Dangerous Travel May 24, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, EverQuest, TorilMUD, World of Warcraft.
1 comment so far
Travel is always a hot button issue. Long have been the debates between convenience and seeing, or making people see, the world. What is a waste of time and what builds character and all that.
And opinion has changed on it over time.
For example, in WoW, you used to have to go and find flight points on foot (or on a mount) before you could use them.
Later, Blizzard decided to open up any flight point at your level or below without having to visit them.
Then, more recently, Blizz changed their mind and now you have to go find them again.
Clearly not a settled issue.
But what about the more dangerous methods of travel? What about stuff that can get you killed?
A friend of mine who is back playing WoW sent me a pic of his new favorite toy in the game, the Last Relic of Argus.
It will send you to one of a list of locations. His first try sent him to the bottom of the Golakka Hot Springs in Un’Goro Crater. He set it off and walked away from the computer, only to find himself drowning upon his return. Always good for a laugh.
That reminded me of the engineering device from the Wrath of the Lich King era, the Northrend Wormhole Generator that would put you in some pretty odd places when it was working right. And when it wasn’t, you would end up high in the sky and hoping you remembered to attached the flexweave underlay to your cloak so you could deploy it as a parachute.
And then we moved on to the old days of TorilMUD and the spell planeshift.
Some of them were clearly dangerous locations. The astral plane was always good for a wipe. Somebody might wander into the wrong room and elicit this zone wide shout indicating things have gone horribly wrong.
Juiblex shouts ‘You will pay for attacking me mortal worms! Denizens of Darkness, Come and Feast upon Thanti!
And the plane of Fire could also be bad news. Just for openers it was, as the name implies, on fire. You needed a powerful fire protection object just to survive long enough to worry about who lived there. And even if you did have such an item, the dread Moritheil might get you killed before you got back to the City of Brass or other destinations.
Other planes were more benign. There was a plane of smoke where nothing was aggro. You needed protection from gas to stay there for long, and you had to be flying to move around. But it wasn’t a big deal.
The ironic twist in the whole planeshift spell was that the most dangerous place to shift to was the prime material plane, which was basically the world where we all were most of the time anyway.
The thing was that, while shifting to the other planes was sort of random, there were limited locations that allowed it, and none were at the big mobs that I recall, shifting to prime could stick you in any room that allowed teleport. And there were a lot of dangerous rooms which fit that bill.
At one point, when I was last “done” with the game, I used to take my level 50 druid and play what I called “the corpse game.”
I would pile on a bunch of coins and maybe some good gear and then planeshift between smoke and prime until I landed in a room with something I couldn’t solo and died. Then people would have to find my corpse in order to claim the loot.
I think the most times it took me to die was 10 shifts to prime, which given the number of possible rooms, says something. And I did it enough times to fall back to level 47, losing a quarter of a level of exp with each death.
So what other dangerous travel methods or devices have there been in MMOs?
Memories, Timelines, and the Bigger Picture May 8, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: blah blah blah, Charts and Graphs, GEnie, George Clooney, Misty water colored memories
There is a horribly worn out old book on the book shelf in my office. It is a soft-bound copy of The Twentieth Century – An Almanac.
I used to pick up that book and read through sections all of the time, to the point that the book looks very worn out. There wasn’t anything particularly startling or new or exciting about the content of the book, except that it was history, which I enjoy.
What drew me to the book was the format.
At its heart, the book is a simple listing of details, year by year, decade by decade, in chronological order, without breaking them out into the usual topics. So rather than reading just about WWII or the Great Depression or any other events that we tend to look at in a vacuum, everything is woven together, giving a better sense, to my mind, of the complexity and parallel nature of history.
There are always a lot of things going on at once. Just because the Korean War was going on did not stop politics, the arts, diplomacy, and a whole host of other conflicts, brewing, in progress, or otherwise, from continuing apace. The world never stops.
Of course, the book’s title is a bit misleading. As it was published in 1985, it was only an almanac of roughly 84% of the 20th century. And since no update or revision was ever done, the 20th century ends with Reagan’s re-election, while the Cold War continues on.
Still, I enjoyed the book immensely. I have never found another work that combined the detail and parallel flows of history so well.
And to a certain degree, that book influences what I have ended up trying to do with this blog. Part of the blog is a chronicle of my own gaming adventures. But I also try to include bigger events, things that are landmarks in the time stream of gaming, not because I aspire to be a news site, but because they indicate what else was going on in the field.
