Hot Interstellar Commerce Action

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Hot Interstellar Commerce Action

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My current most profitable routes start in Kamocan, at Littrow Gateway, which is my de facto home base because it’s where my ships are parked. I’m eagerly awaiting the next update where we can get our ships delivered to other stations, because as much as Littrow Gateway is nice, I’m kind of in the armpit of the galaxy and might like to move somewhere closer to the action. The latest round of missions have me transporting items to Shou Gu Wu (my bad, not the actual system name, but it’s something like that), which is two jumps away with a full cargo hold, one jump if I’ve only got limited goods to move. The thing I’ve noticed, though, is that I’m almost guaranteed to have one mission change objectives on me mid-stream. This means that the destination of at least one set of items is going to require me to either bring them somewhere new, move them to their location faster, or in a bizarre twist, explode a named NPC. That last one usually means said NPC is going to come after me, which is a problem considering I don’t have any weapons on my ship in order to conserve mass and power. That means I have to submit to interdiction in order to get my frame-shift drive recharged faster, continuously hammer the afterburners, and bob and weave using my thrusters until I can activate the FSD. So far I’ve gotten blown up once, but since then I’ve upgraded my thrusters to make me faster, and fixed my controls so I can actually use afterburners.

I’m thinking of moving closer to the Pleiades, because that seems to be where the bulk of alien encounters are happening. Right now (as of this writing), there’s a community goal in Maia that I wouldn’t be able to reach in time, but considering that this region seems to be the epicenter of whatever is going to go down once the aliens make an actual appearance, it might be worthwhile to get out there and get a front row seat for the carnage. But Maia and other systems are quite a ways away from where I am now, which means I’d need to dedicate a lot of time to getting out there, and it would only be worth it if I could get my other ship out there as well.

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Scopique Plays – ULTIMA ONLINE Pt 2: Our First Quest

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Scopique Plays, Ultima Online

Scopique Plays – ULTIMA ONLINE Pt 2: Our First Quest

When Ultima Online first launched, there were no quests; it was a pure sandbox which required players to “make their own fun”. Technically, this was a roleplayer’s dream, and many people took advantage of the free-form environment with game-like mechanics to create a world of their own.

As MMOs became more achievement-centric, it seems that UO had to roll with the punches by adding in quests. Good thing, too, because the initial quests we take in this video help to guide a new player towards some activities that will help him get better before he heads out into the untamed wilds of the main continent.

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Scopique Plays – ULTIMA ONLINE Pt 1: Getting Started

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Featured, Scopique Plays

Scopique Plays – ULTIMA ONLINE Pt 1: Getting Started

Ultima Online was my first “modern MMO”, and as such hold a very special place in my heart. Now, almost 20 years after its release, the game is still in operation, but I’m under no illusions that there can ever truly be a “homecoming”. Both the game and myself have moved on from the circumstances that surrounded our initial introductions. Still, we’ve got a history, UO and I, and that’s certainly worth a little bit of nostalgia.

In this video series, we’ll be starting over: fresh character, new environment, and an ongoing narration the mixes the memories of the original UO and the realities of the modern day game. In this first video, we’ll be looking at character creation, setting up shop in New Haven, the “new player experience”, and talking a little bit about UO in general.

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Scopique Plays – Balrum Pt 1: Basic Alchemy

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Scopique Plays

Scopique Plays – Balrum Pt 1: Basic Alchemy

Balrum is an isometric, single player “survivalbox” RPG with a narrative component. I originally heard about this game from Jeremy Stratton of Zero Friction fame, and while I had held off on purchasing it, I decided to jump on it this weekend.

The game reminds me a lot of Spiderweb Software’s games such as Avernum and Avadon series, as well as the venerable Geneforge games. If you’re familiar with Spiderweb’s output, then you’ll find a lot to like in Balrum, and if you’re not as familiar, then this game might make you a fan.

I decided to start a “Let’s Play” series with Balrum to see if A) I could set it up well enough, and B) could stick with it. The game seems like a pretty natural fit because there’s a lot to do as a survivalbox game, and can be broken out into discrete “episodes” of activities.

This intro video is rather long (about 50 minutes), and hopefully future episodes will be limited down to 30 minutes. I’ll also try and drink some caffeine before I record the next video.

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