[Rift] What if you held an event and everybody came?

rift_liferift random picture of a life rift, it’s pretty cool though.

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.


7 thoughts on “[Rift] What if you held an event and everybody came?

  1. very much agree with a lot of what you’ve said here. Having questing broken up by rifting, hunting or exploring is a lot of fun. Finding a cairn or a puzzle randomly is great. I agree that switching souls at a higher level is problematic, but I always had that issue with alts.

  2. I posted about it before, but the exploration and achievement aspects are some of the best things for me in Rift. I love the dynamic content, but to be able to waste hours away climbing mountains and being rewarded for it, it’s so much fun for me.

    I have three active souls on my rogue, and I generally try to switch it up as much as I can to be proficient in all of them. I do prefer playing as bard in groups. Being support is awesome.

    The Foul Cascades entrance is a bit ridiculous. It took me a solid two hours to actually find it. I didn’t see the path at the mill that leads further up. Sheesh. So far I like the instances quite a bit, boss mechanics are fun.

    I completely missed the end of the world event. My mind’s not very much on MMOs right now, for some odd reason (DA2 still, cough), and I really expected it not to be over in one day, after all the buildup. Pleased by their fast response, and I hope they will keep the events coming, to contrast WoW. WoW’s world still feels dead to me, compared to Rift.

  3. I think the developer admission that they misjudged the event horribly is a great thing to see; nobody (amongst the mature gamer community you mentioned) expected it to be perfect, so blindly extolling the virtues of something that went wrong fools nobody.

    The fact is that dynamic world-events are extremely difficult to get right, especially first time round and so soon after release. Frankly, though I shall remain amongst the citizenry of Azeroth, it’s something Blizzard could undoubtedly put their mark on and make great. Random events change the game up for everyone and provide new and engaging content when done properly.

    Unfortunately, the current development team just doesn’t want to take risks because they’re playing to a largely poisonous out-of-game community that won’t tolerate mistakes.

    All told, however, I look forward to the next world event – I honestly think Trion will have learned from this and will make the next world event something to behold.

    Good luck to them. 🙂

  4. Nicely written, Spinks. I, too, missed the event – not that it matters, a level 24 paragon warrior is not gonna change the fortunes of Telara. Well, at least, not yet! 🙂

    Unfortunately, due to my commitments in Azeroth, I don’t seem to play Rift as much as I would like to. However, every time I do, I’m amazed at all the cool things to be done – whether questing, rifting, exploring, etc., etc., etc.

    The thing I notice most about the game is that I don’t get the sense from the locals (NPCs) that they are that concerned with all that is going on around them. This in turn, for me at least, leaves the backstory a little incomplete and kind of makes me lost to the context of the overall story. Of course, this all may be a function of my character being low level and not having scratched anything but the surface of the game yet. Hopefully, as I progress around Telara (almost time to move on from Gloamwood), I will feel more “included” in the world events.

  5. Event phases 2&3 aside, which I missed as I thought it would be on for a week or two, I really love the PVE game in Rifts too.

    Nice stories, well constructed quest chains and generally a good ‘feel’ to the world.

    I actually am really happy to find subtlety in the writing rather than the general sledge-hammer humour / pop-references that have become the norm in WoW!

  6. “…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?””

    When applied to “optional” content such as this, everyone mostly agrees. But when applied to end-game content, it’s somehow no longer a valid statement/arguement (which, in case anyone is keeping score at home, is still 100% optional content).

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