but the view is stunning. At the end of the skyway was the entrance to Astro Armada. At first, after the shitty names of a few of the business here, I thought the name was a word play on Ramada Inn, like the, you know, the Ramada of the Stars, IE a hotel. But nope… it was a high end spaceship firm. I did take some pix inside but…

First one the name actually means what it says...
You see I was not alone. I haven’t talked about the other players who were there because… well, they have borne out, in full, all of Rixx Javix’s fears about FP avatar gameplay. There were like 1 or 2 at first then I noticed a few more over time. At one point there were like 5 or 6 active in the courtyard and surrounding spaces. ALL of them spent the whole time I was there jumping and jumping and jumping and running full tilt all over the place. And all they wanted to do was find a way, any way, to fuck shit up if at all possible. You see there are these carts, like fancy futuristic golf carts, that spawn now and again in places around Area 18.

Anyway, so you have these golf carts see… and these, players, see… and all they can think of to do is ram them into everything… and everyone… and try and get them to go over the railings… and into the buildings… and so then you get this… see?

Burning wrecked carts and silly jumping hooligans  <facepalm>
Anyway… so while they are all doing exactly as Rixx guessed and acting like pure ‘tarded fools… I went so far as to toggle my avatar to walk mode instead of jog for my leisurely sightseeing stroll around the city and I have been trying to avoid getting any of those idiots in my pix. Needless to say, they were jumping ALL over the showroom model of a schweet single seat fighter on display inside Astro Armada and I didn’t take any pix in there… simply too silly for me. I know these guys are all supposed to somewhere in like their 20s and 30s… but TBH it was like being surrounded by 10 year olds on a serious sugar buzz… I’m 55 and I wanted to enjoy the immersion of such a highly detailed virtual environment… not feel like I was at home with my kids at a birthday party.

OK, back outside of Armada there was an obvious alleyway off to the left of the Armada and stairs leading down to what felt like the edge of town, you know, the poor side of town… the beginning of the back alleys and side streets where scantily dressed 5 credit hookers in eff-me-pumps and men of bad repute live and hang out. At the bottom of the stairs was “Dumpers Depot.”… OMFG… the names are soooo atrocious. Ima write a letter to Roberts I am.

Feels like heading to the poor side of town
So Dumpers Depot is a junkyard and salvage operation on the back side of the courtyard. And low and behold, there is an alleyway leading to the dark, trashy lowrent section of Area 18. I, of course, haddda go take a look see.

The corner of Dumpster and Skid Row
And it was… a full set of back alleys littered with trash and trashbags busted open everywhere and puddles of oily looking water, busted open crates, locked fences, keep out signs, poor lighting, danger, gloom and despair…

The mean streets of Area 18
Garbage disposal in the far far future... man still can't keep his home clean.
But… as dirty and ugly as the back side was, it was also very human and for a virtuality, real enough. There is another courtyard accessible back there… with signs proclaiming “Galleria Retail, Coming Soon!”… and that block of closed off, under construction buildings faces this view…

Not bad…

Nope… not bad at all at all… Yeah… I’ll be coming back, oh yes I will.  =]

Fly reckless and see you at the Bar =/|)=


  1. LOL, nice post Tur. Guess I will dig out my clown outfit for when I decide to log in and take a tour of the birthday party.


  2. Yeah... it was embarrassing. Don't get me wrong, it's a game environment an all... I get that… but damn, I guess I’m different that way, if it’s not a war zone or an active battle zone, than IMHO why act the fool? I pray the devs do give us a walk/jog toggle cause I actually was jogging everywhere I went too, I just stayed in FP perspective so I didn’t see myself running hither and tither like all the rest… but unlike most of them I did not jump all around like chimpanzees on LSD…

    And what the hell is up with that? Why do some players key the “W” and “Jump” as though they were a single key binding so they jump everywhere they go?? Looks idiotic and can’t make the world you are in look or feel more immersive… I know some just don’t care and it’s ‘just a game’ and it’s all ‘just pixels’… but damn man, it just looks silly unless you’re in a Quake deathmatch.

    I have a hope that we will mature into enjoying the immersive nature of MMO’s as they grow in complexity and depth… but I do worry about how internet anonymity fosters juvenile behavior and just how much fun can one have virtually sitting in a bar, while actually sitting alone at home. The problem is it’s not real… and people get bored IRL as it is, being bored IVL would be… well, boring. So they cut up and act a fool in way not acceptable IRL…

    Sheesh… no wonder they don’t sell any guns at the gunshop… =\


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