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Mark Phillips


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Joined: 1969.12.31 00:00:00
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Location: Watsonville, CA
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This is SmartMonsters' Occasional Newsletter
Volume 13 Number 1
August 12, 2012
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Wow, hey, crazy long time since we brought you up to date. All kinds of evolution: Gary's marooned on a Pacific atoll (seriously); Mark's been awarded the Internet's Tallest Programmer medallion (not seriously); TriadCity's been mentioned in the Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism (seriously); and SmartMonsters has received the MacArthur Foundation Prize For Being Not Serious In A Mass Emailing two years in a row (not seriously). Here's a small sample of the news - there's a lot more that doesn't fit.

========================= Milestones ==================

We're very pleased that TriadCity has achieved parity between women and men players. Of around 10,000 registered players, slightly more than half are women, and, women lead in total playing time. Four of the top five players are women. Although women are playing online games in greater numbers nowadays, this kind of balance is still rare on the Internet, where male players often outnumber females by three or four to one. We're extremely proud of this achievement.

Wikipedia includes a most excellent entry on TriadCity! Contributed by TC veteran Colin Caret, the article is both accurate and concise, proving beyond doubt that we didn't write it ourselves. Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TriadCity.

Although TriadCity has been discussed in several scholarly forums over the years, one we're especially fond of is our brief mention on page 79 of The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism, by S. Connor. We bought copies for our mothers. Next goal: the cover of O Magazine.


=================== News of the Universe ==================

TriadCity (finally!) has a mature Justice System, tailored specifically to the philosophies and attributes of the three Thirds. Not surprisingly, "justice" is a relative notion in TC, varying in significant ways between the Thirds. Where NorthWest may prefer to take a more whimsical approach, NorthEast is more likely to haul 'em off to the gibbet at dawn. Sentencing may even vary from Judge to Judge. Various MOTDs have the details; here's a good place to start: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/MOTD/motd.2008-07-17.jsp.

Illnesses, plagues and fevers now sweep the City from time to time. Herbalists can brew special teas to treat their symptoms; Healers can take the sickness into themselves. Everybody on Sanctuary Island can sneeze at once. Much more to come.

The NorthEast Third's entrepreneurial spirit now provides another means of legal income to enterprising characters: meat puppetry. Meat puppets, invented by postmodernist SciFi master William Gibson, are humans whose unconscious, unknowing bodies are put to use by others for their own particular purposes, in exchange of course for reasonable remuneration. The meat puppetry building is at the end of John W. Tyson Street, near the sprawling meat processing factory, not far from the cemetery.

Sleeping characters have been experiencing waycool dreams for some time now. If it's been a while since you last visited the City, we encourage you to log in, sleep, and check it out. Quantity, duration, and content of dreams vary from one character to another, adding a fascinating and sometimes quite beautiful texture to the TC experience. More info: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/MOTD/motd.2005-02-07.jsp.

EQ Kits allow easy swapping of attribute-enhancing garb: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/MOTD/motd.2010-04-27.jsp.

New exp bonuses provide incentives for frequent visits. Read about 'em here: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/MOTD/motd.2010-01-07.jsp.

Vastly improved bulletin boards are newly online. Replacing our wonky old homegrown fora, the new ones include proper searchability, excellent tools for administrators and moderators, private messaging, detailed formatting options, and other happy stuff. Have a look: http://www.smartmonsters.com/Fora/forums/list.page.

There's a proper refer-a-friend feature: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/referPromo.jsp. Reward Points will get you access to in-game perks and special offers: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/rewardPoints.jsp. You can reset your lost password without emailing anybody: http://www.smartmonsters.com/Account/lostPassword.jsp. It's a big new world out there.

Lotso other stuff: command aliases; ability to drag stuff; tattoos; special spiffage for Code Warriors; regen bonus on Saturdays; faster levels; many hundreds of new NPC behaviors. If you've been away a while, check it out!


=================== News of the World ===================

16,000 Rooms and counting. Woo hoo!

The sprawling and shadowy Capitoline district is a trove of dark alleys, hidden rooms, strange cults and safe houses, modeled not very strictly on plebian slums of ancient Rome. Also intended for adventurers level 15 - 20, Capitoline is Thief heaven, sprinkled with special skill teachers, weapons, and other goodies. All you have to do is find them - and not be killed by the locals, who aren't necessarily pleased to have their possessions removed.

