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    Joe - 7/12/04       Laura - 6/28/04  

Well, Conneticon is this weekend and I still do not know fully what's going on. I guess I'll just show up and wing it. I have a material for a workshop/panel. If I get to give it, great, if not, I'll just enjoy the con.

Well, after a month or so of culling my time on Final Fantasy XI due to time constraints and deadlines, I have started playing fairly regularly again. Since I haven't had any other experience with MMORPG worlds (unless you count text based MUD-like stuff), I can't really comment on how FF compares to other games. I will, however point out the strengths that I see in FF.

As I see it, the main strength of FF is that it is balanced. There is nothing that I've run into that makes the game either too tedious or too easy; although there are some people that will disagree with me (since some of it is a matter of opinion). If I had to name one annoyance in particular, it would be the scarcity of money in the game. On one hand, I can see how it is in some way necessary. The unique thing about money is that it is mostly player driven. Players buy and sell items at the prices that they are willing to accept. There are some non-player influence in the game (one example is the availability of items at certain prices from NPCs), but for the most part, it is a free market system.

The one other factor I see as being sort of a downside is that you really need at least a 2 hour continuous play session to get many things done. It is possible to play for less than 2 hours and do some things, but if you want to get exp, you really need at least 2 hours. The up-side to this is that the game is challenging enough to make advancing feel rewarding. If things were too easy, I think I would lose interest pretty quickly.

Other than those, I don't have many other complaints about the game. The job/subjob system works really well IMO. If there is a downside to it, it would be that some players will discriminate against certain race/job/subjob combinations. Those people seriously need to loosen up. One of the things that I really enjoy about the game is figuring out the different dynamics in a party. I enjoy finding out the best role to play in a party (which is why I like playing Red Mage, so I can adapt to doing almost anything).

One thing that really surprised me about the game was the existence of plot. There are quests and missions that reveal details about the world and its history. There are unique NPCs in the game that you grow to like and hate.

Finally, the one thing that pwnz in FF is the TaruTaru. How can you not love these guys! Can you honestly look my in-game character in the eye and say that you don't like him? These little guys rock!


You know what the lame thing about me writing rants is? A whole month goes by, during which I know I have thought several times to myself, "This would make a good rant topic." And now, here I find myself trying to write a rant, and drawing a blank. The most I can think of is to write about how I can't think of anything to write about 0_o

Well, let's see. I will be having my badly needed vacation this week. My first amount of extended time off from work in like a year ;_; I need to see some movies this week. There's a whole bunch of summer movies I've been wanting to see but haven't. And now I have Spiderman 2 to add to the roster. I must see it! It looks kickass. And Bruce Campbell must have another cameo or I will die!

Also, Otakon is coming up. I'm all excited about that. Mainly about the dealer's room. That's what my big love for cons is all about, buying stuff I don't need. There's a LOT of stuff I don't need. Like mangas. Lately it's seems like there's so much manga out there, I've been having a hard time developing more than a passing interest in anyone title. Kind of like what Joe was saying some time ago, I go to a bookstore to look at manga shelf and it's just like, "Whoa." Kind of the same thing with anime. Years ago, so much of the anime I watched was borrowed fansubs and now that it seems like everything is coming to America, I'm a little overwhelmed and finding it hard to focus. But I've been able to pick up a few titles here and there. I've been reading Fruits Basket and Hellsing, both which I think are pretty enjoyable (though I've been holding off on the latest installments so I can get my 20 percent discount at the con. It's hard ;_;). Joe's also been sending me eps of Samurai Champloo since I am on a lame 56k connection, and probably will be for life since I am cheap. The show looks so awesome. I can't wait for it to come to America.

Well, I guess that's it for me this, week. I have to start compiling thoughts for my next far-off (probably) rant so I have something more compelling to write about next time. ; )

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