Category Archives: Rift
I haven’t posted much lately. As noted in my prior post, I’m really just doing a daily Expert plus Vath quests to get 90 Lore tomes per day for 5 of 7 days in order to cap out, plus I’ve been running the Kobold beast tribes in order to get my bomb chair mount. Not really a whole lot to say about any of that, so… no posting.
I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about Rift lately, so since it’s F2P I decided to download it again. I really don’t remember any of it — logged in and looked at my UI and the macro’s I’ve got set up and whatnot and just went “wow, none of this looks familiar.” I ran around a little to try to remember locations, logged in on each of my 4 characters to see if anything looked familiar at all and nothing did, so I decided to start a new character to re-learn the systems, the world map, and such and since I still had over 6000 gems (or whatever their cash currency is called) left over from when they did the F2P conversion I used most of that stockpile to unlock the Primalist calling. Of course, by the time I did that I was pretty much out of play time for the day so I only made level 2 in the tutorial zone, but such is life, right? I picked a ranged soul as my primary for it, but since one can mix and match, I’ll probably do that after I research a nice leveling build for it.
Anyway, short post, but at least it’s something. Happy gaming out there!
This past week I had a rather odd night of gaming. I sent an email to a friend the next morning detailing it, and in re-reading the email I thought it showed exactly what kind of “Nomadic Gamer” that I am, so you get to read it now too:
Watched tv with the wife until 10. Mucked about on the internet until about 11. Finally decided to actually log in to a game and settled on. . . . . EQ2 for the 1st time in over a year. Looked at my coercer and while the thing said “your AA was all reset” my AA’s were all still in place. It also said I was awarded 25 bonus AA, and then to top it off sometime between the last time I logged in and last night they re-balanced the AA curve so I had another 71 AA’s I could assign to boot.
Once I got the additional 96 AA’s done, I looked at my gear since I was getting a lovely message saying “some of your gear is locked” and well….. let’s just say if I took all of my gear off it wouldn’t have made any difference to my stats – every last piece of gear I have is legendary or fabled on the coercer. I actually ran a lot of instances on that toon back in the day, though apparently since I really haven’t played for 3 expansions, the level 90 mastercrafted gear is better than my legendary drops from the hardest instances in Paineel. Gotta love gear creep, no?
Options to unlock gear are: buy an unlock token for 40 station cash, or a pack of 5 for 150. Since I have 21 gear slots locked, I’d need 640 SC just to unlock the current gear and. . . meh. Other option is to sub. Also meh. Camped to desktop and found that somehow I’ve lost 2 character slots, so while the toons are still in the selection screen, they show locked since they’re over my limit. Apparently re-subbing would open them back up. Said “meh” to myself and exited the game. No point in playing if you have “no gear,” ya know?
Logged in to Vanguard next. 12 character slots for free, and I’m even using 8 of them, but 7 of those toons are still in various stages of the Isle of Refuge. Didn’t initially see my druid toon, so opened up the character creator and. . . all race/class restrictions are gone. Nice! But then I didn’t feel like bothering to make a character and didn’t remember what all was in my list anyway and didn’t want to make a dupe, so…. back out. Realized that I needed to scroll the list and oh look there’s the druid. Logged it in. Level 9 and I have 2 buffs, a self-heal, and 3 attack spells. Wow, that’s refreshing after logging in to EQ2 and having 96 hotbar slots open and about 90 of them actually filled. . . . . .
Ran to a mob area and killed a few, but then was tired so I exited out and went to bed. This was about midnight. Woke up at 3:24 with a headache. Tried to simply go back to sleep but just couldn’t get comfortable, so got up, went to the bathroom, took some Tylenol, and mucked about on the internet until about 6 when I decided to see if I could get into SWTOR. But ran into the same issue as the last time I tried to log in – they don’t log in with email address anymore, but account name, and I don’t have the 1st clue as to what my account name is. Clicked the “forgot my account name” button and it said “okay, sending you an email” but it never showed.
Decided to log in to Rift, but while the launcher opened fine and updated, when I clicked “Play” it crashed. Repeatedly. Went to the Rift forums and apparently for Win7 x64 people, a security update that M$ pushed out on Tuesday is the culprit. Uninstalled that and then Rift launched. Played my level 14 rogue in order to get it to 15 so I can transfer it off of Faeblight. I don’t recall why I wanted to free up a slot, but do recall that since I’d made the 28 slot bags for the toon that were now character-bound I wanted to transfer it, not delete it. So it’s now level 15, but haven’t transferred it or anything yet, becuz as I was getting ready to do that. . . [My 3-yr old daughter] woke up and it was 7:20-ish anyway, so time for me to get up too.
3:15 of sleep last night, and I don’t know why. I never get headaches, so to wake up with one. . . . too weird.
