Thursday, July 17, 2014

Safari High

          You know you've been on safari when the trip starts out with an elephant farting, and ends with a dinosaur eating a giraffe.
          The new HG Safari meet up point is still in OSGrid, but we moved to a different sim, Teravus Plaza, a homestead township where the weather is less picturesquely stormy. Probably just as well, since a whopping 24 people showed up for our trip this week. I'm not sure Ilha Magica could have taken the strain.
          There is an indoors to the clubhouse, with freebies, and chairs, a TV showing some of our exploits, 'helpful' posters, and a patio with a meeroo cooking on the barbecue, but everyone ended up in the front yard, somehow. Please drop by any time. TP to Teravus Plaza and look for the waterfall. We are next door. Feel free to grab freebies, get the notecard with LMs to freebie stores, and do not forget to click on the elephant's tail.
          It was so cool to have valued regulars with us, and also lots of new friends along, including SL pals like Apmel and Desdemona Enfield. Finding a look that works for you on a grid without all your favorite shops, let alone marketplace, is a challenge and they both made it work in different ways.
Apmel Opensson and Desdemona Enfield. Apmel is the one with pants on.
           Just friending everyone took about 5 minutes. Why friend everyone? Well, obviously they're all exquisite human beings, but on the practical side it makes it easier to keep track of who has crashed or lost the group, and you can tp and chat to someone when you're on another grid. Sometimes. 
            Fuschia Nightfire had organized our first jump to a truly lovely ensemble installation called Dreamtforest, on a tiny grid which frankly I doubted could take the strain of two dozen avies. Art Blue aka Ervare Farroretre was there to meet us. He explained how this build is part of the RL contemporary art expo, the Santorini Biennale, and that it's an interactive install. You get a tree from the dispenser near the big blue stargate, and then plant it and water it. I'm not sure how you water it, but I have my suspicions. Anyway, then it grows leaves and such, and you can go back and visit it, and see it develop. 
          We are those tiny dots and clouds on the tray being held by the gardener high above the lush vegetation of the adjoining sim. It is a place to return to, not only to visit your tree, but to explore. Here's a link to get more information about what it's all about.
          Safari lasts more than 3 hours usually, and nobody expects anyone to stay for the whole thing because you people have lives to live and Wednesday is often a busy time. Not only that, jumping is frustrating and laggy and annoying at the beginning, so it's only natural that people get fed up and go off to do something more comfortable and/or productive. So it was quite a shock to find  that almost everyone was able to stay with us to make the next jump, to Calchester on Kitely grid.
Calchester panorama
Some were able to use the Landmark, some used the map address, others needed a tp, some hopped back to OSGrid and then on to Kitely, some had to change sims in order to get the Landmark to work for them. We haz strategies. There's been quite a bit of talk about making a HUD for Safari, and while I appreciate the thought, honestly, hypergridding is way too unstable right now for that to be a viable option. But it will be, in the near future. For sure. 
Arriving in Calchester, Kitely grid

