Sunday, March 29, 2009

TE Upgrade

Those worried that the original TE we've all grown to know and love would cease to have development on it must have been happy to see a new version of the hud released the other day. We're told that this one is compiled in mono, which means it should run faster (and that the SL servers should be happier with it.)

It also means that if you say /1100 help, you get access to some configuration menus, as follows:

Sounds sub-menu:

Text sub-menu:

My personal favorite out of those options is the option to have a turn sound only when there's something in that month. (It should prove helpful to those of us with two huds now!)

The ability to reset back to a default (visible) position is great as well. I know that I, for one, have accidentally moved it off the screen (and once missed a Trader that way.)

Another thing that's changed is that it automatically notifies you when you're going into non-scripted (or scripted) areas. The background of the clock turns red. I'm not sure if it works better now in non-scripted areas (that would be great news if it did) because I haven't had the courage yet to try it!

Still, a nice little bonus for us all. (Oh, and for those of you playing the new game, try /3000 help)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Allies. Who needs them?

Players who buy the TE Federation HUD notice that one of the changes in it is that it now has a tab called 'Allies' (it replaces the old 'Fellows' tab on the regular hud) The next question is, what are allies?

An ally is another TE player with whom you are "allied". To become allies, the two of you stand next to each other and wait for the offers to come up. An offer says "do you wish to ally with x?", you say yes, they get the offer, and say yes or no. It's the same basic process as changing allegiance. You both have to be Count or higher. (One word of warning: if both players are at the Prince level, the huds may get stuck on offering to let one join the other. In that case, detach and re-attach.)

So now that you've made an ally (or know that you can), why should you? What good is one?

  • If you are sabotaged, an online ally will get the chance to pay to help get your acres back. (This is often seen in the announcements as 'an investigation funded by one ally convicted the main suspect...')

  • You can transfer citizens between each other. This transfer becomes even more efficient if you build an embassy

  • If you build four embassies, you get an extra gold per acre on your land.

One note about embassies: they are expensive (roughly five times acre cost) and they take an acre of your ally's land (your ally loses an acre of personal land when you build one.) On the other hand, you start getting good offers on your land which is attributed to the embassies. And the cost of an embassy can be reduced if you buy it during a year of cheap land from the trader. That year adjusts your land price down to a third of its normal rates, and a lot of calculations- including loyalty rewards and embassy costs- go down as well.

Since you can have up to four allies, and since you get that extra gold per acre after building four embassies, people who get the federation hud are strongly encouraged to get allies as quickly as possible- preferably ones who have plenty of citizens to give them!

But when looking for an ally, you must keep in mind the fact that you can not have your liege or a direct subject as your ally. This means that when you want to make allies within your own group (a natural desire), you have to look a bit further afield. It may be your liege's liege (or a subject's subject). Or it may be another subject of your liege. When trying to track who is allied with who, and who is lieged to, the joins can quickly become an interlocked mesh of two separate webs of connections.

Since things can be so complicated, and since new Federation HUD players are encouraged to get allies soon, they often find friends outside of their immediate group- may, in fact, have to. And why not? I know that when I find that there are people in my group who have allies elsewhere, I tend to say "great, I'm glad to hear it." It's a nice way for friends who are lieged to different areas- even kingdoms- to still share a friendship within the game. It's a good way to find other people (or have your liege find other people for you!)

And, in the end, that may be the best reason to have allies: to recognize existing friendships and create new ones.

Who needs allies? Perhaps the question might be better asked, who needs friends?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Snowy Sidran Interview

Queen snowy Sidran and Vulpine Eldrich

Vulpine Eldrich: I'm here this morning in a little grassy dell, under a dark sky lightening with the first hint of dawn. This is the home of Misterioso, and Queen snowy Sidran is here, with several of her companions and subjects. Snowy, the first question I always like to ask is, what does Misterioso mean, and why choose it for your kingdom?

snowy Sidran smiles. "Misterioso is the name of one of my favorite Jazz albums, a life recording of a concert by Thelonious Monk, and has for a long time been the name of my Home... and now the Home of the monarchy. When thinking for a name, we kept coming back to it, and in the end decided to simply go for it since it also makes a very nice reference to the Bohemia Homeland we all came from."

Vulpine Eldrich: So you ascended from Bohemia, then. How long have you been playing Tiny Empires, and in Bohemia?

snowy Sidran: Yes I did. I started playing TE in November of 2007. It started out as a "let’s go see what it is" amongst a group of friends that frequented the same club here in SL. We kinda got hooked on it quickly, and suddenly I woke up one morning after about a week finding myself a princess and having no idea about how the game really worked still. That luckily changed over time ;)

snowy Sidran: We started out in Bohemia more by chance, but we liked it there and never left until last Saturday, when I ascended.

