Friday, November 18, 2016

Game Review: Overwatch


By Grease Coakes

Blizzard entertainment has been around for a long time from the days of Warcraft to World of Warcraft and also Starcraft. Not a company to be lazy and bet everything on their cash cow, recently they came out with Overwatch: a first person shooter based on the game Team Fortress 2.

In TF2 you select a player such as a solider or a Heavy to take out the other team. To push forward a payload or capture a point. One team defends while the other attacks. Overwatch is very much the same game however it offers over twenty different roles to play. And unlike TF2 there are also women characters, not just men, to shoot and kill the other team with. Each team red and blue has six characters per side. You’ll see graphics to the side saying that’s there’s no tanks or too many snipers.

The characters are split into four groups to pick what role you wish to play. Attack does heavy damage but can only take a few hits. Defense is excellent at holding a point and slowing down the enemy advancing. Tank is there to take the hits for you so squishy characters don’t die. Healing/support is how is sounds to offer healing to tanks and extra attack. With the exception of the mech D Va, all characters when they hit zero hit points die. D Va gets ejected from her Mecha tank and gets a second chance to keep fighting with a pistol and low hit points.

In addition to brighter graphics and better voices each character has an ultimate that continues charging through death. So if you’re playing as Mcree a wild west gunslinger and die when your ultimate is at 99%. When you revive your ultimate will problary be 100% Over time when you block damage, heal, do damage and kill other player characters your ultimate builds up. An ultimate is something you want to fire off to change the course of battle. Mcree’s ultimate is him saying “It’s High Noon” in a western drawl and everyone he sees he shoots down dead. Mei’s ultimate a Chinese woman in an arctic snow suit is a blizzard which freezes enemy players. She shoots ice shards at long range. Her ice walls keep enemy players away and blocks damage. She’s a good defensive player if you want to play enemies off your point.

The sounds are much better with various voices that sound like professional actors with voices saying things such as “Love D Va!” Or Lucio a music loving healer will yell out “This is my Jam!” Another voice that will stick in your head is Reaper doing his ultimate when he says DIE DIE DIE!
The graphics are cartoonish but also bright and colorful. Even though the game is the same every time you play, each game tends to be different as you play at different locations. There’s also lots of variety in the twenty plus characters.

What the designers changed recently is that in quick play you can no longer have more than one of a certain character. Which means if I grab a D Va character as a tank someone else who wanted to be a tank could be roadhog or pick a Tracer to be offense instead. I guess Blizzard wanted to stop two of the same character so the other team wouldn’t over specialize and beat the other team. So when you master Solider 76,you can always master that defensive player Junk Rat with shoots bombs that bounce around and blow enemy players to dust. Or why not Pharah who flies and shoots rockets?

As you play you gain experience per match which levels you up. It’s not like a RPG though. You don’t get more hit points and new spells. Instead you get a loot box every level. The loot boxes give out skins for the various characters, voice lines, sprays and coins to buy what you want for your favorite characters. For example I bought an earthen skin  which is a deep green for Mei so she looks more masculine and not so girly. So your level of 50 might look impressive on screen. However that won’t stop a level 3 character shooting you down as Hanzo. Hanzo is a defensive player who is a sniper who shoots down foes with his bow and arrow. Level doesn’t mean anything as you play.

For the price of 40$ Overwatch can be yours as an excellent first person shooter. Blizzard has taken the idea of Team Fortress 2 and brought it to the next level of playability with great voice effects, the option of spray painting on walls and more. If you’re new to shooting games there is a tutorial so you’re not thrown into the game and you’re clueless as other players shoot you down. Also an option to fight AI enemies as well as a practice area.

If you’re thinking like Mcree that it’s high noon and you want to shoot some outlaws, Overwatch might be the game for you.

Grease Coakes

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Game Review: Far Cry Primal


Introduction
Until recently the Far Cry games have been set in the present day time sequence. This time, Ubisoft – creator of different games , has decided to set the Far Cry game into the Stone Age.
It’s around 10.000 BC, a time when humankind has just began to settle into the world. In these times, it was survival of the fittest that ruled the world back then.
Story and Gameplay
It’s 10.000 BCE and humankind is on the brink of extinction. It’s the end of the Ice Age and the beginning of the Stone Age. To get higher in the food chain, humans need to find a way to conquer the elements and their surroundings and battle against predators and other animals.
In the game you take on the role of Takkar, a caveman warrior, who will do everything to keep his tribe, the Wenja, from getting attacked by the two other tribes. The Wenja, the tribe that Takkar, the main character is part of , are also known as “Soft Bloods”. They have traveled “many suns” prior to arrival at Oros. The Udam are known to be “Flesh Eaters.” This means they are cannibals, because they think it will make them stronger by doing so. The Izila are known as “Sun Walkers”. They are more of a Aztec-like tribe. They worship their High Priestess called “Batari.”
Takkar needs to find materials in the world to craft his own weaponry and he will need to conquer the other two tribes in order to save his tribe from extinction. Not only for weapons he needs to find resources, also for upgrading his village and to get more villains.
Becoming the Beast Master !
During your quests in Far Cry Primal you will encounter many predators like : wolfs, bears, hyenas, sable tooth tigers and other animals that you can tame when you have the skills.
Taming an animal is not so difficult. You just make bait ( made from meat ) and then throw it near the animal. It will come and eat from the bait and then you must slowly ( really slow ) approach the animal and then keep the button pressed that is indicated to tame the beast. Once the circle is full white, you will have tamed the animal in question.
The first animal that you will be able to tame is a white wolf. Once you have that one, you can tame other animals. For the bigger animals, you will need more skills and more experience.
Once you have the sable tooth tiger, other predators will not attack you any longer. There are up to 17 animals to tame in the game. Once you have all of them, you can move on as well. But once you have the sabretooth tiger, it will give you a lot of power to attack enemies.
Gaining experience points in the game
Every animal or enemy you kill will give you experience points.This will allow you to level up and gain skills. With those skills you can do another ability within the game.
Healing yourself and your beasts
When you get hurt in the game there’s a little health bar under the mini-map. When it gets low you are in danger of dying. To help this you can heal yourself by pressing the assigned button or keystroke. You will see Takkar either eat a piece of meat or stretch his fingers or getting an arrow out of his arm. This will get your health bar full again.
Besides that, when you have tamed animals, you can heal them too, by giving them a piece of meat. It will restore their health as well. You can also pet your animal to make it happy again.
Day and Night Cycle
There is a Day and Night sequence in the game. When you choose to sleep, it will ask you till when you want to sleep : until the sun comes up again or when the sun goes down again.
At night, some predators will be more aggressive then when they are in daytime. Be aware of this fact when hunting down animals! This fact makes it harder for Takkar to hunt animals during night time.
Graphical detail and open world
The graphics of the game are really amazingly realistic. In fact, the whole world is so realistic that you wonder how they could actually recreate it for this game.
It’s a open world, which means you can walk around it and do what you want to do in it.
Oros, the land of The Stone Age
The land you will need to survive in this game is called Oros. It was in the central of Europe and it’s the first time that people will fight for land. Mankind was not necessarily at the top of the food chain and had to fight for survival.
The land of Oros is a vast land in which many animals live. But not only animals live in this land, also two other tribes do. All of the three tribes are going to have to fight for their land and claim it for themselves.
Since Takkar is the Beast Master, he is able to tame animals in the game and use them in advantage for fighting animals and the other tribes. You, the player, will need to play as Takkar and survive in the world of Oros.
Videos :
Far Cry Primal : Behind The Scenes :
Far Cry Primal : King of the Stone Age :
Far Cry Primal : Beast Master Trailer :
Far Cry Primal – Gameplay Trailer :

