Friday, February 18, 2011

Rift: First Impressions, Part II

Played a little bit more yesterday. Got a couple levels with my Warrior, and tried a Defiant Bladedancer/Nightblade/Assassin Rogue. Still very low level with both of them.

More on Abilities

The soul trees are pretty interesting. Generally, each tier has about 5 "soul-specific" talent points, and 5 "generic" talent points. That way, if you don't use the soul-specific abilities, you can still climb the tree by investing in the generic talent points.

So far, what I've found is that about 70% of the abilities I use come from the primary soul, about 30% from the secondary soul, and I use one buff or one ability from the tertiary soul.

AoE looting

AoE looting is amazing! You loot one dead mob, and all the surrounding dead mobs you can loot are looted at the same time. All the items appear in one window, and is essentially treated as one transaction.

This change is definitely worth stealing.


Rifts are random events that occur fairly often. A portal opens, and enemies spew out. There are several waves, and the UI tracks your progress much like a Public Quest in Warhammer. There's a little contribution meter that tracks your participation, and when the rift is closed, you get a loot bag containing some random items. Mostly special currency to purchase gear, but also crafting items and some sort of trophy items that you collect sets of. Don't really know what you do with the trophy items.

As well, when you first enter the rift area, there's an option to join a public group, and you get dropped into a raid with other people.

I rather like the rifts. They're random, which makes them a nice break from solo questing. You do your quests, see a rift form near you and join up and beat down the rift. Then you go back to questing. It's a nice change of pace that doesn't require a lot to set up or even a great deal of commitment.

I think it might also make healing and tanking a little more attractive. You get a small dose of group content every so often, which is your main purpose as a healer or tank, and you don't really feel the pressure to go DPS to make questing easier.

Now the downsides of rifts is that, so far, they are essentially a giant zerg. There's not a lot of tactics or strategy involved. But then again, this is low-level, and things can change at higher levels.


  1. The best part of the aoe looting? I believe it also functions that way with parties. You loot a corpse, any near it that I have loot rights on are autolooted for me.

  2. Rifts will not be as frequent as they are currently in the Beta. They happen based on the number of people in a zone, but the GM's are purposely spawning an insane amount of Rifts and Invasions just to test the Beta, stress test things, and give people a taste of the insanity.

  3. Compared to WoW:

    The Good:

    - Rifts: they make the world feel alive and moving, it seems to me that in wow the world is pretty much dead after the main pack of levelers have gone through.

    - Class System and Roles: 8 specs per class means more options for the player. Putting all archetypes in and grouping up the classes that feel the same is extremely good. No more Mage vs Lock or DK vs Warrior vs Paladin. Also class balance and Fotm will be much better handled: one spec is OP with a press of a button you have it, no leveling or gear grind necessary. It also emphasises more on the type of character the player wants to play and gives many options to play that instead of multiple classes which might or might not be what is expected.

    The Bad:

    - For the rest: ITS JUST LIKE WOW. I mean screw it: more grind, and exactly the same core ideas. Even more some of the bad aspects of wow-like mmo have still carried on.
    For example:
    *Why the heck do we still have fucking bags... which open individually... which cant be sorted in any way... redesign please - into some Ark Inventory type of thing.
    * Auction House: the same thing, no extra functionality... honest, take the best mods on the market and implement some core ideas into them... why do I have to search for an item and then go to a different window if I want to post it...

    - Soul System. As you said it, so much variety leads to using 70-30 percent of the skills in 1 tree and not much more. Plus there are so many duplicate spells... I played mage and all souls had some sort of Bolt spell to shoot at an enemy. it seemed repetitive. I was hoping for a system with funny interactions between different spells and abilities in different trees.

    For example: Frostfire mages in Wrath. Frost gave shatters and large crits, fire gave ignite and a big damage boost: its the kind of thing I was expecting, not what is actually implemented.

    * The Grind: honestly, gathering another type of currency points to upgrade again gear with the same type of stats on its really getting old. MMOs are made to make you spend as much time possible in them and frankly I'm starting to care to deeply about my free time to waste it on smth like that.

    All in all its a good game imo.

  4. Anyone try the PvP yet? Or any Dungeons?

    So far I love the class system, they did a great job with this.

    My primary concern though is PvP and Dungeons.

  5. @Chris Thompson-- I never got a chance to try either PvP or an instance, but I found enough of the game similar to WoW that I don't think it would be too different.

    What I found most interesting was that there was so much customization available that you could easily spend all of your time trying to figure out what works for you, and less time playing.

    Now the story, I did find that appealing. Sure, it's a lot of undead in there, but in general the Defiant's backstory was truly interesting.

  6. After a day my mage went to L12. Nice graphics etc. reminding alot the style Warhammer picked up vs the flashy and cartoonesque WoW colours.

    PvP: is the exact replica of WoW. Exactly like WoW at L10 you can queue. So nothing innovative/new here.
    And you are getting standing and xp, exactly like in WoW.
    The BG I tried was similar to WSG, but squeezed within 1 square kilometers kind of a bowl. With an artefact in the middle that you can carry. It was mindless butchering where rogues/warriors dominate. If you let mages alone they top the dps like hell. Little movement or little really tactics. At least in WSG you can defend/frontal assault/graveyard camp or whatsoever. So here take artefact run behind a tree. Your group surrounds you and the other side pewpews etc.

    One thing disturbed me very much: the world is seemless vs WOW's zone concept. So in Wow you feel entering to a different environment. You know by entering Feralas something big can eat your L20 warrior for breakfast. RIFT world (the one I experienced) is seemless. So you walk 500 meters and bam you are in the middle of high level mobs. And btw. try fighting a L13 mob with your L12 char. In WoW it is a challenge, in RIFT it is sometimes a suicide. Call it a balance problem but it kind of did not make sense at all.