Monday, March 31, 2014

Scenes From The InWorldz Fifth Anniversary

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday March 16th, InWorldz began one of it's biggest events this year, it's fifth anniversary celebration. A few dozen sims had been set up to be the location for some celebratory builds for this milestone in the virtual world's history, as well as some events. I went there to take a look at what the IW5 as it's come to be called had to offer.

  There was a shopping hunt for those wanting to search for quality freebies.

Several sims were all water for boating activities. And there were some dock areas, including this sailing ship area with one anyone could take for a ride.

One had to take some care, otherwise you might end up beached.

 Not far from this dock were some pirate caves.

 There were a number of caverns to explore.

I think there was also a treasure hunt game, but I passed it by and moved on.

At the Welcome Center, there was a box with a few freebies.

Nearby on a landing pad was a helicopter ride anyone could board and fly, with a notecard providing a few instructions.

One couldn't just release the controls and let the chopper hover. After this shot was taken, the craft began to fall back to earth, with a few more keyboard presses stopping the descent.

The official InWorldz Fifth Anniversary T-shirt, worn over my normal green one.

 On March 23rd, I came across a small party not too far from the Welcome Center, with Cataplexia Numbers spinning some tunes for those there. With a nautical theme, she was playing songs like "Airship Pirates," and "The Ship."

There was also a couple cannon and a boat rezzer, one that was damage-enabled. This was for a demo battle. When a boat's hitpoints reached zero, the thing went up into a cloud of smoke and sunk. "Let them know were over here having a ball blowing up ships!" one lady told me, "Hope you all don't try and blow up my pretty pink ship if I sail it. Heh heh!"

Among those there was Ilianor Illios, whom offered to show me her builds in the Fantasy area. She told me one had won the contest for best build there, "This is my work. It's a fairy wagon with the royal fairy family. I have added all techniques, tortured prims, sculpts, and mesh. ... In the contest, I liked all the builds. It has been a surprise to win."

The build next to it wouldn't show up on my viewer, the official InWorldz viewer for the Mac (I was using my older computer to travel to InWorldz), but another Ilianor took me to did, "this sun is double faced, on the other side is sunset and here sunrise.

Ilianor told me she had made many builds for InWorldz. Besides her build for the contest, she also had others for the adult sim and the Gallery. From Italy in real life, she had come to InWorldz from Second Life as part of a mostly American virtual community which moved all at once in 2009, "When they came to InWorldz, I moved too." She had a different name in the larger virtual world.

As it turns out, Ilianor is also a harp player. She will perform today March 31st in InWorldz from 1 to 2PM SL and IW time at "Gypsies of InWorldz."

The IW5 will be going on for a few more days, so there's still more to see. If you want to see more pictures, Daniel Voyager has a few more on his Flickr page:

Ilianor had more to show me, her store and her "City of Light." But that is another story.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, March 24, 2014

Game Review: The Elder Scrolls Online

By Nydia Tungsten

I have been waiting for several months to be able to write about this game, for those of you that love Skyrim, this is completely different but with the same races. Yeah, I know that’s sounds crazy, but let me explain it this way. Yes, the races are there same and some of the cities are the same but that’s about where it ends.

 I will be comparing this game to other MMO’s I have played to help explain it, so get a drink and snack as this could take you on an adventure.

The character creation screen is one of the best I have EVER seen, they made it easy to create a character that is totally unique and your own. The graphics are done very well with fantastic depth and color. The story line is very easy to get caught up in, no matter which race or faction, and it flows smoothly….for the most part.

But I have to admit, this last beta experience was one of the worst beta experiences I have ever had. Granted, the other times I was caught up with at least fifty to sixty other players all trying to do the same quest, but in a beta, that is to be expected, After a few hours, we would string out because of all the side quests that are available, but being this close to the release, they still have some problems popping up. For example, it has three broken quest lines that weren’t broken before. You would think that when you have 63 people standing in one area waiting for a boss mob to spawn generating many reports, they would fix it. The other quest lines people found broken, by this time, were just written off the quest.

But the one thing I found THE most aggravating and frustrating is grouping. Bixyl and I tried to group and to our surprise he was invisible to me. So we both tried to relog, then I tried on another character I had created earlier and we could see each other, for about three minutes. Then he was invisible again so we tried other fixes and none worked.

