Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Flight Rising - Dragons!

A very dear friend has introduced me to the game Flight Rising, in which you basically collect dragons - by breeding (your own) or buying (other players') - and prettify them with custom art skins and trinkets. These are a kind of breedable but, unlike the SL breedables, they don't take up space you could better use for something else, and they don't cause lag, or cost an arm and a leg to feed. This kind of breedable I can get behind - even though they are only two dimensional and inanimate.

I thought I'd post up the dragons I have so far in my clan, as a record of its beginnings.

LIGHT DRAGONS: My clan is founded in the Flight of the Lightweaver (one of 11 elemental dragon deities); her symbol is in the background. 

Top left: MoteOfRadiance, a Guardian dragon and the matriarch of the clan; my starting dragon, whose species and colouration I could specify (which is why she is gold).

Top centre/right: Mote's mate, Maldaviant, is a different species called Mirror (all dragons can interbreed). He is pictured here both in his natural colouring (right) and decked out in a custom skin and combat apparel which I purchased for him (centre). You only customise one starter dragon; then the game provides a mate entirely at random. We got Mal. He has a surprise up his sleeve. Look what happens if I bring out his third colour, which is hidden in the basic dragons like Mote and Mal, but expressed in genetic patterns you can breed for or apply with a magic scroll:-

Mal's third colour is magenta!

There is a way you can determine how a dragon would look before you go spending money to add genes which you might not like. Actually I think he is very handsome in his crackle coat! This does mean that a pink element is being passed on under the radar to his offspring, but I checked and none of his sons have inherited magenta - probably because Mote's hidden colour is avocado (I didn't choose this bit!) and the two genes are more likely to combine to make a variation on chocolate.

Bottom row: Mote and Mal have so far raised one clutch of eggs, all sons. Two take after their mother, one after their father; species characteristics do not mix, so you get either one or the other, depending on the rarity of each parent species. I named these fledgelings WhisperingDune, OceanZephyr and Terroxor. Note that their colouration is derived from that of their parents; offspring from this pair could have anything in the blue to green range, or yellow to brown, but could not (for example) be red or black.

ARCANE DRAGONS: My friend is very keen to help me get off to a good start, and has already gifted me with six dragons from her own clan, the Flight of the Arcanist. You might notice that my dragons' eyes are yellow, reflecting their Flight, while these dragons' eyes are pink. Actually the top right dragon has yellow eyes too, so my friend must have obtained him elsewhere, as all dragons bred in your clan share the eye colour of their representative Flight.

These dragons are gorgeous, displaying some of the rarer and much sought-after genetic patterns your starting dragons lack (although there is a way to bring them out later). Their names, incidentally, are mine.

Top left: Tigraine is a Wildclaw female with striking tiger stripes. I have also added custom accents, which are like a partial skin. Like Maldaviant, her accents are based on the semi-precious mineral Jasper; Flight Rising is currently celebrating the festival of the Earth element, and artistic players are encouraged to design themed skins to be sold at these festivals. Custom skins are not inherited; they are worn like body paint, but can be taken off and put on another dragon, or sold.

Top centre: Maleficent is a Guardian female with quite different colouring to Mote's, and also the additional characteristics of shimmering scales and wings, and a body decked in gemstones. These traits can be passed along to offspring but are rare and not often inherited unless both parents possess them.

Top right: Iridian is a male Wildclaw, also of the Light flight, also possessing the shimmer and gemstone genes. Iridian thinks he ought to be Mote's mate, not Maldaviant! Wildclaws are a much rarer species than Mirrors, and he has fancier genes to boot. Unfortunately for Iridian, I won't be breeding him much to Mote because he is not very likely to pass along any of his elite characteristics, and he would be better employed elsewhere.

Bottom left: Rosalita, another Wildclaw, is extremely pretty in pink; and she has the smoke trait, producing these lovely wavy swirls all over the dragon's body. If I breed Rosalita to Iridian, there is a small chance of producing gemstone babies, but they are more likely to inherit their mother's smoke pattern, as this is a more common gene. The offspring of this couple will display a range of sunrise colours in pinks and golds, very suitable for dragons of the Light! Iridian will just have to get over Mote and start appreciating this sweet dragoness. Possibly Mote had this in mind when she invited Rosalita to the lair...

Bottom centre: Rilian, still a hatchling, is named after the prince in CS Lewis' book 'The Silver Chair' because of his markings (known as crackle). Crackle and smoke have a similar rarity so if I breed him with Rosalita (when he's grown!) their offspring will be about 50/50 smoke and crackle patterned (never both in one dragon). Rilian is a Spiral dragon, which are very long, thin and loopy in flight, and extremely energetic. He is a fosterling, helping to cement bonds between the two clans.

Bottom right: Umbraura, a fancy way of saying Shadowgold, is another smoke dragon; this time the species is Couatl. Couatls and Wildclaws are both rare species, so if I breed Umbraura to Iridian I will get a roughly 50/50 mix of offspring in both species. If I breed her (or the Wildclaws) to the more common dragons, most offspring will take after the common parent.

