Thoughts on Rift beta 6 patch notes

Another beta is about to begin. I spent some time this morning reading the patch notes and sadly it seems like Trion is continuing to make the game easier. (Will know better once I actually try the changes.)

I get where they’re going… WoW has really lowered the bar when it comes to the difficulty in early levels of a game, and it stands to reason that by dumping goodies and rewards on players ASAP (“3 souls by level 5! Best offer in the ‘verse!”) they’re liable to draw in more short-term players. So I don’t hold these changes against them; I just miss the challenging Rift game we all played in the first few betas. You used to die in the first 10 levels. Crazy right?

This time out, they’ve redone the racial abilities to make them much less unique than they were (a balance change, I believe…people thought the old racial abilities varied widely in usefulness), and they’ve removed the level requirement on previously level-20 mounts:

* Level requirements have been removed from the previously-level 20 mounts. If you can get to them, and can afford them, you can use them. This includes the Collector’s Edition turtle mount.

I’m assuming this is in response to the complaint that there’s too much running around in the game. Honestly I feel like the Defiants have some legitimacy to this complaint since there isn’t a teleport bind point aside from Meridian, but I’d rather have seen them add a teleport point in King’s Retreat rather than offering level 1 players a mount. Not that having a mount is that big a deal, but must we be given everything at level 1? MMO’s are turning into games like pee-wee soccer matches where everyone gets a trophy.

Expect the complaints of “The world is too small” to increase after this beta, now that people are zipping around on turtle mounts.

Other changes that caught my eye (and I don’t see these as making the game easier…switching topics here):

More consumable reward items have been turned into skills rather than taking up inventory space. No longer will you use items to spawn forces to fight invasions or to buff wardstones; these activities fall under Ascended Powers now. Our bags (and hot bars) get emptier with every patch.

There are LOTS of soul changes, and early release is getting near. I’m getting a little concerned about how much testing these changes will get.

The Ancient Wardstones system sounds very interesting… I’m looking forward to getting a taste of that.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts on Rift beta 6 patch notes

  1. I don’t know if this is breaking the alpha NDA, if so feel free to delete it, but I’m dying quite a bit in Stonefield (available in beta 5 anyway), primarily to invasions and elite rifts – and while there may be public grouping, participants tend to join but still approach them as if they are solo. There is no communication, which I find a little disconcerting.

    Also Clerics, at least the builds I’ve tried, have become quite a chore to play post 20. I started a melee rogue – no pet – and even in the newbie areas any more than one add is certain death. And, mob density being what it is, it’s not uncommon for me to get overwhelmed by adds and respawns. Point being I guess, the game doesn’t feel any easier to me – although I do think that footholds and such should not respawn.

  2. Well that’s encouraging. Hmm, maybe not the ‘chore’ part, but the idea that it doesn’t seem any easier.

    I just find that invasions and stuff can by picked apart pretty easily. In fact I soloed an invasion by tagging the leader then running like hell. The leader’s sidekicks followed a while then peeled off, but the leader chased a bit further since I’d damaged him. Then I turned and fought, killed him, got an “invasion defeated.” I can’t remember if the minions despawned or if I pulled them 1 by 1 and killed them, then I took out their wardstone.

    Now this invasion was a few levels lower than me, but before the changes it was hard to solo an invasion unless you were way way over-leveled.

  3. I believe the alpha players have done this game a great disservice. The amount of changes (and the fact much of that has been obviously needed changes in terms of UI, sound, and things like that, not the gameplay/pvp stuff) between beta 1 and beta 5 are staggering. Things that should’ve been changing in alpha are happening now. Perhaps the alphas were making Trion aware and they decided not to act on them until beta.
    It just sucks that now everyone and their mom has beta access, the game is being made easier, people are demanding changes on the forums and getting their way. Its quite disarming what is going on to the game I’ve been playing since beta 1. Still haven’t pre-ordered yet and starting to waver.

  4. I have a 25 warrior and I felt that a lot of the mobs had actually gotten little harder. In B5 I could take out a 20 elite from a rift invasion solo with little difficulty in my tank spec. By B6 well lets say my shield was handed back to me.

    While not happy with the racials, I think a lot of things here this beta were done to test things. The mount changes in particular were related to opening up the Collectors Edition loot so it could be tested in game. They did not reduce the pricing for the other mounts however. It still takes to level 18 or so to acquire 2.58 plat for mount purchase if you don’t have the CE.

    Some of the changes that have been made seem very out of character from the game design and previous beta’s. I wonder/hope they are just testing things in wild ways.

    For me B5 was something of a sweet spot. It was really fun to play.

  5. I understand where your coming from but I still don’t see it as being to easy. Even if you get all 3 souls early on it will take till you get cap or close to it to get what you want. I still die plenty of times depending on the area I’m in. it is easy to get overwhelmed. The racial changes needed to be made or else everyone rolling a melee character would be a defiant kelari. Once they reset and you have to do everything again you’ll gain everything just as you have before. I see the mount thing benefiting alts more after player initial character do all the hump work.

  6. I think the racial changes are going to route races to archetypes even more strongly than the old ones did.

    My experience, having now played this weekend, pretty much confirms my overall disappointment with the way the game is headed. While there are plenty of rifts during invasion events, between them there are very few. The chance of being inconvenienced now is quite low. The world is much safer than it was. Much, much less interesting.

  7. They could always be testing their formula for rifts and invasions. When I was leveling my Rogue while I was still in the Gloamwood Pines, they were plenty of them. When I went to Scarlet Gorge it seemed to drop off a bit also was less people in that area so that could have effected it. Could have been the numbers in the area. Then again I never ran out with sole purpose of doing just rifts, I’d usually have to stop along the way and do a few while questing or collecting mats for crafting. Going to wait until the last beta to make a good judgement on it.

    Racial could change again but i understand with the stat+10 traits it might very just do that depending on the players. I don’t care personally at the end of the day at end game +10 probably going to be a drop in the bucket. At level 30 and I have scrolls that give +18 stat bonus. We’ll see

  8. Might have to do with server population, too. I thought Rifts were supposed to scale depending on pop but maybe there are hard limits… I was playing on High population servers.

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