Conclusion
Far Cry Primal is the most realistic game that I have ever experienced. This is a survival game and it shows, because you can’t just “buy” your weapons, no you need to craft them yourself. This means you need to find the resources in the world itself : wood, slate and other materials can be found in Oros. But you can find plants as well, that you can collect.
Bonfires are places that you can claim to easily travel from one point in the game to another point in the game. This is a good way of fast traveling.
The graphics of the game are amazingly realistic. You are directly thrown into the story and the game itself.
If you are looking for a great game and your laptop or desktop can run the game, buy this game, it’s absolutely worth it !

Wesley Regenbogen 

Friday, September 30, 2016

"No Man's Sky" Game Under Investigation By UK For Deceptive Advertising


By Bixyl Shuftan

Hello Games, the people behind "No Man's Sky," is in trouble. Most computer and console owners have been disappointed by games they bought that they feel didn't live up to the anticipation. But in the case of this particular game, so many have expressed disappointment that it's being investigated by an advertising regulation agency.

"No Man's Sky" by Hello Games was one of the most anticipated computer games of the summer, promising an unbelievable huge universe to explore, "epic space battles," challenging planetary survival conditions, and more.

That the game was boasting 18 quintillion planets (that's an "18" with eighteen zeroes after it, compared to a million which has six) did get some wondering if perhaps the makers were exaggerating things a little. But with the hype and videos having wetted the appetites of gamers, when it was finally released, thousands of computer and console owners bought the game. At one point, "Steam" recorded over 200 thousand people playing the game on their PCs at once, and was the top selling Playstation 4 game in August.

To make a long story short, most everyone found the game a disappointment. There were numerous bugs in the initial release, as well as advertised features that simply weren't there, "There are things missing that I didn't even know were missing." One person who did like the game admitted, "It took me about 12 hours to realize that No Man’s Sky is basically an intergalactic mining simulator. ... there isn't much to do ... other than to gaze at the humbling wonders of the universe, and ponder your absolute insignificance in the cosmic scale of things." Even the President of Sony, Shuhei Yoshida, which distributed the game for Playstation, felt Hello Games had promised more than it delivered.

Word got around that the game was underwhelming, and people either demanded and got refunds or simply quit playing. By September 21, Steam was detecting that the number of people playing at once had dropped to under a thousand, less than half a percent of it's peak in just a few weeks.

If bad publicity wasn't enough for Hello Games to worry about, the complaints got the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom, an "independent regulator of advertising across all media." While the ASA can't enforce regulations and laws, "it does have the power to have advertisements which breach its code of advertising practice removed," with the threat of sanctions if such ads are not taken down.

For Hello Games however, the damage may already be done. As the maker of such a high profile flop, it may find further games difficult to market. For consumers, it may mean better games in the future as this may serve as a cautionary tale for developers to not make claims that their products can't live up to.

Sources: Wikipedia, Forbes, gamezone.com, Arcade Rage, PC Gamer

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, September 9, 2016

Game Review: Tom Clancy’s "The Division"


By Wesley Regenbogen
Introduction
Back in 2001 an operation known as “Dark Winter” was launched as a real world exercise that tested emergency response to a bioterror attack on the United States of America. In this exercise they tested how long it would take emergency workers to respond to a possible bioterror attack.

Game plot
The game “Tom Clancy’s : The Division” ( from now on we will refer to it as “The Division” ) is a third person shooter set in the present New York. Terrorists have released a pandemic-causing virus on the dollar bills on Black Friday and soon afterwards smallpox virus is infecting the people. Many people died from the virus and Central Park in New York has become a mass burial place. The government can’t handle the situation when groups of scavengers take over the streets.
When everything else fails, there’s a group of highly trained civilians called The Strategic Homeland Division" (SHD)”, also referred to as “The Division.” These agents are only called upon when everything else has failed. Which is the case in the game.
After a short intro cinematic ( embedded below ), the player is directly thrown into the game itself. When the player closes a door of a car nearby, the player is able to customize his character in the game and after that is done, the game starts.
First, the player needs to do a tutorial and a few missions. When the player arrives in Manhattan, this is where the game really starts. 
 
