Fighting fanboyism: times when Rift disappoints

Well, now that the rest of you lot (well, not ALL of you) are finally discovering what I’ve been shouting about since Beta 1 — that Rift is damned fun — I can tone down the fanboyism a bit.

This last Beta brought some disappointments to my attention. Some little things and some that were bigger. Let’s start with the smallest first.

The tiniest unit of Planar Goods currency is the Mote of Sourcestone. Then comes the Emblem of Champions (I think…it’s a blue currency item that you get sometimes from fighting rifts). I get lots of Motes but very few Emblems, presumably because I solo all the time (though I do get plenty of gear). I’m not honestly sure if the drops are random or based on something you’re doing or some score or what.

Anyway in previous betas you could trade in a big chunk of Motes (50, iirc) for an Emblem of Champions. That meant that solo players could grind out the means to get the good Planar Goods gear (which generally will cost a couple of Emblems and a handful of Motes) (and oddly getting an Orb of Heroes, the biggest currency, isn’t a problem for soloers… everyone in the zone who takes part in beating back an Invasion gets one). Now that won’t be possible and frankly the amount of stuff you can get with Motes is pretty limited. I see Motes quickly becoming vendor trash (if they have value) unless the trade-up to Emblems is replaced. Yeah, I feedbacked it.

Next up, builds and groups and instances. I’ve been playing builds that are fun to me. I want my character to do interesting things, and being a self-made hybrid works ok in the open world. This weekend I finally went to the Garden of the Fae (I’m horrible with names…the first Guardian instance) and quickly found that I was useless. I couldn’t heal well enough to be a healer, I didn’t damage fast enough to be a DPS and I certainly wasn’t up to the task of tanking (though that may have been more level-based than anything… I was 14 and the group went as high as 26).

Once in an instance Rift reverts to a Typical Diku MMO (Talyn will be so proud of me!) that only embraces the Trinity of Tank/Healer/DPS (and maybe some CC). This is the 4th beta and people were being scolded for not having the right build, and players were bailing on the group when we died too many times. Because beta is no time to be learning the game, dammit!!

The good news, of course, is that you can dedicate one of your Roles to being a cookie-cutter clone of whatever the “approved” build for your archetype is, and still use your other roles to play the game the way you enjoy. But still, I was delighted to return to my life as a solo player.

Next up, the Warfronts. Now I don’t really like the Warfronts because I never like PvP set up as a sport. I enjoy open world PvP though, but I’m not all that clear on what Trion’s plan is for open world PvP. My concern with Warfronts is that they’ll be too popular. People seemed to enjoy them this past weekend. I watched all the fun get sucked out of Warhammer as everyone (it seemed) except me stopped roaming the world and questing and just stood in one place queuing for Scenario after Scenario. Rift offers some nice shiny rewards for partaking in Battlefronts but I can’t but hope they’ll be a bust. I want the population of my server out fighting off invasions, not chain-queuing for Battlefronts (which, btw, were popping almost instantly in the evenings…I did do a few just to check ’em out).

None of these issues have dampened my enthusiasm for playing Rift; I’m still eager for the next Beta Test and more so for Headstart on Feb. 24th. But after all my gushing it seemed… balanced… to do a post on the things I *didn’t* like for a change.

10 thoughts on “Fighting fanboyism: times when Rift disappoints

  1. One thing I found this weekend was a sort of extended set of rifts and event type stuff. OK, I have no real idea what was going on but NPCs were shouting all over the zone and there were tons of rifts and elemental invasions and a sort of big overarching public quest to get involved with. So I rushed around and nuked stuff with everyone else (solo) and got a purple planar reward at the end.

    Like I say, I have no idea what was actually going on but it was quite fun.

  2. The crap you get from doing Rift’s,other than motes and emblems I can do without. I don’t really need my bag cluttered with items to do damage, heal or defend against an invasion or Rift. Why? Because they aren’t powerful enough to use when trying to solo an invasion force and in a larger group doing a Rift, you’ll loose DPS or healing if your spending time trying to figure out which item will work effectively. So, those items I can do away with all together or just vendor them too.

    The instances I understood was only for levels 20 or up, so not sure how you got in as a level 14, but I can understand why your performance was underwhelming. They should either, make the level range better or scale it down based on the party level make up. Instances was one of the few things I didn’t get a chance to try this round.

    I enjoyed the Warfronts, but if people enjoy them too much, as you say, their will be more people queing up for those instead of trying to defeat Rifts. Not sure how Trion plans to fix that issue, but it has to be done some how. Because if Rift and invasions are based on server pop, and most of the players are in Warfronts and not actually available to defend quest areas and cities, it could cause issues for those who do want to quest. Either way, they should limit the time between Warfronts so people will actually quest or come up with some other way to keep people working toward defending the virtual world.

    All valid points. I don’t think they tarnish the already gleaming armor of Rift, but something that should be address or people will start bailing back to WoW sooner than expected.

