The Season of Violent Winds meets its end in the coming days. The gales become gusts, the gusts become breezes, and the breezes become mere puffs of air. They provide no cooling, but just push the hot and still-humid air against our skin, as if we sit in the jaws of some tremendous panting beast.
As is usual for these soon-blistering moons, some Wastelanders have holed up below ground, emerging only rarely until Hoarding comes. Others begin to migrate to milder climes, surrendering their squats to the sands and mire. Still others return to The Wastelands after a span away, as if they follow the Sun.
But, for the Mutants, the start of the Season of the Fire King marks the start of a new span. Given the strife of the past few moons, perhaps they’ll be glad to wash (all of) their hands of the span gone by. Perhaps they’ll enter this strange new span with a new perspective. Or, perhaps, as the Sun hangs huge and baleful above, they will only redouble their efforts to prove their worth…
THIS WEEK IN THE WASTES:
Barrelhead Bazaar @ The Desert Schooner, Cormac 11:00 am – 2:00 pm SLT
Trade scrap, rumors, and possibly punches at this roleplay-only event, taking place the first Saturday of the month.
Fight Night @ The Arena at The Old Potato Farm, The Wastelands 3:00 – 4:00 pm SLT
One-on-one combat in a brutal, trap-filled combat arena!
Apo’s Audio Atrocities @ TBA 5:oo – ??? SLT
Mashups, bizarre covers, retro, silliness, and whatever sounds like fun at the time.
Mutant Drum Circle @ A Dusty Patch, The Great Fissure 5:00 – ??? pm SLT
Synchronized drumming and dancing upon the glyph-scrawled stones. Non-Mutants welcome!
Booze & Blather @ The N 6:00-8:00 pm SLT
Raise your glass, lower your inhibitions, and loosen your tongues in this weekly roleplay gathering!
May War Zone
This month’s teams-based bout of bloodspilling took place in Fort Stygian. The brave contenders:
Loicthemodele – replaced from Round Two onward by Jordy Parkin
Team One won the first two rounds, so the third was held just for fun – with Walking Only rules. Team Two won, though Itch and GutterBlood spent the last couple minutes of the round moseying side by side, passing the flag back and forth to each other, to the disproportionate amusement of all.
Flatland Retro Fest
A short time thereafter, Apo’s Audio Atrocities beset GutterBlood’s old gully in The Great Fissure. There, the attendees marked Second Life’s 14th Birthday with nostalgia overload: a playlist full of 80s and 90s hits, a stage and runway built from only the finest Library-textured prims, and a cavalcade of old avatars from our early Wastelands days, and before.
The Community Meeting logs for June are now up on the Forums! (Backlog logs will hopefully be posted for posterity, as soon as time permits.) But, to summarize:
NeoBokrug reports that occupancy has leveled out since May – and that we’ve gained a few new residents. In hopes of staving off the usual Summer Slump, he’s running banner ads – all designed by GutterBlood Spoonhammer – on the SLUniverse forums in hopes of picking up more residents. Refresh furiously and behold all six!
Neo also reminds residents that, if you ever feel like relocating, the Free Move Program is still in effect! Make arrangements with Neo, and you’ll be able to move to a different plot of land for no cost – and any funds remaining on your old tier will be credited to tier on your new parcel. See this page for full details!
The Wastelands has some wriggly new inhabitants: Cave Grubs! These small and pallid Critters dwell in the lower levels of the cave complex. They’re also The Wastelands’ first truly passive creature: when attacked, Cave Grubs don’t fight, they flee. Hunters may still have a difficult time swatting the boot-sized bugbeasts, but with a successful kill, they’ll acquire a tasty snack.
Thanks to recent under-the-hood developments, HUD data is being saved in an even more efficient and reliable method than before. This wasn’t to fix any bug, however: Neo needed this new nuance for some upcoming game developments. Secret developments.
Neo says he’s presently working on one big game project, and 1-3 smaller projects. As usual, things will get done whenever they get done, and he’ll release them as soon as they’re ready.
