Wednesday, October 22, 2008

my new home

This is the most well realised build I have ever seen in SL. Its called INSILICO and you can find it at this SURL.

Its HUGE I haven't explored more than a tiny fraction of it yet. Every time I go there I am totally and utterly stunned.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

well I never really left

Just got too busy to post.

Toxia has changed a lot since the last time I posted anything here. For a start its twice as big as it was previously. Its also a lot quieter than it was. Compared to the bad old days of Wilma vs the Shadows its a haven of peace and tranquility.

Of course I am now a commander of the punks having risen through the ranks pretty quickly. For a while there I was in de facto command when both of the bosses were out of the city. I have been in charge of recruiting new members to the punks too. I think on the whole its been a great success. Of course some people joined then drifted away. Others fell out with the punks of notably fell out with Miss and got themselves banned. But we have a hard core of good new recruits who have proved themselves a match for any group in the city.

The highlight must be the capture of the slaver, Amicus Jin. He had been annoying the residents of the city for some time. Some of our new recruits found him and captured him. The sensibly called me in and waited for my orders before doing anything else. We let Coran of the Ryders have some fun with him as he had captured Coran's wife in an attempt to enslave her. Then we threw him off the roof of the base to the good citizens of Toxia waiting down below who promptly tore his limb from limb.

The only problem is that this may not have been enough. Apparently the slavers bosses have had him rebuilt in cybernetic form and he may be back in the city. As the man who ordered his death I will have to be on my guard.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I am ready for my close up now

I was in the Haven the other day when someone complemented me on my AV. That does happen quite a bit (hell it cost enough). This time the person actually asked if they could take a picture too. Well I didn't exactly strike a pose but there you go.

Now my pic is on flickr for you all to see. Its got a few hits and favourites already so I guess I am quite the model now. I must add some more poses to my AO. Could I be turning into a fashionista?

perkins mugshot

Monday, March 3, 2008

what being a cyberpunk means to me

This is entirely personal and I hope I don't offend anyone.

Cyberpunk is defined by Bruce Sterling in wikipedia as Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being. And we can do most anything to rats. This is a hard thing to think about, but it's the truth. It won't go away because we cover our eyes. This is cyberpunk.

This is a pretty good definition by someone who should know what he is talking about. He is saying that we can change society in ways that it dosen't even want to consider. But cyberpunk is also architecture, music, film... basically art. so how do I live my life in Toxian City as a cyberpunk? Is my life a work of art?

In all the cyberpunk fiction I have read from Neuromancer to the most up to date post cyberpunk such as Acclerando the "cyberpunks" are a small group of people working together against the system/government/corporations/mafia basically they help one another to subvert the system. Also a great deal of cyberpunk art is subversive or underground. So the two main themes to me are change and subversion.

Being an out and out subversive working to change the system doesn't work in Toxia. Basically its impossible to subvert the system as SL gives Miss and Dime absolute power (see my post about Wilma). That doesn't stop me being a subversive or the group as being subversive.

The dominant culture in Toxia is the whole goth/emo thing with demon and vampire characters used to express how deep/meaningful/miserable that person is. I try my best to subvert this culture. I make jokes, I try to be playful and not take things too seriously. Above all I help others. Most other groups seem to be very insular and don't reach out into the city as a whole. I try to make a point of welcoming new comers and talking to anyone at any time. I don't judge people by their race or affiliation.

This is subversive in Toxia. This is cyberpunk. Cyberpunks band together to make the city a better place by subverting the culture if not the system. We are the enfant terribles, the jokers, the jesters. But at the same time we create things, we help others and we get things done.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

OOC - My take on the whole Wilma thing

I think Wilma forgot what Toxia really is. Its not a playground for role players that allows them space to do what they like. Its a money making enterprise for Miss Wright and Dimentox. They make their money from a cut of the weapons, tattoos etc. that get sold in the city. More people in the city = more sales. People disrupting the city causing others to leave = less sales.

The difference between a real world government making rules for a stable economically viable society and Toxia is the type of government. Toxia is a dictatorship not a democracy. I personally think Wilma wanted a share in power if not in profits.

Having said they are dictators I think Miss and Dime have worked very hard to try and produce a system were more or less everyone is happy more or less all of the time. Sure there are things we might not think are just right for us but there is not a lot we can do about it apart from leave and go to a non-dcs sim. Ideally you would set up your own sim of course.

Wilma did the equivalent of going into a shoe shop and asking to buy a chainsaw. When the people running the shop said "we don't sell chainsaws, this is a shoe shop" she started smashing the place up and abusing the staff and other customers. In a r/l shop someone would have called the cops and banned her from the shop.

Essentially the same has happened here. Wilma didn't like the rules of the game so she tried to change them singlehanded. This upset people and caused them to complain to the government. Then when she refused to obey the rules she was banned.

I thin the best thing to do is to draw a line under all of this. Say "yes it happened, we are sorry about it and working to make it right". Then get on with life in Toxia. Its also vital to remember what happened and learn for the future because there are bound to be more Wilma's visiting Toxia any day now.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The most fun I have had in Toxia for ages

There were some newbies/greifers in the city driving around in a big old Mustang which was lagging the city even worse than usual. Someone passed on the information that if you clicked on one of the wheels of the car and selected edit the driver couldn't move the car at all. That was fun for a start.