  3. I enjoyed the Warfronts this weekend. Of course with it just being beta I preferred to have fun than grinding out levels that mean nothing. PvP is my first love so it will be hard to control my queuing, but getting max level the quickest is usually job one in a new MMO.

    I have sent in quite a bit of feedback, and hope they make some of the changes,

  4. I’m disheartened by your assessment of the dungeon situation. I’ve come to realize that no games are bad; just player attitudes.

    I REALLY liked WAR’s PvP, but didn’t get to try Rift’s this weekend. I wanted to get to mid teens before I did, but didn’t get to play on Sunday. Scenarios were fun, but I preferred the ORvR. I wonder if Trion would consider something like that (which would of course invite MORE comments on how it’s like WAR)

  5. @Oakstout – A lot of those consumables become pretty useless pretty fast, yeah. Some of them are good though. The Flares will summon a couple of friendly NPCs to help you fight; they’re good for those times when you want to fight but don’t have enough friendlies around yet. There’s another thing that buffs a friendly wardstone and can likewise help hold off an invading force.

    But stuff like the Healing Seed that heals 100 HP, or at least some relatively small amount: by the time you’re getting those they’re more or less ineffective since they have a pretty long cooldown. So even if you have a stack of ’em you can’t just spam them.

    And yeah when you have a hotbar full of these things, fumbling around trying to remember which one can be used when is a real problem.

    Realm of the Fae (finally got the name right!) is level 17-22 (I just looked it up). I guess they took me because they thought having a 26 would balance things out. But the whole ‘role’ argument wasn’t just me. Actually no one really cared what the 14 was doing. 🙂 It was more the healer who was in his late teens and was getting scolded for having the wrong spec that had me concerned.

    And when the 26 made an excuse to leave because we died too much (“had to log” and then like 10 minutes later logged back in and did something else) the healer switched characters for a tank, and a friend of mine brought in his cleric which had the ‘right’ spec and sadly he *was* much more effective. So it’s even hard to argue that there’s a 1 True Spec for every archetype/role, which kind of renders the soul system pointless if you’re playing for optimal efficiency.

    When playing Solo I’ll continue to have fun with my hybrid roles, but the MMO community will dictate that when in a group, a Cleric should have this specific build to heal, a Warrior should have this specific build to tank, and so on. I can already imagine people being booted from groups for not having the One True Spec for their archetype.

    @spinks – Yeah, that’s an invasion. I find they’re awful fun. On Faeblight as soon as they started up, the LFG channel lit up with people forming raids to go fight the bad guys!

  6. Once in an instance Rift reverts to a Typical Diku MMO (Talyn will be so proud of me!) that only embraces the Trinity of Tank/Healer/DPS (and maybe some CC).

    *gives Pete a totally hetero Man Noogie* =D

    I can already imagine people being booted from groups for not having the One True Spec for their archetype.

    Just further justifying why I have zero interest in this, or any other game that revolves around this type of behavior. Or perhaps damage parsing is too ingrained in the player base at large (thanks, Blizzard…) and I’m the odd man out for not giving a damn about it. Also yet another reason I prefer the LOTRO community (and developers) for being mature and the least discriminatory about builds and parsing.

  7. That’s why you have multiple builds. For example on my cleric for questing I have a hybrid shaman/justicar build. This build has sufficient healing for a duo, and would also work as a backup healer, but would not be adequate to solo heal an instance run or heroic rifts. For that purpose I also have a healer build (I plan on adding a 3rd role next beta ). So I can mix and match depending on the situation. If you don’t have any healer – and you could be a cleric with very little to no healing – then you will run into problems. Somebody has to be healer against elite mobs.

    I put that group together but didn’t realize the cleric wasn’t a healer so the blame is on me. After seeing that the tank couldn’t stay up then yes I think if the person has a healer role it would behoove the group to switch to that role. By way of example the first time I ran that instance during a prior beta event I went in with my melee hybrid build but after some struggles with multiple adds I switch over to my healer build (which at the time was a work in progress) but that was enough to get us through. The Fae instance is prett cool, too. But yeah the holy trinity is still in place, but for that doesn’t come as a surprise, I guess.

    My largest complaint though is lack of inventory space. It’s becoming crippling. :/

  8. No worries about typos!

    Thing is, I don’t see that there is any blame to be assigned, really. I was having fun generally, but when the tank started aggroing on the cleric (There’s a big difference between “Have you considering trying x?” and “Why are you doing y; it isn’t effective!” /quit) I felt bad for the guy. I had no idea if this was his 1st beta or his 4th. I know I hadn’t purchased a 2nd role when I was in there (or I would’ve switched things up) not had I unlocked all the possible souls.

    I was still really happy to see as much as we did, and I’m still fairly chagrined that I brought everything tumbling down through my lack of being bound anywhere!!

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