Opening Cinematic video :
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8lSNNyHzmc4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
(click here if the video fails to play)

In Search of Green Poison to fight the Green flu
Green Poison was the substance responsible for the virus outbreak in New York. People got what they call the “Green Flu.” The player needs to find the source of the outbreak and then a vaccine can be created to cure the smallpox virus. Division agents are now on the streets and they are trying to get the situation under control. Question remains … Will they succeed in their goal and find the source of the virus ? 
 
The Division Agents
Agents of The Division are a classified unity of highly trained, self-supported tactical agents. Their main objective is to restore the order in New York city and ensure that the government can continue their work and stabilize the situation at hand. Division agents are called upon when everything else has failed. They are “activated,” once the President of the U.S. signs Directive 51, which itself is activated when disaster strikes and the situation is serious.

Dark Zone : Quarantine zone where the virus hit the hardest, PvP arena

The “Dark Zone” is the zone on the map where the virus has hit the hardest and a virus shield is needed to enter this area. Players can either choose to group together and work together or they can choose to be a solo gamer and kill other players. When a player kills another player in the Dark Zone, he/she is considered as a “Rogue Agent”.

Enemies in the game ( more info, watch the Enemies Factions video listed below )
  1. Rioters
Rioters are a group of common thug and criminals that just want to rob and kill others for the sake of survival or just for enjoyment.
  1. Rikers
The Rikers are escaped convicts from Rikers Island. They come from different gangs. Their motto is “power by numbers.”
  1. Cleaners
The Cleaners are former sanitation workers (garbage men, janitors, custodians, ect … ). They believe that the virus can be destroyed by fire, so they burn everything down. Unfortunately, this includes civilians, and you.
  1. Last Man Battalion
Also known as LMB, these group of enemies are member of a private military company. They want to create a new world order by force.

Gameplay aspects of the game
When you select a mission, you need to follow the GPS orange line towards your destination. Beware that during your walk or run towards your mission, you can encounter scavengers and crooks that want to shoot at you. You will need to kill them first, before you move on towards your mission. Hint : Keep an eye on your mini-map! This will make you aware of enemy presence with your area where you are in.
On your backpack you will see how many items you have currently in your inventory and also will see which abilities that you have enabled. When you get hit, you will not see a health bar or something else, but you will see that your screen gets red, this indicates that you are hit and need to seek cover to avoid getting killed in action. Your health will regenerate when you have found coverage behind something.
When your enemies throw a smoke bomb or a fire bomb towards you, you will see a red area where it will hit, if you are in this area, get out of it asap. With some weaponry that you have, you can get a over-shoulder view when aiming at the enemies. This is not with every weapon, but with only a few. A so-called “sticky bomb” is a bomb that you throw on enemies and can explode, this certainly attracts their attention and you can shoot down your enemies after it.
Another cool thing is the map. When you open the map, your character is standing “in” the map as it is a holographical map.

Looting
When you kill an enemy, you are able to loot their weapons, clothing and anything else that they might be carrying with them. In the “Dark Zone” this loot will be something with more value. In the normal game it just is a “reward” that you get for killing the enemy.

Abilities : Skills, Talents and Perks
Skills
Video about Skills :
Talents
Video about Talents :
Perks
Sound tracks of the game :

Personal opinion about Tom Clancy’s : The Division
If you are looking for a shooter game that involves realism and very high detailed graphics, then THIS is the game you are looking for. The very high graphics and realism makes this game as realistic as it gets. There might be a few glitches and crashes, but overall this game has elevated my expectations and clearly the developers of the game, Ubisoft, have succeeded in making this a top game.
You can play this game on your own, but when you look for other players, you can play it in co-op and you can complete missions together. The gameplay of the game is fluent and you can get to cover everywhere in the game, so that enemies have lesser chance of hitting you.
The “Dark Zone” I haven’t reached yet, but eventually I will get to that as I progress in the game.
This is definitely a game that you need to buy, if you haven’t bought it yet, get to your local game store and get it !

Wesley Regenbogen

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Relay for Life in InWorldz Kickoff


By Bixyl Shuftan

In Second Life, the official Relay for Life fundraising season is almost over, the Wrap-Up event being this upcoming Sunday. But for InWorldz, their season is only just beginning.  Made up of both residents primarily in this smaller virtual world, and Second Life residents whom also have avatars here, InWorldz own Relay season is smaller in scope than that of it's larger counterpart, but still raises quite a bit of cash. And on Saturday at 8AM, InWordz Relay season began with their season's opening event: the Kickoff.

The event started with a "Pre-Speech Warm-Up" party by Martin Glom, followed at 9AM with a live music performance by Mikie String. Starting at 10AM and going on to 11 were a few speeches.

A transcript of the speeches was provided to the Newser.

* * * * *

Oldesoul Eldemar
My Fellow Relayers

As my first speech as the Chair of Relay For Life of InWorldz, I really do not know where to begin.   RFL of IW  -has come together as I have never seen a group of folks work.  This past two weeks have just been phenomenal.   Not only am I proud of each and every one of you - but wow !  The amount of work completed could have only been done by some very fine folks. I am not going to name names, due to the fact that I know I will leave someone out. You know who you are and my genuine thanks go to each and every one of you ! 