It is an attempt to make my own almanac of gaming I suppose.
After the cut, there are lots of words about the distortion of memory, old games, and what I was playing when in a general sense, along with some charts. The charts are an attempt to provide a framework for memory, and are a work in progress themselves.
You have been warned.
The First Computer Game I Ever Played May 3, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: Star Trek
Not an arcade video game. I think I played Pong first.
But an actual, sit down at the terminal, computer game.
It was Star Trek.
A friend’s dad had to go into the office one weekend and brought us along to show us the game that somebody had put on the accounting computer. He left us to poke at it while he went off and did his work. A clear waste of government resources back in an age when most people didn’t really know what a video game was, outside of Pong and Tank, and where the idea of a computer game probably would not have occurred to them.
It was a very simple game. You were tasked to clear out the galaxy of hostile elements with a limited set of resources.
It was a pivotal moment in my life. We were entranced.
I am sure the fact that it was called Star Trek, and represented the Enterprise fighting Klingons helped. Star Trek was a big deal at the time, which was at least a year before Star Wars. Maybe two. It also pre-dated my Atari 2600.
We had such a good time with the game that my friend and I ended up creating a board game version of it so we could play at home. We were engrossed. It was the first in a series of games we created by piecing together the mechanics we discovered from other games. Our home version got more complex over time.
It also got us to go out with horded allowance money to buy games like Star Fleet Battles as time went on, both to play them and to see how they dealt with spaceship combat. There was even a foray in to naval miniatures rules and the like. It was a heady time.
Anyway, I bring this up because over at The Register, the have a short piece up about the history of the original Star Trek game as part of the Antique Code Show series.
The Age of the Discriminating Vendor January 23, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, Rift, TorilMUD.
Tags: Leuthilspar Tales, MMO Economy, Vendor Trash
Another one of those posts that starts with “back in the day…” and which recounts how things used to be during the stone age of online gaming. Writing about it is not necessarily advocating for its return, but it certainly made things different. Anyway, on to it…
Back in the day, back in TorilMUD, there were things that were very different than we see them now in modern MMORPGs, and there were things that were very much the same.
One thing that was the same was money.
Everybody needed it, the economy needed it, but nobody started out with any and the only real way to get any was to kill NPCs that spawned in the world for their loot.
There were also quests. But quests were not very common, annoying to find, and could be frustratingly difficult to complete. I have gone into the way questing used to be back in the day. There was nobody standing around waiting to tell you to kill ten rats. And the end result was more often an item than any money.
So that left murdering the residents of the world and looting their still warm corpses as the only real money making enterprise.
Wholesale slaughter would get you some coins. But for the most part that was a pretty slow way to earn money, at least at lower levels. Later, in a leveling group in place like the pirate ship, a good group could end up with a nice pile of cash.
But you, new adventurer, won’t be doing that or zones or anything of the sort for a long while.
And that went double for elves and half elves who started on the Island of Evermeet, in the elvish city of Leuthilspar and were stuck there for the first 20 levels of their career. I will focus on the plight of the elves, since that is what I am most familiar with.
So to supplement the tiny trickle of coins, you would have to also grab whatever else your victims were carrying. Swords, bits and pieces or armor and clothing, random items of junk, whatever you could pry from their cold, dead fingers. You would collect all of this to sell to one of the many vendors in Abeir-Toril.
As a young citizen of Leuthilspar, you would head out to Kobold Village or the Faerie Forest in search of adventure, experience, and loot. At least, once you figured out how to get there. Eventually, if you were successful… by which I generally mean that you did not die and have to go find your corpse in the dark… you would have a pile of coins and some items to vendor.
In Kobold Village there was a couple of vendors, but as your became more seasoned you began to notice that those vendors paid very little for your items. That was the way of the world. The buy and sell prices from vendors were influence by your race, your class, your charisma stat, and the general level of wickedness of the person who created the zone.
The young elvish adventurer could make much more money, multiples of what the stingy vendors out in the world were offering, if said adventurer just dragged all of that loot back to a vendor in Leuthilspar.
The key was, which vendor.
The good part was that all the vendors were pretty close to the square at city center and near to the bank.
The down side was that the vendors were all pretty picky about what they would buy. Your options were:
1 – Talidnal’s Goods and Supply Shop – Sold random supplies like rations and small bags, would buy miscellaneous items of the same sort. You had to sell the red feather from the traveling faerie here.
