Ahh it must be Friday and I must be bored... alliteration in a post title? It was only a bit of a stretch. In the process of spending way more money than I should have on some necessities, I picked up a RIFT time card yesterday. I still had my physical disc from when I first bought the game (and people think those things don't come in handy anymore) and thanks to the RIFT Lite trial system, I was able to patch the client to the current version without having to enter the card code or formally reactivate my account yet. So when I do decide to switch, I'll be ready to go without having to spend half the day downloading and patching... and downloading and patching... and... you get the idea.
When exactly I'm going to do that... I'm not entirely sure. When logging in to Star Wars: The Old Republic becomes more of a chore than an escape, that's when. I spent some time on Hoth tonight continuing to level my Jedi Consular. I enjoy the story, but SW:TOR combat is like getting a root canal... slow and painful. It just plain isn't my style. I still wish I could put my finger on exactly what it is about the combat that is so frustrating to me, but it just is. I keep "soldiering" on though, because I really do want to finish the Republic's side of the story. I am especially curious to see what happens on Corellia considering how that planet played out for my Imperial character.
In the meantime, I'm doing a little catching up on what's happened in RIFT since I was there last. Planar attunement (the RIFT version of alternate advancement) had just been introduced right before I quit, so I didn't have a chance to do much with that system. Chronicles (the solo and duo instances) had also just been introduced. I putzed around with those, but since I was solo at the time (and undergeared) I didn't even really have a chance to see much of those. And then a whole new zone was added to the game called the Ember Isle. I'm guessing this is going to be a level 50 playground with new daily quests and such, although I hope there is a story driven quest chain at least to go along with the dailies.
The system of endgame dungeons has gone through a bit of a revision since I was in Telara last. Originally the hardmode dungeons (called Expert in RIFT) were divided into two Tiers, with the second higher in difficulty than the first. I always found this a bit of an odd arrangement. Now there are still essentially two "levels" of dungeons, but they are defined a bit differently. All the Experts have been combined into a single "Tier," and a new dungeon mode has been introduced called Master mode. I'm not sure how this is functionally any different than two tiers of experts, but I guess we'll find out. When I left the game, I had just gotten to the point where I had sufficient gear to attempt Experts. I am curious to see if anybody still runs that content or if it has been entirely abandoned for Master modes and upper tier raids.
I am also curious to discover the level of tolerance for obscure builds in the community. I really enjoyed RIFT's class system the last time I played and I enjoyed using some rather odd soul combinations, especially on my Warrior. My preferred tanking spec was a full Paladin build (51 points in the tree) which all the "theorycrafters" would call absurd (at least back then, maybe now it's powerful, who knows.) And my preferred DPS spec was a full Champion build (the two-hander tree) as opposed to the more powerful dual wield specs. My Mage experimented with all kinds of combinations from deep Warlock builds to Necro/Chloro hybrids. I hope I can use these builds in group content without getting mocked and ridiculed. They might not be the best, but I knew how to use them to get the job done, and they were fun to play. And that's what games are about right? Oh wait, we're talking about MMO's. Fun isn't allowed here...
I don't have anything on tap for Saturday and Sunday I've got more news to talk about. It was a busy week for news as you probably already know. Then on Monday I'll probably either have more SW:TOR tales to relate, or talking about my first steps back into Telara. This will really be the first time I've come back to an MMO that I quit previously. I am curious to see how "new" it feels, or if it even feels new at all. Either way it should be interesting!