For those are you that may be thinking, now what IS that bobcat talking about THIS time.
We procured with the help of a most gracious donor a new  main 2x2..  Honestly, this is the best thing that could have happened to us.   We are out where we can add on and become as big as each and every one of your hearts.   BIG thanks to our donor and our great committee!  We appreciate all that you did and to those not on committee but who gave us a great hand when needed,

It is so exciting to already have 12 teams and not just any 12 teams but 12 fine teams that will do a great job.   Already we have made more money in General Donations than ever before - https://rflofiw.org/  Scroll down to see totals.  You will see totals for your team there already.  The kiosks rezzed here and  and by the amphitheater have been contributed to.   Please remember it is bad luck to rezz a kiosk without adding even a few  izzies. We will be adding convio totals to this page, thanks to our dear friend Wolf Hartnell..  If your team does not have convio set up yet, there are several of us that can help you do that. With six  teams already signed up, it will take very little time.  http://relay.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY16SL?fr_id=70672&pg=entry Use your IW information on this form.   Kitty Gumbo is your team ambassador. 

Most of you know me but for those who don't,  just a little background information, this is my 8th virtual relay,  The people who have always been behind me and supported me have been in each and every one, answering all my silly questions and teaching.   My dear wife Cassie has been with me every step of the way.  Admiral Beaumont and Ms. Eilidh McCullough have been priceless.   What you see is the result of these kind friends and their teaching.  My typist is a teacher and I feel it is necessary to always acknowledge those who gave us guidance.   Leadership is not new to me, but it was in virtual worlds.   I assisted two different  RL relays at our schools for several years,  by providing materials and acted as a liaison for relay and the school system.    A memorable moment was having the opportunity to hold our granddaughter's hand and walk around the track.  Poppa really appreciated that moment. 

Coming to Virtual Worlds, I have captained  an awesome team in SL  and served on committee as a coach. .  However my proudest moments were working with RFL of IW with our team, WeeFolks For a Cure under the guidance of Hairy Thor and Bain Finch. I have served on committee and helped whenever possible.  I have had the enjoyment of watching a fantastic relay grow from a little office on Hairy's sim to a sim, to a 2x2 and now this .  It is beyond words.  i was so impressed with InWorldz and the possiblities - I joined the Events Committee and also help with Grid wide events.   So you will see me around ! I do have a deep belief in a boots on the ground approach.  When you have an event, have Martin place it on the calendar and we will be there as best we can.  There are only 12 teams, so please, it is not necessary to plan on top of each other.   Remember your venues too, and take care of them. 

We are a global relay, our committee shows it, our relayers show it!   We cannot have everything at the exact right time for everyone, but we will do our best.   Also - our global economy is izzies - that is how our totals will be reported.   Convio does use USD but Euros can use paypal and it will convert. 

We only hold a 10 week relay,  the rest of our time in InWorldz, will be working with folks from Hope Lodges, setting up our InShape Trails, giving them someplace to be a part of a wonderful community while  still in treatment, or after they go home.   We will concentrate on health, wellness, nutrition and other helpful things such as our Chakra classes led by our Fight Back Ambassador, Cataplexia Numbers.   We will be hosting a Survivor and Caregiver group for those wishing to have a group to chat with.  Cassie and I know as caregivers for our mothers, both cancer survivors, a group like this is invaluable.

Finally, I do believe that this, our 5th year  relay is going to be a banner year.   I relay so that folks will never have to hear those words - you have cancer.  I see that there is new research coming along and I think it is quite promising.  Please look at our info boards and check with those links.  You will be proud.   Plan some great events  - attend events  - but most of all these three things you MUST DO!! Smile, have fun, and do awesome things.  Get to know one another, listen and help one another.  

At this time, I would like to introduce another very special friend who always makes me smile when he says - wow, just wow!, my co chair Martin Glom.   He was chosen for his wonderful ideas and new fresh beginnings.  Let's GO GO GO RELAY!!! Martin....

I would now like to introduce a very special person to all of us.  Ms. Cataplexia  She is our Fight Back Ambassador and helps with builds, notices, and keeping Olde in line - i takes a village to raise a bobcat.   Ms Cat. 

Thank you so much for joining us today - the text was purposefully done for our Euro friends for whom English is not a first language.   We will be joining DJ Cat - (yes, she does that too)   in the Stage of Infinite Hope (where we started)   We need the exercise ! 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Martin Glom
Thank you so much Oldesoul

Ill keep my speech short and sweet much like myself (Pause for Laughs) "silently talks to himself" keep cool its your big day Mr Glom keep cool no major boos yet and i dont see any eggs (Yet)---haha im just kidding.

Hello to all and welcome to Relay For life Of Inworldz 2016...(Our theme this year Relay Round The World One Hope One World) and that is what we do every year we relay from all around the world Were a global Relay and were so excited you're here to join us.

Relay For Life of Inworldz is a signature fundraising event of the American cancer society and we all relay on a global scale...Global Relay For Life (IRFL) events are now held in more than 600 communities spanning 23 countries and 2 virtual worlds.

This unique activity is designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for life-saving research and programs, unites and mobilizes community members committed to eliminating cancer.

When I see our community here I think wow, everyone keeps saying to me inworldz is such a small grid there is no one around the place and it is is empty, I think to myself what are they sniffing are they on drugs have they even opened there eyes and looked around, since coming to inworld 3 years ago I've seen a community with some of the biggest hearts I've ever seen so kind generous.

This year marks a new chapter for relay for life we see our previous Chair and Co-Chair step down after doing some invaluable work over the past 4 years, to open the door to a new Chair and Co-Chair which enables RFLofIW to get some fresh ideas fresh experience and fresh minds in this signature event.

But none of the ideas would be possible without a team force behind us that's so strong including our Community here in Inworldz its amazing to see so many people come together from around the world to hold hands and to be together in a time of need.

We have seen this many times throughout the year and previous years after loosing so many close friends and family members and the hurdles we have been faced with our will, strength, community and, determination is what makes us bounce back when the chips are down i know i can rely on our community here and my fellow relayers from around the world.

