A Rift In

March 8, 2011 at 2:39 am | Posted in mmorpg, Rift | 22 Comments
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I like climbing mountains.

One thing I’ve noticed about leveling 3 characters to between 9 and 14 in Rift is that the game shifts gears pretty quickly.

One through six is absolutely boring, standard, ‘seen it before’ MMO.

I’ll give them props for pretty great visuals in some cases. I like the steam-punk fantasy laboratory that you start out in Defiant territory, with NPCs wandering around conducting experiments. From there you’re dropped into an apocalyptic landscape under constant attack. Burned out buildings, ruptured landscapes, meteors raining from the sky. A quick shift away from the pleasant weirdness of the lab.

In guardian territory you start out in a grand castle, much more standard fantasy. You emerge into a graveyard overlooking a city under attack. I like how extensive the city is, often cities in MMOs have 10 buildings and you’re done. This one seemed to go on for ages. It all looked quite good.

The Defiant starting area ends with a boss fight that sends you into the past, to escape the end of the world much like Kyle Reese. The Guardians send you into the future in much the same way, where both sides end up not far from one another. A broken bridge stretches the length of the harbour that seperates you.

6 to 10 is mostly more boring stuff but you can begin to see some potential.

On the Guardian side I was asked to save 4 drowning soldiers, which I found to be really disappointing. There are dozens out there, but, screw it, just save 4. Quests in Rift are so monotonously similar to every other MMO that once again I find myself not reading the quests or learning the lore. Auto-Pilot.

The rifts are interesting though. You come across them randomly while questing, and can see them in the distance. They’re a great visual, and the game is solidly good looking overall. Participating in your first rifts is a harrowing experience. You don’t know where enemies will spawn, you’re not sure if they’ll be too powerful for you, and hell you’re not sure what is even going on. It can be pretty fun and the rifts in the beginning are quick and to the point. Stage one, stage two, boss fight, rift sealed.

10 to 15 however is making me pretty unhappy right now. I didn’t pre-order and don’t have a mount. I need rewards from rifts to upgrade my gear. These two things do not go together. Time after time I’d rush over to a rift, watching as packs of mounted players arrived minutes before I do, and seal the rift just as I arrive. Pain in the ass.

I have to wonder at this juncture, with a few characters approaching level 15, if rifts will get boring. I can easily see them doing so. Each rift I’ve been to so far has been utterly predictable after a point. A simple progression from stage to stage that culminates in a boss fight. I’m hoping it gets more complicated, with a variety of challenges presented, but right now it is just ‘kill each wave’ and I’m not sure how long that will amuse me.

There are a lot of people in chat talking about just how good the game is, and often times I’m left wondering what drug they’re on. It’s a solid game, a well crafted one with nice details, good art, and rifts that keep you busy, I’m just not sure that’s enough for me.

There are plenty of bloggers I read who keep saying, “it gets better once you leave the starting area” or “it gets better once you hit the teen levels” or “it gets better once you reach the twenties and really begin to enjoy yourself”. Well, the first one is right anyway. I guess we’ll see about the rest.



  1. It will be interesting to see what people will do in say 3-4 weeks from now. Many are still very low level (some are already 50 – I wonder about the many low level players, because levelling is indeed very fast in Rift), I levelled a lot higher in the Betas and I found Rift fighting to be extremely dull after a while. I rather quested in dynamic groups.

    They apparently tuned the Rifts some more, but people also figured out how to maximize gain from the Rifts by now. Apparently this means to be a Rogue and shoot arrows at the moment.

    People will have to find something else in Rift to entertain them, and there are dungeons and the usual questing, after all. There is also PvP. Warfronts are Battlegrounds, and people like that. I still prefer the GW version Alliance Battles which is a little more sophisticated in gameplay.

    Right now people seem to be fiddling around with the soul system. Besides the Rifts this is the new stuff about Rift. This perfectly demonstrates that people are perfectly fine with more of the same, when it is well done.

