Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Yesterday, a group of Guardians from Byriel US made a run at the Ancient Wardstones of Scarlet Gorge. The team included Ferrel of Epic Slant and his guild, Iniquity (my home in Telara), along with Massively's Karen Bryan and her guild, Revelry and Honor. It was a great example of what I called MMO Bowling earlier this week, not knowing that I'd be along for such a ride just a day later.
My High Elf Cleric (Telhamat) is currently level 25, which is on the low end for quests in the zone, and I'd never set foot in the place before. This also meant that I did not have the teleport point, so I had to ride in from Gloamwood and blunder around a zone with higher level mobs and a fully greyed-out map, looking for the raid. This turned out to be good preparation for the actual event.
There are supposedly 9 wardstones in the zone, which will summon a raid boss once per day if the same faction controls all of them. We did not really know where most of these locations were. As a result, we had a raid team of about three dozen Guardians running amok back and forth across the zone, trying to wall jump our way up cliffs (Rift is much more permissive on this front than most MMO's I've played), and possibly inadvertently wiping out one or more Defiant quest hubs that we mistakenly believed were mobs guarding a wardstone. (I assume that is how most of us ended up flagged for PVP.)
Overall, we killed a couple mobs here and there, I stopped to loot the occasional harvesting node while our leaders tried to figure out wardstone locations on YouTube, and we probably gave the local Defiant population a decent scare. (Things would probably have gotten more hairy on a PVP server, but I'm guessing that you have to make more of an affirmative effort to make a nuisance of yourself before the other faction actually mounts significant resistance in a mid-level zone on a PVE server.) We never did find the final wardstone, and we're not sure if that's because we couldn't locate it or because it does not spawn if the boss has already been killed that day (there was no in-game indication either way on this point).
Despite this seeming lack of win, I had a good time and got to uncover the map of the zone amidst the good-natured mayhem. Judging from the reactions on vent, it sounded like everyone else had the same experience. Perhaps the zone event could have been designed more transparently, but it was a perfectly good activity for an evening with the guild.