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  • Birthday:August 06,1981
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Another level, another day in RIFT. I hit 40 and here is my expereince. If you want to catch up with my previous experiences, you can check out the start of my articles here: (http://my.mmosite.com/4069628/blog/item/nanbos_noob_rift_experience_prereview.html)

Since this is not a full on review, but an experience sort of "walkthrough", I will be posting my notes I took in chronological order and highlighting on them with perhaps a few references to the over all score I gave rift as of level 20 (a 3/5) Will that score be raised? Lowered? stay the same? read on adventurer!

(Sad when NPC looks cooler than you)

"First kill 40 enemy quest level 31": What this means is that when I hit level 31, I had a quest to kill 40 mobs. In my previous experiences, I had said I had never had a quest to kill more than 20 things max. However, after I killed the 40 enemies, I have yet to see another quest to ask me to kill that much again.

"Most Enemies will path to find you, not float through walls. Leaves some funny battles in Iron Fall": As I was making my way through Iron Fall, I noticed allot of wodden platforms to scale the multi leveled environment as it scaled the slopes and cliff faces...I also noticed if I aggored some enemies, they have a tend to try and find you by running allong all the planks, stairs, and paths to get to you. Some times they get confused and end up running around like mad as I am sitting below or above waiting for them...some times the delay takes so song I think they dropped agro, then AHHH! SURPRISE! He turns the corner swinging like mad. Good times.

(This guy is more organized than the PvP battles...)

"PvP is a zerg fest. Class OP, and not very fun. But cheap way to get PvP marks for armor and exp.": People told me to try out PvP. I personally was a little curious how PvP works since these class varieties seem to be tab targeting mayhem. I went in...It was a zerg fest. There are several maps and types of PvP objectives. All in all, they all play out about the same. Group up, face off, die. IF you are OP, you will win. There is no way to get around it. This is how the deal works: "Chain heals, run in, take enemy down fast in 2 or 3 hits, get out." If you fail to kill another player fast, you risk a chain healer comming down and boosting him up to invincible status. A chain healer (as I am calling it, probably wrongly) is a heal that shoots out of a staff (visibly seen by all) and heals up the friend in a continous chain of health. It also OVER heals and creates a shield of sort. Basically, any noob can turn into a invincible superman with the right healing. The chain effect occurs when the healer is being chain healed by another healer. Soon you see these lines of healing beams all flowing forth and ending with a some DPS guy running into the heart of your group....ah, but your group cna play this game too! And that is key. If you have people that do not organize this strategy, you will be cut down.

The rest is sort of up to chance. When to immovable forces hit, you just sit there swinging and getting healing. People get bored, so they send a convoy around to try and disrupt the healing (the chain does not work while moving thank god. The healer has to be perfectly standing still). So, that is PVP. I was not at all event full as I thought. I was a little disappointed. I mean, I know other games where chain healing exists, but there are limitations on it's abuse in PvP, usuall. All and all, they should ban this heal in PvP. Make it purely PvE (which is a little OP as well, I Can solo any dungeon with the right tank to heal like this). Current players, just think about that for awhile, think about the map in PvP, and where the characters would actually run to if they knew the chain heal did not exist...they battles would probably be a little more strategic as they try and hide behind rocks, trees, create more ambush groups, offensive, defensive...right now it is just run in, heal, game over. May the best zerg win.

The good: The exp and pvp tokens flow easy. Go in, play the crap fest, get out rewarded.

"Turned in a quest and got a fireworks show to cheer me on..": RIFT's good point, as I mentioned in my previous articles, is that the quests are masked with enough variation of things to do, that the grind is not that bad...or at least a little interesting. I also mentioned it does not feel to "tied in" or "deep" as far as anything going on around you. I had one "that touched my heart" moment when I finished a string of quests and knew I was about to leave the quest hub...the NPC's threw a little party for me. They shot fireworks and cheered me on...Awww thank you NPC's, you will be forgettable in about 2 hours...

"Class rant": A note to tell myself to talk about it. So in the past, I wrote about how you are given the illusion of multiple class choice, but you can see you are really no different than a 3 tree class changing mmorpg in the fact you can only chose 1 armor type out of 4 given in raids and PvE rewards. Meaning, behind all those masks, you really are pumping out one type of tree that is combined in other mmorpgs. Any ways, today's subject is class spells: My character makes no sense. I started as a healer thining: "I will start to heal with a staff, and build a healing rouge later on since I think that is cool and I play palladin every game. This game told me I can do whatever I want with classes. I want a healing rouge!
So I started with my healer: He ended up with fire spells, buff tree, and heal/fire damage tree...low damage hard to level, so I left the main role to sit out. I started another "Smash" role taking advantage of the dps support: One tree is about physical damage and air and water spells - another about pet attacking - third about healing and fire damage. I also am hit with the fact this game does NOT CHANGE ARMOR LOAD OUTS per CLASS CHANGE. So you are stuff using your healing gear for any other role (but it works because of the pigeon holing into one armor type and how the roles are masked...more on that). So as I now go around using my staff like a mad man, I obviously up physical damage spells, which work and I kill things through level 40 in around 3-5 seconds. However, because my armor and build is geared for outing magical power, my spells normally are higher than phys attack. However, the spells are weak as hell. I have One DoT or AIR magic, and One MASSIVE Physcial hit (most powerful) and one water hit (average). What happens is the spells are weaker by number modfier, but the physcial is stronger in number modifier. So my armor is stronger in spell modifier..see what is happening?