          Alexina Proctor and Prax Maryjasz welcomed us to Calchester, a 4 sim region, or 'world' as they call it in Kitely, with a truly enchanting atmosphere. There are castles, cottages, and creatures everywhere. If you're looking for a calming place to visit, this is perfect. Many simply cammed the regions, hence the standing-around pose here in the gazebo, but take time to ride one of the animals (find nessie if you can!) and just soak in the loveliness. 
          I went to take photos for a poster before the event, but snuck back several times, just to enjoy the scenery, which is probably very naughty because as I understand it, Kitely charges sim owners for every time somebody goes to visit. I hope not in this case! 
Foreground: our hosts Paislee, Prax and Alexina
          More gorgeousness on the Tolkein themed build of Paislee Myrtle, also in Kitely. I wondered what her response was to people who say that open sim is a 'desert'.
Paislee Myrtle: I say any virtual world is what you choose to make of it. Opensim forced me to learn how to make most of my own things.
Serene.Jewell: How many worlds have you built here, Paislee?
 Paislee Myrtle: hmmm... at the moment... 6 worlds. But there have been several storage. I hope to start a straight up fantasy build soon. Have the flat land. If one gets in the goes pretty quickly.
Serene.Jewell: You do a lot with windlight settings.
Paislee Myrtle: yes. I love the option windlight offers. I tinker with them and make my own versions.
Serene.Jewell: That must take hours of tinkering. so many options.
Nara Mistwood: It's lovely.
Paislee Myrtle: not as much time as you would expect.
Alizarin Goldflake: soft and misty
Paislee Myrtle: after a while of doing catch on to what to change and what to keep hands off of!
Serene.Jewell: (By the way, this avatar is one of the free ones from Francogrid's Avatar region.)
Serene Jewell
          The interesting thing about Kitely is that it gives you the genuine feel of being in another country with other customs. Like, you know, the way blowing your nose in public is considered very rude in Japan, or like the whole multiple kiss greeting you get in France. It's an underlying cultural difference that lets you know you're truly abroad. In OSGrid, the idea that you'd want money for the things you make is not considered 'quite nice'. It's like a social contract: If you take freebies, you ought to, in turn, make freebies, and pay it forward. But Kitely seems to be not like that. It's different. Different is good, seeing it helps us grow.
Paislee Myrtle's Ismadril region on Kitely
          By the time we'd explored both these regions, and taken LMs so we can return because boy there is way too much to see in one short visit, we were down to about seven or eight avatars. Nine weeks ago, when this adventure started, it was just me and wizzy. More than twenty is a bit mad, to be honest. Not what we expected at all. But we'll work on a plan to keep things managable and pleasant for all. 
          Six of us were still up for some grid hopping, so we did a bit of a tutorial: try to get to Triton Grid. 
The Fellowship of the Blam
Step 1. We went to Kitely Welcome Center, using the viewer Map. (Whenever trying to jump to a small exotic place, go to the 'main' sim of the grid you're on, it's more likely to work from there.)  
Step 2. We tried to jump to Triton via LM (didn't work) and copy/pasting the address (ditto)
Step 3. We went to Sanctuary Grid using the Map; that's For quick copy/pasting, I keep a grid-address Notepad doc on my desktop. Tip - need to quickly find out the address of a grid? Google the *name* + grid + 'URI'.
Sanctuary is home to dozens of hypergate portals or Blamgates; you arrive high up in the sky, and must go down to ground level on sim Eld, the main arrival region, to find them. 
          The Triton grid gate was hard to spot in the forest of portals, so we let Alizarin pick a destination - she chose Selea Core. Using gates is fun, but since it's a scripted item, if you click on it too much too quickly you just confuse matters. Four of us blammed there, me and snowy just copied the address into Search on our Map, and tp'd there that way. But the blam of the blamgate never loses its charm.
           Selea Core contains other portals, with a more futuristic look...
          Someone said, let's go to PMGrid! Where HG Safari has its new sandbox, and where soror Nishi has a sim full of lovely trees. Trees first.
          And then the HG Safari sim, which is just getting started. It's odd how sometimes your hair makes the jump and sometimes it doesn't. All those proxies probably. If you just went back to your home grid each time you jumped, that might fix the situation, but where would be the fun in that? Before long, the high jinx had begun. The T Rex (I call him Harrison) was eating the giraffe, and there was some funny business going on in the Official Landrover. Shocking behavior that is typical of this group. 
Nobody tell Bob.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Thirza,

    Just a small clarification about Kitely:

    Kitely world managers can select to either pay a fixed price per month for their world (like renting a region on any other grid) or pay a variable usage-based fee. They can also switch between these options on a per world basis anytime they want (and Kitely pro-rates upgrades so you only have to immediately pay for the remaining days of the month).

    Kitely's fixed-price worlds start at $14.95 per region per month so if someone opened their world to the public and kept it on the usage-based option then it is likely costing them less than that low price to host their world. If usage based fees start climbing they will switch to the fixed-price payment option to cap them.

    In other words, if a Kitely world manager kept their world open to the public they want you to visit it and you shouldn't fear how much you doing so costs them. They are likely paying less than they'd pay in other grids or they wouldn't be using Kitely is the first place.