With the launch of RIFT’s Prime progression server last week, you better believe that I was there with bells and whistles on.
Actually, there were no bells or whistles, because I didn’t get any starting advantages whatsoever. Considering that I have literally hundreds of items, gear, cosmetics, pets, mounts, buffs, etc. that are bound to account and arrive on any new character I make on the live servers, it was a shock to the system to have a character that started out with the basic inventory bag and that’s it. Everything else would have to be earned.
It was a pretty wild experience. I can’t remember the last time I was rushing through my work day in eager anticipation that I would get to play RIFT. But I miss that core classic leveling experience, those lowbie zones, and the idea of progressing through it with a crowd of likeminded gamers held incredible appeal. Plus, I’ve never gotten to do an MMO progression server, so finally here was one for a game that I liked. And at a good time of year too, as I don’t have terribly much to do in WoW.
Even after seven years, RIFT is still pretty beautiful and wonderfully detailed in places. After fighting through a queue (when is the last time RIFT ever had one of those?), I whipped up a brand-new Mage and went to town for a night.
It was slow going. I was really tired last week due to having the flu, and so my body was ready to call it a night by about 10. It was hard to push fast through this anyway, as everyone was fighting over quest objectives and the XP rate for quests seemed to have been nerfed really low to the point where everyone was running out of quests to run at level. So… grind? That didn’t seem too appealing.
When I woke up the next morning, I felt pretty dissatisfied with my choice of Mage, too. The Mage has about one soul that I like and that’s it, and if I’m going to be sticking with this server, it’s got to be with a class that I love. So I went back to the drawing board and fashioned up a Cleric instead.
This ended up being a terrific idea for me, personally. I just love many of the Cleric classes and there’s a lot of flexibility for different playstyles. Plus, I got my healing faerie back (who is named Figmentia, I’m totally proud of that) and changed from a Dwarf to a human. How come? For a visual change, mostly, but also because the humans have a racial sprint that’s very handy on a server that doesn’t give you a mount right away.
This game is still so pretty. Dang.
I fell into a nice guild early on and we all compared gaming backgrounds and current experiences. There was a much wider mix of folks than I would have guessed, with many coming to the game as complete newbies. The recruitment spam in the channels was relentless, so I switched over to guild chat only for a while to give me some peace while I quested.
It was still slow going, even with a build that I liked more. Originally I thought that it was because I didn’t have a mount and there were people everywhere hogging quest objectives, but by the end of the second night, it became very apparent that the quest XP wasn’t up where it needed to be. I was doing every quest I could find, plus lots of extra kills, plus any nearby rift, and I still ended up two to three levels under the requirements for the next batch. Something is hinky with the XP payouts, and I’m hoping Trion is going to adjust this soon.
There was a lot of mutual amazement over all of the players running around everywhere, reminding us vets of how RIFT used to feel. This game can be terrific fun with a critical mass for zone events, and I’m looking forward to doing more of these in the future.
For me, I’m taking my time. I don’t have much of a choice in that regard, but I’m treating this whole experience as an ultimate tourist tour. I’m reading quest text, taking tons of screenshots, and poking my nose around areas.
I’m also starting to formulate a lot of long-term goals, because everything on this server is going to take some time. Getting enough money for a mount is of primary importance, and right now I’m about halfway there. Without minions, I’m going to need more money to beef up my dimension with decor, but better bags and planar items are definitely more vital right now.
I hope that we’ll see some events and holidays pop up, because my wardrobe and pet tab is incredibly bare right now. I’m going to have to look into ways to secure a little buddy or two to keep me and Figmentia company.