It's been awhile since I last posted, but life has been busy and not allowing as much time to game as I would like...oh well!
I've been playing RIFT when I can, and highly recommend it as I'm finding it lots of fun. I did play through most of the betas and got hooked. Sadly WoW and EQ2 are shelved (not cancelled yet), as there isn't enough time to play all. Which is hard on my MMO ADD! But, RIFT with the variations on souls and different rolls you can change on the fly (as long as you aren't in combat), is great.
I dinged 50 a few weeks ago with the cleric, and have alts on three servers I've been trying between 18-46. I've tried all classes - cleric, rogue, mage and warrior - and honestly like all of them. I had 'assumed' I would love the rogue/ranger the most as I love hunters in WoW, but surprisingly I'm enjoying the cleric the most, followed by the mage and rogue class. Warriors have never been my favorite class to play but I'm enjoying that class to when I do hop on one.
So far I've played on PvE, PvP and RP shards, all are fun with an overall much more mature crowd, so alot less of the WoW-like trade b.s. A big yeah! I've also noticed most people are in general helpful when out in the world and appreciative when you stop to help them. I've yet to see much of the whining, bitching I've experienced in WoW and some elitism, but not much. I'm sure that will change as the game progresses with more people at end game, but for now it's refreshing.
As far as game play goes, TRION is doing a wonderful job adjusting the game to the player's wants/needs without dumbing it down to the QQ more crowd. There was a minor blip in the game with the first World Event, but TRION did good, pacifying everyone with a goodie bag and extending some of the quests (a couple of alts still have those!). Next up is the free shard transfers, so people can move once a week to find the perfect shard for free! Hey Blizzard what a concept.. Again TRION doesn't seem to be 100% about greed like ActiVision/Blizzard and really seems to want to make a game people like and are loyal to.
SOULS and ROLES
I really like the opportunity to have eight souls (nine with pvp soul) and up to five roles (if you've got the plat!), to be able to switch between. You want a dps warrior, or pvp warrior, or uber tank warrior - make your three roles and you're good to go. I like being able to mix and match three souls in each role and even using the same three, but putting your points in differently makes for a different play style.
Respeccing goes up each time, but it maxes out at level 50 I believe around 50g. My cleric who I've tweaked quite a bit is around 33g at level 44. There is a rumor that there maybe a 'social role' in the planning stages. That could be novel.
They're not easy mode that's for sure. You do have to have people that know how to play their class and can adjust. There is more CC and activity, and not just sit back and read your email while punching buttons. I've heard the T1 & T2 are the same, and thats when gear with appropriate stats comes into play.
The are fun and with the new LFG, seems to be easier to find a pug if you don't have guild-mates of the appropriate level. The LFG tool, does decide your 'role' in the group though based on your current roles. Plus once you're in the Expert level, it will tell you when you are 'geared' enough. So if you have three dps roles, you can't queue for healing or tanking. I did find out the other day if you have one unspent point in a role, it won't count that role as a playable option either.
Having played both the defiant and guardian 1-20 quests enough, I've been avoiding it with the new alts. To stay with the lore of the game, it's understandable why there are only one start zone a faction, but boring to have to go kill those same 6 wolves, pigs, bad guys again! So, I tend to be chosey on which ones I do now and skip vast areas, unless I need faction for some reason (belt rune in the 1-20 is about the only way to get me to quest in those zones - lol).
There are story-line quests that do start in the 1-20 zone and follow to level 50, so it's worth doing those if you like the lore.
Quest rewards and gold are decent and you can make alot of money if you do all the quests.
Those are fun. I've done minor and major rifts, solo, grouped and multiple raids, as well as Invasion Events in every zone. TRION did a great job with this aspect of the game.
Although, if you're solo, it really pays to mouseover the mobs before pulling. Otherwise, if you're like me, you may pull 2-3 elites versus what you may 'assume' are regular mobs on a bonus round. I've been figuring out when a rift is sitting there for awhile there's a reason, it's usually a major with elite mobs. Those are hard to solo, one bad pull and...
Drops from rifts are good, and again the shards and planarite can purchase nice gear upgrades. Plus they're fun. Being able to join a public group and drop when completed is sweet, IMHO.
