I am nearly done with Scarwood Reach. The weekend hit a nice upswing in zone population, and we actually completed a few zone wide events. Sadly the Winged Horror event to defeat 50 invasions (then the boss) always seemed beyond our grasp. I think too many people were still rift chasing when that event really just requires defense. Anyway, I am starting to see more shades in Rift’s dynamic event system beyond the basics.
Within the rifts themselves, I am starting to see a few “dungeon” mechanics that help freshen up the gameplay a little. For example, there is one rift event where a big worm boss appears first. As players whittle it down it burrows underground and digs up corpses and other worms for the players to fight. In another rift event, a spider boss goes into an [annoying] invulnerable mode and then starts to hatch small spiders. My favorite twist involves aggroing werewolves to one of three shrines on the map. After a player activates the shrine, if they can get the enemy to run into the shrine’s light they cleanse the enemy. This rift requires not only the killing of a number of werewolves, but also that a certain number of werewolves are cleansed.
Departing from the core rift mechanic, there are also two public quests linked to Scarlet Gorge ancient wardstones that I participated in. At one ancient wardstone near a Defiant quest hub, the Guardian NPC will ask players to escort a golem down the road to the nearest Guardian quest hub. This quest is public, and nothing has to be accepted. In the Auld Warden area, there is an ongoing public quest, Keep Away, to snag some Rift Blooms filled with Life energy and bring it to the ancient wardstone at the top of the monstrous tree. The Rift Blooms are located in the outer branches far above the ground. Again, no quest has to be accepted. Merely entering the area will put a player in participation. I have to say knowing that Trion Worlds has the basics for non-rift events is nice because that can lead to a plethora of new events.
I do have one suggestion for a problem I had with the public quests. With Keep Away I was really confused as to blundered through figuring out how to participate. I tried asking in guild and zone chat, but I think the majority of players ignored this confusing public quest. When I entered the area, the quest tracker shows me the quest with “Bring Rift Bloom Energy to the Blessed Wardstone 0/8.” I had no clue what any of that meant. What were Rift Bloom Energies? Where was the Blessed Wardstone? And why was this public quest called “Keep Away”? My first thought was that this was some openworld PvP area with a goal-scoring variant.
The thing I don’t like with these public quests and zone-wide invasion events is that when they enter the quest tracker what you see is what you get. In other words, if I don’t understand what to do for Keep Away with it’s 9-word description, that’s all I get. With zone-wide invasion events, the objectives are more clear (e.g., close 10 rifts, don’t die), but it seems that certain zone-wide invasions events are linked to specific wardstones. The specific wardstones are not described in the quest tracker text. Conversely, with the ongoing Grim Harvest world event (or any normal quest) that also appears in my quest tracker, clicking on it gives me a pop-up filled with additional information. I think it would be extremely helpful if the events that did pop up in my quest tracker could be pulled up, via quest window, to provide more information, especially as events become more complicated.
I am about wrap up Scarwood Reach, and then I will head to the Droughtlands or Moonshade Highlands. I’m not sure which yet. I am interested to see what other shades of the dynamic events I will find.