So Rift went “Free to Play” this past week and finally opened up The Dendrome zone. Since a big part of why I drifted off was that I felt I’d more or less “done” the part of the Storm Legion expansion that interested me (ie the leveling) and was now repeating content for the 3rd/4th time on my mage, I just kinda drifted off. I still love the game, just… didn’t have the drive to log in anymore. But hey… new areas to explore! I’m in!
Since I consider my cleric to be “my main” I logged it in 1st. Found some mail in my box including a nice “Ice Strider” veloci-tauntaun mount. Opened up the Rift store and dang! Over 20,000 gems? That’s something like $130 worth. I looked through the store to see what was available and really liked a lot of the armor sets they’d build. Some nice mounts were available too as well as bigger bags (that I don’t need), more bank space (which I could use on all of my toons), and Holy Hannah! 19 wardrobe slots now? Makes sense with all the various wardrobe options in the store, I suppose. I was surprised to see actual gear with stats on it in there too. That’s guaranteed to bring out the cries of “Pay 2 win! It’s pay 2 win!” and specially in this case since the gear I was looking at was Tier 1 blue gear from the expert dungeons. But, with that said, I also looked at the prices and it looks like fully outfitting a toon in that would be about 10,000 coins, and that’s not even taking into account the cost for the upgrade tokens that could make it all into Tier 2 gear. sure you *could* buy your way into that gear, but at those prices…. yowza. I’d rather buy a year-long sub for $120 and work it myself than pay the same amount for the gear straight up.
So anyway. looked at all that, thought it was a nice store, and then logged in my rogue. Grabbed the Ice Strider mount out of my mailbox, claimed the loyalty rewards that don’t take up bag space, then headed into the Dendrome. The quest lines are the standard mix of kill 10 shmeerps, collect 5 clickies, run here, do that, etc. The zone itself is pretty right as you get into it. Kinda jungle-themed in a band along a mountain range that separates the desert of Ashora from the desert in the northern part of the Dendrome as well. Some interesting floating platforms and jumping pads as part of a quest early on too. Not a jumping puzzle since the pads throw you exactly where you need to go, but still something of a thrill.
A big zone event started shortly after I got there and it took me away from the area where I was questing, so when the big boss was downed, I just started exploring the place. Saw my 1st “stronghold” which is a heroic-level foothold/onslaught combination thin. You have to kill the outlying footholds and their defenders then call in a Storm Legion mecha to break the shield on the main foothold before you can take it down. Once that’s done, then you can put down your own
foothold thingie on the ruins and it puts some jump pads up above you and then you start the onslaught phase of it where you defend your device from the invading waves. Some of them fly, so you can leap up to the upper pads and get close to the mobs that way in order to take them out. It’s quite a nice event for small groups, I think.
I eventually stumbled into the town/outpost of Hailol. Fun little place. Atrophinius seems to make a lot of appearances anymore. I guess people like him or something.
So anyway, it’s been fun. I’m looking forward to finishing out my explorations of the Dendrome and doing the quests to get the story/lore. And perhaps a few of those nice outfits from the store. . . .
Leveling in NW is surprisingly fast. Combat doesn’t give a whole lot of xp per mob, but there’s a lot of combat, so it adds up quite quickly. Beyond that, most quest turn-ins seems to give a percentage of your next level, not a set amount, so that makes it go quite quickly as well. I did a few quests recently where I was told I’d get 2900-ish xp upon turn-in, but I leveled up “out in the field” and when I came back they each awarded 3200-ish xp instead. Makes me want to run back and do some of the zones I’ve skipped to see if the quests scale their rewards there.
I was playing my Trickster Rogue the morning of the big rollback a few weeks ago, so I lost a couple of levels of progress. I haven’t played the rogue since other than crafting and daily logins to Invoke for coins, and just that has been enough to get me 3 levels. “C&I” gives a surprisingly high amount of XP. My Guardian Fighter has gained 5 levels from the last time I played it, so it’s level 25 now. I also started playing a GWF with a friend who started a cleric. We’re both at the same stage in the main story of the quests, but since I’ve been doing C&I daily and he hasn’t, I’m now level 21 vs his level 19. I’ve slowed down the crafting on that character in order to not get too far ahead. . . .
This past weekend I decided to focus on my Cleric and am now level 49 on it. 1 more and I get “the game changer” skill of Astral Shield. Frankly, I thought that level 30 getting me Forgemaster’s Flame was quite a game changer. I’ve only done solo work, so I’ve not seen the whole “clerics are tanks due to aggro being all borked up” issue that’s all over the forums, but I guess it’s not far off now. As a result, I’ve been building toward a “Tank/Regen” build that’s been posted in the forums. It’s quite survivable and still does decent dps output while solo, so I like it quite a lot. That said, I took my control wizard out for a spin this morning to get that last little nudge to get to 40 and was surprised at how fast I was killing things with it . . .
