RIFT: Nightmares and dreamscapes

eggsGetting back into RIFT introduces the same-old dilemma that I face in return situations: whether to roll a fresh new character or pick up my old main and go from there.  Logically, I should go with the latter, right?  I shouldn’t want to waste the time and effort that I put into the progress of that character, not to mention that MMO characters don’t degrade or get dusty or anything when you leave them.  Sypi the Cleric was just as I left her in February, level 53 and facing a room full of Alienesque eggs.

But the temptation to reroll is strong, because so much has changed.  I have this desire to drink full of the cup of an MMO and not miss a single (soloable) drop from the start to finish, and that’s really only possible if I’ve been playing constantly through the updates or make a new character.  Otherwise it’s some backtracking and the nagging feeling that I missed something.  Plus, jumping into the shoes of an old main is initially overwhelming, since it’s a little difficult to remember the builds, combat rotations, current questlines, and so on.  Starting over seems easy.

While I did putter around on a new mage for a week, eventually I returned to see my Cleric and decided that I was just being silly.  I love this character and would like to see her through the end of the Storm Legion content.  She was, I think, an achievement hunter at one time, and that’s something else I’d like to revive.  And her builds are tremendously fun, all of them.

I’m glad I’m going back with the old, because after a day or two getting reacquainted with her, everything’s rushed back and I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with my guild.  Plus, I can’t believe I left when I did, because I was on the cusp of one of the coolest quests in the game.

RIFT gets knocked around a lot for weak quests (sometimes deservedly so), but there are several pretty interesting missions.  This one, in which you jump into a dreamworld to investigate the past events of a local estate, was right up there with anything I’ve experienced in The Secret World (which is the highest honor I can think of, story-wise).  The tale that you discover is quite sordid and downright macabre, involving the son of a lord who went from torturing animals as a kid to becoming a full-blown psychopathic killer.  He gets away with it because his father is more worried about protecting the family name, and dozens of people suffer because of it.

The voice acting is sometimes chilling, and I was quite surprised how dark RIFT was willing to go with this quest chain.  I mean, implied rape, animal mutilation, corruption, and the cultivation of evil was something more sinister than anything I’ve seen from the big baddie in the expansion so far.

It wasn’t a good storyline because it was dark, but because it was quite well-told.  The dreamworld is suitably “other,” sort of real and sort of off-kilter in a way that you only get in your dreams.  I was giddy to discover that your character can jump super-high in it, which made me pine for the days of super-jumping in City of Heroes.

It was also pretty challenging.  One of the final quests involves sneaking past guards who are constantly patrolling and shifting stances, and if you get seen just once you are returned to the start.  Ugh I hate missions like that — I just was banging my head over a similar one in Dracula’s castle in TSW.  I’ll give it to the devs, though, the mechanics were really well-done and quite reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid and the like.

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty good about how everything is going.  Last night I participated in a zone-wide event that was just loads of fun, and at least with RIFT you can directly attack these big zone bosses instead of GW2’s dragons, which often just involve using some local clickie to attack from afar.  We’ll see how it goes.  There are scads of achievements that I’d like to get that I passed over, so I might be doing some backtracking in the near future to get them.


7 thoughts on “RIFT: Nightmares and dreamscapes

  1. rowan June 24, 2013 / 9:52 am

    Sctrz and I were thinking about tooling around and seeing how things are now after the conversion, as well as whether to start fresh or jump in on our mains. Haven’t really made the leap yet

  2. bhagpuss June 24, 2013 / 10:28 am

    I gave Rift a full session over the weekend. The main result was that I felt I’d wasted several hours that I could have used much more profitably in any of a dozen other MMOs. By contrast, I logged into The Secret World yesterday and did the Chainsaw mission and felt it was time well-spent.

    I’d really like to like Rift. Trion have given me so much free stuff it feels ungrateful not to. So far, though, I’m not feeling it. I might try the opposite of your strategy, give up trying to progress any of my three level 50s through the utterly tedious and very unattractive Storm Legion starting zones and pick up on the level 19 Mage that used to be my RiftLite character.

    Or I might just call it quits with Rift before I forget entirely why I ever liked it in the first place.

  3. pkudude99 June 24, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    That nightmare/dreamscape is my favorite quest line in the series as well. The guards spotting you thing gets a lot easier when repeated — much like The Castle in TSW does also. Heck, The Castle is my primary XP farming mission anymore . . . .

    My latest adventures in Rift can be found here, if you care to look. I’m with Bhagpuss — I want to like Rift, but I’ve more or less drifted off, and while the new zone is fun, it’s not really enough to make me want to log in to finish it all up either. Though I have 3 level 60’s and a level 56 mage, so I got a little farther than he did 😉

  4. Tyler F.M. Edwards June 24, 2013 / 7:46 pm

    I’ve been giving Rift another go since it went F2P, but my opinion on it hasn’t really changed: It’s technically competent but lacking in soul, and the lack of any really compellingly unique features makes me feel my time would be better spent on other games.

    I also still can’t escape the feeling it’s just WoW with better graphics.

  5. Vulpis June 25, 2013 / 5:03 am

    Hmmm. Which mission *is* that, anyway? One of the Slivers? And are you running Guardian or Defiant?
    I ended up starting a new character in the ‘jump start’ previous owners got on the F2P, primarily because the ‘overwhelming’ factor–it would be easier to re-learn from the beginning (and smile at familiar old areas that I liked as I work through them again) than try to re-learn my L50 Rogue (and re-build, since the points have gotten cleared *again* since the last free weekend).
    And…I think I’m biased, because I’m apparently one of those weird handful of people who has not only never played WoW but has no real interest in ever playing it (kinda like the similar weird minority who’s never touched Facebook–a minority which I am also part of.). To me, Rift is a great game…maybe it should be advertised as ‘The best alternative to WoW, for people who don’t want to play WoW? Plus, it has a feature that beats out WoW….it’s now F2P, which WoW isn’t.

  6. ellori June 26, 2013 / 6:01 am

    What’s the name of the starting quest for this chain? It sounds interesting and I’d love to go check it out.

  7. Syp June 26, 2013 / 7:59 am

    It’s the finale of the zone storyline (it even has an achievement related to it), so if you do the zone’s quests, you’ll end up doing it.

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