Spennatrix is OP

I have been in Second Life a bit more in the last few months doing random things, as well as being in Kitely contributing to Karima Hoisan’s amazing builds (“worlds”, they call them in Kitely). But I’ve also been in World of Warcraft even more (hey, there’s a new expansion out!) so I’m going to talk about that here instead. Who knows, if I get used to writing in weblogs again, maybe it’ll occur to me to write some original words about SL again eventually!

(For instance maybe about how it was kind of fun figuring out Bakes on Mesh and having a full mesh head and body for Girl Dale, but that having done it all there doesn’t really seem to be any point outside of like better-looking joints in swimsuit photos.)

Spennix the Rogue has been max-level (which is 60 again now; shades of Classic!) for a little while now, and it’s been pretty fun. She’s rather squishy, as I’ve resigned myself to rogues being, with of course the somewhat compensating advantage of being very good at sneaking and vanishing and running away and stuff. So, good for exploration. She is in the Night Fae Covenant, mostly because I thought the “running around fast as a glowy animal” thing sounded like fun and more in-character than the other covenants. The damage ability seems to do a little extra damage, but nothing amazing.

For variety, I also leveled Spenax the Affliction Warlock a bit, up to 57 as of this writing. They have this nice mechanic where when your second and subsequent characters arrive at the main part of the expansion, you have a choice between going through all the introductory storylines introducing the covenants one at a time and all, or you can go straight to choosing one and then flitting around all the various areas levelling. I chose the latter for Spenax, and the Venthyr seemed aesthetically appropriate for a Warlock. The Door of Shadows ability is fun, and the damage ability, again, seems to do maybe a little extra damage.

A snappily-dressed female Night Elf Holy PriestThen I decided to focus and to some higher-stress stuff, so I’ve been leveling Spennatrix the Holy Priest, including actually healing instances, which is stressful because if you mess up the party dies, and if the tank messes up the party dies and blames you. (I’m sure tanks say the same thing about healers.) But it sure is quicker than just questing around, and the dungeon-queue wait times are like two minutes tops for a healer. So Spennatrix is 59 going on 60 as of this writing. She joined the Kryian Covenant because of course she did (they’re so pure and earnest that they are going to turn out to be bad guys, right?), and the non-combat “weird little owl guy with a baby voice brings you a potion” ability is amusing. But the combat ability? Well, holy shirtballs!

I mean, I may be pretty bad at party healing (or maybe I’m pretty good, I’m not sure; so much depends on the tank and how bad the DPS are about standing in pools of stuff), but for solo’ing around, a Kyrian Holy Priest is totally OP. (OverPowered, that is, not Original Post{er}.)

Long, long ago, in say Ashenvale, poor Spennatrix would wince at the site of, say, a bear, because they tended to do damage faster than she could heal, if she was going to get in any damage herself and therefore kill the bear before running out of mana.

But now! Need to do damage? We have Smite and Holy Fire. We also have Holy Word; Chastise, which is not only a nice chunk of damage but also a good interrupt and a decent stun, and it comes around so often on the guitar that we can just use it for a little extra damage without worrying about wasting the interrupt part, because it’ll be back soon. We also have miscellany like Holy Nova for an area effect, and that star thingie which does both damage and healing in a line out of front of one, and then again on the way back.

(All priests apparently also have Shadow Word: Pain and Shadow Word: Death. Spennatrix does not use these. Ever.)

Worried about taking damage? We have Power Word: Shield (which we didn’t for awhile, but now we do again) which makes the first N owches of damage just not count, and we can self-cast it every like 15 seconds. And if we do take damage, we have small fast heal, and big slow heal, and “heal that person and then jump to whoever else needs it the most”, and a Heal Over Time, and a “heal the whole party with pretty graphical effects”, and “heal this person and everyone near them”, and “heal this person an enormous amount if it’s available, and since its cooldown reduces with every small fast heal you cast, it probably is”, and… and… and…

And then there’s the Kyrian thing, Boon of the Ascended, which can be used every three minutes, and basically turns you into this unstoppable damage and healing vortex for ten seconds, with both direct and area damage, all kinds of healing as a side effect, and a big boom at the end that takes care of most of whatever difficulties survived until then.

