RIFT’s Mentoring: Helping by hurting

Happy The Secret World Early Access Day for Hopefuls and the Faithful!  I’m looking forward to getting some time in with this odd new MMO at some point today if the server gods are kind.

I’m sure I’ll be talking more about that later, but right now I want to share my delight with RIFT’s new mentoring system.  Like just about everything in the game, it’s ridiculously smooth and easy to use.  You just right click the level number under your portrait and use the slider to set your new temporary level.  Your abilities and stats scale down with the levels, but you don’t lose any of your abilities either.

I was thinking that this system would be great for teaming up with friends at lower levels or engaging in instant adventures, and while that’s true, last night I found an even better use for it.

I’m cleaning up the last few quests and achievements in Scarwood Reach before moving on, and I’ve been a little upset because I’m way overleveled not just for this zone, but for the next two.  It’s not as much fun when you steamroll everything and get no XP in the process.  Enter the mentoring system: I just tweaked my level down from 40 to 31, and suddenly all of the mobs were at-level and giving me loads of XP per kill.

And then it clicked: This system frees me up from worrying about my level relative to the zone I’m in (as long as the zone isn’t way over my head, of course).  It frees me to progress at my own pace without worrying that I’m not getting XP for anything or being challenged.  I love that.  At this rate, I’m going to hit 50 way before I even touch the actual endgame zones, and that’s fine with me.  More XP can go toward planar attunement that way.

So bravo, Trion.  Even though this had to be a butt-load of work, you make these features look effortless in the face of the competition.  I wish every game had this feature.

9 thoughts on “RIFT’s Mentoring: Helping by hurting

  1. sente June 29, 2012 / 9:23 am

    So essentially the same mechanic as in Guild Wars 2, except that it is not automatic. It is a good feature for a level-based game indeed and addresses a different issue than sidekicking/mentoring.

  2. Tyrion10 June 29, 2012 / 9:25 am

    Whoever at Trion thought this up deserves a free chicken biscuit. I still haven’t gotten back into Rift, but the more I read, the more I want back in.

  3. Starseeker June 29, 2012 / 9:40 am

    I really do like this feature, I was able to scale my 50 down to 42 and do an invasion event in moonshade and actually got rewards more than 2-3 planarite. It makes it a lot easier to have more zone options for grinding the inscribed sourcestones for endgame lesser essences and such.

    Of course there were only 5 people doing the event, and only 1 was truely level 40 lol.

    But I’m hoping that it will bring people back to the lower level zones, and I’m finding it’s fun to do the world event quests “at level” instead of doing them at level 50.

  4. seanxxp June 29, 2012 / 9:49 am

    It’s also a really clever way of maximising your content. In a lot of games I’ve played, you level past some zones. SWTOR in particular, where I found myself anxious about how quickly I was out-levelling zones if I did *anything* else at all outside questing.

    Incentivising returning to older zones makes the most out of what’s already been developed, as well as freeing you from fear of out-levelling content. I consider the ability to help out buddies as a bonus.

    Overall, this looks like a great addition to the game. I know it’s been said many times before but it bears repeating, I’ve never seen anyone justify the subscription model like Trion has.

  5. Nerokis June 29, 2012 / 10:06 am

    I’m definitely impressed. I’ve long been excited about GW2’s sidekicking feature, but it seems like this could be a superior version of that (at least in certain ways, such as flexibility). 😮 It sounds like a big deal! Suddenly you can seamlessly play with your friends, and instead of the world becoming smaller as you level up, it steadily expands.

    I briefly played RIFT not too long after it came out, and I just couldn’t get into it. It actually drove me back to WoW, because the blandness of what I had seen made WoW’s world seem so inviting. Maybe I’ll give it another shot soon. 🙂

  6. motstandet June 29, 2012 / 11:41 am

    Level synchronizing is one of those really great features that players love. It makes you wonder why more level-based MMORPGs don’t implement it. It certainly rekindled my interest in FFXI many years ago when it was added.

  7. bhagpuss June 29, 2012 / 3:29 pm

    Isn’t that exactly the same mechanism as EQ2? The one they’ve had for years?

  8. Warsyde June 29, 2012 / 5:21 pm

    I made the same realization when riding through the guardian starter zone with my level 35 cleric. I passed a level 13 water foothold and rode on by as usual, not wanting to waste my time. Then I realized, “wait, I can set my level to 13 and actually get xp for that!” Which is exactly what I did and got a nice chunk of xp while doing the world some good. Imagine that.

    Also, I was in an instant adventure the other night with a character named Sypi. Was that you Syp? I meant to say hi, but typing took too long 😛

  9. Syp June 29, 2012 / 7:24 pm

    @Warsyde – Yup, that was me!

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