August 16 2016

Large List of Goodness for Shroud of the Avatar Players

If you are like a lot of Shroud of the Avatar players, then you are playing more now that the last wipe and the game has gone persistent has taken place. I know I am!

With more time spent playing, or even playing for the first time, comes a need for more tools. Luckily that is also when people start making more!

So here’s a lot of stuff. Not all of this new, some of it I just hadn’t passed along yet. Let’s go down the list!


Vyrin and Womby Bookstore

Book lovers fear not! Vyrin and Womby’s bookstores are open for business! I had a chance to speak with both of these book enthusiasts the other day, being as I am in the same guild with them, and they said business is doing well. Not only do they sell books in the game but they also write limited edition books they sell as well!

The R32 Unreliable Travel Guide is on sale now! Limited edition of 100 copies only!

Not only is that a perfect example, but hit the link to go their posts, read more, and tell them Stile sent you!


Markee Dragon continues to play, stream, and put video on Youtube to help you get your feet on stable ground in the game. Here are a few more great pieces he has done recently!


NBNN Number System Example by Vyrin and Womby

Going back to those books I was talking about earlier; a Bookstore is not the only project Vyrin and Womby have going. This one NEEDS YOUR HELP to succeed! If you are a book publisher that is.

Ever see that ISBN number on the back of your book? Ever break one of those down to see how much information it tells you? How about scanning it or typing it for search purposes? It’s an incredibly useful tool as it essential replaces the card catalog days of old.

Vyrin and Womby are making sure New Britannia has no less in the virtual world than we have in reality.

In order to keep track of the books we produce, Womby and I have decided to implement a book number. We call it the New Britannia Book Number, or NBBN. It functions like an ISBN on real books.

We would like to offer the opportunity for others to use a similar coding system in order to have a tool to more easily identify books across multiple players.

The NBBN consists of two sets of five numbers separated by a dash: 00000-00000.

The first number is the publisher number. The second number is a book number that the publisher determines.

Here is an example from an in-game book…

Go check out more and tell them I sent you! https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/use-the-new-britannia-book-numer-nbbn-for-your-player-made-books.58249/


sotacraft

Crafting? Not sure how to make something? Looking for more things to make? Don’t have the gold to buy recipes?

If the answer to any of those is yes, then SotACraft has your back. One of MANY crafting resources in the community I have been using, it has become one of my favorites. With wipes and updates taking place recipes have changed a lot. I have seen a few on their site that did not work for me, but overall they almost always do.

Is a nice row/table layout that gets the job done, especially when used in conjunction with other tools.

http://www.sotacraft.com/

July 25 2016

New Shroud of the Avatar Crafting Website

Interested in crafting in Shroud of the Avatar? A new website has gone up called “SOTA Quartermaster”. The site is currently in Beta and promises a lot more to come.

Launch Message

We’ve been working hard to bring you this tool and we plan to continue to bring you new features every few days to make this the best SOTA community tool on the interwebz. We really appreciate your patience with us.
Thanks All!
-ghost.

http://www.sotaqm.com/builder

Sota QuarterMaster 07-25-2016

July 8 2016

Watching Movies With Stile From Your Man Cave

Ok, looking for some more Movies to watch this weekend? Here’s a quick run-down of some stuff I have fielded for you over the week this week. Click the images to go the Amazon link.

Make no mistake; Grizzly IS a 1976 movie, and you will notice this immediately. The nice long intro with twangy music and pretty rivers is a great indicator! If you put yourself back to the time, though, and an era of such movies, I found it enjoyable. Sort of like Jaws in the woods!

I did not particularly enjoy the Eye2 myself, just found it lacking for some reason. It is fairly popular in some circles though so you may want to put it on your list.

The Finest Hour was fantastic. The acting, writing, directing, and effects were all above the top coming together to make a fantastic movie about a great historical event.

Skyline had me at “Arthur C. Clarke”. I grew up an avid fan of the true Sci-Fi greats and devoured everything by them, Arthur C. Clarke included. So I am well familiar with his work and was curious to see how it correlated to the work being done in this field. If I think about it sometimes, I need to ask Richard Garriott what he thinks about the Space Elevator projects that have been explored.

More than likely you are going to be familiar with the movie Maximum Overdrive based on Stephen King’s work. What many people do not realize is that there was another version of this film made previous to that one, in which, unfortunately, the soundtrack was NOT done by ACDC. Objectively I like the Emilio Esteves version better, as does my wife. On the other hand, this version has some enjoyable moments the other didn’t, and I LOVE the ending!

I am not a fan of most American comedy, especially more modern pieces. This piece did a good job of not being over the top and mixing a lot of fun into an enjoyable plot. My wife and I both enjoyed it and I would give it 8 out of 10 torches.