Vulpine Eldrich: That's quite a long time! Was there anything in particular that made you decide a new kingdom was right for you?

snowy Sidran: I think that is a decision that grows in time more. And in the end, there is not one real reason to do so, perhaps. For me personally, it was need for a new challenge, perhaps. Having played for that long, being on cap on both land and gold, and wanting to do more for my own down-line specifically. Yet it was a hard choice, and it took me months to decide on it. Leaving "home" and making one’s own is not as simple as it seems, at least not to me.

Vulpine Eldrich: But you felt that it was the next logical step, and so you took it. Well, it's been a week now. What new things have you learned when long-time Princess becomes fledgling Queen?

snowy Sidran chuckles. "Mostly that it takes a lot of group-editing and well, honestly, that I have a great downline that sticks up for each other and knows how to take care of themselves very well. I am mostly busy with rearranging and talking to people once more on what they personally want to achieve playing TE, and trying to make it work. And, grinz, I am having a blast finally being able to give out titles and get the gold we accumulated over time into free acres ;)"

snowy Sidran: I think an important task of every monarch is to simply welcome people. I try to talk to every new player myself and get them to feel at Home. And since we grew a lot over the last week, that has been taking some time.

Vulpine Eldrich: So has everyone decided who is going to stay with you and who stays in Bohemia? Or is that a work in progress, yet?

snowy Sidran: The group that is here now is the group that, as it looks now, will stay here. There were extended talks before ascending with a lot of them, so we had no real surprises there. The people that wanted to stay in Bohemia already moved before we ascended. Even ascending should be a group venture in my view.

Vulpine Eldrich: That almost seems obvious... do you know of others who viewed ascending solely as a personal move, and not a group one?

snowy Sidran smiles. "I tend to hope not, but I am not sure everyone took 3 months of talks and going through doubts before eventually doing so ;)"

Vulpine Eldrich: So have any doubts persisted? It sounds like the last week has been pure fun!

snowy Sidran smiles. "They have been, certainly. I think that once decided after such a long period of thinking, it does give you room to simply enjoy. Although leaving behind a lot of our friends and people we have come to love is hard, too, still."

Vulpine Eldrich: So, as you look to the future, you've obviously got your hands full right now- titles, free acres, and other benefits. What other plans do you have, or hope to have?

snowy Sidran: Mostly to keep this group together and keep enjoying it as much as we are now. To me, the benefit of a smaller group so far has been mostly that it draws out the more silent group members again and shows everyone to its rights. The group seems to be working together a lot, and new contacts are being made here at the Homeland. So I expect this to be a Monarchy of friends, and see it as my job to provide all it needs to keep it that way.

Vulpine Eldrich: So do you have any ambitions as to kingdom size or rank?

snowy Sidran: Honestly, no. I cannot say that seeing the rank go up does not make my heart jump some. But it is not what I find the most important thing at all. I’d rather see people enjoy and be happy in a small Monarchy than have a large one where people get lost and are anonymous.

Vulpine Eldrich: So if the day comes that you feel it is getting too large, what would you do then?

snowy Sidran: I am not sure really Vulpine, although I do think I have the right set of people here to even make that work. Now, I love knowing everyone myself, but I think there will be a size that will make that impossible. The fact that I have very enthusiastic "large line lieges" that are in close contact with their downline will hopefully prevent us from becoming too large to be a friends group more than a Monarchy with a distant Queen.

Vulpine Eldrich: So what sort of real life skills and assets have you found helpful in putting all of this together?

snowy Sidran chuckles. "Loving people and being able to let them be who they are....and some perfectionism and always wanting to be on top of everything myself does help, too, I guess."

Vulpine Eldrich: And which of those qualities- or would it be another- do you feel is the most important for a monarch?

snowy Sidran: The first, definitely. The latter might even backfire in the end. I can imagine there are people I will drive insane with my enthusiasm at some point.

Vulpine Eldrich: lol, has that happened, or are you merely speculating?

snowy Sidran smiles and looks around. "Well, no one has run yet, so I guess speculating and knowing your own pitfalls....and when to back off, too."

Vulpine Eldrich: Well, let's hope no one runs screaming into the wilderness! So the game's options seemed too limited for you and you became a monarch. Are there changes to the game that you think would be nice- more options or rules changes?

snowy Sidran: I think the game eventually will die if there are no better options for especially the larger Lieges to do something for their downlines or Monarchy. The Viceroy and Grand Viceroy jobs tend to help some in that, but I am not sure it will do enough to not make more and more people ascend over time, leaving a bundle of small Monarchies behind and no real large ones. I would love to see more use of the Alliances, yet to say I really have a clear idea on how to picture that, I do not.

Vulpine Eldrich: So you're predicting a thousand kingdoms with an average size of 25,000 acres?

snowy Sidran: Well, if I look at the past week with having seen eight ascensions, I wonder truly what lies ahead there.

