Monday, June 27, 2011

Not Everyone Likes Rift ;)

I got a note the other day from a friend who played Rift just through the intro stages and lost interest (you don't know her). She fully admitted to being in a bad mood that day, but I thought I'd share a couple of her complaints and see if I can't comment on them a little bit from my perspective after around 50-75 hours of play.
Non-Rift liking friend says:
"Surprised you like Rift, I was really surprised at how much it truly sucked. There's nothing new, there's nothing being done that hasn't already been done by others, better. They seem to have taken the worst of all mmos and put it all in to one."

Response: Ok, I'm gonna admit that my "Non-Rift Liking Friend" has a lot more experience in MMOs than I do, and therefore, I'm gonna give her as much respect as that deserves. I know she's also a very particular gamer with particular tastes. I know she has a passion for the games she plays and the higher ground she strives for. I get it. I want something different and better too.

But, there's something about the ease of public Rift raiding that is so refreshing and easy if you're the type of person who wouldn't mind raiding while leveling. After you get a mount, you can just join a public group and start bouncing from rift to rift to rift. Entry requirements are very low in this kind of raiding and rewards seem fairly high. For the most part I don’t have to form any attachments and can log off whenever the heck I want to instead of getting sucked into a group where I feel “committed” to anyone.

As a busy father of three, I LOVE THAT . . . good or bad as that may seem. It's not that I'm non-social . . . it's that I'm busy yet like the companionship of gamers. haha. If that makes sense. :)

Of course, somehow this all could be done better, but Rift is new, and although low level "raiding" as it were is familiar in a few other MMOs out there, this MMO is popular NOW in 2011 . . . which makes it a happening place with tons of people around. I like that. It's HOT. I'm not sure what the future for Rift looks like, but it's thee game to play right now.
Non-Rift liking friend says:
"Yeah so I can be melee ranged or magic...skill tree you say - yes of course there is, so while we pretend to let you be unique, you're unique, just like everyone else."
Ok, I see where you're coming from on this. "Builds" become the min-maxing beast that they are and no skill is truly unique, so although your build is great for you, it's not really what the min-max crowd would consider "the best." This is very much unlike a game like Guild Wars where you would have to capture your skills from unique and rare bosses across Ascalon. Some skills required a lot of patience and time to capture.

Just like how Syndrome in The Incredibles says, ". . . And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone's super ... no one will be."

Rift suffers from Cookie Cutter aka "Everyone is super." I'll give you that, but so did Guild Wars . . . it just took more effort to be a cookie cutter build in that game.

I will say that I didn't even look at builds when playing. I just kind of filled out my skill tree with what felt comfortable. If I was raiding and grouping at 50 though? Yeah, I think I'll be researching and adjusting my build--call it fear of social stigma.
Non-Rift liking friend says:
"I'm just so tired of 'go kill 10 bears and collect bear hearts - but not every bear has a heart' bullshit."

Fair enough. This quest system is in pretty much every mainstream MMO and ALL have this problem. I'm tired of it, and I think many other people have this complaint too.

On the other hand, it's comfortable. Rift feels a bit like I'm sliding on a familiar pair of shoes. I "get it," therefore, it's hard to resist that familiarity.

I have heard of people trying to level without quests though . . . only leveling from Rifts or killing stuff alone. Seems to be possible, but as long as you're killing stuff, you might as well get a quest reward for doing it. Too bad my leveling is so independant. I think Facebook games will eventually change the way we play MMOs.
Non-Rift liking friend says:
"Graphically pfft - I've seen better on my DS."

HAHAHA! Ok, I can't give my friend this one. That's pure rant. ;)

I crank my video settings all the way up on Rift because I have a rig that can handle it, and it’s beautiful. I'm not 100 percent sure, but it seems by default Trion starts you on really low graphic settings . . . it's debatable if that’s a mistake on their part. At first I was thinking what kind of horrible 90’s texturing is this?

The scenery and landscapes are amazing in parts of the world. I truly enjoy Rift's beautiful world.
Non-Rift liking friend says:
"Are we all such sheeple that as soon as a game comes out that dares to not kill 10 bears, we don't know how to process it, so we shun it and run back to what has been beaten into us as the norm. Is this the best we can do?"

Obviously not. My friend comes from a videogame design perspective, and I have to agree. What I like is that it seems at least a couple different paths exist for leveling up, but I think this should have been more blatant. I think perhaps experience rewards should be granted to those who specifically choose to level up without questing. If I wanted to skip early quests and only quest in say Perspice, that would be really cool. Give me a toggle! Something! We like choices, but I think we also like those pathways to be defined for us. That would be the "design" part of a video game.

ON THE OTHER HAND THOUGH, I tend to take the John Cage approach to most MMOs I play:

"If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all." --John Cage.

"The first question I ask myself when something doesn't seem to be beautiful is why do I think it's not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason." --John Cage.

"Which is more musical: a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?" --John Cage

LOL, oh wait . . . that last quote doesn’t apply. ;-) But, in all honesty, I think you have to give Rift a chance to live with you for a number of hours. Try it out. There is truly beauty in this game. You just have to look for it (unlike say the videogame "Flower," where beauty *is* the game.)


On a side note though . . . there is something missing in Rift, and that would be my old friends from WoW and perhaps my lack of community involvement in this game. Something is missing here, and I'm not sure what it is. When it all comes down to it, this may not be the right time and place for me to play Rift . . . and that's ok . . . I would like to get to 50 though. ;-) If something doesn't change for me in this game, that very well may be the end of the game for me.

I do like playing with my good buddy, Dina though. My best memories of Rift may very well be her running me through dungeons like the pro she is.

What do you think?

Happy Dueling!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ding 40!