Wanting to expand your knowledge of Geek history? This is a MUST watch. It covers the history of Atari and some of the peripheral companies, including Activision. The Nostalgia I felt watching this movie was overwhelming. It made me think back to all my consoles and cartridges and I can only hope I rebuild those collections someday!

I did not know much about Burning Man until I watched this. Given the bulk of the documentary takes at the event, you come away with I think about the best feel short of going or future VR tech, you are going to get.

I actually did not watch this one this week. I started it up and said “oh, I’ve seen this” and hit stop. Was about a year or so ago and is a good documentary I learned a lot from.

June 30 2016

Movie Recommendation From Stile With a Lot of Geek Talk

So I recently listened to both “Armada” and “Ready Player One” on Audiobook, by Ernest Cline. I, of course, have read both of these books long ago no worries on that score! I enjoy listening to Audio books for the books I like the most, though, as I often pick up things I missed in the books. Well, not missed per say but that pops out at me in a different way just because of the various media.

Amazon had done an Audibles thing a while back, where you could do a 3-month trial membership. I think that’s open all of the time if you use one of my image links below to go to Amazon and try it out. The trial gave me three free books (1 a month), and Ernest Cline‘s were two I choose (Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy being the third.)

As I have been listening to both books on Audible, something that caught my attention in a way it didn’t on the read was the lists of video games, movies, books, etc… from the 80’s. The difference being as Wil Wheaton’s voice read them off I was going “yep read it, yep saw it. So on, so forth, to the tune of there being ONE MOVIE between both books I do not remember seeing!

I do not mean out of just the film’s, but I mean every media listed, from both books, regardless of what it is, I’ve seen it, read it, listened to it, played it, and so on. I attribute noticing this in this way more because I felt like I was responding to someone mentally as opposed to reading a list.

Now I will list a caveat; there are SOME video games listed that when I say I “played,” I may have dropped a single quarter into it at the arcade, or fired it up on a console a total of ONE time and said “not my thing.” There are some damned obscure games on those lists that given my age at a certain point of time just did not work out for me. Take the references to the Atari 2600 Swordquest Games. Sure, I wanted to win those contests but believe me when I say I was a TAD bit young to complete them.

I, however, was NOT so young I could not play a perfect Pac-Man game, flip the high score on Space Invaders, work the madness of Pitfall, or, one of my favorites, blasting music while playing Megamania.

I remember a game of Defender in which I ended up with an audience of family members surrounding me in awe. I was in the zone, had been playing all night, and was in a trance. How I miss the day’s of playing video games with others, in person 🙁

I was born in 1973 though, and the Atari 2600 came out in 1977. I believe I got mine in 78 or 79 and of course had it for a very long time until I sold it all to my uncle. My uncle had amassed what was one of the largest collections I had ever seen (even in photos), but I had a very respectable collection on its own, yet didn’t collect. Was helping him out.

I was a bit young for finding Easter Eggs in games, solving the complexity of Swordquest (I think I eventually DID finish the first one), or figuring out how to address the stupidity of E-T.

I have played them all, though, and that includes pumping tokens into the Arcade all day with my mom on a Saturday or Sunday at the local place that had killer deals for exchange rates.

My mom’s favorite game? Joust! She still loves it, and growing up with such a mom is why I am the Artimus I am today, that can legitimately point at two books covering an entire decade of the best of the “geek” out there, and say “yep, loved it!”. Yes, I loved Joust also 🙂

Oh! A second Caveat, I of course also did not play any of the video games references that are questionable as to whether they even exist and such!

Another reason though I was paying particular attention to the lists is I have been “educating” me daughter in “geek”. No, not the games but movies and books are fair game!

She has full access to my library with over a 1,000 books in it. Although she rarely takes advantage of this preferring more modern authors overall.

Stile Teckel Library

Watching geek movies though is something that we do DAILY when she is staying at my home. As an example as I am typing this particular article I have Mad Max (the first one), playing for us.

So, when a particular movie was read off that I didn’t recognize, I did a double take and quickly emailed myself the name! That flick is… *Drum Roll*;

“Bishop of Battle”, or more specifically, Nightmares, in which Bishop of Battle is one of the four movies on this anthology.

I was, sadly, mistaken, though. I have in fact seen this movie and once I did more research vaguely remember it. For whatever reason, though I do not remember it and so would like to watch it again. Also, of course, introduce my daughter to it! Unfortunately, it seems you can only purchase as opposed to rent, and finances are tight right now so I will be waiting until I can either stream this or pick it up used, like at a garage sale.

