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.