You can see that I am already very into this game! Through judicious breeding, I hope to be able to produce my own unique dragons as gorgeous as the ones given to me, and then I can also sell or give them to other players. It is a very strong feature of the game that breeding is statistically determined, based on dragons' existing rather than random characteristics; a system which puts FarmVille to shame with its failed sheep breeding!

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Secret Affair

I thought I would jump back in with this post so that, for once, an event is still going if anybody likes the look of what I bought!

The Secret Affair is not really so secret, since everybody blogs about it, but I don't follow blogs... However I do follow Lassitude & Ennui, who always seem to create something for the event, and naturally, after moseying along to get their item, I saw lots more shiny things I wanted - especially since the stalls are set out in a bewildering labyrinth of no conceivable order. It is always a beautifully designed and themed event though, with high quality and well priced goods, all of which tempts one to buy. This time, I bought over $L2000, and had to borrow against rental payments (which means putting my stipend into savings) because I have a hard and fast rule never to put extra money into SL - except for rent and very special, expensive purchases like dragons, or my castle. That slope is as treacherous as ice over hot coals.

The theme for November is Harvest Moon, which has prompted a very primal, fae and pagan theme guaranteed to whet my appetite. So, what did I buy? Well, for starters, the AF decorators' kit for the Maiden Tor stone circle which dominates the event site and is exclusive to the fair. It's based on an ancient stone monument from my own country, beautifully remade and very low prim, with an altar stone and a holy well - I don't currently have the space for it but will have to work it into a winter theme somehow. I also bought an absolutely awesome dragon skull helmet with several colour and texture options; a skirt; hair; two necklaces; and a pair of shoes.

Deer Friend. (Even though I suspect my skirt is made from their hides.)
Dancing on the Maiden Tor Altar.
Worshipping the Harvest Moon.
Dragon Torc Necklace
Harvest Moon Necklace
Golden Rams' Horn Booties!

While perusing the fair, two very generous people dropped gifts on me, a pair of horns and the wings in the first two photos. There are, inevitably, a couple of gachas at the event - and you know my feelings on gachas, particularly ones like the Junbug gacha which requires you to put together a set of different items (to make a fairy outfit) - the odds being impossible unless you're swapping with a group of friends or in the gacha groups. So I didn't play them, and was incredibly lucky to be given the two items I would most appreciate! I suppose I looked like the right person to wear them, in this avatar.

I loved the shoes so much I made a fundamental error and did not check the details before purchase. Also because the demo was L$1 and paying for demos is a cheap stunt, especially with shoes, which usually only give you one foot! - and I've never yet encountered a pair of shoes that didn't fit. Until now, because of course they're for SLink MID feet, and I don't own any. Doh! Rather than pay another L$675 for the feet, I determined to overcome this obstacle with trickery. I messed about with my own shoe template, various foot alpha masks and a couple of tortured prims to fit over the ankles, hiding the slight gap left by said alpha, and am pretty satisfied with the result. Ironically, with the skirt alpha hiding the feet as most do, all you can see is my fake ankle prims, but at least I can wear the shoes! I have to say though, with the purchasable demo and the very tiny SLink sign on the vendor (you could just about see it said SLink, but the 'mid' part was illegible) I'm not impressed with whatever was going through the creator's head. It's almost as though they intended people to make this kind of mistake. The good thing is that if I had paid attention, I might not have bought them!

You know, looking at those necklaces, it occurs to me that L&E standards are slipping. They used to make some of the finest jewellery in SL, until they jumped on the mesh bandwagon. Now both necklaces are mesh, but you would think that the Harvest Moon, with all its intricate detail, was the L&E item - their past work has been that delicate, in prim-work. If they can't do better with mesh then why are they using it..? Oh well. I still like the torc - I've always wanted a proper dragon head torc! - and it was only L$99. I'm not saying it's bad; just that I expected better from L&E. They were once the hallmark of quality craftsmanship and now any number of creators are just as good, if not better. It's sort of sad to see, and I hope they pull themselves together. Meanwhile I shall start paying attention to The Forge!

~: Fair Purchases :~

Aisling 'Aslota' dragon skull helmet
Entwined 'Arya' hair (sold in 5-colour packs)
Junbug Fae Wings in ivory (gacha prize)
L&E Dragon Torc in gold (they also have ravens)
The Forge 'Harvest Moon' necklace in gold
May's Soul 'Harvest Moon' tribal skirt
Azoury 'Siggy' booties (camel) for SLink mid feet

(All items, naturally, mesh. I'm starting to wonder if you can still buy anything in SL that isn't mesh.)

~: Also worn :~

][.Ruin.][ Skin 'Lethean': WinterStoleTheDryad'sHeart (now Devae, skin from past event)
ContraptioN Carnivorous Jaw

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