Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frozen City wrapup

So the Floating City finished up on the last Sunday in August. It had been a good game. I certainly spent much more time on it than I should have but it was good fun.
My tribe, the Frozen River, was in the lead when I joined but drifted into second about mid game. Then we slipped into third after the alliances started happening.

Some of my favorite moments were in figuring out parts of the game itself. We weren’t really given a lot of information about scoring or game mechanics beyond simple instructions on trading. We were based in ships, trading cargo for movement. The cargo was divided into songs – with five items completing a song and nine songs completing an album.

I got to know a lot of the players in my tribe and some from other tribes. I want to thank Skipper2501 for telling me about the game – since I’m not a huge Dolby fan I never would have heard about it. My first trade was with Dog Gone back on June 29. I missed the very beginning of the game but was able to catch up. I found a nice trading group with Lee Marvin and Dog Gone and we started to make good distance but then we drifted apart. Gunther Prelude and I were online at similar times and we covered a great amount of distance with flotsam trades. He was supposed to miss game time for work and traded me a bunch of his cargo and t (to do with as I wanted - with no strings attached) but never really missed time. I was glad to give him back the money needed so that he could buy a blimp ticket.
Some of the big names in our tribe when I started were, Ya Arrg, Ronnie Raygun, Pax Luminous, and the Doggedlys – James, John, and Jo. They were all very active on our forum. It was very exciting to finally catch up to them and cross them off my list as I made trades with each of them. Flatrock, Captain Chaos, Captain Merlania, Cap’n Tron were other familiar faces as was Yankee White, Kaigun Chusa Yakamoto, Villamouri, umo, Stacey Quiche from the ‘person above me’ thread. Athena, ian kanai, Captain k-man, Prof Xenia Hitchcock, Nerissa Panic, and Gypsy Fox were others.
Hulu Zoon and Monkey D Luffy were the first players to make a dedicated break for the pole. We were all heading Northwards but they were the first to really devote trades to getting there. Other tribe or not, we all cheered them on and were very excited to see the new achievement of the first two Floating Citizens. I made sure to get at least one trade in with both of them.

Some of the players kept in a persona more than most of us. Haunted Dolls kept in character through the game as far as I could tell. Ya Arrg as a polar bear expressed concerns over the warming arctic and LindseyKai’s ‘just a cat in a boat’ always made me smile.
The other tribes had interesting people as well. Andromeda Strayne was another I traded flotsam back and forth with. There was some confusion about one of our trades when the cursed items came out but we worked it out and I made sure to keep filling in her cargo where I could. When our tribes aligned, we were on the same team!
Lulu Garou, Picup Andropof, hobvias sudoneighm, A. Nomalous had some great names.
Of the people I invited, only a very few accepted and joined. I tried to send messages when they joined to help guide them but most were not very active. My sister Ditch Hopper did become active enough – and did pretty well considering she started the game late. I’ve spoken to her more on the phone in the last year over this game than anything else.

I’m sure I’m going to miss many of names that I should mention but I have to give a special mention to The Cannon. She was fun and enthusiastic and I was glad to finally catch up with her but unfortunately she had to leave the game and missed the formation of the City. We hoped she would make it back in time for the ending but she never did.

A special thanks to the GODs as well – notably Soot Sparrow, Andrhia, and Europa/Verre Darkly. A great big thanks goes out to Captain Smith – besides all the work he did in coding, he was also helpful with a few good trades in the later parts of the game. I was also able to make a trade with Europa directly after the first trial for the elusive Honey.

Even though I am still missing five pieces of cargo, through trading I was able to complete all the songs. Thanks to Dolby for this. I haven’t really heard much of him prior except for She Blinded MeWith Science so this was a nice exposure. For many of the Sorties in the game, they would play a song and you had to decipher the items from the lyrics. I will try and get some actual CDs as I’m still leery about this whole downloaded-music thing. I look forward to downloading them in the near future – they will be my first downloads.

While I didn’t do as many patents as some (Ronnie Raygun, Always Pining) I did enjoy coming up with patents to match the required challenges (birds, pirates, acid rain, curses). I love Lars Elk’ liquid courage anti-squid patent and was honored to see my OSHA curse patent make the Gallery. It certainly helped me to learn the new version of MSPaint – as timing was critical to sketch and scan. The linking to a picture was a bit tricky to get to work though – but I also got to learn WindowsLive’s (Hotmail’s) SkyDrive.

As I’m sure all tribes did, Ronnie Raygun had a set list of the songs we knew and the items contained within. I kept getting him to fix the lists to match they way they were presented in the cargo. Then I had my ‘a-ha moment’ and noticed that the items were always alphabetical.
When we finally started getting a fourth column of songs, I noticed that the songs themselves were alphabetical as well. I had issues with Firefox for a bit and had to use an older version of IE. In that I noticed that if you shrank the songs, they left gaps where later songs would come out. This allowed us to quickly figure out which songs were the likely ones to fill in the missing spaces.

Around this time I also noticed that some songs gave downloads and some didn’t. By making another list we sorted out that it was only songs from 1st column that had no downloads. This made sense as the 1st column was songs from the new album.

Working out where each of the IP addresses sorted into tribes from my Pushing Boundaries thread helped with knowing who I could send invites out to – so they would still be sorted into the correct tribe and we could get the points for inviting.

Working out the different achievements was fun as well. The rampant speculation over how to get the Tidal Master achievement was amusing. As was locking down exactly when the Stealthy Trader was achieved. Luckily they hadn’t fixed the message links yet and I was able to recover all my deleted messages and sort it out.

The ending came as a bit of a letdown. We had been putting together clues and scraps of intelligence throughout the game and the actual final challenge was a lot less difficult than we had thought it would be. It ended up being more a matter of who could get the answers in quicker than the others.
Our alliance of Poison City/Frozen River/Delta ended up in last place. 17 Hills was the one tribe who ended up not aligning with anyone else and they finished in a close second. The winning tribe was the multi alliance of Eastern Bloc/Clubland/Northern Seaboard/Mulberry/Mulu who also won the controversial Book of History challenge.

All-in-all, it was a fun diversion for the summer. I met a bunch of new people and heard enough of Thomas Dolby’s music to decide I liked his work. The game was involved enough to keep interest up and yet didn’t have to take all your time. Good times.

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