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Monthly Archives: February 2011

More Rift in the final Beta

A recent comment asked for a screenshot.  I’m a bit delinquent in getting a couple, but here they are.

I logged in this morning and noted “Everything’s orange.  Hmm.”  Wow.  Everything was really, really orange.  Here I was looking for the lush green I saw last time,for my screenshots, and it’s all orange.

Turns out the starter zone is on fire.  Under assault from the plane of fire.

The orange spirals are where the planes have touched down, and the crossed swords are where groups released by the touchdowns are wandering “loose” in the countryside.  They follow roads and are bent on destruction.  This is all dynamic and last night none of them were there.

Well, that explains the sunrise.  The zone is on fire.

This is my Druid.  Being a Cleric, he wears chain mail.  Being a Druid he’s got some healing spells, but he seems to be more offensive than healy.  A different Cleric I’d made earlier, a Justicair, had a quick heal, and an AOE heal.  Which is useful in rift battles (and pvp I’d assume).  With my Druid, in the battle I joined shortly after I shot this (in the Rift behind him actually), I tossed a heal (since healers ought to heal) and I was surprised to see the long cooldown on my only heal.  Not a healer type at all in that case.  (At least not at level 9.)

There are four primary classes: Mage=Cloth, Rogue=Leather, Cleric=Chain, and Warrior=Plate.  Within each class you have a large variety of play styles.  Your Rogue can go with twin daggers and poisons to be a Bladedancer, or he can become a Ranger with a pet and bow/gun, i.e. Hunter.  Your Clerics can be offensive with spells, a Shaman, melee, a Druid, or offer up more healing prowess, Justicair.  Mages range from Warlocks and Necromancers to Druidic users of nature (called Chloro-something) to heal.  And Warriors range from your shield bearing tanks, two two-hander users (ala Arms), twin blades of destruction (ala Fury), to one with a pet (ala Survival Hunter, but in Plate).  You start with one concentration, and you’re quickly asked to select two more trees to go with the first.  Obviously the higher you go in your tree choice the better you are in that area of concentration.  (Going up in the tree opens up new abilities down in the roots.  You’d have to see the tree to understand.)  Anyway, what seems complex and/or new is actually very streamlined and the wife and I picked up the game mechanics very easily.

Anyway, back to the screenshots.  The tortoise mount is from the Collector’s Edition.

As I’ve already alluded I am really enjoying what I’ve seen of Rift so far.  The wife joined me in the final Beta and we’ve gone and pre-ordered already.

The details in the world are beautifully drawn.  If you think the Defiant side is a little dry, plains and few trees, consider that you’re heading into the Eth (think arabic) homeland as you leave your starting area.  So, from a geographic standpoint, that makes sense.

On the Guardian side you appear to be heading into what is a very sylvan environment with lush trees and groundcover.  (The fire rift directly behind me has washed out all the greens.)  It’s otherwise a very lush and cool environment.

You can’t appreciate the armor my Druid is wearing in the screenshot, but the chain mail is very shiny and the best I’ve seen in a game.

I was playing a dark elf Ranger last night, in the Eth starting area, and their deal, that of the dark elves, is they are refugees from some islands.  Their “city” is a village on the coast made of the rafts they came in on.  The board walks and planking look great, and the shallow sea it sits in feels warm as you go out and hunt alligators for a quest giver.

The wife and I have enjoyed what we’ve seen.  It has played without a hitch, and looks Great!, on both of our machines, an older PC running Vista and an iMac running Bootcamp and XP.  Like I said, we both pre-ordered.  And I really, really look forward to seeing the rest of the world.  (And getting those dang fires put out!)

I went back in and the green’s back.  Here’s some more screenshots.

The green is back.  (And you can really see the detail in the armor.)

With a vengeance.  Off in the distance is an attack by the plane of Life.

This is my dark elf Kelari Rogue Ranger.  (The latest tunic leaves a little to be desired.  This isn’t a chain mail wearer.)  (And lots of collector’s editions out there given all the tortoise mounts.  I’ve otherwise seen horses, gazelles, bear-things, and a couple of other different mounts that folks can ride.)

This is the plains I mentioned.  The nearby quest givers state this was the Marches, or furthest reaches, of the Eth kingdom.  So it must get drier further along.

So that’s my two elves.  One High Elf Druid on the Guardian side, and a Kelari dark elf on the Defiant side.

I’ve also got a couple of humans.

Firstly, the Mathosian, a Mage.

There are a lot of pets in this game.  Each class has a tree which offers a pet.  Some heal, some fight, some do a little of both.  Heavy here makes a decent little tank for this cloth wearer.