Vulpine Eldrich: One thing that lies ahead is the new universe/game of TE3000. Granted, you've been busy in this game, but I'm sure you've not been oblivious to the news. How has it affected you and your kingdom?

snowy Sidran smiles. "I know some people have tried on the new HUD, like I did. Yet I have not heard anyone scream that they would leave Tiny Empires for it. To me, it looks like the same game, just with a different scene, and although I am all for a change of scenery (look where we are now), I doubt it will really change the current game a lot."

Vulpine Eldrich: So are you actively pursuing two games, or just letting the new one idle while you tend to the Kingdom of Misterioso?

snowy Sidran: Oh no, I am curious of mind simply, so have tried on the TE3000 trial hud to see what it was about.....and honestly deleted it after reaching the end of the trial period. I have my hands full here, and loving every minute of it.

Vulpine Eldrich: It sounds like you've definitely got a lot to live and love :) So do you have any words of wisdom for someone seeking to succeed in Tiny Empires?

snowy Sidran smiles. "Oh, geesh. Tend for people and not acres."

Vulpine Eldrich: That sounds like a formal motto! Is there anything else you'd like to add, anything that I missed which you'd like to tell everyone about?

snowy Sidran chuckles. "That everyone should be more awake on a Saturday morning trying to bribe Vulpine. Before you know it, you are finding yourself in an interview!"

snowy Sidran laughs. "No, seriously. I hope that everyone keeps enjoying the game and they will find it successful like I did, in meeting lovely people that you normally might never have."

Vulpine Eldrich: Touche, lol! And one last question... was that giant caterpillar sitting on the mushroom up there blue before or after he started smoking that hookah?

snowy Sidran chuckles. "I think he turned Blue after our GV Ernest Newman busted him monopolizing the bong again."

Vulpine Eldrich: ROFL that might explain a few things... what, I'm not sure, but obviously something. Well thanks so much for spending part of your Saturday morning with me, and best of fortune in the new Kingdom!

snowy Sidran smiles. "And thank you for being here, Vulpine, this was a nice surprise."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Blog announced

After consideration, I felt that the "New Tiny Empires" and "Old Tiny Empires" each deserved their own space.

As a result, this blog will continue to feature the same analysis, interviews, and other speculation regarding the old game that we have come to know and love.

However, for the fans of the new game, you can space out (pun intended) at the new Tiny Empires 3000 blog. It's up for your reading pleasure at

Brand new game, brand new adventure, that's what you find in the new blog.

Traditional game, traditional format, same commitment to quality, that's what you should still find here!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Dreams Revealed: Tiny Empires 3000

Today has been total chaos as another realm opens in the universe of Tiny Empires. Chronological shockwaves have launched players from the medieval to the far future of the year 3000. As Tiny Empires in the year 3000 opens, the instructions look much the same as the past. The basic game mechanics shift as follows:

Tiny EmpiresTiny Empires 3000
KingdomTrade Guild

There are still plenty of unanswered questions... for one, what is this thing about "colonies"?

The other big question that everyone keeps asking is, what are the ranks, and how much do we need to get them? The answers that have been given so far (and this will be subject to correction!) are:

Number of ShipsRank
2 - 9Runner
10 - 19Courier
20 - 49Merchant
50 - 99Trader
100 - 499Trade baron
500 - 999Broker
1000 +Mogul

Other Miscellaneous Notes:

  • First glance says that it is going to be harder to change loyalties in TE3k than in TE. (more credits to switch, not earning them as quickly, perhaps other requirements?)

  • The trial TE3K hud stops at 20 ships (not 10 acres)

  • The full hud costs 999L

  • Ulralite is a Chancellor now. Will that be the new King rank?


Full speed ahead, Pilot!

Reposted on the Tiny Empires 3000 blog

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Strange Dreams

Troubled nights have come to the Terra Aurean Empire. Inhabitants from the lowliest wanderer (with a Trial Hud) to the highest monarch have restless sleep, punctuated by strange dreams.

It all started on Friday March 6th... in the morning, and again that evening, the following message appeared:

On Saturday, again once in the morning and then that evening, another message appeared:

This morning, Sunday the 8th, the third message appeared. It read:

You awaken this morning from yet another unusual dream. You were harnessed in a strange sort of carriage that was moving quickly. Through the windows you saw no sky or land, only darkness. But you weren't afraid.

So what does it mean? When I was asked that, I stated the obvious "the Emperor is up to something. Outside of that, I have no idea." But speculation is flowing freely, some carrying signs of 'The End Is Near', others saying 'the sky is falling', others saying 'There will be a great pruning!' (quick, record your standings page before it all disappears....)

Ideas? Speculation? I'll try to keep this post updated with new messages as they appear- feel free to add them into the comments!

Interesting times, indeed...

