During Blaugust I have discovered lots of blogs and writers talking about Rift.
After enjoying Beta I played at launch and waited in those massive server queues to access the server(s) the two guilds I was part of, decided were home.
I was subbed for a good few months and put in over 300 hours across multiple characters, the highest level I reached was 29, by this time most of the players I had started with had stopped playing, or were playing at times odd to those I kept. So I moved onto other things.
Anyway, all the talk of it had me wondering how much the game has changed so I bit the bullet and downloaded the client overnight sometime last weekend.
Upon logging in I found that my defiant cleric was granted two titles via mail which contained a title for each of the servers that my character had previously called home.
Of course the usual “I can’t remember what any of skills do” is further altered by the reset of my souls, I’m unsure if this is a hindrance or a help, as either way I would need to relearn the power attributes, so it maybe a blessing.
I’m going to try and relearn my skills on my cleric rather than rolling a new character as I’ll most likely face the starter zone blues. My soul build names hint at their previous vocation, “solo” “Group heal”. I seem to remember having a mixed build for solo and primary heal for grouping/ rifts.
Well I shall try and relearn and hopefully give you an update in the next week.
Dusty over at Of Course I’ll Play It posted a great top ten of MMOs mobs that have earnt his respect.
There are some simple rules: no bosses, elites or named mobs, so without further ado here is my list.
10. All of the Birds (Lord of the Rings Online)
I really disliked all of the birds enemies in LotRO, I would always miss them when scouting ahead and end up with 3 or 4 attacking me, a pain when you were just starting out and could be overwhelming for less hardy characters.
Easy to under-estimate as you’d often end up aggroing another group in the process.
9. Sappers (City of Heroes/Villains) I have to agree with Dusty on sappers, when they teamed up with Malta Gun Slingers you were usually in for a rough time.
As all powers in the game required endurance to activate, having an enemy that could drain it could lead to devastating results for a group when the healer was targeted. The gunslingers would follow up while an attack that slowed your regen and attack speed. Nasty duo.
8. Caretaker (Tabula Rasa) The healer is usually the first to die, but the caretakers often blended into the background and were only noticed when the Thrax you were trying to kill didn’t seem to be loosing health. For this 8th slot it was a choice between the Caretaker and the Thrax technician.
7. Blade Dancers (Fallen Earth)
The enemy group had so many different suffixes (Butcher, Scalpel, Dagger, ripper) it maybe wrong to add a whole group but they really were annoyingly tricky. It maybe more down to the lack of player Vs mobs balance that made them tough to take down but of all of my deaths in Fallen Earth I’d say more than half had to be at the hands of this group. With there high respawn rate and odd placement, I’d be very unlucky and end up aggroing 2 mobs.
6 .Carnival Illusionists (City of Heroes/Villains)
I much as the fun colours and theme of the carnies made them look a push over they really weren’t. The trickiest of these was the illusionists, with a arsenal of psychic abilities the presence of these in a group meant it was going to be a fight to remember. The tricky part was when the phase shifted and couldn’t be hit for some time, you’d have to refocus your attacks then once more when they returned.
5. Iron Fortress Defender (Rift)
There are probably more mobs of this type in Rift but this one stood out the most for me in my original play-through. Questing around the Iron Fortress was generally tough at the right level but these were hard little beasts and if you pulled more than one could easily end badly for you.
4. Centurion (City of Heroes/Villains)
The Cimeroran mobs required a rethink of our whole attack strategy, the shield defence was no laughing matter when used by multiple enemies in a group. However the toughest of all was the Centurion whose alpha strike could take huge chunks of a players health in one go, a tough job for the tank and more so for the healer.
3. Ak’ab (The Secret World)
Despite their telegraphed charge Ak’abs are a nasty pain the ass, they are the personification of mobstacle. I used to believe it was just that I was soloing and if I was part of a team things would be better, but they weren’t and encountering Ak’abs still causes a commotion.
2. Mursaat (Guild Wars) Ah the Mursaat’s ability “Spectral Agony” was an utterly horrid debuff that effected skill speed and applied a DoT along with a health regeneration debuff.
Of course there was a defense against it, namely Infusion, but it was a pain if one member of the team didn’t have it.
1. PPD SWAT Equalizer (City of Heroes/Villains) Playing as a villain mean you got to experience fights against the Paragon Police Department, who between level 1 and 50 continued to gain in strength and abilities.
The PPD Equalizer was one of the most irritating mob members, with a powerset that focused on debuffing and crowd control you ignored these at your own risk.
The main reason for alting is to test other classes or builds, In City Of Villains you would need 99 character slots just to create one of every powerset combination of the Brute archetype. So getting the right one for you is rather important as you are locked into that choice forever, this results in many low level characters being deleted and re-rolled time and time again.
I was very pleased to learn that in Rift you should only need to create one of each class, as all souls become available to you as you progress through the game. This reminded me of the Guild Wars approach, where other classes are unlocked as secondary allowing you to have a wide and varied pool of powers to choose from.
The other big reward with this system is that you don’t have to abandon your invested time in one character in order to modify your build slightly or to try something different. Plus being able to switch between 4 different combinations as easily as using a skill, makes jumping in and out of public groups more fluid and easier for those who play differently within a large group.
I’ll not pretend that everyone in the world hasn’t already blogged about this game already. So I’ll not bore you will tales of “better than X”, “similar to Y” & “copied game Z”. No, what I though I would do is explain the game (no spoilers hopefully) through my eyes and what appeals to me as a MMO gamer.
I’m a Beta Tester
Lets start off with a small talk about beta testing, I like many other have been among the “select thousands” carefully selected to help test a new game. We have all seen the scope of beta testing change over the years but not as much as the last 5 years.
I’ve tested some games that were terrible and some that I didn’t just click with, but the common factor of these beta tests was that the game was far from ready.
This is the first areas that Rift and the Trion team have gone back to the roots of the beta tester role. I shouldn’t be there to say “that toolbar is too confusing”, “My starter area quest is bugged making me stuck” or “the interface doesn’t scale with resolution” etc. Those issues should be far from my mind as a beta tester, I should have to actively seek issues and flaws rather than having them served to me on a plate at each corner.
I’ve previously talked about the locked in skill-trees that you encounter in game progression, little room to diversify outside of the weapons and armour or your crafting skill. I was rather surprised when I started playing Rift that you have alot of freedom in how your character progresses. I know what your saying, skill are unlocked in a set pattern, which is correct, but spending points over 3 skill tree and using those points in numerous traits means that you my have similar powers to someone else but your bonuses,buffs, enhancements are all down to the player.
Another factor which enhances this is the classes and there unique abilities granting your melee character ranged characteristics or buffs. I think we could roughly compare this to the way that City of Heroes offers certain Archetypes a ranged and melee powersets.
From the areas I’ve played the quest hubs appears nicely laid out and I didn’t have any (that I recall) “messenger missions” and those that you can see are wee group so you aren’t travelling miles just for a small amount of XP. Additionally there are quests from very unlikely sources and not forgetting the wonderful Rift events that draw in players from nearby locations.
This game makes me feel heroic and that my character plays a part no matter how little, this also ideal for those player that prefer to solo but don’t what to miss out on the action. I didn’t once feel lost or confused as to my goals, and when an event started I could choose to join in if questing got too much.
The game won’t be to everyone’s taste and others may want to stick with their current MMO of choice. I’ll be purchasing the game when the time comes, as for the longevity of the game and future subs, we’ll have to see, but for the box cost alone I’m certainly going to get my monies worth with this well presented game.
If you have on the fence about trying the game the last Beta event is open and should give you a great taster of what is to come, It starts on the 15th of Feb.