Peaks of Rift

March 10, 2011 at 1:40 am | Posted in mmorpg, Rift | 8 Comments
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Yesterday I logged into Rift and didn’t particularly want to do anything. I was nowhere near where I was supposed to be questing and at that particular moment no rifts had opened up anywhere near by. Which left me wondering what else Rift had to offer.

I’ve been known to explore a bit, and as I was in a very low level part of town, so I just started exploring the stuff I hadn’t seen the first time through. Whilst exploring I found myself looking for something that Rift offers beyond killing stuff.

Artifacts. They’re essentially a collectible item that are found just about anywhere. In the middle of camps, beside a main road, or off in the distance hidden under a random log in the middle of nowhere. As far as I know they can be turned in as a collection to an artifact collector for rewards, but there are so many collections I’ve only finished the most basic collections of 2 or 3 artifacts.

They appear randomly and even if you find an artifact in the same spot twice it’s not necessarily the same artifact, I think. Other people can get to them first as well, which is why they appear more commonly in less traveled areas.

I just naturally found myself scanning the horizon for them.

Eventually I ended up at a mountain, and I was reminded of reading somewhere that scaling the tallest mountain in Silverwood (where I was) gives you an achievement. Another not necessarily combat related activity.

So I combined my two objectives. I began scouting out ways to climb this massive mountain in Silverwood and collect artifacts along the way. I tried one ascent path but it ended about half way and I had to return to the bottom and pathfind along the side until I found another way up. All the while since it was a relatively untraveled area I found the odd artifact. Having little luck I finally remembered my racial ability Angelic Flight.

Angelic Flight reminds me a lot of Aion. It’s a short term flying or jumping skill. I say flying because you sprout a wing skill effect out of your back, and the jump that it gives you is long and more flight like. However there are limitations like distance and vertical lift so it’s not over powered.

Using Angelic Flight got me really moving upward and because there were even fewer people likely to be traversing the unclimbable mountainside I found more and more artifacts.

Eventually I approached the peak I had been ascending and with careful and repeated use of Angelic Flight made the ascent, only to arrive to the chat message “Gloamwood. You joined the channel”. This particular peak is actually in another zone, and no achievement was given.

Disappointed I wandered the ridge-line wondering if any of the other close by peaks might qualify. None did, but I came across a cairn on the ridge which was sparkling with glowiness. In the grave that I so unceremoniously desecrated I found a level 20 dagger, several levels above me. Unfortunately on my guardian I’m a ranged dps.

Shortly thereafter I hearthed back to Argent Glade to take out my rage on the unsuspecting creatures of the planes.

The wrong peak in the distance, the right peak under my feet.

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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.

Worth The Rift

March 6, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Posted in mmorpg, Rift | 12 Comments
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The rifts in Rift really remind me of some other vortex that I can't quite put my finger on.

In Rift I started working on my Rogue on Byriel, I had previously gotten him to level 6 and through the time portal, but hadn’t progressed much beyond that. I started questing and eventually came across one of the first rifts that opens up in that area.

Knowing how useful some loot could be I immediately joined the public group and rushed in. After a few moments I realized something was wrong. I was no longer in the public group. I kept fighting anyway, I figured the others had left and that I could probably handle it on my own.

Suddenly though I saw the public group button again. I clicked it and didn’t think much about it, maybe I had accidentally left on my own. Except a moment later, I was no longer in the group again.

It turns out I was in a group with a bunch of jackholes. I’m not positive what their goal was but it didn’t include me. Each time I joined the public group, they’d all leave and reform it without me. Clearly they wanted some loot or something and thought I was interfering or would get something they wanted.

At this point I was kind of annoyed, and joined their group instantly each time they disbanded and reformed. The rift finished and I moved on.

All over a level 7 rift. Ridiculous. I’m sure there was something going on I didn’t know about, but I’m also pretty sure I had every right to be there. All in all it wasn’t worth the rift.

Rifting

March 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Posted in mmorpg, Rift | 10 Comments

That's me on Faeblight. I also have characters on Byriel and Shatterbone.

The first thing I would have done in Rift is get you into… well, a rift. Forget Kill Ten Rats quests, I would have used a rift to get people used to the combat and mechanics of the game. If your whole game is built on the infrastructure of rifts, then there isn’t any reason to hold back.

Balls out, don’t hold back.

Instead I’m doing some mundane kill ten rats quest that remind me of my time in Warhammer. It’s an okay way to indoctrinate new players into playing the game but there are certainly no chances taken.

I thought the art and lore surrounding the beginning areas was well done. Certainly the defiant apocalyptic experience is different. Its great to see anything that isn’t a standard stereotypical fantasy trope.

I’ve played through that starter area twice now, and I have to say, that’s going to get really old really fast. I don’t want to do it again any time soon.

I see exactly what everyone was talking about now. That guy from Massively is not crazy, he was dead on the mark about how mind-numbing the early questing can be. The first few hours are boring, but wait until you get to the rifts.

It can be pretty exciting. A rift spontaneously opened over me while I was doing some lame quest. I had to abandon it and run for my life. A few seconds later a group of about a half dozen mobs poured out and ran out in the same direction I was going. I looked ahead to see an even bigger mob, but it turns out it was a few groups of players about to take the zones rifts down. I joined up and got some rewards. Fairly simple.

The problem was after I had raided with that group for a while, I left, and went back to the same spot to finish up the quest. And a rift opened. Above my head. Again. I find it frustrating when I can’t even complete one lame quest.

All in all, I don’t have any fantastically new opinions about Rift. It’s everything I heard it was. Fun enough but not a life long love affair. For me the experience was similar to Warhammer but better. But Warhammer didn’t get my juices flowing at all, so it’s not really saying much.

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