Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Argentina Comicon Bombon.

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The taxi pulls away from the straight lines of the city as it approaches the riverside, newly-built spirals of asphalt leading it towards a cluster of squat concrete buildings festooned in pennants and printed plastic banners. A stoplight on red curbs our progress, but not my sense that the event to come will suck. In fact, it's strengthened by a flock of what look like misplaced midwestern soccer moms crossing the road wearing batman t-shirts and hugging giant buckets of popcorn. They swivel to look purposefully at nothing, shoveling in the pochoclo with plump hands terminating in meticulous and retina-burning manicures.

"I guess this must be it."

And it was, even if it was less of an "it" than anything else ever managed to be. But before we go in I suppose it'd only be fair to hand out a little context; there's not all that much to go around outside the temples of half-assery and sleepy congregations that make up this city. You see, everyone in Buenos Aires is an artist. They know it just as they know they're proud, and hungry, and worthy (of what? well, what've you got, and what do the neighbors have? that + 1, hoy es el dia!). It's not limited to the young, to the female, to the left, to the anything. Are there artists in Miami and/or Italy1? Yes? Does saying you're an artist cost money? No? Dale, entonces somos artistas. This being something of a worldwide delusion (although perhaps not quite to the degree), you'll be familiar with the artifacts of the fallout: unbelievably shitty murals everywhere, idem rinkydink "workshops" selling objectionable curios with reeeally long "titles", and a service industry rife with workers who don't think they should have to be there.

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So many instances of sameness, your knees'll buckle and you'll spend the rest of the day sitting on the floor in stupefaction.

Then there are results like the Argentina Comicon, which shed ...it's really an abuse of the term to call it "light", but we'll push ourselves sickeningly through; a sad little light is thrown on the mechanism at play among the "artists". They're only charged, in their minds, with convincing each other of their artistness. They've no need nor any desire to convince themselves, or to show the rest of the world who they are and what they've got. We know this, because their Comicon did not involve any artists. I don't mean they had some panel whatever which was fulla film people or something and how dare they. I mean literally the entire2 space had exactly zero instances of artists showing their work, attempting to sell it, talking to interested people, or otherwise participating. One room, let's call it the Popcorn Nexus, was where the local theatre conglomerate sold their butter flavoring buckets o' chum and you could sign up with your DNI3 to fuck with some promo-pushing gadget brought by Disney/local cable company/Sauron for thirty seconds. The other room, which I hereby dub Shuffle & Blow --no wait, that sounds like it could've been fun. Let's see...the Maze of Farts and Purchases. If you were there with me you'd be nodding your head now, I assure you. This room was nothing but tables arranged in completely disorganized rows and cul-de-sacs, naturally placed so closely together they created constant peoplejams, naturally all selling the same 5 - 10 things. You could buy: graphic novels, booklets of hentai, figurines, tshirts, or fucking katanas. No graphic novelists, no hentai inkers, no figurine painters, no tshirt designers, no katana...fuck, I'd've taken a fucking tasselknotter at that point. No artists, no "artists". Shop clerks with their shop stuff. Five to ten varieties, please ensure you stop to gawk and mill at every.single.table nevertheless.

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Deep within the Popcorn Nexus.

But soft! What light through yonder fartmaze breaks! There was an outdoor area, a doublespoken cordoned-off parkinglot, selling weenies and more popcorn, with a coupla carnival rides for kids, disco blasting. And sure, something like 1.5% of the attendance was "doing cosplay". Most of it was bought, I suspect, at the pre-comicon-con, where you purchase generic blue cotton overalls and "luigi hats" while having your esophagus mechanically widened to accept the Second and Third Comings of the Popcorn.

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The patio de gastronomia was so fuckin' opulent and luxurious I wager that truck was selling straight-up pork sausages.

"And they get away with it; if a kid from San Diego, one from Germany, a Brit, and an Argentine get together at some point and the San Diegan says 'I went to Comicon this summer', and the German and Brit chip in, 'Oh, me too!', and then the Argentine joins 'em, 'So did I! It was great!' they don't turn on him and feed the guy his beer bottle."

---

  1. Miami is to Buenos Aires what Barcelona is to Romania, which in turn is something akin to what a statue is to a pigeon. It's the mutually-agreed upon congregation spot away from the rookery, the somehow-logical destination for donating some of your filth and strutting around atop it so the other animals can see your swank. Alternatively, everyone being "Italian", it's right and good to do or be something if the thing is celebrated there. Which is how Buenos Aires ended up thinking it has great pizza despite its actual culinary preferences resulting in a sort of oil sponge decorated with julienned nonsense. []
  2. Two rooms, 2,000m2 between them, by the way. []
  3. Social security number, basically. []

The Best Things in Eulora are Grimy

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Well, thing. There's just one Grimy Toolkit in game so far, so far as I know, or at any rate it was only released last week. So far as I...look, intelligence in this game is about as easy to come by as talented thieves and honest politicians. Suffice it to say there was an auction for a thing the purpose and value of which were not publicly known, and I won1.

grimy
Looks about as indistinct as you'd expect from a bitter husk of a tool utterly bereft of even the crudest of instructions and entirely intent on obscuring its utility from the feebly throbbing folds of its owner's tortured mind, no? And the "grimy" apellation doesn't really suggest anything other than that the kit belongs in this decidedly downcast world, home of disgusting goop, penance clogs, petrified feelings, and so forth. At first I thought it was a gold panning device. But the sea is wide, and I'd have no idea what to do once I got there; so let's stay in the relative warmth and safety of "town", that unwelcoming bald spot in the grass populated by quivering humanoid boxes, and fuck around with this thing.

