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Old 02-04-2006, 03:13 AM   #1
Estarra
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Do you enjoy the concept of fantasy ships that fly through weird dimensional space, encountering extraplanar monsters and pockets of strange realities? Look no further than Lusternia!

Continuing the tradition of being one of the leaders in innovative gameplay, Lusternia is very proud to announce the release of Aetherships--constructs that travel within the space between the planes of existence. This latest feature provides for players to transform their aethermanses (customizable player houses) into aetherships, which are part-vessel and part-extradimensional creature. Players also receive a new skillset called Aethercraft, which one must know in order to operate these ships. Captains can add on modules to further design their aetherships, such as battle turrets to combat extraplanar monsters, or an empathic grid to heal the ship and communicate great distances. In order for players to successfully operate aetherships, they must form crews that work harmoniously together. Overall, it’s a fresh approach to ships both in theme and mechanics.
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Old 02-04-2006, 03:18 AM   #2
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Congratulations!

A very nice system, something I'm sure your players will love.
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Old 02-04-2006, 02:38 PM   #3
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Very cool and well-done, Estarra. They seem to be the source of a lot of excitement even on the other IRE game forums.

--matt
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Old 02-04-2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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An aethership is actually a creature known as an extradiminesnional (sic) algontherine entity. These entities do not have physical bodies, but rather reside within the aetheric shells. Since an aethermanse is basically an aetheric shell, an algontherine can be hatched within, whereupon it will immediately bond with the aethermanse owner. This turns the aethermanse into an aethership, capable of traveling through the aetherways. Once an aethership is created, other modules may be then added. The owner of the aethership is always considered the Captain.
(emphasis mine)

Given that this is all make-believe, it would probably have been more creative and easier on the eye if every second term didn't include "ae". It's aenoying aes haell to see aevaery other word aend phraese include the same two-laetter combinaetion. It'd also make it a lot easier and less silly to try and repeat in a conversation, and I'm sure the terms will pop up in RP.

No doubt this will be taken as a flame when it's meant as friendly advice. It's your world to design, so why not put a bit more effort and care into it? Also might want to spell check your help files before you link them (unless of course the misspelling of "extradimensional" was deliberate to make people do a double-take thus increasing interest in the game, but I think we both know that's not the case).

Jason
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Feb. 04 2006,17:27)
No doubt this will be taken as a flame when it's meant as friendly advice.  It's your world to design, so why not put a bit more effort and care into it?  
It's hard not to view your "advice" as a flame or bit of trolling when you frame things in such a condescending manner.

But thanks anyway for the advice!
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Estarra @ Feb. 04 2006,10:13)
Do you enjoy the concept of fantasy ships that fly through weird dimensional space, encountering extraplanar monsters and pockets of strange realities?
Sounds like Spelljammer - it was a very cool D&D setting, and I've often thought it would work well in a mud. I know of two or three other muds working on something along these lines as well, but it's cool to see someone take it beyond the design phase. Other forum discussions have talked about combining the idea with an Elite-style trading system - are you thinking of taking that route as well?
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Old 02-04-2006, 05:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Feb. 04 2006,18:39)
Sounds like Spelljammer - it was a very cool D&D setting, and I've often thought it would work well in a mud.  I know of two or three other muds working on something along these lines as well, but it's cool to see someone take it beyond the design phase.  Other forum discussions have talked about combining the idea with an Elite-style trading system - are you thinking of taking that route as well?
I must admit that Spelljammer was part of the inspiration!

I hadn't had any plans on a trading system but players have been mentioning it since ships were released. I'm not familiar with an Elite-style trading system. Anywhere I can go to check it out?
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Estarra @ Feb. 05 2006,00:48)
I hadn't had any plans on a trading system but players have been mentioning it since ships were released. I'm not familiar with an Elite-style trading system. Anywhere I can go to check it out?
The Wikipedia entry gives a pretty good general overview.

Basically each world would have a space station, and you'd travel between space stations buying and selling in order to make a profit (eg buy computers at a high tech world, take them to a low tech world and sell them, then buy food and take them elsewhere). Some products were illegal in certain worlds (firearms, drugs, slaves, etc, were usually illegal, while other things like furs might also be illegal depending on the world) - illegal products resulted in more cash, but were also riskier to deal in. Then you'd have to deal with pirates, bounty hunters (if you were a smuggler), and so on.

To really break it down to the basics, the game consisted of: Buy X, fly to A, sell X, buy Y, fly to B, sell Y, buy Z. The game them threw in other things to keep you busy along the way.

It's an old game (published in 1984) and conceptually very simple, but it had a lot of replay value.
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Old 02-04-2006, 06:37 PM   #9
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I love trade-style games. Anyone remember Oregon Trails and such?

