Rift Beta 7 Impressions
Over the 6 days of the Rift Open Beta, I played a bit here and there but really worried more about working the crafting skills of several low-level toons I made specifically for the purpose of doing that. What I was trying to do was to see how well the crafting scales with adventure level and found to my delight that it scales pretty well. I define “pretty well” to mean that you will for the most part be crafting level-appropriate stuff to a bit above your level so that you have something to grow into.
The exception to this is Runecrafting. I skilled that up to 131 and was making level 18 items, while at 131 the Outfitter skill was making items for level 29-ish. This is actually very annoying becuz you can only apply a rune to an item of equal or lower level, so the Tier 3 runes I was crafting only being level 18 means they can’t even be applied to the “2nd half” of Tier 2 crafting. Those T2 items are level 19. Quite the dilemma, really. Hopefully it will be a smoothed a little better come launch.
The only other real downside to crafting was the scarcity of the nodes for everything except the outfitter and runecrafter professions. Outfitter needs cloth, which drops about 50% of the time off of humanoid mobs which are the most common mob type. Only really hard part of that is making sure that you are of sufficient level to kill said mobs. . . . And the 2nd skill is butchering for hides which you take off most mobs labeled “beast.” And they seem to be the 2nd most common mob type. Since it takes 2 cloth drops to make 1 usable crafting item that does seem to make the cloth disappear quickly, though, while I always seemed to be swimming in leather. And most leather recipes still need some amount of cloth.
But another upside is that the crafted stuff looks quite nice. For example, the T1 armor and bow my ranger/marksman is wearing here. Screenshot doesn’t do it any justice — it looked really sweet in-game.
Runecrafter uses items that come from breaking down loot drops. . and crafted items. Since it’s pretty easy to crank out a ton of leather boots with all that “extra” leather I always seem t have lying about, I could get a lot of materials in order to skill up the runecrafting quite rapidly. For those of you wondering what runecrafting is. . . think adornments in EQ2 or enchantments in WoW. And they actually give rather nice boosts. My biggest seller in the rune department was the level 18 rune that gave a +6 to the wisdom score. I guess those clerics out there are really WIS starved. . . . Still, at least paired with an outfitter that swims in leather to make breakable boots to power its crafting it has a lot of material to work with. OTOH, the people that have to forage for wood or mine their metal. . . those nodes are pretty few and far between. They’re static spawn, at least, so once you know where they are you can make a circuit, but it’s a slow process — so for all you people out there who aren’t crafting: take all 3 harvesting skills and harvest everything you see and put it on the broker for *reasonable* prices for your crafters. They’ll make you nice gear in return!
One annoyance I do have is that you get a portion of your tradeskill recipes off a vendor, but that vendor only takes tradeskill tokens which you can only get from running daily tasks. They aren’t hard — just crat 2-5 of a specific item, but then you have to run it out into the world and that can take a while. Well, in the 1st zone it can. For the 2nd tier and 3rd tiers you can just teleport right to the location of those quartermasters. . . after you’ve run to them once. 3rd tier was a little rough — I was level 26 and the zone I was sent to had level 35 mobs patrolling the road, so getting past them took some doing. The worst annoyance of all this is that these are daily tasks, you can’t just grind some some out to get enough tokens to buy your recipes — gotta do a little here and a little there. Ah well.. MMO’s have to have timesinks, else we’d “finish” them and stop playing, right? As it is with a dual-crafter toon doing 4 available tasks (current tier and next tier up, it seemed) I was able to get 32 tokens in a single day. Spent them all instantly too and didn’t get “everything” but would have gotten it all by day 2, so if I’d focused on them each day I probably would have kept all my recipes “current” anyway, so it’s not as big a deal as I’m making it out to be, I suppose.
Funny side note to that was that to avoid the mobs I ended up climbing a mountain, and at the very peak was a clickable pile of bones. In them was a nice staff that would have been crap for a level 33-35 player doing the zone at an appropriate level, but for me at level 26 it was a nice upgrade over the level 17 gear I’d gotten from the T2 dungeon.
I found that on the mage I preferred the lower dps of the healer Chloromancer and the Elementalist’s tank pet over doing something like Elementalist or Pyromancer as primary. Sure, things died faster if I went with a dps mage as primary, but if excrement hit a whirling air-moving device I took a dirtnap fast, whereas with the Chloromancer as primary I could solo elite mobs no problem and if things got pear-shaped I could still handle 2 or 3 adds on me, plus whatever was on my pet as well. That increased survivability seemed very worth the longer kill times to me. Especially as the kill times didn’t really feel very long.
I got in a dungeon run as a dps-spec’d Pyromancer, but our poor cleric couldn’t keep the tank up even just vs AE trash, so I swapped back to my Chloromancer build and we breezed through the rest of the dungeon. Got a nicer staff than the one I found on the mountain and also a nice robe (see to the left 😛 ). And I think the cleric swapped to a dps role after a couple of pulls since I was healing better than he had been, in spite of him using all 3 cleric-healer souls and being a level higher than I was. He must have just had a crappy point allocation or something. And of course the Chloromancer is a really good healer soul, and I was spec’d as “pure healer” with max points for the level in Chloro and the remainder in the Warlock skills that buff up my healing, so it worked out quite well. Much better than my 1st dungeon run — I knew what I was doing this time and had fixed a couple of errors in my earlier point allocation 😀
Anyway, I’ve pre-ordered and am very much looking forward to the game’s headstart on Thursday. I’m not sure if I want to level a single toon up and then bring up alts of the various archetypes or if I want to level multiple toons simultaneously in order to try to keep myself outfitted in crafted gear. For overland soloing the crafted gear tends to be equal to or superior to your drops and quest rewards, but the dungeons drop stuff that’s much better than the crafted gear, and I don’t know that that makes the crafted gear all that necessary.
I guess I’ll decide once I start playing. TBH, I enjoy the Ranger/Marksman combo from the rogue, the Justicar/Shaman combo from the cleric, and pretty much everything except the necromancer from the mage, so I don’t see it being a chore to level up 3 at the same time. Perhaps I’ll soon find a warrior spec I like also. We shall see. . . . And no I don’t know why I don’t like the necro. . I just don’t. It doesn’t “do it” for me. Such is life.
Finally… I have decided that I will be Defiant faction. I do plan to craft quite a bit and the crafting area in Meridian is simply better laid out than the one in Sanctum on the Guardian side.
Yeah, that’s the whole reason. Nothing about looks of the races or the lore. . . simply the crafting room layout in the main city. It’s got all your trainers, recipe vendors, broker and mailbox all in a single room just a few steps from each other. In Sanctum the crafting devices are well-clustered, but the auctioneer is not very close. The only saving grace there is that it’s outdoors so you can call your mount when you have to run over to the broker….. but if you go Eth on the Defiant side you’ve got a runspeed buff that’s actually faster than the starter mount and usable indoors if you really can’t stand to run the 20 steps to the broker at normal speed.
So there it is. I hope to seem at least some of you in Rift once it launches, or even in the headstart. I’ll be playing the DoV expansion of EQ2 for the next 2 days, but on Thursday, Rift takes over my gaming time as a focus for a while.