Rift: Today and tomorrow

The release of the 1.3 update trailer seems like a pretty good time to give everyone here an update on my status with Rift, and the plans going forward.

The 1.2 update, quite simply, killed 5 man dungeons for Inquisition. What was once challenging but very doable content become faceroll speed runs, and after just a few days our core had seen enough. It’s just sad to face a boss that was once a fun encounter, and not only one-shot him, but watch as he just stands around harmlessly because the majority of his abilities have either been removed or nerfed so hard that you no longer need to react. How people find that kind of content ‘fun’ is beyond me, but then millions ‘play’ Farmville so there you go.

Having talked to some people in-game, it sounds like the 10 and 20 man content has, so far, escaped the loving embrace of ‘accessibility’, but as a guild we just don’t have the numbers, and our one attempt to work with another guild failed hard (WTB carrying people through content again). Our core however would like to see said content, and so our one real option is to join an existing raiding guild. I’m actually looking forward to this, not only to get back into the more regular raiding game, but to also worry less about having people online and more about just seeing content and improving my character and player skills.

Currently Rift is very hit or miss for me. On the one hand, its fun when things come together and it does what it does well. Its peaks are very enjoyable, no doubt. Not highlight reel MMO content, but still something to look forward to and log in for. On the other hand, its valleys are pretty low, in that “why care” way, which might actually be worse than that feeling of eternal grind. At least with eternal grind you log in and do it to reach another peak. When you don’t care, you log out. That’s killer.

There are some pretty serious holes in content chains, like why collect more crafting plaques through rifts/quests when everything for those plaques is meh? Great addition to add those rifts/quests, but then you leave the ultimate point unchanged? What? Or you add new expert rifts, but the rewards are still so poor that even half-geared characters are passing on drops? Really?

The problem Trion faces going forward is that they released a game that does little to surprise anyone, and so rather than riding the massive peaks, it gets held to a higher standard when it comes to the middle ground and the valleys. Dropping the ball, even on something as ultimately minor as weak rift drops, counts more because I don’t have “awesome content X” to make it all worthwhile like I would in other games.

DarkFall character progression might not be as smooth or streamlined as it is in Rift, but Rift has nothing that compared to a siege. Nothing, and it’s not even close. So my motivation to improve my DarkFall character is a lot higher, due to that upcoming siege, than it is in Rift and its upcoming 10/20 man raid. When that general feeling becomes the norm, things break down.

We’ll see just how joining a raiding guild goes, and what 1.3 and beyond bring.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in crafting, Darkfall Online, Inquisition Clan, MMO design, Patch Notes, Rift. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Rift: Today and tomorrow

  1. John says:

    “There are some pretty serious holes in content chains, like why collect more crafting plaques through rifts/quests when everything for those plaques is meh? ”

    Among the four fundamental ‘games’ in an mmo (questing, pvp, raiding, crafting), crafting almost always takes last place (A Tale in the Desert apparently being one exception, though I haven’t played it).

    I love all four of these aspects, but have never liked the interdependency: quest before you can raid, raid for materials before you can make the best crafting items, etc.)

    I really wish they could be decoupled (e.g. a master crafter would never have to raid, quest, or pvp to realize their full potential), but there are just too many things about current mmo mechanics that work against ever achieving that.

  2. epic.ben says:

    I actually just quit RIFT – was in a similar situation on the server that I chose. Raiding felt extremely meh, and ultimately, there wasn’t much else to do. I didn’t need t1/t2 content any more. I didn’t need rifts. I didn’t need ANYTHING< and this wasn't even after that much /played. PvP? Why bother? It's worse than WOW PvP, by a mile. Crafting? Meh, again.

    Eventually, I got to a point where I couldn't find any reason to play. I found raiding to be extremely boring and there wasn't much else to keep me engaged.

    • SynCaine says:

      PvP in Rift might be the worst MMO PvP out, which is really something. Valor gear is silly in how it’s balanced, and it’s even more silly in how it plays out. Just terrible and a complete waste of dev time all around.

      • epic.ben says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Grindy, terribly boring, and pointless. It’s like Bizarro-World PvP. They did everything wrong. Have you seen your guild’s engagement fall off? Was going to join up with INQ, but had some old WOW buddies play on Reclaimer. Literally EVERYONE from my old guild (DAOC) was done in about a month, and I quit shortly thereafter, even though I found another decent group.

        • SynCaine says:

          Yea activity is WAY down. Part of that is two officers are away, and when I don’t see people in vent, I don’t log in. I think if we pick it up and get into raiding, activity will increase, but that won’t be officially as Inq.

