Design notes on the Calendar

Jump to end for just the days of the week and months of the year without all the explanation.

Thinking on it, I probably should have put this up earlier. Everyone is safe to read this, there will be no story spoilers here. I am merely going to talk about the naming of the days and the naming of the months in Feast of the End.

For any new stories, I probably won’t do a differently named calendar scheme. It adds a bit to the world, but it also becomes much harder for the reader to time themselves when all the names are something weird without reference. Maybe I could just put a reference in the book, but that means unless the reader memorizes it, they’ll need to flip back every time.

Anyway, the days of the week are

1st, Moonsday

2nd, Tunesday

3rd, Woodsday

4th, Thundersday

5th, Firesday

6th, Starsday

7th, Sunsday

These sound pretty much like the regular days of the week. I took some of the them from what the days of the week were originally called. For example, Monday was originally Mōndæg, which meant Moon’s Day. Some of them are more made up since the original word was too different from the modern word. For example, Tuesday was originally Tiwesdæg, which meant Tiw’s Day. Tiw is the Old English way of referring to Týr, from Norse Mythology. A few of the days actually were named after the Norse mythological figures. It’s all pretty interesting.

But I suppose now you want to know how the names of the month came about. Well, here they are first of all.

1st, Primarch

2nd, Duomarch

3rd, Trimarch

4th, Quadrach

5th, Pentember

6th, Hexember

7th, Heptember

8th, October

9th, Nonamber

10th, December

11th, Hendecember

12th, Duodecember

So, why did I choose this system? Mostly because I was annoyed at the names of our months. The year used to start in March in the Roman calendars. January and February was the last months of the year. This also (just me guessing) explains why February is randomly the shortest. It was actually last, so it had to take all the remaining days available.

This is also reflected in their names. For exmaple, the prefix oct- means 8. So October should be the 8th month. Nona- means 9. Dec- means 10. Therefore, November and December are the 9th and 10th months respectively.

Why was it changed? I have not looked into it.

The names of the month I used takes a different prefix system for the numbers, though. I used a mixture of the Greek and Latin cardinal prefixes. Well, now you know. Below is just a list of the days of the week and months of the year for those that don’t care about my ramblings. But thanks for reading if you did!

Days of the Week: 1st, Moonsday; 2nd, Tunesday; 3rd, Woodsday; 4th, Thundersday; 5th, Firesday; 6th, Starsday; 7th, Sunsday.

Months of the Year: 1st, Primarch; 2nd, Duomarch; 3rd, Trimarch; 4th, Quadrach; 5th, Pentember; 6th, Hexember; 7th, Heptember; 8th, October; 9th, Nonamber; 10th, December; 11th, Hendecember; 12th, Duodecember

MMOs and Final Fantasy 14

So, what’s this post about? My most recent MMO time sucking. I’ve played quite a few of them, starting with Everquest. Back then, I was really young and MMO’s were a lot more comples, so I don’t think I ever got past level fifteen.

I started with, uh, whatever expansion had the Iksar. Went as an Iksar Shadow Knight. Didn’t play it that much since I was bad, but I thought it was the coolest  thing ever. A game in a world with everyone else? That was pretty amazing. I really liked just exploring the Iksar city, though I can’t remember what it was called now. Physically typing things to talk to the NPC’s was pretty cool.

After that, I didn’t play MMO’s for a while since I didn’t have anyone to play it with. Then his thing called Final Fantasy 11 came out, my friends and I decided to get it because Final Fantasy was, like, the hottest thing back then.

That game was so slow-paced and group based but also so rewording to get through compared to future MMOs. Played a Mithra Thf which then turned to a Drg. Yeah, so original. It felt awesome getting to level 30 and then doing quests to unlock advanced jobs. Each zone had a sense of danger and exploration due to dying being really stiffly penalized, yet there were different ways to avoid monsters.

Never did get to endgame, though.

Next game WoW, the MMO that mainstreamed it to the masses. No longer requiring groups to do anything and really polishing previous ideas, making for a pretty great game. I played a Troll Shaman, then turned Tauren paladin once Cataclysm came out. Actually did quite a lot of endgame raiding in Wrath and Cataclysm. Cataclysm was the last expansion I played, though.

Now, it’s Final Fantasy 14: ARR time. Yo ho ho.

I tried the open beta for the original FF14 and thought it was really lacking, so I never got that. But once the remake came out, people said its much improved and pretty good. Well, I always wanted to play FF14 and now seemed like the perfect chance.

It is markedly different from FF11, being more similar to modern MMOs. That means lots of quests and a pretty directed experience. Its pretty easy to solo most of the game, though the main quest will need you to go into dungeons as a group to proceed. While that’s cool, certain classes will always have a longer wait to get into dungeons, namely the DPS.

Overall, it’s a lot like WoW. Raising people on the field can still be important, since you can only return to your homepoint and not the nearest spawn point. That means if you die across the world from your homepoint, getting a raise would probably be preferable. You don’t lose 10% of your level anymore, though. In fact, I’m not sure dying damages anything.

Travelling around no longer produces heart pounding. Enemies will stop chasing you after a while so it’s pretty easy to get from place to place. The game world also feels smaller, but I’m sure that will grow over time and expansions.