Fourth Dream, March 9th

Another strang dream rousts you from bed this morning, You were flying like an owl, through a desolate, gray valley. The sky was dark. You felt like you were on a quest or mission, but you woke before you could land.

Angel Cordoso Interview

Vulpine Eldrich and King Angel Cordoso

Angel Cordoso: Greetings Vulpine, and welcome to Amber castle :)

Vulpine Eldrich: Thank you for having me!

Angel Cordoso: Have a seat :)

Vulpine Eldrich: Oh, thanks again. So, to our readers, I'm in a gray stone castle, sitting in a dark red couch, next to a very handsome and muscular King... the King of Amber. If I might start my questions, why the name of Amber? What does it mean to you and the others in your kingdom?

Angel Cordoso: The name Amber comes from a fantasy series written by Roger Zelazny, which I find is very relevant to Second Life. In the series, Amber is the 'real world', and all other worlds (like our Earth) are 'shadows' of Amber. The Princes and Princesses of Amber 'walk through shadow', manipulating reality as they go, very much like Second Life itself! In addition, it is also just a nice name. I wanted something simple and pretty.

Vulpine Eldrich: And you definitely chose one. So who from the series is your role model, as King of Amber?

Angel Cordoso: Actually, they are all fairly dreadful individuals :) They are in some sense my counter-role models, as they are solely interested in power at any cost. The main character, Corwin, is slightly better than the rest but not much ... it was more the concept of the place that I liked.

Vulpine Eldrich: So what sort of positive traits and role models do you follow as King?

Angel Cordoso: I have ideals for how to act. My first principal is that I believe diplomacy is the key to solving all problems. It doesn't always work, but it is always worth it to try to get people to fix their problems through mutual understanding.

Vulpine Eldrich: Has that failed for you, and if so, how did you handle it then?

Angel Cordoso: No it doesn't always work. Sometimes people just aren't getting along and there is nothing to be done about it. I don't banish in my Kingdom, so in the past, techniques I've used have included spending my vacation time trying to amicably split a line into two, and when absolutely necessary, pruning people who just can't play nicely in the Kingdom.

Vulpine Eldrich: Always a painful job, I'm sure. And what other principals have you followed?

Angel Cordoso: My second principal is to try to be as honest and straightforward as possible. I have found that many of the so-called 'dramas' in the game happen when people got caught in lies or underhanded deals.

Vulpine Eldrich: So how do you find new people for Amber? What sort of personality, or place, or thing, do you use as a guide?

Angel Cordoso: At this point, I don't actively recruit as much as manage who is around. That said, a lot of people have heard of Amber, or have been in Amber at some point, and I get more than the occasional IM asking if I'd be interested in having a line in my kingdom. At that point, depending on the size of the line, the requirements, the personalities, etc., I'll work with my directs to find the person a proper home. I used to be more 'they are acres, just take them', but now I am much more interested in getting to know the people a little better first to get an idea of whether they'd be a good fit or not.

Vulpine Eldrich: Why the change in attitude?

Angel Cordoso: Short term gains in acres at any cost invariably cause big troubles later on. Too many conflicting personalities can only co-exist for so long before you get some sort of breakdown.

Vulpine Eldrich: That sounds like the voice of experience to me. Speaking of experience, how did you get started in Tiny Empires?

Angel Cordoso: Ah, the way most people who get highly obsessed do, I think. :) My girlfriend at the time mentioned it to me in passing one day, and I expressed an interest. I instantly got addicted to it and have been playing ever since, even if at perhaps a less fevered pitch. I got my HUD February 18th of last year, so it has been a year and 10 days now.

Vulpine Eldrich: And how long did it take for you to decide you wanted to be a King?

Angel Cordoso: Not for several months. I initially wanted to support my liege and my liege's liege; I had no intention of ascending. Eventually circumstances changed and I thought I'd give it a shot myself. I ascended on the 28th of July of last year.

Vulpine Eldrich: What in particular happened to change your mind, and when you did, did you have enough to ascend immediately, or did you have to work at it?

Angel Cordoso: When I changed my mind, I don't remember if I had enough to ascend or not, but in any case I wanted to make sure I ascended with more than the bare minimum. I ascended with 37,000 acres, which was #35 at the time (there were half as many kingdoms then, of course). I think it was a gradual progress, and I had some dissatisfaction with Kingdom at the time, and no one else was ascending, so I figured it would have to be me!

Vulpine Eldrich: So did you have a group of people- friends- under you who were encouraging you to ascend?

Angel Cordoso: I did yes, a couple in particular, that were very supportive. Also, when I made my plans public, it turned out that most of the people under me were loyal and wanted to come along. We made a stop on the way to becoming Amber in Devonshire for 3 weeks, and in that time there was very little movement away. It was very rewarding to see that people were really excited about this new Kingdom.

