Friday, February 11, 2011

Rift - Beta 6

As I ended my last post I had stated that I wished beta 5 had continued longer.  That feeling really crept up on me during the week after the beta, a term has been coined by the Rift fanbase called riftdrawals and I think I was having them.  I let my wife know that this was the game I really wanted to play and I wanted her to take the journey with me.  She acquiesced and allowed me to setup an account for her ( we were given beta keys to invite friends ).  When beta opened we logged on with brand new characters, she played a cleric as she really enjoyed healing in WoW and since I already had a warrior character I decided to play a different tank, that being a rogue with the riftstalker soul.  Generally we had a blast, she got several chances during rift invasions to learn how to raid heal even at the low lvl of 11.

I was a bit disappointed by the choices I made for my souls, I chose saboteur and the bard for my other souls, mostly to check them out, not because they were suggested as a good fit by the game.  The rogues in rift have similar mechanics to WoW in that you have energy and combo points to use on finishing moves.  The riftstalker is a close combat soul and gets finishing moves that provide protection buffs as well as getting a buff that provides some more hitpoints among other things.  The saboteur is a mad bomber who attacks from range and is adept at area effect attacks.  The bard is a buffer/healer in the Everquest vein of bards.  So I combined the explicit types of souls and the character felt very subpar.

Since the wife had real life work to do for the rest of the weekend I was left to my own devices for the rest of beta 6.  Since I had tried the other three classes I made a mage.  Another thing I had not tried yet was the other faction, the Guardians.  I decided to make a Guardian mage and see how I did as pure dps so I started with an Elementalist and added on Pyromancer and Archon when I got the chance.  The Guardian side had a different story, you were a hero that was in the aftermath of a war that destroyed the Guardian home city and you were made an ascendent by the gods and pushed forward in time to make things better in the future.  The Defiant story had been started at the end of the world being destroyed by Regulous a dragon, you were a hero that was going to be sent back in time after being infused with souls and becoming an ascendent.  I was happy to get a little more lore with my new faction, I felt I got a little more in touch with both sides seeing where their point of view is supposed to be from.  The initial quest lines were similar only from the other side of the river dividing the two noobie areas.  By the time I got to lvl 12 I decided there was something about the Guardian side that I found unappealing.  I can't put my finger on it, there was just something that made me miss the Defiant side.

So back to the Defiant I went, I still wanted to try a mage and this time I wanted to see how healing was implementd for the mage, yes mages can be healers.  I chose Chloromancer for my first soul, this is the healing soul for mages.  When I got to pick my second soul I had played enough to feel that I needed a way to heal myself some more in order to survive so I chose the Warlock whose first ability is life leech which heals a little while damaging ( like the Chloromancer's ability whithering vine ).  Between those two I was doing ok.  For my third soul I picked Archon again, I had like the defensive nature of the soul which provides buffs to the party while debuffing the opponent.  I liked the rhythm I got into while playing this combination, I felt a little bit OP, but I also liked the "Come and get me you suckers the damage I do to kill you will just make me stronger!!!" feeling I got.  This combination is definitely going to be something I do when the game goes live for the early adopters.

I realized I was speaking about Guardians and Defiant and left some explanations of the lore vague and thought I could expound on them.  After a little consideration I realized it would probably be more expediant and ultimately more accurate to just provide a link to the Rift lore pages so here ya go:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Back to MMOs

I've been killing time in LoTRO for a while. I decided that it was interesting enough to subscribe for a three month span and to even invest in the Mines of Moria expansion. The big thing I got from MoM was a couple extra character slots and two more character classes. So basically it's like I bought the slots and classes from the LoTRO store and got the content for free. So I've played a Runekeeper up to lvl 22, my Loremaster got stagnant around lvl 25 and I got my Guardian ( read tank ) to lvl 37. Unfortunately I'm at the point in this game where I have to force myself to log in and take care of a couple daily crafting items and try and advance my characters at least a little bit. My whole MMO enjoyment and got blown out of the water by my most recent MMO interest...

I have participated in the last two "closed" betas of Rift. My first experience, beta 4 I think, I thought it was very WoW like. Different environment, different classes but all-in-all meh. For that trial I played a Defiant cleric and probably didn't pick my starting souls very well and only leveled him to 11. I was very confused with the world and it felt chaotic and I didn't think it was a game for me, though I pledged to re-visit the game with the next beta.

The next beta I switched servers because my first server was filled and had a queue of about 100 people. I started up a warrior this time, again on the Defiant side and felt much less lost in the beginning. Apparently my first run with the cleric I had totally skipped past a quest hub somehow, this time I worked my way through the beginning areas and eventually found the Defiant city of Merdian. Meridian's layout was confusing at first (sense a trend?), but once I learned my way around I found quests to get MORE souls. I knew there were more souls, but I didn't realize you could quest for them. The quests for the souls all involved helping close the rifts that the game is named after. A rift is a tear in space between our world and an elemental plane allowing creatures from that plane to invade the lands of Telara. If the players fail to close rifts the creatures start establishing footholds away from the rift and attacking quest hubs. The rift mechanic was very enjoyable, I found it easy to lose myself in helping to shut down the rifts to save the land and get various planar rewards for doing so. I also discovered "roles", these are like the dual spec in WoW, only there are 4 slots availabe for purchase, though the slots got fairly expensive after the first two. Since I had started my warrior as a tank with Paladin, Warlord and Void Knight souls, I made my second role more DPS oriented with Beastlord, Paragon and Reaver souls. By the end of the week long beta I had leveled my warrior to 20 and was prepared to move out of the first large zone. After they shut down the servers I found myself wishing and hoping they would turn the servers back on so that I could continue my journey. I found the game so much more engaging than the first time and really enjoyed myself.

I did play in beta 6 as well and will post on that soon(ish)