Rift is Fun.. But… #Rift #EQ

Tipa’s post today really hit home for me, it was exactly what I was going to write about (but she does a much better job of it). Rift is fun and pretty but it doesn’t give me enough of that “other stuff” to do. The crafting isn’t complicated enough to make a good hobby of (you can easily farm your supplies as you level and never have to farm extra unless you’re looking to make things to sell), there’s mounts, companions, and collections to hunt but even that still means you’ve got to be out in the specified zone killing mobs. What do I do if I don’t want to kill things. What Rift is lacking (for me personally) is housing and alternate advancement. I realize that none of the games I play (EQ and EQ2 namely) had those things at release either and that there’s time in the future for Rift to add them – but in order to compete with games NOW you should be preparing for those sorts of things. The incredibly linear progression of Rift prevents me from playing it for too long before I get really bored. I quest in Freemarch right now even though I’m level 20 I still have level 15+ quests on me because I spent a lot of time doing Rifts. The quests all take me from one hub to the next, with very little deviation allowed. Sure I could skip quests completely, but I like to finish everything off. I think having only one starting zone makes things feel even more linear, my alts all have to go through those exact same quests, unless I make a Guardian instead of Defiant. Understand that I do love the game, my cleric is level 21 and I’ve sunk 37 hours into it in the last two weeks – but – it’s not a game that I can play full time because eventually I simply get bored of mashing mobs (or Rifts, or players) over and over.

What have I been doing instead? Well. Last night I looked up the hot zones for EQ under the assumption that perhaps Ninga and I would like to eventually hit level 90 (gasp). He’s almost 85 while I’m just moments away from 82 on the necromancer. The problem is the hot zones are either level 70 or level 80. We’re a bit too big for the level 70 ones, and a bit too small for the level 80 ones. With hot zones in place, it makes leveling outside of those zones almost not worth it. We headed to Hills of Shade last night which is off of Loping Plains, and camped outside of a graveyard filled with zombies. A few hours later I had managed to gain 11% experience, which brought me back to my Fippy Darkpaw days. I am currently using a melee DPS merc, while Ninga has a healer merc, and he tanks. It was enjoyable, calm, and I had a lot of fun. I’m about 4% to level, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any more.

Ok so I did stay up very late working on my house (that one pictured is my neighbour, not mine) building little fences and placing fountains and pictures inside. I love housing, and EQ does a fantastic job with allowing players to customize them. I also like that you can purchase homes with Loyalty points if you want instead of plat. The goal for today is to perhaps find an active guild on Drinal that wouldn’t mind someone who isn’t level 90, if you happen to know of such a guild, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Until then, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

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2 Comments

  1. Bhagpuss

    The linearity in Rift really comes from the psychology of the player, not the design of the game. If, as you say, you “like to finish everything off” before you move on, then it will indeed seem very linear. For someone to whom “finishing things off” is an entirely abstract concept, understood only by observing the seemingly inexplicable behavior of other people, there is no linearity whatsoever.

    Mrs Bhagpuss and I both tend to play all fresh MMOs in the same way. We run all over the map, grab quests wherever we see them, finish some, half-finish others and ignore yet others altogether. We are almost always at least half a zone further on than we “should” be for our level, doing yellow or orange con quests for rewards we can’t use (although Rift, refreshingly allows you to use any gear that you can actually complete the quest for). We frequently have to pause while one of us has to delete half-finished or not-yet-started quests from ourt journals in order to add more, many of which also will never get finished.

    There is no particular advantage that I can see in doing all the quests in order anyway. Very few seem to lead in to others. If you can get to somewhere they will give you quests. Very little that you get from quests is necessary, other than faction, perhaps. I can’t see any real reason to do them at all unless you find them enjoyable, which I must say I do.

    On the topic of it being easy to farm your crafting supplies as you level, that really hasn’t been our experience. Mining is taking about half of Mrs Bhagpuss’s playtime and she still can’t really get enough ore reliably. As an Outfitter, on the other hand, I have the problem that my crafting quickly outlevels my ability to kill the mobs that drop cloth or skin for leather of the required level. I spent several hours yesterday just trying to get enough silk and thick leather to do two daily work orders. I died repeatedly doing it, too, because it’s very hard for a level 33 mage to kill level 36 mobs which resist about 80% of everythign thrown at them.

    That said, I do agree that Rift is very much a “fighting” game at this stage. I don’t think that’s oversight or thoughtless design, though. Bashing things up is the core of MMO gameplay and a new entrant to a crowded marketplace really must focus on getting that right. All the rest can come along later as “added value”. It’s a solid, well-understood way to build a brand. The game’s going to be around a good long while and all the things we miss from other games will come in time.

  2. People give me a lot of grief for playing Guardian in Rift but that “very linear” feeling you’re feeling is exactly why. Silverwood is really pretty linear too, but it somehow doesn’t *feel* so linear. I’ll often have to open my map to see exactly where my wanderings have taken me. The fact that there’s Sanctum on one end of the zone, Argent Glade on the other, and portals in each, helps as well. Sometimes I base out of one place, sometimes out of the other.

    That doesn’t address your other issues, of course.

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