Saturday, November 5, 2011

Don't Look Down! : Rift

As is the way of things in Telara, Phase 3 of Rift's "Ashes of History" popped up a couple of days back, unannounced. Like a dark elf's beard there may not be much of it but at least it gives you something to grab onto in a bar-room brawl. Wait, that can't be right...

Whatever, the old quests have gone and there are just two new ones. One continues the rebuilding of the travel stones storyline, which I've found quite interesting so far. The other is a daily. As usual, I did both sides and the Defiant version is quicker and easier, for the same reasons as before.

And over there we'll put the golf course...
The storyline quest is really very good. It has the merit of being both fast and fun. You're tasked with taking measurements that will help in getting the stones up and working again. Defiants step into a device, Guardians pray at an altar (no stereotyping then...) but either way there's a short blurry dematerialisation  and you reappear somewhere very high up indeed.

 There seem to be a lot of possible destinations. I've done it with four Defiants and two Guardians so far, which ought to mean thirty trips, but you only get a few seconds each time before the magic yanks you back and I spent so much time trying to take screenshots and not recording the information I was supposed to that I probably made 40 journeys in total. I'd guess there must be easily twice as many possible locations on each side as you need to complete the quest.

Spiders! Why is it always spiders?
Some are places I've managed to climb to before. Others gave discovery experience, which I guess means you could climb to them. Some, however, appear to be utterly inaccessible by any other means, so this may well be your only chance for a photo opportunity. That's if you don't get eaten first.

The detail that's been put into this quest is emblematic of something I've always said about Rift, that it's an explorer's dream. This is a flavor quest that will only exist for a few days yet not only does it take you to a wide variety of interesting locations that you might never otherwise visit, but it does so with humor, wit and elan. I particularly liked the Defiant NPC that my guardian found already planting his own tracking device at one location.

Look at me, Ma...
The whole thing reminded me a little of the bit in the bible, where Satan takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and then to a high mountain and tries to tempt him and I did wonder whether something similar might be going on. The whole thing seems a bit suspicious. The Guardian quest asks you to use a Locator Atlas and Manual of Exploration to record your findings, while on the Defiant side you have to plant the Fast Assembling and Initiating Locator Device. These are thereafter referred to as the L.A.M.E. Journal and the F.A.I.L. Device. Might be a clue there.

Muggins turn next.
It does have to be said that I like a pun. Not everyone does, but I do. I enjoyed those acronyms, but I particularly relished the quest names. The storyline quest is called "The Right Stuff?" because it questions your ability to deal with the dangers of repeatedly porting to unknown, perilous destinations. The daily, which asks you to go around picking up old bits of abandoned Travel Stones lying scattered around and about? That's called "The Left Stuff".

Well, it made me laugh. And I'm very much looking forward to seeing where all this goes next.

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