This week brings part three of our review in progress covering Rift: Storm Legion. There is still a lot of good to talk about in the game but as we progress through the zones some of the rougher edges are starting to show. (Note: This was written before the update of 11/28, some of the items may have been addressed).
The Rough Spots (Week 3)
Bugs are starting to pop up more frequently than I would have expected, and not the kind of bugs you can kill in game either. Though, to be fair, there are plenty of them as well. While most of the bugs I have encountered are not game-breaking a handful are more than just minor irritants. One involves a major story line concerning hunt Rifts. While broken quests are never fun, when they are integral to the story of the game they are even more discouraging. Another bug that is especially untimely is not accumulating rested experience. Two months ago this would not have been a very big deal but when the rested experience gets turned off while the majority of the player base is still leveling it is quite bothersome. There are a handful of others I can think of as well, like the cannons in Storm Breaker Protocol not working and rendering Telaphalon almost unbeatable, but my intent is not to turn this into a bug list. I'm just surprised that Trion has not tried to hot-fix any of these before now.
What also really surprises me is Trion's customer service; or in this case, lack of. In the past I have gone out of my way to point out how I think Trion has gone above and beyond when it comes to customer service, and doing their best to do right by the players. Unfortunately I cannot say the same with one of my experiences over the weekend. The details surrounding the incident are not really important, what is important is that I have a pending ticket into customer service that has not received a response in over 4 days. I submitted the ticket on the 24th (this was written on the 28th) and I still have not received a response. I asked around and it does not appear that this is an isolated case either. On the other hand I have received reports of GM's responding to players the same day.
In terms of dungeons and LFG, queue times for DPS have become out of hand, with queues exceeding well over an hour. Fortunately for me I play as a tank and tank queues are still instant, but I am in the minority. While it is ultimately the player’s decision to play as a DPS spec over a tank, healer, or support and incur these queue times I do not think Trion has done enough to incentivize people to play as a tank. I am not laying the blame for this issue completely at Trion's feet. Trion has made it to where 3 out of the 4 callings, Rogue, Cleric, and Warrior can tank allowing for a larger pool of players to step up and tank if they wanted to. What Trion has failed to do though is provide gear for these players through quest rewards. As you make your way through the first few zones you will notice almost all of the quest rewards are aimed towards DPS, none of the items have an exceptional amount of stamina on them, and none of them have block, dodge or any other stats that would be associated with tanking. If Trion provided the option to pick up tanking items along the way with quest rewards instead of just DPS items this could greatly encourage people to tank instead. This improved itemization would have a twofold effect on DPS queue times. Now you have one less DPS because they are a tank, reducing the queue for DPS by one, and you have two additional dps who can get into an open instance.
The Shiny Spots (Week 3)
It was not all doom and gloom this week even though it may have appeared that way from my list of rough spots. (I even left one off.)
I'm continually impressed by the new dungeons in Storm Legion. This week I had a chance to play through Storm Breaker Protocol a number of times. All of these were with pick up groups and not all of them were successful. While on first glance failing to complete a dungeon might seem like a bad thing, but honestly I'm happy that the dungeons are difficult enough that the risk of failure actually exists. With the last batch of 50 experts so out-geared it is nice to finally step back into a dungeon and know that if not everyone pulls their weight, you may not succeed. Storm Breaker Protocol is also the first time that we see our Defiant occupy a vehicle mode for a dungeon. You fight the first two bosses in this instance in a Gundam mode and then proceed to fight the next two bosses robotic armor free. Each of the bosses is more than just a tank and spank with the last boss providing multiple tasks for the tank. I was required to cleanse myself, purge the boss, and control adds while the DPS broke crystals. I'm always pleased to be engaged rather than just spamming the boss for threat.
I'm also pleased with the new warfronts Karthan Ridge. While the PvP crowd generally shuns Rift, Trion continues to add diverse warfronts which are more than just capture the flag or domination style maps. Karthan Ridge requires you to pick up a stone and then take that to an enemy’s Power Core and destroy that Power Core. You can win the match by either destroying all of the enemies Power Cores or at the end of 15 minutes have destroyed the most. While there is nothing revolutionary about the mechanics in Karthan Ridge it is just different enough to keep the maps fresh as you rotate throughout the 6 different warfronts now available.
The Wait and See (Week 3)
For next week I plan on spending a lot more time going through other players dimensions and seeing what they have created. Dimensions are a very robust system that Trion has added and I can see them being used for much more than just housing. I also hope that Trion does a better job of stomping out bugs. They have really set the bar high for themselves with how fast they have cranked out hot-fixes in the past. I'm also interested to see what changes they have in store for the new souls. I have not really mentioned the new souls yet because Trion has made a number of changes to them already and we are less than a month into the expansion.
What has been your favorite part of Storm Legion so far? What has been your least favorite? Do you have a suggestion for a cool dimension that I should go check out and showcase in the next article? Please let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter. You can also watch as I and other members of the MMORPG.com stream our experiences in Rift on our Live Stream Channel.