So anyway, I’m still enjoying the game quite a bit. Weeknight playtime is very limited anymore, but I’m still getting some decent sessions in on the weekends. Another friend’s started looking into Rift, though, so I might be playing some more of that soon and mentoring down.
Because, like “everyone else” I’ve checked out Neverwinter. But that’s later 😉
Rift Update: Rogue is level 60 now. I’ve done a couple of experts on it, but nothing rogue-y has dropped. Ah well. Followed the same leveling path as the warrior, so to mix it up a bit, I’m working my mage up on the Dusken continent. Level 56 so far, but haven’t really played in about 2 months now due to several real-life factors causing a severe decrease in my available MMO-time (as in, I went from 20+ hours a week down to about 1-2. . . ). I’m still not much caring for Dusken, so that hasn’t helped my desire to log in. I also think I burned out from MMO’s a bit anyway, as I’ve not felt any desire to log in to TSW or LotRO either.
Did I mention that I was giving LotRO another look-see? Several bloggers were talking about it and the new expansion dropped, so I thought I’d check out the base client. Found I had 6900 Turbine Points available when I installed it (did I drop $50 on it at some point in the past and didn’t realize it?), so I used them to get the Moria expansion and the 2 classes that were included. Glad I did, because the RuneKeeper and the Warden are my 2 favorite characters. I’m also enjoying the Minstrel a lot. The LoreMaster didn’t “do it” for me, though, nor did the Hunter or Captain. Neither the Guardian nor the Burglar sound appealing to me at all, so I’ve not tried them either.
TSW I’ve almost finished issue #5, and I’ve got Issue #6 installed, but haven’t started it at all, so I don’t yet have my whip. Eventually…….
And finally… Neverwinter. I didn’t think to take any screenies, so enjoy a picture of my Rift guild’s dimension instead 😉 I wrote out a long 1st impressions-type email to a friend that I’m just going to paste in here. Hopefully it makes sense:
I fired up Neverwinter to let the queue wind down and hopefully play a little before I had to go to bed. And I got right in – no queue at all, so either a massive drop-off in the number of players from Tuesday night where I was at position 7000+, or they did something on the back end to let more people play.
So anyway… tried my “Control Wizard” 1st. At level 1 you have . . . Magic Missile. You wake up shipwrecked, given a basic chest armor piece and weapon and head up to a camp site. Where you gain level 2 for walking into the place. This gives you your 2nd “at will” power, which in NW parlance means “spammable.” For the CW, it’s the Ray of Frost and in this game it’s a channel that slows the mobs headed your way and ticks a cold counter on them. If it gets to 6 stacks of the counter, the mob gets frozen in a 3 second stun. Very useful against bosses, but not so hot vs trash. Magic Missile does very well, but is ST only, so after you start fighting 3-4 mobs at a time, freezing 1 out of a group helps avoid some hits.
So anyway, now you’re level 2 and you have to go kill a few zombies to clear them away from “injured soldiers” who you heal up and then head up to the next camp. Mobs in the tutorial section give no xp, but you gain level 3 when you walk in to the next camp anyway. This gives you your 1st “encounter” ability (12-18 second cooldown). For the CW it’s an ice spike that (at this stage, anyway) 1-shots trash and has a stun built in vs bigger mobs. You get sent out to gather arrows from the bodies of soldiers. So you do that while killing or avoiding actual aggro mobs and go to the next camp and hit level 4. This gives you your 1st “daily” power (daily = you build action points as you cast spells and eventually fill a bar which enables you to cast it and empty the bar to start refilling it again) which is a PBAE damage spell. You also receive a class buff (5% duration increase for control effects for the CW).
This time you’re sent to cross a bridge that’s under attack in order to get into the city of Neverwinter itself. On your way to the bridge are duo’s of aggro mobs, but your range is longer than their aggro radius as a CW, so… no biggie. And since you can open with a 1-shot on 1 of them and then simply freeze-ray the other… again, no biggie. Once on the bridge itself it gets a little more interesting. Some mobs are archers, but again – your range is longer than theirs, so you just kill them while they stand around like dorks. You see a red cone on the ground showing exactly where they shoot, so you just avoid the red, and it’s all good. Until you get onto the bridge proper, where it’s groups of 4 mobs, and most are melee, but a few are archers still. You have a temporary tank companion at this point, so you can let it take the brunt of any hits if you want, but you can still mow down mobs in about 2-3 seconds, so if you 1-shot the 1st, then freeze the 2nd, then magic missile down the 3rd, the tank takes the 4th, you kill the frozen one, and the tank has killed the 4th by then too. Quite quick.
