So another Beta Event is behind us, or nearly so. I played a bunch Friday and Saturday this time around.
Mostly this beta event just depressed me. The Rift I’ve been hyping is almost totally gone at this point. The actual rifts spawn very infrequently in the periods of time between invasions. Invasions, when they happen, do spawn a lot of rifts but they don’t last very long any more. I’m unsure if that’s because the rifts and invasions are getting easier or if it’s because the players are bored of doing typical PvE questing and so they throw themselves into invasions to see what those systems are like. Whatever the case, if you want to take part in an invasion you better make a beeline when it begins or you’re gonna miss out.
Listen, Rift is still a solid MMORPG and I don’t mean to imply otherwise. But the “old” Rift was, to me, something really special and unique. The current Rift is a polished, good MMORPG but it isn’t that much different than so many other games out there, really. It has been homogenized into a cookie-cutter game. There’s no longer a sense of danger or chaos to the world. I never found myself banding together with a couple of random strangers to try to overcome the odds and drive an invasion force away from a quest hub. The Era of the Zerg Public Group has arrived.
Public Groups do seem to be working a bit better. Or maybe the players are getting smarter. I was the leader of one public group this weekend and I made a point of ejecting people who’d wandered far away from the fight we were in, which freed up space for local players to join. So maybe other public group leaders are doing the same thing?
Anyway now if you play Rift you pretty much have to join a Public Zerg Group if you’re expecting any help from the people around you. You might get lucky outside of one but I found when I stayed solo no one paid any attention to me unless I was fighting the last mob in a wave. Or if the Zerg horde just rolled over the mob I was fighing because I was in its path.
I’m really glad I got into the early beta events; they rekindled my love of MMOs. Now I just need to find a game that scratches that itch the way early-Rift did.
I pre-ordered Rift from Trion and was already charged for it, so I’m going to play at launch. Maybe things get a lot better at higher levels and that sense of fun and chaos and danger will return. I’ve been self-capping at level 20 just to keep some things “fresh” for launch. So maybe I’m being totally unfair to the game. But as of right now I’m very unsure about that 6-month sub I’d been planning to get. The Rift I played last weekend would not hold my attention for that long. Heck, by Sunday I was bored of playing.
I’d like to run 1 character to cap on each side just to experience the Lore though, which I continue to really enjoy. I hope the game is successful enough that it spawns novels based in Telara, in fact. I enjoy it that much. And playing both sides makes it even more enjoyable, when you see characters from one side appear in a different form on the other (thinking of Shyla).
I shudder to think what Open Beta, Beta 7, will be like. Maybe Invasions will pause to ask if you’d like to be attacked because the invasion leader is sensitive to the issue of being inconvenienced by unexpected things happening in an adventure. That seems like the direction they’re headed, at least. (Yes, I exaggerate!)
Can I ask Trion for a “Classic” Rift server yet? A launch with the rules and systems that we say in Betas 2-4? Because I was head-over-heels in love with THAT version of Rift.