Vulpine Eldrich: I can imagine! So you ascended, became King, and found out by experience what it was all about. Did you have any particular real life or second life talents, skills, or experience that proved useful?

Angel Cordoso: I think my strongest suits are diplomacy and an even temper. I try to understand all sides of a story when there is a conflict, and to try to resolve it as best I can that way. I also try to show my appreciation as much as possible without being an acre slave driver. These are things I try to bring from how I am in RL into the game. Aside from that, I am not royalty in RL, nor even a politician!

Vulpine Eldrich: Yes, I did notice your commitment to honesty earlier... but be that as it may. I assume this Palace we're in is Amber's central meeting point in Second Life? What sort of facilities do you have for subjects in Amber?

Angel Cordoso: Anyone is welcome to come here at any time, although this location is still fairly new. There is a Greedy table upstairs, and the Sim is free for exploration. Most of the services I provide are virtual, though - I put together an Amber Business Directory, for advertising SL builders/clubs/shops/etc., and am about to put together a RL directory for people looking for RL jobs in these hard economic times. Also, I've created a Helper that you can wear that provides answers to riddles and a welcome pack, amongst other things.

Vulpine Eldrich: An impressive list! How busy does all of this keep you? How many hours a week go into managing Amber, in one form or another?

Angel Cordoso: Many! Most of the time I am online, I am doing something related to Amber, even if I am no longer actively recruiting. Warning to anyone wanting to ascend: being a Monarch is a full-time job (on top of your other full time jobs...) So yes, it is a busy schedule of several hours a day doing something Amber-related, most days of the week.

Vulpine Eldrich: A good warning! Have you ever found yourself wishing you could relinquish the responsibilities and go back to being a Prince?

Angel Cordoso: Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably lying :) Yes, but then I think of all the people I would disappoint if I did (although I'd probably make a lot of other people very happy! But I am not as interested in pleasing them.) Also, there is still a lot of fun to be had, so I should be around for a bit longer I'd say!

Vulpine Eldrich: Are there any particular plans in your TE and Amber's future, besides keeping things going and active?

Angel Cordoso: Well, getting back in the top 10 would be nice. It means absolutely nothing, but it's a nice goal to have. We are at #11 right now, which is a great place to be because it keeps the excitement level high and gives a great goal to achieve. But other than that, just keep on playing is all that's on the agenda :)

Vulpine Eldrich: And playing usually means having fun, which I suspect is also on the agenda! What about game development in general- any new features or changes that you'd like to see in the rules?

Angel Cordoso: One thing I'd like to see is a way to have proper treaties between Kingdoms. Many kingdoms have no bribe/no sabo treaties with other Kingdoms, but there's no way to enforce them and they cause drama when some subject breaks the treaty, willingly or by accident. It would be nice if you could have a set number of Kingdoms where their names wouldn’t show up for bribes or sabotage, similar to the way that you can't bribe in-Kingdom any more.

Vulpine Eldrich: So more ways and options to form inter-kingdom alliances.

Angel Cordoso: Yes, exactly. From there you can imagine interesting concepts of merging Kingdoms and such, but I'd be happy with that to start.

Vulpine Eldrich: A good idea, and it could open a new level of play. But before getting to the lofty peak of monarch options, you have to start at the bottom. What would your first piece of advice be to someone just starting Tiny Empires- or maybe just considering whether or not they should?

Angel Cordoso: Well, first thing is to get your friends playing early on. Getting subjects early is a real key to becoming a good player.

Angel Cordoso: Once you have your base, go out and hit the friends list! You never know who is out there. But very important - let people know exactly what the game is about. Otherwise, you are just going to get a lot of 7 acre subjects that aren't going to play anyway. So yes, tell everyone about it, but be upfront and clear too, about just what you are getting them into :)

Vulpine Eldrich: A very good idea! Well, I suppose that's most of the questions I wanted to ask. Was there anything else that I missed that you think needs to be added?

Angel Cordoso: No, you were very thorough I think ... it was a pleasure meeting you and I hope you got a good feel of what Amber is about!

Vulpine Eldrich: Thank you... one more question, though perhaps it's slightly personal... am I imagining it, or are your eyes truly colored Amber?

Angel Cordoso: They are indeed, and it is on purpose :)

Vulpine Eldrich: Very good indeed! Well thank you so much for your time, and have a great evening :)

Angel Cordoso: You too

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lazarus Rang Interview

On Sunday February 22nd, I had a chance to talk with King Lazarus Rang about his then brand-new kingdom. As you can see, the story was on-going even as we talked, and much has happened since this interview. But this is what was happening then...

King Lazarus Rang and Vulpine Eldrich

Vulpine Eldrich: Hello, everyone! I'm here today with Lazarus Rang, King of the Kingdom of White Light. Thank you, Lazarus, for inviting me into your most spacious and impressive log home. I take it this is the center of your kingdom?

Lazarus Rang: Aye, here and our Garden.

