Reflections On My First Day In Rift Beta #4

You know who inspires me? Bullet Points Blog. In honor of his steadfastness to all things bullet point, I present to you my reflections from Rift’s fourth beta event:

  • People who say that combat is boring must have played warriors. I brushed off my paladin (a warrior class) from the first beta event and thought I’d pick up where I left off. Except, after playing a mage last go round, I couldn’t stand him. I went with a Paladin-Reaver combo, which works, except that my rotation breaks down a handful of unexciting skills. None of the animations or sound effects have any flair. There’s a single reactive that rarely goes off. And everything is on the GCD — no instants, no “on next swings.”  It’s all so incredibly drear compared to the other classes.
  • So, I re-rolled a cleric. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea because you couldn’t go more than ten feet without running into one of the Free Realms fairies. That’s our pet. They’re good for healing, which is why most people spec into them, but they look less than heroic.
  • Clerics are fun! You get all three souls very early on now, so within an hour I was rocking a Justicar, Inquisitor, Druid mix. I really liked the Inq-Just combo because it lets you pull from a distance, burn them down while they run to you, and finish them off with a smack or two in the kisser. Compared to warriors, clerics feel incredibly overpowered. If you die to anything other than an elite, you’re probably doing something wrong — you get a lengthy bubble with a short cooldown. Plus some great DPS. Nerf incoming, I’d count on it.
  • The sky went dark. Not just over my head but all around me. It was like someone hid the sun and we were all thrown into sudden night. Messages started popping up across my screen and a new quest appeared in my log: “Defense of Freemarch.”  I opened the map. Dozens of rifts had opened. Invasions were spawning. It didn’t even matter that I was only level 10, I wanted in. I tried walking on the road until a band of elite fire monsters rushed at me. I ran into the field and quickly came across a little farm. There was a big crystal in the field that I didn’t recognize. Then it happened. All around me fire monsters spawned and rushed. At least a dozen other players flew to arms. Many fell. All the while, status updates from my fellow adventures zone-wide popped up on my screen. By the time our boss mob fell and his crystal destroyed, Freemarch had been defended. This was the single most exciting and epic event I’ve had in an MMO in the last two years.
  • Throughout the rest of the night I quested. I didn’t read any of them — I’m saving that for launch — but they were a good guide for where to explore next.
  • As I explored, I hit every Rift I came across where I wouldn’t get absolutely thwamped (and some where I would). Rifts are, by far, the quickest and most efficient way to level. The XP is incredible and makes questing look like an absolute crawl by comparison. The rewards can be traded to planar vendors for gear augments (just like slotting gems in WoW) and stat boosts in crafting recipes.
  • Whoever said crafting was worthless didn’t try armorsmithing. Every single item — 4 or 5 — I was able to craft up to 20 skill points was an upgrade from the quest greens.
  • The spawn rates for tin nodes have been drastically increased. Competition is also less this time around, so it’s not hard to get what you need.
  • More than ever, this event reinforced for me how much better rifts get past Ark of the Ascended (where you get your first Death Rift). I did a level 10 Death Rift at level 11 and found it totally zerged. There must have been 30 people there. The best part? It didn’t matter that we had so many people. Elite mobs in Rift are no joke. Since they were so much more difficult to take down than normal mobs, I had no trouble casting enough spells to get my contribution up.
  • Strangely, I was unable to view the contribution rank chart at all. Anyone else?

Those are the highlights from today. I’ll post more as I get to play more this weekend.

Hope you enjoy yourself as much as I did today!

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