I Have Returned, RIFT

I think it was comments in this post about my dream MMO, again, that had me going back to RIFT. That, and it’s free-to-play now. Trion has their hands full with ArcheAge stuff, of which I mostly get the news from Syncaine’s love and hate of the game. Bhagpuss also helpfully puts his spin on that newness. I’d rather pick up a pre-GW2 game.

I had a level 46 character. I decided to completely restart instead since I had zero connection to that character or anything about her. The tutorial area was significantly cleaned up. I appreciate that although not it feels like the class system is largely behind something. I guess ultimately it’s a good thing, but I kept thinking through the tutorial area that this was not how the class system works. Basically when you level up you just press a button that auto-spends class points according to some build. It doesn’t help that useful skills were kind of hidden (like summoning a pet), and I am glad I am through that. 

The thing I recall loving, besides the hit-to-heal Mage subclass, was that I could change builds as I was running towards something. Seriously, that is something that is something that should be a norm in MMO’s, including gear (if I have it on me). I’ve gotten really good at switching things around in Guild Wars 2 since I can re-trait on the fly, but nothing beats hitting a single button. I feel like a transformer. The tutorial area kept me waiting for that kind of stuff, and it wasn’t until I hit the real world that I was introduced to the concept of the subclass souls.

Finally in the real world, I got a bite for the reason I came back. Within minutes of me coming back, a zone-wide event hit the first zone. It was one I’ve never seen before.  Firebugs marched on us. I was only the barest of noobs, but I still helped a little. It was even little’r because there were some people that were overleveled for the area I was protecting, and they were just popping mobs.

I seriously missed Guild Wars 2 at this point for two reasons: (1) downscaling, and (2) untargeted skills. I have auto-targeting on in RIFT, but gorram if I don’t  see “must target” flash across my screen constantly. The feeling of being constrained to a targeted, numbers interface between me and my prey was overbearring. It is something that I will have to push past. I would have also loved to see the free peoples of the realm have some challenge against the firebugs, even if overleveled.

However, as much as I would love for it to be in Guild Wars 2, Guild Wars 2 does not have these amazing zone wide events that just pull the entire population together in harmony. In RIFT, I just popped in to the public group, and ran around like a dimensional conqueror. At level 6. It’s good when I feel conflicted to join in the zone wide fun or push along with quests. I also liked that the firebugs completely destroyed a quest hub. That’s some dynamicism one will rarely see in Guild Wars 2.

I am excited to re-learn and re-play. I don’t know how long I will stick around, but I intend to check out “Instant Adventures” at least. It feels good in a way. RIFT, for a time, was a core MMO. It’s definitely aging, it and all the WoW ilk, but it has some great ideas not found elsewhere in the MMO kingdom. I am keeping an open mind.


6 thoughts on “I Have Returned, RIFT”

  1. I saw Ethic logged into Rift for the first time in over a year on Sunday. Someone else logged into Casualties of War on Sunday too but I don’t know the name.

  2. I still don’t think any other game has given me as much entertainment from “event” type gameplay as Rift did with its zone invasions. They didn’t always click (e.g. when the zone was too empty of players) but when they clicked, damn they were enjoyable.

  3. Recently gave it another shot and found myself really enjoying it – the biggest issue with the soul system (prior) now that I can look back at it – was (for an altaholic like myself) it presented a paralyzing amount of choice – the new directions with the soul system help *so* much and made the game much more enjoyable for me – to the point I actually subbed.

    Um it helps that I’ve upgraded my computer and instead of chugging at lower settings I run smooth with everything at max ;).. that being said I’ve been having a ton of fun in the game.

  4. Rift does of course have the mentor down, and soon the sidekicking up with 3.0. There seems to be an invisible nerfbat implemented so overleveled characters can’t knock off a boss in a couple hits. It only happens with the boss-type mobs. So it’s better to mentor down on the final boss to avoid this situation of not doing any damage. At least, that’s my experience. If you haven’t checked out a third-party event tracker, that’s a good idea too if you like running the zone events.

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