Rift Revisited, a look at the "new" Rift
A while back I started playing Rift again regularly. I decided to start a completely new character and re-run the original zones from scratch to see how they played after a long time away and many patches ago. There were many changes and tweaks to the game I really liked and there are a few I just don't understand why they decided to implement them. In this part I will focus on just a few.
Factions: here today gone tomorrow
Not quite sure why Trion thought combining factions was a good thing, but for a while now they have had the "Mercenary" system in parts of the game. Basically when queueing for PvP you could possibly be playing for the other side. I know this first got started because it shortened queue times, but I am one of those players (especially in pvp) that wants to represent my faction. Ideally I would love at least a 3 faction, choose your side and battle it out to the end type pvp where winning for your faction gets you rewards and recognition (I also am aware of the "3 faction" style pvp at higher levels. Will be discussed in later post). This will not happen in Rift. If you like faction pvp move on to another game.
Not only did this crossover faction gaming start in pvp, but now as "opposing" sides you can team up to take down events in Instant Adventures, Dungeons, and Raids. It doesn't even stop there because now even guilds are mixed with Guardians and Defiant being all cozy in the same guild..... what? How can that be? the chat channels are also merged between factions, so those Defiant scum that brought the end of the world can talk to those uptight Vigil worshipping Guardians and be all buddy buddy.... really?
Factions in this game have become as meaningless as utters on a bull. The more I play the game again the more I wonder if Trion was attempting to make the game time queues quicker or if they are using this as an attempt to make the world seem more populated to the players. In any case I am one gamer who likes my factions seperate. I want an "enemy" to fight against. I want warring factions in pvp. If this is not the way of the game then don't even give us sides to choose and we can call it LOTRO, oh wait we have a game like that.
Classes: The world at my finger tips
Trion has made changes over the time to Classes, but one thing that has stayed the same here is you have a multitude of choices to make ! Thank you Trion for not changing the talent trees. Many love and are confused by the plethora of choice here, but it is one thing (for this gamer) that keeps people playing the game. In a world where some MMOs make it more cookie cutter Trion rises from the rest and lets you have many many options to play your character the way YOU WANT.
I will not go into detail on all the classes and souls for the mere fact that it would take forever to list em all in detail, but here is a link to the listings: http://www.riftgame.com/en/classes/
There are 4 Class Divisions with 9 Class Souls to choose skills from making a total of 36 Souls in all to mix and match to your hearts content. This option alone has kept this gamer busy for a long time. If this sounds overwhelming to you DO NOT FRET Trion has added a nice beginning build helper system to get you started. They break down a few popular builds and guide you in point placement to ease your way into the world of Souls. Once you get comfortable with how your Souls work you can respec OR better yet purchase another slot to play around with. You can have up to 6 Roles total to spec the way you like.
If you suffer from OCD good luck here.
All in all to wrap up classes: Rift has done this one right (imo). It is an RPGers dream! Hop in and enjoy what "freedom to build" really is. You will be spending many hours tweaking and changing your Souls (if your like me) or stick with the most popular build and venture out into the world.
One other change I want to touch on with Classes is Trion made a nice one when it comes to constantly running back to a trainer. You don't have to anymore. Like other MMOs, gone are the days you need to rank up your skills at a trainer. I personally like this option, but I would love to see an option for questing to unlock certain abilities or spells. I remember my days in Vanilla WoW (Only WoW reference I promise) where you had class quests for spells, abilities and even mounts. Some needed others to complete the quests and it was some of the most fun I had in a game. I remember questing for my pig polymorph spell on my mage, going on the "never ending" quest to optain my epic Warlock mount. My point is it was a nice break from normal quest grinding that added to your ownership of the class you were playing.
As you head out on your adventures either in Rift or another game, remember it's not just the end that should be in mind it is the journey getting there.
Rift offers many oportunities to play, adventure, and kill and as we continue in further posts we will look at how each one of these either draws your attention or makes you flee like a classroom full of children with lice.
To be continued