Posted in Geek Stuff

ComiXology Unlimited: Trial Thoughts

comixology

I’ve been meaning to get into comics sometime. As strange as it is, I’m a webcomic writer/artist, but I don’t really read that many published comics. Most of what I do read are other webcomics, and only a select few, basically because they’re accessible to me and have earned my attention.

Now, being a writer/artist, I understand real comic writer/artists need to get paid for their work. I totally respect that. I’d love to get paid for my comics, trust me! XD However, I still have trouble handing over money for comics… unless it’s something I really, really, really love. So far, I haven’t found anything that has taken me by storm. Cuz man, that’s an expensive hobby to keep up with!

Not to mention the space that print comics take up in storage. I just don’t have room for it, as much as I understand the joy and psychology of collecting issues. They’d likely get chewed on by the cat no matter what I did to protect them.

Digital comics? Yeah, that fits my space issues, and is something I’m used to being a long-time webcomic reader. But it goes back to my struggle to pony up that kind of money for something I’m stashing on my tablet to read once or (very rarely) twice. Again, I have to really love it to put money into it.

So, when I heard about ComiXology Unlimited yesterday, I jumped into the 30 day free trial. I mean, I will pay $6 a month to read an unlimited number of comics. They made it sound like Netflix for comics, which is something I can really get behind. I don’t mind subscribing to a service to read what I like and try out new series that I wouldn’t likely spend the money to do otherwise.

However, after I started the trial, I discovered there’s a catch. While Unlimited does give you unlimited access to a lot of comics, it limits you to the first handful of issues, or sometimes, just issue 1. I’m not talking about restricting what was published in the past 6 months, either. This includes older series that have been out for years, like The Walking Dead, where you can only access the first 2 graphic novels.

Now, I’m not dumb. I know exactly what this is meant to do. They can sugar coat it and try to say, “Oh, you have so much to read and try out.” But the truth is, they hook you with a few teaser issues and prompt you to buy the rest. Sure, they say they’ll rotate in new comics and stuff, but what does that really mean?

So. I like the fact that I can sample many comics with ComiXology Unlimited. I don’t like the fact that it’s being waved around like Netflix for comics, because it’s not. It’s as if you pay for a Netflix subscription, and they allow you to watch a couple episodes of a show, then expect you to buy the rest of the episodes. Nope.

If this is trying to get a new reader like me into comics, it’s not a good way to do it. Up my subscription price if you have to in order to give me access to more of each series, but don’t tease me with a carrot on a stick into your shopping cart. I see what you’re doing.

I’m undecided about whether I’ll sub after my first 30 days because of these limitations. I did want to spread the news about the service and let folks know what it really is — because you can’t see the restrictions until after you get into the trial. It may expand into something great one day, but right now, unlimited doesn’t really mean unlimited. And that’s a bummer.

Posted in Gaming, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: First Summer’s End

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There will be spoilers in this play through!

One of the things I do most during Summer is fish. I think that starts to show in my skill sets.

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I like how at level 5 of each skill, you get to to choose a profession to specialize in. For example, at level 5 fishing, you can chose between:

  • Fisher: Fish are worth 25% more.
  • Trapper: Resources required to craft crab pots reduced.

For me, this was a no-brainer. I didn’t even have crab pots and I sell my fish all the time, so I went with Fisher. But it’s cool that at level 5 and 10, all skills let you choose a boost like that.

In fact, I caught my first legendary fish. Funny thing was that I wasn’t using any special kind of bait or hook – I only had the fiberglass rod, and wasn’t trying for it at all. Though I don’t think there’s anything you can do with it except sell it, I kept it. Who knows.

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I also spent enough time in the mine to dig up enough iron to upgrade my pickaxe!

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Other tools are on the list, but pickaxe is always first to upgrade as it lets me mine better ore, I’m guessing.

Speaking of making progress in the mines, I managed to delve down to floor 50 and snag myself some nice new boots. I hadn’t done much to upgrade my gear though, so that’s next on the list sometime.

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I spent the final days of summer finishing up as many bundles as I could and continuing to strengthen my friendships with folks in the town. Harvey surprised me one afternoon with this…

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Ah!

Suddenly it sorta made sense. So all those times I talked to Harvey and he had nothing but health-related things to say wasn’t just a case of a somewhat shallow character… but rather, a character who felt he had to distance himself due to a doctor-patient relationship?

Hopeful wishing, I suppose. Harvey still chides me to not work so hard and to come in for checkups even after I established a much stronger relationship later. I guess it is a case of somewhat limited game conversation.

Anyhow. The summer is carried out on the back of dancing jellies. Jelly fish that is. The town comes to gather and watch the migration of jellies every year in a nighttime festival.

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For some odd reason, a strange flower-shaped jelly decided to be especially curious about me.

Such events are nice and atmospheric. It really does work to show that the community is still a small town with roots connected to nature. I’m curious how things will change come Fall and Winter.

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