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Captain's Log: The Voyage of the Simian Star
STARDATE: 04/02/2014

I wish that I could take credit for the naming of this star-faring vessel, but I can't. Credit goes to the imagination shipbuilders of Rogue Space RPG. It is from hence that the name was derived.

What better name for a ship could there be? The game of Phoenix:BSE awaited, and destiny called. Or was it one of that game's various player-led affiliations that lured me into this game's setting?

Being a fan of considerable years of the Planet of the Apes franchise, the name, Simian Star, fit to a tee.

Naming the ship, however, would soon prove to be the easy part.

They say that, in space, no one can hear you scream. It's a good thing for that, too, as I have barely done anything, thus far, and I have already wanted to scream many times.

Had I bothered to create this log over on the Phoenix:BSE forum, any S.O.S. that I sent out as a player would undoubtedly be picked up on - and responded to - by any number of fellow space-faring creatures.

However, since some stasis field (Nexus settings) keep that forum sealed away from all but the registered users that frequent there, the plight of this vessel may well have never reached the PBM universe that lay beyond. Apparently, the best way for the game to advertise itself is by ensuring that anyone who does not register for the Phoenix:BSE Nexus will not have access to read the forum there.

But, such great mysteries of the galaxy that I find myself in, aside, more pressing matters demand my immediate attention.

Having made our way to the planet, Mithras, we have landed our ship on the planet's surface. We have come to terms with the inhabitants, there, on capturing some icy chunks of comet debris, and releasing them in low orbit over the planet, in order to generate rain.

It may have been our extraordinary inexperience in such matters that made us proper candidates to carry out this mission, or perhaps it was simply our superior simian intellect that persuaded these planetary natives that we could be entrusted to not guide a comet into a collision course with their planet, thereby all but guaranteeing an extinction level event.

Unlike the human species and countless other alien races Hell-bent on galactic conquest, we simians embrace space exploration at a far more casual pace. The mere fact that we don't seem to know what in the Hell that we are doing does not even factor into the equation.

It is not my place, as captain of this vessel, to take issue with all those hordes of players who have come before me, and who no doubt obtained familiarity with Phoenix:BSE through the process of osmosis. That said, long have we gaped bewildered, as we strived to decipher the controls that lay before us.

More than once, we broke off the learning process in favor of other pursuits. Eventually, we made our way back there, again, cursing the unknown architects of the galaxy that failed to ingrain knowledge of this system into our species' genetic code.

After consulting with the ship's engineers and science personnel, I have made the decision to lift off this planet, and rendezvous with an incoming comet. Charges will have to be set, once there.

Captain's Personal Log: Thus far, the journey to learn how to play this game has proven to be a tedious and tiring affair. Intuitive is not the word that I would use to describe the Nexus. I am certain that it was designed by an ancient alien race. Their technology strikes me as indecipherable. I find myself favoring early retirement.
Star Date 214.14.4 (3rd April 2014)

Currently, the Simian Star's maiden voyage entails undergoing a series of missions, which requires the use of the Nexus' Mission function. This is located under the Orders tab on the Nexus interface.

A series of missions have been designed to assist new players in obtaining a degree of familiarity with how issuing orders in the game works. Here are the Simian Star's most recent mission results:

Comet Encounter:
The proximity indicators reveal the comet - little more than a chunk of dirty ice a few kilometers in length. There are already some bloody great craters present and a thin nebulous halo of ice and an elevated background radiation. After matching velocities, the ship is brought down to a rest on a suitable flattened region, the charges are unloaded and investigations are started to determine where to set them.

Set Charges
After a few days of careful exploration a suitable location is created and the charges are deployed without incident. The team embark and the ship disengages with the comet and from a safe distance, triggers the explosion.

The team may have expected a big event, but beyond a circle of gas jets, there is very little to see. Eventually a rough section slowly disengages. Over the next few hours the team work to direct the chunk of rock though modification of the charges, guiding it on its path to Mithras.

Now all that is required is to return to Mithras and collect payment.


Captain's Personal Log: Far from feeling a sense of adventure or adrenaline from enthusiasm overload, the primary thing that I feel, right now, is that tedium dominates the learning curve for this game - at least, at the very beginning of learning to play it.

This current mission, itself, one called Rain Maker, is not one that does much in the way of captivating my imagination. Going through this mission feels more akin to being a chore that needs performing, rather than translating into an episode of having a good time playing a game.

As a new player to the game, the grand object is to retain my interest and enthusiasm, and if possible, to grow them, so that I will want to keep playing. Thus far, the mission process is failing to accomplish that. In fact, it seems to be having quite the opposite effect.
Star Date 214.14.5 (4th April 2014)

The Rain Maker mission is now complete, and payment has been received. What's a guilder, anyway?

Payment for a Job Well Done:
The captain produces the data on the comet mission and this is passed
over to the civilian astronomers for confirmation. Eventually they are
satisfied that the mission was a success and the 150 guilders are handed
- Payment received (150 guilders)

In the Cargo Report section of my turn results, it says:

150 Guilder (30000) - 0 mus

One does not have to play the pre-set missions, in order to play Phoenix:BSE. Yet, it is advisable to play them, is my understanding. I am paying them, to obtain familiarity with issuing orders.

Now, I turn the Simian Star's attention to another mission - Aid Emigrating Kastorians.

Captain's Personal Log: OK, I receive my first in-game money. I have accomplished a mission. Yet, what do I feel? Not much of anything - at least, not at this point in time. There's no sense of urgency, no sense of importance. I am doing the missions, not because I want to, but just to see what they are like, and how well that they teach me how to play the game. Rather than playing a space game, I feel like I am doing chores. Just more tedium, at this point in time.
Star Date 214.14.5 (4th April 2014)

When issuing orders to my ship, ordering it it to take off is a sdimple enough matter. When I went to issue orders for it to move to the new planet in question, using the Move to System Quad order proved to be annoying. Where's the mechanism to make it move to a planet? I've used it, before. I know that it works.

Captain's Personal Log: OK, so I have to issue a Move to planet XY order, also. Got it. It's little things like this that have, thus far, made the game's tedium factor rise significantly. It takes far longer to do very simple things than I want it to take, simply due to lack of intimate familiarity with the game's interface. I wonder how many would-be players of the game have been lost, due to sheer tedium of this nature?
This log is at an end.

The game's interface is very effective at annihilating interest in the game.

I shake my head, every time that I try to use it - including again tonight.

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