So what all is in the works?
He and GutterBlood Spoonhammer are also working on some new, generally-more-realistic DoT effects. Rather than having a large circular flame symbol float out of their head during a Fire DoT, for example, avatars will actually be on fire. For a Blood DoT, rivulets of blood will drip off of the avatar, streaming as they run. The effects for Poison and Radiation will be completed soon – and, in fact, Gutter thought he’d even be able to finish them that Saturday itself.
The success of the Cave Grubs is a “big step for future critters / rekkers” – Rekkers being the new, more-in-character name for the non-soloable creatures, like the Dune Trapper, which used to be known as Mobs. Neo says he’s “distilled pathfinding to something that works well in the more open areas of the estate,” but notes that the more building-filled regions are unlikely to be able to support them.
What sorts of creatures can we expect? More varieties of grubs, for one! Though Neo cautions that “they won’t all behave the same.”
Juvenile Cinder Beetles may make a return, as well. However, since the original model is made with sculpts, careful testing will be needed to make sure the Land Impact doesn’t skyrocket. (Though Neo did mention that LL is working on Animated Objects: mesh objects with creator-designed movements, which should allow for more nuanced and natural-looking behavior.)
If you prefer flora over fauna, you’re in luck: new plants are in development, as well. No details were forthcoming, but it sounds like they’re going to spawn in the wild, presumably like the current Green Prickly Ball Cactus and Scarlet Spikeflowers. Perhaps we’ll have something new to harvest in the Season of Hoarding…
While working on the code for these new plants, Neo also intends to make changes to some others: “[…] I will also change how the potatoes work. Seems like they’re nothing but misery.” While he didn’t explain what will change about the Blood Potatoes mechanics, arguably the main source of misery is how frequently the sprouts and immature plants get harvested, and how difficult it is to get a potato plant to maturity. The good news is that they’re not being scrapped from the game; Blood Potato plants will still be around. The better news is that it may become easier, one way or another, to reap a full-grown harvest. The best news is that the nigh-upon-cultlike potato researchers will have a reason to renew their bloody studies.
Soon, in addition to Alden, scavengers will be able to run quests for Doktor Aeg!
Finally, as a PSA, Neo issued the following reminder: “If a person is game banned, their stuff is flagged for deletion. Which is why you should always have someone rez something before you, and buy it that way. Then if you rez it, it becomes yours.”
ROLEPLAY AND EVENTS:
The Buzzard Hunt, hosted by Irk, is still in effect for a few final days! Beat a buzzard, document your kill with a snapshot, and submit your shot to Irk – who’ll tally all your confirmed kills. He’ll make a final tally at midnight on June 30th. Whoever has slain the most oily black beasts of the air will win L$3000 and a unique and handcrafted talisman!
Do you lack a sense of purpose in your life? Do you suffer from stress, bad dreams, or sun-touched confusion? Do you seek spiritual guidance? The Mutant Witch of the Wastes ((Ccindy Pfeffer)) welcomes you with open arms (including the little scrabbly ones.) Any such wayward Wastelanders are invited to visit her on the south road of The Wastelands proper for a nice drink, a little soup, and some encouraging conversation.
Irk ((ShannonWilsonBell)) and Ned ((Aborted Stickfigure)) are not exactly seeing eye to eye lately – but they do both report a similar experience. Both have found themselves suddenly knocked unconscious by some threatening, shadowy stalker…
Apo ((Aposiopesis Fullstop)) could use some help in retrieving a few intriguing objects that have gone astray, one in each region of the Wastes. If you’re interested in performing a few small quests for her, get in touch with her to make the arrangements. She’ll repay each success with a free drink, a little lore talk, and a small handcrafted token of her appreciation…
Kaya ((Kayanite)) has reported that a woman calling herself a witch ((Alessiacallaluna)) is dwelling in a tent in the Fissure. Supposedly, this witch has a tremendously helpful process that’s helping Kaya calm the turmoil mind. Unfortunately, Kaya’s having trouble remembering just how it works…