I would like to extend a huge thanks to ms Luna Stormfeather who is our chief editor for our magazine and our Media Specialist, and of course to the one and only Wolf Hartnell who is our tech Support Specialist who makes relay possible from our vendors to our kiosks he is the driving force behind the scenes of relay

We have seen how much of a community spirit is here in inworldz, when we 10 days before relay lost the ACS sims and where left to become self-sufficient,we had to get a new sim which we got from an Anonymous Donor who wishes to remain Anonymous but you know who you are and we thank you so much for what you are doing to help us carry the relay torch.

When we got the sim we had to rebuild everything and our community jumped in right away to help we seen just how amazing a community can be in a time of need we where speechless and in aw at how amazing everyone was.

Now there are too many amazing people to list and you know who you are but a big shout out has to goto Cassie Eldemar, Aminata Potez , Eilidh McCullough , Cataplexia Numbers,  Benski Trenkins , Yichard Muni, and everyone involved in making our relay possible i dont want to leave anyone out but he list is too grat to mention everyone so many kinds hearts coming together you all know who you are and we love and thank you.

For what you all done combined in 10 days was amazing and totally un real there of course is allot more working behind the scenes and up front in our relay and it would take me a long time to name them all but you know who you are and we respect and admire everything you do and you and everyone should be proud of what you do and achieve each year.

And I also would like to extend huge thanks to Mr. Rycon Bamaisin who both him and his wife are active relayers, Rycon is the mind behind a new project were hoping to get of the ground trough our own radio station and our dream of having morning shows and shows for survivors and caregivers and relayers a place to chat and share feelings this will be one of a kind to Inwolrdz and never done before on this grid, thank you so much Rycon to both you and your wife Nicole for everything you do.

I am so happy to be taking the Torch from the previous Co.Chair to step beside an amazing person as Oldesoul his knowledge and experience is what will shape this relay, his dedication and spirit is what will excel this relay, his passion and courage is what will take our relay above and beyond I'm just glad he trusted me enough to stand beside him while he was doing it.

I am looking forward to learning and supporting Olde  and the community in everything I do during season and off season and I thank you all for allowing me the chance to relay with you and lets make 2016 our year.

Big hugs and GoGo Relay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bain Finch
Thank you Martin and Oldesoul.

When I came into IWz to help with launch Relay I had many goals and wishes for this Relay. And in our 4 years together, you have hit many of those goals and filled a lot of those wishes and help create ones I didn't have.

And since handing off to new leaders, which I firmly believe is in the best interest of an all Relay organizations to have new leaders at semi regular intervals, to breath new energies and ideas, to make the whole better,, hit a few more goals all ready with the creation of the RFLofIW magazine!

Thank you Luna Stormfeather and all those involved. And now the launch of Fouse Radio, the official Radio station of Relay For Life on InWorldz!!! Woohooo! Yay! Thank you Rycon and everyone that help create and launch Fouse Radio!

Another goal / wish I did have, and this one I knew it would take some time for it to come together. But you know, I do think we have taken another very important step in reaching that one.

One very important piece of this goal is my dear friend, met her in another Relay, (coughs, hummm) and she help establish that support group there. She has a long career of working with cancer support groups, at home in the UK and Holland and pretty much all over the organic world. My very dear friend Poppy Zabelin and she is here to help build a support group for our InWorldz survivors and caregivers.

Personally have been fortunate,, knock of wood, cancer free, but I know my family's history, two generations back. I was a secondary caregiver for my dad, as I was living at home at the time and my mom was #1.

Now since joining Relay, been the primary person for many friends, to hold their hands and talk, cry, laugh, all the way through their journey. So ya, I define myself a caregiver.

Caregivers need just as much help, as survivors, as they are living and juggling two or more lives, if they have children still at home. The stresses for them are just as real, just as heavy, just as weighty, just as life changing, for them, as those in their charge.

I hate how the outcome for the survivor is reduced to a percentage or odds, the one thing I have never asked of someone by the way.,,, The outcome for the caregiver, can be just as dark. You might lose your life's partner or loved one, and in many cases, have financial and emotional challenges for years to come regardless of the outcome.

Yet they feel they need to strong and in charge. But in all reality, you are totally out of control, stressed beyond belief and running for you and their lives.

Tightly woven with this wish/goal of mine, are the ideals, mission and goal of another ACS creation, Hope Lodge. Many countries in the greater global cancer society family, have their own version of hope lodge too.

I know Canada has them, many European countries too, under different names, with essentially the same objective of provide a temporary lodging while undergoing treatment away from home.

These lodges all become central resource centers for these people, with all the information they need, local connections to companies and service designed for them. And because some stays can last of a long time, with some cancer treatment types, are staying with others, have each other to lean on.

As I said on the Morning show on Fouse Radio, The one truth I have come to know about InWorldz residents, you have it in your DNA to pull together. We fight through the oddest issues and keep on going.

You are the beacon of HOPE. For all those to come, I am betting, past survivors and caregivers, will be here for you, with their life's lessons, with their personal stories, for what helped them get through the long dark night. Maybe, just maybe, just knowing the simple fact they got through it and are not only surviving but are thriving, is enough to strengthen ones resolve, to get through theirs.

With what have happened in the few days with the creation of Hope Village, have another piece of that puzzle, just got place on the board.

And as more people join our RFL of IW survivors and caregivers group in InWorldz and our IWz family grows, will now have a home for wellness and mutual support, to help those going through the long dark night of cancer. Survivor and caregiver, will have a place to make the journey, a bit easier, a bit brighter.

That's what two of these sims are for. Over in the NW corner will be Our Lodge of Hope, built by our very talented and sweet soul Cassie, and in the NE corner, the future Resource Center, housed in a beautiful Cathedral built, as a dedication to his mother of blessed memory, another amazing builder and equality beautiful soul,, our very own, I'll do anything for tuna, our good friend Benski.

