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RIFT: thoughts and notes

Posted by Chris Jones
On February 21st, 2011 at 09:07

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Unless you want random people joining your group, remember to make your group private — by default, you are a public group member. This won’t prevent you from joining public groups or raids at rift events or footholds.

The leveling experience is the same for all races on a given side. Leveling is linear: you don’t get different starting zones. This is unlike UO, EQ, WoW, DAOC, EVE, or Warhammer; it’s like EQ2 without the starting zone diversity.

The graphics will make you want to upgrade your PC: computers that run WoW at high settings without a hitch will play RIFT at half the framerate or at low settings. The GTX 260M on my laptop is entry level, while my wife’s GTX 460M handles it fairly well.

Low graphics settings

Low graphics settings

Books in the newbie garden: lore fiends need to make a point to hang out in the starting zone and patrol the ruins for limited books:

  • Durnes: Ranger
  • Elementalists, The First Mages
  • Journal of Zareph Mathos
  • The Unholy Blight: Reavers
  • Vachir Atlan: Champion

You won’t be able to get back into the Ruins of Mathosia (Guardian) or the future (Defiant) when you’re done, so if you want the books you need to take the time to pick them up.

Artifacts: as you make it into Silverwood, the first (Guardian) zone after the starter zone, you’ll rarely find artifacts. These can be collected (like EQ2 collections) and sold to an artifact collector for currency that can be used to purchase pets, masks, and a mount.

RIFT reuses a lot of gameplay mechanics you’ve seen in WoW:

  • You can’t put on armor in combat (you could in EQ)
  • Achievements (WoW borrowed from XBox)
  • Default keybinds (B for bag, C for character sheet, N for talents/Soul tree, O for social, P for skills)
  • You can build some characters to behave very similarly to WoW (Bladedancer is like a Combat Rogue, Ranger is like a Beastmaster Hunter, Paladin/Warlord is lika a Protection Paladin) — a lot of character classes are very different
  • 60% speed mounts used to be available at 20, now they’re available as soon as you can afford them (which will be about level 20).
  • There’s an auction house in Sanctum City.
  • Groups are made up of five player characters

You’ll need to retrain yourself to look for green exclamation points on your mini-map to find quests.

Rift events are fun: they’ve shaved off the public quest warts of WAR and made them enjoyable. Note that you can have higher level events trample through lower level questing zones (expecially in Silverwood) so you need to keep an eye out for the train of level 20 mobs.

RIFT invasion in Silverwood

It’s easy to find a rift: on areas of your map that you’ve explored, they’ll show up as icons. If you haven’t explored the area yet, you’ll be able to look up and find the telltale clouds and tentacles dropping from the sky.

Your healer or tank may not be quite what you expect: Rogues, Mages, and Priests all tank, while most Priests don’t heal unless they’ve picked up the appropriate soul.

Awesome EQ2 feature brought into RIFT: your character faces his target. When you have a conversation with someone, you can target his character and look him in the eye. It’s small but it helps tremendously with immersion.

The emotes are more like UO than WoW or EQ.

RIFT is incredibly group friendly. You should group.

You can level up from running rifts and invasions: follow the crowd, stay in the raid, and watch the XP and rewards roll in. Note that rifts scale by population, so as the game loses popularity or population is spread out to other zones, it will be harder to level using rifts exclusively.

End of RIFT beta

End of RIFT beta

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