RIFT Quote for the Weekend

It’s old, but it’s worth reading again. Scott Hartsman said this regarding character development in RIFT:

“We fully expect that people will discover new and exciting things that never occurred to us, and that’s ok… that’s part of the fun. We’re not trying to overbalance everything and make everyone feel exactly the same.”

– Ethic

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I’m more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

17 thoughts on “RIFT Quote for the Weekend”

  1. “We’re not trying to overbalance everything and make everyone feel exactly the same.”

    No, that’ll be the job of database sites and “ultimate build” soul-guides generated by the “I Win Button” dependent community from other games XD

    1. Well said. Thats one reason I can’t stand MMO end games. In order to be take seriously, you need to completely change your entire character to match what some kid posted on a site somewhere. Your character is no longer your own and just becomes another players pawn.

      Just like GW, WoW, LotRO, etc.

      And he’s right, why Does it need to be so overly balanced? Thats the problem with Rock, Paper, Scissors. I play Rock and Paper always pwns me, its not fair. Rock needs to be better against Paper, but don’t make Scissors stronger or I’ll ragequit.

      1. I don’t think it’ll end up that way. With any of the 8 primary souls available to your class, you can choose a combination of secondary and tertiary to suit your desires. Sure, someone will make a DPS-meter-topper spec, but that’s not the only way to play a game.

        1. I’m not in the beta myself, but – from what I’ve pieced together – aren’t the titular rifts themselves run by DPS tables?
          I recall reading a lot of people complaining about tagging and how tanks & healers aren’t rewarded well.

          If that is indeed the situation (post-launch), DPS-meter-topping would seem less of a playstyle and more of a necessity in group play.

          1. I think there is some kind of table. I haven’t looked at in game though because there was so much going on that it never occured to me. I just click the little bag to collect the loot and run on to the next Rift.

            If I get in the next beta I’ll try and remember to look at the table.

            1. The leaderboard is only available while the rift is in play, not afterward, which I thought was fairly cunning design. Less chances for people to review and cast blame after the rift is over.

              From what I noticed while trying to rift with the table open, the lion’s share of the points seem to go to stage completion, one gets about 4000 points per. But I’m not exactly sure how much points are awarded to dps/aggro/heal either.

      2. “In order to be take seriously, you need to completely change your entire character to match what some kid posted on a site somewhere.”

        Realistically, more often than not it’s “…to match what some software engineer or math grad student posted, after developing a spreadsheet to model theoretical max DPS in a specific PvE environment”.

        I hate the lack of personality this kind of cookie-cutter character building forces – just as much as the next person. But I still have immense respect for the people who have the passion and know-how to do the observation, modeling, and testing necessary to find these optimal builds. Calling it “a build some kid posted” just feels needlessly disrespectful to me.

        I agree overall that I’d prefer such “best-practices” builds not exist, but you can’t use game design to somehow bypass a player’s desire to empirically know the strongest build for them to play.

  2. New game devs are always so cute. They always say this.

    But then what happens is people work out the optimal specs (however they are implemented) and ways to abuse certain abilities, others become ever more marginalized as a result. Hordes of players scream because their spec is grossly underpowered in comparison, and little by little, homogenization happens.

    I clearly remember WoW devs saying these very same things, but it’s a slippery, gradual slope. Idling to eat my words, but a nearing a decade of MMO experience has shown otherwise. It’s inevitable.

      1. In this case it is.

        Neither Scott nor Gersh nor many of the other people in charge of parts of the game have done that particular job before. Of course Rift looks a little bit like Warhammer 2.0, it’s Adam Gershowitz’ baby and he has his style, like it or not. And, of course, it looks a little bit like WoW in some regards, that’s what the devs brought in. Or EQ, thanks to Scott. Yes, there’s years of experience.

        But those people, in that configuration, with those jobs, that’s new.

  3. I may just be a crusty old Guild Wars veteran (edit: after reading to completion – signs strongly point to this), but isn’t all this fuss over Rifts’ souls rather overblown?

    In GW1 you can choose from all of the skills in the game (1319!) when forming a skillbar, within the constraint of 2 professions at a time.*
    In Rifts 75% of skills are locked away in other callings, and those you can access are locked behind skill trees that require all manner of diversions to attain the skills you actually want.

    In GW1 you can change your attributes & skills as often as you want for no cost, outside of combat instances, and save unlimited builds spanning all professions.
    In Rifts your charged to reassign points, charged to change souls and charged to save a small number of finite builds – requiring travel to special city NPCs for the privilege.

    In GW1 there are many skills that are niche – or just plain trash – but at least they all compete aginst each other to ensure at least a small measure of merit.
    In Rifts lots of skills are twinned to make souls self-sufficient even when it’s patently obvious they’d be more efficient as a single soul (e.g. Nightblade Conceal = Assassin Stealth), and to justify the soul trees there are countless padding skills & abilities of mind-boggling narrowness & mathematical dryness (e.g. “Your Precept of Refuge increases your Block by an additional 1%”).

    Aside from the bold declaration not to even try “over” balancing the whole messy affair, the Rifts build system sounds to me like a watered down counterpart to the GW1 system with copious timesinks introduced to both form & reform builds.
    It’d have been nice to learn from the mistakes of GW1 – as we’re all hoping GW2 successfully has – rather than marrying them to an old-school tree system…

    And don’t even get me started on the screaming inefficiency of form, taken to new heights of dev masochism; it’s like making a ranger twin because you want ranger carrying cool crossbows rather than bows, then putting that whole twin skillset in a blender because you want to affix fire/poison/weevils to everything to justify why there’re now 2 ranger classes with no functional necessity behind them!
    Gah!
    Hyeurgh!
    Flomp?! ^_^

    *GW1 professions = Rifts callings, not souls which are more analogous to GW1 attributes.

  4. The min/maxed cookie cutter specs are good for a reason. Why would you want a sub par build in a group fight or cutting-edge raid content?

    That said, good builds are ignored because you can’t measure the effectiveness becasue too often, important metrics like damage absorbed, cleanse/de-curse, amount player was healed and the impact of group buffs on dps etc… is never calculated or shown.

    Usually the only stats we see are dps, healing, killing blows and deaths, with maybe a few more.

    I’d like to see either a) no stats, or preferably b)full stats so that the real impact of non cookie cutter hps/dps builds could be measured.

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