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In which I rant for a bit…

Yes, Doc O is really, really dead.   He will probably even stay that way.

Now, like it or not, I’m going to tell you why.

First, the observatory is gone due to simple financial considerations.   I’ve recently taken a job that was a significant step down in pay, and I simply don’t have the spare cash to spend on land.

But that also got me reflecting on Doc’s IC position, and the general feel of Babbage lately.   Realize this is all IMHO, so don’t hit me with any outraged rebuttals. :)

Babbage has gotten consistently grittier over the years, with most of the whimsical creations being replaced by narrow streets and well-crafted buildings that bore me to tears.   The overall mood seems to me to be marching in step with that, with less spontoneity and goofiness, with an overall increase in ennui and gloom.

I also believe that it lost a lot due to over-expansion.   It becomes a different crowd when plots are scarce enough that buy-in is necessary.   Less builders, more people just putting up a house in a cool sim.

It used to be that once every few weeks, someone would come to me with some sort of plot idea to play out, and when I proposed one of my own, people made contributions and suggestions, and played along.   That sort of thing hasn’t happened for a long time.   Now, I float a plot idea out to people, and the responses either don’t exist, or say it would be too much effort.

What it boils down to, is that for a very long time, Doc O hasn’t actually been In-Character, so I’ve simply decided to stop trying to be.    I will be around, but strictly in an OOC mode.


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  1. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 28, 2012

    good rant.

    i think we need to get away from the overly internalized psychological brooding rp and get back to some action.

  2. Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh July 28, 2012

    Frankly, it seems to me that the bulk of RP is taking place here, in the blogs.  I prefer my RP up front and with all these expensive animations and toys we’ve all purchased over the years.

    I prefer my dialogue face to face with another’s.

    • DoctorDinosaur Runner DoctorDinosaur Runner July 28, 2012

      likewise, the raptor attack on heliotrope being one, only reason the hint for arnold’s been blogged more, is I van’t run 20+ viewers of the same avi, or always get on at times, (it is a cool avi though, with alot of useful animations).  otherwise most my RP’s been spontaneous, with the blogs just being expositon

      even Grendel’s SLenderman RP was 95% spontaneous, even the RP leading up to it was just formed from Miss Darkfold suggesting a seance in the graveyard

      • Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh July 28, 2012

        Yes, some things cannot be done in the environment with the technology available to us, and there is nothing wrong with an extended narrative.  I however do often get the impression that the streets are empty because many of the principal players are busy writing, and that the writing has to a fair degree replaced what would have in the past been at least an attempt to  actively play it out.

        As for plot, I prefer something skeletal.  Those who recall The Babbage Cuckoos may remember that the Cuckoos actually did very little to move the thing along, other than showing up occasionally and dropping odd little machines around the city.  Most of that story was driven by others’ impressions of what THEY thought the Cuckoos were doing.

        NOTE: Sorry to hear of the job difficulties, Doc.  I hope things turn around quick for you.

        • Brother Lapis Brother Lapis July 28, 2012

          I disagree with writing vs. street time. I prefer to write outside of my usual log-in times. 

          • Jimmy Branagh Jimmy Branagh July 28, 2012

            Of course.  Everyone’s time constraints are different.  I didn’t mean it as all-encompassing axiom, but just an impression. :)

        • Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein July 28, 2012

          I’m with Jimmy on this. If I’d ever heard of any plot, I would have been more than happy to participate. I love the lighthearted stuff too, but all that seems to be happening is the grittier stuff. I’d throw something out there, but I’m terrible at coming up with plotlines. :) I know more than once I’d offered you an alt for a henchman, though I recall you saying you had trouble remembering too.

          Likewise though, I’m an in person rper. I hardly ever remember to post anything up here or else lose track of what I had in mind for posting here. I find it much more inspiring to run into people in the streets and have a bit of back and forth. Unfortunately lately I just don’t seem to see many regulars on the map. I go out for a walk and find maybe one interesting new arrival once in a blue moon, the rest tend to be just tourists. Polite hellos and welcomes. But other than that, it’s been practically dead on the street, so I’m getting the rp addict antsy itchies and mopes.