2 – The Weapon Shop of Leuthilspar – Bought and sold weapons and only weapons. Notable for being one of the vendors with special responses. Would point out in all caps that this was weapon shop if you tried to sell something else and would claim that they could buy items flagged “no value” because they just bought a Doombringer earlier.
3 – The Scribe Shop of Leuthilspar – Sold scroll, including the scroll of identify. These cost 2 platinum coins, which was more than any new player could afford, but which was the only way to see the full stats and information on any given item. Except, of course, if the item was flagged as “no identify,” in which case you just wasted 2 plat.
4 – Silyonlanster’s Fine Gems and Jewels – Sold some gems that had no purpose I ever found, and would buy any gems you happened to have.
5 – Norlan’s Pet Shop – Bought nothing as far as I could tell, but would sell you a very expensive pet that would fight for you and which would be gone forever if it died… or if you logged off. A lot of us bought one of these exactly once.
6 – The Armorer of Leuthilspar – Sold some very heavy bronze armor and would buy anything flagged as armor, which did not include leather armor from Kobold Village or the Cloak of Forest Shadows.
7 – The Leviathan Shipwright – Sold rafts and canoes for crossing water. You just had to have one in your inventory (but not in a container) for them to work. Would buy them back at a deep discount.
8 – The Green Griffon Pub – Sold alcoholic beverages. Never bought anything I had to sell.
9 – Tilanthra’s Shop of Alchemy – Bought and sold potions.
10 – The Magic Shop of Leuthilspar – Sold a number of scrolls and wands, despite there already being a scroll shop. Would only buy wands and the like. This is where you would sell that Wand of Thunderous Rage that was in the garbage heap and which never worked for me over the last 15 years.
11 – Morlanthrtilan’s Fine Clothier – Had nothing for sale as I recall, but would buy that leather armor from Kobold Village that the armor shop turned its nose up at.
12 – The Blue Dragon Inn and Restaurant – Sold oddly specific and very expensive food at various times and would buy, for reasons I could never determine, arrows and quarrels.
13 – Qulazoral’s Barrels and More – Sold you a skin or a barrel of water after your first issued water skin evaporated after you emptied it (I think they finally fixed that) but before you finally got a flagon from Bandor. Would buy liquid containers, if you ever found one.
There were some other vendors in town. Each guild had a vendor that might give you a few more coins for specific items. But in general, it was vendor row on main street that handled your needs. You just needed to run around a lot until you figured out who bought what. It helped that what vendors purchased ended up in their inventory for sale again, a feature I miss, and which was last seen in EverQuest as I recall.
And even then you would end up with a few items that no vendor would purchase, but which were not flagged “no value.” There were a few items I would have to travel to Mithril Hall, way up in the north beyond Neverwinter, in order to vendor. I think the dead rat was on that list.
Still, in some ways, the elves did not have it so bad. The vendors gave decent prices and were all centrally located. This was not necessarily the case in Waterdeep or Baldurs gate, and good luck selling things way down in Calimport.
And vendors in Leuthilspar never closed. Elves don’t need sleep. In other towns vendors would often close for some or all of the night cycle of a given day. The time translation was one real world minute for one game hour, so you might end up sitting in a shop for 6 or 8 or 12 minutes waiting for the vendor to open up again.
And with all of that, you still ran the risk of selling something of value to other players… something you could sell or trade… to a vendor without knowing. As I mentioned above, you needed a scroll of identify to see what an item did. There were no stats on demand and equipment was not color coded by the now standard formula (gray, white, green, blue, purple) to indicate relative worth. Of course, once you sold the item to a vendor, it cost you a lot more to buy it back. It seemed that vendors were in the business of making money… or at least acting like they were there to make money as opposed to just being a place to dump your crap.
Today though, we can see it all. Stats show up when we hover the cursor over and item, and it will even show what we have equipped in the relevant slot so we can instantly compare. Items names are color coded, as noted above. And not only will vendors buy just about anything you have (and sell it back to you at the same price if sold something by mistake) but we are at the point in games like Rift where there is a button that will automatically sell all of your “trash” grade loot to the vendor with a single press.
As I said at the top, I am not exactly hankering to go back to the way vendors used to be. But it is interesting to see how much has changed, and one wonders if it was all for the better.
Wielding The Dead Rat January 8, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, EverQuest, TorilMUD, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Dead Rat, Equipment, Faerie Forest
Way back in the TorilMUD days… and back before then I am sure… I began to subscribe to the “no empty slots” theory of equipment.