This is my Eth, the desert dwelling humans.  This guy is a warrior going the tank route.

(And all the screenshots show the UI.  Which is very good looking and very customizable as to placement and sizing of items.)

These last two pictures show the divide between the two sides.  Defiant on one side, Guardians on the other.  There is a bridge between that they’ve destroyed, and both sides are deploying cannon fire (the green incoming) against each other.

Anyway, I hope that’s given you a small taste of this new game.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2011 in Rift

 

Rift Beta

I’ll get to the Rift beta.  But first, this…

Currently, as one of the more erudite bloggers may have said, I can’t really be arsed about Cataclysm lately.

I’ve done the math.  In order for my leatherworker to create a set of the level 85 armor, leather or mail, and this is for my Hunter, mail, my wife’s Druid, caster, and my Druid, DPS, I need 1,235,000 stacks of leather.  I kid you not.  That reduces to 57 heavy leather, and that would let me buy 5 patterns.  Out of the 24 I need to buy.  Not that I’ve collected enough leather yet to even be able to craft those recipes.  That would be 2,300,000 leather I’ve got to gather to get to that state first.  Blacksmithing was much easier.  And, truly, I love nothing more than circling Ulduum looking for elementium nodes.  Truly.  Circle, circle, circle.  Vulture style.  And beating the competition who’s selling elementium at 10g a bar.  Because they’ve got time I don’t have apparently to clear the perimeter of the place, both directions.  And after Tobold studied over 1,000 Troll artifacts and didn’t get the Zinroth sword, I’d have more luck sticking my head outside in the rainstorm and getting lightning struck with a unicorn and a pot of gold.  A pot of gold, now that I can do something with.  A play session in Cataclysm, waiting for the next expansion?  I’ve got years to do that.

Speaking of luck, I did manage to get into the Rift Beta this weekend.

First reaction: Did the ex-Warhammer folks work on this?  (It shares the game engine.)  The Defiant area feels a little Chaos, the Guardian side like Nordland.

Second reaction:  No bugs or crashes or funny stuff.  Not bad at all.  (I use bootcamp on my iMac to play Windows games.  LoTRO is 50:50 whether or not I’ll get in or crash to a blue screen and be rebooted.  The Rift Beta has run flawlessly every time I started it up.  There’s a serious flickering in the media videos, but they’re otherwise stutter free. And the game is very nice looking.)  But otherwise all the graphics happen when they should.  Weapons connect like you’d expect them to.  Your spells fly when you launch them.

Third reaction: Last night I took my Bahmi warrior to 12:30.  (Lately I’ve wrapped up my gaming around 10:30 and watch old Smashing Pumpkin and Lemon Jelly videos on Youtube till I go to bed.)

Fourth reaction: Interesting.  Everything is familiar to this WoW player, and yet a lot of interesting implementations.  My Cleric has a pet that heals me.  My Rogue has a pet that fights alongside him.  My Warrior could have taken a course that would have allowed him a pet too (I believe).  And the Mages, which I haven’t tried, they’ve got pets too.  The grass sways, there’s questing underwater, with combat. 

Fifth reaction: The intros are VERY VERY Warhammer Age of Reckoning like.  One side is Chaos.  The other is Grimmenhagen.  But not too badly.  The Chaos side is actually technological, and a little ways into the zone you find the buildings are Italian Alps inspired looking.  The Human side is clearly Western Civilization hamlets. 

Etc.: And I’m not sure if I’m giving anything away (I’d have to have readers for that) but the intros actually conclude with your side losing to the ultimate evil.  But, lucky for everyone, they can send you back in time to make sure it doesn’t come to pass.  It’s all on you.

I haven’t tried the crafting.  Though I’ve mined some tin (the starter ore) on one character.

The rifts of Rift act like Public Quests in Warhammer, with a button at top of your screen to join the Public Group if you’re out soloing.  In Warhammer they were static events, here and there, and acted as basically repeatable super quests.  In Rift the rifts act like Public Quests but appear to spawn randomly.  On the beta servers they were extreme zerg fests.  I got some shards.  Like 20 blue ones.  I think I need 200 blue ones and then some other kind to get something for them.

No matter how the rifts might play out being a major feature of this game, consider the game has got some interesting quests.  It’s got instanced dungeons.  It’s got guilds and crafting and an auction house. It’s got mounts.  It’s got two factions, each with their own lore.  Neither are the “good” or “evil” side, they’re just differences of approach.  Remove the rifts and you’ve got another WoW.  WoW was good.  This could be as well.  It simply needs to overcome the gravity and momentum WoW affects on the MMORPG masses.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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