June 28 2016

Ultima Auction Spotlight – Sealed Items

As always with sealed pieces, do your homework! They tend to be costly so make sure your getting a sealed item as well as you can before ordering.

All that being said, this Ultima VI sealed, special edition, can be yours for only $500.00!

*Edit: NOT a Special Edition regardless of what auction says, from an expert source.

Ultima VI The False Prophet PC 1990 5 1/2 Disks Sealed Collector Special Edition

Ultima Underworld The Stygian Abyss 1 & Labrynith of Worlds

For another $150.00 you could pair this up with it and really score! It is an sealed Ultima Underworld The Stygian Abyss 1 & Labrynith of Worlds.

Ultima Underworld The Stygian Abyss 1 & Labrynith of Worlds 2 RARE OOP PC Origin

June 19 2016

Thanks Go Out to Slegnor, Our Latest Patreon!

A huge thank you going out to Slegnor who has signed up as our most recent Patron at Patreon! Not only does every dollar add up but I have lost a lot of supporters this last yer due to financial changes for them. New, and continued support such as this, means even more now than it did in the past!

Slegnor also has some projects he does, so please help show your support to the Caverns Dungeons, And Beyond, by taking a look if they may seem of interest to you!

He Has a Twitch channel here:

Watch live video from Slegnor on www.twitch.tv

Or you can use this Youtube Video to get over to his YouTube Channel!

Let him know the CDB sent you!

June 16 2016

The Smithsonian Interviews Richard Garriott for Preservation

A lot of efforts by a lot of entities all over the world are taking an interest in video game history preservation. Not to be left out I was just reading an article on Paste Magazine’s website by Kyle McKenney that talks about some of the Smithsonian’s efforts on this endeavor. This includes interviews with Richard Garriott and other game developers.

The initial two-year phase of the archive includes up to 20 in-depth oral-history interviews with inventors and designers active in the 1960s and 1970s. The first completed interview will feature award-winning video- and computer-game designer Richard Garriott (pictured below).

Great article and a short read, so go check it out. Tell them the Caverns, Dungeons, and Beyond sent you!
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/06/the-smithsonian-works-to-preserve-videogame-histor.html

June 12 2016

Analyzing the Lyrics of “That’s Life” by The Recap Band, From the Album “Neon Milk”

Wow have the Recap Band been living it of late! Life that is. If you have been following them in their travels, they just got back from the Hobloth III LARP event in Austin, Texas. Talk about a road trip!

They are working on their next album, though, so I had better get a move on with getting this one done!

This first thing is the overall song is about life just like you would think from the title. So keep that in mind as we delve into the more subtle parts!

Floating Space Man Astronaut

Started off at the bottom I watch the energies all ascend

As I indicated we are talking about life and you need to keep that in mind to understand the lyrics. This is saying that I started out in life at the bottom. Not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, rich, or with a big hand out. Instead, what I have or what I will get is what I make on my own. While I am trying to figure it all out I am watching all the other people racing after what they think they want.

Road blocks I topped them I’m pushing through to the end But my heart strings have taken space ‘round my throat My head beats back I’m slowly losing control
My purpose turns into one hell of a backstabbing friend
Bright ideas go dark night of my soul begins
I sit in silence up here
Floating in the outer stratosphere

So there you are watching all these people race towards what they what but what you want is different. Your finding that unlike other things you can’t just go after it, it’s a harder road being blocked.

Your loosing control and such because, well, think of it like an anxiety attack. You know you want this thing, but why can’t you go after it? Why is it wrong to do so in so many other people’s eyes?

You have all these passionate and amazing ideas but you feel like they are just fading to nothing. Not working out, can’t try it, or even just not given a chance to. So you are as far away from everything as you possibly can be just observing it all and watching… [pullquote]Floating in the outer stratosphere[/pullquote].

globe_marcelo_staudt_.svg.hi

(Chorus)
My best illusions are the first ones to fall
Life’s lonely when you’re sitting on top of the world
It’s everything you want or its nothing at all
That’s life when you’re sitting on top of the world

I have a hard time with the chorus because I can see some different meanings here. I think that’s the point. This song has some transitional parts to it. What I mean by that is it is talking about a particular stage in life, yet it also has a between the lines vibe of, this is an earlier stage, and there are other stages that come later.

First, I think that it is saying that as you are going out and following these ideas you have in life, you realize how wrong you were. The things you felt strongest about are the ones that you discover first, and this allows you to find others then.

However, part of that is finding you and understanding yourself. That is a hard thing that while others may lend some aid through their experiences, in the end, everyoens path is different.