Spennatrix is no longer worried about bears. Especially the first bear that’s tried to mess with her in the last three minutes.

(And then there are little perks like Levitate, which is an any-time “no worries about falling” thing, as long as you don’t need to steer, and Fade and/or Shadowmeld, which are not as good for sneaking as a rogue’s Stealth, but still very handy.)

None of this helps (enough) in a dungeon with a squishy headlong tank and DPSes that stand in boiling blood, but it’s definitely easier to solo around than I remember!

Update: Ding 60! :)

“Unmindful” The Movie by Natascha Randt & Karima Hoisan

I will take a LITTLE credit for parts of this, mostly my expertise at not having any particular goal in mind :), and a nice “make a ball look like it’s rolling without risking actual physics” script that I did. It’s a great movie, and a great sim; experience both!

Digital Rabbit Hole

On July 16th, I posted here in my blog, about a new world that Dale Innis and I were beginning to build on Kitely – Virtual Worlds on Demand, called, “Unmindful” See post:
As I said in the post, it was an experiment, to prove or disprove something I had come to believe: “You don’t need an idea to create…ideas come…all you need to do is start.”

So we started off  with no ideas about what the world would be, just making sort of odd stone structures, with off-sim wind turbines, and a parade of wild animals standing on rugs moving in a figure-eight. That was our first part of the build, but then unmindful to how the focus even began changing, we shifted in a very different direction. I had the concept, but I promise you, if it weren’t for Dale, we would never have pulled this off. (Have…

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A poem, and a painting, come alive

It’s been my pleasure and privilege to be part of another of Karima Hoisan’s amazing Kitely sims, based this time on one of her lovely poems.  (See previously The Hudson Line, based on the Hudson line, and In Your Head, based on your head (well…).)

The poem is here, and the artist’s own posting on the sim is here; I urge you to follow both those links, and then experience the Kitely sim for yourself, if you do the Kitely thing at all. (And if you don’t, maybe you should; it turns out you’re still allowed to use SL, too! /grin ).

And in the meantime, here are a couple (more) pictures, as further incentive:



Doing the scripting for this sim was great fun, and I hope there is at least one thing that makes you scratch your head and think “How did they do that?”.  Most likely it is the result of Ms. Hoisan and I racking our brains for a few days trying to figure out how to get a particular effect, and then when it seemed impossible her saying “I don’t suppose we could…?” and me smacking my forehead.  :)

Gotta ride it like you find it

(That’s actually about the Rock Island Line, and this is about a different line, but it seems apposite.)

Train crossing a bridge

That picture is from Karima Hoisan’s new Kitely sim “The Hudson Line”, which she has just announced over in her (much more frequently updated) weblog.

It’s a wild dreamlike re-interpretation of the RL commuter rail line of the same name; in one of those great SL synergies it started in casual conversations about the differences between various people’s living and working environments, and grew into this lovely impressionistic world. I helped with my usual small scripting contributions, and this time even some of the building!

It was wonderful fun to watch it emerging out of nothing (what an age we live in), and while you don’t get to have that fun, you can visit the announcement, and the sim itself (Kitely account or something required I guess?), and ride the train, and watch the movies, and find out what’s down there in the tunnel at the end (and it’s not Grand Central Station, muhahaha).

(Scripting note: llSetKeyframedMotion works very nicely in Kitely these days, and therefore I assume probably also in OpenSim; I do advise not entirely trusting that the moved object will arrive exactly where you expect it to, especially the first time after a sim reset, and setting at least a backup timer as well as the usual at_target() event. But it’s running the trains and cars and trucks and tugboats in the Hudson Line sim just fine!)

“Vector’s Vortex” The Movie by Natascha Randt and Karima Hoisan

Another lovely machinima with my name in the credits — erhm, I mean — from Karima and Nat! Which I helped a tiny bit with the scripting of the world that it is taken in! Kitely has some really interesting stuff in it (if only one had the time to explore…).

