Riding the RIFT wave

While the MMO industry as we knew it apparently died or something last week, I went on vacation.  It was the first such vacation my wife and I had in about two years, and even though it was just a few days away from the kids across the state (no air travel due to pregnancy, alas), we unraveled and enjoyed unplugging from work and the internet.  Even as a guy who loves to write, it was so relaxing just not writing for a few days at all.

I’ll admit that I didn’t completely unplug — I brought my laptop, because I knew that the pregnancy gremlins dictate that 8:00 p.m. is apparently Lights Out for the mom, and I was not going to indulge in hotel TV surfing for the remainder of the evening.  So I limited myself to a few quick play sessions, and surprisingly enough, found myself subscribing for a month in RIFT.

Once more unto the breech, my dear friends…

Why?  I know I mentioned that I was flirting with the idea of coming back a little while ago, the time didn’t quite seem right.  Yet RIFT kept popping up into my radar more and more this past month, and you know how that goes: The more you start thinking about a game that you were once favorable toward, the more you start wondering if it’s time to go back.

RIFT and I parted on very amiable terms.  I greatly enjoyed my time in the game, and my biggest complaint was that I had more difficulty identifying with its classless characters than in other MMOs that had more structured classes.  I’ve never stopped rooting for it, even though its time as the new kid on the block was over the second SWTOR hit, because Trion time and again is showing us just how hard-working and responsive a studio needs to be to deserve a subscription-only MMO audience in this day and age.  Now with rumors of an expansion and a massive list of new features that I’ve never seen, I felt it was worth at least spending a month to see if it sticks.  If not, TSW is here in July anyway, and I’m still rocking LOTRO like mad.

A smooth reentry

Getting back in was completely effortless.  Nice to see that Trion cared enough to coin lock my account since I wasn’t logging in from home (and easy enough to unlock it).  I rerolled yet another cleric (my sixth or seventh, I believe) and have decided to completely eschew quests this time around.  That’s right — no quests for me!  Instead, I’m going to divvy up my time doing dynamic events, instant adventures, chronicles, and dungeon runs, all of which sounds like more than enough to get me the loot and levels I desire.

The problem with this is that there’s little in the way of dungeons/instant adventures/chronicles from the get-go.  I’m not 100% sure when these unlock, but I’m fairly certain that dungeons open up when you’re 15.  So until that point, I have to jog around either grinding on mobs (which is fine — it allows me to experiment with different builds) or looking for rifts to smash.  Fortunately, my veteran rewards included a few vials of XP-boosting potions, so those are helping me get the levels I want.

It’s a madhouse!  A madhouse!

One thing that did make me eye-roll in a huge way was that the regional chat got into another one of its group bitching sessions about Our Game vs. Other Games.  Depending on the moment, RIFT sucked, RIFT was awesome, RIFT was dying, RIFT was salvation for those sick of TERA, SWTOR sucked, SWTOR was awesome, GW2 is going to dominate all, GW2 is a RIFT knock-off, the White Spy was far better than the Black Spy, Pepsi trounced Coke in taste tests, and all of the other groupthink drivel that goes nowhere and does nothing other than provide fodder for trolls to feast upon.  Whether folks were attacking or defending various games, it just made me think that (a) these people need blogs if they’ve got these pent-up essays lurking inside of them, (b) those blogs would not have a captive audience the way that the general discussion channel does, and (c) very few people seem to comprehend that you can like more than one game at a time.

Other than that, I’m having a lovely time, and I’m definitely curious if this game will stick or just slide right off me by the end of the month.

11 thoughts on “Riding the RIFT wave

  1. I recently attempted a similar comeback. Much like you I was coin locked which was nice to know my account was still intact. However when I logged in and looked at my many toons I felt zero attachement to any of them so I deleted them all and created a cleric. However I found the server I was still on from my earlier experience (Deepstrike) was a ghost town. I got to 20 and never saw another soul anywhere. Not even high level toons running around. Any suggestion as to a server to try that has folks on it? I would love to give this game a second fair shake as Tera is not holding my attention at all.

  2. Rift is a great game in many ways, I fell out of subbing because my closest gaming friends moved on. I do think at some point I’ll come back to it though, perhaps when the rumoured expansion comes. I’m currently living a bit of a LoTRO renaissance, since I have a lifetime sub I can’t resist not giving it a go again for a change of pace.

  3. You’ll have a lovely time until you start PvP’ing. If you never PvP you might stay, but if PvP is important to you that part of the game is very lacking and unbalanced (I am assuming you are not a Defiant). If you are a Defiant, maybe you’ll enjoy it since that side has a marked edge.

  4. Just discovered this blog. It’s great! Many hours of my employer’s time have been spent reading it today 🙂 I’d like to be able to go back and read the posts sequentially from the beginning in 2008 but haven’t found an easy way to do that, any recommendations?
    More to the point, RIFT is also a game I keep going back to. I hate boring classes in MMORPGs, and RIFT’s system provides umpteen ways to avoid boredom.

  5. I’m finding Rift Lite, the free to play til Level 20 option meets all my rifting needs. I keep the game patched up and log in whenever I get the mood for some Silverwood, Freemarch or Black Garden fun.

    Depending when it appears it’s possible I might get the expansion and resub for that, but with TSW, GW2, Otherlands, City of Steam and who knows what else either out or in beta this year I can’t see it happening.

    I wish Trion all the best though – they’ve been a model of professionalism in an industry that sometimes struggles in that respect.

  6. I know what you mean about thinking about a game over and over and RIFT keeps creeping into my thoughts too. Saturday morning I found myself with nothing to do for the first time in months and it was perfect MMO time but I had none to play and I almost reinstalled RIFT. A few more days like that and I may have to go for it!

  7. Rift is a game I keep going back to because it has a lot to offer. Trion impresses me with the pace they have added content. In fact, I wish more games added new content as rapidly as Rift.

    The only thing keeping me from playing Rift more is the subscription. I can’t justify paying a monthly fee for something unless I’m playing it fairly regularly. This limits my Rift time to monthly bursts of activity once a year or so.

  8. I found myself with a few free days of subscription after having to change my account security details, so I decided to log on and see if it could draw me back in.

    Nothing against the game, I think Trion are doing a brilliant job with it, but Rift just doesn’t seem to be for me. I lasted about 1 hour on my max level character, which included some PvP and running around questing and Rifting in Ember Isle(?), before being overcome with boredom. Not sure what it is, but Rift just doesn’t draw me in at all 😦

  9. Loved this article!

    Gave me the best laugh I’d had all week, thanks!

    I too love RIFT, but I don’t currently sub, I gave it a break to get away from hardcore raiding on my healer (Chloropyrolock) and wanted to give TERA a shot for the aim-to-hit-stuff playstyle, which I’m enjoying, although the set in stone class roles kind of bug me.

    I will be making my return to the game when we get those new areas, namely the Plane-Touched Wilds.. I am deeply curious about that area, having seen just a peek of it through some creative wall-hopping.

    Thanks again!

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