Weak spells + strong modfiers = ok spell damage:

Weak modifiers + strong physical spells = strong physcial damage (PvE).

I am so far off from a healing rouge... I am more of a mad peasant with a stick...

I suck as DPS support in dugeons, but am an epic healer (I never let people drop below 5% I never let any one die (unless they wanted to), and I get allot of in game praise for healin)...but my healing build is my piss on build. I just build it in one tree to maxaize the healing (WORSE, I HAVE NO RESURRECTION SPELLS!)...wha...?? RIFT is not giving me what should logically be given and advertised! Class flexibility! Runes of Magic has 3 roles interchangeable with 2 armor loudouts to manage! That was logical and easy to adapt to with a a good path to study and preload...RIFT is like a stab in the dark! YOu can take a build but you have to experiment or look at a guide. Problem with guides, people seem to not have experimented enough and set up just a few guides based on a few custom load outs...I think healing rouge does not exist in RIFT at this time.

In conclusion, I am a Cleric (ability to chose a sould that Tanks, DPS, and heals) with a Warden soul. The class I ignored is the best class in dungeons. The class I wanted is not a hideous disgusting hybrid that uses fire to heal himself (I can go on about how the developers were confsued about how to set up light magic so they mix it with fire)... Even in my level 40's I pause often to think about my abomination of a character...What do you even call this dps build? HE cna chain heal, uses air and water to beat it out of enemies, and relies on a heavy physical swing. I am like Little John and Merlins love child...It makes no sense. Questions linger, when can I get heavier armor? When can I used dual swords or daggers? As of now, I am confined to this staff and my 3 attacks. I have grown to love it though. It has defined ow I battle and I memmorized my attack strategy, and I am a great healer. Just wish I could customize without the confusion involved in classes that follow a Trinity lay out and stuffed into 1 kind of armor. 

"The cycle is clear, PVP, quest in a region, run the dungeons.": As I hid the mid 30's, I noticed I was in the regions a little longer than I was in the 20's. Meaning, my 30's were taking me longer to finish. Considering I am half way to the level cap, it is no surprise, and I imagine level 40 and 50 will be the huge EXP humps to get over. So, how did I get to 40 in a week? Probably not possible if I played just the quests unless you play around 5-10 hours a day (I play about 3-4 hours a day). So, I found the key. Early 30's, do PvP, the exp is good enough to move the bar along. Do it about 2-5 times a day. Wrap up about 5 quests a day in the log, then do dungeons. Dungeons are the blood line of EXP. I do 2 dungeon runs and level 32 finsihed. 2 to 3 more level 33 and 34 DONE. It then got a little more harder, and you generally have to quest out into the next territory to unlock the dungeon on your AUTO GROUP. But that all falls in place naturally. I also had all the gear I needed up to level 45 at this time. PUGs are a mixed bag. Some guys rush it. Some guys wipe it. But generally. Probably 90% of the time, the groups are fast and efficient. Even if you wipe, hang in there, it could have been a glitch. After running the same dungeon about 5 times, I just tuned out, and listened to music and watching a ilttle TV as I spammed that magical chain heal... dungeon done in 20 to 40 min. And my EXP bar has filled up. This is clearly ALLOT faster than just leveling.

In my older post I had said I have NO INCENTIVE to do a dungeon and that sucked in RIFT. And so many people were like; "Oh you noob, you missed the cave"...yeah, I still hold true to that. THERE IS NO INCENTIVE to do any dungeon from level 1 - 30 in RIFT. You can level up just fine and fast doing quests. Hoever, I am now learning, level 30 - 40 (especially 35ish), DO the DUNGEONS! It is BEST way to get exp to progress.

THAT SAID, something I like about RIFT is that if you do not like dungeons, you can kick back and do repeatable quests, close the rifts, all while doing the typical questing and that works fine to level up as well. Just a little longer, but you will never be "stuck" because you did not do dungeons. I appreciate that in RIFT.