Basically, in your typical RPG/MUD/MMO, your character has a set number of equipment slots. They vary from game to game, but generally correspond to the basics of an armor set. And since anything equipped in one of those slots is likely to add something to your character… a little more armor, or maybe a stat bonus…. there is no reason to leave a slot empty.
In TorilMUD, and especially in equipment impoverished Leuthilspar, where elves and half-elves started, when you were starting out, you would wear anything. For example, there was one good ring you could acquire as a young elf… the pearl ring… which actually boosted your armor by 4. That wasn’t much on the 100 to -100 scale that was used back in the day (100 was a completely unarmored, inert character, while -100 was the best you could get, and they related to the % dice rolled for a hit) but it was something.
However, the pearl ring was coveted because of this, and it only showed up once per boot, so if you didn’t get to the mob carrying it (an elf in town, who would be assisted by guards if they were around, so you had to take care) you were out of luck.
So a lot of us wandered around with another item on in the ring slot, a piece of string. It came from the Goblin’s trash pile in the Faerie Forest.
All the piece of string did was help your save versus paralysis. But that was better than nothing, right? Who knows when you might need that boost to your save! (Realistically, by the time you needed it, you had ditched the string for something else. But you didn’t know that at the time, and had probably forgotten all about that string when you were standing, paralyzed by those vines south of Waterdeep, slowly waiting to die.)
Because that is the way it went… and the way it goes today. First you get some piece of equipment to fill a slot, because something is better than nothing. Then when you find another item for a given slot, it becomes a comparison; is this new thing better? Early on those decisions are usually pretty easy.
Eventually you wind up at higher levels and having to compare the relative merits of one set of stats versus another. In TorilMUD with the melee classes it was always the trade off of +hit versus +damage, or strength versus dexterity versus agility, or armor class versus stats.
In the early days, in TorilMUD or EverQuest or even early World of Warcraft, getting equipment was haphazard early on. Since then the process has been bound to quests. Following the quest chain keeps your armor at an appropriate level and likely even offers up armor that is specifically for your vocation.
But things have essentially remained the same. You get your first piece of equipment for a given slot, then spend your career upgrading it.
What seems to have gone missing somewhere is the equipment with bad stats that off-set some great boost for your class.
From TorilMUD I recall the Polished Bone equipment that had good armor and a boost to strength, but penalized dexterity, which in turn could impact your hit roll. Or the Dolomite armor set that had great armor, but which was very heavy. If you were not maximum strength and playing a strong race (ogres, trolls, or barbarians), the weight of the set would not only eat up your movement points, but could impact your agility to the point that it would start reducing your armor class.
There was a green gemstone earring that was -4 strength, but which granted protection from fire. If you were going to the Plane of Fire or the City of Brass, you often needed to take the strength hit to go to those places.
There were equipment items that covered other slots. There were “whole head” helms that prevented you from wearing something in the face slot, and “whole body” armor pieces that took up the chest, leg, and arm slots and which favored one stat, usually armor class, over all others.
And then there was the dead rat.
Actually, I think it was actually called “a very dead rat.”
This was another item from the Goblin’s trash pile. It was wieldable as a 1h blunt weapon, but had a very low damage roll and had an -10 to hit modifier. So it was a really bad weapon, and heavy to boot a I recall, but a lot of tanks kept one stashed away in his bag for specific situations.
If you were facing a mob that was unbashable and had a damage shield up, that dead rat might save the day. Generally, with a damage shield mob, you waited for the shield to go down and when the mob began casting the spell for the shield, you would knock it down with a bash and keep it down so the shield was not a problem.
But if you could not bash the mob, then there was trouble. Every hit by a melee class on that shield causes damage to the attacker. I have seen hasted rangers kill themselves in a couple of rounds attacking a shielded mob. So you either had to have a magical solution that would protect melee classes from the shield, or you had to kill the mob with ranged attacks only.
However, you still needed a tank. If the tank wielded that dead rat, and maybe shed a bit of hit enhancing gear, you might get by with the tank missing enough that your healer could keep up with the damage.
Not an ideal solution, but the dead rat gave the possibility of an alternative solution.
Do we still have that in MMORPGs today? The item with a bad stat that is useful in certain specific situations?
I realize that with dungeons and raiding that players may favor a given stat or protection, but that is a trade off of one bonus against another. I am looking more for taking a serious hit in order to meet a goal.
Is there a dead rat left to wield in games today?
20 Games that Defined the Apple II January 3, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: Apple II, YouTube
A little video my friend Scott sent me.
