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.