Friday, February 25, 2011

Rift headstart

I did the unthinkable and skipped the brotherly love. Then again, Bishop is having some serious renovation going on, so as far as I know, he shouldn't have been online anyhow. If he was, they (both my brothers) will smack me in real when we meet next time. Too soon, anyhow.

Instead of WoW, I spent the evening in Rift. Headstart opened yesterday, and to my big surprise there was no queue to Argent where I started my first 'real' Rift character. Copraf will be the Pyro/Ele/Archon style character I had in the early betas, but we'll see how far I can carry on with him.

Anyhow, the game worked flawlessly. The population was high to extreme, even the population density in the earlier betas wasn't this stiff in the starter areas. And still the game was working like a dream: next to no lag, no disconnects (on me) and definitely no performance issues. Like my youngest son said: "Dad, that Rift works even better than WoW now". Pretty big words from a ten year old for sure.

What I did. I didn't even hurry, even though I had to take a breath every now and then from the killing (Gnomore does have its effect). The starter area was done in no time, I even had time to put the UI together, tweak it and gain some nice views of the area. The graphics are just as unbelievably beautiful as ever, and the color schemes suit the theme. However, it remains to be seen if the areas have as distinct schemes as - for example - WoW has for different areas.

After I came through the time warp to the distant past to save the day (with dozens upon dozens other Ascended), I immediately took all the gathering skills. Better to be safe than sorry, and to show that I follow my own advice, that is. As it happens, I had only started the quests in the entry area, when the first Rift event started: at level 7 I rushed with other players to the Freemarch and we started a campaign to close the Rifts and defend the settlements against the invasions.

At one point I suddenly noticed that I had gotten to level 10 and most of the quests I thought I would have done were still still undone and over levelled.

Along the way there was a Iron Giant which spawned from one of the Death Rifts, which was of level 20+ as it showed only as question marks on all of our screens. Undoubtedly the public quest raid at that point consisted of a couple of full raids and it took us a better part of half an hour to cut that beast down. But it was worth every second of the battle, for the atmosphere was just unbelievable! There we were, group of player characters just above lv10 beating on a giant way above our level range.

To be perfectly honest, Trion had a perfect+ pre-launch for Rift. The event worked perfectly, the invasions were huge and furious (I don't remember that scale even from the open beta where they were tested!) and the game just worked all the time.

How long does it take before I get bored to the constant running from Rift to Rift, from invasion to invasion for the few meddling Planar Essences and other planar 'trophies'? I can't tell. But so far the game has begun with flying colours.

More important question to me, though, is this:

How long will it take before the general chat isn't filled with WoW references and comparisons...?