For the past two years, RIFT has been the one MMO that is always on my playlist. Even if I find myself playing other games when they hit the market, I always end up getting sucked back into Telara. The reasons vary. Perhaps there is a special event going on. Perhaps I was just getting bored and wanted to see some familiar faces. But this time around, it was RIFT’s newest expansion that lured me in: Nightmare Tide. But is this new addition to the game just a small puddle that gets in the way? Or is it a whirlpool that will suck players in with its powerful current? Let’s dive in and find out!
Nightmare Tide brings in a whole slew of content, including a new continent to explore, a level cap increase, the new minion system, the new side-kicking system, the mastery system, Nightmare Rifts… the list goes on. Currently I have just been concentrating on leveling up and exploring whatever zone I’m in to the fullest. Once I am max level again, I plan on experiencing all of the features the new expansion has to offer. At the time of writing this I just hit level 63, which I guess means that I’m at the halfway point, and so far Nightmare Tide has not disappointed.
Now, I will say that leveling up in Nightmare Tide does little to change up the typical MMO formula, but in true RIFT fashion, you can level in several different ways. Questing is still fairly basic and linear: gather as many quests as you can from a quest hub, head out to do them, and then come back for more before moving on to the next area of the map. However, it seems Trion has added a cinematic flair in Nightmare Tide that makes questing a bit more interesting than back in Storm Legion. I won’t ruin it for you, but so far I have found the story very interesting. It deals a lot with Nightmares. Carnage Quests are still around, allowing you to gain some extra experience for slaughtering dozens upon dozens of monsters (if that’s your kind of thing). I have seen a lot of complaints that these just clog up your quest log and aren’t really necessary. While I find that somewhat true, the place carnage quests come in handy is during Instant Adventures, which are still one of the best ways to hop in during a quick play session and gain some decent experience.
RIFT’s namesake, rifts, are pretty much the same as always. But for Nightmare Tide, Trion has introduced Nightmare Rifts. These are a lot like regular rifts, except that they do not end. While normally a rift may only go up to tier 4 or 5 before closing, I have seen Nightmare Rifts get up to rank 65. The only way to make the nightmare end (see what I did there?) is to fail by simply running out of time. Of course the higher tier you push the rift to, the better reward you received, so there is an incentive to keep going. I have done a few Nightmare Rifts, and have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed them. They are especially something to behold in a large raid group. It’s like an organized frenzy.
While my main focus has been on leveling, I have experienced a few of the other new features at this point. First up is masteries. At each level past 60, you will be given a choice between 4 mastery skills which can be changed on the fly for no cost, allowing you to pick the best mastery for any situation. These skills are typically passive in nature and can range anywhere from increasing movement speed to adding additional effects to skills. Next up is the side-kicking system. Before Nightmare Tide, RIFT characters were only able to lower their level to group with their friends. Now characters are also able to raise their level! This really helps close the gap between new and old players and allows lower level players to experience higher-end content.
I am excited to see what surprises Nightmare Tide holds at max level, which in my opinion is where RIFT has always shined. In my next piece I will talk about the end level experience, the new continent, the new dungeons, perhaps a raid or two (if I get into one), dimensions, and the new minion system. See you next week, under the sea!