By the power of Grayskull! I have the power!
Beta 4 isn’t over, but I’m taking a small break from my powergaming session to give you my impressions so far. Luckily both me and my wife were able to get beta access this time without preordering, so we’ve been able to play together like we usually do. What do we think? Let’s get to it.
Rift is an amazingly beautiful game.
We started two new characters for this beta, since we would be playing together. We went with red headed, green eyes dwarves without really talking about it at all. What we did talk about was what classes we would be. I chose a tanking warrior, Reaver to be specific, and she picked a healing Cleric. Eventually I added beastmaster which I don’t plan to waste any points on, I just wanted the pet, and then I chose the tank soul that is focused on magic, which turned out to be pretty cool.
We’ve been running around, leveling as quickly as we can and closing all the Rifts we come across. It’s been a blast, but I’m not going to lie and say that there haven’t been some issues. Less for me than for my wife, but they were still there.
One of the major issues is PVP balance. Trion decided to go with the 10-19, 20-29 brackets for PVP, which means you won’t be PVPing for most of the game. This is the stupidest decision you can make in a PVP game. A level 10 is completely useless against what will quickly be all level 17-19’s, just like WoW in the past. I can imagine it quickly becoming a scream fest when you load in at level 11, and everyone starts cursing you out for gimping the team and telling you to come back at 17. They don’t even have Warhammer’s “fake level up” thing.
Another issue is figuring out what classes people are. As far as I can tell there is absolutely no way for me to see what souls someone is using. That means I have to take someone’s word for it if I’m looking for a healer or tank for a dungeon. This doesn’t matter to me right now, as I’ll be tanking while my wife heals, but I can imagine this becoming a HUGE issue once the game launches.
My wife noticed something I hadn’t, and while it wasn’t a negative for me it certainly was for her. Once you get to the city of Sanctum you’ll run around and get a ton of quests. These quests vary wildly between PVP, PVE, and Dungeons. They also vary wildly in location in which they can be completed and level range. While some out there will love this random assortment of quests, my wife found it immensely annoying that this quest hub didn’t give her the normal small amount of quests that could be completed relatively close by.
Some professions we discovered were much harder to level than others. For example, I chose to go Armorsmithing and after I make something I can destroy it for a chance of getting my matts back, so I can use those e for the next item. This system is amazing and I wish I had it in every game. Unfortunately my wife went Artificer, and quickly found out that not only is it harder to find the materials to make Artificer items, but you are unable to break them down into their component parts. This means that, while I might get 20 skill points out of 15 ore, she could at most get 15. That might not seem like a lot, but it does add up. Silly? Yes. Annoying? Yes again.
Bag space is extremely limited as well. It almost feels like a Free to Play game that sells bags on a cash shop with how limited you are in bag slots. I spent every bit of money I had on the highest level of bags I could find and I still ran out of room constantly. I’ve never liked limited inventory in RPGs in the first place, but this is extreme. Why should I be forced to run back to town every few minutes to sell stuff when I would rather be out enjoying the world and NPCs I come across?
The worst offender so far though is that the Rifts can quickly get out of hand. You may find, once you move into the level 18+ areas, that all of your quest hubs are conquered by invasions, and that unless you have a large group of high level players you are going to be grinding for a while. This leads to many players banding together to defend and retake quest hubs, but it can also be annoying if you’re one of the only people around. For those that don’t know the Invasions aren’t like Rifts. The Invasions spawn dozens of monsters, all ELITE. This means you can’t pick them off one at a time solo either, so you WILL need MANY players to help you retake it. Especially if they are all level 17 mobs and you are level 12, at the level 12 quest hub. Yes this can and DOES happen.
Lines for quest mobs are a fact of life in the beta.
With all that said I am still extremely excited about Rift. Will my wife be preordering and playing my pocket healer when the game comes out? It’s too early to tell, as there has been some issues between the game and her, but we’ll see by the end of this beta event. As for me, I’ll be preordering as soon as I can, though I may try and avoid the next few beta events, so I don’t suffer burnout. Or perhaps I’ll just play the Defiler side, since I like the Guardian side a LOT more and will be playing that at launch.
After the end of Beta 4 on Monday you’ll see another post from me discussing the things I disliked, AND the things I liked from Beta 4. I just wanted to hop on and give you all something to chew on while I continue playing this wonderful game. I can’t wait for it’s launch.
All very good points, especially the one about the rifts getting out of hand. I got hit with that problem big time in beta 4, in the new area of Stonefield. I can’t begin to tell you how irritating it was to come back to a quest hub each time to see it overrun with elite mobs and there are not enough players to fight it off. I’m SOL if I have a quest to turn in…though it is sort of funny how a “waiting area” always seems to pop up in these situations, usually one or two other players like me who have decided to stand on a rock just on the outskirts of the hub, hoping to just wait out the invasion.