Initial observations: like certain items2 it can be equipped in either hand. Unlike many tools3, it is not a container. That latter bit means using the thing won't be as easy as putting something else in there and pressing a magic button. But if other tools that are equipped in a hand are any guide, the Grimy Toolkit'll need some sort of written command to work, just like the mining tools are used via /explore. I was loathe to try that very same command with the new toolkit equipped given the distant memory of someone's magic bag breaking under that operation. Eulora is a harsh mistress apparently unhappy to be explored by items that don't meet very strict slag-on-a-stick criteria.

What else is there? Uselessly, /sit and /stand came to mind (I tried anyway). Eulorum has a list!. But it's mostly procedural stuff for moving around. There's gotta be a file with an actually complete list of these somewhere though, right? And the command that makes use of this new thing'll have to be in there, so let's dig4. Going straight to dev/EuloraV(ersion) seems a safe bet since that's where juicy stuff like configure lives. Grep it for /sit, no dice, move on. I'm sure plenty of folks would've speedily deduced their way to the right file, but I've been hittin' the Crumbly Rock a lot lately as shinohai said and it took me a few minutes of diddling around in directories to find a pretty obvious suspect: cmdusers.cpp in /src/client. Lovely, alphabetized list, certainly some commands I've never seen before.

The novel ones were tried (I even proposed marriage to Heina as I moved down the list...alas, I was rebuffed). The novel ones told me pretty much nothing. Until /repair. "You do not seem to have the right equipment for this kind of work," it said, a suspiciously specific error amidst "Invalid work command"s and unresponsive spittles of syntax. If the toolkit itself isn't the right equipment for repairing though, what would be? Well sometimes crafting requires the player to wear certain items, like a Chair for the Head...so that and all other such equipment I had in stock was tried on in every permutation possible. Same error message. But there are other wearable pieces of equipment I don't have, or at least, their blueprints are around. Before commissioning the tinkerers to make me a full set of everything they knew about, I made the one thing I had the blueprint and all the ingredients for: an Early Technicolor Dreamcoat. It happens to call for 24 two-leaf clovers, which would've been a bitch if I didn't have a glut from earlier sacrificing activity. There's little I love more in Eulora than sacrificing, as it yields either hard-to-find harvestable resources or certain potions that grant skills5, along with special tokens that go for half a million ECU each. But about that toolkit....

Once the dreamcoat was ready (it doesn't look so technicolored, which I guess is why it's the "early" version), I put it on, tried /repair again and got...a new error message! Which was slightly encouraging, even if by this point I was imagining myself stuck with the same unusable item in a year's time. "This item is already perfectly dysfunctional." I was trying it on my altar, which is the tool used for sacrifice. Mostly because wouldn't that be awesome, a way to extend the life of that rather rare6 font of unfair advantages? My altar has a healthy durability left yet though; what about another container-tool with such low durability it has no clicks left in it? Coat still on, I gave a decrepit Worn Old Screens7 a try, and behold! They regained about 12k durability points.

The repairing process uses the McGuyver skill, and I've yet to determine if higher or lower ranking is ideal for durability points repaired versus Grimy Toolkit decay. I'll be holding that determination for the day when my altar is broken enough to be saved. And on that day, you'll most likely also see me gloating, for the toolkit won will recoup its costs at auction in a mere twenty clicks, not counting whatever items I might loot in bonuses. Everything from there is upside, and this in a land where upsides are usually either infinitesimal, illusionary, or both.

***

  1. For 10MN ECU, ten bitcents. []
  2. Pickaxes, adzes, hoes, and magic bags. []
  3. Bandar toolkits, craft tables, worn old screens, samovars, turning wheels, and grotesque altars. []
  4. Stuff like this really makes Eulora shine, I think; whereas pretty much every other game I've played would depend somewhat on players not digging around like this, and even attempt to penalize those that did, Eulora outright encourages it. For all I know this was actually imagined as the way to get the mystery demystified []
  5. This is how the mining and lumberjack skills were found this year, via imbibing The Good Hammer and A Butch Man's Buttered Scones, respectively. []
  6. Public records suggest I have one of three extant, with the other two belonging to Daniel P. Barron. The same fella has some blueprints to make more, but I alone have one of the key ingredients, and we haven't managed to reach any sort of arrangement, so miserly has the trade made us. []
  7. A tool for shredding recipes to yield maculature, among other things. []