A Story About a Tree

This is a story about a tree.  You already knew that from the title.

My life was happier before the tree.  Before the tree, playing RIFT was fun… relaxing… engaging.  Heck, I just went through a vampire nest and cleared out 2,000 Edwards in the time it took Stephanie Mayer to think up another synonym for “gorgeous.”  You could even say that I was riding at the top of the world.

So quickly things change.  So quickly are our lives ruined.

I saw the tree as I climbed up a steep hill.  It wasn’t anything to speak of; a gnarled old thing that lurked like an arthritic claw.  On any other day, in any other game, I would’ve passed it by.

Except.

Except it had a sparkly, glowy artifact at the top-most branch.  And I simply cannot resist gunning for artifacts in this game.  The devs like to put them in out-of-the-way places that encourage exploration, and I love that.

The only problem was that this particular artifact was put there by a clearly insane person at Trion Worlds, and when I find that person, he or she and I will be having words.  Words that end with fists attached.

As a gamer who cut his teeth on Pitfall! and Super Mario Bros., I’m no stranger to platforming.  Sometimes I even enjoy it.  But this was a platforming puzzle that I quickly realized was neigh-on impossible.

It was bad enough that the branches were so narrow that a single misstep would send me plummeting back down to the ground, but I could’ve lived with all that had there not been one evil, demonic branch that stymied my progress:

Oh, I learned to hate that branch.  That branch made it absolutely impossible to proceed.  I couldn’t jump past it or edge around it, because it blocked the entire approach.  But… there was an artifact up there!  That obviously meant that it could be done, right?

Right?

And thus a few enthusiastic attempts quickly became an unending obsession.  I had to get past the branch.  I could TASTE that artifact.  I kept going, try after try, quickly climbing into the triple digits of attempts.  I was obsessed.  And this tree was going to drive me mad.

Oh sure, as soon as I was getting close to giving up, I would make it past the branch somehow, but not in any way I could replicate.  I nearly whooped in relief, but would quickly fall off as there was no way up the next branch without sliding off.  Time after time after time I climbed, I growled, and I deeply wished for a chainsaw to cut down that tree.

It never happened.  For all I know, the artifact is still up there, laughing at me and my stupidity.

And I could not sleep last night, as the madness welled up from deep within.

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28 thoughts on “A Story About a Tree

  1. Ouch. I had one like that in Gloamwood once, though it was easier, and eventually (after about 20 tries) I managed to make my way to the artifact and snag it. For all that trouble, I figured it would be a rare or at least uncommon artifact. Nope, just an ordinary white. So my advice is let it go. Even if you manage to somehow get that artifact, it’s just going to let you down.

  2. Really? I got that artifact with no problems. Took me maybe 20 seconds. U R Noob.

    (I’m totally lying…haven’t even seen it yet, but I could feel your frustration from here!)

  3. So I guess you didn’t visit the cave in Gloamwood with loads of artifacts up in the tree root branches?

    *evil cackle*

  4. I have to admit I have read hardly anything detailed about RIFT, just the way its been marketed and talked about makes it seem like not my style of game, but artifact collecting this way seems like a nice mechanic.

  5. There is too that prison at Shimmersands that have shinnies mid air, but I think that is a bug. At least I hope it is a bug, I cannot fly…

    On a more usefull note, one day I found a shinny like that one you found, on top of a tree, at Iron Peaks, with no way to jump that tree. I found a solution escalating the hill near the tree and jumping out to tree top. Maybe that be the solution to your shinny puzzle.

  6. I found one up in the mountains of Stonefield, and it was behind an invisible wall that kept you from cresting the mountain range. I felt like Scrat stretching to reach his acorn.

    On a happy note, I did get my dances with squirrels title.

  7. @SteinAuf

    You jumped the precipice too and gained the title “Daredevil”? It is at the same mountain…

  8. I know exactly where that is. Took me ten minutes to work it out. I have no idea if this is possible if you are not an Elf. You can leap from the hill to the branch.

    I feel your pain…

  9. LOL. Excellent post, and I share your pain!

    I found one of those – on the very tip of one half of the shattered boat at the Kelari Refuge. I must have tried for that thing for a good 20 to 30 minutes, including a 5 minute stretch where I stared at it balefully and DARED it to come down and face me in mortal combat.

    It laughed at me…and I cried.

