Obviously, launch (well, head start) days are pretty hectic for everyone, especially bloggers who are torn between playing and wanting to write about what they’re playing. Still, I thought I should at least give a bit of an update as to my afternoon’s excursion in RIFT.
One word: queues. Yes, like pretty much any popular launch or mega-event, the servers got absolutely crushed by the influx of players. I mean, I was right there at 1:00pm, logged on, and I was already at position 460 in the queue for my server. No biggie — it’s the way it goes. By all accounts, I got off lucky with a 36-minute wait time compared to the 2, 3, even 4-hour waits that some encountered.
Trion responded quickly by adding 10 more servers (!) spread across the US and EU sides. Although it’s nice for Day One relief, I’m always leery of throwing servers at the initial population as a way to make it better now, because when the gold rush settles, it could cause sparsely populated shards in the long haul. But I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, so maybe they have it covered.
It’s kind of amusing, because there’s this herd mentality on launch day that constantly keeps its eyes focused on the Next Thing. First, the thing is to log in. Then it’s to reserve all your favorite character names. Then it’s to get through the tutorial. Then it’s to get to the mailbox and claim mounts and other goodies. For some it’s achievements and fast leveling — hurryhurryhurry!
As for me, I didn’t really feel the pressing need to get anywhere, so I spent time configuring the UI just so and then hunted down the 14 books in the starting area before diving into quests. Meanwhile, my guild pressed hard to get the 2 platinum necessary (I think) to form a guild charter, which was done before 2:30 hit.
All in all, I’m pretty impressed with the game performance. No crashes for me, and everything flowed just smoothly. I did roll a Dwarf Bard, and I’m pretty pleased with the choice. I’m a Medieval Guitar Hero and proud of it, baby! I splashed in a bit of Riftstalker for the teleportation spell — being able to jump ahead 25 feet every so often is a ton of fun, as well as a helpful escape button if I got over my head.
I only just made it out of the starting zone before logging out (and I dread the queue later tonight). Seeing as how everyone in the game are pre-orders — and a large number of those with the CE — there were two-headed turtles everywhere. I think this calls for a rendition of the TMNT cartoon song!