I’m tremendously glad I’ve gotten back into the game, although those feelings may well be from that returning glow that one gets (and causes us bloggers to gush about titles we haven’t played in a while) and the excitement over the upcoming Nightmare Tide expansion. It’s certainly not all I play, but the fast load times and the bite-size nature of questing and rifting lends itself well to short play sessions.
What’s making me happiest is seeing/realizing/re-realizing how friendly RIFT is to players. There are several legitimate paths to leveling. There are free server transfers. Everyone gets housing almost right out of the tutorial and it’s a pretty good system. There is a good amount of account security (coin lock, two-factor authentication). There’s a great mentoring system that will soon allow you to scale up in levels as well as down. The LFG finder works wonderfully for dungeons. Artifacts are still addicting to collect. There’s a decent mobile app. The soul system allows for a lot of playstyle customization. And I’m hearing word that there will soon be a unified currency to allow endgamers to save up and buy gear whether they raid, run dungeons, or PvP.
Sure, there are drawbacks. RIFT wasn’t very sticky to me the last couple times I came back, although right now I’m level 32 and still trucking. Storm Legion is excessively long and leveling through it is slow. There are a lot of mindless quests, although a few are genuinely engaging and full of great story. I’m feeling as though the newer souls are so much more powerful than the old ones, which makes me hesitant to use the older ones (and that’s a shame). And man am I glad for the wardrobe system, because so much of the armor is (and this is a professional writer’s term) icky.
I’m ridiculously excited about the minion system that’s coming with the expansion too. I know it’s silly and not a huge game-changer, but I like collecting NPCs to order around on tasks (such as Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and SWTOR). I really want to hear more specifics on where we can get these minions so that I can start planning to do so even at my level when Nightmare Tide hits next month.