Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Played Lately: Rift

  • I am in no condition to string several words together at the moment. So instead, I will take full advantage of the bullet point format while discussing Rift, a game most of you are already playing but get to read about anyway. There will be no order to these bullets, I'm just firing them off as I think of them. Which is why I'm starting with...

  • The artifact system in this game is driving me mad. Absolutely bonkers. Everywhere I go, I am constantly swinging the camera around me looking for shinies on the ground. I'm glad they implimented this feature from EQ2 because it is a lot of fun. But I there are so many collections and I have completed so few of them that I'm going crazy. I've even started doing regular sweeps of Silverwood just to find those shinies. I have a standing trade agreement with my brother, which helps a lot, but so far I've only completed three collections, one of which is the tutorial you find in Sanctum. That seems a little extreme to me.

  • My brother who is also playing Rift (for the curious, he bought and start the game at launch, not during the headstart, so they are out there) ran by me one day in Sanctum to show off his new armor. There was a mix of gleefulness and incredulity in his voice when he asked me to take a look. Sure enough, his high elf warrior was dressed like a stripper. I can't begin to fathom why Trion would go this route. Too many adoloescent boys in the art department, I guess. Yeah, it's no Tera, but it was still jarring. And really, I am all for sexy in my games, but we don't have to resort to metal bikinis. Try a little harder, Trion.

  • So far, the rifts and various events have lived up to the hype. Especially in Silverwood where there are plenty of people around. I'm not sure what will happen in the midlevel zones, but it is always easy to get a group or raid and take on the invaders whenever something comes up. There are a couple events that I never saw actually finished, but that may have been just the time of day I was playing.

  • Everyone is complaining about the quests for some reason. Like Chris from Game By Night, I suspect that people are just sick of quests. Actually, the quests are just fine. They are certainly on the par with WoW's pre-Cataclysm questing. So Trion did not write bad quests, as seems to be the accepted wisdom. It's just that they did not innovate on a system that would have been perfectly acceptable a year or two ago. So lay off the hyperbole, folks.

  • The soul system is not as big a hit for me as it is for others because I am not big on experimentation. I'm having enough trouble figuring out how a single soul works (Elementalist, in this case), much less finding the right soul synergies, much less trying out different roles entirely. I did buy a second soul so that I could have a healing build, but I've barely figured out how Chloromancer healing even works. If I hadn't searched the Rift forums, I wouldn't have down that you're supposed to heal through attack spells. I guess I need to wait for Rift's equivalent of Elitist Jerks to come out so that I know what I'm doing.

  • I think my favorite thing in the game so far is the crafting. Everything I've crafted has felt useful, even if it's to break them down fuel my runecrafting. And since my brother has been feeding me all the cloth and runebreakable gear he can find, I spent several an evening standing in Sanctum, holding a baby in one hand while crafting with the other. Of course, now I'm crafting level 40 gear and I'm only level 23, but it is awesome that the game lets you get away with that. Plus, the baby loves to send new runes to her uncle.

  • I think, best of all, Rift has become that game my cursor naturally gravitates toward when I sit down at my computer. I don't have to find excuses to log in. Instead, I have to remind myself why I sat down in the first place to keep from logging out of habit. That is the sign that the game has me hooked.

© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. I am using elementalist/stormcaller at groups. Max points on elementalist, and some points at stormcaller for the AOE spells.

    For the other builds, try this:
    - healer role: chloromancer/warlock (there are otehr possible builds but they need more experimented players for work), maximize chloro, warlock use the points for get faster spells, there is a good "how to do" post somewhere at official forum for you set the spells you use;
    - soloing role: necromancer/warlock, I prefer necromancer pets when soloing than elementalist pets because elemenatlist pet use AOE attacks and that can be dangerous when soloing.

    Anyway, the builds above are based at my opinion. Other players will have diferent opinion and something I learn about the soul system: everything will problably work, just build a role taht you are confortable to play and fit your style.

    João Carlos

  2. I was initially in the same boat as you with souls. For as much as people dislike min-maxing, I like to be as efficient as possible, so I'd often go to EJ and other theorycrafting sites; being the best I can be is fun for me. Right now, the best we have is a handful of forums unless you're playing a tank (which I am for an off-spec). What I've found though is that tri-classing often winds up breaking down like: majority points in Soul A; enough points to get into the second level of Soul B (often for a stat boost of some kind); 0-5 points in Soul C. It's totally viable to focus on a single class, so max it out, man. Don't worry about it until you have to.

    For the mid-level zones, I have to say, I've LOVED Scarlet Gorge. It's invasion city. Lots of stuff always going on, so there's a perpetual sense of danger. Scarwood is pretty similar. The main difference, I think, is that it's not uncommon to see rifts left open in these zones, especially during off-peak hours.

    Great post, Anjin. It's good to hear you're hooked like me :-)

  3. The hype is still strong with this one. I'm glad you are still digging it. I'd definitely be inclined to give it a go if there were a demo.

  4. Gotta agree with you on the quests. I think they're fine, then again I read them and put a little mental effort into immersing myself in the setting. /shrug

    Glad you're getting some play time in, I know how hard that is to do when there's a new baby involved.

  5. @ João Carlos - Thanks for the advice. I do find that the forums is the best place to find info so far.

    @ Chris - I just broke into Gloamwood and I'm really enjoying the atmosphere there. It is kind of weird how quiet it is in comparison to Silverwood, but its good to see that rifts and events are still happening, even if at a slower pace.

    @ Yeebo - I am hoping the Trion gets a demo out sooner rather than later. I'm glad I jumped in, but I was lucky in that. Just as long as the demo lets you out of the tutorial zone so that you can actually see a rift.

    @ Blue Kae - I think the two of us have always been of like mind about meeting the game halfway when it comes to quests. I'm just tired of people complaining how awful the quests are.

    Although I can't do as much, it is cool that there are enough things you can do in game (exploring, searching for artifacts, crafting) that I can play even when I can't give the game my full attention.

  6. @Anjin "meeting the game halfway" That's an excellent way to describe it, and definitely my approach to all forms of entertainment not just games. I find I'm happier that way.

  7. HA! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one the artifact system has driven insane. You should see me when I'm playing with my husband...he'd be fighting off six mobs and I'm healing, and suddenly I'll catch sight of something shiny in the corner of my eye and go "OOH!" and run off to get it. Meanwhile, my husband's warrior would be like, "um, sweetie? *dead*"

  8. Thanks for this post! I'm one of the few that hasn't jumped in on RIFT, so it was nice to read such an accessible account of the game.

  9. Most of the negativity about quests seems to come from people who haven't got out of Silverwood or Freemarch yet. I'd agree with you that those quests are about par for MMOs; nothing original but not terrible either.

    The quests in the mid-level and high-level zones become more complex, intricate and intriguing. They use more interesting mechanics and there is often a strong narrative. Quest chains within a zone are recursive and referential and there is continuity between zones too.

    Overall I'd say that anyone who's already lost patience with the kind of MMO questing that WoW codified won't be invigorated by Rift's iteration. For what is probably the great majority of players, however, who still quite enjoy quest-driven play, Rift's quests should be just fine.

  10. @ MMOGC - How funny! Since my mage is an elementalist, I have more than once set my earth elemental to distract an enemy so that I can loot a nearby shiny. :)

    @ AH - Thanks for the compliment. Rift will certainly not be for everyone. However I believe the population will still be there for anyone coming late to the game.

    @ Bhagpuss - That's really interesting. I actually still enjoy questing, so it's great to know there is something to look forward to.