Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Norrathian Research Library, Take 3!

I posted this same post on the Homeshow forums. However, I prefer to keep everything archived here.

I love collecting books. You might even say I'm a bibliophile. But when a bibliophile runs out of space in her house, what is she to do? Build a library, of course! The first version of the Library came into existence because of precisely that reason. While building my Kelethin home, I ran out of room. I could either shelve most of my books and never add another book or item to my house, or I could move my library into a new house, and fill up my house with knicknacks. I chose the latter option.
The Library 1.0's lobby

Approximately two months later (after I'd shelved all the books), the lack of real windows in the library annoyed me enough that I tore it down, and then rebuilt it again. That resulted in Library 2.0.
The Library 2.0's lobby from the front door.

The Library 2.0's directory and information desk.
That library lasted for almost a year and a half. However, there were always little things that irritated me about it. The walls didn't line up as well as I wanted them to. You couldn't go outside the building. Each floor was a different height. I left it alone, despite all of that. For one, any time I mentioned redoing the library, I was jumped on by irate bibliophiles. Second, it took me weeks to sort, catalog, and shelve all of the books. The thought of doing it again quickly convinced me to leave it alone.

Then the Vale house was introduced. There are other library themed prestige houses. We have the Personal Library and the Arcane Academy. However, neither of them are unique, because they're pre-generated. Plus, the Library has been a tower for longer than those homes have existed. The Vale house was the perfect answer to the problem of rebuilding the Library. It's an island with character, unlike the Tenebrous island (don't get me wrong, I love the TT house. But it's very...bland. A perfect blank slate). It's a prestige house, so it's rent free--and that's a good thing, because I periodically forget to pay the rent on my houses. I took one look at the Vale house, and I decided it was high time to redo the library. We'd had building blocks and new tiles introduced. When both versions 1 and 2 were built, the only tiles that existed were cityfest tiles and the tinkered tiles. Now we have crafted tiles and building blocks!

For the first day or so, I left the old library alone. I bought the Vale house, and I began to build the tower.
Building the Library Tower version 3.0

View from the top of the partially completed Tower.
Originally I went with 10 floors, just like in Library v2.0. The problem with that was that the Vale house's item limit is much lower than the Kelethin house. Additionally, it takes more items to build a house you can run around the exterior of, rather than just building so you only see the interior. By the time I'd built all 10 floors, I had approximately a hundred items left for interior decorations and the books that count towards the item count. That wouldn't do at all.
Completed tower: 4 floors of books, three floors of other fun!
So I trimmed it down to 7 floors. That meant that I had to combine a couple of floors, and remove some floors altogether. The Lounge went away, as did the Rare Books floor. Luckily, Rare Books were just duplicates of books on other floors, just versions that are no longer obtainable in-game. Mythoi was added to "Notables and Mortals." Lastly, I moved "Chronicles" from "Chronicles, Cultures, and Hobbies," to join Mythoi. Floor IV will be pretty crowded, but it makes it easier for me to catalog the books--sometimes it's hard to tell which of those four catagories a book should fall under. By putting them all on a floor together, I neatly sidestep the problem!

I: Lobby
II: Adventurer Authored Tomes
III: Cultures, Lands, and Beasts
IV: Mythoi, Notables, and Mortals
V: Chronicles, Memoirs, and Hobbies
VI: Lecture Hall
VII: Observatory

The new lobby, south side. Pizazz thought I should switch the patterns of the floor and ceiling. While I agree with him, and think the star floor would look awesome, it just wouldn't be possible without rebuilding the entire tower. The tower floors and ceilings are rolled at an angle of 0.5, which means there's a difference of approximately 0.1 along the Z axis between the exterior of the room and the interior. Every piece of furniture was placed with this difference in mind. Furniture near the center of the room is 0.1 lower than furniture near the exterior, and all furniture is angled either 0.5 or -0.5 to keep the illusion that the floor is flat.
The new lobby, south side.
The new lobby, north side.

The directory. Spelling with books is a PITA!
Of course, once I finished the tower structure and the lobby, that meant I had to get started on decorating the interior of the tower. Then of course, I had to shelve the books. To do that, I had to destroy the old library, since none of the books belong to the character Library, and a lot of them are no-trade. I had to pack up the house and send the contents to the new library. Then I had to remove every item that wasn't a book from the moving crate, and move it back to the old library. Nearly a thousand items later, I was finally ready to start shelving books...
Four floors look like this.
Don't mind the mess. Eventually the books wind up on the shelves! Note the benches under the windows and in the center of the room, for people to sit on and chat. There are four floors that look identical to this--"Adventurer Authored Tomes," "Cultures, Lands, and Beasts," "Mythoi, Notables, and Mortals," and "Chronicles, Memoirs, and Hobbies."

I'm actually not finished shelving and cataloging the books. Because the catagories changed, I have to redo it all. However, since the structure is finished, I decided to post.
This is what a Library looks like when the Librarian goes insane.
The Library has always been a spot I've envisioned as a roleplay location. I want people to be able to come here for their lore needs. Unfortunately, I'm horrible at advertising, so that hasn't happened. It doesn't help that I forget to pay the rent on the Kelethin library, as I mentioned. The benefit to the Vale house is that it doesn't matter how often I forget to pay rent since it doesn't need rent! I've promised myself that once I shelve the books in the Library, I'll advertise.

People are more than welcome to hold lectures or what have you in the Library, despite that all books haven't yet made it to the shelves. Stop by and engage in a little RP if you encounter another bibliophile here!

In the spirit of roleplay, v2.0 and now v3.0 have lecture halls. The stools can be sat upon with either /sit or /sitc. There are also benches scattered all over the island, but I didn't take screenshots of those.
The view of the Lectern from a seat.
Because the top floor of the tower is an observatory, the board to the side of the lectern is currently a star chart.
Star chart board for your astronomy lecture needs!
However, the back of the star chart is actually a blackboard. The rotating board makes it easy to switch from star chart to blackboard. Just be sure to take the chalk off of the edge before you do, or you may sling it into the eye of some unsuspecting student!

I was given the telescope as a birthday gift a couple of months ago. To be quite honest, I had no idea what to do with it, until I realized I had been calling the top floor of the Kelethin library an observatory. It made perfect sense to me that I should make the top floor of version 3.0 an actual observatory, complete with telescope!
Luclin through the window!
Luclin and Drinal through the window.
The library isn't actually complete yet, since not all of the books are shelved. In fact, I've only managed to shelve up to H. I haven't even begun sorting them.
Library reflected on the water.
Once the books are all sorted, shelved, and catalogued, I'll be posting the library on the leaderboards for easy travel. At the moment, it's not up. It is open for visitors, however, at Library's Vale of Halfpint Delight in Freeport on the Antonia Bayle server. It can also be accessed through Library's Aerie Kolmas in Kelethin.

Thank you for visiting!

Many thanks go out to "the usual crowd" for bearing with me and helping me to error check this monstrosity. You know who you are! I'd list you all, but there are so many of you, I don't want to risk offending anyone by forgetting your name. I couldn't have done this without all of you. <3
And for those who are curious, there are more screenshots on my Facebook page. EQIIShare makes it so easy to take them while I'm building...

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