How do you balance this in a mud setting, though, unless it was the entire focus of the game? Wouldn't you have to have a money sink involved? Otherwise, you could make an obscene amount of money at little to no risk, right?
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:01 AM   #10
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3-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Feb. 05 2006,08[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]3)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Estarra,Feb. 05 2006,00:48
I hadn't had any plans on a trading system but players have been mentioning it since ships were released. I'm not familiar with an Elite-style trading system. Anywhere I can go to check it out?
The Wikipedia entry gives a pretty good general overview.

Basically each world would have a space station, and you'd travel between space stations buying and selling in order to make a profit (eg buy computers at a high tech world, take them to a low tech world and sell them, then buy food and take them elsewhere). Some products were illegal in certain worlds (firearms, drugs, slaves, etc, were usually illegal, while other things like furs might also be illegal depending on the world) - illegal products resulted in more cash, but were also riskier to deal in. Then you'd have to deal with pirates, bounty hunters (if you were a smuggler), and so on.

To really break it down to the basics, the game consisted of: Buy X, fly to A, sell X, buy Y, fly to B, sell Y, buy Z. The game them threw in other things to keep you busy along the way.

It's an old game (published in 1984) and conceptually very simple, but it had a lot of replay value.
Sounds like the old BBS game... who's name I knew when I hit the qoute button... grr, I'll find the name again I used to play that an LORD every day...

EDIT: Hit submit and I remember the name Planets: The exploration of sapce(Planets:TEOS). Really fun game, something modeled after that could be interesting to see, but more balanced, TEOS had a few guarenteed wins.
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Old 02-05-2006, 10:10 AM   #11
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I loved the Elite games, and as I told Estarra when I was espousing their virtues, used to have the universe map from Frontier: Elite 2 on my bedroom wall. There's actually a current MMOG in the style, called EVE Online. I haven't had a chance to really play it (got a free trial but also got hired on Lusternia at the same time) but from what I've heard it keeps the spirit of the original space trader games quite well.

We've been talking about a trading system and whether it would be good and how to implement it if so, to complement the quests that exist in the planar bubbles inside the aetherways.
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Old 02-05-2006, 12:14 PM   #12
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The Elite games have had such an enormous impact on the gaming industry. It is amazing how many games still, to this day, capitalize on the basic-Elite style concepts. Why? Because they are fun.

Older games that were in that style included such classics as Starflight and Star Control. Newers games include Freelancer, EVE Online, and EA's failed Earth & Beyond.

Something is definitely *right* about the basic gameplay concept.
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Feb. 04 2006,17:27)
No doubt this will be taken as a flame when it's meant as friendly advice. It's your world to design, so why not put a bit more effort and care into it? Also might want to spell check your help files before you link them (unless of course the misspelling of "extradimensional" was deliberate to make people do a double-take thus increasing interest in the game, but I think we both know that's not the case).

Jason
My guess is that you don't understand the difference between the word 'aether' and 'ether'. 'Ether' has too many strong modern connotation, as despite being used as far back as classical times, its common use is now almost entirely 'modern.'

Ether is a class of organic compounds, as well as a specific, very flammable liquid. It's also one spelling of the word used, since classical times, to describe the medium that makes up space, being used later on to be described as the medium through which electro-magnetic waves travel.

Aether on the other hand, is not only a more faithful translation of the Greek 'aither' or the Latin 'aether' from which both words derive, but has much more appropriate meanings. It was used by the ancients to describe both the medium that makes up the heavens as well as the rarified upper air that the Gods on Olympus breathed.

So, the choice was between 'ether' which has a host of modern, scientific meanings, or 'aether' which has only 'ancient' meanings. I'm sure it's clear to most people why 'aether' was chosen.

--matt
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (the_logos @ Feb. 05 2006,16:03)
Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Feb. 04 2006,17:27)
No doubt this will be taken as a flame when it's meant as friendly advice.  It's your world to design, so why not put a bit more effort and care into it?  Also might want to spell check your help files before you link them (unless of course the misspelling of "extradimensional" was deliberate to make people do a double-take thus increasing interest in the game, but I think we both know that's not the case).

Jason
My guess is that you don't understand the difference between the word 'aether' and 'ether'. 'Ether' has too many strong modern connotation, as despite being used as far back as classical times, its common use is now almost entirely 'modern.'

Ether is a class of organic compounds, as well as a specific, very flammable liquid. It's also one spelling of the word used, since classical times, to describe the medium that makes up space, being used later on to be described as the medium through which electro-magnetic waves travel.

Aether on the other hand, is not only a more faithful translation of the Greek 'aither' or the Latin 'aether' from which both words derive, but has much more appropriate meanings. It was used by the ancients to describe both the medium that makes up the heavens as well as the rarified upper air that the Gods on Olympus breathed.

