Thursday, November 8, 2012

Storm On The Horizon: Rift

So we bought Storm Legion, the Storm Chaser deal that comes with that 12 months game-time that isn't a subscription (see below). We have a friend from EQ2/GW2 joining us and between us we have about eight level 50s so we are probably, maybe, sort of ready to Rift.

We all logged in the other night for a merry round of Guild invites, server transfers and general housekeeping. Meridian and Sanctum appear to be under perpetual attack by extremely large and very noisy invaders from the Plane of Air, something very familiar to me from the countless happy hours I spent repelling their advances on the Chancel of Labors in Iron Pine Peak back in the day ("the day" in this instance being "last year").

Makes it very hard to concentrate on sorting out your bank, but boy, does the gold, xp and planarite blow in on those icy winds! Join the Instant Adventure and you'll soon be a wealthy man. Dwarf. Whatever.

Just as disruptive but a lot less welcome was the following message, a variation of which greeted each character as I logged them all in one by one:

Are there any souls or roles that didn't require a full refit? If there were, I didn't have any of them. I have very little patience for, or indeed interest in, Talent Trees to begin with and I reckon I've had to re-do some of these three or four times already. It really isn't fun any more, if it ever was.

Luckily, Trion seem to have picked up on this little drawback and what was once supposed to be one of the jewels in their crown, the infinitely flexible Soul System, now comes front-ended by what looks to me remarkably like a list of fixed classes. Optional, sure, but classes all the same, and very welcome they are, too.

For the time being I'm just picking one role per character. Time to get fancy when I can actually remember what the icons mean and where the controls are.

I suppose we should be taking advantage of the pre-expansion Bonus Bonanza, especially to start leveling up our Guild, which I believe we only created just before we left and which still has the cellophane on.

 I think we get all that, even though the Storm Chaser FAQ clearly states:

The Storm Chaser edition includes one year of game time and is not a subscription.

The Veteran Reward Fairy certainly thinks we're entitled:

All my mailboxes were bursting with goodies and the changes to item stacking means I even have space to accept them this time.

And so here we are, back in Telara once more. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing these supposedly vast new zones - Rift's zone design has always been superlative. Ten more levels is something to look forward to as well - I do love me a level cap rise. And then there's the little piece of Telara to call my own.

All I have to do is drag myself away from GW2 for few hours once in a while. That shouldn't so hard? Should it?


  1. Heh i've been doing exactly that this week too, especially since Trion has been friendly enough to let us play for free until the 11th. I bought the Expansion, but wasn't expecting to play until launch.

    Anyway, yes, all my souls were reset and for some reason i have to re-train and buy all the abilities again, costing a mini fortune. Luckily those instant adventures seems to bring in some cash quickly.

    I mostly did the one adventure going on in Sanctum, which never seems to end, i was never sure if it's just another stage of a long list of stages or whether it is actually restarting. Needless to say, i literally wasted 3 hours just doing that in Sanctum (annoying noise and all) on my 2 main lvl 50s .

    Those "premade" soul combinations are brilliant, i love how it even puts all the skills on your action bar (after asking you of course). If i had to try and figure out what i did last time (when the game launched) on my Rogue, who happened to have a Pure Healer, Tank, DPS and Hybrid (Healer-Tank / Healer-DPS) soul setup , i would've stared at the screen blankly for 10 minutes and given up because i just want to get into all the new things and play.

    There seems to be alot of new things, Conquests, Chronicles and Instant Adventures and he Planar Leveling thing. I had to force myself to go read up wtf a "PvP Rift" is, i can't recall having those last time i played.

    Even though i complain about the complexity of the souls (which Trion luckily streamlined greatly) , this is something i love to tinker with once i'm getting into the "groove" . This is exactly why GW2 started getting boring quickly, you unlock all your primary skills at something lvl 40 already, and then it quickly dawns on you that you will most likely play a very specific way for the rest of the game (maybe changing based on what activity you do).

    With Rift i distinctly remember stopping between mobs, changing souls as late as lvl 50 (max level) , using a different ability and never felt my character is "stuck in a rut" .

    Only reason i eventually stopped was there wasn't more levels to gain or areas to explore.

    I jumped into the Open Beta for a short while, and looks like the new content is absolutely huge , i felt i needed a flying mount actually. Kinda felt like i was running through a Burning Crusade-ish continent (and there's 2 of them).

    So i'm looking forward to this, despite not even finishing GW2. GW2 certainly got a more "actiony" combat going, but the most important part : Character Customization and Progression is nowhere near what Rift got. Heck the Wardrobe thing (similar to LOTRO) is great, not sure why GW2 have their "towns clothes" thing setup so silly in that you can't combat in those clothes...combat being the activity you do 99% of the time.

  2. Oh FFS! Pardon the acronymic bad language but I totally forgot about the retraining thing. That always costs a fortune. Thanks for mentioning it before I end up in the new zones dying over and over and not realizing it's because all my skills are at bare minimum. I guess I'll have to do a couple of hours in Sanctum and Meridian this weekend, if the invasions are still on then.

    Other than that, I was still playing up until Chronicles came in and I've dabbled a lot with RiftLite so I am not that badly out of the loop, I hope. It's always a steep learning curve coming back, though. Steeper than starting a game from scratch in some ways.


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