Last week we started a series that will ultimately lead up to a final review of Storm Legion, the first expansion for Trion's Rift. Last week's article set the stage for the events that culminated with Crucia escaping her prison and providing the protagonist for the expansion. This week we take a look at what you will notice when you first jump into the new content offered in this expansion.
The Rough Spots (Week 2)
So far it is difficult to find a lot of rough spots in Rift's freshman expansion. While there have been bugs Rift has already undergone two hot fixes in the first week. While some may argue that these bugs should never have existed to begin with it, it is naive to think that there would not have been any. Trion, like in most things, has been quick to act and has crushed a great number of them.
Trion has made one decision that I do not agree with. They have disabled conquest for the launch of Storm Legion. Conquest is the 3 faction player versus player environment that was introduced with patch 1.9. While Conquest was not the perfect solution to multi-faction PvP it is a popular feature and constantly had a queue to enter while it was active. Instead of disabling conquest Trion should have left it open and split it into multiple brackets like they do with their warfronts: splitting the brackets between 51-54, 55-59, and culminating with 60. After a period of time as players leveled up they could have merged the lower brackets but continued to bolster players. Rift already has a bad reputation of not being a game for people interested in PvP. This decision only amplifies that sentiment.
The Shiny Spots (Week 2)
A major complaint I hear from alt-aholics is that Rift is not alt friendly. Whether you are a Defiant or a Guardian once you get make it to Scarlet Gorge you are pretty much on rails through the rest of the zones and essentially have the same experience. While Storm Legion does not do much to address the Mathosian continent content issue it does open up divergent routes to level your character from 50 to 60. When you teleport out of Iron Pine Peeks for the first time you will be given a choice. You can travel to the Kingdom of Pelladane or to Cape Jule. Both of these promise to offer different adventures for your characters.
The Kingdom of Pelladane is on the northern tip of the continent of Dusken. When you zone into this area the first thing you will notice is that the entire place is under siege by Crucia's Storm Legion minions. This zone is war ravaged and you are responsible for checking on the outposts in the surrounding area. The place is also heavily influenced by a mix of technology and modern civilization with old farm lands dotting the countryside.
Cape Jule is on the southern tip of the Brevane continent and immediately you will notice has a completely different feel than Dusken. I felt like I stepped through a porticulum and entered Indiana Jones and the Temple of Crucia. While Dusken is littered with Storm Legion, in Brevane it is the wild life that pose the most immediate threat to your ascended life. The story quest in Cape Jule tasks you to explore the Daemon Loci, a large temple that has become infested with Storm Legion. It is a race to find what the Legion is looking for before they do. While Crucia's minions have overtly invaded The Kindgom of Pelladane they are covertly making their way into Cape Jule. In the early goings you do not really feel Regulos's influence on either continent but you know he is lingering in the background, somewhere.
I also continue to enjoy the questing in Storm Legion. Each continent has a main storyline quest that will drive you through the zones. Along the way you will find additional quest givers and sometimes they are in the unlikeliest of places. A number of times you will find that quest gives are not even people, but objects; piles of bones, wards, telecommunication devices, etc. can offer quests in the new zones. Carnage quests are also a good diversion if you want to mindlessly grind on mobs. Indicated on enemies by a red dot next to their name you can have up to 25 carnage quests active in your log at the same time. With a possibility of 25 story quests, 25 daily quests, and 25 carnage quests you can accumulate one cluttered quest log fairly quickly. All of these quests combined with constant zone events and rifts makes for little downtime.
The Wait and See (Week 2)
Next week we will go more in-depth with the dungeons added in Storm Legion. I talked about Exodus of the Storm Queen last week. If the new instances are on par with that they should all be enjoyable. I am concerned about the new raid instances in the expansion though. While not everyone is a raider, and truthfully these days I'm not much of one anymore either (mostly due to time constraints) the first 10-man raid has been cleared. I also know that the first two bosses of a 20-man raid have been killed as well. While Rift was known for very difficult raids during the Hammerknell days is it possible that they went too far and over-tuned them making raids too easy? I'm also curious to see how the new souls play out in groups the higher in level we get.
What about you? How has your first week with Storm Legion been? I would love to hear about your experiences both good and bad. Please leave any comments in the section below or you can reach me on Facebook or Twitter. Also make sure to check our livestreams of Rift on our very own MMORPG Livestream Channel.