    I wonder how long it will take till meta-builds that are demanded for groups will emerge. It did not take long in GW till “pro” groups demanded certain builds from players, while the more casual players felt their unique snowflake build to be threatened by those supposed elitist hardcore players.

    • I keep wondering the same thing, i just don’t think people will have the same attitude in a month or two.

      i did notice that on my ranged dps that it is a lot easier to get in some damage before people zerg stuff to death. i like my ranger more than my warrior on melee dps.

      Good thought about how long before people demand certain soul builds. I estimate it won’t take long.

  2. SynCaine just wrote (on Hardcore Casual) that rifts seem to progress in difficulty for each zone. So in Silverwood/Freemarch they are going to be simple PQ advancements, but that in Gloamwood/ThatRockPlace they start to get tricks.

    Anyway, I would guess if you really aren’t finding “fun” by the time you hit 10, I wouldn’t look for any magic bullet. Getting a mount definitely makes things smoother, but I am not sure if it necessarily makes things more fun. Less frustrating maybe.

    • I saw the same post and thought it was interesting that he also noted you can still zerg the rifts and ignore the mechanic. I doubt once the mechanic is known that people will ignore it but i wish they hadn’t made it ignorable.

      It’s not that there isn’t any fun, its that its that I don’t seem to be having as much fun as the people who really really enjoy rift.

  3. You need give teh game a chance. Something you don’t did until now, you started the game witha “I will hate it” mindset.

    And you can buy a mount per 200 gold.

    • I am giving the game a pretty extensive chance if you ask me, and I haven’t drawn any conclusions beyond accepting levels 1-6 aren’t very good.

      you can not buy a mount for 200 gold.


      • That prices at Telarapedia are wrong. Go look at a mount vendor in game.

        • Ok, I made a mistake here. Looking at the vendor in game the cheapest mounts are really 2 plat. I think at beta they were cheaper, but I am not sure how much I paid for a mount at beta.

  4. “There are a lot of people in chat talking about just how good the game is, and often times I’m left wondering what drug they’re on.”

    This is your personal opinion. Myself, I have been playing MMO’s it seems like forever. Yet, I am having fun…sans drugs.

    It is all in HOW you play, WHO you play with, and getting rid of the “been there, done that” mentality…which I know is hard to do.

    Luckily, the first two options lead to that third piece.

    Just because you cannot find that enjoyment, does not mean 100’s of others are also not having fun.

    We are.

    • Of course playing with your best friend in the whole wide world is fun, that doesn’t mean the game is of course.

      I’m playing the game with a fairly open mind, the “been there, done that” mentality only comes to light when i’m playing along and the quests are so cliche and overdone that it takes me out of the actual game.

      I think it’s unreasonable to gush over a game in the first few days its been out in a low level zone. You’ve seen 1/5th or less of the game, stop drawing conclusions.

      I’ve been openly wondering about what lies ahead in rift, and consistently underlining that i’m only about 15 levels in. It’s not as though I’ve reviewed it and given it 2 out of 10.

      • I can assume you missed the fact it has been almost two weeks…plus shloads of beta time to get to the fact that I’m saying “I’m having fun”.

        Sorry…didn’t mean to “gush” so much.


        • oh i wasn’t saying you were gushing, just people in local chat spontaneously breaking out into celebration.

  5. the game is very much on rails in the early going-ons; i do find that its basically a zergfest for EARLY (early teens) rifts; just kill them as they spawn. I would hope there are other requirements in later rifts (like collect something, or defend something). I think it was designed like that, to be erratic/different each rift.

    later rifts will become more difficult and require tactical management b/c they’ll spawn elite monsters that will roll unorganized groups

    • Well i’ll see soon enough, and hopefully thats the case, but i’m already pretty bored with zerg zerg zerg.

