Friday, June 22, 2007

New ROMA Roleplay Gadget Goes Beta

Citizens are invited to test drive a new roleplay gadget this summer in ROMA. Roleplay in ROMA will always remain a mainly player-driven pasttime. That means that the Citizens are expected and encouraged to conduct their own roleplaying. ROMA is full of attractions and amenities to facilitate roleplaying as ancient Romans, and the monthly festivals and events will also continue to be held.

Torin has scripted a gadget that can help roleplayers identify and find each other in ROMA's two sims, and provide 'events' for players to participate in if they wish.

Attach it. The gadget will give you a prim laurel wreath above your head. This will allow you to identify yourself as someone wishing to roleplay. (You can also turn the gadget off, or just turn off the wreath signal if you want to lurk or want to take a break from roleplaying, but we encourage that if you want to roleplay, turn the wreath on so others can see. See the gadget instructions for how to do this.)

Around every 20-40 minutes (it is random), a 'broadcaster' (shaped like an Omphalos up in the Forum) will broadcast a roleplay event. This will be a general event that will ask you usually to go somewhere in the sim and do something. Right now for the beta test the events will be very general, but in the future some will also be associated with specific items in the sim and even 'live' events, all controlled through the Omphalos.

Here are a few of the 45+ events in the beta test:

  • Time for the baths! Round up some people and try all the pools in the Baths of Caracalla. Towels only!

  • The cook at the Pompeii Tavern needs apples to make some apple pies. Can you help him by gathering some apples from one of the trees in ROMA?

  • The current crop of gladiators is hopeless. The Emperor would like the Citizens to show them how real Romans fight! Come to the arena!

  • Meet in the Plaza for hide and seek! Pick a person who is "it". They must turn off their Mini-Map. They then wait 3 minutes while everyone else goes and hides. Anywhere in ROMA is fair game. The game ends when the next roleplay event is announced.

If your gadget is attached and turned on, it will pick up the broadcast and relay the 'event call' to you. You can then choose to take part. If you wish, go to the place it mentions and do the action it asks. Hopefully, others will join you as well, which will give you a chance to begin roleplaying with them. The rest is up to you, which means you'll need to be proactive. It is your opportunity to meet new people, expand your character profile, and participate in some roleplay in ROMA.

The gadget will work whether you are in ROMA or the Subura. It will not work in any other sim.

If you do not want to wait for an event, you also can trigger an event yourself. Go to the Omphalos in the Forum (it is right near the Lacus Curtius). From one to four stars (*) will be displayed above it. The Omphalos counts up to the time to the next event. If you see one star (*), it could be anywhere from 20-40 minutes before the next event. Three red stars (***) means an event will happen within the next ten minutes. Four stars (****) triggers an event.

To trigger an event yourself, right click the Omphalos and pay it L$100. This will trigger one of its 45+ events randomly and reset the stars back to one (*). It will then be 20-40 minutes before the Omphalos triggers another event automatically.

ROMA Roleplay Gadgets are available free of charge in the Tablinum in ROMA (look on the wall of ROMA Essentials). It does not cost anything to participate in the roleplay via the gadget. It costs L$100 each time if you want to trigger the events yourself.

PLEASE NOTE that this is still in the testing mode (BETA). We will be testing this gadget through the summer. In August we will solicit responses and suggestions to improve the gadget, and release a fully functioning official gadget.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Passion of Enamabala

Enamabala Towradgi was one of the first 'regulars' in ROMA. In fact, he rented the first stall in the Roman Market to sell his armor, which has been a very popular sale item with and inspiration for visitors to the sim. Senator Towradgi has been a staunch supporter of our sim from the beginning.

For the last few months, Enamabala has been chasing down individuals who have apparently been trying to replicate his armor the only way to do so to a no-copy item, replicating it piece by piece. This is unfortunately not a rare occurrence in SL, which also means that the person whose design is being ripped off is often unable to stop it except by getting the word out. You can read about Enamabala's long uphill climb to try and get the copying to stop in his post on the ROMA Messageboard.

You can also check out these screenshots of the initial copying:

Enamabala's Original

Copy's Shoulder

Copy's Back

The wonders of Google...

Just found... an article on ROMA in the French blog, SecondLife Observer from this past January:

Rome l’impériale

It has some particularly nice photos associated with it by Yoald Penokea:

Yoald's Album

This includes perhaps the best photo of Torin that has ever been taken! :) Thanks for making me photogenic Yoald!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Juno Moneta Festival and the Vestalia

On Saturday the 16th, the Citizens of ROMA celebrated the festival to Juno Moneta. Rituals on the Capitoline Hill were followed with play around the new Tarpeian Rock, a picnic in the Gardens of Maecenas, and a tour of the new ROMA Winery. (Flicker pictures can be found here.)

The next day, the 17th, the Vestalia was celebrated with a torchlight procession through the Subura, rituals at the Collegia temple to Vesta, and late night dancing on the Collegia's grounds. (Flickr pictures can be found here.)

Many thanks to all who organized the festivals and attended!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bellona Festival in ROMA

Today was the Festival of Bellona in ROMA. The festivities began with a calvary parade by the Legion XIII. Then legionares and the Amazons treated the crowd to a combat demonstration in the Arena. Afterwards, everyone transferred to the Circus where three races were run. Despite the lag, (SL had record levels of people online today) everyone had a good time. The after-festival party in the Tavern went on for a while as the revellers danced in the Pompeii Tavern.

Flickr snapshots can be found here.

The June festivals continue the rest of the weekend, with the festival of Juno on Saturday and of Vesta on Sunday. See the schedule of events in the Tablinum Citizen Center in ROMA.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Attraction: The Tarpeian Rock

ROMA has always had a Tarpeian Rock, but few people knew about it. So the Emperor recently told his engineers to turn it into a mini-attraction. The Rock has now been roped off and warning signs posted around it.

In antiquity, the Tarpeian Rock was a place of execution for traitors and murderers. They were dragged to the top of the peak and pitched headlong off it. It was named after the treasonous daughter of the commander of the Capitoline citadel, Tarpeia, who showed the Sabines this secret path onto the hill which was located below this large rock. They stormed the citadel and killed Tarpeia in the process. The Romans pushed the Sabines back out, but forever after Romans would remember the name of the woman who would betray her people.

In ROMA, our Tarpeian Rock has been outfitted with a gadget that will allow you to throw yourself off the rock (you need not be a murderer or traitor) and also to do some pretty nifty aerial acrobatics on your way down to the crashing rocks below.

The Tarpeian Rock is located next to the large Temple to Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in the Forum, on the same platform as the Temple of Vesta.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Announcing the ROMA Winery Vineyard!

The northern slope of the Gardens of Maecenas have been planted with dark, jucy grapes in order to make some official ROMA wine. They will ripen through the summer and we'll pick them in the fall.

Some of the early harvest is already being pressed. Come to the vineyard (next to the Cave of the Sibyl to take advantage of the fertile soil there) and you can help stomp the grapes. Climb into the vat and touch the nearby amphora for instructions how to stomp correctly. You'll even get purple feet!

In order to test the early harvest, touch the large barrel below the vat's spout.

Io Bacchus!