Hunting Shamrocks

This is the kind of activity I find pretty relaxing and/or frustrating – treasure hunting in Second Life. Not sure why, except that I enjoy 1)free stuff and 2)figuring out puzzles and looking for free stuff 3)experiencing creative new places that I might like to visit again, that put out free stuff.

Okay, I do actually have some scruples – it’s not actually ALL about the free stuff, because during the sorting-out that I do after a big hunt, I typically delete at least half of the items after trying them on, sometimes without even bothering to open the gift box, if it’s definitely something I don’t want or need.

I started a new hunt the other day and was so taken with the creativity and pleasant scenery I encountered before I had to break off that I decided to go back and try to blog each location. The last few hunts I did were to mostly-forgettable mall-type places, and there were only a few places that I actually remember. This one is shorter, so we’ll see how far I get before pack it in and start taking photos of the best “finds.”

The starting point was helpfully blogged by Rowan Carroll:

She’s So Unusual: NCI St Patty’s Day Hunt!

This is a grid-wide hunt, meaning stores across many sims are participating, and all are owned by NCI members.
The hunt will begin on March 13, and end March 20.
To begin, start at the landmark given from this sign- “Where The Sidewalk Ends”
While there, find the shamrock “NCI Shamrock Hunt #1”- It will give you a gift, as well as a landmark for the next shop- follow the shamrocks till the end of the hunt- there will be 42 in all!

START HERE

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Here I am at the beginning of the hunt, The Brickyard. It’s an outdoor art gallery with a lot of “rooms” that feature sculpture, wall art, garden features, and so on. I wandered around a long time looking for the shamrock item that was… not that hard to find, actually. This all took place months ago, of course, but I realized I had a draft post started, so decided to plunge back in to catch up. This is my “treasure hunter” getup – very low in “prims’ thus very low drag on the servers. The punk hair is pretty minimalist and doesn’t add much to the load.

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Next, on to a sort of gaming place that had a little of everything, Terra a venda! A lot of my time is spent waiting for everything to rezz, but the horses were nice. The shamrocks were not too difficult, and I always appreciate “fair play.”

BoxPortrait_001

On to a Steampunk animal merchant in Ethereal Isle. The gift turned out to be totally cool, a self-motive steam-powered camera! I’ll definitely wear this to parties! And I have to return to this locality and really explore.

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And now I’m at the place I stopped before, a shop called Primwynly. I took a photo here that hasn’t rezzed yet, and I’m standing at some sort of crossroads. This could take a while, but first I have to make sure the gift shamrock isn’t sitting out in plain sight, unrezzed for the moment.

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I’m going to tune in something on Winamp (iTunes not installed on this computer) while I wait. Oh, crap… it’s a furniture store. I hate furniture stores, because I don’t need furniture inworld, and they’re hard to find things in. However, they have medieval stuff, the theme of my home sim, Northfarthing.

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Camera control can be key – it’s handy for looking under and behind things. Also good for looking in a lot of boxes at once.

Whew, got it. Missed it in the area I checked first – there’s a modern area, and then a medieval area.

Now, on to someplace in Blackmount that makes me want to sing show tunes while wearing Arthurian drag…

Whew! Easy one, with the lights on. Thank goodness, I was in the furniture store for almost 10 minutes.

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Now: Pax et Bonum. It’s more scenic, there are trees, and it takes a while for stuff to become visible.

Well, dammit. It’s pretty, and I’ve been outside and inside, and nothing. It’s going to really be embarassing when I find it, because some people came and went already while I was wandering around outside. This is the frustrating part of treasure hunting.

AUGH!! Yes, it was in plain sight. First of all, this is an artist’s shop, so it had to be someplace that wouldn’t mess with the aesthetics of the place. Second of all, this was placed by a person with good color sense, for better camouflage. Third, it didn’t really rezz until I was quite close.

Paperdolls Dress

On to Paperdolls, which seems to be a garden shop… no, it’s a cute little dress shop. Nice freebies set out, too – I like these dresses. Don’t be scared by the hair, it’s this thing I do when treasure hunting.

Yay! Found the shamrock after a minute or two. It was reduced in size and somewhat hidden, but I caught a glimpse while moving the camera (“camming”) around. On to Minkartah.

Ohhhh. Been here before on another hunt, it’s a little marketplace. Fortunately, the sound effect I heard was a clue, and happened to spot the shamrock early (they sometimes rezz before other objects, so it’s a good idea to look around quickly. Good thing I had the music off at that point.

Here we go to something called LYtD. Which seems to stand for “Love You ’til Death.” And they have a little animated hedgehog! Too cute.

However, the shop seems to sell funerary goods – headstones, tasteful urns, and stone plinths. Well, there’s a market for that in the vampire territories, I guess. It’s tasteful, and might be by the same artist as at that art gallery that was so hard, so I have to think like that again.

