Gedlo Badlands continues to abide in RIFT. It’s half encouraging, half a buzzkill to quest through, so my progress has slowed considerably. The boring desert landscape does nothing for me and the mob density is out-of-control in spots. Fortunately, there have been a few weird and interesting quests (the ones to admire — usually with combat — kobold statues littered around the place was pretty out-there), and the chatter from my companions has been quite entertaining and informative.
But let’s go back to the mob density thing, because it actually is a pretty serious issue tied to another problem with this expansion. Mobs are simply too tough to kill quickly and hit you too hard — and I think I know why.
This is reminding me of The Secret World, and the one thing both of these games share in common is the ability to create your own build that isn’t always perfectly balanced. There’s bound to be some builds that are better, some worse, and some that are theory-crafted to be the most ideal for serious players. So if you were a dev, what would you aim for with mob health and power when you created a new expansion? If you make it too easy, the whole thing becomes a challenge-free cakewalk. It’s probably easier to assume that most players are using the theorycrafted optimal builds with an above-average set of gear, and create enemies around that level.
As Hive Leader pointed out, the high time-to-kill (TTK) for most builds is putting the experimental, personal approach to class creation out of business in Starfall Prophecy. With my Rogue, a Tactician build takes just shy of forever to kill anything, the Blademaster has limited success (whereas it used to be a powerhouse), and if I want to get anything done quickly, I need my Ranger going. It’s frustrating to feel like I have to play just one thing to quest, but my other options have far too high of a TTK on mobs to stay interesting.
That’s a shame, because I love being able to create my own builds. But if in the end, there’s only one or two builds that are superior to the rest, is it really a choice any more? It’s just “play with or without extreme aggravation.”
I also kind of wonder if gear carries a fair share of blame here. I have serious doubts that the new planar fragments are doing anything to de-complexify gear; if anything, it’s making me twitch to think that I’m missing something with my outfit and running around with sub-par stats.
My recommendation? Don’t nerf mobs into the ground, but they do need to be tweaked down a bit to allow for more build diversity, especially when it comes to the baseline questing experience. Also, quests really should be doling out more gear upgrades instead of just currency, PA, and XP.
On a different note, our guildies were oohing and ahhing over the Fae Yule-decorated dimension that one of our officers put together. I think it’s all in preparation for a party, but we couldn’t help getting a sneak peek at it all. I’m absolutely envious.
There was even a giant waterslide up top. Not a facsimile of a waterslide — one that actually works. You take an elevator up and then sliiiiiide your way down into a pool. It’s pretty awesome.
I love this lounge area. I kind of want to live in this dimension forever now.