The games shown are, in chronological order:
- Ultima I
- Castle Wolfenstein
- Lode Runner
- Cavern Creatures
- King’s Quest
- Impossible Mission
- The Oregon Trail
- The Bard’s Tale
- Might and Magic
- California Games
- Maniac Mansion
- Prince of Persia
- Battle Chess
Not a bad list. A lot of the games on it were on multiple systems, so I think they more define computer games in the 1980s rather than the Apple II specifically. But not bad. I played most of them.
If I were making the list I would probably strike Battle Chess and California Games from the list, as they came so late in the the cycle. Prince of Persia is a bit questionable for me as well, as I played it on the Mac much later on. But Wasteland was the last Apple II game I ever bought, so that plays into it. What defined Apple II games for me came much earlier in the life of the platform
Instead I would add Aztec and probably Autoduel. I would also substitute in Epoch (which doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry) for Elite, Ultima III in for Ultima I (which I think was just a better, more popular game), and probably Seven Cities of Gold for one of the over-represented-on-the-list RPGs. And I would have a strong desire to get F-15 Strike Eagle in there somewhere. And Pinball Construction Set. And Taipan! as well.
There is the problem with making such lists. I can look at all those Apple II games and pull out quite a few great ones.
And, as a side note, Oregon Trail is one of the games in the video I never played.
At least not on the computer.
Instead, that was a game we played as a teacher driven role playing game when I was in 7th grade. True to the spirit however, when people refer to playing the video game version it sounds exactly like our role play version. As young boys, my friends and I all loaded up our wagon with guns and as much ammo as possible and most of us went on to die of dysentery.
Pong is 40 Today November 29, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: Arcade Games, Atari, Old Spaghetti Factory, Pong
What was probably the first successful arcade video game, Pong, turned 40 today, if Wikipedia is to be believed.
I am old enough to remember when this seemed incredibly new and different. And fun. This game was fun. I remember begging for quarters to play it at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Jose when I was a kid. (I cannot believe that place is still there.)
Quarters to play this!
This is the game that made Atari a household name. There were numerous knock-offs, and every home video game console had to have a version of Pong for the next decade. I think the NES might have been the first without a “two paddles and a ball” game by default.
The first video game console in our home was the Atari Super Pong version, which had FOUR… count them… FOUR variations on the game.
I cannot even remember what those four were. One was a solo version that was essentially you versus a wall, though you could turn the other controller to make a gap in the wall. Wozniak and Jobs would come along in a bit and turn that idea into Breakout, the prototypical “lone nerd in a losing battle” video game.
And the Atari 2600 came with paddle controllers primarily so you could play Pong, though I recall it being useful the Casino card games as well. (Which, if nothing else, taught me that in Blackjack, Vegas Rules suck. Unless, of course, you are the house.)
So remember Pong today, for it is the mother of all “how the hell was this ever fun?” video games.
Wizardry in Online Form September 26, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment.
Tags: Wizardry, Wizardry Online
I must admit to a bit of a mental disconnect when I think of Wizardry Online, a new game that SOE will be publishing this year.
For me, Wizardry brings this image to mind.And, well… not this.
The first Wizardry, Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, was one of the first games I acquired for my Apple back in 1983. This, along with Ultima III, was one of the first games I really played to death. I still have hand drawn and annotated graph paper maps of the whole dungeon sitting in a drawer in my office. They look something like this, though not as neat.
And the game itself, on the Apple II… here it is full resolution.
Not a lot of pixels on an Apple ][ screen. That was back when we measured screens by the numbers rows and columns they could display, 24 rows and 80 columns being the standard, though the Apple ][+ only did 40 by default. I did not get 80 columns until I upgraded to an Apple //e a year or so later.
The game, which appears on Gamasutra’s 20 Essential RPGs to Study list, is a dungeon crawl in almost the purest form. It taught you to map, advance cautiously, and to be patient. After many a death in the dungeon, with whole parties being lost and unrecoverable, you learned to build up your strength and return to town frequently.
It also taught party structure, as only the first few characters in your party could come to grips directly with the enemy, while those behind were left to defense or support roles. Hints of the holy trinity were visible more than 20 years before WoW.
And, of course, it taught me the phrase, “Cheap Apostates! Out!” You got that message when you were short of money for healing or reviving at the monastery. I got that message a lot early on.
As I said, I played the hell out the game, finished it, and pretty much moved on. I think I may have purchased the next game in the series, Knight of Diamonds, but I don’t think I ever got into it. I certainly never went beyond that, and the series went out to Wizardry 8, which came out just a decade back.
