Saturday, April 15, 2017

Glerine's Mun Trek

Over the mountains of tha Mun, down the valley of the shadow
Ride, boldly ride, the Kerbal replied
If you seek for ElDorado!

Once upon a time, the most honorable and valiant space pioneer Glerine was tasked by her planet's evil overlord with jettin' to tha Mun to grab some dirt. Unfortunately, the landing site was a mite mountainous, so the closest our stalwart heroine could land was several hundred meters away from the precise middle of nowhere which contained the exact handful of Mun-dirt she had to collect.
Then the lander fell over.
So she took a little walk. On her way back, Glerine lost her footing and slid, rolled, bounced and cartwheeled through low gravity for over a kilometer to the deepest, darkest pit around. The darkness isn't particularly relevant, but it's quite dramatic.
But did she give up? No! Handhold by handhold, the plucky young Kermaid climbed hour after hour, painstakingly working her way back up to her lander to send back all her vital, crucial, Ker-shattering scientific data.
The End. For Glerine anyway, 'cause now she's probably gonna rot up there. Should've renamed her Laika. It's not like I actually left her enough fuel for the return trip. Don't look at me like that, I'm an evil overlord on a budget.

So that's how I spent today. What've you done with your lives lately?

Still counts as a sandbox if it's Mun-sand, doesn't it? I landed too far and so had to walk. Kerbal Space Program doesn't give you precise courses of action. You've got goals and you've got tools. Have at it. Approach your objective at 2 kilometers per second or hobble there at half a meter per second. If you can make it work, it's up to you. This is what's missing from MMOs: walking. Falling down a hill and climbing back up it. Deciding for yourself how many rats to kill.

I've tried taking shortcuts in LotRO only to find my way blocked by invisible walls at every turn. In Skyrim, Dragonsreach castle has guardrails on its balcony. In The Secret World I can't even kill myself by jumping off a skyscraper to express my boredom. Know why you're losing all your best customers to pixelated, low-res retro wonders like KSP or Minecraft? Because virtual worlds should not be blocked by child-proof caps. I should be free to boldly go where no green bobblehead has gone before!

(Yes, even if I have to walk there.)

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