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Let the speculation begin ... Actually, truth be told ... I was surfing across the web for "rift" as in the Occulus variety, and Google helpfully provided a "question" about the MMO Rift (i.e., Q: Is Rift dead? A: It may not be dead, but like the last dodo, on it's last legs. - talking about the game we all played back almost a decade ago, not the VR headset.) Intrigued, I went down that rabbit hole, and surprisingly, all my old characters where still there (albeit each of them were dead, face down wherever I last left them, and they required new names prior to log in ... and surprisingly after bouncing my "new" names against the old guild roster, I guessed all but one of them right). Since I remembered zero-point-nothing about the game, I made a new character and spent the day yesterday playing. And you know what? It was fun. It was also like driving the interstate highway at 2am ... hardly any sign of other drivers (not counting CB chat), and those that did appear were high-speed, heavy haulers (i.e., very high level and advanced 'toons). So it was almost like a single-player game that I had all to myself (ignoring chat, of course). The game is now free to play and chock full of advanced stuff and hundreds of dollars worth of expansions that I have no intention of ever purchasing at full price of $30 each. But the base game is still there and, if you can ignore the sales pitches and other attempts to get you to spend more money on the game, is reasonably still fun. The download to the latest patch was relatively painless (but aren't they all on a gigabit connection? yeah, I'm bragging a bit but am entitled since I spent so many years on severe internet restricted speeds). I thought I saw 17-point-something GB for total download. Apparently a lot of scaling-on-the-fly balancing for low populations was done in the past since I was able to, all by myself, clear just about every Rift and invasion that I came across ... and there were quite a few. I might spend a few days and dabble a bit ... it's free entertainment after all. I won't read anything about it; I'll ignore all forms of internet chat about what is the latest, best build and so forth; and I'm just going to be a filthy casual and experience the game as it was developed to be consumed. Yesterday I spent several hours just standing on a pier, looking out over the ocean, and fished just to see what I could catch. Good times. And if you want to stroll down memory lane, here are a bunch more names you might remember ... (click the image and then the "full size" button, and then zoom in to be able to read them all) ... I spotted a couple for folk who are still active here ...