Daily Archives: March 4, 2011

Anticipation, Detour, Overload

The view from above Silverwood

As much as I said I was going to wait a week or more before diving into RIFT, once that Collector’s Edition box showed up Tuesday afternoon, I knew there was no hope of that. It’s not the biggest, or even nicest, Collector’s Edition I’ve bought (though the 8GB USB drive is very nice!), but the hardcover collection of the comic miniseries was enough to get me super-excited, and nearly desperate, to get into Telara and start exploring. So I decided to brave the crowds and forge ahead!

Like others who have posted on the topic, the few times I came across a server queue (and that hasn’t been but once since the game went “Live”) didn’t really bother me. In fact, given that I just sat there and read the comic, it was actually kind of exciting – my anticipation built and built until I was slavering to get into the game. When the counter hit single digits, I think my pulse jumped a few dozen BPM. I know, it’s a one-time occurrence – the comics heightening my desire to play to the point where I don’t care about the queue – but then again, so are the queues (hopefully). So in the end, it worked out really well and pushed my desire to play RIFT into the stratosphere.

At this point I’ve played all of the classes at least to level 10; Rogue, Warrior, and Cleric on the Guardian side and Rogue, Warrior, and Mage on the Defiant. I’m purposely choosing different souls where I have a class on both sides, and after playing around with various combinations, I found a surprise. I’m really not into the Rogue classes all that much (*GASP*). Which is a HUGE thing for me. I almost always play stealth classes, and this generally means a Rogue-like class. But, for one reason or another, everyone seems to have rolled a Rogue in RIFT; well, not everyone, but enough people that I lost a bit of interest. Once I get to the group content, I’m not sure I want to hang out for hours looking for a spot for DPS.

Where I’ve actually found the most fun is in the Mage and Cleric classes, which really threw me for a loop. I’m generally considered the absolute worst Minstrel in my LotRO kin, and I never roll casters. When I logged in last night and immediately went to select my Guardian Cleric, a little voice in the back of my head started stuttering its objections while trying to pull the mouse towards a Rogue. So maybe its more that I prefer the “Road Less Traveled” and, up until now, that’s been stealthy, stabby Rogues. We’ll see; there are many, many aspects of the Rogue that are tremendously appealing.

Last, but certainly not least, I have to say that while I think Trion Worlds has a winner on their hands, I still think they tried a little too hard to cram RIFT full of content and activities for the players. As I said in a previous post – it’s just a little bit of an overload. Between quests, the dynamic content, and peering around every corner and under every rock for Artifacts, I’m having trouble containing my OCD-like tendencies to try to do everything. It’s fun, no doubt, but it’s a little overwhelming. Which is a great thing about which one can complain! But sometimes I just want to get stuff done, and I really want to get out of Silverwood/Freemarch.

I think I’ll wait to do a more comprehensive write-up until after I get everyone out of the starter zone (not the tutorial), but I will close with this: RIFT could be an altaholic’s wet dream (or their worst nightmare, depending). For someone like me, who has limited time to play, it’s a dream come true. Because of the soul system, and the fact that eventually I can have FOUR different builds (combinations of souls) per character, RIFT makes it so that I don’t really need to roll more than one of any given class. Maybe two, if I want to see both the Guardian and Defiant side (which I do!) and be able to play absolutely every aspect of a class. It’s like the best of WoW’s Talent Trees combined with Tabula Rasa’s cloning mechanic; no more grinding through old areas over and over just to get a different class “up to speed”.