Vulpine Eldrich: So tell me about how a Kingdom gets the name of White Light, and what sort of Garden does it take to host such a kingdom?

Lazarus Rang: I can show you our Garden if you like. It is adjacent to the "Log Palace"

Lazarus Rang: Come, and I will tell you the tale.

We left the house and walked into the garden...

Lazarus Rang: This is our Garden we are working on as our Public area. My dear old friend Luna McMillan made this tree & swing system for me.

Vulpine Eldrich: I see an impressive building of marble. It seems to glow with... white light?

Lazarus Rang: Our bath gazebo (still a work in progress.)

Lazarus Rang: I rezzed March 1, 2007, and worked to learn building my first three weeks in SL. I’ve never stopped since.

Vulpine Eldrich: But eventually you began building more than bath houses and began building a kingdom in Tiny Empires. How did that come about?

Lazarus Rang: I met my partner Aurora Llewellyn September 7, 2007 and she really is the pivot in most of my story here, including TE. We were not together as partners for the first five months, but friends. I was married in SL, and it broke up. I needed a distraction while the hurt healed.

Lazarus Rang: A lady I was dating introduced me to TE, but it lasted much longer than that relationship. Aurora joined me very early on in TE, one my first three subjects. We built our relationship while we played, but TE was never our focus.

Vulpine Eldrich: So you played Tiny Empires as more of a sideline, while you pursued other interests?

Lazarus Rang: I moved VERY quickly in TE. I joined under Egypt, and made Prince in 10 days, but it was a sideline. I owned and ran a club & rental area called Lovers Hideaway.

Vulpine Eldrich: So you were a Prince in TE, almost by accident, but mostly a club owner. But eventually, you became King. What changed?

Lazarus Rang: Time changed. The club was never successful, so after a year I gave up. RL finances determined that I needed to sell the land. This is where the story gets personal but bears heavily on what happened.

Lazarus Rang: Aurora had a RL stroke while we were online last spring. When she recovered, I asked her to partner and marry. We lived our life at an accelerated pace, not knowing if any day would be our last together. We wanted to have SL babes as well.

Lazarus Rang: In RL, she is my best friend, and I wanted her to have the best experiences possible. I promised I would make her my Queen in every way, but her health declined soon after we married May, 30, 2008, and her laptop broke. I ended up with a lot of time alone, so TE became my focus. I followed my liege, Lodi McMillan thru several kingdoms as we grew.

Vulpine Eldrich: You were still a Prince, then?

Lazarus Rang: Oh, yes, I never fell below Prince since the day I made it. In Aurora's absence a young woman joined us, as a submissive, but eventually it evolved. Aurora became healthier and returned, so she asked us to be in a poly-marriage. It seemed wonderful, we really grew and were popular in our Kingdom of that time.

Vulpine Eldrich: Which kingdom was this?

Lazarus Rang: Home, under King BackHome Soon. He was best man when Aurora & I married, and is still a good friend.

Vulpine Eldrich: So you were at Home, with Aurora and your other wife. What happened next?

Lazarus Rang: This young woman was a drama magnet. She was with someone else a week after the marriage, and it turned very ugly in 2 weeks. I posted something she said in group chat out of anger, and to keep order BackHome sent me to TE prison.

Lazarus Rang: I accepted it as a price for my foolishness. Several people IM'ed me in prison LOL. One sent a cake with a file in it.

Vulpine Eldrich: I trust you didn't break a tooth on it.

Lazarus Rang: After I was out, I met the person. It turned out she was a daughter of King Angel Cordoso of Amber. She and her sister befriended me and Aurora.

Lazarus Rang: Then Aurora's health declined again. In real life, she has Lupus, and it is getting worse, life threatening. I have not had a week with my SL wife since the 1st week of November.

Lazarus Rang: The second sister in Amber was dumped by her partner, and you can see where the story is going... Two lonely, high ranking people in TE. We bonded, and I was at a point I felt I was a liability to Home after my outburst.

Lazarus Rang: I had a princess there move under me, cause a big drama, then when I warned her that BackHome was considering banishing her if she did not stop, she left me while BackHome and his Queen Lodi were trying to set up my ascension.

Vulpine Eldrich: So you had less than twenty thousand in total acres then?

Lazarus Rang: I had 25,000 acres, but I felt trapped. 5000 said they would return Home if I left. I had about 200 people under me.

Lazarus Rang: Bunny (the princess from Amber- I use her name only to keep it all straight) offered to liege under Aurora if I moved to Amber. I agreed only if King Angel and King Backhome formed an alliance to protect both kingdoms. So I moved, Bunny lieged, and my other 5000 acres moved home.

Lazarus Rang: Bunny had over 50k acres. We were half of Amber. Things were good until a month ago.

