Aaaand they’re off to the RIFT races!

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!

12 thoughts on “Aaaand they’re off to the RIFT races!

  1. Drannos February 24, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    Guild charters already? Wow, people are *serious*…

    I got lucky, too, and had about a 25 minute wait after logging in ten seconds after 1 PM. Good for Trion! It’s a testament to their product and their strength at building a community that the game is so amazingly successful on day 1 of the HEAD START! I think they had just the right length of a hype cycle, unlike TOR and GW2. Although the last few days have felt much, much longer…

    Luckily, I only had one name to reserve. I rolled a Mathosian Riftstalker – Drannos (shocker!). Look me up if you want to dual-Rogue some rifts!

  2. Stabs February 24, 2011 / 6:24 pm

    Ha ha, the Rift forum is up to about five pages of solid queue whine ❤

  3. Thomas February 24, 2011 / 6:38 pm

    I got into the Sunrest server & got my name with no problem at 10AM. I logged back in later, Q said 4 hours but only took about 1, then got disconnected & back to #704 in line. The waits don’t bug me, every launch is like this.

  4. Tremayne February 25, 2011 / 1:16 am

    @Stabs – as I’m sure you know, whine posts are the Internet equivalent of a dog marking its territory. It’s a measure of Trion’s success that they have so many incontinent poodles on their forums without anything else to complain about 🙂

  5. tricon February 25, 2011 / 5:13 am

    I don’t agree. I pay to play and not to wait.
    If the encounter problems later on the should give
    us free server transfers at last. I am so tired about
    this stuff and did not even try to login on the (pre-)launch day.

    Sorry If I see one week after the 4Mar here still a queue I will hit my cancel subscription button faster then in Aion/Warhammer/AoC. 😛

  6. Bhagpuss February 25, 2011 / 6:42 am

    I thought the queues weren’t at all bad. I had to wait over two hours the first time, then about 50 minutes after the server restart. I got over three hours play out of the seven hours between getting in from work and going to bed, and that play was completely smooth, lag and bug free. That’s better than the first day of any other MMO I’ve played.

    This morning I logged in and had no queue whatsoever. Been playign all morning and the game (in the part I’m playing) seems as finished, complete and stable as any of the three, six or ten year-old MMOs I also play.

    Really, if this isn’t considered an acceptable and successful launch, then every other company may as well give up because no-one is ever going to achieve the perfection that some players now seem to require.

  7. Syl February 25, 2011 / 8:48 am

    I played RIFT in the open beta for a little and was impressed with the performance myself. I don’t exactly have a new PC but I had no lag or other issues whatsoever, not even when 100 people were trying to get down some Riftlord. 🙂
    The UI customization tool is great, by the way!

    Have stayed away from the queues last night, although their reaction time is quite good. we’ll see how long Rift can catch people’s fancy, but for now it’s great fun because it’s all new – yes NEW i think, is what we all can use right now.

  8. NoAstronomer February 25, 2011 / 9:29 am

    Have to agree with Bhagpuss. This was about as smooth a launch as I think is possible. I logged in at around 7pm ET and I had no wait. Though I did have to settle for one of the new shards. We’ll see how population is in a month.

    Overall I was very impressed. Play was smooth and flowing even on my laptop. No lag or freezes for me. The soul system has me listing out all the combinations I want to try.

    RIFT is not going to kill WOW – nothing will – but it is a *really* good game.

  9. Paul February 25, 2011 / 10:17 am

    I found it’s very easy to get to a point where you can do meaningful PvP. The warfronts have an adjustable buff, so you can enter them at the bottom of their level range without feeling gimped. I was in the first one when my character was at level 12.

  10. Stabs February 25, 2011 / 8:17 pm

    @ Tremayne Beautifully put!

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