Tuesday, August 10, 2010
A Tale in the Desert 5 - Day Three
Day 3 of my adventures in the desert brought more progress, but also some setback. While I had been offline, Sterope, the region I settled in, had finished the research on stone cutting. And a group of players had built a public rock saw. So I picked up the tech, and used the public rock saw to cut medium stones into flystones, from which I then built three pottery wheels. I set those to public, so other players can use them. I formed some wet jugs out of clay on the pottery wheels, and then had to find out how to fire those into solid jugs. That involved learning kiln construction, building small box kilns to make firebricks, and then using the firebricks to build a true kiln, in which jugs can be made. Having the jugs allowed me to double my flax production. Another player gave me some Nile Green flax seeds, and while these do need watering to grow, they produce 2 flax per field, instead of just 1.
I also started the next 2 tests, the initiation tests of leadership and art. Unlike the previous 2 tests I did, these tests need the help of other players. For the leadership test you need 21 signatures on a document, while for the art test you need to build a sculpture and need 21 people to declare that sculpture as interesting. Fortunately everybody is very helpful and every player who passes by signs your petition, and votes for your sculpture, even though I don't claim much artistic merit. It is more a "You scratch my back and I scratch yours" kind of deal, where players automatically help each other out because they need the same kind of help at some point.
Another progress was me learning to use the user interface of A Tale in the Desert better. I'm getting better with the camera controls, which are a bit unusual, and require switching between various camera modes using F5, F6, F7, and F8. I also learned how to close my chat window to allow the use of hotkeys on machines. And with some other settings in the options I made picking up things and harvesting wood a bit easier, requiring less clicks each time. One important setting I already changed on the first day is to make warning messages to appear in chat instead of popping up in a window which needs to be closed. When exploring you get stuck on a slope *extremely* often, and having to click on a window every time that happens is just not playable.
In spite of a certain dislike of slopes and mountains and finding resources on spots you can't reach because of those slopes, I ventured out on another exploration trip. I didn't find any sheep this time, but was lucky enough to find 8 wild papyrus on a lake. Papyrus can be dried on a drying rack, and if you do it on top of a mountain, you *should* get enough seeds to throw into the Nile and grow more papyrus than you started with. That's the theory, but either I got unlucky, or I chose the wrong time of day, or the highest mountain in the area isn't high enough: My 8 papyrus only gave me 1 single hf (handful) of seeds, which would grow into less than 8 papyrus when planted. Damn!
A Tale in the Desert being essentially a sandbox game (with lots of sand), it isn't all that obvious what I should do next. I'll have to look into what skills and technologies I can learn now. I also need to find a guild, maybe with the readers of my blog I met in game. And I need to do a lot more running, to visit the universities in the other regions of Egypt to pick up vegetable seeds. Up to now I only got cabbage seeds, and everybody is looking for onions.