Two days, two ‘reviews’ :snicker:, I spoil you guys!
I like the graphic style of Rift. It’s high fantasy, but it has enough of those little details to not make it totally forgettable. Bonus points for all the graphical options and adjustments, it’s nice to have that kind of control. In terms of performance, at 1900×1200 on Ultra I got around 35 FPS, which is more than acceptable. Oddly enough, at Medium I only went up to about 40 FPS, yet the game looks dramatically worse. Tonight we will see how Aria’s PC handles the game, which has older hardware but a smaller screen (1400×900).
The gameplay is standard themepark hotbar mashing. Icons appear in your bar when you get them, you mash them, stuff dies. By far the biggest hurdle for me with Rift is going to be getting over the combat. Darkfall has simply spoiled me in that regard, and while Rift certainly does what it does well, its Just So Damn Boring compared to even the lowliest PvE encounter in DF.
The fact that you stand still so often is shocking, as is just how much time you spend ‘waiting’ for a cooldown or for something to finish. In reality the wait is half a second at a time, if not less, but that’s so significant when you are use to focusing on three different things at all times in DF, always moving, always adjusting, always expecting something to pop out and change the whole situation. In Rift, and other hotbar mashers, you KNOW nothing like that is going to happen. You KNOW you have zero chance of dying against this mob, and you KNOW exactly what is going to happen, point by point, even before combat starts.
That massive hurdle aside, I do see potential in the class/soul system. One of the silly things about other talent trees is how little reward you get from putting points into something that, say, raises your crit % by 1 point per point. Sure, you dump the points in to reach something you really want, but those actual points are almost meaningless. Rift gets around this, because as you put more points in the top of the tree, it opens up abilities in the bottom/roots. So while you still have 0/5 +1% crit stuff, at least putting a point or two there also opens up a new ability for you. It’s a small thing, but feels very rewarding in terms of the whole ‘ding, points, new stuff’ experience.
I only made it to level 5 last night on one character, but man is that early area linear. I’m not talking a zone vs a virtual world here, I’m talking straight path, point A to point B stuff. If that’s just for the intro area, ok, but if the entire game is like this, not cool. I understand a themepark can’t be as open as Agon, but even WoW (at least in the early days) had zones where you could go in a few directions to accomplish things. Here every quest objective is just outside of the current hub, and once you complete them, the only road out of town takes you to the next hub, rinse repeat.
More time with it tonight, including hopefully seeing a rift in action and getting deeper into the classes.
Edit: Sadly many missed the inside joke, here is the real review.