Monday, 4 June 2012

You Don't Want To Do It Like That! : The Missing Ink

There has to be a good chance you don't want to know as much about The Missing Ink as I want to tell you, but since my last post I've spent several more hours there and things are looking slightly less muddy than an Inkling Peasant. There are some clarifications I need to issue.

So I look like a vicar. Wanna make something of it?
  • Yes, you have to be a cardboard cut-out but no, you don't have to be an amorphous, genderless ghost-baby. At some point I gained the option to select an appearance from a dozen or so avatars each of which had further customizable options. It's possible this was there at the start and I just didn't notice it. Or it's something you can only do in your personal instance (aka your "fully integrated sandbox 3D virtual world" ), which is where I was when I spotted it. I swear that same tab had quests on it when I looked at it in the shared world. Either way, once chosen the appearance sticks and now I look like this ^^^
  • I really liked the ghost-baby look, though.
Don't hate on my roof, ok?
  •  I now sort of know how to use the very limited alpha sandbox tools. I built a house! A really bad house with some big holes in the floor upstairs and a roof that's going to cause me real problems come the first thunderstorm, but, hey... a house ! 
  • The sandbox tools feel really alpha whereas the interface, open world and some of the questing and combat feel beta.
Anyone got 10p?
  •  There are two "stories" so far: "The Princess and The Troll" and "Beer of the Gods". The former is the very familiar MMO medieval setting I referred to earlier and the latter is a very familiar MMO Nordic setting. Whoever the people behind this thing are (and they are called RedBedlam if that means anything to anyone) they have very obviously played all the same MMOs I have and had as good a time as I did doing so.
  • I still haven't found any story in the "story". It's alpha, though. Maybe it's not in yet.
  • Combat that consists of your character jiggling very slightly from one foot to the other and almost nothing else is just as much fun as combat where your character runs, jumps and rolls with a load of motion-captured moves. Really. No, really!
  • There are Nameds.  Maybe they drop something. I'll tell you if I manage to kill one.
  • A huge amount of junk loot drops. Easy to spot. It's labelled "junk". As far as I can tell there are no vendors, yet. A helpful loading screen tip advises you to drop junk loot to make more inventory space. Yeah, right. I'll just hang on to mine, thanks. I got a Sock Puppet and you want I should throw it away?
Ms Lumley! Ms Lumley!!
  • The viking zone has a windmill. As adumbrated by Melmoth at KIASA, windmills, while vital, are near-universal. Northern Lights aren't, though. TMI has them.
  • Three visible slots is probably not going to be enough, cardboard cut-out or not. 
  • The TMI client is currently available for both PC and Mac and RedBedlam confidently predict it will also be available on iOS and Android at launch. The prospect of being able to play it at home on my 24" monitor and out and about on my 4" IPod Touch boggles the mind.
Eat your heart out, SOEmote!
  • Did I mention it's PvP? Kind of theoretical at this stage since I've seen all of three other players and all of them were in the lobby. (The lobby is so cool, by the way. It has monitors and they show the old BBC Test Card. The classic one that was last broadcast in 1997. It all fits). There's a PvP toggle that I don't understand yet. I think it's optional. It probably should be.
  • Corpse recovery is required. It's post-WoW return-as-a-ghost CR, but even so. Not something you expect in a browser MMO.
Best. MMO. Joke. Ever.
In case it isn't clear, I really like The Missing Ink. A lot. It's alpha and it's small, limited and slightly buggy but it just has that "this is going to work" vibe. Playing feels natural, comfortable and moreish. This one's going on my "highly anticipated" list. More to come as I learn.

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