RIFT Grindhouse: Post-60

March 31, 2013 - 2:58 am No Comments

rift grindhouse

Raptr shows me as playing RIFT more than World of Warcraft now, which of course is only true over the last year of actually using Raptr because I’ve probably got another 2000+ hours in WoW (and, in fairness, at least another 5-600 hours in RIFT) pre-dating my Raptr use. It does show that RIFT dominated March – logging 310 hours played. Somewhere around 10 hours a day played, so if any developer out there needs a play tester just drop me a line!

Anyway, it’s safe to say I’ve established myself in RIFT again and I’ve spent the majority of those 300 hours playing post-60 level cap. I’ll be honest, I haven’t really been playing my level 60 all that much – altoholism has hit me very hard this go-round. I started leveling my Defiant rogue and my Guardian Warrior under the assumption I’d be splitting my time raiding on Wolfsbane and carousing around Faeblight. Things changed and now I’ve got three characters at 55 or higher, including two rogues. But I’ve learned a bit more about leveling up to help you the readers out. Read through the cut for more about that and a handful of discoveries I’ve made about RIFT post-60.

Making Leveling Efficient

For many people, blazing through to the level cap is an utmost priority, especially on alts. RIFT’s design direction for the 50 to 60 grind isn’t on the same level as other MMOG expansions: they really want to slow people down. They do it in overt ways – like making each level require a huge amount of experience – and more creative ways – like creating a ton of things to see and do in every zone, distracting players into less efficient methods of gaining experience. Overall, this technique is awesome for players who want to play around and enjoy the journey. For the other half, not so much.

There are several different ideologies on leveling quickly in the era of Storm Legion. For me, I’ve discovered that just pushing through quests as fast as possible really is the ideal way to level. Expect to jump between continents as you go, because the faster you burn through quests the more often you find yourself hitting enemies 2 or 3 levels higher than you. This slows down progress because that 2 level gap is actually quite steep. My suggestion: complete each continent one zone at a time, zig-zagging back and forth. For example, do Cape Jule then jump over to Pelladane. Next jump across to City Core then jump again over to Seratos. This back and forth across continents keeps you leveling smoothly and avoids encountering mobs that are killable but really slow you down.

Additionally, try to queue instant adventures as you go. Most of the time you’ll only end up with 3 or 4 other people in the IA, but running the IAs will inevitably finish carnage quests as you go. You can nab story lines along the way as well. Effectively IAs add a little bonus exp as you are completing quests you would otherwise be doing outside the IA. You’ll also pick up rewards and reputation that will help you out at 60.

Knee-jerk Forums

After the most recent patch, it’s abundantly clear that some RIFT players are still the same, knee-jerk chicken little’s – especially on the forums. Tacticians, who were ridiculously overpowered in massive AOE encounters, were slightly nerfed by the patch.

* Infernal Torrent, Glacial Torrent, Necrotic Torrent: Now affect a maximum of 8 targets per pulse. Initial energy cost increased to 15 from 10. Energy drained per second of channel has been reduced to 1 from 5.

Yes, this is a bummer. Any nerf is. But honestly, all it did was make Tactician AOE dps fair. I’m not a pvp’er of course, but zerg vs zerg of a ton of Tactician rogues was probably getting old. Watching Tacts top 50k dps on huge hordes of mobs while most every other AOE ability had a target cap was just plain dumb. The intent of torrents was to channel to the end. This is why Glacial Torrent added a buff that lasted the entire 3 second channel of the next Infernal Torrent. In truth, Tactician AOE dps in 95% of all encounters was left unchanged. In those rare case encounters with more than 8 targets… well, fair’s fair. Tacts were OP.

Just be happy they didn’t add in that internal 3-second cooldown – at least we can still clip torrents if we want to, albeit at a much steeper energy cost.

Preparing for Expert Dungeons…

… or any dungeons for that matter. I’ve been running dungeons a lot as a tank. I love to tank and it obviously speeds up my queue time over dps. However, it gets ridiculously tiring having to teach half the group how to not just beat a boss but how to do their job. It’s bad for the group when you queue a dungeon without having done any work to understand what you are getting into, and you really shouldn’t be surprised when you get kicked because you can’t move out of bad. Here’s some suggestions:

  1. Download and install King Boss Mods. This addon will alert you to the things that are happening or are about to happen. It will help you stay alive in dungeons especially if you haven’t mastered the mechanics.
  2. Read up on dungeons at the RIFT Gameplay Journal. There’s guides for all the bosses in both normal and expert mode dungeons. I have this site opened to the dungeon I’m currently running so I can see at a glance what to expect (dual monitors required).
  3. Run dungeons with friends and guildies to learn mechanics using voice chat before hitting up LFG. Guilds and friends are meant to support the learning curve.
  4. If nothing else, at least tell the group you’ve never run the dungeon before you start. Yes, you might get kicked. It saves a repair bill from the first wipe you are bound to cause. Most groups, especially in normals, will let you know the basics on how to survive. You might not get the details, but you’ll at least have the knowledge to survive the mechanics.

If I have to tell people how to hide from Red Mist one more time…

More to see

Even with all these hours played, I still have a ton left to see and do. I haven’t even touched Steppes of Infinity quests, not found all the cairns, and haven’t even tried to look for these new, daunting puzzles. I also haven’t done any of the new raids. Expect that I’ll be hitting this up and more in April.

That is, assuming my email doesn’t get that sacred ESO invite soon…

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