          Sorry to hear of the financial problems, completely understandable. But I hope you don’t give up on the rp entirely.

  3. Blackberry Harvey Blackberry Harvey July 28, 2012

    Doc, if you had ever asked me or any of my characters, I would have gladly say yes.  Gilhooly is especially eager to screw up — I mean augment anyone’s plots.

    As far as RP, I do mine in-world, and it merely gets recorded here for others to enjoy.

    As far as RL issues, boy do I understand that. I’m very sad to see the observatory go, as with other landmarks around town, and I know what it means to you and other town elders that things change.  Now that I’m better at building basic things, I can get back to my odd ideas like rotating domes and undersea hospitals!


  4. Garnet Psaltery Garnet Psaltery July 28, 2012

    Absolutely understandable, Doc.  Real life sets priorities for finances, and it’s no good spending hard-earned cash on something you don’t enjoy anyway.

    I wish I’d been more active in roleplay.  Excuses are house-moving and shyness.  I’ve been a bit wary of approaching people to become involved in any of my plans and I suspect I’m missing the announcement of ideas from those not in my time zone or while I’m off packing boxes.  Where do people suggest plots?

    • Erica Fairywren Erica Fairywren July 28, 2012

      I do understand the shyness :) 

    • Kristos Sonnerstein Kristos Sonnerstein July 28, 2012

      I’d be happy to participate, Ms. Garnet. And no need to be shy, the worst you can get from someone is “no”. If there’s someone you would like to pull into a plot, just IM and ask them.

      • Garnet Psaltery Garnet Psaltery July 28, 2012

        Thank you, I shall.  Just two more weeks or so and I shall have all the time in the world!

      • Erica Fairywren Erica Fairywren July 28, 2012

        This one I can certify is great at helping one overcome shyness in RP situations :)

  5. DoctorDinosaur Runner DoctorDinosaur Runner July 28, 2012

    well darn, and I was hoping for an eventual dr. Dino/ dr O team-up too.


    I know how it goes though, especially with RL finances and all, (likely will explode the Klaw when the current hypno-rp is done, can’t cover airspace rent right now for it myself), but sad to see the observatory go.

  6. Scottie Melnik Scottie Melnik July 28, 2012

    Babbage RP has always vastly different experience than RP anywhere else. It seems like the town and community have this weird love/hate relationship with RP. And part of that can be attributed to the freeform nature the town allows along with the diverse individuals within the community.

    When you have freeform RP with different folks you’re not going to have agreement on who’s doing it right. Or you’re going to have people who are less tolerant, vocally so, of types of RP that don’t suit them. As a result, people clique up and do their own thing, hesitant to jump into something new that might receive a negative reaction. That may be why you’ve had a hard time getting people you’ve asked to participate.

    The funny thing about the vocal negative reactions that I’ve noticed is that it tends to come from people who aren’t involved in the RP in the first place. Even more irritatingly, I’ve seen it come from people who claim to have no interest in RP.

    As far as where RP takes place, I’m with BB and Jimmy. I prefer the BAR to be the record of what happens in-world. Unfortunately, RPing in-world can be tough sometimes. People fluidly slip between IC and OOC, and if it goes on too long it breaks the experience for me. An example would be having an intense IC conversation and someone breaks in with news that their cat is doing something cute, which causes a response from five other people to relay the cute things their cats are doing or have done. IC broken, and from now on I dread seeing your dot on my minimap when RP is happening.

    As far as the grittiness is concerned, I’ll be the first to admit I prefer dark RP to whimsical, but I’ve always been game for most RP’s, I think. I consider any land I own in Babbage to be an IC safe zone. If people want to bring RP to Cuffs or the bookshop, please do. If you want to start a plot of some sort, come on in and throw it out there, see what sticks and who it sticks with.

    I may have gone a little overboard there, but those are my thoughts on how frustrating RP can be and an offer to folks who may want to try their hand at it.