Tongue out of cheek, this world is really lovely and contemplative and worth a visit; the movie (also lovely) shows only some parts of it. Give it a look!

Digital Rabbit Hole

This is number 14!
14 collaborations with Natascha and my heart tells me, we might just keep going!
This one, came obsessively fast, just because we were both in “starburst mode” and as I was madly finishing the build, Nat was filming at amazing draw distances of over 2000(those who cruise in  virtual worlds will know that is being able to see very very far indeed!) For those who love to film, Kitely – Virtual Worlds on Demand is like paradise, where you can actually use these kinds of high graphic settings, and still get 70fps. I have posted aboutmy world here, and also shared a poem  that was born as the world was developing, and now I give you Natascha’s beautiful camera eye, that tantalizes more than it reveals, because I hope you will actually make the journey yourselves to see it on Kitely. Nat…

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Sim-on-a-Stick and Kitely: they both work!

After I described my uber-l33t bat file hax0ring the other day, Ener Hax emself commented that the latest Sim on a Stick would detect 32 vs 64 bit and do the right thing All By Itself, and also had a more recent version of OpenSim, and a thing to let you choose three different styles of world layout, and so on.

So I tried it! In particular, I exported what I had built so far (i.e. the increasingly awesome house, pictured here being built still in the older OpenSim I think:

Test User builds a house!

) to an OAR file on my laptop’s hard drive, using the actual Opensim documentation, imported it to the sim next door on my USB key just to make sure it worked (matter duplication!), saved Test User’s (tiny) inventory to an IAR, shut down that little OpenSim, installed the latest one from Sim On A Stick (they both fit onto the USB key with room to spare), developed even more l33t Opensim skills by finding out Test User’s UUID on the old one, creating a Test User with the same UUID on the new one, imported the OAR and IAR, and poof!

Test User was ready to start building again in the new moderner and unhacked-by-me virtual universe:

Interior Design in a USB key

And that was extremely cool.

After building a little more there I thought the next ossum thing to do would be to put this little house-in-a-world onto the public Web somewhere were other people could (potentially) also get to it.

Kitely was the obvious choice, so I looked at various other things first. :) If you are a company wanting to pay a small (by company standards) monthly fee for a virtual server in the cloud, there are lots of people eager to take your money. But if you are an individual wanting really not very much at all for hopefully more or less nothing, the choices are more limited as it turns out.

So Kitely it was! First I went back into the local USB-key world and put a crate in the yard and put all of Test User’s inventory items into it and made a new OAR (since Kitely I think will let you upload an OAR but not an IAR). Then I joined Kitely on the Free plan (by logging into Twitter and telling it to tell them that I was me, which is cool and/or scary), created my one free world, uploaded the OAR, and logged in…


Is that Test User’s house we see in the distance?


Hurrah, it is! (Including the inventory-crate in the yard, and the various textures harvested from the Innertubes, and their accompanying baggage of moral and legal copyright questions!)

Let’s go inside and check out the details.


Everything seems to have come over just fine, including the genuine Dale Innis art on the wall there, with the subtle band of color on the black horizontal piece, that moves slowly from one side to the other, changing hue as it goes. (And the amusing 70’s-style orgy picture in the background.)

Back out to the yard, and the crate of inventory items, and here is Kitely Dale with my favorite custom OpenSim eyes and hair, and Eloh Elliot skin, and home-made “n00b” tee shirt, ready to take on the world! (At least as long as the free two hours lasts, after which I will have to consider buying some Minutes a la carte.)


Fifteen minutes later, there is a nice wall around the yard:


and the universe is threatening to fork. I tried to export it, with the modifications, from Kitely as a new OAR, but apparently I don’t have enough Kitely Credits for that. And my patience for figuring out virtual currencies and stuff had apparently run out, because I went off to write in my weblog here rather than finding out about Kitely Credits and continuing on that path tonight.

Pretty neat, eh? Maybe sometime I will throw a party there! If I can figure out how the Minutes and Kitely Credits required would work an’ all…