Once upon a time, I played RIFT. I started playing at release and had an absolute blast cruising around with a bunch of other people closing rifts and experiencing what the game had to offer. However, being the slow leveler that I am, I was quickly left behind, and the zones that had once been bursting with activity now felt empty and desolate. Rifts were left unchecked, and my Cleric Druid…thingy…was left all alone to attempt to drive out the invaders. Yeah, that didn’t end well for her at all. In what has become a reoccurring theme in my adventures in other games, I eventually gave up and went back to World of Warcraft without even getting close to level cap.
Fast forward a few years and word reaches me that RIFT is releasing an expansion. I’m interested, but not enough to reactivate my account (Ironically, my account was active all that time. It was only when my credit card was stolen did I realise I was still paying my monthly sub. D’oh!). I have bought so many other games that I have neglected in these past six months alone; can I really justify adding another one to that list, especially when I go on holidays a week after Storm Legion is released? The answer was no.
Whoa. Did I…did I just make a grown up decision and not impulsively spend cash?
I totally did.
Evidentally, the gaming gods were so damned impressed (Or horrified, I can’t quite tell) with this stunning display of fiscal responsibility that they decided that I would best 6,000 other entries and scoop up one of the Storm Legion keys that Gamebreaker are currently giving away (At the time of posting this, there are still 10 days left to enter. Go forth and win!). I nearly died of shock when I saw my profile pic staring back at me during the Legendary live stream! I was equal part horrified that 1,300 people had just seen what I looked like, and excited because I had just won something awesome. Hooray! Guess I’m playing RIFT afterall!
Round Two in Telara
A LOT has changed since I quit playing RIFT a few years ago. The first thing I noticed was the changes they had made to how rifts work. It’s great to see that the developers acknowledged that those trying to level stood no chance at closing a rift when there was no-one else around to help out. Now I’m not sure if they just went and nerfed the crap out of the rift mobs, or if my Pyromentalist Mage just isn’t garbage like my old toon, but I did not even break a sweat clearing out most rifts at low levels. There are also various crystals scattered around the rift area which you can click on during battle that will heal or buff you, depending on which one you select, which are very handy if you’re riding solo.
The second thing I noticed, which I do not remember from the original release of the game, was the way the game tried really hard to guide me into selecting particular talents. When I tried to enter points in something that the game felt was wrong for my calling, a window popped up warning me that I was straying from my path. I also do not remember the “Calling Purposes” button from my first time playing; general purpose soul and talent choices built by Trion. While I have not utilised this feature on my Mage, I know a certain Druid Cleric…thingy that desperately needs to! Assuming I’m right and this was added in later down the track, I can’t help but feel a little sad that they have felt the need to include this. Wasn’t one of the big selling points of RIFT back in the day that you were encouraged to create your own masterpiece (Or in my case, tragedy)? I should add that the ability to do your own thing is still there, but the game certainly goes out of its way to warn you that you’re doing it wrong.
Finally, I loved the world event that allowed you to just power level by cruising around in an Adventure party clearing out the capital city of Storm Legion invaders. Of course, I derped it up and created a new trial account instead of just adding the code to my original Collector’s Edition account, and so my Mage was capped at level 20. There is a silver lining though, the code didn’t work until today and so I now I have all my fancy items and access to the Druid Cleric…thingy. All that work I did over the past few days to level my Mage has been a waste though. That’s the price you pay for being an idiot, I suppose :P
I am positive that more has changed than what I mentioned here, but considering I played such a long time ago and wasn’t particularly high level or skilled in the first place, I am not in the best position to discuss them more. I am definitely enjoying myself the second time around, and I look forward to dusting off the Druid Cleric…thingy and reworking her. The story line in RIFT has always intrigued me, and does even more so now that I have done the starting areas for both factions. I am determined to fully experience this game! Let’s see if I can break some kind of a record and get to maximum level in a MMO that isn’t WoW!
Have you ventured back into Telara with the release of Storm Legion today? Do you think this will bring RIFT’s subscriber numbers up, or will the influx of people lose interest once their 30 days are up and the next shiny new game is released? Have your say in the comments below!