    • DoctorDinosaur Runner DoctorDinosaur Runner July 28, 2012

      always been my take on it, I’v seen the bipolar attitude on Rp in babbage for years and have made comments on it.  And usually’ve supported any RP in babbage when I can, including renting land for IC locations myself when able.

      I’ve seen, and had, RP ideas get vocal negative reactions, been ignored, etc, I’ve just kept optimistic, move on and try again (interestingly, I’ve had more success with grendel than with dr. dino, but grendel’s RP plots don’t always involve the city itself that often as much as a location usually of my own, within it)


      I’m good for either whimsical or gritty, Dr. D isn’t very gritty afterall. maybe some dark humor’s all



    • Toshiro Tigerauge Toshiro Tigerauge July 29, 2012

      Id agree pretty much with everything you say there Scottie, my own experiences of Babbage rp have been marred by certain folks in the peanut gallery of none rp`rs insisting Babbage isnt meant to be a RP sim at all, and shooting down peoples ideas with complaints and grumbles until they just give up and go away. I havent gone IC as Tosh in so long, I cant even remember how to Rp him, so Ive given up and gone away.

      As for gritty vs whimsy. Id have loved to have seen a lot more steam carriage chases and airship hijinx and undersea adventures in submersables in Babbage RP. I recall the failed attempts to put together a steampunk expedition to the moon a year or so back, simply not enough people in the RP`rs of Babbage were interested in actual steampunk at the time to do it. More often its been very personal drama that doesnt lend itself well to bystanders getting involved.



        • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer July 29, 2012

          I remember that post – it looked like SUCH FUN.  I attempted to fly to the moon one evening on a tiny littlehover-thinger I got from Loki Eliot’s Christmas place, but the poor little thing just couldn’t manage it, and I went a bit blue for lack of air.  Next time – a helmet.  Yes.

  7. Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 28, 2012

    fyi- nearly all the land loss lately has been due to finacial issues and job losses. only 2 exceptions in recent memory: one move-out that was over a desire for a change of venue (and that was purely for buildy reasons that just were not going to work in Babbage, not anything personal), and one for leaving SL entirely for disgruntlment over degrading viewer performance.  If there are any Lindens reading, take note.

  8. Jonathon Spires Jonathon Spires July 28, 2012

    This comment has been deleted.

    • Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon July 28, 2012

      Keep well Mr Spires and thank you for the wonderful adventure in the other world.

  9. Brother Lapis Brother Lapis July 28, 2012

    I enjoy’ blog roleplay’ mainly becuase of time considerations. Inworld, roleplay takes time that I don’t always have. I tend to be in a rp mood near the end of the evening, when I am relaxing before ending the day (it’s my television, ok?) But I’m 3 hours ahead of people I like to interact with. By the time they are in unwind mode and want to do a scene, I’m barely awake. Worst off, some folks just don’t know how to break off when a scene is over, and insist on dragging it out until it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Some of my best times have been doing the collaborative story editing in GoogleDocs (nice that you can sneak it in during the work day too), none of which would not have happened without the brief scenes we are able to do inworld that do the real work of character definition. 

    That being said, your presence will be missed. Doc O was a master of the mad-cap caper. 

    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg July 28, 2012

      I’m going to chime in with Brother Lapis here. 

      The BAR stories appeal to me not only for the time aspect but because the kind of GoogleDocs collaboration mentioned by Dom above has been incredibly fun.  I’m much better at considered character interaction than live, off-the-cuff dialogue. Participating in anything other than light RP inworld feels contrived and awkward to me.  It’s just how I’m wired. :-) 

      My first “real” RP inworld was with Doc O and Miss Book.  It was really unnatural for me but also amusing, so I’d still get into another boxing match with anyone who felt like throwing down.  Even Jed or Sky, as short as that fight would be.


      I’ll miss you, Doc O!

      • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer July 29, 2012

        I’ll just chime in flabbergasted.  New Babbage actually roleplays in google doc collaborations? 

        For years now, I haven’t been getting my memos, apparently.  Many opportunities have been missed, then.  I only roleplay outworld, when I can be thoughtful and craft my responses.  I backed off of Babbage roleplay due to my inability to be inworld for stupid-excessive amounts of time each day and my wish to have think-time to respond. Ah well.