  10. I believe there are some shinies only accessible to High Elves and Bhami with their flight/jump abilities.

  11. Oh I can so sympathise. I spent ages on the beach in Freemarch as a shiny was sat tantilisingly on top of a large boulder in shallow water. I jumped and jumped and slid and splashed trying all angles and approaches to get it. Very frustrating, but when I finally made it, oh the joy! Trion are either evil sadists, geniuses of addictive gaming or both ;-)

  12. There’s one in Moonshade Highlands that took me some doing to get to. I’d on top of a spire at the bottom of some stairs. Took some doing, but I was eventually able to jump from the top of the stairs to the top of the wall that bounded the stairs and walk down, but lemme tell you — it took a good 10 minutes to find a place where I could make the jump to get up on top of the wall.

  13. Hehehe, the artifacts are one of the things I LOVE about this game.
    Some of them are so INSANELY positioned that it can take hours to reach them…

    Atm I’ve gotten 104 collections completed (aye, I have my disease ridden turtle now) but I have to admit I bought a fair amount of shinies (that’s what I call them) off of the AH.

    You HAVE to try again though Syp, you MUST get that shiny!!!!!

  14. Since I only picked the game up on Wednesday I’ve spent more time running around Silverwood sealing Rifts than going out of my way to hunt the shinies, that doesn’t mean I don’t have many of them shoved into my collections window though.

  15. @ZombiePirate: You can find alot of the normal ones during your normal travels.
    The really good ones though, aka the blue’s, you’ll only find when you go out of your way.
    Look on mountains, in well’s, under waterfalls, and on trees ^_^

  16. From the screenshot, that looks like the very same one I spent half an hour trying to get to back in beta. I always disliked platform games, though, and half an hour was as much time as I was willing to give.

    Interesting to read in some of the comments above that specific artefacts may be tied to particular locations. I hadn’t realised that – I thought it was completely random. I generally ignore the hard-to-get ones on the assumption that whatever’s in them will turn up somewhere else later, but maybe I’d better start making more of an effort.

  17. @Bhagpuss: It’s not totally random. You have spots that give only whites and spots that give only greens and blues.

    One time it took me almost an hour to get to one, and it turned out to be a white one. The next day I went to the same spot (and now I knew how to get there, so it only took 5 mins) and there was a blue there.

    Since then I’ve found about 20 greens, 4 blues and numerous white’s on that spot (seems there were 6 spawn locations around there ^_^).

  18. I am really loving how many people relate to this post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fought my way through high-level mobs to reach a single, glittering artifact. One like this would have driven me absolutely insane.

  19. mmmmmm…

    22 comments about a shinny…

    Can we say RIFT is a sucess yet?

  20. Target dates for success gauge are 1 month later, 3 months later, and finally – the big one – at 6 months later. They seem to be doing pretty well at the first benchmark.

    It’s curious to me that Trion seems to be giving away 30 free days like candy for those who were hacked earlier this month – I actually think it’s unnecessary for them given how positive the reception still is on the whole.

  21. I’m lurker from all the way back in the Waaagh! days. So when I got a buddy code for RIFT, my first thought was to drop it here (all of my gaming friends are already playing).

    If you are reading this post, and *not* already playing this game, now is your shot. The code is only good for the weekend, and it can only be used 5 times: ZCGJ-2DLJ-7RTP-7LFY-HLHY.

    Oh, and I love the blog Syp – you keep writing, and I’ll keep reading!

    Now, back to hunting for shinies…

  22. Hahahaha!!! I’ve seen that shiny, and it drove me NUTS for 20 minutes before I gave up on it. There’s a whole thread in the official forums about that shiny. Someone even posted a strat on how to reach it.

    I have a screenshot from Stillmoor, where there are four spikes above a platform, and there’s a shiny on each one. I suspect that whoever the shiny-placing-person is, they’re cackling like fiends when they place some of these things.

  23. So, for a shinny now we have 27 posts…

    No problem with me, I am playing RIFT and every place I go I look for shinnies.

    But if we cannot say RIFT is a sucess yet (because the WoW players that are not playing RIFT and saw all their guildies and friends go play RIFT said that RIFT need wait 6 months for be possible to consider RIFT a sucess), can we say that shinnies are a sucess?

  24. Count me as another person who spent 30 minutes trying to get that shiny. I managed to get pretty close a couple of times before falling before I decided I’d wasted enough time on it.

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