I really missed playing Rift while I was down for the count with a stomach virus. I imagined all the fun I was missing. Mostly, I don’t want to fall too far behind the guild instance junkies. Broken record here but I think the Rift dungeons are some of the best of any MMO I’ve played.
My first day back in the game it was pretty quiet in guild chat. I finished up some quests in Scarlet Gorge (levels 26 – 30) and even though there was plenty of content left and I enjoyed the whole Red Dead vibe, I decided to move on to Scarwood Reach (levels 30 – 35).
The next evening, more of the gang was online and we did King’s Breach with two non-guildies. Evening after we ran through Foul Cascade for a couple of people who needed. I started out as I always do, as main healer. Half way through our "mage that night but often our tank" suggested that I could go DPS off-heal and he’d go Chloromancer if I wanted to ride the wild side for a bit. Even with two members who hadn’t done the instance before and a few mishaps we were victorious – meaning, COW’s don’t wipe. Well of course cows don’t wipe… err… uh, you know what I mean. Forget it – stop laughing!
When it’s time to move on to another zone I’m a bit worried that the game will drop the inclusion of having a living NPC community in the area, much like World of Warcraft does after Southshore and we’ll go back to being out in the middle of nowhere fighting over who cares what. But no, Rift did not fail me. I know – I’m a broken record on this subject but for me, this is what makes the questing relevant!
People trying to survive and thrive in an area – living their lives under the threat we’re trying to combat is the story. I don’t need your long quest text, 20 minutes of voice-over or lore off in some wiki outside the game, all of that should be additive - extra. My surroundings and what I’m doing within them should tell me most of what I need to know about my life in your virtual world and why it matters.
Scarwood Reach might creep in as my favorite zone with its Eliam fields (farmlands) meets Darkshire (Tim Burton quizzically creepy). Trion packs a lot of variety in each zone. There’s even an outpost that reminds me of the area surrounding Saruman's Tower from Lord of the Rings, equipped with hollowed out tree trunks and large root structures that you enter to harvest, quest or whatever.
Be sure not to miss the Fight Club esk repeatable quest that was a hilarious diversion. I remember when Asherson’s Call 2 added a gauntlet-like solo instance you could match yourself against on a daily basis, to see how far you could go – each mob was progressively stronger. It can take me a while to settle down to questing when presented with such delicious visual delights and diversion. And although I don’t personally do overt RP, RP chat is alive and thriving on Faeblight. Mo’ spice. Mo’ sugar.
Getting All Beau Hindman - Immersion Run
I don’t care what Rift has borrowed from other games. I’d like to see a modern MMO that hasn’t. It’s like getting your mother’s favorite recipe and adding your own twist. Whatever they’ve done, it’s taken me back to my golden days of MMO adventuring minus the icky stuff that has since been improved.
I found myself feeling all Beau last night while I was out harvesting. I felt so immersed in the moment; I wished having a graphical interface wasn’t necessary. I just wanted me and the game in my view. I took matters into my own hands. I closed down the UI, turned off all name plates and pushed in the camera close in my character. I attacked what attacked me or looked like it might, relied on my instincts to know how I was fairing in a fight and when I could use what abilities. If I died, so what, it’s not like there’s perma-death. *Smile*
I completed my harvest run in this manner, even through encounters where I had multiple mobs one me and survived them all. Yea for being a keyboarder and not a mouse-clicker. *Snicker* It was exhilarating, fun and I felt so much more a part of the game, I got why Beau likes to do his full immersion projects. I’m going to harvest like this more often.
I’m back in the groove and closing in on level 35. I’d love to make up some ground this weekend and hit level 38 so I can do the next instance with the members hanging out in the early 40s waiting on the rest of us folks. Rift and COW have made a main healer out of me and I like it!