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.