I got no words written tonight! Blame Kevin!
Instead I went to the store, made dinner, watched some television with the boys (two days of Daily Show/Colbert Report on the Tivo) and explored Puzzle Pirates. It has the same sneaky time-eating quality of The Sims and Civilization. So now it’s 12:45. And I’ve played several games of competitive near-Tetris, many rounds of near-Bejeweled and many rounds of a strange game that stands in for Alchemy crafting.
As far as I can tell, the economy and item and crafting system in the game goes like this: you get a store. You decide to sell things. You hire people to play the crafting games and fill crafting orders that shoppers place. I haven’t really worked it all out yet, asÂ I signed up to work at a weaving stall and couldn’t find a workstation, and later did some work for an alchemy station and was told that there were no orders to fill but I could practice anyhow. I accidentally skipped past the instructions so it took me a long time to work out what exactly was considered a success in the Alchemy game… but once I did I had to play it five or six more times because it was just so compelling. Basically, you’re spinning tiles with tubing in them in order to fill bottles.
My obsession is nothing compared to Kevin’s, though– he started his dinner tonight and then went and joinedÂ a PC pirate crew while it was cooking (preventing him from claiming it when it was done). I’m not really sure how I feel about the longer timesink individual ‘encounters’ create in this game; in a standard combat MMO, it’s usually pretty trivial to step away from the computer for a moment every couple of minutes. But tours of duty (aka gameplaying commitments) and even individual battles seem to take twenty to thirty minutes. It’s FUN time, definitely, but… darn it, it’s also irritating, especially when I’m the one waiting.
Also, it seems to not work very well over the wireless. Apparently it’s pretty packet-needy and gets all irate when the wireless drops the packets. Which means to play it, I am banished to the garage at the moment.