Our family camping trip was fun but soggy in the end. The weather was partly cloudy mid-60s on Friday and Saturday. We hiked, ate smores, and splashed our feet in the lake. Saturday night the storm clouds rolled in and poured on us all night. We packed up early and wandered back down the mountain. Camping in Oregon.
Saga of Ryzom
Sunday night I created a character in Ryzom (Mumbles on Arispotle). The newbie experience is well done and easy to follow. My starting profession was mage but I'm free to dabble in other areas. In fact, I'm advancing steadily as a crafter too. Ryzom's crafting feature has more depth then Warcraft but is still simple to learn. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, and I was crafting armor for Mumbles in no time.
Moment of truth... Ryzom is merely another "okay game" such as CoV, EQ2, etc. Ryzom has its faults (no z-axis is most annoying to me) but does enough stuff right to make up for it. I like its stylized graphics and more open character development. The community seems friendly to new players. The game's backstory unfolds in a series of well-crafted quests. The mix of sci-fi and fantasy is a refreshing bonus.
One aspect of Ryzom I find intriguing is the skill/spell editor. As Mumbles learns new spells, he gains the component blocks (called stanzas) of that spell. I can edit his current spells to change their affect, range, cost, cooldown time, etc. I can also create new spells from scratch in an easy to understand and use interface. For example, I have a few variations of the basic cold blast spell on my action bar ranging from my opening, long-range, high damage spell to my quick, cheap, almost-out-of-power spell.
I'd like to see spell editing in more games. Some people would be content using their default spells. Other people (such as me) could custom tailor spells to suit their individual play styles. I'm curious what kinds of stanzas the upper levels will bring. I'm tempted to subscribe for a month just to check it out.