Chariot races at the Circus Maximus present a massive spectacle on race days. NPCs from all around the City flock to cheer their favorite charioteers. Capitoline practically empties. Races are accurately modeled with 2d physics and lovingly detailed with state of the art ASCII - how retro is that?

The legendary Tree of Wealth is open for adventuring. Careful! It's gnarly. Intended for groups of warriors around level 15 - 20, in some ways it's the standard MUD killing ground, where the monsters get tougher the higher you climb. In other ways, it's quite different, as, among other abilities, the monsters work together intelligently, with a collective strategy for dealing with intruders like you. MOTD: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/MOTD/motd.2008-10-22.jsp.

Facilitating the Justice System, entire neighborhoods in NorthEast serve the needs of courts, jails, and executioners. Capital Plaza serves up two dozen gruesome and detailed forms of nasty death including beheading, drowning, burning alive, exposure, firing squad, crucifixion, iron maiden, boiling in oil, disembowlement, and the ever-popular scaphism. Comes with a very chipper tour guide who loves explaining it all. If you don't believe that'll deter crime, you were probably born later than the Middle Ages.

Daytime / nighttime transformations are in progress. Large parts of the City feel and behave quite differently depending on time of day. There are still some NPCs standing around in the same place 24/7, but, increasingly not so many. This changes the vibe and level of detail pretty comprehensively.

There's more: the Meat Processing Factory; the Royal Gallery and artworks by TC players; property tax on player houses; real estate sales; television shows and a Television Writer Role; lots and lots and lots of secondary descriptions ("nouns"); and major areas under development, including the University, the Vampire Theme Park, Virtual Vegas, Going Postal, and a bunch more. We look forward to seeing you there!


========================= Internships =========================

If you're a college student with a major in Computer Science or similar technology-related subject, talk to us about internships writing code for TriadCity. We're happy to work with your university's internship office so that you can receive course credit in return. Please, drop a note to mark@smartmonsters.com. We're a fun bunch to work with! P.S. we're also interested in working with Marketing and Design interns.

========================= Saturday Night's Alright =========================

Don't forget that experience is 25% higher all day Saturday PST. Health and energy regeneration is also faster. Come join us then and rack up those levels. Experience is also higher for repeat play. Check it out: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/MOTD/motd.2010-01-07.jsp.

========================= Tell Your Friends! =========================

We'll spiff your character if you refer a friend. Every time your friend(s) gain a level, you'll receive Reward Points equal to the level they've achieved: 5 RPs for level 5, 20 RPs for level 20. Refer multiple friends and this can seriously pile up the perks. Use your Reward Points in-game for energy or health refreshes; to buy Dinars or Practices; even to buy an emergency Torch. More to follow. Here's the web page for more details: http://www.smartmonsters.com/TriadCity/referPromo.jsp.

========================= Link to Us =========================

If you link to TriadCity on your web site we'll spiff you. Your choice of 1000 Dinars or 25 practices. How rad is that? This is one of the best ways to grow traffic to your sites, and to ours. Thanks in advance for your collaboration!

========================= Contact Us =========================

Questions? Please write to info@smartmonsters.com. Need help? Please write to support@smartmonsters.com. Complaints? Please write to bill@microsoft.com.

========================= Unsubscribe =========================

This message was sent to you because you've indicated that you'd like to receive occasional news and other updates from SmartMonsters. If you've changed your mind about that, here's how to remove yourself from our mailing list:

1. Go to the SmartMonsters web site at http://www.smartmonsters.com. Login to your account via the login box near the upper right of the page.

2. Click the "Account" link at the right side of the main menu.

3. From the left-hand menu, click the link "Choose whether to receive our newsletter".

4. Enter your password, click the "No! Go away!" radio button, and finally click the "Change" button at the bottom. You can re-subscribe anytime you like by following the same procedure.

========================= The End! =========================

Thanks! See you soon we hope!

Gary and Mark.

This message was edited 8 times. Last update was at 2019.09.28 18:58:22


Bartle quotiet: E80, A67, S47, K7. TriadCity characters: Mark, Poobah, Occam, Abelard.
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