If you have been following the Rift gossip, you’ll know that the River of Souls live event that they had been running recently came to a head and an abrupt end.
The first stage of the event lasted for a couple of weeks, involved daily quests that everyone could get involved with, as well as encouraging people to focus on death rifts. You could end up with some shinies like pets and mounts and trinkets. This part seemed pretty successful to me, everyone knew that there was something going on and players did get enthusiastic about chasing all the death rifts down.
The second and third stage took place over a couple of hours that may have been announced on the bboards, but were a wash to me. Plus the last one was in a high level zone. And then the servers crashed.
Oh well, better luck next time, Trion. I’m sure it was a learning experience for them, and this was Scott Hartsman’s initial feedback. My immediate reaction was that because stage one had lasted for a fortnight, I’d kind of expected stage 2 to last for awhile as well. I also assume there was some storyline, but have no idea what it was.
Still, never mind. That’s how the cookie crumbles with dynamic content and players need to stop saying, “I must see EVERYTHING” and start saying, “OK, I can’t see everything but was the thing I was doing fun?”
(a quest with a cat)
What I did do last weekend was run Foul Cascade (one of the instances) with a guild group, which was loads of fun. Oh how I’ve missed instances where you had to explore for an hour before you were able to find the entrance! (OK, not really but it was kind of cool the first time that we had to all explore around the place to find the entrance for this one, it’s a bit remote.)
They don’t drift far from the WoW instance model – there are a few groups of adds, and then a boss fight of some kind which may require some tactics. Rinse and repeat. And then finally you can unlock the end boss of the instance. There are also patrols.
People having access to a variety of souls and builds makes building the group much easier. I could see how in harder content you’ll often have a choice of which character should tank and which should heal and might want to tune it to the specific fight.
One of the issues though with this level of flexibility is that people haven’t always had a lot of practice with all their variant builds. I’m not really sure what the answer is to this, there’s only so much you can practice solo and with no damage meters it’s hard to gauge whether you’ve got a dps build right or not. But in friendly guild groups it’s less of an issue, and if one healer is struggling to solo heal an encounter, chances are someone can respec to help.
I still feel that people are unduly harsh on Rift’s PvE game. I do really enjoy exploring the zones (they’re quite generous about letting you run up steep slopes), gathering, and following the various storylines. I was amused this week at the bareknuckle fighters in my current zone, where you can keep challenging all comers to a fight. Eventually there are achievements you can get if you don’t get bored of it first. Or alternatively you could team up with a friend or two and go hunt the named mobs who are scattered around the vicinity to get special hunter tokens.
I thought they were both cool examples of random stuff to do that was scattered around the world. It’s something that WoW very much lacks these days.