One day left on headstart

March 1, 2011 - 12:20 am No Comments

Scarlet Underground takes down Fae Lord Twyl

The RIFT headstart ends in just about a day. Will there be another onrush of people jumping into RIFT or have we already seen the majority of our initial population rush? Who knows, but RIFT definitely has a very healthy launch population. The queues have mostly subsided from the look of the server status page; even Wolfsbane has finally seen a calm period without any bit of queue at all.

So how is it? RIFT is pretty fully the next great MMO. With a concerted effort to squash bugs, implement new features, and add content, the game has great staying power. There is already a ton to do in-game, from crafting to artifact collecting to quests, of course, the big draw is the rifts! Rifts everywhere – footholds, rift tears, and especially the invasions – keep everyone busy at all times. Read through the cut for more first impressions.

RIFT is very clearly a game that borrows the best elements of many different MMOs. The artifact collections are an exact match to the collections in Everquest 2. The crafting system is much like the free to play MMO, Runes of Magic. The overall controls and interface feel to the game is clearly a match to World of Warcraft. The graphics are a bit of a mix but remind me most of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Let’s face it, new ideas in MMOs are few and far between.

Honestly, is this such a bad thing? There are a dozen MMOs out there that have a unique feature that I want to pull into one game and call it bestest. I’m sure we all sit and play our favorite MMO and think to ourselves, “I really wish [feature x] from [game x] was in this game. It was awesome!” RIFT really pulls in a lot of the features fans raved about in other MMOs, refines them, and gives the players what they want. Certainly there is a ton of room for more features and even improvements to existing features, but right out of the gate RIFT has a huge head start on games that try to be 100% original.

The rifts in Telara are the big, new thing in this MMO. Rifts are public events that occur all over the world at different scales of “interruption.” There is always a few rifts popping up in the world. Many can be soloed but it is not common you’ll ever be alone. Anyone who attacks “rift enemies” gets credit for defeating the enemies and closing the rift; your reward is based on how much you contributed in heals, damage, and even tanking. Rifts can scale from solo clear up to zone-wide invasions that can literally take over quest hubs and cities should the players fail to stop the invaders. It is too much fun to not involve yourself and the rewards, planar weapons, armors, and enhancements are some of the best loot you can find outside of the dungeons.

The dungeons are great fun as well, and with such diverse and customizable character trees, they are very easy to put a group together for. I’ll get more into dungeons and grouping in another blog, but needless to say even without a dungeon finder to put a group together, it doesn’t take nearly as much “preparation” to get a group into and through a dungeon crawl.

The image attached to this entry is of Scarlet Underground‘s first foray into a dungeon; we smashed “Realm of the Fae” without breaking a sweat, although we were on average a little above the dungeon’s intended level. It was a ton of fun and our guild quest at the time was to complete the dungeon 15 times (each player got a tick against the quest). After three runs, we finished the quest and SU dinged level 2! Yay!

Next time I’ll be talking about dungeons and the features I’d really like to see come to RIFT.


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