Okay let’s get into the cost of the game. If you want to play as an Imperial, you have to preorder the game or you can’t play that line. Here is what they said about their prices from their web site:

What does The Elders Scrolls Online cost? Players can pre-purchase digital versions through The Elder Scrolls Online Store  ( The digital Standard Edition is priced at $59.99 (€54.99 / £49.99) while the digital Imperial Edition is priced at $79.99 (€79.99 / £69.99). Players can also pre-order physical editions through participating retailers worldwide. The physical Standard Edition for PC/Mac will cost $59.99 (€54.99 / £49.99) and the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are priced at $59.99 (€69.99 / £59.99). The physical Imperial Edition will retail for $99.99 (€99.99 / £89.99) on all platforms. For a full list of what each version includes, players can visit our preorder page  ( Once players purchase the game, they will have unlimited access for the first 30 days and can continue beyond that with a subscription of $14.99/30 days (€12.99 / £8.99). The first 30 days begin at or after the official launch of the game when players select their preferred subscription plan. Subscription fees will only be charged after the first 30 days.

So if you wait and don’t preorder it, you can’t have the digital goody bag. So, it is $20.00 cheaper, only $60.00 total, and you get the game and the first thirty days, which IS a step above World of Warcraft. I remember when buying WOW for the first time and how excited I was to get it home to try it out, only to find out I had to make ANOTHER trip to town to buy a game card! So, it had to wait a few days more, but in Blizzards defense, WOW was only $25.00 and I never had any broken quests in it. There are a lot of plus and minuses to this game. While I did have fun playing it, the frustration level was way up more than the other times I have played.

So unless they have another test before it goes live so I can see for myself it has been fixed, I cannot recommend this game. It seems to me they are trying to rush it out before everything is ready, and I have seen what that leads to, nothing good. But if you do want to play it, wait a while for them to fix the many bugs left in it and for the price to come down to a reasonable level.

I am sorry to say, I have to give this game a thumbs down at this time. If they do more testing and the bugs are fixed, I will let you know and reassess my rating.

So, until then, GAME ON!

Game play recording:

Nydia Tungsten

Edited by Brandi Streusel Tungsten

First image credit:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Game Review: Left 4 Dead 2

By Nydia Tungsten
Edited by: Brandi Tungsten

As the opening credits play, you see the first four survivors run through some of the levels you have to take them through, ending up with them climbing the stairs to get to the rescue chopper….that isn’t there for them.
So they have to fight their way to the Evac center, which of course is empty. Along the way, you will find there are stashes of ammo and weapons to help you keep armed for your journey, but they move from play to play, so it keeps you on your toes.

As you watch the video, you will see there are a lot of weapons to choose from, anything from a cricket bat all the way up to a grenade launcher and everything in between.

This is not a typical “Zombie apocalypse” game, this one has several “special” Zombies that can REALLY hurt as Bix and I have found out.

“Spitter” hawks a toxic loogey at you and burns you with its acid.

“Jockey”, this little back humper, jumps on the back of your hide and proceeds to ride your staggering form away from help.

“Charger”, okay this guy has one HUGE arm…( I will refrain from the obvious MJ jokes), he plows through you and picks you up and slams you into whatever is behind you then starts slamming you into the ground.

“Tank”, name saying it all, this bugger is HUGE and can rip up chunks of concrete to throw at you or just toss you around like a rag doll.

“Hunter”, now THIS little sneaky bugger likes to keep out of sight until he can pounce like 400lb fanboy at a comic con meeting sailor moon for the first time, but can be killed easily if you see him in time or your group is close by, but he hits hard so be warned.

“Boomer”, this big boy looks like he weighs as much as a Buick. His real threat is he will puke on you and/or your companions, which will drive every other Zombie into a frenzy and attack whatever it lands on, which is how bile bombs can come in handy.

“Witch”, don’t be fooled by her slight build and pale skin. This little girl is worse than a certain Vixen PMS’ing. You will hear her before you see her. She will be crying softly, but if you get too close or shoot her, you will “startle” her and have to deal with her. But be careful, she can take you down with just one hit.
The best way to deal with her is at a distance. Don’t just shoot her, thinking she will go down easy. You better have a full clip and use it all on her because if she gets too close, it’s all over.

Left 4 Dead 2 features a new cast of human Survivors, which include:

Coach (voiced by Chad Coleman), a portly high-school football coach with a bad knee (although it does not affect gameplay)

 Nick (voiced by Hugh Dillon), a rude and cynical gambler and con artist

 Rochelle (voiced by Rochelle Aytes), a low-level production assistant reporting on the evacuation for a local television station

 Ellis (voiced by Eric Ladin), a friendly (and rather talkative) mechanic who often talks about his friend Keith and their many misadventures.