Another dear friend, talented builder and wonderful soul, our very own Cataplexia Numbers will be following shortly, began holding wellness session for us, and I am so delight she offering that wonder piece the big picture puzzle.

Oh by the way, I lost the cover picture to the puzzle, so I don't know that the final picture looks like! So we do need your help. LoL :-P

Later today, not sure were, campfire? Here? At 2pm IWT., Poppy and I would like to invite everyone for a discussion, of what this puzzle picture might look like and whether you might have some of the peices.

If you have been touch by the indiscriminate finger of cancer and are currently fighting or have reached that hard fought day, you get to hear "all clear," please join our RFL of IW survivors and caregivers group in InWorldz.

Last week when I was told I would be talking about this today, the words to this song been floating around me head, words written by Tim McGraw, words I hope you, and pretty sure ?
many of you hold dear,,, "Someday I hope you get the chance To live like you were dying."

Thanks you, thank you all for what you do, thank you hope you create and share openly every day of the year. One World. One Hope. GO Relay!

And now the very lovely and talented, Cataplexia "Cat" Numbers


secondlife:///app/group/c0de14fe-55c4-442c-a1ef-bad3792fa037/about
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cataplexia Numbers
Hello everyone!
My name is Cataplexia Numbers and some of you may know me as a builder
well today, I would like to build with all of you.
In a world where strength comes in numbers and hope comes to those
who have the strength and the vision and the courage to believe....

I would like to build a wall

A wall of people!
  -  standing strong together,
  - leaning on each other,
  - picking up each other when we fall
 A wall of unity!
   - Stretching around the world from every walk of life
   - reaching nation upon nation till it reaches us all
   - there is strength and strong support in unity!
 And most of all, I want to build a wall of HOPE!
   - That bends  but never breaks
   - That offers safe refuge to those who have lost hope
   -  A wall of people, hopeful for a cure for cancer.
  
    As Relay For Life's Fight Back Ambassador- I offer all of you
    MY Strength & Courage to fight
    My Prayers to recover
    and MY HOPE to find a cure!
  
    I invite all of you, no matter who you are
    or where you come from
    to join me in this fight!
    To give YOUR Strength, Courage , Prayers & Hope
  
    To give your HELP!
    Build this wall with me!
    Stand tall in our unity and fight!
    Stand united in our hope
    and stand PROUD
    knowing that what we do together
    CAN make a difference in so many lives!
  
    I am a cancer survivor
    and I want to invite you all
    to be survivors too!
  
    Help me build my wall of hope, of strength and of unity!
    Help Relay For Life build resources and donations
    that will give hope to the hopeless
    that will help give courage and comfort
    To those who have been stricken with cancer and
    to those who have lost loved ones
    to this horrible tragic disease
  
  
    How do we fight?
   The biggest enemy of any disease is Knowledge!
   
   Help us raise funds necessary for research into finding a cure for cancer
   
  Help us create resources for the treatment of those who are stricken with Cancer
   
  Help us fund Genomic testing, a strong tool in the prevention of cancer
   
  Help fund the research and development of medications that will help those in need

  and...
  one of the most valuable tools of knowledge to help fight cancer is to know your body!!
  
    CHECK YOURSELF!
  
    If something on your body such as a mole changes -  Have it checked!
  
    If you feel pain somewhere that you did not injure, bang or bruise - Have it checked!
  
    if a bodily function is not working correctly such as a broken urine stream, stools            that are too small, painful, too dark or bloody, irregular menses, heavy bleeding -          Have it checked!
   
     Check your own body- know what feels "normal" and when something is not right!
   
    Have routine checkups with your physician yearly- Mamograms & papsmears on
     time!

    If you are sexually active or your pre-teen to adult children are, please have yourself and them tested   for the HPV Virus which causes cancer! Wear condoms to protect     yourself from this and more!
     
    Ladies, check your breasts for lumps or abnormalities, i promise you wont go blind!
  
    Men check your prostate- your testicles - you wont go blind either!    
  
    If something doesn't seem right- HAVE IT CHECKED by your Dr!
  
    My fight was an easy one. My cancer was found in its early stages, and after a hysterectomy there was not a trace left.  I am happy to say its been a over a year now, and I remain cancer free, I am thankful every day of my life.

But others are just beginning their fight. My husband Scott here in InWorldz was just diagnosed with cancer. This was discovered during a routine checkup. He had no idea and was only beginning to show symptoms. Many more people around the world are diagnosed every day, but I have hope for them, and hope for my husband.

Hope because people like us will never give up the fight!

Hope because we will not stop until this disease is a tiny blurb in the history books about the monster, cancer, that WE took down! Together! United in HOPE and Strength & Courage!!
  
    Never give up the fight!
    Never lose hope!
    Stand together and be strong for each other!
  
   This year's Relay For Life of InWorldz is about hope across the world.
   May our wall reach that far and grow, ever stronger in the coming years!

  I have collected some favorite quotes on Hope:

Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when se see--in the mind's eye--a path to a better future.
JEROME GROOPMAN, The Anatomy of Hope

Hope never abandons you; you abandon it.
GEORGE WEINBERG, Self Creation

Without a minimum of hope, we cannot so much as start the struggle.
PAULO FREIRE, Pedagogy of Hope

Hope is the tiny seed that if tended and kept alive, can blossom into the most beautiful of gardens!
Cataplexia Numbers

I wish to thank all the Relay For Life participants- The Chairs & Co- Chairs past & present, Admin, Builders, Team Leaders & Members, Designers, and countless contributers. Thank you all for continuing the fight!
Thank YOU for keeping hope alive!

* * * * *

After the speeches was an "after party" at the The Stage Of Infinite Hope, with Cataplexia Numbers as the DJ. Yours truly got in at the tail end as it was winding down. Oldesoul would post some pictures of the event (here).

