Last night ended up nothing like I had expected. Since it was extremely nice out here in Oklahoma, we ended up batching up a bunch of errands we needed running. As a result I did not end up getting home until well after 8 pm, and when I did get home… I was too out of it to really get into much of anything. I seem to have acquired a need for sleep over the last few days. For now I am indulging this insane fancy and going to bed at a decent hour.
I am well behind the curve content wise in Rift, as last night was the first night I really spent roaming around the Dendrome. I have had this vision quest of sorts and have been hell bent on finishing leveling fishing. At this point I am around 340 and the rest of the journey is extremely slow and painful. I have been setting my goal on completing the fish exchange in Tulan each day… which ends up giving me several levels in the process of fishing up 12 rare fish. Unfortunately I do not yet have the patterns, for the lures that speed up each variety of rare fish.
I have to say I really like Dendrome so far. It reminds me a lot of Ember Isle… but far less brutal for players to break into. Everywhere I look there is another piece of a quest, so it feels like it would take me ages just to reach a point where I felt like I could do dailies here. Once I start a carnage quest… I tend to get distracted and have to complete it while I am in the area. I would not want to try and do the repeatable quests until I had cleared a good deal of these shiny objects from my view.
While I was out in the zone, I managed to get in on an Air Invasion. The first stages went by so quickly that I cannot even tell you what the objectives were… but I managed to make it to the final boss fight when it was around 80% health. It was one of the nastier zone bosses I have encountered… in that it spawned 3 of those flashing red bubbles that have become so ubiquitous with instant death in Rift. These bubbles then proceeded to path randomly through the group knocking players back and dealing large amounts of damage.
I actually got insta-gibbed as I rolled up on the fight as not all of the effects had loaded in for me yet. The completely insane part was that for killing one zone boss I managed to get 330 Infinity Stones. Granted at this point I am struggling to find things to spend them on, and I would have far rather had Empyreal Slayers Marks… it was cool nonetheless and would help out someone needing gear badly. So far I think I am going to like Dendrome as a whole, and I look forward to exploring it in time.
Microsoft’s Turn to Troll
Yesterday one of the big stories that caught my attention is that Microsoft Announced the first months title for the XBox Gold free games program. In the conference that I have linked above… Microsoft said… to kick off that program I’d like to share just two of the titles we’re going to offer over the next few months – Assassin’s Creed 2, and Halo 3. So obviously… players… media outlets.. essentially everyone was expecting the title announced to be well… either Assassins Creed 2 or Halo 3. Instead they dropped the bomb on us that it would be Defense Grid: The Awakening.
This is the equivalent of saying you get a .99 app store title for free. No offense meant to the makers of the game, I am sure it is a perfectly fine title. Tower Defense games however are a dime a dozen, they are the new Bejeweled… everyone and their brother has created a “priced to own” clone. So there is absolutely nothing exciting about this announcement. Even if you like Tower Defense titles, which I do not… no one in their right mind can put this title in the league of Assassins Creed 2 and Halo 3 as far as player appeal.
What I don’t really understand… is how Microsoft can not think these are bad moves. They keep doing it over and over again… and then doing the equivalent of standing there with a shocked face as people rage around them. I am just flabbergasted as to how they could ever think most of the calls they have been making would play well with the gamers. Essentially Microsoft Gold is a horrible deal… it has always been a horrible deal… and giving away appstore titles is not going to change the fact that it will likely always be a horrible deal.
If Microsoft Gold existed in a vacuum it might be considered a good thing… but when you compare it against Playstation+ it is a phenomenally bad deal. Gold costs roughly $60 per year and Plus costs roughly $50, so pretty comparable what you get there. However with Plus you end up getting instantly a dozen ps3 titles ready for download… and they cycle in new titles and cycle out old ones on a monthly basis. Additionally you get the ability to demo the full version of any game in the PS3 library… that means if you purchase it.. your save games still apply. Additionally you get a significant discount on any games you purchase through PlayStation plus, and they are currently running some crazy steam like sales. In the first year… they gave away 64 titles through the PlayStation plus subscription.
So as I sit back and look at this… I cannot fathom how Microsoft feels like Gold is a deal… and that they are somehow sweetening the pot by giving away a single game a month. All the service really does is give you access to features that should have been included in the console in the first place… like Netflix. The whole bait and switch over talking about AAA titles and giving players an AppStore title instead only serves to make the deal even worse. I feel like Microsoft needs to re-evaluate their entire stance on gaming… and collectively “pull their heads out” for lack of a better term. Feinting ignorance only works as long as you are willing to stop doing stupid things… at this point they need to completely rethink their strategy.
Well today is trash day and I need to finish gathering it. I hope you all have a great day… and I hope my tone has not been too ranty lately. I’ve just had various things that I feel passionate about on my mind. When I start talking about them… I tend to come out a bit more harsh than I intend to. I am sure that lately I have come off as a PlayStation fanboy… but I am just supporting what I feel like is the better deal. I own both an Xbox and a PS3 and have games I play on both regularly.