Sunday, December 21, 2008
Orabelle Steamforge's franchise in Antiquity Citadel
And now, for something completely different… well, somewhat, anyways. Nautical interaction is one of the biggest draws of my new locale, the Antiquity sims. However, for the bulk of Antiquity’s existence, ship combat has been limited to sailing ships, specifically the SPD class. Very nice, moddable ships, but unfortunately, they weren’t Steampunk in essence – they are Victorian (or perhaps a bit earlier, with the infusion of pirates in Antiquity), but sadly not Steampunk.
I had resigned myself to forgo any serious combat with a Steampunk flair, until the great "Open Sim" debacle (and subsequent re-organization) led to the emergence of Antiquity Citadel, which is not only home to one of the military factions in Antiquity (e.g. the Royal Antiquity Navy, the Prussians, The French, and of course, the piratical enclaves), but also home to military outfitters specializing in era (19th century) militaria. Since its emergence as a Steampunk militaria, I wandered along its port, past the Blue Whale Tavern, I spotted a merchant I frankly would not have expected in Antiquity after her departure from New Babbage – Kandace Commons’ "Orabelle's Steamforge".
Some of the non-combat vehicles from her offerings
I entered the store with a limited knowledge of her nautical endeavors, having tested her "Mosquito Pedalboat" in Antiquity Lagoon a while back, which I will concede, was quite a smart vessel. With a cocked eye, I saw the first of works, the "Golden Courier" Hydrofoil, the "W. Warrior Canal Racer", and the "W. Wayfaryer Canal Boat", and noticed she used sculpties vice traditional prims for her ships, lending them perhaps a more "solid" appearance.
As impressive as the RL Monitor, an outstandingly detailed homage
Since I tend to fancy ship-to-ship combat (as the opportunity presents itself), I migrated to her other adjacent stall, housing her combat vessels. Based on my background, I immediately gravitated to the "Monitor" Ironclad, and noted her attention to historical detail paid to representing the RL vessel. Below it was a "Prosecutor" Ironclad, with more of a ship-like appearance, which may appeal more to surface sailors.
More towards surface individuals, the Prosecutor is an enjoyable vessel to captain
Scanning to the left, I saw her flagship class, the "Fear Engine" Ironclad. The largest of the class, it has a substantial number of guns, more armor (hit points), and would certainly make a statement wherever it might sail. Even more impressive is the cost of said ships – armed vessels average about L$ 300, with the "Fear Engine" weighing in at an economical L$600! That being said, I decided to invest in a "Monitor" and a "Prosecutor", and give each a test drive.
The leviathian of the ICS2, the Fear Engine leave an impressive wake (and damage, as necessary)
Two notable aspects of these ships are contained in its HUD. Aside from being minimal in size, it small footprint and streamlined damage report allows easy viewing during combat. Additionally, though the ships themselves aren’t moddable, she provides two flags, and a very simple means of adding flag textures to identify your allegiance. Once added, a simple mouseclick can change your flag, just incase you need to make a quick set of friends, or just trying to mislead the local Navy, I suppose.
Yes, the Mosquito Pedalboat is only L$1 - a bargain!
Quality is quality, and Miss Common’s maritime works are outstanding. Well designed, easy to use, a shallow learning curve, easy to personalize, and not overpriced – what more can you ask for? Where to fight? Not a problem – the Royal Antiquity Navy hosts ironclad combat every Friday, at 8pm SLT, in Antiquity Lagoon (don’t forget to follow the Rules of Engagement)! A most hearty recommendation to acquire one (or more) of her vessels for the new year!
(Yes, I’m aware she has an impressive airship, but that remains for another review!)
A vew of the HUD - two flags (of your choice, from your inventory), and a damage counter - with an outstanding view of the battle at the same time!
To visit Orabelle Steamforge’s Antiquity branch, please turn to: