• Member Since 30th Jun, 2014
  • offline last seen Sunday

Chicago Ted


Paroli nur unu lingvon estas uzi nur unu koloron de farbo. La lingvo de amikeco ne estas vortoj, sed signifoj.

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Jan
19th
2016

Legends of Equestria: After the Fact · 12:48am Jan 19th, 2016

For the last two days, I was involved in the open-server event for the game Legends of Equestria. Even today, it amazes me how the community is able to band together to create content for others to enjoy.

What follows are my thoughts on the matter.

When I first got the client, I had to run several updates to get the rest on my computer-- that meant literally over one hundred security warnings (perhaps upwards to one hundred and fifty), since the developers did not add a digital signature to Legends of Equestria's .exe files. Without the warnings, I may have been able to install these updates in less than five minutes; instead it took half an hour. Annoying, to say the least. (Notā bene: Just say "Yes" to all of them; they're all perfectly safe.)

Come Saturday morning (The announcement said the servers would open on 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time; that's 6:00 AM Pacific Standard Time for me), when the servers opened, creating my player-character was quite simple. Choose the tribe, gender, mane (tails will automatically match), eyes, and then color them however you will. The coloring uses an RGB system for the fur, eyes, and three parts of the mane (the main color and two highlights), so that's 256 ^ (3 × 5) = 1.32922799578491587729038070601803e+36 color combinations, at least, according to my computer's calculator. Quite a lot, indeed. And that number promises to be even larger when factoring in tribes, genders, eyes, manes-- and cutie marks.

Which shall be my next point of focus. There are, I estimate, 200 cutie marks all told in the game. But, be warned-- due to errors I presume to be client-side, some cutie marks will show up as texture errors-- beige with green pinstripes. In addition, custom cutie marks cannot be uploaded-- this is to prevent people from uploading NSFW or otherwise inappropriate cutie marks. This meant, regrettably, that I could not have a speech bubble cutie mark for my player-character, as detailed in my previous blog post. I had to settle with a quill pen.

Without a doubt, the scarcity of open server time is quite enough to overload them quickly. Many early-birds tried to connect as soon as the servers opened, which unsurprisingly blocked the way for other players, and the server may attempt to move you to another instance of itself. My advice is to wait half an hour and to choose a server with a low ping (Amareica, Coltorado, or Europonia). Buggy server behavior especially manifests itself if a well-known brony is announcing his/her presence in the game. Case in point: Sethisto and Equestria Daily announcing a party in Sugarcube Corner on Saturday. Whilst I was able to attend, it did not go smoothly; a high attendance rate meant that the server slots were quickly filled up, and those who were there had the server instances restarting several times.

There was mention of quests available in the game; however, I did not partake in these. For starters, the quests are given out by various NPCs placed about the maps, but there was no way of knowing which NPCs had quests and which did not. A moderator on the server informed me that there used to be a way of knowing which NPCs had quests (an exclamation mark floating over the NPC in question), but this broke sometime before the event. I sincerely hope this is fixed as soon as that is possible.

Speaking of errors, I spoke to one NPC (whose name I had forgotten). During the course of the conversation, the NPC apparently said that my response was unaccounted for in its programming, and that a new one would have to be written for it at a later date. A simple reminder, for the developers. Quite sloppy. Hopefully this response will be written in the future.

Though, despite these downsides, it works quite well as a social-interaction forum. Allow me to implore on three different occasions. For instance, on Saturday I met one player named Princess Luna. We became friends quite quickly. I would emphasize that she is a bit of a shutterbug; she took 415 photographs of the events, and posted them all on Imgur. You'll find my player-character, Lingua Franca, in some of them.

That night, I coördinated a meeting place via PM with my follower gardrek, who was also playing Legends of Equestria. Since the game was so slow for him (Also note, dear reader, that a high-performance computer is a nice luxury to use when playing.), he couldn't leave the fountain in Cantermare (presumably Canterlot, due to copyright reasons). Once I got his server instance number (a seven-digit alphanumeric number appearing in the top right-hand corner; each map has three), I met up with his player-character.


That's him on the right.

There we sat by the fountain, discussing various subjects, including, but not limited to, times zones, languages, and the game itself. The way we were using the Local chat (there were five: Global, Local, Party, Herd, and Whisper, though I've only used the first three of these) attracted the attention of several other users, who joined us in our conversation.


Here's a few of them. Since people came and went, and not everyone was there at the same time, I wasn't able to get everyone in the same picture.

During that conversation, I discovered one feature of the HUD that wasn't common knowledge. There is a slider can show you further actions, spells, etc. that your player-character can perform. This was how I was able to lie down instead of merely sitting.


This is me and gardrek after I told the others of my discovery.

Some other people I didn't know beforehand turned out to have Fimfiction accounts as well. The ones I know (since they told me) are AnthroYuu, SilverComet, and Undeadpegasus57. Most of these people told me during that EQD event in Sugarcube Corner.