  3. bhagpuss says:

    Spinks has a comment on one of Tobold’s threads that pretty much sums up why I am still playing Rift every day and am getting something from it that I haven’t been getting from MMOs very often in the past. She quotes from a very sound analysis by Seanas elsewhere in the thread:

    ” seanas: “Rifting is equivalent to the sunday-afternoon-unlimited-teams football i used to do for many years: you turn up, you kick a ball, and you don’t really count score. it’s a lot of fun, but it’s worlds away from organised team football,”

    Well done, you get it. I don’t want to play organised team football. I WANT sunday afternoon kickabouts.

    Let the hardcore guys have their difficult 5 man instances. Raiding should be for the people. ”

    I agree with that, but Trion seem to have decided not to have any “difficult 5-man instances”, which is the problem from your point of view. We’re back to difficulty settings again, though, because your “difficult” might well be my “impossible” and Trion would clearly like both of our subs.

    As for the itemisation and reward structure, Trion do need to work on it. I find plenty that doesn’t make sense.

    I just decided yesterday not to bother doing the weekly for the crafting plaque and crafting rift lure. Reason being, my outfitter has bought all the plaque recipes and the drops from the crafting rifts aren’t guaranteed to be worth more than the value of the ingredients it took to make the lure.

    I do my egg quests every day on four of my six characters (two are dormant for the time being) because they’re quick, easy and fun. I used to do those as well as my crafting dailies (on my apothecary, outfitter and weaponsmith) but now I don’t bother with the craft ones. I may pick those up again when the egg event finishes, I may not.

    They seem to be giving stuff away with one hand and making it unattractively expensive with the other.

    On PvP, I think it’s apparent now that Rift isn’t a PvP game. Why they opened so many PvP servers I have no idea.

    Despite all that, I’m still having a great time and Rift is without doubt the most enjoyable and longest-lasting MMO I’ve found since Vanguard. I anticipate getting my full 6months-worth and I’ll probably resub, although that depends on a few outside factors.

    • angry gamer says:

      the sunday afternoon kickabouts … yeah I like that

      Frankly I just like playing a game without EVER SINGLE thing being known optimize-able prior to you even setting foot doing something.

      PVP in Rift is great… it really is – BUT – you need to get to P3+ to enjoy it.

      Too bad most people give up before getting to corporal oh well

    • Torcano says:

      So essentially the sole problem in balancing difficulty is less skilled players will always whine if there is ANY content they can’t access (quite as fast..in most cases it is still accessible…just not quickly)

      This ongoing debate is sort of mind-boggling personally. Isn’t the ideal situation that there is content for *both* players? Why is it so upsetting that another player does a different more intense dungeon and is rewarded accordingly?

      Its sad because in all other aspects of life these kids will have to face the reality that someone is better than them. Are they going to QQ to their boss at work because another more valuable employee who works harder is paid more?

      Or is this a game/entertainment so everything should be about making ME happy and FEEL L33T.*

      *If you didn’t get it…this WOULD be the right attitude in, you know, a SINGLE PLAYER GAME.

      • Angry Gamer says:

        easy to answer

        If there were content for BOTH types of players in PVP content… the you would have separate brackets or battlegrounds one for leets and one for casuals…

        The leets would have to play with themselves and their two buddies in the basement next door DUH… that would be a bummer

        It’s much more fun to be in your basement squashing the less skilled (er lesser geared people with lives that don’t involve 10 hours a day grinding for super PVP gear on online games… cough).

        It’s the cycle of life – young professionals make money that goes to subscriptions. These subscriptions become developer budgets that enable the developers to create worlds that attract basement dwelling hooligans. The hooligans start picking on the young professionals until they get sick of it and leave… thus starting a new virtual world with new subscriptions. This virtual world attracts basement…. [cycle repeats]

        in Real World we call it an amusement park
        in Cyber World we call it WOW

        • Rammstein says:

          This is a truly stupid reply, even by your normal standards AngryGamer. There ARE separate brackets/battlegrounds in WoW. You really haven’t heard of Arenas/Rated BGs? This thread is about RIFT, which lacks those features. If you had some real experience, you’d know that high ranked arena teams are often those young professionals, it’s not simply a matter of time invested at sufficiently high levels of play.

          Your jealousy and rage is transparent. Sorry for you, that you fail so badly.

  4. Stabs says:

    I recently did the same thing, me and a few core players left our casual guild to join a more hardcore guild.

