This and That

Just a quick post about things I’ve been up to lately, but haven’t made their way to the blog yet.

MMOs:
After playing off and on for more than a year, Guild Wars 2 has suddenly clicked with me. I honestly don’t know why, but after pretty much deciding I was bored with the game again, it has suddenly sucked me back in. I’m about to hit 80 on my engineer, and I have a healthy Ranger alt, kickstarted by my 1 year birthday boost. I’ve been doing some dungeons, more for the experience than for the rewards, and have thus far found them fairly mundane, so I’m not sure how excited I am for the endgame, but I’m told the later ones are more interesting, so we’ll see. More on that another time.

I still stop in Marvel Heroes from time to time, but it has settled more into a secondary role the way I always knew it would eventually. I’m currently trying to decide if I should spend my Eternity Splinters on two random heroes or one medium-priced hero. I already have Squirrel Girl and Thor (the latter I got for free from a promo, the former I got on sale), and they’re the only ones I really wanted right now. Gambit looks fun, as do some others like Spider-Man, Rocket Raccoon, and Loki, but I can’t decide. I’ve heard Venom is going to be playable, so maybe I’ll save up for him.

Non-MMO games:
I picked up both RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and 2 (with all expansions included) for 75% off on GOG’s Christmas sale this year. I owned both when they were new, but I’ve lost the disk for the first one and never had the expansions for the second, so I figured that, for less than $5 for the pair, it was worth it. I played both of them to death back in the day, and I’m really enjoying revisiting them.

Music:
One of my favorite bands, Switchfoot, just released their new album, Fading West. A lot of my favorite bands seem to be going through midlife crises and coming out with disappointing albums –or worse, “changing their sound” to the point that I no longer like them–the last couple years, so it’s refreshing to have a new album I can really enjoy. My favorite tracks so far are Ba55 and Say It Like You Mean It. The album isn’t their best work ever, but far from their worst in recent memory.

TV:
I don’t watch much TV, but I recently broke down and signed up for Netflix. I mostly watch by propping up my tablet next to my monitor and watching while I do less engaging gaming activities like crafting. I mostly watch things like Star Trek and Doctor Who that I’ve already seen, but enjoy watching (or half-watching) again. Lately, however, I’ve started watching Heroes. It’s a little more intense than my usual fare, but people have been telling me that I need to watch it since it was new (was it really 2006? I feel old). The show does a great job of creating suspense and teasing you about the next episode, while at the same time giving enough each episode enough substance that it doesn’t feel like it’s suspense for suspense’s sake. It’s very tempting to binge and watch the whole series in a couple days, but I’ve been pacing myself, not only because I know I’ll enjoy it more if I space it out, but also because I hear the seasons get progressively worse and some people thought the ending wasn’t very satisfactory.

Using Christmas money, my fiancée and I splurged on all three seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender on DVD. It’s one of her favorites, and we started watching it on Netflix a while back, until Nickelodeon signed an exclusivity deal with Amazon Prime and removed all of their shows from Netflix. It’s a surprisingly good show for a kids’ Americanime. Not very deep, fairly predictable, but fun, well made, and pretty original. I can’t help thinking as I watch: (A) This would make a great MMO (fire=DPS, earth=tank, water=healer, air=support) and (B) someone at Nickelodeon was definitely playing an elementalist on Guild Wars (also, Momo totally looks like an Asura).

Books:
I generally read even less than I watch TV, but I’ve recently re-started reading the Star Wars Thrawn trilogy. They were the first books written after the movies, and still regarded as some of the best. I somehow ended up reading the sequel series to the Thrawn trilogy, The Hand of Thrawn duology (yes, duology is definitely a real word), one summer in my college years, and really liked them. I started reading the Thrawn trilogy afterwords, but never got through the first book (Heir to the Empire) before classes started up again. Author Timothy Zhan has a great writing style and really captures the Star Wars feel in his books (plus his name sounds like it could be from Star Wars, so there’s that).

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