Random thoughts while waiting for video to encode

– Apparently, someone is making a new Conan movie.  Umm…why?  Were people really begging for a reboot of that series?  This just sounds pointless.

– Speaking of pointless, the iPad was officially revealed this week…and it’s a bigger iPod Touch.  Whoop-dee-fucking-doo!  Granted, me not being interested in the iPad doesn’t mean much in the end.  I’m not in Apple’s target audience.  Like most of their products, the iPad wasn’t meant for me, and that’s fine.  But I’m really wondering just who would be interested in it.  What purpose does it serve that isn’t already served by either an iPod Touch (or iPhone) or a laptop?  About the only thing I can think of is acting as an e-reader.  But the problem there is the backlit screen.  Most e-readers don’t have those, and for good reason.  Stare at them too long and your eyes will be hating you.  Am I missing something here?  Because right now, I don’t get it.

Then again, I didn’t get the iPhone either.  And we all know how that turned out.

– Speaking further of pointless, I played a bit of Star Trek Online during the open beta, and I have to say I wasn’t very impressed.  I’m not going to harp on the bugs, because it’s a beta.  Betas always have bugs.  As long as they can fix them before release, that’s not a problem.   The problem I have is the actual gameplay.  Pretty much every quest in that game is exactly the same.  Either you go to this planet and fight these guys in space, or you go to this planet and fight these guys on the surface.  Or if you’re very lucky, you get to do both!  Oooooooooooooo, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh…not.  Granted, the combat isn’t totally mindless at first.  There is some actual strategy involved.  But once I figured out a strategy that worked, I found myself doing the same damned thing over and over.  Sure, combat is a big part of Star Trek, but so is exploration.  And even the exploration quest I ended up doing resulted in combat!  It’s all the same!

The sad thing is every other aspect of the game looked really good.  The graphics and sound are all well done.  Having the ability to customize the appearance of your ship was nice, and you can even create your own alien race if you’re so inclined.  But if the gameplay is boring and repetitive, none of that really matters.

One other complaint I had was that I spent a lot of time moving around to different planets.  Because of that, I also spend a lot of time looking at loading screens, and that got annoying real fast.  And it looks like some of those loading screens could have been avoided.  You start out in the space dock orbiting Earth.  Once you get your quest, you beam up to your ship.  Of course, that brings up a loading screen.  Once you’re on your ship, you have to move out into something called “sector space” which allows you to travel between star systems.  Again, this brings up a loading screen.  When you return to the spacedock, you leave sector space and enter the Sol system–LOADING–then you dock your ship–LOADING–and then you’re walking around in the spacedock again.  Am I missing something, or is there a completely unnecessary step in there?  If the only thing you can do when you’re flying around in the Sol system is either dock or leave, why does that part exist?  Why not just make it so when you beam up from spacedock you go directly into sector space, and when you enter Sol from sector space you just beam straight down to Earth’s spacedock?  It saves a step, and saves loading time since you don’t have to load the Sol system ever again.

So yeah, I won’t be buying this one.  It’s not a bad game, but it’s not worth $15/month.

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