Sep 062011
 
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I thought today about the things I need to do. Thinking about them was about as far as I got. Tomorrow, I shall MAKE A LIST. Tremble, world, at my list makitude.

One of those Things is doing my PAX write-up. It’s great because right now I think “Oh I can probably get all four days into one post.” Then I remember I took like 600 pictures and laugh and laugh and laugh and then realize I’ll be writing about PAX until next PAX.

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We spent a pretty ridiculous amount of time at the tail end of our vacation playing Rift, aided by our free full version copy + month of game time (see above re: PAX). We’d played during the beta and enjoyed it okay, but were just coming off a few months of Warcraft and when you got down to it, that’s what we both really wanted to be playing. The same-but-differentness was too strong to break, and it soured me somewhat on the experience. I’m pleased to say that six months later I think I’m better able to enjoy the game on its own merits.

It’s still very derivative of Warcraft, absolutely, but then any fantasy-based MMO is going to suffer that comparison at this stage. Plus let’s face it, Blizzard has had a ton of time and resources to perfect certain staples of the game, and if it’s not broke then don’t fix it; I’d rather a game be a little derivative in places than be bulky and inefficient just to distance itself. Better to funnel that energy into the major elements that will make you unique.

Rift’s done a pretty good job of that. The parts that attracted me the most in beta – the numerous public zone events – are very much thriving, and make a great change of pace in the usual level grind. The trek from point A to point B kind of boring? Sick of farming 8 of this creature and 5 of this one to get the stupid crap some guy halfway across the area wants? With rifts and invasions and footholds and a ton of other stuff spawning all over the place, it’s incredibly simple to break up the monotony with stuff that’s almost always “on the way”. And that’s not even taking into account the absolutely insane full zone events. And all of this with an assortment of loot and currency you can’t get any other way, so you always feel that you’re gaining something useful.

It’s Rift’s six month anniversary right now; there’s celebratory stuff in effect, so I don’t know if the frequency of these things is normal or amped up. It feels like a good balance to me so I hope it’s normal. I am pretty sure that the leveling we’re doing is because of some crazy double xp or something which makes me kinda sad I must admit. Our trial lasts until near the end of September, so assuming our interest holds that long, I suppose we’ll find out.

I don’t see me paying for Rift, at least not right now; MMOs are an insane timesink that I really don’t like to leave around tempting me. Still it’s an option to put on the table for when the urge takes us, so I’m glad we gave it another shot.

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I’ve renewed my efforts to finish Dark Tower 7. Seriously, I’m doing it this time. Even if I get no further than half a page, reading that book is going to be the last thing I do every night until it’s done. I feel like I’ve been on my quest to finish this bloody series as long as Roland’s been looking for the damned Tower. It’s not even that I’m not enjoying it, it just feels like such a chore. And I guess I’m still a little nervy about how it’s all going to end up, which I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about before. I do not trust you and endings, Stephen King.

But I am finishing this book, dammit, I am finishing it. Every night until it’s done. I’m so close. I hear the rose singing.