Armor

Working in the secrecy of my Combat Testing Facility, hidden deep on the first floor of the basement of my home in Stinging Tree Hollow, I poured over the intricate details of my stolen Kobold plans.

In a recent campaign to the heart of the Kobold city, I made a rather fantastic discovery. While sorting through the nitpicky and humdrum details of some life or death negotiations, I spied the schematics of a new type of armor the Kobolds had in development. Those wily, crooked-thumbed, cave dwellers had come up with something quite diabolical, yet genius.

Amidst the usual distractions of caustic insults and swordplay, I swept the plans into my hat for later perusal in private. If it contained what I hoped, it would advance my wolf smiting prowess by milestones!

In my mental absence, the dispute had been settled through the liberal use of bloodshed and some swift skewering with the lance. Since my work was done, and my aid was no longer desired, I quickly, but casually retreated with the nefarious plans.

By candlelight, I revealed that it was indeed a new type of armor, powered by powerful clockwork gears and driven by a mighty steam engine. When crafted from the right materials it would be brutally strong and nigh impossible to pierce. The wolves would be in for quite a surprise!

Trusting no one with what I had uncovered, I acquired the necessary materials to construct the suit through various underground channels. Away from prying eyes, I toiled at the smelting station through many candlelit nights casting special metal ingot molds, feverishly pounding the specialized metal sheets, and trying to follow the abhorrent handwriting of those Kobolds. How can a race with such abysmal quillmanship advance so far?

As I my secret work continued, I came to the shocking realization that while I had absconded with secret prototype parchments right under the noses of the Kobolds, I had absconded with secret prototype parchments that were incomplete with several fundamental elements missing. I was crestfallen. I was heartbroken. I was undaunted. Common sense had never stopped me before, and it would not be victorious this day.

Using my prodigious powers of deduction and my immense experience at the crafting stations, I formulated and calculated to fill in the missing steps and devised what I believed to be the proper missing parts. To my excitement and bewilderment, the pieces fit together perfectly. Except for the pieces that didn’t, which I merely threw away.

The final and crucial step was intact however, the dangerous, highly unstable, but ludicrously powerful steam engine to power my future suit of devastation. I raised a brow at  it’s placement, hanging at the backside within the leggings, but felt the Kobolds had done enough research to believe this the proper location for maximum power, effect and devastation. It also offered a shapely aspect, which did enhance the overall countenance of the armor.

Late one evening, after several blurry-eyed construction sessions, all my toils came to fruition. I hammered the last of the pieces in to place and stood back to take in the glory of my creation. It was indeed a spectacle to behold and the excitement to head out in to the forest and raise fury with those timber wolves that have taunted me for so long was nearly overwhelming. But I brought restraint to bear, and believed that it would be best to wait for the light of a new day to unveil my creation. The toil of the labor, the fumes of the smithing table and the multiple mugs of ale had gotten the better of me. Plus, I wanted the miserable miscreants to see me coming so their abject fear could wash over me.

However, I simply could not resist trying it on and the privacy of the basement afforded me the space of an initial test run. With eagerness, I donned the suit, stoked the boiler with coal, and made ready the practice dummy.

It was extraordinarily heavy and my first steps toward destruction were tentative and wobbly. It quickly became apparent the leggings would need a more robust heat protective shield, but I quickly became one with the suits movements and with my sword ablaze, reduced the practice dummy to splinters. The clockwork gears gave me amazing mobility and power. My strikes were brutal and effortless. And to prove my new found strength, I lifted the smithing stations with ease.

But alas, I ran into a downside. In my excitement and furor, I instinctively made ready the Immolation. This caused a chain reaction in the power plant of the suit and sent the steam pressure to critical levels.

Unable to dismiss the raging flames, the heat spiraled out of control and there was a mighty explosion in my backside. I was propelled at a frightening pace across the room, crashed violently into the wall, became woefully off balance and toppled over. The boiler gave another deafening explosion, obliterating my underground pumpkin patch.

My buttocks had suffered a catastrophic failure and to make matters worse, the suit’s mass was so great that I couldn’t right myself. I had fallen in the basement and couldn’t get up.

I struggled, thrashed and wrestled to no avail. After an exhausting hour, I came to the saddening conclusion that I would have to extricate myself from the twisted suit in order to rectify the situation. I had been completely immobilized on my first trial run.

My hope had been dashed! My spirit was crushed! In a fit of rage I grabbed the plans and stormed off to confront the Kobolds for their foolish design flaws and lack of attention to detail. I would demand satisfaction and restitution for the numerous salves that would need to be applied to soothe the scalding I had suffered.

But, then I realized confronting the Kobolds over this mishap and their stolen plans could lead to questions I couldn’t answer, even dire consequences and perhaps time in the Clink where they have no salve. Perhaps worse.

Who knows what manner of penal servitude the Kobolds subscribe to? Given their penchant for hostilities, I’m sure it’s quite severe.

As a combat ready weapon of destruction, the suit did not live up to expectations. However, I feel there is a silver lining. Before the great fire, the clockwork gears made me fantastically light on my feet and nimble as a cat. Plus, the metal coloration is quite fetching. Once I have healed, I believe I have found a way to improve the artistry in my dancing style at the next Harvest Festival.