In addition to the four playable characters, Left 4 Dead 2 also features a supporting character in the form of Virgil (voiced by Randall Newsome), a Cajun boat captain, who appears (voice only) in the game's final three campaigns.

I looked this one up on the Wikki ( Google is my friend ) and found something surprising; this game was originally banned in at least two countries, Australia Germany for its violent and graphic “deaths” of the undead, but hey…here in the U.S., that’s the average movie night at home.

There are many ways to play this game as well, alone, with a friend or in teams on the internet where you take turns being the survivors or the infected. I have tried the team play……let’s just say it didn’t go well, and I think I embarrassed my gaming partner, Dchan, at that time. He, on the other hand….was doing pretty well.

In this video, you will see Bixyl and I duking it out with some real hard core baddies, but we come out on top, and you will notice my character is not the normal one. This game is so popular there have been skins made for it and I am using “Krystal”, There are also a LOT of other skins you can get and use with a little looking. I like playing with Bix because I know when we die, I will be PUNished by Bixyl’s “puns” and humor.

I give this game a “Thumbs Up” and recommend it to those who enjoy FPS’s and don’t mind a little carnage.

Here is the play through we did, hope you enjoy it:

If you get the game, let us know and tell us what YOU think. And, as always, if you want to see me review a game, drop us a line and I will get on it. But in the meantime, “Good Hunting to you!”

Editor's Note: Forget the stereotype of slow, lumbering, undead. Between occasional lone walking corpses, You'll have to shoot your way through wave after wave of freakin' zombie banzai charges. This game is intense.

Nydia Tungsten

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Meanwhile, Back in Rust

By Bixyl Shuftan

For the Sunweavers/Angels in Second Life, the adventures in the Rust game continue. Shortly after Jasmine made the base a couple weeks ago in the Player versus Player server we were going about when not in Lost Island (link), that server went offline. Lost Island also went offline briefly, so we checked out other places. One was the "ZZFun US PVE No Sleepers" server. Looking it over, there were a number of builds by players, more metal than I had seen.

One that stood out was a tremendously tall skyscraper, one that looked like it took many, many hours to get the metal ore for, forge, and build.

The second was an odd looking build held up by only a single set of stairs, looking like a big "smiley face."

I ended up talking to CWHughes, co-administrator of the server, after he happened to sign on while I was there. He  told me the server had been up for about two and a half months. He himself had created the smiley-face building and the skyscraper using his admin tools to skip making the metal. Both had doors unlocked for people to climb up and enter. And indeed people could, after asking him first, get a floor on the skyscraper if they wanted too. The top floors, however, were his alone to build in.

Getting up the tower took several minutes of stair climbing.

But once up, the view however was fantastic, with much of the island and a good deal of the road system visible.

At least what could rezz due to the distances involved. And this wasn't even Hughes' tallest build according to him. He told me he had made a 200 story tower before the server was wiped, and had to start over.

CW Hughes showed off a couple of his administrator tooks, such as a sparkling pipe, which he called his "admin hatchet."

He also had a bow that looked ordinary, but fired what he called "fire arrows." As Rust is still in "Alpha," they left a red outline after he fires.

If you're in the server, and find or hear CWHughes about, don't forget to say hello. He just might call down an airdrop just for you, or invite you and one or more others to take part in a contest.

Since then, Rust has had one more big update (link). There have been some visual improvements, such as the moon looking more detailed. But the big thing is "item durability." Tools and weapons degrade as they're used, and unless occasionally repaired become useless. They have to be fixed at a special "Repair bench" (image from the link). This has added to the challenge to the game, though can be disabled by server administrators. A couple friends grumbled weapons seem to degrade too fast in some places.

There's also been a number of Rust videos made of general funnery at the Alpha bugs and all, plus a man successfully defending his home from raiders (caution, one with naked men): (link).

Sadly to say, no new pictures from the Lost Island server. Our old friend Lomgren Smalls joined us on Rust (though is still taking a break from Second Life for personal reasons), and used the "remove" command available on the server (its only in some places) to make a fancy "reverse pyramid" with a one room ground floor, a nine room second floor, and a fifteen room third. Unfortunetly, the server got wiped before the thought came to me to take a picture. So we now have to rebuild.

That's it for now from Rust. Word is it's become one of the more popular games in open alpha development. No doubt there will be more to write on soon as the Angels see what they can do.

Bixyl Shuftan