Monday, March 2, 2009

Armada's Grand Opening!

Yesterday saw the long awaited Grand Opening of the Armada sim, with a full panoply of events! Based on the China Mieville novels (mostly "The Scar", though I'm still working my way through "Perdido Street Station"), Armada has a number of unique characteristics that sepearte it from the known Steampunk, Neo-Victorian, and Gaslight Fantasy sims currently in SL.

A view of the Merchant's Market (topside)

First, as previously mentioned, garners its hertiage from the aformenteioned Mieville books. With a unique background that has been woven by the author, not only does one have the advantage of being a spectator in a dynamic mythology, but also have the opportunity to visit the pirate stronghold of Armada. That being said, an interested individual has the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and environment prior to immersing oneself in the SL version of it.

A map of Armada (from one of the skyships, no doubt)

Secondly, a merging of different races takes place in the book, mirrored by the cacophony of unique avatar groups in Armada. Standard human AVs are most common, but below the island exists an entire community of Mer individuals. Not overly familiar with it, but as commented on by "The Ocean's Wastelands", a dedicated Mer blog, it is quite a find for the mer-individuals in SL. Based on the readings, I'd say that a wide range of AVs would be welcome in Armada.

The new owner of the corner shop - "Arc Dyne"

The "Gang of Four", the managerial team for Armada, are working on a Role Play aspect for the sim. I understand that it is not a mandatory circumstance, not would it be as stringent as Rivet Town's Role Play events, but for those who wish to partake in in some ongoing RP events, it may be a reasonable choice.

Captain Red and Albus (as Mer-denizens) indulging in the underwater version of the waltz. {Photo courtsey of Miss Violet MacMoragh - Armada Ning}

Speaking of Rivet Town, with its passing later this month, I would argue that Armada provides one of the few "single-source" inspired and designed Steampunk sims in SL. Not that any of the existing sims (e.g. New Babbage, Caledon, ect...) are unattractive, but they tend to be a cooperative effort of the residents who "purchase" land - meaning that within certain guidelines (e.g. era/genre archecture), one sees a vast quantity of styles and types in said sims.

A view of the merchant district, including Oblonski (a supporter of the Heliograph)

Armada was built by a small group of individuals, and was designed to maintain its unique theme and genre architecture. So though there are some deviations from designer-to-designer (and it probably isn't as bleak as the novel), one can see the design continuity throughout the build.

The Black Market, where most anything can be obtained for a price...

Thought one cannot techincally "buy" land in Armada, one can still live or "set up shop" there. There are a good number of rentals available, for individuals and for businesses. An intriguing concept, as it allows the sim managers to maintain its unique look, provide an opportunity for those who seek a rental domicile in a Steampunk-esque sim, and (as far as I can assess) a relatively inexpensive locale for individuals who sell Neo-Victorian and Steampunk wares (with the potential for good traffic, at least for the genre-type of goods).

Oneiroi Club & Reading Room - a civilized corner where one can relax and indulge in a plenitude of beverages in Armada

Its methodology for income is unproven in the Steampunk environment (as far as I know, most of the sims of this type (again, NB, Caledon, Steelhead, Antiquity), tend to have a "Purchase and Tier" arrangement). If it proves successful, it may not only prove to be good for those new to the Steampunk/Neo-Victorian sims, as they can have a "taste" of ownership (e.g. "their own corner), but for other Steampunk sims, who use the more traditional economic model for land ownership... I'm certain that most will agree, once one has land, you can never have enough prims!

The Black Barnacle, the loud and rowdy alternative to the Reading Room {Photo courtesy of Miss Breezy Carver}

I would postulate Armada's strengths lie with its adherence to its theme and ultimately with the potential of its RP. Much can go awry with a sim, such as lack of traffic (e.g. Rivet Town, Laputa), internal strife (e.g. Solarya), or lack of outside interested (e.g. CyberBarvaria). If the "Gang of Four" are able to maintain good quality, I am confident it will do well - if not, well, I'll have to Sepia it in the Steampunk Travelogue.

Fireworks at the closing ceremonies of Armada {Photo of Mr. Pepys Ponnier - Armada Ning}

Finally, one more useful tool is the Armada HUD, a simple free device that allows an TP menu, so one easily reach destinations without having to traverse through the maze of ships! It is available on the main merchant deck, by the map of Armada. I do wish the intrepid managers good luck on their enterprise, and look forward to seeing it success in the future!

For further information on Armada, please turn to:

And do visit the Ocean's Wastelands blog, at:


Breezy Carver said...

*Claps* *Claps* delightful review Sir .. five stars indeed Agreed You own Capture shows what great Sim Full of creative magic from the hearts of good People friends and neighbors Aye !!
Indeed !!

*personal note (( where do "they" come up with these word verifations . grins))

Amanda said...

I had been hearing about the Armada sim for a while now. Last week I took a tour and found it very interesting. I admit that I haven't read China MiƩville's Scar. I tried to read Perdido Street Station but couldn't get further than half.

my site