The gameplay feels pretty solid. It’s a bit slower than WoW but much faster than FF11. It also loses the skill chains from FF11, which I find sad. Those were a pretty cool addition. Other than that, combat is pretty much like a modern MMO. Get out of the stuff, deal damage with skills.

Casters are pretty much like casters from WoW. Uses mana and can’t move while casting. I could never stand waiting for mana to regenerate, so I hardly play full casters, but in here, regeneration for both HP and MP is sped out outside of combat. No need to sit, eat, drink or anything else, so that’s pretty cool. Playing a Conjurer right now, Mi’qote of course.

Physical classes get skills that can chain together in certain ways to make them more effective. Just an example from Lancer, using True Thrust first increases the damage of Vorpal Thrust. Vorpal Thrust by itself would do less damage then True Thrust. I don’t know if it gets more complex later on since I’ve been levelling my Conjurer primarily.

They have instanced dungeons now and a Duty Finder thats just a dungeon finder. It works as well as can be expected. First few dungeons have been easy, with bosses slowly ramping up the difficulty. Only four players to a party, one tank, one healer, two dps.

I haven’t had a bad party yet, so that’s cool. Dungeons are pretty enjoyable too with most of them taking around half an hour to complete.

Overall, I’m really enjoying FF14. It’s a solid MMO but it doesn’t do anything that really stands out. The only thing I might point to is one character being able to do every job like in FF11, but that’s about it. Otherwise, FF14 feels a lot like WoW. It’s fun, and I want to play it some more, but don’t expect anything really game changing.

The story also has a lot of cutscenes. They’re alright, actually, though certain places not being instanced does kind of break the mood, such as the officer of an organization with supposedly just a few members. When it’s swarming with players, yeah…

Well, this was just my quick look at Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Maybe I’ll talk more on it later once I reach endgame.

Design notes on the world

I don’t tend to think thing all the way through when writing, preferring to make it up as I come to it or have an initial idea first and then work on it over time. The first place I had named was Anmaul, and it was originally going to be the name of the city and the country. Obviously, I decided to change it later to Sorcnon.

Sorcnon was designed to feel imposing. Anmual itself has a large drop right on the edge. It’s darker than the other nations from all the high towers. The high walls around all cities are for protection against dizaks, but they also gave me a reason for all the people to be packed close together. The larger the city, the larger the wall. The people found it easier to build up instead of out. I intened for there to be a Gothic and trapped feeling to the place. I made it rain constantly partially to give it a gloomy feel and partially because it’s my favorite weather pattern.

I’ve used the An sound a good amount for Sorcnon, from Anmaul to Angkrabs to the Anthelia Maiden. The reason comes from the japanese word ansatsu, which means assassination or something similar. I felt it is sinister phoneme with some proper applications.

Many different races live inside Sorcnon. Race doesn’t mean anything, only status and money does. Even former slaves can become rich and powerful. Due to growing up around slavery, no one in Sorcnon really believes its wrong or has many objections to it.

Moving on to other places in Aarhsolm, I never mentioned it in the first book, but the capital of Thalliance is Karnis and the capital of Betaia is Magloda. Expect to visit at least one of them in a future book. Thalliance is styled to be more lacking in technology, but higher in magic. Imagine lots of small villages where magicians take care of problems. Betaia pushes soley for technology.

I think I always had the idea that Aarhsolm would be an island. As for how big it is exactly, I’m not going to give a direct measurement. Travel times are always such a hard consideration in writing, which I think is the main reason why I made the time setting where they had trains and ease of transportation.

In the books for Lord of the Rings, they probably spent more time walking around than handling actual plot.

Anyway, moving on from that. Funnily enough, the name of Aarhsolm was one of the last I named. Originally, the continent was just nameless. I figured leaving the actual landmass without a name made it difficult to refer to the collection of three countries. Aarhsolm also includes the surrounding ring of islands.

There is a world beyond Aarhsolm, but they are not the focus of the story. Take what you now, though, that Aarhsolm is the only place with sun. That means the rest of the world is constantly dark. Do people live out there? Or other creatures? Who knows? Well, I do, but that’s not the focus for now.

That’s all I have about Aarhsolm for now. See you next time.

Design notes on Miletta and Sorcnon

Hmm, I have a feeling this is going to be a shorter post. Miletta pretty much remained as I envisioned her from the beginning, someone who is willing to do anything to get more power. Unlike Selaf or Sophy, she hasn’t gone through many changes in personality or motives.

Her past and motives will definitely be explored in a future book, though not book two. For now, she is probably the driving force of things getting done. The story really seems to be about the conflicts she ignites against others inside and outside of Sorcnon. Selaf and Sophy are just the tools.

I made her treat her slaves pretty well, since she is one of the main characters you’re that your not supposed to dislike. Like the old saying goes, catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Overall, the house slaves in Sorcnon are treated well. They’re the ones that are getting important things done and sleep in the same house as their masters’, after all. I think the system came a bit from old Greek style slavery, where there were multiple levels of slavery who had different rights and treatments. A person with skills tended to be treated better.

If my idea of ancient Greek slavery happens to be wrong, well, good thing I’m not writing a story based in ancient Greek.