  6. You should be able to afford a mount by level 15ish, if you’ve been vendoring your trash. Try to make your way to Meridian even if you haven’t received the quests to go there yet, because you can probably afford a mount even earlier if you’re been playing the AH. That’s where you get the mounts too.

    100 gold = 1 plat, so yeah they are 250g. It might be a little steep considering at low levels we’re all so poor, but a mount is so worth it. You’ll be able to keep up with groups as they travel from rift to rift during the zone-wide events at the very least, so you won’t miss out on any of the action.

    • Yeah i’m getting there but a mount would have been much more helpful in my opinion around level 10. i can not tell you how many times i get to a rift and it ends at that moment.

      i always partake in auction houses, so hopefully i can make some scratch that way. i noticed artifacts sell… instantly? sold 2 within 30 seconds of putting both up.

  7. I agree. I get that some people like and even really like Rift and don’t find any fault in that at all. But I personally can’t understand or see what’s so ‘Z-OMG!1!’ about the game. I tried several of the beta events and got up into the low 30s, so I know that some of the rift events do begin to throw curve balls and new tactics into the mix. I remember one death rift where a momma baddie couldn’t be damaged until you killed off all of its children.

    But overall I had to give this game a pass. Towards the end I had to force myself to play the game and when I got on I could not think of anything I wanted to do. And such things just don’t condone the purchase of the game and certainly not the continued expenditure of a subscription fee.

    I’m sure that if Rift had been my first experience with a MMO then I would have enjoyed it. But as it stands I’ll just sit back and nod at those who continue to spout their love all over this game but just keep scratching my head.

    • Its definitely the ZOMG part. Its similar enough to other games that you know someone is going to like it just because its familiar but new, but I don’t understand the fanaticism.

      If anyone wants to denigrate guild wars 2 i’ll probably explode though.

  8. I’m not playing Rift but am enjoying watching a few people on YouTube play it. That probably has more to do with the people, as I enjoy their other videos (mostly Minecraft). Same with the blogs on the EQ1 Fippy Darkpaw server. I enjoy reading about them, but wouldn’t want to play. 🙂

    Limited time, too many games, poor health at the moment and not being able to justify a second subscription game; all those factor in as well. But I do enjoy reading about many games I don’t play, so I might just be weird.

    • not sure what you’re getting out of videos if i’m bored (at least in the early levels) playing the game.

      whatever floats your boat.

      • I guess it is mainly the fun they’re having playing something new.

        I don’t see anything in Rift that would entice me to play it myself. The lore seems cut and pasted from several other games, ditto the races and classes. The interface is nicely done, the char, armor and world graphics okay, although I much prefer Aion. Hopefully the soul stone things will result in larger differences between players in how they can play. Guess I don’t see much difference between rifts, Warhammer PQs and Champions’ version, other than I hope they’ve fixed some of the problems. A small advance on a good idea, so far; maybe they can do more with them in future.

        I’m glad many are enjoying themselves (for now), but wonder how long that will last. If Wow is considered 2.0 on the MMO evolution scale, LotRO 2.1, AoC/WAR are, what, 2.2, then I think Rift (and Aion for that matter) would be 2.3, nothing super revolutionary, just both are polished at release with a few nice additions. Pick the game world you enjoy most for now and we’ll see where GW2 will end up, somewhere 2.4 to 3.0?

        • the lore is boring, but i will give the classes credit for having the soul system which is indeed growing on me. can’t quite tell if it’s efficient or not yet at such a low level but it does provide variety.

          Considering how big a part of the gameplay rifts are i’d be willing to give it a 2.5 status. Everything else can be described as standard 2.0.

          I honestly don’t think guild wars 2 events will be drastically different, just more fun and varied…. i hope. too soon to tell. i got to get in there and see.

          The one major thing i think Guild Wars 2 is going to change has nothing to do with the events. Its the movement. dodging, rolling, etc. I’m still just standing there mostly in Rift. Guild wars 2 doesn’t look that way at all.

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