I read a blog lately that said (and this is paraphrasing) RIFT must be going downhill because the enthusiasm for it has died down on the blogosphere. Well, it could be that we’re all just playing it instead of talking about it, y’know? I can only speak for me and those I observe, but I’m still having a huge blast with the game.
Last night we cobbled together a group to go explore Darkening Deeps, the level 25ish dungeon in Gloamwood. We had four guild members wanting to do it, so I put a call out in the general chat and got perhaps ten instant responses. So I’m guessing there are lots of folks out there wanting to run dungeons and very few willing to put them together. Hopefully Trion will get that dungeon putter-together thing sooner rather than later!
I remember running Darkening Deeps from PAX Prime last year, and I once again found it atmospheric and fun. So far in my experience, RIFT dungeons are somewhere between WoW’s “run in and AOE everything down” and other games where you carefully mark, mez and cautiously proceed. Instead, we just agreed to whatever roles we wanted and headed into the fray, trusting in each other to do the right thing. It ended up working beautifully — we had a dedicated warrior tank, me as an off-tank, a healing cleric, a bard, and another cleric doing straight-up DPS.
Let me tell you, having the freedom to zip around as a teleporting tank was just about one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in an MMO. Without having to worry about carefully pulling or aggro issues, I could just zip in and flit between enemies, slicing them up to my hearts’ content.
The only sticking point came with the first boss, mostly because a pet aggro’d before we finished up with nearby adds. After that one wipe, I switched to bard for backup, and between three healers we kept everyone alive just fine.
DD is a great run — it’s just the right length, there’s not a ton of mobs between bosses, and the atmosphere is delicious. What I loved the most was just having an entire group who could come to a dungeon and modify roles on the fly depending on what was needed. We didn’t really worry much about strict roles while setting up the group, trusting that we could adapt if needed. I find myself doing a lot of role-shifting in group situations in RIFT, whether they be dungeons or dynamic events, because it takes a little bit to figure out what a group’s strengths and weaknesses are. Having those tools at my disposal keeps me from fretting about not being as group-friendly as I should be, because I know I have all types of builds in my back pocket.