[Rift] Raid rifts and social raiding

So it turns out that being max level in Rift is quite fun after all, if you don’t mind working at it a bit.

Since the last time I wrote about the Rift endgame, I’ve gotten a new rank in PvP, tried some tier 1 (second level of difficulty) instances, run amok with guild, tried some crafting and expert rifts, maxed out two of my tradeskills (mining still eludes me), run several zone incursions and –- yes – hung out with some rift raids.

Rift raids are single rift encounters that are scaled to require a raid. These are open world uninstanced encounters but in order to start them you need a special item (raid lure) and a dynamically spawned raid rift. It would also help if you had a raid of players along with you but if you want to commit raid-suicide that part isn’t necessary.

So imagine that after some of the various PvP and instance shenanigans I had gotten some nicer looking gear for my mage. Some of it even had ‘focus’ – the radiance stat required for running raids if you are a mage. You can roughly compare this to +hit in WoW in that you can get into a raid without it, but you’ll be a waste of space because you won’t be able to hit anything.

Hanging out in Meridian, I saw someone calling for more players in the level 50 general channel to do a rift raid. So I whispered to them to check the gear requirements. They said 150+ focus. I checked my gear. Hurrah, 154 it said! I whispered them again and up popped the invite, someone in the raid said knowledgeably, “Port to Stillmoor” and then we were off.

I’d like to say that I remember the encounter in detail but it wouldn’t be true. It was in several stages and we had around 20 or so players in the raid. Some stages required raiders to spread out. Others had adds that needed to be killed in order. We wiped on our first try, apparently due to not enough healers, so I offered to switch to my Chloromancer spec for the next attempt. The next time was successful and some loot was doled out – an epic piece, some tokens, some blue loot. And then since we were in a raid anyway, we went off to done a zone incursion that had popped up in Shimmersand.

My take away points about rift raiding:

  • The level 50 general chat channel is awesome. On my server at least, people are actively using it to recruit for these types of PUG raid, they are also broadcasting info about zone incursions and some general chat. Global channels can be so awesome when muppets don’t fill them full of [dirge] spam and random racism.
  • I do find it pleasantly sociable to spend an hour or so running around in a virtual world with a bunch of other people killing mobs in a not-overly-challenging manner. It’s nice to be able to whisper a PUG raid leader politely to check whether your gear is appropriate and get a polite reply.
  • Cosmetic clothing means it’s always quite interesting to check out the other players in your raid.
  • Being able to switch role on the fly is great.
  • The other players were very chilled out about bringing newbies as long as they had reached the minimal gear levels. I’m figuring that most of the level 50s in Rift are fairly seasoned MMO players.
  • No one had a damage meter. This will change since Rift is allowing addons, but it definitely makes people more chilled out.
  • Rift is a very pretty game. I don’t think people really appreciate this enough.
I really do find that the rift raids hit the mark of offering a fun, social raiding experience which don’t require hours of commitment in advance. I hope to see them expand more on this type of content in future, it’s a much more interesting sell than regular raids IMO.