So, the choice was between 'ether' which has a host of modern, scientific meanings, or 'aether' which has only 'ancient' meanings. I'm sure it's clear to most people why 'aether' was chosen.

--matt
And your guess is wrong. I'm an ancient historian who was at one time a biology major long ago and well-versed on the definition of both ether and aether. I was commenting on the over-use of the word aether attached to every term (aetherspace, aethership, aethermanse, etc). There's no reason it need be. One may drive an automobile, but they don't drive it on an autohighway while sitting in the autoseat and steering with the autowheel and listening to the autoradio to drown out the sound of the autoengine which is louder than it should be because the automuffler isn't functioning properly. The terms don't have to all use the same prefix even if related to the same activity. Repitition of that degree is annoying to read. Made all the worse is the fact that you're using a word that utilizes a double-vowel like "ae" which some don't always know how to pronounce (yeah, shouldn't be difficult, I agree, but language comprehension skills in this country suck).

While only a small sample, I polled five people (all MUDders) and four agreed that the use of the prefix "aether" before every term was not only unnecessary but annoying. One of them thanked me for saying something because they were on the verge of doing the same. The term "aether" itself is a good term to use, but there's simply no reason that it has to be attached to every related word.

Take care,

Jason
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:05 PM   #15
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On a side note, one of the people I polled (reference above) said they thought it was curious that a Spelljammer-like concept would appear on an IRE game after Chad McHenry, aka Traithe, left the IRE project he was working on and announced he was starting a MUD essentially based on Spelljammer called Etherea.

I said I had no idea what the timeline was on the development of either project so I couldn't say which came first. It did spark my interest though. Were these two projects a case of independent creation or a race to outflank competition?

Take care,

Jason
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:17 PM   #16
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Earth and Beyond (mmorpg) was tailored around the trade system too wasn't it? Not that it exists anymore, but I remember beta-testing it and enjoying it quite a bit.
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:42 PM   #17
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And your guess is wrong. I'm an ancient historian who was at one time a biology major long ago and well-versed on the definition of both ether and aether. I was commenting on the over-use of the word aether attached to every term (aetherspace, aethership, aethermanse, etc). There's no reason it need be.
Ok! Everyone's entitled to his or her opinion. We disagree, and we'll just leave it at that. Somehow, I suspect Lusternia will do just fine under our direction.

Quote:
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On a side note, one of the people I polled (reference above) said they thought it was curious that a Spelljammer-like concept would appear on an IRE game after Chad McHenry, aka Traithe, left the IRE project he was working on and announced he was starting a MUD essentially based on Spelljammer called Etherea.
Chad didn't leave. We cancelled the project (well, delayed it really, which left Chad without a job) and then started it again a number of months later, which left Chad having to commit to law school for the next year (as he was going to do one or the other).

Quote:
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I said I had no idea what the timeline was on the development of either project so I couldn't say which came first. It did spark my interest though. Were these two projects a case of independent creation or a race to outflank competition?
I couldn't say who decided to start first. Aetherships were Estarra's idea and she's been working on Lusternia in fiction for over a twelve years. I dunno if the aetherships were historically part of the Lusternian universe or not or not.

In any case, I'm guessing Etherea died a handful of months after it started, and before development on aetherships even began. The last post on their forums is from August 26th, over 5 months ago.

--matt
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Feb. 06 2006,13:05)
On a side note, one of the people I polled (reference above) said they thought it was curious that a Spelljammer-like concept would appear on an IRE game after Chad McHenry, aka Traithe, left the IRE project he was working on and announced he was starting a MUD essentially based on Spelljammer called Etherea.

I said I had no idea what the timeline was on the development of either project so I couldn't say which came first.  It did spark my interest though.  Were these two projects a case of independent creation or a race to outflank competition?

Take care,

Jason
Since I designed the aethership feature, I can tell you that the basic model was laid out sometime in 2004 (before Lusternia was even released). Indeed, it has always been a pet project that I've wanted to do.

I had no idea what Traithe was planning until you posted, so the projects were definitely independently developed.
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (prof1515 @ Feb. 06 2006,12:59)
While only a small sample, I polled five people (all MUDders) and four agreed that the use of the prefix "aether" before every term was not only unnecessary but annoying. One of them thanked me for saying something because they were on the verge of doing the same. The term "aether" itself is a good term to use, but there's simply no reason that it has to be attached to every related word.
I keep wondering: if your intentions were indeed as altruistic as you claim, why didn't you just send her a PM?
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Old 02-06-2006, 06:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Threshold @ Feb. 06 2006,19:17)
I keep wondering: if your intentions were indeed as altruistic as you claim, why didn't you just send her a PM?
Actually, I don't like using the PM system since I often forget to check it or get sidetracked when I do. Felt bad after the last person who PM'd me had to wait about three weeks before I checked it.

Take care,

Jason
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