Hi all, it is time to do another segment of the RIFT experience. Feel free to check out my last adventures starting from level 1 in my blog (Button to the left). Last time I left the game in a 3.5/5 rating. Will the few steps closer to end game change this? Read on!
These are my notes in chronological order as I took them while playing. Along with some entertaining screen shots.
(Flying mounts would be a nice addition to RIFT.)
"40-41 just hit the exp wall. The dungeons barely cutting it now and pvp does not pull in allot
Officially have to do the 3 PVP matches per day, 3-5 dungeon runs and take out 2 quest hubs to get decent ups." - This is important for me. It kind of killed the "fun" factor. There seemed to have been a decent rhythm and flow UP to this point. It gets worse. The dungeon available for this level bracket is 40-47. The next dungeon is only available at level 48, and then sort of evens out over the next few levels. This indicates to me that this 40-48 is a hefty grind. And considering allot of people are stuck in the 50's, and there is only 2 areas of the map not discovered for me. Tells me the end game is a grind and stuck in this little map we call "world" of RIFT. This exp wall also pushed me to do this article only 5 levels in. Because I do not see a level 50 article for at least another month or so. Level 44 dungeons give me 1 and half bar of exp ...until level 48, I would have to do a dunjon 9 times at level 44 to level, and that gets longer each level..."
"Nothing really changing. Same old stuff as far as quest variety. Really itching to try out the other features, but must focus on capping out this character." - I change my mind as the grind reality hit in. There will be no capping soon, so I will and have tried out some more in depth PvP! By the way...I have never lost a match of PvP. I died in the matches, but at the end of the day, our side ALWAYS wins. I feel kind of bad about that actually. I am not sure if PvP is broke or if my faction is just that OP....but I have yet to lose a match of RIFT PvP! I am about 20 wins and 0 loses I believe. I have not done player housing and or picked up ANY crafting. Just questing, pvp, and dungeons.
(Try not to get to tired of this games content)
The dungeons are no longer easy to get into, the groups wipe more and only OP organized groups will have the better luck, ruining the level up process.
This also infuses us to buy new souls. This is a strategic move because they just closed down China and Korean region of this game.
Not at all happy!" - DON'T WORRY! I have calmed down (I know you were super worried). I got used to it. Adapted. I mentioned in my previous articles that the healing was silly in PvP, all it consisted of was chain healing and zerging. Like magic, TRION releases a patch that nerfed cleric healing majorly! I can not longer heal that great, neither can the others. This was an improvement in PvP. Immediatly, there are no more healers. Everyone in the group is rolling dps and tanks. Maybe if 2 or 3 other groups join the raid they toss in a healer, but over all, it is a little better now. Still a bit chaotic with zerg elements, but at least we attempt to make formations and stick a little more together instead of just pairing up with a healer and running off.
The bad part of this patch is the PvE content. See the EXP wall above? Well, as a clerc, we can no longer heal as efficient so I have to pause to heal up fighting enemies 2 - 3 levels lower than me! That was not at all the case before the patch. I was in, killing, shielding, healing only when gathering to many mobs. It was a flow. Now it is mind numbing work and having to pick my way slowly though mobs to not get ganked. You can say "aww it is skill". But when you have played 40 levels of a certain flow of a game, that has the same skill...this is just mindless. It is like saying, you have to drop to 1HP to be proven a real player each battle? No, that is just called crap design. But I regress. It is not ALL that bad, or not game breaking, but hugely different than before the patch, i.e; Very noticable.
Dungeons are hit the hardest in this aspect. Immediatly after the patch it was more wipes. The healers can not efficiently keep everyone up like they used to and the game forced every one to think "1 healer = all you need". In fact 1 or 2 people can sleep through the entire dungeon run because heal + tank was all you really needed to get by. Now people have to support. No one really ready for that. And most people are DPS. The support is kind of a gamble. So we die allot more. A over level geared out tank is the only saving force in this heal nerf. But I regress a bit because I found a trick: Enter the dungeon finder as a DPS (2 reserved slots for dps) Don't tell any one, but change your role to healer, and pretend you are ranged dps... then heal. All I get is "wow thanks for help, wow good heals, wow we have died without you". The strategy is in the dungeon finder: 1 tank 1 heal 2 dps and 1 support are sloted in. So if you hide as a dps, the healer is sloted in as normal, change your class in the dungeon and poof, 2 magical healers. 1 dedicated on the tank, the other on the entire party. You will be loved. SAdly, this is how you have to beat bad game design.