Warfronts. These are fun. If you like instanced PvP that is. I've yet to see the bitch-fest of you're to low level GTFO, that I saw in WoW BGs, it's more if you know the tactics for the specific warfront, people are glad to have you. The ones that want to sit middle and have 1v1 duels and brag about their HKs, are the biggest drag as they do not get the 'team' success thing at all.
Rewards are decent and building faction with the daily warfront, good PvP gear can be purchased with Favor. You also can get decent XP and I've been leveling a character strictly through PvP and some rift killing. The planarite from rift kills has decent PvP usable gear while leveling, so definitely worth doing.
World PvP. I haven't experienced much world PvP (highest level is only 20 on the PvP shard), but you're auto-flagged once you leave either Freemarch or Silverwood. So other than accidentally tagging the opposition when running/killing rifts, I haven't seen if the high level zones are a gankfest or not.
Crafting is fairly easy in RIFT. It's closer to the click and make like WoW's crafting system, not the mini-game crafting of EQ2. Crafted gear though is good and fills in spots nicely. Runecrafting (enchanting) is worth having on an alt, with the bonus doing the crafting dailies you gain XP. I have three alts that are craft leveling (with some quests, rifting and pvp, but no questing). I've tried all professions and all are decent if you like to craft. If you don't the gathering ones alone bring in nice coin if you play the Auction House.
The crafting dailies do require travel though, as you must deliver the goods to different zones. Having a guild drop a rally banner saves death to pick up the portals, but what fun is that? I did have the three crafting alts all make the death run to the lever 30-40 zones to pick up portals. Only the first one died three times, once the map was open, sneaking around those high aggro mobs wasn't to difficult.
There are also lures for crafting rifts at level 50, with high level crafting materials dropping.
There are also lures for crafting rifts at level 50, with high level crafting materials dropping.
Artifact gathering if you complete collections you'll get rewards. Otherwise the rares sell well on the AH. If you collect shinies in EQ2, you'll understand how addicting this is!
Puzzles and hidden cairns are fun and drop nice gear/weapon upgrades. Some of the puzzles are easy some aren't. There are online guides, and yes I've looked as otherwise some of those would literally drive you bonkers! There are treasure maps that drop out of high end rifts too.
There are a variety of dailies in each zone (to build faction), PvP dailies at 50 (Port Scion has a few you do in there), world events, etc., to keep you busy too.
Guilds. Being in a guild is definitely a good idea, not that you can't solo most of the game, but it's social and more fun in a good guild. There are quite a few guild perks too that make life on Telara much easier, along with guild quests too.
Mounts. They're definitely different some of them. Who would have thought of a two-headed turtle as the started mount? Some I do like, and there are a few, I find creepy. The gorilla looking thing, yikes! Mounts are available at 20, 40 and 50 and go from just under 3 plat to 100-124p for the level 50 mount. You do feel the speed difference if you're on a level 20 mount running with level 50 players though. Been there and not fun! World Events each have specific rare mount drops, and those are highly coveted.
Companion pets. We all love those and there is a nice variety. Faction, dropped, purchasable with artifact turn ins, etc. They don't despawn when traveling either, only death makes them disappear.
CHANGES I'D LIKE TO SEE
Crafting - cooking and fishing definitely. I'd love to see carpenters added, if they'd add player and/or guild housing. I'd love to see more of the materials to craft come from the world. Animal glue? Can't a butcher or alchemist make that? It defeats the purpose of gathering IMHO if I have to pay to buy the majority of materials to craft. I'd rather see a healthy economy with more player driven items that are crafted from other player collected/gathered/manufactured materials.
Porticulim cost - OMG the cost. I know making plat in RIFT isn't horribly hard, but 1-19g for a one way trip - ouch for the crafting alts! But that's me, and I know some people don't mind. I'd rather save my plat for a new mount, gear, something other than quick travel fees.
Auction House - I know they modeled this on WoW, but I wish they'd have gone the EQ2 broker route. I'm not an AH player and hate relisting things or constantly monitoring what I've sold. I know some people enjoy the AH as a mini game, but not me!
Player or Guild Housing. These are so much fun in EQ2 and LoTRO, I do hope this will be something added down the line. I'd hate to see the major cities (Meridian and Sanctum) empty, but I do enjoy decorating and going and seeing the truly creative ways people decorate houses in game.
So overall, I would recommend RIFT to anyone, it's a fun game, somewhat WoW-like, but different enough to be fun. Plus it's a new world to see, who can resist that?