Today marks the beginning of the whole “Daily Creative Thing” business and while you might have been expecting something from me… unfortunately you can’t really expect me to get up and do creativity by six in the morning. Sitting down and writing out a blog post is challenging enough. I am however planning on making something happen today or tonight depending upon when the muse hits me. The other big thing going on today is that it is my Nineteenth wedding anniversary, and while I am not entirely certain what we are doing to mark the occasion yet I am sure we will come up with something. In truth what it will probably mean is that my wife and I go out to dinner, and then wander around hitting the various stores and checking to see if they have started marking down their back to school stuff yet. “School Supply Season” is like Christmas for my wife, and while this is not exactly the normal thing for people to get excited about… it is for a teacher. I’ve spent many an hour over the years scrounging for one last folder or ruler or package of gluesticks for her classroom.
Work is still madness and I am still finding myself deep in the throes of turtle mode. Honestly more than anything what happens during these times is I resort to comfort gaming. I end up dusting off a game that I had not been playing that much and spend a significant chunk of time roaming around its world. Lately that has meant an awful lot of Rift because much like Phantasy Star Online yesterday… I carry a significant torch for this game as well. In honor of the occasion I decided to vary up my default wardrobe a bit from what I had been running around in the first screenshot… to what I am now running around in… which is honestly mostly just some dye and swapping a few pieces. I never managed to hit the “Prophecy of” level cap and I’ve just been working my way through any of the content that I had left to do in various zones. So far the thing that I am liking the most about the content is the way that each zone has this major event that takes place at the very end of the zone that ties up a bunch of loose threads from various quests and packages it neatly in this really epic fight. In many ways Rift feels like a game from a different time, and this has both good and bad aspects to it. The bad is it feels much slower than other MMOs and the time to kill and time to level can feel a little grating at times. However on the good side this is also this same thing that makes it feel familiar and lived in… and something that I can return to over and over to wear it like a blanket. The main problem that I have with Rift that ultimately causes me to wander away is that I don’t have my social infrastructure here. My circle of friends that I record the podcast and game on a nightly basis with… have moved on past this game and will likely never return. At this point I think I am just too set in my ways to branch out and build new communities, and I also know that I will soon return to the fold and wander away from the game myself.
Another game I have been playing a not insignificant amount of is Fallout 4. This runs pretty damned smoothly on the laptop and it has been a recent go to for when I want to wander around a world and explore a bit. In the theme of carrying torches for games… I have loved Fallout since I saved up my pennies to buy the first game when it released back in 1997. I was going to college at the time and not really buying many games, but still made a beeline to Walmart to pick it up once I knew they had it in stock. Side note… that was literally the only place in town that sold PC games and was before the mass expansion of Game Stop. At that point Software Etc and Babbages still existed as separate entities as well as Comp USA and the unrelated Circuit City and Computer City. When the games made the tradition to the open world format I was skeptical but quickly got on board thanks to my love of the Elder Scrolls games. Now the modern Fallout games serve as this familiar touchstone that I can keep returning to anytime I need solace. I’ve started countless games of Fallout 3 and New Vegas and it seems like now I am carrying that tradition over into Fallout 4 as well. My default play mode tends to be to wander towards a corner of the map and do whatever happens to be there. I am not really big for following larger quests in this game, and I likely would have never actually beaten it were it not for the fact that we chose this as a game club game… and I felt obligated to do so. Gaming in general for me is not ever really about beating the game… but more about existing in that game world for a period of time. The game world of choice is determined by whatever mood I happen to be in. Fallout for me tends to be for when I am in a slower paced mood and want to wander around aimlessly dispensing frontier justice on the raiders.