So my memories of Wizardry are of the first game alone, causing me make a nearly 30 year mental jump to get caught up to what is being proposed now for Wizardry Online and what it has to offer. And the web site helpfully offers up three great reasons to play.
Well, three allegedly great reason, though I would argue that the first two are not well stated. I would have written the list as:
- An MMORPG designed for hardcore players!
- Permadeath puts an edge on your decisions!
- Amazing graphics!
Oddly, the first two are totally in line with my memories of the original game. Wizardry was hardcore, with no maps, no easy travel, and corpse retrievals if your whole party was wiped out. And you could fail to revive, thus lose characters permanently.
The third, well… I am not sure ~I~ would emphasize the anime influence of the graphical style. I am not opposed to it myself, but it does tend to be one of those polarizing issues.
But there it is, Wizardry Online. You can sign up for beta if you are impatient. Otherwise SOE is pegging it for a 2012 release, and it will surely be “Free To Play – Your Way” as is the SOE norm, which generally means “Cheap Apostates must be hounded ceaselessly until they subscribe!”
Having missed the entire middle of the Wizardry saga, I will be interested to see exactly where this title lands. Massively looked at the title over a year ago at E3, but who knows what has changed since then.
If it is really true to the original, a hardcore (whatever that really means these days), party based, dungeon crawler, it could be something interesting to try out.
Remembering Spaceship Warlock September 10, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment, Hardware, Humor.
Tags: CD ROM, ComputerWare, Macintosh, Spaceship Warlock
Back, more than 20 years ago, there was an interlude in the succession of jobs that somehow became my career, where I had to take some time out and work retail. Again.
It was the early 90s and the Cold War was over. My classes in the Soviet studies program were turned into a few semesters of obscure trivia. (Details of the organization of GOSPLAN anybody?) And one of the first results of the so-called “peace dividend” was a recession in Valley. Before there was Fairchild Semiconductor to rebel against or the high tech boom that renamed the Santa Clara Valley from “The Valley of Heart’s Delight” to “Silicon Valley,” it was aerospace defense contractors who provided the economic power to build the houses and strip malls over the orchards of my grandparents. It was the influx of companies like Lockheed that took the cheap farm land of the valley and turned a pack of sleepy little farm towns into a carpet of tract houses. A hundred suburbs in search of a city as they say.
Anyway, I was out of work not because of the recession but because my previous company lost a lawsuit that caused to boss to call us all into the production area to tell us to clear out or desks and go home. We were all laid off.
The recession came into play in finding a new job. With the idea that any job was better than no job, I applied, and got a position, at a local computer retailer called ComputerWare, which specialized in Macintosh computers.
Okay, I swear I will actually get to the game itself, but there is a stage to be set for this. There will be pictures and links to videos, all after the cut and some more background text.
The Decade Long War in Civilization II June 12, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: Civilization II, Reddit
I saw a post up at Ars Technia about a game of Civilization II that has been going on for 10 years. This initially came up as a thread on Reddit when the player recounted his experiences with the game so far.
I’ve been playing the same game of Civ II for 10 years. Though long outdated, I grew fascinated with this particular game because by the time Civ III was released, I was already well into the distant future. I then thought that it might be interesting to see just how far into the future I could get and see what the ramifications would be. Naturally I play other games and have a life, but I often return to this game when I’m not doing anything and carry on. The results are as follows.
- The world is a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation.
- There are 3 remaining super nations in the year 3991 A.D, each competing for the scant resources left on the planet after dozens of nuclear wars have rendered vast swaths of the world uninhabitable wastelands.
It sounds almost like the world from Orwell’s Ninteen Eighty-Four, where three sides are locked in eternal warfare that does nothing but keep the three governments… two theocracies and a communist state… in power via an endless state of emergency.
The ice caps have melted due to global warming brought on by constant nuclear war and the world is now covered by unproductive swampland. There are no more large cities. 90% of the population has died off from its peak 2,000 years earlier. Military production takes precedence over all other improvements. Military power is balanced, with all three nations possessing all of the possible technologies. And war is eternal, with each cease fire broken by the next turn.
This is probably the most extreme example of what the end-game in Civ II can turn into. But the author is not without hope.
My goal for the next few years is to try and end the war and thus use the engineers to clear swamps and fallout so that farming may resume. I want to rebuild the world. But I’m not sure how. If any of you old Civ II players have any advice, I’m listening.