A few months from now will be the InWorldz own Relay Walk. Between then and now, one can check up on events and updates on the RFL in IW on their website: https://rflofiw.org/ .

Go Relay!

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Woodbury in Kitely Grid


By Bixyl Shuftan

Several years ago, there was a place and a group in Second Life known as "Woodbury." Based on a real-life University of the same name, the location and group soon became highly controversial, gaining a reputation for harboring griefers. Nonhuman avatars were reportedly a target of some of the griefers. Eventually, Linden Lab would shut down the sims and ban many of it's members.

Recently Woodbury would come in the spotlight again after it was revealed JP Laszlo/JPizzers, the former leader of the Trump Organization in Second Life, was now calling himself part of the group, I received a tip that the group had a sim in the Kitely Grid, an OpenSim-based virtual world. So I got onto the world, and found a place with the name on the map. And teleporting over, what I saw confirmed that it was the place.

Sims on Kitely are a bit different than on Second Life as they can be one to sixteen "regions" in size, but still count as a single sim. The Woodbury sim was a full-sized sixteen region sim with a mountain in the northeast, and urban building, much of it Soviet-themed. There was a formation of Russian bombers in the air. There was a sign with the logo that had been on JP's Twitter for several days before she took it down, "Make Woodbury Great Again." There were occasional animeish-looking builds of a girl wearing a Russian-military style cap carrying a bag of chips labeled in Japanese and a bottle of soda. In a couple places were towering space rockets. And there were the occasional statues.

I ran into one man while there. He was friendly enough to show me around, asking only that I not throw insults at anyone or otherwise grief the place. In Voice, he explained that they were in the middle of setting up several years worth of Woodbury builds from Second Life, and it would be at least a few more weeks until the place was finished. He called the mountain an "Indiana Jones" style place with plans for dorms inside. Of the various symbols inside, many were "inside jokes," some he had yet to figure out saying he was somewhat new. In one place was one building he called a representation of the real-life Woodbury University.

Because the place was in the middle of being built, many of what was there was in temporary locations, such as one submarine that was in the air. But he did say once it was finished, it would be a mix of themes with no real restrictions on what could be placed by it's members.

So it seems that the group that had been banned by Second Life has found a new home on another Grid. The one who spoke to me stated they've more or less left Second Life behind, not wanting trouble. But considering Woodbury's reputation, many would be skeptical.

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gaming Goings-On: Rust, Star Trek Online, And Tree of Life


By Bixyl Shuftan

With all that's been going on in Second Life, there have been a few developments in computer gaming. Pokemon Go has been in the news a lot, but that's not so much a computer game as a mobile ap game. But yours truly has been made aware of a couple developments in games we've wrote about in the past, Rust and Star Trek Online. There's also a new one my friends and I have been playing: Tree of Life.

Star Trek Online recently got a new expansion: "Agents of Yesterday." Fans of the Original Series, which was first aired 50 years ago. will cheer as they can now play characters and missions of the story universe that started the franchise. Three new character slots have been opened, as well as a 23rd Century Federation faction, and missions and areas set in the time period of USS Enterprise's first five year mission, taking place in 2270 the year after the TV series. 23rdCF characters can be one of four races: human, Vulcan, Tellarite, and Andorian. The uniforms are from the style of the Original Series, including the infamous mini skirts for female characters and the red shirt for those specializing in Security.

The first mission for a 23rd Century Federation character starts with them at rank Lt. jg., with the ship in orbit around Taurus II (the planet in which Spock, Scott, and five other crewmen had to make an emergency landing in "The Galileo Seven"). The player is assigned as part of an away team to look for survivors of a shipwreck and investigate while dealing with the planet's hostile natives. As it turns out, the crash was no simple accident. At the end, the ship's captain is promoted to admiral and the player character promoted to Lieutenant and given command of the ship.

After a couple missions, one of the more recent crewmen comes forward saying he's a "Temporal Agent" from the Federation in the distant future, which has been involved in a "Temporal Cold War" by powers trying to manipulate the timeline for their own benefit while it seeks to preserve it. Trekkers whom have watched the "Enterprise" prequel series will recognize the conflict from the TV show.

Fans of the Original Series will enjoy the chance to interact with some of the characters there, such as Chekov whom is voiced by the actor who played him, Walter Koenig (whom at 79 is much older than the young man he was in the TV show) and Chief Engineer Scott, whom is voiced by his son Christopher Doohan (James Doohan died in 2015). Not every Trekker however is a fan of time travel, a number feeling it's been overused for plot material. Still, "Agents of Yesterday" is an expansion which fans of the classic sci-fi TV show, old and young, will enjoy.

Sources: Memory Alpha, Star Trek Online, Trek Today, Trek Core, Cosmic Book News  


The survival MMO "Rust" is back in the news. After over a year of development, it's Experience System has finally been unloaded into the game. Gone are the blueprints that players had to collect in order to learn how to make objects. Instead, players accumulate experience points, or XP, which can be used to gain the skills to make new objects. Which objects are available depends on the players level, which is raised by gaining a number of experience points. It takes just a few XP to rise to Level 2, but the number to rise increases as the levels do.Unlike games such as Ark, leveling up does not mean an increase in hitpoints or strength.

Players gain XP though various actions such as gathering wood from trees and stone and ore from mineable rocks, picking up resources from the ground, smashing drums and looting crates and boxes, making items, and more. I have read that if someone else makes items from resources you gathered, you get some of the XP, though I have yet to see this in person.

