Thursday, April 25, 2013

Fantasy Faire 2013

... post one of several.

I have been fighting my way across Fantasy Faire, which some of the readership-at-very-small will remember from last year.  This RFL-based fantasy-themed shopping event runs until the 28th of this month, so there's still a few days left.  There is also a hunt, of some kind, going on there, but I'm not participating in that, for reasons which may or may not become apparent.

I say "fighting" my way across, because I am using the current version of the LL viewer, and having many and frustrating difficulties with it.  There may be more on this topic: consider yourselves warned.  And, of course, a bunch of sims with lots of visitors and lots of vendors and a bunch of stores where SL's content creators have gone hog-wild trying to make impressive stuff... well, this all taxes the viewer, rather a lot.

On the plus side, last year I went through Fantasy Faire on my clapped-out lappy, and this year I have a proper one, so that should be better.  So, let me (grudgingly) put complaints to one side, and talk about what's actually there.

If you go via the official link, you will start off in the Fairelands Junction, which offers portals to all the other sims.
Unlike the big building last year, this time we have a forest glade, with huge trees containing mystical portals to other realms.

Mystical, but not actually all that special - touch one, it brings up the world map for you to teleport from; there's no use of the "experience tools" here to TP you directly.  It's the first sign that this Faire, though visually impressive, isn't really at the cutting edge of SL.  Never mind.  The setting is idyllic.  Bucolic, even.
That's me being idyllic and bucolic, that is.  Also, resetting my jangled nerves after an incredibly botched sim crossing... ahem.  I said I'd stop complaining, didn't I?  But I'm afraid it's going to creep in.  The complaining thing, I mean.

Anyway.  The Faire sims are laid out in a hollow rectangle, with the Junction in the bottom left corner.  I'm going to go around them clockwise, because that's how I visited them.  So, heading north, we come to Magnificat.

This is sponsored by Fallen Gods, who did that rather elegant build with the classical temples sticking out of the water, last year.  This is still classical, still elegant - and, in fact, uses mesh buildings, so it's rather more modern - but it somehow didn't grab me as much.  It is a sort of peaceful, Mediterranean kind of a sim, with an aura of decaying gentility about it.  It's nice.  I was pleased.  But I was, somehow, not impressed.

(Also, see those grey squares in the air?  In the first pic?  Particle effects whose texture obstinately refused to rez.  I had some terrible troubles with rezzing... ahem.  Complaining again.  Bad Glorf.)

The stand-out feature seems to be that sort of river mouth with an endless succession of sailboats gliding down it, out into the distance to commence an endless voyage.  Or to de-rez quietly.  One of the two.
So there we are.  Magnificat.  Moving north, we come to the next sim, Crimson Fields, sponsored by Trident... Again, they did a captivating build last year, and this year they have marvellous modern mesh buildings, so it should be something utterly special and wonderful... and somehow it isn't.
The main feature here is that big stone tower, which - well, you can see how far I had to pull out my draw distance to get the whole thing in.  I think the problem, here, is unimaginative layout.  There is that big tower in the field of red flowers, and the shops are all in a horseshoe around it, and... that's all there is to it.  The individual shop buildings are lovely; beautifully textured crumbling ruins in the sort of Viking idiom I've come to expect from Trident.  It's just the layout which is a bit blah.
There is something going on at one corner of the sim - there's a smaller tower with a sort of prison cell at the top.

Dunno what that's all about.  I remember last year they did that stunt where you had to pay to get various SL worthies bailed out of prison.  (I paid quite a bit to stop Perryn Peterson being boiled in chocolate.)  Maybe they're doing the same thing this year?

Anyway.  I shall break this up here, I think, and continue around the ring in my next.

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