On the same topic. RIFT hunting sort of found me. I was running around questing one day and decide to take out a rift. I join the group already there. Then something happened, I do not know if it was an event, or just something to trigger and do. But I noticed the group I joined was actually a RAID group with about 15 guys, after the rift closed they all seemed to move on together. I stayed in the group and followed. We ended up hunting all the rifts, fending off the invasion forces, and then teleproting to territories to do the same thing in addition to having odd quests drop in my log like: "kill off X mobs". So I revisted areas to kill off mass amounts of regular mobs (not rift related) in the field...and getting rewarded for it and moving on, only to shut down more rifts and kill an elite boss after. What was this madness run? Apparently these 15 guys knew about it! It seemed never ending, we just kept going and going! I leveled up easily one level following them all around. It was diner time and I had to quit. IT was cool, fast paced, active, and PUG friendly. Sadly, I have not been able to find anyone doing this ever since. I have a feeling it is perhaps a weekly event thing. I am not sure... and I am not to excited about it to do research, if it comes my way again, why not. If not, meh, I am doing fine grinding out the dungeons and questing.

(Weather effects are nice...until it rains and turns grey...grey sky's in a grey world = depressing)

"Level 37 opened up 2 regions to quest in. Variety at last!" Rift still says linear with a fork in the linear road. I finally had two choices of where to quest. But only at level 37. Also, I found other areas on the map that I Thought I could quest in as alternative routes. Ends up just enemy territory for pvp factions. Apparently hugely useless on a PvE server unless you flag your self and feel suicidal. Oddly enough all other players in those regions are never hostile, again, so it felt stupid all their npcs were agressive and I could not fight unless I flagged myself. EVen more ridiculous, I could save and use their teleport XD. Any ways, off topic there, the point was, before I said RIFT had ONE zone for each level. I can now say I have a choice of 2. :)

(This game's identity crisis. To be steam punk or not to be. I prefer more dragons please)

Other thoughts: I had mentioned that the graphics in this game were mediocre. This is something echoed in the community in other sites as well. But we all agreed it is not about graphics, it is about game play. So that said, I am liking this game so far mostly because of the reward vs. playtime. Allot of the time I do not feel like I am playing against a cash shop or farming for pieces to refine my armor with a 2% chance of success. In fact, I was playing TERA, Dragon Nest, and all these other titles that have a cash shop armor success rate thing to buy. And that basically becomes the game sooner or later. In RIFT, I feel like I just have more of the game to discover. As a summary, I have passed level 1-10 with not being bothered by anything except the interesting quest objectives.

10-20 I did more quest objectives and got a taste of Rift closing rewards.

20-30 I can casually play and get just as rewarded every day. I mastered the basics and more questions are there.

30-40 I can do all the dungeons presented, close any rift, tasted PvP, and have all the dungeon armor sets. But I feel this is still just the surface. I have no crafting skill, never gathered 1 resource, never participated in major events that I hear about, and have not set foot in the player made housing.... I know my end game will be filled with doing those things. My pvp will probably not be based on PvP unless there are PvP rewards that tickle my fancy. My end game will probably be doing dungeon runs to either help others or get an item. I will probably spend most of my end game house building, and I don't know what else. Rift is that game that has little features nestled away nicely. None of which, so far, are cash shop bound or hindered.

As you know I gave this game my level 20 review, saying I do not expect the game to change much. I still hold true to that. The game still could use allot of polish (deeper story, emphasis on why we are in area other than quest hubing, and a lick of paint). As of this writing there was a patch announced that will give us a few things to mess with. Once was more hair styles. Honestly, the helmets block the hair so why would I want hair that is hidden...I usually turn the helmet off though becuase they are all ugly. All my helemets since level 1-30, even the dungeon tier helms are very ugly. I prefer my hair...so if I was a developer I would invest more in armor looks and not hair styles...oh well.

(Looks good at the log in screen, max settings)

(Character models still look good, but the low rez textures IN SOME (not all) places bring it down a bit)

So my score does not rest the same 3/5, but I want to lift that to a 3.5/5 because I am closer to end game and have no need to spend. Although I would like to spend to support something that is promising. THAT is my ideal cash shop. Spending out of love of a game (Like Star Citizen is proving can be done). Very standard F2P experience with great bells and whistles, but lacking full on polish updates. Ill give it a 5 when it gets some great story, and meaning for the player. A 5 when it picks up in the graphics department, create a vibrant land. Not a dead prairie that spawns rifts... So I am not asking allot. And this game should not be forced as a 3.5 over all. If you like the graphics style and ok with the immersion, than it obviously is a 5 for you. OR if you do not like any of these things (you should not be reading a RIFT experience) you will rest at a 1 or 0...but me, you have my attention RIFT, you are my solid 5, you have the ability to change my outlook. Right now, I have the full intention playing to end game!

See ya on the next piece 40 - 50 (End game still has a chance to persuade me to boost it higher based on my experience, or lower...oh the mystery...)!


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