Grrrrr. Starting to get frustrated; there are two shops – beside the funerary one, there’s a joyful, “love you” type shop. I’m guessing the former shop is for people grieving the death of love, as opposed to the death of a loved one. Meanwhile, there’s an emitter thing here that’s pumping out butterflies and heart shaped bubbles, and the lag is so bad that I can’t physically reach one corner of the plot.

Hmmm. AUGH!!! 20 minutes shot. It was pretty well hidden. It wasn’t in the pretty, lovely, flowery area at all.

I whipped through the next place, Gateaux Boulevard, in a few seconds, it was RIGHT THERE, thank God. So here I am at Mountain Mall.

I notice there’s a landmark notice: “NCI Hunters: Click here to get a landmark to #13,” so maybe I’d better not waste much time – I’m currently on #11, so this probably means the next shop/gift/ongoing landmark is “dead.” There’s nothing in this very small shop, although the landowner does have a very cool “Dancing Waters” fountain outside.

So now we go to GONE COUNTRY. Which was a country and western bar, but fortunately it was just a matter of walking around and looking at everything from the back of the room instead of from the front. So often, that’s where you’ll find what you’re searching for; such as just over the inside of the door, so you have to look BACK and UP or go through the whole shop seeing everything for sale.

And that brings us to Get Framed. Uh, oh, it’s the end of the world as we know it – and it’s decor. But there’s animated cats – one of which is a dance ball! And a money tree… wow, haven’t seen one of those in a while. They’re only available to new AVs, usually less than 30 days old.

So that took us to King Parrot Freebies, and I think I just paid $L2 for a “free” shamrock because I walked toward the type of sign that’s usually near the gift shamrocks, and found it pretty fast. And then a sign rezzed that says “there is a free shamrock hidden here, for those of you who do not wish to search: this one is available for $2L. The waterfountains are all for sale!” The rest of the stuff here is pretty unfinished looking.

Okay, well, at least it was only 2 Lindenbucks. So now we go someplace called Earth Jewel. And whew, it was a quick and easy find in a jewelry store.

Time for a break, clear cache, and open some boxes… also, Compline starts at Epiphany at 6pm SLT so now is a good time to get out of my punk gear and put on something a little more ordinary.

Back. So I’m now at DL’s Dream Designs at a place called Hawaii Ohana… my kind of locality, anyway. This seems to be kind of fun Gothy, with dragon eggs. I eventually got out of there, as the shop was kind of a weird skybox, all in black. Finally “found” behind something.

So: now past Darkly Cute, a furnishings place… yes, it’s sometimes a good idea to take local transport when a shop offers it.. I’m at Blue Ribbon Showcase briefly, an art gallery where I was actually welcomed, and landed at a very colorful arty venue called Azelle’s Spot. Ohh!! Tinies!!! And a dragon!

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I got welcomed there as well, and got a landmark for events. So I had to get tiny for a while, and chat. It was a very pleasant time, I’d like to go back again.

Quick spin through Art of Eiran, Space for Dreams, and off to Cheetah Valley. As I’m currently a small Siamese cat in a kimono, this could be perilous. But it turns out to be a quick grab-and-go, as are Blue Mountain, Fortinbras, M. Blue Coyote, and Cherokee Inc Hollies in Busby.

And that’s where I broke off, because I’d been at it for several hours, and I had completely lost the hunting instinct after becoming tiny.

I really enjoy hunting for stuff, but it’s more of a seasonal thing, and more recently I’ve been more into socializing and spending time talking to friends. I’ll never pass up a good freebie hunt, though. This one sponsored by NCI was better than some, because some of the venues were clearly newer, and the gifts were inventive, creative, and somehow more interesting than the more commercial offerings at the big “mall store” treasure hunt locations. I’d actually return to some of these places, except that in my desire to not give away the clues, I didn’t make note of the links. That’s what Google is for, I suppose.

Here are some photos of some of the St Patrick’s Day themed outfits that I did end up keeping from the main, gridwide hunt.

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Second Life has this way of messing up or distorting the body animations sometimes. It’ll never fail to make you look stupid now and then. Otherwise, I quite like this Celtic dancer outfit.

St Patty's Bar Wench

This one is amazing – it’s called “Shabby Chic,” but I’d wear it as a barmaid any old time in my local online pub.

Green Satin Fishtail

This last one can also be worn at any formal event (and I do have them to attend in my virtual life). It even has a fishtail and a transparent cowl or hood. Very snazzy.

I have more St Patty stuff but that’s really the high notes. I tended to keep stuff that wasn’t specific to the holiday, and then of course there were later hunts (oh, God, the Bunny Hop) that kind of cured me of the whole hunting thing for a while. Maybe later…


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