Coded green.

Saturday 30 August 2003

Screenshot Master of Magic

Pic of the day: A prosperous civilization is just entering its middle age, blissfully unaware that it is about to disappear forever into oblivion, along with its entire world, to linger only as a fond memory in the mind of a higher being.

The end of another world

I was about to use the title "Flirting with ... MoM" (as in, Master of Magic). Then I considered that google.com doesn't distinguish between uppercase and lowercase characters, and ... well, I'm not that much of a hit slut. I probably already have a lot of dissatisfied visitors. I mean, people who read one of my entries and think the whole site is like that, and then they read on. And they find that it's not all about classic games, or online comics, or the evolution of a cosmic consciousness, or Jesus. The creepy truth is that to me, there is a continuum of experience and thought in which all of these themes fit in naturally: I could draw a line from one to another connecting every one of them and many more. But enough about that. It is Saturday, and I am playing Master of Magic again.

It is a long time since my last fling with this classic strategy game. I have written about it so often before that I will not be sucked into raving about it once again. I will not!

***

Since it is so long since last time, I play an easy strategy: Runemaster artificer. This strategy allows you to create magic artifacts at half cost and half time, then break them to get back twice the magic you put into it. A veritable magic factory. Of course this comes at a price: Both of these skills take spell picks, that might otherwise have been filled by spell books. Also to get runemaster, you need at least 2 books in 3 different colors of magic. For me who prefers to play on Myrror, that means there is little else left. And it means I cannot specialize in white magic the way I usually do. Oh well.

I love playing on Myrror. There is something about that world, an atmosphere that attracts me. If you had been reading my MoM2000 fiction for the last couple days, you might have recognized it. Anyway, I have a great time.

But alas, I have counted out my greatest enemy in this game. As I play happily away, I have no chance to prepare, no way to avoid my fate. It strikes suddenly and without mercy: The freeze bug. No white magic protects against it, no strategy seems to avoid it. From what I have managed to observe, it probably happens when either Freya or Ariel cast some particular spell. When they are not in the game, I can usually play into the endgame. But if the wrong opponent is there, it is only a matter of time. Suddenly the game locks up. I may be lucky and get out of it by pressing ctrl-alt-del, but more likely I have to go for the reset button. Then wait while my old computer reviles me for not having shut it down properly, as it takes it time checking the disks. If I start again from a save game, the same thing will happen again. If I start far enough back, it may happen later, or earlier. But there is no way around it (unless I can somehow banish the guilty wizard before they manage to crash the world, which usually happen fairly early in midgame).

***

It makes me think of the Large Hadron Collider and the attempts to create microscopic black holes on Earth, now thankfully delayed to 2007. We don't KNOW that it will crash the game erase the entire planet from the universe but there's a chance of it. Where are the terrorists when you really need them? I would feel much better if it the LHC lay in America rather than in Switzerland, since by 2007, Bush may well have ruined the American economy to the point where non- essential research will be closed down. Oh well. God may be better at debugging than I am. One can always hope.

And make no mistake our civilization is merely in the midgame yet. There is so much magic yet to research, if only we have the time. If only we don't crash the whole world. Have you ever wondered why we don't get any answers from other civilizations out there among the stars? There is a formula that gives the approximate number of civilizations in a galaxy, and we know more and more of the parameters. But there is one we don't know at all ... the lifespan of an advanced civilization. Perhaps they all took the wrong turn, and suddenly vanished from the face of the universe, leaving not even a warning.

Oh well, enough gloom and doom for now. This is what you get when I write late in the evening, I guess. Or right after my computer crashes on me. At least they're not likely to take over the world for quite a while yet...


Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: The good life
Two years ago: Rant day
Three years ago: Darwin & I
Four years ago: Admiring the stupid

Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.


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