Level One characters are limited to several basic skills.They can make paper and the map and blueprint, sleeping bag, campfire, map, blueprint,tool cabinet, wooden door, wood lock, wood window bars, bandage. The only weapon they can make is a bone club. The only clothes they can make are the leather gloves, burlap shoes, baseball cap, and boonie hat. So beginning players will have to remain nearly naked unless they make a lucky find in a drum or crate. Beginning players can make structures and could reinforce them up to armored if they somehow had the materials. But they would not be able to make doors stronger than wood or a lock better than wooden. One noticeable change is players can now make the basic rock if they happen to loose theirs, made from ten stone which can be gathered up around the island.

As one levels up, skills become available to purchase, Level Two allowing the wooden spear, burlap trousers, skirt, and fish trap. The latter is a relatively new item to catch fish to help stave off hunger, which has become more challenging in more recent updates of the game. The stone hatchet and pickaxe are available at Level Three. At Level Four, you can get the ability to make basic storage boxes. At Level Five, the burlap shirt is available (and female characters need no longer be topless), as well as the furnace. At level six, one can learn how to make the much desired code lock. Level Seven allows for the repair bench, wood shutters, and bow and wood arrows. At Level Eight, the sheet metal door and metal window bars are available. T-shirts and gunpowder, once available at the start, don't appear until Level 12.

Going up to Level Eight took me about an hour, and dying twice from the patrol helicopter. So some of the old problems are still there. And this time, the small but real possibility of a beginning player to find a rocket launcher and rocket blueprints are gone. Some places such as the Airport have been overhauled, such as some parts of the place now destructable, such as boards covering some doors. And radiation, which was a factor in places in the early Rust, is back, at least at the power plant area, so the radiation pills one occasionally finds now come in handy.

Currently the XP system is still under development, so it may experience some changes soon. One unknown is how will the XP system change the Player vs Player aspect of the game. If you still get some XP if a raider swipes and uses your stuff, it's not a *complete* loss (though still damn irritating). If you gain XP if someone else eats your food, being generous to the newbies has at least that guaranteed reward. My fellow Rust player Brandi Streusel thought the update would somewhat ease the ruthless nature the game can sometimes take in more active servers ... somewhat. Old habits are hard to break, and some players just love to grief for the sole purpose of making others miserable. In the meantime, core Rust fans and those who keep going back to the land of naked men (and women) with a single rock can see for themselves how this major update affects their own play. 

Sources: Rust Devblog 

One game that me and my Second Life friends have been into lately is "Tree of Life." Designed by OddOneGames, a Korean Indie game company, Tree of Life was first released about a year ago in late May 2015. It is sold as "early access," so it may change a little over time. Like Rust, it's considered a survival game. But the graphics are a little more "cartoony" than it's more edgy counterpart. Starting off with only a simple shirt and pants, players need to gather resources in order to build tools, and then build buildings, plant and harvest crops, make clothes, build weapons, etc.

Players have a number of skills, or masteries, which can be leveled up though experience points. They also have four stats, Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Intelligence. Constitution determines the number of hitpoints a player has. Strength determines how hard a player can hitwith melee weapons and what armor they can wear. Leveling a mastery increases a certain stat bya level. For example, raising your mining mastery raises your strength stat by one. Players start out with 100 Strength and 100 Constitution, but they will soon increase as the player goes about in the game.

At the very beginning, survival can be an issue as they player has to deal with hungry wolves, and at night zombies and skeletons, which will attack players on sight. Begining players are advised to stay clear of them, and run when attacked. Hunger can be an issue as when a character's stomach is completely empty, speed will slow to a crawl. Hitpoints are lost only due to hostile attacks, but are restored only when the stomach is at least two-thirds, or 400 of 600 points, full. Players can hit trees to get branches and apples, the latter of which can be eaten for food, and hit rocks on the ground for stones. Stones and rocks can be used to make logging axes to chop down trees into firewood and mining pickaxes to break down rocks into stone and coal and copper nodes into coal, copper, and rocks. When one's Carpentry level is two, one can make a bonfire and cook food. At Carpentry Level 2, one can make a workbench, which is necessary to make a number of items. At Carpentry level five, one can make survival tents and store them.

Unlike some survival games such as Rust, the character does not sleep when the player logs off, but temporarily vanishes. And should a character be killed by NPCs, all that might be lost is whatever item was active in the players hand at the time, so the personal inventory is safe. So the only things that are at risk from other players are one's builds and whatever are stored in them. So players will eventually want to build rusty locks, available at Tinkering Level Four, to secure buildings, and crude watchtowers, available at Carpentry Level Seven, armed with stone arrows, available at Carpentry Level Six, to protect anyone who tries vandalizing your builds.

Safety isn't quite guaranteed as it's possible to pick locks with lockpicks, so eventually as a player levels up in masteries, they will want to eventually build better towers, better arrows, and walls and gates to protect what's theirs. Players can also form and join guilds to both protection and help in common goals. Players have to log in every day at their base, or the builds will soon start to decay. Eventually, an abandoned build will fall apart and the land returning to it's natural state. There's also the ghostly "Mr. Bobo" who wanders around. You can trade goblin coins, which you find on monsters, with him for a few items.

My personal experience with the game is that the Player vs Player aspect is less vicious than Rust, but it does happen. My friend Jasmine/Jazmare joined a guild, but soon saw it was one that pushed around other players, and soon got the attention of other guilds whom eventually harassed it into abandoning their base and moving. But they left her alone when hearing she wanted no further part of them, and later formed another with me and Kryxia. But the base has had a few people try to vandalize and pick it's locks, and once going in and swiping things when somehow a section of wall either decayed or was completely vandalized. On the other hand, there have been a number of helpful players whom are either motivated by finding allies, especially ones with one or more skills higher than they or guildmates, or just want to be helpful to neighbors.

So if Rust is a bit too graphic and ruthless for you, or you just want a break from it and still have a survival game itch, Tree of Life might be the game for you.

More information on the game is available at Tree of Life Wiki .

That's all for now from PC games. As my friend Nydia would say, "good gaming to you."

Bixyl Shuftan