Aargh! 2016

It’s 2016! Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and you’re all ready for the new year. I know I’m not!

I took a couple of weeks off over the Christmas period to unwind and this year I really did get the chance to do very little. Most of my friends were either travelling, or had extra family commitments and so our usual Christmas/New Years traditions like getting together for a full day movie marathon (usually all 3 Lord of the Rings super extended editions) and the NYE barbecue with copious quantities of gourmet sausages (and other food) didn’t happen. (This year NYE is happening on Australia Day!) Even Christmas Day itself was fairly low-key this year. We just bought some cold BBQ chickens, made some salads, and had a simple dinner rather than a hot complex lunch which was way better because it was close to, if not over, 40 Celsius that day. Hottest Christmas day for 30 years I think.

Without much to do, I decided to give some time to a MMO I hadn’t played for a while.

So I spent several hours updating The Elder Scrolls Online, started it up, and crash! A little research later, found out it needed to repair. Started that, and discovered I needed to download to over 30GB. Okay. So much for that.

Next stop. The Secret World. Update went smoothly. Started playing. Crash. Restart. I’m getting 7FPS and 15 minutes in: Crash. Hmmm. Funny, TSW used to work on this computer.

Okay. Back to TESO. Do the repair and start downloading. 30+ GB and nearly 20 hours later it’s finished. Start the game: Crash. Crap!

Well how about Final Fantasy XIV? It’s a risk but worth a try. It’s something like 20GB but here we go. Didn’t take too long, with running it overnight, and next morning: Installed! Crossing my fingers as I start up. Success!

I got close to my broadband data cap, but at least I can play.

Now it’s nearly two weeks later. I can’t say I have played FFXIV non-stop. I haven’t even got close to the level 20 cap for trial accounts, and there’s only a couple of days of the trial remaining so it’s unlikely that’ll happen.

I am tempted to pay the subscription fee, but there’s a couple of things that are stopping me.

First, I’m not a big fan of the Asian MMO style, especially the way they do the character models. JRPGs also have this tendency to do big long cutscenes, and while I haven’t seen cutscenes in FFXIV per se, the quest dialogs are beyond tedious with virtually no interaction aside from clicking through dialog panel after dialog panel. And the annoying childlike voices are like fingernails on chalkboards…

That, however, is my biggest gripe with the game. The combat seems reasonable so far, if a little repetitive. And there seems to be a lot of different systems to explore. There’s a hunting log which gives some goals for killing various critters, as well as some other logs I haven’t unlocked yet. (Not sure if they’re available in the trial or just come later.) I haven’t even looked at crafting yet. So, it looks like there’s a fair bit of scope in this game which does intrigue me.

Of course that leads to the second thing that is hold me back from subscribing. Time. I started back at work today, and I’ve already had a number of calls. It looks like the next couple of weeks are going to be a bit of a sprint to ‘finish’ off a project I’ve been working on for some time. Since money has been tight lately (owning a small business is a feast or famine proposition) I don’t want to waste a sub if I’m not going to use it.