But, salve first.

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I say, this is both devastating, and devastatingly handsome

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Well now, that boiler does heat things up a bit more than I expected. I could use a moist cloth at the moment

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It looks quite dashing from behind, but a few air vents wouldn’t hurt

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

It’s been an all Shroud of the Avatar weekend and I put in quite a bit of time in New Britannia. It took quite some time to get the game updated, but that was to be expected I guess. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one trying to download and update to the latest version.

But enough of that, how did it go?

Well, there was a lot to take in for this new game. There are several new areas and quite a bit to explore. Now that everything is said and done I have quite a few thoughts on the new game.

First, it really does look good. There is a lot of detail in the buildings and objects. The markets look good, the homes are fun to look at an explore – even if they are empty, the conversation is fun to play with – even though answers don’t always match up with what you type and the merchants are a nice added feature – even though it’s a pain in the ass to find them sometimes. Moving from town to town was kind of interesting. It was almost like a board game as you exit the town and move to a board where you click the direction you want to go and a token follows the path of your selection. That actually seems kind of cool and I wonder if it will make it into the final version.

Overall, it was fun to see and things are coming along nicely. I can’t wait to see what else they have in store for us. While I admit it was fun to look around, there wasn’t exactly that much to see.

I found navigating to be a little difficult. I really don’t like the tilting camera idea and the constant need to hold W to get anywhere. I find it pretty tedious after just a few minutes. I’m used to navigating in the old Diablo style where you click an area and your character goes there. You click again and he keeps walking. When you get to a door you click it and it opens. Running everywhere and then tilting the camera all over the place is sort of maddening. It’s actually one of the main reasons I didn’t like and ultimately didn’t play Dungeon Siege. It was a chore to navigate and I don’t like that. I guess I’ll have to get used to it for SotA since that is the way it’s designed.

Another issue like I mentioned, there simply wasn’t anything to do. It really was just wandering around in circles for hours on end. I occasionally saw people jump in the game, but they would disappear just as quickly. There was actually a pretty fun moment when Lord British and FireLotus showed up in the game on Saturday night, but the conversation went kind of off the rails and I lost or got kicked out of the conversation. I never did hook back up with them again.

At one point I made it into some tunnels and saw the combat engine in action. I was neither impressed or amused. To be honest, it sucked. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to work or even if it’s hooked up yet, but every time I came across something I would end up face down in the dirt. I found some skeletons and we then went through the motions of swinging at each other. The whole process felt very slow and awkward. Since I couldn’t find any weapons I just went around trying to punch things in the head. It didn’t work out so well for me in the long run.

I did manage to find some merchants late Saturday night and went back to seek revenge against those damn skeletons, but it didn’t seem to make a different.Equipping a weapon was pretty clumsy and the end result was the same, I was dead on the floor. It was pretty frustrating and I ultimately abandoned my high hopes of completing a quest and kicking the boney ass of some monster.

I didn’t really do anything with crafting simply because I didn’t know how. I didn’t take the time to read any of the recipes so I didn’t know what materials I would need or where to get them. Perhaps I will concentrate on that the next time around.

I did walk around a few houses and had a look at the one I will eventually get. There is a lot of excitement about housing, but it’s not something I’m all that interested in. Maybe that will change once the game is up and running, but for right now decorating a house (even though I will have plenty of items available) isn’t tickling my fancy just yet.

Another thing that had me puzzled was how to dress my character. When I did see other players some of them had tunics and helmets and weapons and boots and all sorts of fancy garb. I was dressed in the default peasant clothes and couldn’t figure out how to upgrade my wardrobe. My pledge level should give me a tunic and lots of other stuff, but where it is the devil only knows. I suppose I’ll have to look into that a little deeper the next go round.

I’m still looking forward to the game, but I guess I didn’t get in there at the right moments. I was sort of on my own without anything to do. I should have spent more time talking to characters like the old days. But oh well, there is always next time. I’ll have to do a better job of getting prepared and maybe check out the forums and some other sites before I jump in the game so I have a better idea of what to do. Maybe I’m too used to the “hand holding” that Lord British has been talking about and that’s why I got a little frustrated.

The game is looking pretty sharp with more and more content added all the time. The future looks bright, I just have to get my Adventurer Mojo working! 🙂

So how did you like the Release 4? What are your thoughts on what it looks like and how it plays? And if you have any tips on what I did wrong and how to get some armor or weapons, by all means, throw me a line!

By the way, here are a few screenshots of a couple neat things I saw while adventuring around.

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I managed to wander into some tunnels and talked to a few cave dwellers

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The usual image of me flat on the floor with my face in the stones. Combat sucked for me.

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Found some interesting statues while I was wandering around. What this doesn’t show is that I was soon mauled by a bear while my back was turned. Stupid wildlife.

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I have no idea what this is in the sky and whether or not I should be afraid of it. I know Astronomy plays a part in SotA, but what the devil is this thing? Did anyone else see this in the game? To be honest, I don’t even know what part of the map I was in when this was overhead. All I can say is that it was at night and this looked like the Death Star exploding.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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