Where I’m at With RIFT; Cataclysm Coming to a Close; My PSP is Useful Again?!

... in freshly dyed armor.

Talk about radio silence! Sorry about that, guys. It’s been a busy week and time has been sucked away from me at every turn. Thankfully, it’s been mostly gaming doing that, since the schools were closed for mid-winter break in New York. I’ve used that vacation as it was intended, to relax and veg out in front of my computer.

So, RIFT. It launched. Just about everyone has commented on the queues, so I won’t go there. What I will comment on is this: this has been, bar none, the smoothest launch of any major MMO I’ve seen post-WoW. Lag has been non-existent on my server and performance has been top notch. As I was playing, I didn’t even consider the lack of lag until a good two hours in. I had to stop myself and note just how much further RIFT really feels than being in headstart. This is, no hype included, the new pinnacle for where an MMO should be at launch.

Okay, I will comment on queues. I wasn’t going to, but I will, and just to say this: please stop complaining about them. I’ve heard people deride Trion about it multiple times and it’s all a bit silly. Honestly, I’ve played every major release in the last four years and every… single… one of them had queues. It’s a fact of launch. You should be worried if there AREN’T queues. Now, that being said, I sat in one for four hours yesterday. That’s not cool and is almost certainly a result of the big miss-step of not releasing server names until two days before. It reminds me of the expression, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” If you’re not logging in earlier than you actually want to play at this point… As long as you’re able to, that is.

Moving on…

I made a Cleric to capitalize on their all-aroundiness. Open Beta really showed me how much fun healing can be, so I wanted a strong option there, while also being able to tank. I wound up going Purifier/Druid/Cabalist with Cabalist being my main spec. Purifier is mainly for some light off-healing and instances and rifts. Cabalist is turning out to be a blast, however, since they have some great nukes with inherent AoE. In dungeons, I start off nuking with my druid bombs and then switch off to cabal when the tank has threat. Right now, I’m level 17 and falling behind the rest of my guild. I’m pretty much used to that, though, so I don’t mind.

Speaking of my guild, Immortal Council has been flourishing. My co-host, Jeremy, on Rift Watchers is the leader and we’ve had an enormous response — over 100 applicants within 2 days of head start! Everyone is forming groups, talking in vent, and really putting in the extra effort to make this guild a fun place to hang out.  What’s more, and this is noteworthy, the amount of complaining is almost non-existent. In just about every new MMO I’ve played, new players go through the honeymoon-normal-annoyed-unsubbed pattern pretty quick. Everyone’ s been hitting it pretty hard (we have many players over level 30 and into the 40s already) and no one is hitting that wall we’ve found in other games. It’s really pretty enthusing.

Aside: I’m being pulled lots of different ways for the first time ever. There are two other guilds I plan on rolling with — Ferrel’s and Keen’s — but I’m hoping everyone understands I have an obligation to make the RW guild my priority. After all, it wouldn’t be very nice for me to help invite everyone over and then leave them! 😉

Last night I got into Iron Tombs for the first time. How neat! I loved how atmospheric the place was. For being a first dungeon, it was no cakewalk either! I mean, we did well since the group was made of veteran MMO players. Still, fights were more than than tank-and-spank and even the in-betweens could be a little tough (ghosts and orbs, I’m looking at you!). It was a blast, though, and one of the most fun-and-fresh dungeon runs I’ve had in a long time.

Okay, more than just RIFT for this post. NEXT up…

Cataclysm. I think I’m pretty much done. Not because of RIFT, per se, but more because I’ve found myself at a point where I’m only logging in to raid. I’m hesitant to call it quits, however, because the Happy Fun Guyz are really an excellent group to play with. I’d honestly miss a lot of the people there (shout outs to Evalisa, Blarg, Alphaah, and Kotton). Still, I’ve been putting some serious thought into how much fun I’m having if I can’t bring myself to log in. The reward stream has slowed to a trickle and with it my motivation has dried up. Stay tuned for updates.

Lastly, my PSP. I’m using it again! Well, I’ve always used it for late night RSS reading (I don’t have a smartphone yet), but I’m actually using it for games again! Someone finally came up with a way to run emulators and ROMs without hacking the console and putting on custom firmware. I am finding it so satisfying to play some of my old favorite SNES and GBA games again. I put a good two hours into Metroid: Fusion today and it’s like stepping into the past. Those games were so good and really captured something modern games don’t have. I can’t link to any of the stuff here on how to do it, but if you’d like to know how to get ROMs running on your PSP without any modifications, shoot me an email.

Anyways, that’s been this past week. Oh, and Assassin’s Creed 2. Gotta love that.

I’ll have more to talk about this week now that vacation is done. That radio silence really is a downer.

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