Hello blog. Yes I know, six months without an update is probably not the best way to build or maintain a readership, or even be able to remember which password I need to get in to you. Let us never speak of it again.
So, a lot has happened in my little corner of the gaming world since I was last here, not least of which would be my involvement in the open beta and subsequent release of Trion Worlds grand new MMO 'Rift'. The game that went into open beta was a finely honed and polished product that appeared to have already been tested to within an inch of it's life. So good was it in fact that even before it was released it was of a far higher quality than many games that had already been running for a number of years! I used the time in beta to try out some of the different classes in the game, and to familiarise myself with, (and test the limitations of), the
new Souls system of class building that the game introduced. At first glance it would appear to make for an incredibly flexible way to get the balance of Healing, DPS and Tanking ability that anyone could want. You start off by choosing your base archetype, Warrior, Cleric, Mage or Rogue. Each of these classes then gets to pick three Souls (basically skill sets) from a list of eight with which to build the character you want to play. Warrior souls are mainly defensive tanking or strength based offensive DPS, Clerics are mainly healing with some ranged or melee DPS, Mages are mainly ranged DPS with some healing, buff/debuff options, etc, etc... To start off with I chose a Warrior with Paladin, (classic sword & board tank type skills), Voidknight, (a kind of resistance tank, vulnerable to melee but impervious to magical attack), and an offensive soul which i can't remember now. I figured this would give me a nicely rounded offensive tank with plenty of resist and block ability, and it worked, to a degree. What actually happened though was that out in the wilds versus trash mobs I was a one man wrecking machine, but in really tough fights I wasn't offensive enough to kill the mobs before they killed me, and I wasn't defensive enough to withstand their attacks for very long. Fortunately there is another really nice mechanic in the game which means you can run several different soul combinations at once, with a button on your hot-bar to toggle between skill sets. You can also clear out any of these 'roles' at any time and slot in different souls as you see fit. Eventually I gave up on the all-rounder tank and went for a more traditional setup, with Paladin and Warlord as my main souls and the recipients of most of my skill points. When the game launched and I joined up with my clan mates I decided to roll a healing biased Cleric and have been steadily slogging away ever since. I think being involved in the beta for an extended period before the game actually launched my have shortened the games lifespan a little for me, because even though my Cleric is only in the mid level-20's ,(out of a current maximum of 50), I've started to drift away from Rift, even though it is a fantastic game that I'm really happy to have been involved with from such an early stage. I still enjoy my time in there, but the times I'm in there are becoming fewer and farther between as the months go on. I'm determined to reach level cap with at least one of the 10 or so characters I've got in there, (DAMN YOU, accursed alt-itis!), but it may take a little while yet as there are so many other games to play at the moment! I look at my shelf of unopened Xbox games and despair!
But, rather than opening one of those, i've decided instead to get back into the multiplayer side of Bad Company 2, still a fantastic game, if a little frustratingly one sided at times. As with all online FPS's you are only as good as the rest of your team, and I do seem to end up surrounded by useless muppets a lot of the time in that game. Still, it's good fun, especially on Team Speak with friends, and I've finally unlocked all of the weapons so can now just relax and play whatever class I fancy at the time, rather than constantly chasing the next unlock.
There's also been a little PlanetSide action recently, following the announcement that a PlanetSide sequel is well and truely on the way! Will it be the saviour of gaming as me and my outfit mates have been praying for these past five years or so? Only time will tell. Until then though a few of us have ventured back into the creaking husk of the original for one last hurrah. The strain is beginning to show to be honest. It's still a damn fine game, but the low, frequently drastically unbalanced populations make it an often frustrating and thankless chore rather than the sweeping epic it once was.
Console wise there's been Assassins Creed Brotherhood which I'm yet to finish, the massively disappointing Homefront , which i'm probably never going to finish, and the outrageously excellent Bulletstorm which I did finish and thoroughly enjoyed. There's also been a fair bit of jumping about like an idiot after getting Kinect for my birthday, but that seems to have been a fairly short-lived fad as I haven't used it in a good few months now.
And that, I think, brings us about up to date. Hopefully the next update won't take another six months as I intend to do more frequent "What I've been playing" type posts just to keep my hand in and to get me used to writing again. And with that I think i need a lie down. My brain hurts.