Sunday, October 16, 2011

He’s good-bad, but he’s not evil : Rift

Is that it?

Ah, the Shangri-Las. My second favorite all-female band. Clearly the inspiration for Rift's odd choice of two sides, neither of which is really good and neither of which is really evil.

The Guardians are religious zealots. The Defiants are single-minded technocrats. I wouldn't trust either of them to run an orphanage. One thing I have noticed, though, is that Defiants get a distinctly easier time of things when it comes to events.

Events, dear boy, events. Harold MacMillan would have loved Telara. How fine to live in a world where events don't pop up unexpectedly to spoil your day. How much neater to know the day and hour ahead of time. Sweeter still to know that your event is easier than the other guy's.

Meridian is much easier to navigate than Sanctum. Well, it is outdoors, at least, and that's where most events take place. There's a big courtyard, a wall and a yard of scrubby grass.

More potash please

Sanctum, on the other hand, is a wheel circled by a winding path inside a retaining wall. A lot of sickly, stunted trees and rickety buildings cramp the space. Visibility is poor.

I have Guardian and Defiant characters. I even have one Guardian character who only does city events. She's never done anything else since the tutorial and she's gotten to level thirteen. I get to see all events from both sides. Each team gets the same quests for each event but I can always do the Defiant version faster than the Guardian. Sometimes it barely takes half the time.

My Guardian Hat
With my Guardian hat on I'm okay with that. We religious types are nothing if not long-suffering. The current event, however, goes beyond a little extra running between spawns. As I described before the quest in Meridian takes you just a few yards outside the gate and someone has even thoughtfully marked the path with lanterns. It took me about 10 seconds to find it.

The Guardian version is on the coast below the high bridge leading into Sanctum. I could see that on the map but I had no idea how to get there. As far as I knew, there was no way down there other than to jump off the bridge. I ran around a bit looking for another way down but I couldn't see one. So I jumped off the bridge.

Once I dragged myself, wet and shivering, out of the sea it was simple enough to complete the quest, but then I had to get back up. I was very surprised to find a path. With a neat wooden fence on the seaward side. Just to stop me falling in. Bit late for that.

Donkey rides sixpence!

Has this path always been there? I can't recall seeing it before and I spent an inordinate amount of time in Silverwood and Sanctum earlier in the year. Was it added for this event, like the lanterns in Freemarch or is it yet another example of the incredible depth of detail in the lands of Telara, where I really do still see something new every day?

Treant. It's such a tinny word.
I followed the path up. Eventually it wound back to the main road leading into Sanctum, but only after I'd dodged an aggressive level 14 treant taking a constitutional up and down the track.

Now I'm not claiming this was difficult. Compared to a trip from Ak'Anon to the Windmills or from Surefall Glade to Qeynos it was a walk in the park. But it did ask a lot more of me, and my character, than the Defiant version.

I like it. A lumpy playing field is good. Might be nice once in a while to let some moles lump up Meridian's scabby grass, though. Don't want the Guardians to have all the fun.

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