This is a follow-up to my relatively glowing review of the beginning bits of Rift.
TG and I are now 30 with a smattering of pre-20 alts. Boy, did this game hit the wall after 20. You can really feel the love and excitement for the game in the starter zone, in which you seem to spend about the first 20 levels. Fortunately, they shuffle you along from quest hub to quest hub, so it doesn’t feel too samey. But, there might just be a little wiggle in the back of your mind that, yes, you have done something a bit like this before, which you ignore, because you’re still having so much fun.
After 20, the quests really started becoming boring for us. I’m not sure if it was the zone we were in (Gloamwood, which was pretty much WoW’s Duskwood 2.0) or just the amount of time we’d invested so, but I really checked out at that point. I was on autopilot. TG was leading us on the quests, but that just meant following the in-game tracker to the next circle to kill in.
We tried the new 20 bracket Warfront, The Codex, which is, essentially, Arathi Basin 2.0, and the map itself was okay. Unfortunately, queue times were just too long in this bracket that it actually became a distraction from our questing groove when one would pop. We even had to ignore a few and re-queue when we were done with whatever we were working on. We gave up on PvP for that bracket after just a few attempts. Like WoW, PvP seems to be most popular in the 10-19 and max level brackets.
After Gloamwood, our passion for the game seriously fizzled. The next zone was Searing Gorge 2.0. Really? Red sand cliffs? Okay then. Just making sure you were serious, Rift.
This new zone was the first place we noticed the two opposing factions questing near each other. As we were on a PvE server, it didn’t affect us much. I was caught off-guard when a Defiant ran over and asked for a heal. I was not expecting to be able to be spoken to by the opposite side. I was still unable to share my healing goodness though, which made me think back to our early days of WoW, when we’d mind control lowbies of the opposite faction to buff them. Why does this game make me think of WoW even when it’s not trying?
Oh, right, it’s WoW 2.0. And, here is where I headdesk repeatedly until I lose consciousness.
Right now, we’re 30 and in the next zone, which has harpies, which I detest. The strange thing is that suddenly the mob density has increased like 400%. You can’t run anywhere anymore without being chased by five or more mobs. Of course the dismount rate is strangely high, even LOTRO is more forgiving with mobs dismounting you, so we’re relying on class and race spells (like ground snares, heals, and blinks) just to travel.
The real problem is that I feel like I’ve invested so much energy in getting these girls to 30, that we might as well go all the way to see if PvP is any fun at 50. I can’t decide if I’m still having fun with Rift. I feel like I just want to be having fun now. I miss the excitement of invasions in the starting zone. They wouldn’t be effective in these later zones, because there just aren’t enough people cruising around to complete them.
TG did a random dungeon on one of his alts last night as a healer, and it went very well. It seems that our first attempt with the dungeon finder may have been a fluke, so we may try that again. Perhaps, this is just a strange level for questing.
To sum up, I think I would still recommend Rift to people, with disclaimers:
- Know that it starts to drag after 20, unless mindless quests or the dungeon finder are really your thing.
- Try the 7-day trial first.
- Try to Ascend-a-Friend, so you can get an adorable, seemingly-challenged companion to entertain you when you’re getting bored, which has really been a blessing to me at times.