Last night was a fairly good night. It was cool outside so we decided to go for our evening walk pretty early. After we got done with our loop of the neighborhood I decided it taking a dip in the pool sounded absolutely awesome. So after cooling down in the pool, I finally settled in for some serious Rift time, and luckily by then the servers had mostly stabilized. There was apparently an issue with the backhaul for the Trion datacenter that was generating a ton of lag for certain players.
Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn releases on August 27th, and a good number of my friends are extremely pumped about this. As a result I got a bit caught up in the hype myself and had preordered the game through Amazon. I got into the beta and enjoyed myself and even wrote a relatively positive review. The problem for me is that once the nostalgia wore off, I was essentially left playing a game that was very much rooted in the wow era traditions and really didn’t push the bar forward much. With each successive beta test I found myself with less and less desire to actually log in and play it.
Don’t get me wrong… there is nothing wrong with the game, nor is it a bad game. In fact it is a really good game, and if you are deeply rooted in the Final Fantasy Mythos and/or really like the JRPG style of artwork and graphics… it is likely going to be an amazing game for you. That said.. I normally do not like the JRPG art and character style… and while I have a good chunk of nostalgia towards the Final Fantasy franchise… all of that comes from the 2D era of the game. I feel as though that nostalgic buzz has worked its way through my system.
Additionally right now I am really trying to set down some semi-permanent roots in Rift. The House Stalwart guild is hopping every night and people are friendly and happy and engaging. I don’t want to go off and play anything else, even on a lark and take a chance of jinxing this awesome thing we have going. I also lack the desire to really play Final Fantasy XIV. It was a game I was definitely going to play because I had several friends who were really excited about it. However my fear was that it would be another TERA for me, I play it one week and then cancel my account never to play it again.
For all of these reasons… yesterday I went into my Amazon account and cancelled my preorder. The biggest detractor for me, and the point that made me go ahead and pull the trigger… is the subscription fee. It is funny how things have shifted for me… and I have gone from being a player who didn’t want to play a game without a subscription option… to being one who really criticizes any game that ONLY has a subscription model. Ultimately the game was just not fun enough for me to be willing to pay a monthly fee to play. If it was buy the box, I would have gone ahead and picked it up and piddle around in it whenever I felt like. However knowing that I only had 30 days of playtime to decide if I liked the game enough to pay a monthly fee for it… was a massive hindrance.
I hope the game does well, and it finds its niche after all the work they have put into it. It really is an enjoyable experience, but for me just not compelling enough to pay for. I feel like I want the game to succeed, because at this point ANY MMO failure is a negative thing and causes the number of companies willing to fund a AAA MMO to shrink. Based on the number of people that are truly hyped about the game, I figure it will be a modest success which will hopefully be enough to keep the ball moving forward.
Night of the Hunt
Yesterday I ended up writing a piece in response to a blog post, and did not really go over what happened Wednesday night for the guild. For awhile now we have been trying to make Monday and Wednesday nights a time when we pull something together. The Monday side of the equation has been faltering, however most every Wednesday night we at least do something as a group. Monday has long been The Secret World night amongst a large group of my friends… and I am thinking we might simply need to start doing that as well. Wednesday night however we usually have a critical mass of players, and this past one I had huge plans.
In the Storm Legion concept there is something called a Hunt Rift that you can purchase from the Torvan Hunters. Essentially you are helping the Torvan Hunters capture dangerous planar beings. You open the special lures at any planar tear, and it starts a little multiple stage event that works somewhat different than a normal rift. During the first stage you help the hunter build the machine to trap the being, then you defend it against an onslaught of planar mobs trying to stop your efforts. Finally after defending the machine for several phases the mini-boss is summoned and you defeat them. The reward is lots of Torvan Hunters rep, a chest full of goodies, and being able to check off one hunt from the achievement that eventually unlocks Great Hunts.
The lures are roughly 5000 planarite each, and I decided I would purchase the first dozen that make up tier 1 of the torvan hunts. The plan was simple… we would grab whatever available level 50+ characters we had… grab the few 40+ players we had and teleport them to storm legion content via a rally banner… and wreck the hunts. This was an awesome theory… but was thwarted by the fact that apparently the Rally Scroll has limits on being able to teleport too low a character to the Storm Legion content zones.
We opened a single rift and closed it, but I made the call that it would just be more enjoyable if we could do something we ALL could participate in. It is never fun to be sitting on the bench when you perceive that other players are off doing amazing things. I searched my brain for an idea… and finally landed on the fact that myself and Tibuant had a decent stock of old world elite lures laying around. These were challenging encounters designed for 10 players at level 50, and our original Rift guild had many Elite Rift nights. As a result I had half a dozen lures still taking up bank space, and Tib had another couple himself.
We spent the rest of the night bouncing back and forth between the yellow elite tears in Iron Pine Peaks and Stillmoor opening the encounters. While most of the gear has long since been replaced with better Storm Legion greens, our youngins were able to pick up a few pieces of epic quality gear that might hold them for a little bit once they start into the new content. Honestly however that was just gravy, the real fun was just running around as a group and doing something out of the ordinary together. I am glad I made the choice to pick something we all could do, rather than excluding a batch of players due to level.
There will be other guild nights and other times we can finish the tier one hunt rifts. Each of the lower level players we toon along got one or more dings over the course of the night. So we slowly but surely moved them forward towards being able to participate in bigger and grander things. I am not saying there will not be nights that we run things higher level that some of our crew may not be able to participate in. But my hope is to be able to include the largest batch of players in the process. I am just enjoying running around together doing whatever the hell we end up doing.
I normally do three segments, but these two segments seem extra long to me. Additionally the time is getting late and I need to be getting on to work. This morning I need to run laundry by the cleaners and that always takes up a bit of time. Last night we had a lot of fun closing Rifts for the guild quest and hopefully we can finish off the second “close 100 rifts” quest tonight. We dinged level 5 yesterday but are a long ways from level 6. I hope you all have a great Friday and that it is the start of an awesome weekend. Tonight we will be picking up a printer from some folks on craigslist, and hopefully I will get on before too late.