Lazarus Rang: I seem to attract people with serious health issues. Bunny found she has terminal cancer. A week later she was pushing a relationship between me and her SL sister, now our wife, Sekmet. She pulled further and further away, began to act strangely.

Lazarus Rang: At first she lived with us, then three days later she left. Then she removed most contact, but called me her best friend. A week ago, she entered a two day fishing contest at Wicked World, where she and Sekmet work.

Lazarus Rang: Anyhow, during the last week, Bunny's actions have rocked and nearly destroyed a kingdom and it came down to this. We had a malcontent that was asked to leave Amber named DeathRitual that she was talking to. He is a very nasty, foul-mouthed young man with serious hatred to the world.

Lazarus Rang: Also, just after she found she was sick, she made me promise to protect her downline and friends.

Vulpine Eldrich: Protect them from what?

Lazarus Rang: I was to care for them and keep them from being broken up or raided. We were going to ascend later, after we hit 100K and made Amber #1. At the time, we had 88,000 acres, 66,000 under Bunny.

Lazarus Rang: Last Sunday night, she had lieged DeathRitual under her, and made a bet on the fishing tourney that if she won he would stay and never ascend. If she lost, she would let him reliege and move under him. She lost. I did not know until after the bet was made.

Vulpine Eldrich: When and how did you find out?

Lazarus Rang: I found out Monday morning when Bunny told me she was ahead by 100 points. I was not happy at all. I did not like or trust this person. Neither did the upper levels of Amber, he was infamous for drama.

Vulpine Eldrich: I can imagine. So, if I understand this correctly, first you swear to protect the line from being raided or stolen, then she puts them all on the line with a fishing bet, which she then loses.

Lazarus Rang: Yes.

Vulpine Eldrich: What did you do then?

Lazarus Rang: Tuesday she was crying, needing hugs. Tuesday night and Wednesday, Death was taunting me in open chat and IM. I went to a couple of her major downline and told them that they did not have to leave Amber if she went to him. I refused to take him under me, and Aurora was not on to put him under her. (Bunny was Aurora’s only subject.)

Lazarus Rang: Thursday morning Death was no longer in Amber.

Vulpine Eldrich: Did he leave voluntarily?

Lazarus Rang: No, he was ejected from the group by the GV's request, and left.

Lazarus Rang: In the meantime, one of the downline told Bunny I said they did not have to follow. She became enraged, sent me a very nasty IM, and left Aurora. I started seeing my alts and their lines stripped, and as Viceroy I could not ascend.

Lazarus Rang: I had to leave Amber to restart my HUD as King Angel was in UK time, and I was in US EST. I made an angry outburst in group chat that Bunny had broken her Promise to Aurora, and was ejected from the group Thursday night… from the group, but still in the Kingdom.

Lazarus Rang: I lieged to a friend, Queen Angella Chesnokv in Tintagel, long enough to get my path restarted. Bunny was ripping me up all night Thursday. By 10 AM Friday, I still had 21,500 acres and 1.2 billion in gold when the path went live again. I pushed the button while I still could.

Lazarus Rang: I had no Kingdom name, no base, no plan, except to save the work of the people that stayed with me. Sekmet and I worked all night Friday to get our alts back, only to see Bunny strip all she could. We fell back to 18,500 acres, from 88,000 a day earlier. I never felt so betrayed in TE.

Lazarus Rang: I talked to Angel for 45 minutes before RL work Friday, only to hear that "Bunny was family." He did not intervene as a Monarch, so I had no reservation ascending.

Vulpine Eldrich: So there are about a hundred people and seventy thousand acres... where?

Lazarus Rang: More like 300 people, and 100 left on me. I’m now down to about 70, but they are people with me since last summer who wanted me to ascend anyhow.

Lazarus Rang: The story continues to this minute. I am getting a constant feed today of IM from conversations of people from Bunny's line.

Vulpine Eldrich: And the others are under Bunny, who is under Death, in another kingdom?

Lazarus Rang: Death went to the kingdom of Darkness ... he is so goth. Bunny left Amber and went under him around 1 AM last night. Amber dropped eight places in rank. People telephoned me to tell me.

Vulpine Eldrich: And when asked the name of your Kingdom, you told Ultralite... the Kingdom of White Light.

Lazarus Rang: Hello darling

Sekmet Karu: Hi hun. Hi Vulpine.

Lazarus Rang: Vulpine, my concubine wife, Sekmet Karu

Vulpine Eldrich: Hello there! Lazarus was telling me of the ongoing drama within the kingdoms. I understand you are both having a very adventuresome time right now.

Sekmet Karu: Yes, it is adventuresome, but very sad too.

Lazarus Rang: White Light was not our first choice for a name. We submitted, in all seriousness, Ayekwitte. ("I QUIT TE")

Sekmet Karu: It was not acceptable.