Until you get to the mini-boss. It’s got about 4x the HP of a regular mob and it does like the bosses in TSW and tosses a red area on the ground for you to dodge out of every so often. It still goes down easy. Couple more groups of mobs then you’re at the bridge boss. It’s got about 15x the health of a regular mob and a cutscene before the fight gets rid of your temporary tank, so you’re full solo. I hit it with my ice spike which stunned it, then channeled my freeze-ray at him until he froze, then spammed magic missile until he broke out of being frozen. Dodged his red circle charge then froze him again. Spammed MM until he broke out, then my ice spike was back up so I stunned and froze him again. Magic missile spam until he broke out. Dodged his next charge, but he was able to close the gap with me this time… and started to telegraph a PBAE circle, which I dodged out of then hit my daily power… which stunned him, so I spammed 2 MM’s, then ice spiked him, then froze him, and. . . done. I think I took 1 hit the whole fight. That’s quite a lot of control in that there Control Wizard even at level 4. . . .
And now I’m in the city itself to turn in the quest which give a nice upgrade chest armor piece and weapon, then sends you into your 1st (solo) dungeon. It’s linear, no traps or hidden things, mobs are mostly melee, but there are a couple of archers, and 1 mini-boss is a caster that leaves little mines down to avoid. Since the CW doesn’t have self-heals and mob swarms do come and give you a few thwacks here and there, I had a couple of close calls vs larger swarms and vs the mini-boss and his minions, but managed to pull it all out without even needing to drink a potion. It does the DDO thing where you only heal at certain checkpoints – campfire instead of shrines – and I was always just reaching the next campfire when I got close to death, so I was able to immediately heal back up, so that was nice. Final boss was like on the bridge – I did a lot of stuns and dodging while I didn’t have the mob stunned. Easy enough. Mobs do grant xp now, but the dungeon isn’t enough to take you to level 5. But the quest turn-in does. . . .
So now at level 5 you get your 1st power point. You can grab a 2nd encounter power, or upgrade an existing one. Since the CW appears not to gain the ability to slot in a 2nd encounter power until level 10, I chose to upgrade Magic Missile to do 10% more damage instead. I may have read that wrong, though, since later on at level 5 I selected the 2nd encounter power on my Cleric thinking to swap it and it slotted in just fine. But anyway, thus ends the tutorial phase and now you can go grab new quests from givers around the city, etc.
I swapped to the Devoted Cleric to see how it played differently. At level 1 it’s got a ranged spear spell and it takes 2 hits to kill trash. At level 2 you get a “seal” that damages the mob and makes it so that you get healed when you hit the affected mob. Encounter power at level 3 is a PBAE that does about the same amount of damage as your lance and heals you to boot. Daily power at level 4 knocks the mob down and does a decent sized hit on it. Class power is… I’m not sure. I think it was 5% boost to heals, but I don’t recall exactly now.
Since you have self-heals, the 1st dungeon was a lot easier. The heals are small though, and it’s not like you can spam direct heals on yourself – you do have to have the seal on the mob and then hit it, or hit a mob with the PBAE skill, so your health doesn’t stay full all the time, but it drops very slowly, and I just had to top off at the campfires for a second or 2 was all. Mob swarms were easy enough – spam the seal on each mob as they closed in, then as they got to melee-ish range hit the PBAE and finish off the 1 or 2 mobs that didn’t die but only have a couple of HP left. The bosses hit me more often than on the CW since I don’t have the control spells/stuns, so I was trying to dodge more often, but you only have enough stamina to do 2 dodges before you have to wait for it to build, so I’d take that 3rd hit. But… self-heals… no biggie. Overall, dps felt similar and the DC felt a lot less squishy too.
Combat is reticle/active like DDO or Tera, but you can’t cast on the run, so you can’t kite. It does a soft-lock to your target, though, so if a mob runs behind you, you do auto-face it, so that’s kinda nice. It doesn’t look like you’ll actually ever have all that many spells/powers either and the default keybinds put all the stuff in very easy reach (though I mapped A and D to Q and E for my strafing, and moved the power activations from Q and E down to A and D respectively). Left click is At Will 1, right click is At Will 2. Encounter powers are mapped to Q, E, and R by default, and Daily powers are 1 and 2. Potions are 3, and there’s 4 and 5 for other consumables later on, it appears. As you get higher in level you’ll have to “choose a deck” so to speak, from available powers, but it doesn’t look like that will be too big a thing.
Overall, I’m rather impressed so far, even without the ability to cast instant spells on the run. Enough so that I’m thinking of dropping $10 to buy 2 more character slots for a Trickster Rogue and 1 of the fighters… probably a Guardian Fighter. The Great Weapon Fighter is said to be kind of a grind until level 35 and then suddenly be wicked OP, so that sounds kinda meh to me. Apparently there are in-game ways to earn their “zen” for the cash shop too, so I’ll look into that as well. Not a bad 2-hour run, I didn’t think. Got a feel for 2 different characters and enjoyed them both. Score a win for Neverwinter!