Sunday, September 25, 2022

Back To Chimeraland, Again. Only Wiith An Invite This Time.

It's been a while since I last played Chimeraland. A tad less than two months to be inexact. It's not that I've lost interest, more that I've not had the time, although I guess maybe it comes to much the same thing in the end. 

I've not even been keeping up with the Chimeraland news. I did spot that there'd been a big update adding dinosaurs to the game but I didn't read the details. Now the game's on Steam, normally I'd see the updates there, but I've barely logged into the platform since I started playing Noah's Heart.

This evening I finally found time to go back and see what's changed since last I visited the old place. Or that was my plan... 

The incentive that nudged me into action was, of course, free stuff. There's a Returning Player event, or perhaps that should be offer, which doesn't seem to have been heavily advertized as yet. 

I saw it mentioned almost as an afterthought in a news item at MassivelyOP. When I clicked through the link it took me to the game's Twitter feed and so far that's the only place I've been able to find the details.

They're not as clear as they could be, either. I've reproduced them here. See if you can make them out. The language is peculiarly lawyerly for a "Please come back - we missed you!" plea, I'd say.

I thought the easiest way to find out if I met "all three conditions" would be to log in and let the game sort it out. There was a substantial patch (I don't let Steam auto-update anything any more. Too many multi-gigabyte updates for games I never play.) and then there I was: back.

Right away a window opened, telling me something about New Traveller's Exclusive Gifts. I took that to be the Come Back offer, which it wasn't. I don't know exactly what it is but it offers a daily reward for fourteen days, whereas  the Return To Chimeraland offer is just eight, so it must be something else. Deductive logic ftw!

Obviously, I took the gifts anyway. Free stuff is free stuff. I closed the window and suddenly I was in a cut scene. Yenni, a very cute... I want to say racoon? appeared and began to guilt trip me in an uncomfortably convincing way. 

I'm sure it won't work on everyone but, honestly, it worked too well on me. Poor Yenni! I left him (Her? Them?) there in the house all alone, all the food ran out, the house began to fall in on itself... When Yenni said "the house is a wreck. All I can do now is stay out of the rain" and started to sob I nearly joined in.

Yenni! I'm so sorry! I'll never leave you ever again! (Fingers crossed behind back emoji.)

Of course, I got my bamboo broom out right away and fixed the house up. I'll have to make sure I feed Yenni, always assuming I can find him again. The cut scene ended very abruptly and I haven't seen him since although there's some rhino sitting in my bedroom. Chimeraland <Shrug>.

Once that was over and I was able to look at the world outside again, my first reaction was "Have they upgraded the graphics?" It looked amazing - much better than I remembered. As far as I can tell nothing's really changed; it's the same as it always was. What I'd forgotten was how much better Chimeraland looks when you're playing it than it does in screenshots.

In game this was an atmospheric, twilit moment. In the screenshot, not so much.

It's odd how that goes. Some games look better in screenies, some worse, some about the same. I think in Chimeraland's case it's that there're a lot of movement and lighting effects that don't come over in a still image. The air is filled with floating motes, there are rainbows and flares everywhere and the intensity, color and quality of the light changes all the time.

Once I'd remembered how to take screenshots without the UI and how to get the cursor to stay on, I started to click on every icon that was glowing or flashing or otherwise trying to draw itself to my attention. There were a lot.

Why would you downvote that? Why??

One turned out to be the thing I was looking for but before I found it I came across another addition to the game I'd not heard about. There's now something called an Atelier, which appears to be a galery of people's houses and characters. 

You can submit selfies and shots of your home and other people can "Like" them. Or, sadly, "Unlike" them. Whether either has any effect other than to boost or crush the creator's ego I can't say. 

Nope, not these either, although I'll take them and thank-you very much.
I know from bitter experience in EverQuest II that decorators can be viciously competetive, more than capable of organizing cabals to downvote anyone they don't like. For that reason, I'm not really in favor of competitive structures for creative content in mmorpgs. I am very much in favor of shop windows for talent, though. I hope that's all this is. 

When I finally found the window with the Returning Player offer it was still not entirely clear what I was going to get. At first I thought I'd come in a couple of days late and was going to have to start in the middle but once I'd pressed "Claim" things sorted themselves out.

I think these must be the ones.
A lot of the rewards are temporary outfits, pets or titles. I don't much enjoy those in any game. I have a bunch in Noah's Heart and I haven't even opened them. Then there are the inevitable currencies and materials, all of which are useful to players who are progressing but not so exciting for casual players dropping back on a whim.

None of that matters when you realize there's also a full set of "Tier 9 Excellent" quality gear to be had if you manage the full eight days. For my first day back I got a fan, an excellent and elegant weapon. I'll definitely try to make it in for the other seven days. The gear will be a huge upgrade.

These too, although it looks like they cost something, so they're not really "gifts", are they?
After that I started to look at what else was new but it was absolutely overwhelming. There's a new survey, which I started to complete, but other than my age and level I could barely answer a question. Everything referred to stuff I'd never heard of, far less tried.  

It's good to have a fan.
A lot of it looked very interesting, too. As well as all the dinosaur stuff there's a new event featuring "merfolk" that comes with new housing material so you can build a house out of shells. Also you can turn yourself into a merperson. That looks well worth exploring.

The whole tutorial/new player experience has been revamped. I'd like to sewhat that's like. It certainly looks a lot different in the quest journal. 

Perhaps best of all, you can now Blueprint your house so you can move it (Relatively) painlessly to another location. That makes me think it might be worth my going back to my SEA server account. I have a lovely house there I'd like to move to somewhere less slummy. I just hope the system works better than the one in Landmark...

Chimeraland is such a strange, intriguing, fascinating game. In many ways it's better than the one I dropped it to play. Maybe I should return to Chimeraland.

Or maybe I already have.


  1. Wait, that pic can't be about Chimeraland, there's no fox person in it!

    1. Don't worry, there are more fox pix in today's post!


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