A year ago, I paid my first visit to Eclectica, a homestead region designed by Maddy Riddler. At the time, it was her first region design, and as I noted when adding it to my travelogues, it made for an enchanting visit.
At the start of August 2016, Maddy opened the latest design for the region, with the region also being featured in the Destination Guide highlights for August 5th. As it has been a while since my last visit, the DG entry prompted me to hop over and have a little explore – and I have to say that once again, Maddy has created something which is an absolute pleasure to see.
Mystica, as Maddy is calling the latest incarnation of Eclectica, presents visitors with a richly wooded archipelago floating 240 metres above sea level, the home to walks, cuddle spots, mystical clearings, climbing stairs, a wizard’s tower – and more besides.
Building an environment in the sky can often be difficult; landscapes don’t always have a natural look and feel, placing an environment inside a skybox often leads to an unsatisfactory result with the sky, while leaving things open can lead to abrupt edges and drops around the edges, or illusion-breaking transparent walls to reduce the risk of folk dropping off unexpectedly.
Maddy tackles all of these issues admirably, presenting an island as natural-looking as anything which might be found at ground level. Rugged cliffs mark changes of elevation and gorges cut their way through a wooded landscape, paths bordered by tough grass winding between the trees, bridges and ramps spanning the narrow defiles between rocky outcrops, steps linking different levels. Around the edges, dense hedges over which mists gently float, form a “soft” natural boundary so even when standing on the edge of one of the higher promontories, visitors have a clear indication they’ve reached as far as they can go (although horizontally placed transparent surfaces prevent anyone accidentally taking several steps too far.
The paths through the landscape are clear and easy to follow, the trees and shrubs serving to break the skyline perfectly. As one might expect from a location leaning towards romance, places to sit, cuddle and dance can be found in glades, under trees, within the arches of gazebos and by pond and cliff edge. There are also touches of whimsy, hints of the mystical,
For those who do find romance blossoming and want to go further, the teleport sign near the landing point offers a way down to ground level and an island offering a choice of beach or forest automated weddings, which include a choice of ceremony types, dedicated honeymoon venues in a unique approach to in-world weddings which would appear to take a lot of the stress out of arrangements, scheduling, and so forth, and which can include close friends as witnesses.
Photogenic, romantic and a delight to explore, Mystica is another enchanting and delightful iteration of Eclectica. When you get the opportunity, do be sure to see for yourself!
- Eclectica Mystica (Rated: Moderate)