        Regardless.  Fair winds, Doc O. Adored you, even when I fought you for control of the city. (Obelenskodonia vs. Ceejaytopia indeed!) 

        (Junie, Ceejay still has a Certain Black Outfit draped over her dressing screen, awaiting a time when we are inworld together!  I have not forgotten at all!)


        • Mr Tenk Mr Tenk July 29, 2012

          some of those googledockers are refreshingly readable too. just sayin’

          • Ceejay Writer Ceejay Writer July 29, 2012

            *mumbles and lunges for the absinthe bottle* 

  10. Leeward Cooper Leeward Cooper July 28, 2012

    As a late-comer to the party, I can only comment with any authority on two things: The Observatory will be missed; and you would be missed a great deal more. Doc O’s memory will haunt New Babbage until the end; there can be no doubt of that. In death he is certain to ascend to supervillain eternity. On the other hand, I know there are many of us who value your presence as much as we abhorred Doc O’s, both equally as founders of the hyper-real surreality that is New Babbage on so many levels. Here’s hoping you make good on the threat to remain in touch. Tc and hang in there.

    P.S.: It is of course widely accepted as a supervillain’s prerogative to change minds on a whim. The threat of this possibility shall inflict more terror than you may realize. Rising from the dead? Are you kidding? Cults may be founded in anticipation. I can overhear bookies arguing over odds. I wonder if you can appreciate the RP possibilities you’ve created? I do wonder indeed…

  11. Avariel Falcon Avariel Falcon July 28, 2012

    It is sad to see Doctor Obolensky hit the end of the road.

    I will always remember the giant robot in Caledon. ^_^

    Have a good journey.

  12. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire July 29, 2012

    I’m really sad to see you go, Doc. I’ll miss you even though we never got the chance to RP.

    p.s. Truly sorry about the financial issues. I feel ya there.

  13. Pilipo Underwood Pilipo Underwood July 29, 2012

    Dayum, I made a joke about Nabokov’s character Quilty’s witty life bargaining in the middle of Doc’s final encounter and it turned out to be correct, on account Quilty died. *sigh*

    I shall miss you Doc, I ‘uz just getting to know you!

  14. Dr. Cyberusfaustus Dr. Cyberusfaustus July 29, 2012

    I am always open to supporting other people’s RP’s. My IC was designed to be more of a supporter who would screw things up if he really tried to be the primary hero or villian of any plot. Anyone wishing to reach out, please do.

    I do get gravely concerned when friends go missing though and make attempts to help/find/rescue them in world, however, I do often fear mucking up thier plots… yet I am overcoming this as people usually will hint the direction they wish your character to interact… just get out there!

    Finally, one thing which is key to the whole RP thing is putting leather to the cobblestone. I try to avoid aetheric teleportation unless in serious danger. The tram lines are a wonderful secondary mode of traversing the city. I imagine many fine chances at RP just based upon the conversations of those traveling on it. Finally, airtravel, which is sometimes necessary when the ground is too treacherous, is best done flying low and with a spotting scope ((RADAR Map)) up to spot potential individuals for a quick chat.

    • Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire July 30, 2012

      So he’s like Bruce Campbell? ^_~

  15. Toshiro Tigerauge Toshiro Tigerauge July 29, 2012

    Im sorry to see you finaly giving up and hanging up your top hat Doc. id personaly always kinda hoped youd terrorize the city with an army of smashingtons, or obliterate buildings from the sky with an independance day style anti-landmark beam weapon (the town hall needs a makeover!).

    But i understand how painfull the whining noise that would have followed would have been for you. I can see why being the towns main villian gets old when your barred from doing any actual villainy incase you annoy someone thats only here for the dances >.<

  16. Kimika Ying Kimika Ying July 29, 2012


    The Robber Baron Ball, Piermont Landing, May, 2011

    (original image)





    Raid on the Observatory, August 2010

  17. Victor1st Mornington Victor1st Mornington July 30, 2012

    Your gonna be missed doc!  at least youll be around OOCly though!

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