And speaking of Sugarcube Corner, the very last hours of the open-server event were hosted there. Nigh-everypony was in attendance, though not all in the same server instance (I for one was occupying edff5ad, and then, after a restart, 6ec17ef). Most were using the "dance" action; it seemed to be 2012 all over again.


This is what a dying server looks like in its final hours.

The global chat during then was quite busy as well. One feature of the chat is that certain words and phrases can be filtered out, presumably to protect any minors playing. (I have tried in vain to say the phrase "I don't watch it.") If something inappropriate tries to go through, the entire message is blocked, and the placeholder "-Message Filtered-" is used. I started a trend by parodying this message, i.e. "-Message Intentionally Filtered-"; other people caught on, using other ideas, e.g. "-Pony Filtered-", "-Fluffle Filtered-", "-Filter Filtered-", and so forth. Even the moderator got in on it.

Later, in the last ten minutes or so, the entire global chat devolved and broke down to a constant stream of spam. ("Pootis" seemed to be a common sentiment.) The moderator didn't seem to mind this, apparently. But nothing, and believe me, nothing, can top the surprise that the developers left for us.


A dragon. A LEVEL 300 DRAGON INSIDE SUGARCUBE CORNER. Source

Most players quickly succumbed from its mere presence. Not me, though-- I moved out of the way. Five seconds later, I lost connection to the server. I still have not regained it. That marked the end of the server event.

To the players whom I've met: So long, and thanks for all the fish.

To the developers: I have three requests for future expansion:

Request 1: Permit uploading of custom cutie marks. Yes, yes, people will abuse it, so I have proposed the following system with it:

1. Someone uploads a cutie mark. Said cutie mark shows up on the pony, as a preview, but is not applied prior to going into the server.
2. The player enters the server. The pony is given a placeholder cutie mark, or is left a blank-flank altogether, whilst the custom cutie mark is sent to the moderators for review.
3a. If the cutie mark is approved, the player is sent an in-game notification, and the cutie mark is applied instantly. (If the same or similar cutie mark is uploaded, and is consistently approved, it may be introduced into the array of standard cutie marks implemented in the game.)
3b. If the cutie mark is not approved, the player is sent an in-game notification, and is directed to change cutie marks. Uploading of custom cutie marks will be disabled at this stage. In addition to this, a few additional penalties may be applied. The following is my conception, based on a "three strikes" system:

Strike 1: Cannot upload custom cutie marks for a day.
Strike 2: Cannot upload custom cutie marks for a week and/or temporary ban (1 day to 1 week).
Strike 3: Permanent ban.

Request 2: Obtain better servers. This way, whenever Sethisto wants to hold another EQD party in Legends of Equestria, the servers needn't suffer as much.

Request 3: In the chat, implement a system wherein the chat notifies the player if a certain phrase is mentioned. Also highlight the message (or at least the phrase) in question-- perhaps in orange. For example, if I set the chat to inform me if the phrases "Lingua Franca" or "Lingua" are mentioned, I'd be certain if someone was attempting to address me, and react accordingly.

Altogether, on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being a waste of disk space and 10 being a must-have, I rate Legends of Equestria a 7. It's not perfect, by no means so-- it's only in its alpha stage. But with enough work and effort, I believe it can really shine as an outstanding game that any fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic ought to possess. Until that happens-- Godspeed to the developers!

These are the entirety of my thoughts. If you have any questions, please comment below. If you're on the Legends of Equestria forums or Equestria Daily and don't have a Fimfiction account, and want to address me, send me a private message there.

Good night, and good luck.

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Comments ( 11 )

When I first got the client, I had to run several updates to get the rest on my computer

But, be warned-- due to errors I presume to be client-side, some cutie marks will show up as texture errors-- beige with green pinstripes.

I didn't have either of these problems, probably due to being on Linux. The download for it is just one big blob with everything.

him […] he […] his

Hmm… What made you choose male pronouns for me? Was it something I said. (Just curious, I'm fine with it)


Anyway, here's the screenshots I took. I decided not to do a write-up.

Here's all the screenshots in .zip
Here's the screenshots in .tar.gz, for anyone who wants them. The filesize is a bit smaller.

3696915

What made you choose male pronouns for me?

Thought you were gender-bending in-game. Sorry.

3696928 Don't be sorry. You weren't really wrong. I don't mind which pronouns you use, but I thought having only female personas would provide a hint.

3696957 Ĝi ne estas problemo, mia amiko. Masculine/feminine problems is one reason I started learning Lojban after Esperanto. Esperanto isn't exactly neutral on the subject.

3696988
ĈU VI POVAS PAROLI ESPERANTON!?

3696989 Iom. Mia Esperanto estas … bad, I haven't used it in forever.

3697007
*malbona

Practice, practice, practice.

3697012 Those are the kind of weird formations that made me quit. There's no word for 'bad' just 'ungood.'

3697031
Now you know how George Orwell felt. His Newspeak is based right off of Esperanto.

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