Ahhh, what a wonderful thing flying in SL is. Just the merest thought and *poof* you are up and soaring like a bird, free to swoop and bank and twist on the smallest of vortexing eddies and rising thermals. In truth, flying was the first thing I did in SL – I flew through the streets of Nova Albion (1) and loved to dive and swoop under and over the bridge and between the buildings.
But sometimes a chap longs for a gentler mode of transportation. One that doesn’t tire the arms with all that flapping or require the subsequent removal of bugs (and griefer bullets) from one’s teeth.
In short, dear reader, I am banging on about airships. Lovely floaty airships.
Now I don’t belong to any group or clan in SL, per se, but I really do like the steampunk worlds (2). The steampunkers really, really love their airships but I’ve never found one I truly like. I’ve tried a few but they either move poorly, have terrible vision issues (both from third or first person perspectives) or just prove unwieldy (3).
But then at the small Halloween gathering in Murray, I met Kinoko Amaterasu who is just starting out making a line of vehicles and his first one is an a sky barge which in my book is almost an airship. There is no balloon on top (removing pretty much all of the vision issues in one fell swoop) and it rather looks like some elves have crafted it rather than a band of be-goggled steam-meisters, but it’s a ship that flies in the air. And it flies very well indeed. It has some nice particle effects and sounds and for 350L$ is a real bargain. I’ve yet to take her out for a long sim-crossing run, but for now I’m a fan. You can buy one too over on SL Exchange or XStreet or whatever it is called today. Go. Now. Have a fly – it’s a great way to see the grid.
(1) Harder than it sounds given the slow draw rate and tiny draw distances I had to put up with back then. Coupled with the lag that is part and parcel of the city and the fact I know naff all about sim crossing dangers, flying was often an all-too-short-lived pleasure. But a pleasure nonetheless.
(2) Rightly or wrongly, I always think that the steam punk worlds are populated by skilful builders and there is little place for a non-builder. I don’t mean to imply I’d be excluded, rather I always have the feeling of being at the wrong party. No common language I guess, either in terms of steampunk literature or the skills needed to make the wonderful things they do (building, coding, photoshoping, etc.)
(3) So far the only vehicles I’ve found that more or less work are my Terra Balloon and Frank.