Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This One Goes To 11 : Rift

Contrary to SynCaine's repeated assertions that GW2 is good for about three weeks, it's done me proud for best part of ten months so far. It was never my intention to spend that much time in Tyria but there's just so much to do, so much to see and it's so relaxing. They made it so comfortable it seems like just too much effort to go anywhere else.

Still, there's more to life than wearing old slippers. You could buy some new slippers, maybe some amusing ones that look like Asura feet with the claws sticking out the sides. Or maybe get out that really old pair you used to love, the ones you pushed to the back of the wardrobe because the stitching had come loose and the left one kept falling off when you went downstairs, and that really could be dangerous, you don't want a fall, not at your age, old bones don't heal as fast as young ones...

I'll need to buy extra bag slots just to collect my mail
Where was I? Hang on, I'll come in again...

I think I mentioned that the arrival of Rift's Free-to-Play apocalypse regeneration drew Mrs Bhagpuss back with the lure of vast quantities of free housing toys and Dimensions to put them in. She's been hard at work all weekend building some kind of sweat lodge up in Iron Pine Peaks, in cahoots with a friend from EQ2. The upshot of that was that when I heard about all the free goodies I got sufficiently curious to go find my old password and log back in see what goodies were waiting, which led inevitably to fiddling around with various characters, rifling through old bags and boxes and eventually to pondering on all those empty, reset roles sitting there staring at me, begging to be filled.

Our friend, who played Storm Legion last year and got to 60 and therefore has recent knowledge of Rift, or at least at lot more recent than mine, spent a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon patiently reminding me how all the things worked that I'd forgotten and explaining all the new things that I'd never known to begin with. When I started mithering about how impossibly slow and tedious the combat had become after 50th she pointed me to the forums and a Rogue spec going by the unlikely name of Granpa said knock you out .

I've never used anyone else's spec in Rift before. I muddled along with my own taking three characters to fifty before I lost interest the first time round. I also never used Macros on any of them, although I did on my fourth Archetype, my Warrior who was in the low 40s when I stopped playing. After my brief and dismal experience with Storm Legion last year, when I was using one of Trion's pre-set builds, the Battle Bard, I was ready to try anything.

Slavishly copying the build from the forum, including cutting and pasting the macros, took less than five minutes. I was so unmotivated I didn't even bother to put any of the abilities on my hotbars once I found out the macros work fine with all the skills left in the book. I porticulumed (it's a word!) over to Pelludane to try it out, not expecting much.

Holy Hannah in a handbag! Suddenly I'm playing a different game! From struggling to kill anything in less than five minutes and only living through it so long as absolutely nothing joined in my Rogue turned into some kind of overclocked threshing machine. Single mobs died in seconds. Clusters of invaders took barely longer. Even freaking Elites fell before me leaving me standing over their gigantic corpses with the best part of half my health intact!

Sorry, Dozer. She doesn't know her own strength.
All this with nothing but four Macros on my hotbar, none of which I have even bothered to read, far less understand. No need to time anything or pay any kind of attention. And I'm wearing pre-Storm Legion solo gear that hasn't been updated since 2011. The only way this could get more easy-mode would be if I had someone to press the buttons for me.

None of this materially affects the other two of my three previously stated reasons not to play Rift again. The textures are still ugly (and the color palette in far too many zones is dour and depressing); the icons and the UI are still fiddly, far too small and irritating to use. The fighting, though, has gone from "slow, attritional and dull" to "fast, easy and fun" and that positive might just be enough to outweigh the two negatives.

New boots and kitty.
So, for a while at least, Rift is back in the rotation. And with Mrs Bhagpuss slipping the GW2 leash I have found my own freedom to roam so there might even
be a rotation. This Sunday in addition to Rift I logged into The Secret World for the first time in quite a while. I got my free black biker boots, did some bag sorting, used the Auction House and even went to Transylvania and did four-fifths of a mission. I was at the limit for stored AP so I blew them on the Chainsaw Auxiliary Weapon skill. Rowan kindly pointed me in the direction of the requisite quest so that's next on the agenda.

Daily visits to City of Steam and Dino Storm continue but the last few days have seen me actually playing, not just logging in for loot. I'd like to get EQ2 in there as well and of course there are various betas and one-offs to fit in as they arise. It certainly looks like a much healthier, more balanced diet than all GW2 all the time. We'll see how long it lasts.


  1. Yeah, I never got the people who said Rift combat was a grind after going to SL and how it'd be a slog until you got some SL gear, etc. I took my rogue to SL at level 48 wearing level 44 green crafted gear and had no trouble at all... with the GSKYO build, anyway. My old "melee ranger" build and my old Bladedancer builds weren't all that great anymore with the various changes. It's the same for the other 3 callings as well -- if you have a good solo build, SL is just fine, even without having the big power jump of the SL gear.

    1. Any recommendations for a Mage build that works as well? Rogue is all well and good but I have two 50 mages I'd probably rather level up if I do get back into Rift.

  2. The "easy one" is the "Chlorbinger." 8 points in Chloromancer for the Lifegiving Veil, then all the rest in Harbinger while working up to looking like this at level 43. After 43, keep adding points to Harb until you have 54 in there (for Rending Slash) and then my plan is to put the final 6 points into Dominator for the Mass Charged Shield and the mana increase, though since I'm "only" level 56 on my mage I still have 4 more points to go yet.

    There's also the "Necrolist" build that's something like 2 buttons that works pretty well also, but I find it's more fun as dps in a dungeon than for solo. For me, anyway.

    If you have a warrior, I actually wrote the guide for that one ;-)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for all those. I'll give them a run if/when I get back into playing regularly.

      I just added your (collective) blog to the roll. Very surprised I hadn't seen it before, especially given I know your name well (pkdude99 that is) very well as a commenter on many blogs I read and that Stargrace is one of the Nomads. I really should click through people's names more on comments - I used to do it but I'm sadly out of the habit.

    2. Yeah, I tried to reply with my Wordpress account here on your blog so it would show me as pkudude99, but it didn't let me put in my password for some reason, so I just defaulted to my Google account.

      FWIW, Stargrace is actually the owner/primary of the Nomadic Gamers blog, but it seems like pretty much I'm the only person who poss there anymore, and frankly I don't post all that much either, so... if it drops off your blogroll again due to lack of content, I won't mind ;-)


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