(The "you shall not pass" patch was not any fun)
"Another patch today, it broke the graphics engine. The npcs are flying. I can pass through walls, things are missing..like the teleporters..." Yeah, they had to roll out a patch for the patch. I was missing game models and textures...they patch the day later to fix it. LAg was a bother as well.
(Is this a glitch or a trap? Also, this happened to me in the main castle and the game had to restart)
"lvl 43 I have all the dungeon stuff, uglier than last dungeon...I am as normal as normal gets." - Not allot to say. I farm dungeons, I got all the cleric gear, I look worse than the dungeon before in the level 20's. Level 20 had some color to it. I had a bit of red, and a bit of style. Now I look like a brown poop smear.
(I'm sort of sexy and I kind of know it)
"So are Two factions mean nothing but pvp fluff perhaps and territory quest areas." - As of now, a level 40ish, having two factions in the game is not really clear. In WoW and AION, and other games, 2 factions mean hot conflicted conflicts. Territory, consistant brushing past each other...noticible architecture in the game. Some time the other factions base is glaring there, tempting to run in and attack it. In RIFT. It just separates the players, I think, into 2 pools (red and blue). In the world map, you can tell in the fog of war there are the quest lands of the other faction. But it is soooo rare the two ever really notice their mortal enemy is close or even care they are there. Surprisingly, I can sneak into the "enemy" bases and use the teleporters....
(Cool flag bro)
"Level 44 little bit of scripted events in these quests. Still not enough to pull the over all world / area together. But a nice little touch." - Questsing is still very direct. I was turned into an ant in one quest line. A few harmonious quests that compliment the territory. Like building up to investigage a rock out crop, only to find it is infested with bad guys. Work up to a boss, and do something...then off to another rock piece right by it, it is covered with Harpies (half woman half bird)... This sort of mob placement feels a little natural, but off at the same time. All still in this very grey world...I Don't know, it just seems to be there and although some parts interesting, it does very little to bring together an over all story and or world experience. Even the rifts are starting to get tiring and feel out of place like "ok ok we get it. A rift. Just a mob spawning thing to farm for points". The only thing I stop to smell the roses for is when invasions and rifts open up and start to attack the other npc's. That gets funny....ha.....ha.....ha..... On the positive note. I am continuing to play because it is JUST ENOUGH VARIETY that is different than most games that have no variety. I love AION, but it's mindless grind or "go kill this and that" over and over, can be broing. Getting turned into an ant time to time is spicey variety RIFT is delivering so far.
(So that is what the big bags are for! Putting heads in!)
(See those gems at the bottom all locked? Possible P2W feature? You decide)
Conclusion: I am almost 50, and pushing on to 60. I have moments this game gives me a head ache and I do not like to play. I need a good 2 day break and then I am all for it. It is a nice "ahhh back in the mmorpg feel of things" game. I also enjoy the instant variety. I go in, and if I get anxiety of not wanting to farm quests, I hop into pvp and test out some ganking. Or I hop into dungeon curious to see what drops and get a little exp. All in a push of a button. If this game made us have to travel here and there or camp outside the doors begging for groups, I would probably not play. But everything is tailored for instant game fun. Now, I do not suggest this model for all games. Some game worlds work fine with having to travely around and camp out etc.. but in RIFT, the sheer size and numbingly grey game world, you are not really motivated to do all that just to get gear that looks bland and ugly. So, RIFT is a great example of that hop in right away and get rewarded sort of game, or theme park I guess. Although this theme park needs more attractions. I am still very very very disappointed no cut scenes or better arching story line. So much potential in this game. So much open space. It looks like a coders paradise to hop in and get creative and give us some interesting features...but we end up with a very stale, very direct, very A to B style game. With just enough differences to make me curiously continue to log in and play. I guess that means I am having fun, and I hope to continue on with this game. I still give it a 3.5/5 over all score. Still not hating it any less (well, I WOULD drop it to 3/6 because of patch issues, but I am over it). And still not liking it any more. This could could change when I get into end game and start to do player housing and crafting.
Thanks for reading. How is your RIFT experience going?
Thanks for reading. How is your RIFT experience going?
(Baby Nanbo getting born...)