Well I think Rift has taken me once more… or perhaps I’m just desperate for that mmo levelling style of play. I really liked that calming play when I jumped into FF14, it’s just that the game was lacking in other ways. Rift has a lot of what I love and the experience feels very.. consistent?.. comfortable?..hmm congruous?.. I don’t know. There are a lot of options for play that are designed well to complement each other that flow from one to the next.
It is an enjoyable way to play as there is enough variety in the actions you’re doing that you are kept engaged. I would go from questing, to closing a rift, an instant adventure here and there and the odd invasion to break it up. There are a lot of different pacing structures that increase the action to a peak battle and then you slowly come back to that comfortable questing routine.
I think part of the reason why I was having such a hard time connecting before was that I wasn’t playing a cleric. It was always my favourite class for unknown reasons and I thought before that I might get bored playing the same class again. The familiarity with the combat style and progression actually made me feel more comfortable again and brought back that nostalgic feeling. I remember these same rotations; the skills and the effective class combos. It became less of a chore and I embraced the game once more.
I’m glad I chose Guardians as well as I never levelled up a guardian on release. I was a Defiant girl and it was a PvP server so it kind of felt like deserting my team. I had always fought against them, always, and the thought of colluding with them was appalling. I think levelling another Defiant though would have bored me as I did those beginning 30-40 levels or so so many times. This way I at least get to see more of these different environments. I still feel bad though… Dirty hippy Guardians.
It’s interesting to see how the whole experience has changed over the months and year.. for the better as well. Trion are constantly improving the base experience by adding new ways to play, events and general polish. I can’t believe there is fishing now too… had to sit there for a while doing just that.
I had also forgotten how fun it was to just explore the world as a way of finding lots of cool things and shiny baubles. Love the artifact system immensely; finding all those things would be enough by itself but there are also a lot of fluff items and now dimension bitsies given as reward. I even managed to find one of the puzzles that I completely forgotten were in-game that took me above the towers and such, portaling around until the end. Makes me want to search for them all again as well as those cairns that reward interesting items and gear.
The one thing I had forgotten is how poorly optimised the game is and how taxing it can be on the system. I know my laptop is in a downward spiral of death but I thought it would still be able to handle this old game effectively…Nope. Even at the max setting for taking pictures and such it really doesn’t look that good anymore; lots of washed out textures and little detail but yet it requires decent hardware to run effectively.
I still feel like playing more. I managed to get to level 20 over the day and entered into Gloamwood, a zone I remember having many many raids on a long time ago. Should be fun. I purchased some of the cash shop currency too so the experience is a little less restricted. I was surprised at how bad the patron status was. I was going to opt in for 3 months but it really only gives you reputation and exp boosts. I was expecting something like relaxing the many restrictions at least and gifting some in-game currency like other popular ftp models. No, you get 10% off instead.. AMAZING! Just opened up some more bag slots first and we’ll see what else is needed later.
That shop is a work of brilliance though. Intertwined with ever system and shop in the game nearly, enough that you replace them. It also gets people viewing the shop more often and even considering purchasing items for the currency instead of in-game gold. It’s a devious mechanism but I’m guessing it is quite successful. It only works though because Rift know how to focus on fluff.. so much fluff cosmetics and activities everywhere but that’s what I want from an mmo as after you’ve completed the gear grind that’s all that’s left to sustain play.
Hope to see you in there too. Eriena on Faeblight. It seemed like the more popular server now.