    The content is really good and it’s at least as challenging at Konstantin in Expert Iron Tombs or Plutonus in Expert DSM were pre-nerf. The logistics of raiding can be tedious with raids sometimes cancelled due to lack of interest and/or feeling a little guilty on nights I can’t attend. It’s also quite hard to move guilds.

    I can’t help but feel that the current raid game is too inflexible to last long term. It depends heavily on people who have been playing a long time and few of us have as much time as we did when we were younger. It won’t be in Rift but I think some time soon we will see a revamp of diku end game.

    As for Rift Hammerknell soon and I’m feeling behind the curve. We’ll be aiming to have GSB, GP and RoS on farm with Hammerknell as our progression raid. As I just about know most of GSB, am finding my feet in the other two I’m not looking forward to it. It’s simply two many new bosses, each of which requires the learning of individual tactical approaches in too short a time. I guess for me my real issue with Rift raiding is that every fight feels like progression even if the rest of the guild doesn’t see it as such.

  5. Dril says:

    Honestly, I’m really surprised you’ve lasted this long.

    As I’ve said before, I think Rift is technically very good, but it is, ultimately, a WoW-clone and it held no interest for me because it inherited most of WoW’s flaws, but also lacked WoW’s charm, content and some its features that I adore (i.e. addons; flame away.) Just climbing the gear ladder again isn’t particularly fulfilling, since that the reason I stopped raiding in late Wrath: I got nothing out of just getting more prplz.

    Still, good luck finding a guild and with the raiding. I never found much joy in a guild-search, so the quicker it is the better.

  6. Ralex says:

    I’m facing the double whammy of boredom with the content, and Pacific Time Zone evenings being very low pop, even on Sunrest which started out pretty full.

    Finding a group is near impossible now at 8pm Pacific, so I haven’t done nearly as many of the 5 man instances as I would have liked. PvP as Syncaine notes is ridiculous when you’re matched up against folks who are geared up. And even the open world events are now starting to get difficult to complete because of server population.

    I’m about to go on vacation for a couple months, and I’m guessing that I will hear the swan song to return to EVE when I get back. One of its big benefits is fewer time zone limitations.

    • bhagpuss says:

      I find a lot of the comments on low server populations really intriguing. My Guardian server is Faeblight and my Defiant server is Shadefallen and I play GMT hours so I’m always playing off-peak. Both servers are busy at almost all levels, as far as I can tell.

      I do zone invasions every day, as many as I can get to. There are almost always enough people to complete them, the exceptions being in the 30s, where Scarwood can be hard to complete, but that was the case even a few weeks after launch – I just think people don’t like Scarwood! Night before last in Stillmoor the Kain event had more than three full raids doing it and that’s not unusual.

      Warfronts pop in seconds during my evenings and at weekends. Even in the weekday daytime (deep in the night U.S. time) they pop in five minutes or so. The cities are heaving and there are people everywhere I travel. The servers seem very busy indeed, as I say off-peak.

      What I don’t do, however, are any form of instances. I’ve done one dungeon run since launch. I do hear people trying to form groups in level channels a lot, so presumably the Dungeon Finder isn’t necessarily giving them what they want.

      I wonder whether the perception of poor population density has something to do with there being quite a large portion of the population only doing overland, open-world content and just not bothering with dungeons at all? That would obviously leave those who do try to get dungeon groups going with the impression that population was struggling, when it may actually just be that people are elsewhere, doing other things.

      • Ralex says:

        The high level open world stuff (Stillwood, Shimmersand, IPP) on Sunrest during PDT evenings (say 8-12) has recently become somewhat hit and miss where sometimes there just aren’t enough bodies on the ground to tick off the objectives and spawn/kill the boss in time.

  7. Torcano says:

    I am flabbergasted you guys expected different to be honest. Standard WoW-clone with Unique Feature X…ya typical tourist fare

  8. bonedead says:

    Herp derp

  9. SM says:

    Perception of poor pop on Dimroot server is confirmed when I do a /who for all levels and see 3-5 names in a zone. LFG is largely useless unless you like waiting 1-2 hours even as a tank. People just don’t pug. The AH is mostly empty and even underpriced items never sell. I now vendor-trash all ores, leathers, etc. Many invasion events fail due to lack of pop. I have three toons in three different guilds, all of which are dying. Make of it what you wish.

  10. nieco says:

    Cancelled my account, I JUST hit 50 and am sick of t2s…. Uhhh…. hit me up when we start raiding?

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