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The city opened roughly 3 months ago and has focused on modern-day casual, voice, and meter-based role-play. The city does not appear to have any associated back story or in-character history.
Look and Feel (2 – OK Quality):
Manchester isn’t particularly designed well or with any apparent pre-planning involved (though I may be incorrect on the latter). Many of the buildings appear to be placed without pre-considerations, some block the view of other buildings, and in one instance a “Wall-Mart” building is placed directly beside a suburb area which blocks the entire view of one side of a residence.
Wall-Mart Supercenter building alongside a prime residential suburb
The road textures in the region are unrealistic for a US-themed city and are of poor quality to begin with, popularly circulated for free between residents. The sidewalks which feature a very plain white texture and vertical lines across appear too narrow and feel unrealistic while walking along them, perhaps to encourage people to drive (something which would be polar-opposite to other popular role-play environments).
I find it distasteful to use a real world brand in vain with not even the slightest attempt to produce a parody version or a completely original version altogether and instead use complete duplicates of trademarks, logos, and names. I am however, not an attorney, nor do I wish to play one here. I’ll let the reader decide where they expect role-play environments to draw the line. I have to ask: where is the accountability in this? This is no different, in my opinion to someone stealing another Second Life users content, selling it or using it to promote themselves. It’s also disadvantageous to do so considering one of the co-owners hard stance against copyright infringement (in terms of her own content).
Case in point: McDonald’s Restaurant with complete trademarks
Even though it’s unlikely the Hell’s Angels is concerned over the Second Life representation of their club this is another example of blatant copyright infringement. Note: This group is only supported by Manchester and not their own.
The Role-play (2 – OK Quality):
Role-play in Manchester appears lower than what would be seen in a similar style of environment with a focus on being a hangout area with role-play tacked on the end. Most of the interactions within Manchester are not role-play based and some players confuse the difference between in-character and out-of-character contexts–leading to confusion for observers considering joining in. It does not appear as though the management intends on improving role-play quality beyond what it currently is and as such it almost seems to be less about role-play and more about hanging out with friends.
Most of the players “role-play” (which is subjective to some, depending on their definition of voice role-play) via voice and text chat. In one instance I observed the police department players role-play their attempt to locate an object that was causing perceived script lag–this confused me, but did not seem to confuse other players. I can only gather that this is acceptable in the environment. I do find it confusing that blatantly out-of-character tasks are considered an in-character role-play such as the one I observed.
The Management (1 – Poor Quality):
Manchester’s management appears lackadaisical at best, with no apparent or obvious knowledge of region management, prim management or moderation they come off as inexperienced and unknowledgeable of basic concepts regarding role-play and region administration as a whole. I can’t put it any other way: the management badly needs improvements.
The region has 4 current owners and in no particular order, the owners are Summer Burt, Pie Runner, Keef Jonstone and Stewie Frostbite. Primarily my experience is with Summer Burt, one of the former co-owners of the City of Richmond before its closure. She was a very vocal opponent against TRR and my review of the City of Richmond in one particular re-visit. She has accused TRR, and readers of everything from slander to terroristic threats against her and her family and has allegedly attempted litigation against TRR through her “sl rl lawyer,” although I’ve yet to hear back. I’ll leave it to readers, should they wish to delve into the comments on the post and gain their own views and perspective.
Overall (1.6 – OK Quality):
All-in-all, the city isn’t the worst I’ve reviewed and does have some important qualities that are good. The community brings about the feel of a casual hangout and they do appear to genuinely enjoy each others company. The voice role-play does however bring about some confusion among players, especially amplified when players experience communication issues through voice chat. Some players who primarily role-play over voice are quick to power-game over other players when they feel they are being ignored (and rather, the other player is just typing).
The look and feel just doesn’t hit it for me, even with ones graphical settings to the max, it just doesn’t look as good as it could or should. More attention to detail is needed to make this a truly immersive environment. The management need to amp it up and act more mature for this environment to be taken seriously beyond that of a hangout with occasional role-play tacked on.
Regions: Greater Manchester, Lush Haven (under construction)
Region Ratings: Mature
Roleplay Style: Casual Role-play, Meter-based Role-play, Voice Role-play
by Caitlin Phenomena
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