Friday, September 2, 2011

What I'm Working On: Rift

Sitting about three quarters of the way through the year, Labor Day has often served as an occasion to talk about what I am (or am not) doing in MMO's and why.  Given the recent "half-birthday" welcome back re-trial in Rift, I figured I might as well start there.

My cleric, now level 43, with her DPS cabalist build in action, numbers flying every which way.
My Rift subscription initially lapsed with my cleric at level 36 at the end of the first month.  I wasn't sure exactly why I wasn't too keen on continuing, but I figured that there was no hurry, because the game would only get better until I felt like picking up.

In hindsight, it's possible that I over-thought my class selection.  If Rift had asked me to pick one of 32 classes, instead of 32 souls organized into 4 callings, my choice would almost certainly have been some sort of DPS Warrior.  Given a system that prizes role flexibility and that I am no fan of tanking, this seemed like a bad idea.  Instead, I went with the Cleric, secure in the knowledge that they can do everything (tank, heal, melee, and ranged DPS).  A big part of my lack of motivation with the game may well be that it's better to have one role that you actually enjoy than eight that you're ambivalent about playing. 

Over six months and two re-trials since, in which I advanced from 36 to 40 and then from 40 to 43, two things have changed.  The first is that they have done some work on the Cleric DPS souls, which are always going to be my default option for soloing.  In particular, I enjoy the newest iteration of the Cabalist caster soul better than previous attempts at the Cabalist or Inquisitor. 

Second, it turns out that there is a role that I actually enjoy - healing on the Purifier soul.  I didn't have much of a chance to actually do this while leveling, because neither solo content nor small scale rifts/invasions require that much healing.  On the most recent retrial, though, I used the cross-server group finder to land myself instance groups as a healer, and the groups I was in were able to survive Runic Descent (even level for my Cleric) and King's Breach (which I am a bit over-leveled for).  Having basically instant queues as a healer makes this role far more accessible as something I can do on a regular basis.

Looking ahead
I remain skeptical of whether the new alternate advancement mechanic - which appeared for testing this weekend - will be a good thing in the long run, but the fact is that it's coming as soon as this month, and I see no reason to push on to 50 until the dust settles and I can get credit for all the stuff that goes on at the level cap.  That aside, I think my decision to hold off on leveling has paid off, as I will reach a much more mature and polished endgame than I could have if I had continued back in April. 

Overall, I expect to be spending more time in Telara by the end of the year, so perhaps this is a case where the advice we always give each other about waiting six months on a new MMO was the right call. 

1 comment:

Yeebo said...

"it's better to have one role that you actually enjoy than eight that you're ambivalent about playing. "

Completely agree.

I stalled out in the mid 30s as well when I played Rift. It didn't have anything to do with my character, I enjoyed her. However, it seemed like it was taking me too long to make progress on any given evening. The setting wasn't immersive enough to me that I was willing to forgive that. I can't put my finger on why, but I generally experience a bit of apathy about whataver I'm doing when I play.