When you figure yourself out, who and what you want out of life, you may find happiness, or may find that you are still unhappy. Unable to either achieve what you need to to be happy or even perhaps doing so find you’re still not happy, and you didnt understand things as well as you thought.

That’s what it is all about! Is it, though?

Is it also perhaps not also that when you take the courage to rip away the largest illusions and falsehoods that you have weaved around your mind, that this allows you to discover yourself and achieve happiness?

Which while a terrific thing, even just figuring out the path can also be a hard thing. You have learned some lessons about yourself and about life, which just cannot be entirely taught. You can help provide hints, direction, but everyone has to get there on their own. That is a frustrating and lonely position to be in!

Either you will be at peace with what you have found for yourself and be happy, or because you have a need to help other people, not able just to enjoy it for yourself but also most share it with others that its not everything and everything you need and want can only be failed with continual effort. In fact, you may find that part of being happy in life means contributing a certain part of it to others and without that, you cannot truly be happy.

Finally and most importantly, though, what it most directly means is that maybe you do something in life because it is what you have been led to believe you should do. Whether it is your parent’s, your peers, your employees, or academia, this is the path you have been convinced that has been lain out for you.

You win man! You get their baby! Then you find out you are not happy. Now you have to look at yourself and your life, what you have been taught, and only by completely destroying part of who you are can you rebuild to figure out what you need to do for yourself. Like those damned illusions rip that bandaid away quick because it is going to hurt! Or in this case, duct tape! In this meaning, it also is good as a chorus as you may have to do this in life more than once. It never really truly ends in fact.

Orbit satellite-picture-hi

(Verse 2)
My thoughts are caught in orbit watching belief systems burn
I try to ignore it but then I hear their concerns
And I falter gravity pulls me down fast
I can’t hold back I’m reaching critical mass
My eyes both remain closed I’m seeing nothing but black
I’m blasting off this psychedelic track Swimming in chemicals up here Inside my upper hemisphere

This overall is not much different than the first verse. Watching belief system burn is a correlation to ripping the illusions away.

I try to ignore it means that I do not listen to what others are telling me but then what they are saying begin to convince me I am wrong after a while. I start listening to them.

That causes me to fail really quick and now I don’t know how to succeed. The more I am convinced it seems like the unhappier I become. Until I am so mind washed by them that all I see and do means nothing.

It’s time to get off all these chemicals and drugs, which equate to the mind washing of society and people. Time to follow the path that is there inside your head, you just have to learn to follow it.

rap hip-hop-dude-hi

(Chorus) (Verse 3)
Feels like I’m up against a brick wall
Waiting for the day that shit falls

Seems like this is my pitfall
Throwing rocks might as well be throwing spit balls
‘Cause the bricks all line up like a psychedelic jigsaw
Only one way in it’s this y’all
And it’s all still pulling me forward like a rickshaw
Gotta get to paradise
Got enough bad memories terabytes
I just wanna rap but I’m scared of mics
I wanna be on top but I’m scared of heights
Guess it all comes back to fear
Sweatin’ whole clips it’s that severe
‘Cause it’s high pressure in this atmosphere

(Chorus 3x)

Breaking down the last verse goes something like the first. Ok, I realize how bad that was, but I am keeping it.

Ok, the brick wall, shit falling, and pitfall. These are all about having a hard time breaking away from the constraints that have been put on you by what everyone and everything has taught you to believe.

You try to break away from those teachings and find you own, throw rocks at the walls they have created in your mind but it is hard, it doesn’t do much, those rocks are like spitballs.

It’s not this straight, organized wall that makes sense. You haven’t been told all lies. Some things are real, some are partly right but only when looked at or viewed at in particular ways. Other things are utterly wrong. Some things apply to some but not others. If I destroy it all where do I start over? If I don’t destroy it all what do I pick and choose? How do I take out all these wrong pieces and re-assemble it all in a way that is proper without all the right pieces?

I know this makes me happy, I know I enjoy doing this. So all I can do right now is try this with everything I have. I will keep searching for all the answers, the meanings, and the rest. This I know is good though and so I will give it everything I have in the hopes it helps me find everything I need.

It’s hard though because I have been wrong before and tried the wrong things. There’s risk, and time, and money. I don’t want to worry about all of that; I just want to do what I enjoy. I don’t have a choice though because while I am scared, I have no other options, I have to do this because there is currently nothing else to try. I can’t give up, even though I am terrified, so I will keep working and keep figuring the things out at the same time.


*disclaimer
These articles are being done with the permissions of the band members and producer. They have no idea what I will be typing and see it when you do. These are my opinions and while they may be represented in a factual manner that is only for purposes of my attempts at making things more enjoyable to read. They are not meant to serve as the actual meanings of these songs, only my interepertations.