Something Awful is (as per usuali), off the mark. I recall trying this thing for a coupla hours sometime in 2002, concluding it's maybe going somewhere in a decade or so and then forgetting about it. I checked it out again sometime in 2007 or 2008, noting it still exists, noting it's still unplayable and again forgetting about it.
Well... a few days ago I tried it out yet again. It's playable. What works, for sure (because I've tried it) : mining (coal, iron, apparently there's also silver gold platinum tin copper etc) ; smithing (I've made iron and steel ingots, sword hilts, sword blades, an actual sabreii ; apparently you can make axes, shields, armor, the whole shebang) ; fighting ; cooking ; herbalism. Magic barely exists and is in my opinion retardedly implemented (all you get is practically speaking one spell per school for the first month of training it or so). They have guilds, hunting parties and pvp.
Definitely playable. Here's a shot of me hanging out with this Rogue I just murdered :
The game runs natively in Linux (I don't know if there's any Windows ports - maybe you have some luck with cygwin but I've not investigated it at all), the code is open (if you don't fancy compiling, signed binaries are also freely available), they're looking for people to help (not just coders, map designers, skill and craft recipe designers etc), they're going to be at Google's Summer of Code, the community is small but present... and a little weird.
I guess in a sense Planeshift is an illustrative example on the failings of fascism. For some boneheaded reason whoever's in charge has decided that the game must be roleplayed!!! This in spite of the well known and otherwise obvious fact that nobody outside of six year old girls, nine year old boys trying to become girls, adult pedophiles and hopelessly deranged people ever roleplays. They've gone to the length of making the dialogues really, really slow and unskippable, there's this three minute speech that feels like a half hour on noob island explaining how important roleplay is, all the NPCs look wistfully and stare absently and whatever other purple prose emo crap, it's a literary outrage. Generally the impression you get within the first half hour of play is that should you dare to as much as mention Obama there's going to be execution squads.
So what do people do ? Well... everyone starts by presuming that the heavy hand of authority reflects the will of "the people", and consequently everyone sorta-roleplays with new people or in public spaces. Then s start appearing in private conversationiii as either party discovers - not without some relief - that no, they're not talking to one of the RP weirdos. And then, within a day or two, it pretty much moves to normal chat. Herpderp, I never thought I'd get to feel like a faggot for being normal. Live and learn huh.
Ignoring this insanity - which in all likeliness won't survive adoptioniv - there's about a hundred or two people online at any moment, and you can fight rogues.———
- The entire premise of their MMO Roulette featurette is that "they suck". Which ? "All of them". Why ? There the answers stop, because your average Bawfulite doesn't quite have the intellectual honesty to come out with "Because they're not like Windows!!!".
As far as this particular demographic is concerned, there's some very clear parameters as to how the cage is to be constructed damnit! "Everything'd better conform or else!" Else... what ? "Else it sucks!!!1 And we shall write on the internets about this!". Right on.
This of course happens to work out very poorly for actual software. Linux spent two decades sucking. So did gnome, so did kde - well, maybe not two decades, but if you recall early X...
The only difference is that Windows still sucks. Blizzard didn't use to suck, now it does. The alternative clearly lies between things that start by sucking and then suck less and less to the point that they absolutely rule and things that start by being ok and then sucking more and more to the point that they're Diablo 3. And no, Diablo 2 was never as good as Diablo 1, and Heroes 3 was never as good as 2, and on it goes. Proprietary code decays and devteams of proprietary code decay even faster. Just look at Google. [↩]
- The process is delightfully complex : First you take 8 bits of (mined) iron ore and two lumps of (mined) coal and you melt them together in the furnace, for 10 bits of coal sludge. Then you take one of this sludge and cool it into ingots, or ten and cool it into stocks. Then you take two ingots, heat them once (in the forge, not the furnace) and beat them on the anvil into a hilt. Then you take one stock, heat it once, beat it into a "basic" blade. If you wish you can heat and beat again, for medium and best types. Then you heat the result three times and quench it, obtaining a brittle blade, which you heat twice and then quench it, obtaining a dull blade, which you sharpen on the sharpening stone. The resulting blade with the aforementioned hilt are assembled on the table into a finished sword. Figuring out all this was actually a lot of fun, believe it or not. When's the last time you played a game in which you had to figure out crafting ? Yet those were the best in the old days... [↩]
- Apparently if you surround "non-roleplay content" aka sanity in magic square brackets all is well in the world, the precious sanctity of roleplayness has been preserved. Try it for yourself :
Sugar, spice and [suck my filthy whore clit] everything nice.
It works, dunnit ?
- And from experience we know that adoption will not be hampered by developer will. [↩]