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A Rift peek

April 17, 2011

This week I had a bit of extra game time available, so I decided maybe I should try out that new game Rift. Up to now I have mostly avoided reading much about it, seeing that I did not really wanted to jump into a fantasy game and if I tried it, I did not want to know too much about it.

So up to now I pretty much only knew that it had some kind of dynamic content called rifts and a supposedly flexible class system grouped in different souls.

I typically prefer if I can buy the game and download it directly. But seeing that Trion and Steam charged about 20 Euros more than a local store for the privilege of not getting a box and DVD, I decided to bite the bullet and get the game from a store here. That probably took less time to get than downloading the game anyway.

I created 3 characters and played through both player faction tutorials; Defiant and Guardian – once on Guardian side and twice on Defiant. The Guardian tutorial story honestly put me off playing that side; that there were some elven territory soon after the tutorial did not help either. As tutorials though I thought both sides were pretty ok. The slightly more steampunkish impression I got from Defiant first also sold me to that faction.

So I focused more on the Defiant characters and one of them in particular, a rogue character (ranger/marksman/bard). When I read the description for the ranger soul I got the impression that it would be taming critters to use them as pets – collecting pets is something I enjoyed much with my ranger in old Star Wars Galaxies, so I hoped it would be something similar. Also bard would probably be a buff/debuff type, which is also something I like (crowd control + buff/debuff and some damage output and I am all set in various MMOs). However, it seems that the type of pet collection I had hoped for was not there. But the character has still been fun so far.

I also started a mage (archon/dominator/warlock) – again with the aim for crowd control + buff/debuff and some damage output. Unfortunately dominator does not seem to be nearly as awesome as dominators in City of Heroes – but it is still quite early levels for this one. Will have to see how it works out later.

The user interface felt ok but with a few issues; the global recharge time on all powers annoyed me a bit and already at early levels there are a lot of things to fill up the hotbars. Still it was quite fun though to play, fighting rifts, invasion forces and footholds were pretty things to have there in addition to typical mission objectives.

I also liked that the mission log had indications if a mission was a story mission, repeatable mission, some epic thing etc. Definitely easier to focus on those that feels more relevant/important.

Travelling felt a bit slow, so I was glad to see that it was not any silly level restictions on getting some faster travel (mount) – just needed enough cash. The cheapest mount available was fairly ok priced also – by the time I started to get tired of running I had almost enough money to buy one. That is good timing to make a sale 🙂

Overall I think the game is fun so far and I look forward to experiement with the different souls. I was happy to see that you could get all the other souls for your archetype and also set up different roles for a single character, similar to roles in Champions Online and a bit of mix and match of jobs like in FFXI. Hopefully the costs will not be prohibitive here – too many games have put restrictions of what otherwise could be a fun part to play around with. Initial costs looked fine, but not sure if it stays that way.

While I was logged in during all phases of this River of Souls world event (at least the UI indicated that), I do not think I had so much experience with it directly. I am not quite sure if there was anything more to phase 1 than getting some kind of related drops and phase 2 had already been completed in the only area I spent time in (Freemarch) when I saw that it had shifted when I logged on. Phase 3 I guess were in some area I would not be able to reach anyway. It did not bother me though; I had a lot of new things to experience with the regular game anyway.

There will not be that much time to play it after this week though and that is probably good. While the game is fun to play, I suspect I would get tired of it if I played more than a couple hours per week – same as any other MMO.  But for now it is quite enjoyable.

Categories: Rift
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