Instead of stressing about which MMOs I’m playing and trying to figure out how to carve out the time for them, I’ve started to take a new approach to gaming. Basically, I’m installing games that are of current or past interest to me, sorting out a main character, and creating paths to slip in and out of games easily. By focusing on simple goals and shedding some of the baggage that long-time characters tend to accumulate (side quests, overflowing inventories, extra systems), I’m making plug-in-and-play experiences that take the stress away from jumping into an MMO that I haven’t played for weeks (or even months).
Right now my MMO folder has World of Warcraft, Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, The Secret World, SWTOR, Shroud of the Avatar, Marvel Heroes, Guild Wars 2, and WildStar. The other night I added in RIFT as well. It’s a nice feeling to have an array of games at my disposal to meet whatever interest I have, whether it be playing or blogging.
As with most of these games where I’m sorting out a main character of significant levels that I haven’t played in a while, I came into RIFT feeling pretty lost. My bags were overflowing, I had a build that mystified me, and I had no clue where I was even questing.
Inventory was the first and easiest path to this goal. I sold everything that didn’t look important, banked everything that was semi-important but I probably didn’t need regularly, and kept only a handful of potions and various trinkets. I used all of the artifacts I had and decided to get rid of dimension items unless they were super-rare. I love RIFT’s dimension system and all, but I do not have time for that in a game that I might just be casually playing at best.
The next step was to clear out my quest log — empty! — and then create a one-size-fits-all build. Man, I have missed RIFT’s soul system. It’s so liberating to mix-and-match them and then decide how you want to build a character. I went with a pretty straightforward Druid/Cabalist/Inquisitor build that gave me the best pets and a ton of instant-cast DoTs (some of which hit groups of mobs, solving my AoE needs).
My Cleric is only 57, so while I had grand visions of taking her right into Planestouched Wilds, I think I need to get her to 65 before that can happen. So the best avenue there is to park my butt in Sanctum and take advantage of instant adventures, intrepid adventures, and the odd dungeon run for gear and XP.
I ran a few instant adventures to get the creakiness out of my system and refamiliarize myself with RIFT’s format. Naturally, it all came back splendidly. Time to kill was a little high, but that was probably because I kept my healing pet out (a faerie named Fluttershy) instead of pulling out some better DPS pets. I can totally see logging in for a few adventures every day or two becoming the new normal for me. Having the options to play the way I want to play, even with only a little bit of time, endears a game to me greatly.