Yes! 40th! (actually almost ding 42 by now)

Here I am with Dina as we pose with our mounts. I opted for the nimble eldritch silver steed model.


Mine doesn't look as awesome as hers, does it? No . . . I probably have to get to 50th for the deluxe model, but I'm totally holding out for a unicorn.

Anyway, I'm just continuing my questing in the Droughtlands and haven't seen an end to the content yet. I've really enjoyed working up my quasi-inquisitor/purifier build so far. Although! I was quite happy to see that when I switched to a Druid build for the first time just to see what it was like (and dump some money toward the skills since I finally had purchased my horse), that the fairy had pokey-dotted undies!

WHAT THE?! LOL!! Those silly fae.

I'm looking forward to the final stretches to 50! Wish me luck!

Happy Dueling!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Droughtlands Fun

I've been having a good time in the Droughtlands in Rift. I think I've actually had more fun in Droughtlands than I have in the past 10 levels or so. That also might be why I'm back to recording a few X-fire videos! I have a few to share with you.

1- Stingite in Tiger Illusion.

"Part of a quest in the Droughtlands has you turn into a tiger to help the trip go faster. :)"

2- Stingite vs. Sothul of the Bloodstorm

"Interesting solo Rift boss fight in the Droughtlands. You fight Sothul as part of a quest chain. I didn't really break a sweat but it was a fun fight."

3- Stingite vs. Venom Eye

"Quick solo boss fight. I love the look of these scorpions in Droughtlands, and this gives you a good look at one since Venom eye is larger than normal."

Good times!

I'm really close to dinging 40 now. I can't wait to get my new level 40 FASTER mount. The turtle and the striped Vaiyuu are really starting to feel slow . . . especially when I'm riding behind Dina and getting blown away by her speed.

See you all in Telara!

Happy Dueling!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Preposterously Large Pants

. . . not much more needs to be said . . . :) If there ever was a loot link war item, that'd be the one you'd want in your backpack the most.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rift is hard to blog about

I have no idea why it's hard for me to blog about Rift, but it is. To make matters worse, its the game I've been playing the most lately too. Every time I think of something to blog about concerning Rift, I kind of think . . . no, that'd be dumb . . . um, so let's see what you think about these things that have gone through my head:

. . . .

I had an idea to blog about the lighter side or the humor of Rift. Humor is there in the game, but it's very subtle. It's about 10x more serious than say, World of Warcraft with its cartoonish features, outlandish dances, and blatant laughs. I would say Rift seems to give you more of a subtle chuckle every once in a while.

For instance, here you see me sitting with the three named squirrels outside Meridian. Perhaps they have some deeper meaning I haven't found yet, but . . . when I saw their names, I smiled.

Another example would be this here Kayfax quest. What you do on this quest is follow this cat around trying to protect it from the wilds, but it ends up morphing into a giant Battlecat-esque tiger and starts calling *you* its pet.

For the price of one piece of planerite, you can unlock a pair of glowsticks and do a few additional dance moves, but it isn't the odd dance move over and over . . . it's like the dance move is only done once during your animation sequence. Again, very subtle humor here.

Or how about this weird doll in the corner of the tavern. Not terribly funny, but I still gave a courtesy laugh.

You know what isn't funny? Dying people.

Maybe that's why it's hard for me to write about this game. It's completely out of my writing style to be too serious. I'm always goofing off and hardly ever serious. It's just in my nature.

. . .

I could write more about my achievement spam, and it would help me understand it more, but meh . . . my whole attitude toward achievement spam lately is a little less than excited. My score is 265 now btw. Slowly but surely. Check out my latest three achievements from Scarwood Reach.

- Top one is for completing 84 quests in Scarwood.
- Next one is for completing the two story arc quests in Scarwood: Hero of the Plains and the Last Command.
- Third one is for killing 200 Aelfwar in Scarwood.

That's just kind of like pretty standard fare for Achievement spam. Meh . . .

. . .

I could also write about my favorite daily quests. like the brawler fight and troll charming in Perspice. AND, I guess I could also talk about the dailies that aren't that great? /shrug

. . .

I can definitely say that Rift is cool. It's a really really slick game. It's hella visually appealing, and you just feel cool while playing it. You know? Perhaps it's that "cool" factor that I need to write more about. What makes this game just so freaking cool? /shrug

. . .

So, hey! I just wrote a blog post about not knowing really what to write about in Rift. Where's my achievement spam for *that* eh? ;-)

So what would you, the reader of this blog, like to hear more about regarding Rift? I don't make any promises, but I'll see what I can do to answer any of your requests (if there are any hehe).

Happy Dueling!

p.s. I don't know, perhaps it's just I'm too busy playing the game to write about it? Less Talkee more Playee? Or maybe it's just I'm too new to talk on anything with any authority? Weird. Thanks for your comments in advance!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Twittered news of Trion at E3

There are a few Twitter streams I like to haunt for information on Rift, and as luck would have, today there were a couple really cool tweets!

1- Picture of Trion setting up their booth for E3. The tweet links to Rift's Facebook page, which shows this:

Awesome. You gotta read those facebook comments! XD. here's a good one: "I think that christmas tree is builded wrong..." haha. Also from reading the comments, it looks like perhaps they used this life rift model at the last E3?

2- @Missdoomcookie, who's the Defiant Lore Lead for Rift, posted a link to a Trion game called "Defiance" that will be demo'd at E3. This looks freaking hot!

It's basically an MMO that Trion is collaborating on with Syfy. From what I'm reading, the end result will be a cross-over TV Show and game. This has never really been done before. LOVE the concept.

I'll be tuning in to Twitter for more E3 news from Trion. Let me know if you hear anything good.

Happy Dueling!