Last week I jumped back into Rift, and I’ve had a good time running dungeons and doing warfronts. I earned the Arch General title for PvP last weekend almost too easily. The old rank 50 is probably trivial these days.
Rift’s 3.3 patch launched today and nose-dived into a crash though. The servers have been down for hours. The silver lining is a 50% compensation bonus to XP, PA, Favor, and Prestige through Sunday.
I’ve never used the word “bonanza” before, but I’m super impressed by this update. Trion is even focusing more on characters and story, bringing that all-important focus to both the new storyline and the new Tarken Instant Adventures.
Cosmologist Mann even has a wonderfully written backstory woven into the update notes! Here are the high points of the update:
- New Nightmare Saga storyline starts (new chapters are planned bi-weekly.)
- New planar crafting with new crafting rifts.
- New featured instant adventures in Tarken Glacier.
- New daily rewards and partner-finder for Chronicles, just like for dungeons and warfronts.
- New PvP equipment bringing PvPers, like crafters, closer to T2 raid gear.
- New shared bank vault.
- New awesome dimension stuff (haven’t looked at this yet).
- More wardrobe stuff.
- Easy-mode tiers for raids.
- L60 boosts are now in the store, no need to buy a pack.
- Mysterious Travelers have begun appearing throughout Telara. Where did they come from? What do they want? Only time will tell. (A new expansion coming?)
- Lots of other stuff.
Full patch notes here.
Trion is clearly favoring casual players with this Rift update (unless the story is brutal and requires grouping, extreme soloing, or raiding, a kick to the face that’s still possible).
Trion is also living up to their mission statement before Nightmare Tide launched: of providing legitimate ways of advancement (almost to parity with raiders, at least close) for all play styles.
I hope it works for them, because it’s the ideal in this kitty’s opinion. While the Rift population seems a little thin, the morale around town is relatively good on the surface. Maybe the kids are off playing Hearthstone and Trove.
If you haven’t played Rift in quite a while, this week might be a good time to jump back in for the XP bonus. I just hope it stacks with my subscription bonus.
There is also a deal to get free patron time by logging in this weekend, but I’m not sure how that works.
Personal – Video Game Stocks
In the last couple weeks during the China crash and Greece fiasco, I bought back into gaming stocks with Electronic Arts, and that has already paid off very well.
I also bought Microsoft on speculation at the breakout from the bottom of the most recent three-month pullback, which started last April after a big jump on good results from Microsoft’s growing cloud business.
Microsoft is really risky, but Sony just plain crashed due to reasons related to debt and borrowing. I can’t get back into Sony. News can’t get worse right now for Microsoft, so maybe it will be better from here.
Why didn’t I get back into ATVI (Blizzard)? I might if it breaks out of its normal plateau pattern. I believe in Blizzard, but the problem is also its debt combined with stagnant revenues. It has a huge amount more debt than EA (due to the Vivendi deal I assume.)
I’m trying to nibble into a position in FXI Hong Kong during the China market collapse right now, which puts me into Tencent, which is a Blizzard investor. I think I said I’d never do Tencent or EA, so I’m officially a hypocrite supporting the evil F2P/cash shop empires in video games.
While I’m skeptical of EA’s sports franchises, in a climate of increasing game company competition combined with ease of entry, I have to like the lock on Star Wars and those sports.
According to Dow Jones Newswire, EA hired Jade Raymond from Ubisoft last week. She’s supposedly helping to develop a Star Wars game that’s different from Battlefront due out in November, as well as leading a team to create a new IP.