At some point this evening I’ll ding 31. I don’t know how this happened so quickly. It’s felt effortless on my part. I log in and do whatever interests me on any given day, with an emphasis on having fun and somehow I keep leveling. I’m not grinding or meticulously following my Quest Log like a mandatory script. In fact, I end up leaving zones with at least 30% of the quests untouched and this is on top of being out of town on business for six days.
I can’t tell you the last time I enjoyed a class so much. I find healing as a Cleric diverse and rewarding because I have many tools at my disposal, which I can vary to match the circumstance. In formal instances, especially against bosses, I have to manage my mana carefully or I can go OOM too quickly. I can live with that and continue to work on strategies to help in those situations. For the most part however, I’m given enough options that healing is fun. Imagine that!!
Content is king – I’d play without the rifts
Even though we haven’t gotten away from healers having to watch green bars, it’s more engaging than what I’ve experienced in other games. The quality of the instanced content contributes greatly to the enjoyment of playing my roll. They are visually appealing, varied in size and theme, challenging and employ different mechanics on each boss. They are not spank-n-tank only. The first 3 instances have set a high bar. I now expect all of the other instances in Rift to be as compelling.
I’ve decided to stay with my Death Knight like build of Inquisitor + Shaman + Warden for questing. It’s not the best or the most optimum DPS spec from a pure damage perspective but it’s extremely enjoyable. More importantly, it suits my particular style as someone who plays DOT casters and leech classes like the WOW Warlock, EQ2 Necromancer, Allods Summoner, W101 Balance + Death build, etc. I pull and DOT with the Inquisitor, melee AOE things down with the Shaman abilities and heal myself as necessary. Without changing rolls in a rift I can DPS, off-tank, heal or do all three. No, I can’t out DPS, heal or tank better than someone with a more focused build but who the hell cares. It’s pure win from a fun-factor perspective and here to stay as my primary questing build.
On a second run through Foul Cascade with our guild, we had a second Cleric and two Bards so I changed over to my DK quest spec and had an absolute blast!! Healing is good but doing melee DPS in an instance was intense, wild and exciting. I’ve NEVER done melee in a dungeon group. I was having such a mad cap adventure that I completely forgot to take any pictures.
I stepped back to off-heal in a few sticky scenarios and then flew back to the target with my slam, whose animation I never get tired of seeing. I only ended face down in the dirt once, when I inadvertently pulled aggro. *Doh* The tank claimed he wasn't ready. I think he was having cybersex. /jk
I get that Red Dead vibe
Having already exited Stonefield, I’m loping around the red rock canyons of Scarlett Gorge. I don’t know why some players were dissing this zone, comparing it to the dreaded red dust zones of WOW like Badlands, Blasted Lands and Desolace. This is nothing like those; this is so Red Dead Redemption I love it! It’s caves and out croppings, encampments and settlements, rifts, invasions and harvesting. What’s not to like??? *smile*
The crafting in Rift isn’t scratching my itch at all. All crafting may feel meh to me after running my furniture shop and building custom items in EQ2 Extended. I’m still hoping that cooking gets added pretty please. I like harvesting as a diverting non leveling activity. With the amount of mana potions I guzzle during instances I’ve decided to do apothecary for now. Choosing another class for guild alt night has been difficult. I tried Mage again but abandoned her quickly. I’m messing with the Rogue but almost every minute on her, I miss my Cleric.
Queue mayhem and drama
Regardless of my class issues, alt night was a gust busting hilarious adventure. You try keeping a raid full of chatty, opinionated, witty and outspoken people in line, who simultaneously know everything and nothing about Rift and you’re bound to have non-stop shenanigans. I pity the person selected to lead our merry bunch of misfits each Monday.
Personally, I had my hands full watching green bars go red then realizing why do I keep watching them when I can’t do shit about it. At times I felt like Rain Main, rocking myself back and forth saying, “Uh-oh, green bar going red… green going red. Uh-oh red went gray.” *Soothes herself with thoughts of rolling a baby Cleric*
Our first alt night was coming to a close – just a little past 11 PM when a zone wide event triggered. BAM – we’re all back in it to win it, as we raced around Freemarch closing rifts, taking on invasions and on occasion, dying horrible deaths en masse. At times, I laughed to the point of tears as we fumbled around and people got called out for not listening, not following directions or being clueless. It was all in good fun – no feelings hurt. Casualties of War’s first official alt night, CANDY (CoW's Alt Night Defiant Yomp), was a huge success. I can’t wait for next week.