So myself and a few people did some roleplaying / telling off of the occupants of the car and threatened to shoot it / them / call a GM etc. Then I noticed you could sit on the wheels of the car... so they got some extra passengers. Then we started walking through the car... sitting on the drivers lap... all kinds of totally OOC things as the occupants were totally ignoring us. I bet they were well pissed off though.

Sadly I don't know how it ended as I had to get back to reality but it was a lot of fun and far better than the usual whining and petty name calling. Satire can be very powerful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

OOC Post - lag and what I think is causing it

Everyone knows lag in Toxia is getting worse by the day. Often its hard to move around, combat is a waste of time, attachments dont work right and DCS takes ages to work.

Personally I think that DCS is the cause of all this. Sure laggy weapons, AOs, jump enhancers and the like don't help but the one script more or less everyone runs is DCS. I know its meant to be very lightweight and it probably is but its causing no end of problems.

I think the problem lies with the communication between an AV and the website and almost certainly the mysql database that powers DCS.

Why do I think this? Well when I visit other non-dcs sims things are way better. When I visit any DCS sim the lag goes through the roof. Packets get dropped left right and center. The site seems to be really, really slow too. The final straw was when I TPed to a non-dcs sim with my DCS still attached and saw something like "unable to connect to mysql" as my DCS tried to switch into global mode. I haven't tried going to a DCS sim with DCS turned off yet though. I will tomorrow.

I think the root cause of the problem is that there are just more and more sims that run DCS now. That means a lot more AVs with DCS attached to them and therefore a lot more connections to the DCS server (Even if each connection is event driven e.g. only sends data to the server when something happens as a discrete connection its going to be a lot of connections, if its a persistent connection while you are in a DCS sim.... god help us). If the server is bandwidth limited some of those connections will fail and lag ensues.

What to do about it? I guess Miss and Dime will have to buy more bandwidth in the short term... long term who knows... have multiple DCS servers and which one you log into depends on which sim you are in?

Something has to be done for sure.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

he said she said that he said that he said that so-and-so is a tattle-tail

That just about sums up the level of discourse here in Toxia right now. Petty bitching and arguing about nothing. A primary school teacher would not tolerate it in their classroom and Toxia is meant to be a place for adults.

If people have such "deep seated" grievances with one another due to personal conflicts that have nothing to do with various groups I say we have a tournament. 1 on 1 battles in the arena with everyone watching. If you can't stand person A and they can't stand you and this impacts on the life of the city then you fight them in front of everyone. Fair fights ideally but if your a level 1 picking on a level 10 then best of luck to you.

Most arguments seem to stem from different interpretations of the rule of engagement and specifically when you can attack someone. It seems to me that some people bend these rules to their advantage by annoying someone that they cannot realistically beat in combat and then claiming that they were attacked outside of the rules when that person finally looses patience (this taunting and name calling can go on for ages yet the first blow is "unexpected", yeah right).

So its either change the rules on when you can attack or set up tournaments. Changing the rules will only cause more problems. The only way to make it so you cant bend the rules is to declare the city a free fire zone. The server will not cope with that. At least a tournament overseen by a GM or three would force people to consider how they act. If they don't want to be publicly humiliated in a fair fight they should be more careful about what they say.

Who knows I might even make some money taking bets....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

ooh shiny new weapons

Got myself a pair of cyber claws yesterday. So far they look good. I was very impressed with how well they integrated with my current implants. I think I will be able to get a good element of surprise as they look like "normal" forearms for me. Sadly they do not seem to work with my flamethrower. Some sort of conflict with the control mechanisms for unsheathing the blades and activating the flamethrower seems to be at fault.

In theory I can now have 3 active weapons. A heavy weapon such as a SAW, grenade launcher or sniper rifle, a Mac10 and the claws. I could do without the Mac10 as the claws have a small but servicable pistol built into them, again that would be quite surprising in a combat situation.

Of course the proof of the pudding will be in combat itself, but so far I am pleased with them.

Monday, January 14, 2008

why the hell does everyone fight for no reason

In the last few weeks / months there has been virtually non-stop conflict between one group or another in the city. Cybers vs Shadows, Shadows vs Pack and now Pack vs Cybers. For all I know some of the groups like the KA and Coven have been having similar problems but as I don't know many people in those groups its hard for me to tell.

The thing is that if you talk to the majority of the people in the affected groups they don't want a fight. They will protect the other members of their group of course but 95% of the people in a group won't start a fight if they can help it.

That leaves 5% of people in each group (and maybe not in most groups) that are trigger happy. It often seems that they are quite high in the hierarchy of the various groups and in the city in general.

So a few people can start a war that no one really wants. Just for their own fun. And guess who gets hurt. Not the people starting it, thats for sure. Generals stand back and send in the footsoldiers.

Imagine you had just starting visiting the city. Enjoying the atmosphere and the people. Someone recruits you to a group. "Great" you think, "even more RP possibilities". Before you know it people you were chatting to just a few days ago are shooting at you more or less on sight. Does this really help the city as a whole? I don't think so.

Monday, January 7, 2008

the new years brawl

For me was a complete disaster.

I TPed to Toxia a full 8 hours after it finished and was immediately machine gunned by a couple of newbies on stepping out of the info center. I asked them what the hell was going on and told them this wasnt a free fire sim to be told that Oh yes it was and they were here for the brawl.

At this point I hadn't even heard about the event. So I lost 10XP for nothing.

If your going to have a free for all event at least announce it.