Lazarus Rang: It was not allowed, the Emperor said it was a joke. We had a pretty curt first IM. I called him a pompous ass. I am less diplomatic as stress increases.

Vulpine Eldrich: And stress levels have been quite high lately, I'm sure.

Sekmet Karu: Trying to save friendships is the hardest.

Lazarus Rang: I met with Sekmet and my other main Princess, Shayri Nightfire, Friday afternoon, trying to find a name. White Light was a compromise. I wanted something to reflect Aurora. In all this, she is the heart of this kingdom, even when absent.

Sekmet Karu: Yes, I suggested it and voted against the name.

Lazarus Rang: LOL She did. But it is to reflect elements of hope and goodness. White light in most beliefs and religions is an embodiment of goodness and blessing. It holds all colors, all warmth, and it banishes darkness. Without hope, we would quit. It still hurts… the SL and even RL friendships lost on the way.

Sekmet Karu: On that note hun, I have to go to my meeting.

Lazarus Rang: Love you, hon. I will be here, whatever happens in work.

Sekhmet left us at this point

Lazarus Rang: We worry for Sekmet's work. Bunny is a manager at Wicked World. Their friendship is badly wounded. TE may not be meant to, but it seems to bring out the aggressive worst in people. I try to keep my people out of it.

Vulpine Eldrich: So you're now assembling a kingdom from the ashes, so to speak. A group of people who can come together as friends out of all of the mess?

Lazarus Rang: Yes. Let me read our charter:

Lazarus Rang: The Tiny Empires Kingdom of White Light is a kingdom to come to when you are tired of the BS and betrayal and backstabbing of the other kingdoms. We are the inactive's retirement home of TE. You park here, save your acres, and go play SL the way it was supposed to be before you got addicted to TE. No SABO, NO DRAMA, NO ROBBING YOUR FRIENDS. And we are small enough the Trader comes often. Actively seeking Viceroys and Vicereines to help keep people rewarded.

Lazarus Rang: woo hoo!

Lazarus Rang: [21:48] Shayri Nightfire: woot laz i just got a duchess! with 466 acres! let the titles flow baby wooooo!

Vulpine Eldrich: Yes, you're a major kingdom now. The Kingdom of White Light is ranked number 101 on a map showing 101 major kingdoms.

Lazarus Rang: THAT is my kind of drama!

Vulpine Eldrich: So, if your kind of drama continues, what will happen to the Kingdom of White Light in the months to come?

Lazarus Rang: We will be the retirement home of TE players tired of the BS and drama.

Vulpine Eldrich: Will they still be active? In your vision of them, that is.

Lazarus Rang: A place people can park the acres they work hard for and go live a Second Life without worry of it being taken away by a bad relationship break up or angry decision in the night ..... or a stupid, un-well-thought-out bet on a game.

Lazarus Rang: The hundreds of hours people put into TE is not a chip in a casino. I would not be willing to give it up in RL, I will not in SL. Time is the one thing we cannot replace.

Lazarus Rang: Vulpine, I love my SL partner more than my estranged wife. I am so afraid of losing her and wasting the time we have left on TE and petty BS in SL. I am leaving in a week to do a 4000 mile road trip to see her and meet her family.

Lazarus Rang: People matter, not faux acres or virtual gold or rank or kingdom names. We in TE need to stop losing that perspective. People get hurt in SL.

Lazarus Rang: December 17, 2007, the night my first SL wife ended our marriage for another woman, I had a minor RL heart attack. There are people behind the screens and keys. Actions here seem less considered and more callous many times, behind avatars.

Lazarus Rang: Then there are some of the best people you ever meet, too. TE is supposed to be a game to promote friendship and network, but somehow it grows increasingly twisted. Many Monarchs are sharing that with each other. How we stop it, I do not know.

Lazarus Rang: I took my own path. I fully expect to be attacked, sabotaged, and harassed for a while by those upset over the last few weeks. But a wise mantra: This too shall pass.

Lazarus Rang: That is my story.

Vulpine Eldrich: Indeed, it shall. Wow. There's not much more to say after that. Thanks for sharing with us.

Lazarus Rang: I will answer more questions if you think of any, just much more briefly, LOL.

Vulpine Eldrich: lol, usually, I ask about experiences as a monarch, and kingdom identity, but you've pretty much answered those. As for history of the kingdom, that's obviously still in the making, and you've outlined your hopes for it.

Vulpine Eldrich: If I had anything to add, or ask, I suppose it would be, after what you've been through, would you recommend Tiny Empires as a game to someone who never played it, and what would you tell them about it, briefly?

Lazarus Rang: To someone starting out, I would say, try TE, but if it gives you sadness, stress, or effects a friendship, take off the HUD a week and think about what is important before you wear it. A kingdom is not worth one lost friend.

Vulpine Eldrich: Spoken with the voice of true experience. Thank you for your time, and best of luck to the Kingdom of White Light.