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RIFT: Starfall Prophecy Review

William Murphy Posted:
Columns Bill Murphy 0

Rift’s latest expansion, Starfall Prophecy, launched just a few weeks ago. In that time, we’ve tried several souls, leveled through the four new zones, and experienced a lot of what the largest content update since Nightmare Tide has to offer. What did we think? Well, to put it simply: the leveling content is some of the best Trion’s ever put out – but the rest feels unfinished and half-baked.

From your opening moments with Tasuil in Alittu to the Xarth Mire’s fight with the Tuath’De and the demons of Ashenfell, the overarching quest design and narrative through each of SFP’s zones is superb. I loved, LOVED, my time in Gedlo Badlands with Veist and his wannabe Ascended kobolds. There’s a whole lot of creativity that went into each zone, and the story’s really well written from start to finish.  You won’t have a bad time in SFP if you play for the questing and the stories they tell.

It’s the other bits of Starfall Prophecy that fail to live up to the zone design. As HiveLeader and I have commented, as well as many others on various channels, the amount of HP mobs have in the open world seems to be crazy across the board. With the exception of a few builds, the time to kill for mobs in SFP has drastically increased to the point of boredom. I swear my eyes glazed over during one fight with a frogue, because it wasn’t hard… it just took forever. As a player, if you like to solo quest, you’re forced to make a hybrid build that has heals and defense, and sacrifices DPS – ergo, the time to kill a single mob is about 60 seconds. Add in the fact that most quests require you to kill multiple mobs, especially carnage quests, and the progress is achingly slow.

I don’t mind long times to level. In fact, at higher ends of games, I really appreciate it. Plus Rift has Planar Attunement which adds to your sense of progress at the upper levels. No it’s not the slow leveling that’s an issue – it’s the slow killing. Nightmare Tide felt perfectly tuned, even at the elder game. SFP clearly increased HP on mobs far too much, and the thrill of an already archaic combat system is all but drained.

I’ve seen conflicting opinions on the new Planar Fragment system, as it can rely too much on RNG and is a Plat Sink, but really I kind of like it. While you can’t trade the fragments, through leveling alone I was able to get the stat types I needed and upgrade my slots to keep feeling my stats increasing. The only real downside is that players with bad luck may never have the best tier fragments or the stats they want on their fragments.

Planar Assault Adventures are a nice new feature where you go into the planes, and close rifts on demand. It’s basically Instant Adventure for people who like doing rifts.  The problem comes when you do them all the time because the variety is severely lacking and the XP return is not nearly good enough to level by when you could just be doing the questing content. This is a shame, because people love to level with IA, and by extension Planar Assault, but neither have good XP rates to effectively do so without popping an XP potion. I’ve also seen it reported that people who aren’t patrons don’t have nearly enough quests to level from 65-70, leaving them grinding content to get there. This simply shouldn’t happen in a modern theme park MMORPG, F2P model or not.

And lastly, I can’t comment on Fortress Sieges, because since launch they’ve been deactivated due to not being ready for release. One of the expansion’s selling points is simply not in the game. The Tenebrean Schism is also not unlocked, nor is the raid, and there are only a couple of new dungeons. In short, once you level to 70 there’s not much to do in Starfall Prophecy. Yes, a lot of content is coming, but we don’t have dates yet for the first big content update.

I really enjoy Starfall Prophecy’s zones, I like the Legendary Powers and the variety they add to soul builds, and I love the overall story of Ahnket. But I can’t help feeling Starfall Prophecy needed more time in the oven. And frankly, as a mostly solo-adventurer these days I can’t see myself sticking with Rift unless the TTK on mobs is decreased. I like to raise alts, and doing so will be an absolute chore. Starfall Prophecy at once feels like Rift’s best expansion since Storm Legion, and its worse for lack of complete implementation. It’s worth buying if you’re a fan of Rift, especially since you have the instant level 65 character, but for those who have skipped previous expansions, SFP does little (in terms of content and pricing) to lure you back.

Final Score – 7/10 – Recommended for Patient Rift Fans


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.