Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nanbo's Rift Experience Levels 45-50

*CONFETI* Level 50 woo hoo! Ok, I will calm down... but seriously, it was a "continue or quit" moment in there. Most people I have added to my friends list that I encountered in my early levels are no longer playing after around 35ish. Some still hung up in the 40's, and others barely getting into 50's. Me? I played about 4 hours a day taking weekends off. I was able to hit 50 finally. Feel free to look at my past RIFT experiences:
45 - 50: You are about to read it:
(I am being pooped out)
What I do is keep note pad open in ALT-TAB and take screen shots as I play. So in chronological order of my progression here are my original notes with a little clarification as to what they are referring to.
"PvP is pure fail: very one sided (we always win). Not at all "fun". But easy xp so I join the get in do whatever 3 times a day or more"- I mentioned I was getting into the swing of PvP in my level 30ish. For two reasons. I wanted exp and wanted to have a fair and balanced look at PvP. I was noticing my team never loses. To this day I have about 50 or so wins and maybe 3 or 4 losses. I feel bad for the other team. It is just easy victory after easy victory. I will admit, my first runs are total noob. I am a great healer. I started off as a healer, but I made a second class fighter to get through PvE faster. In PvP my fighter is not really that strong. More of a support DPS (as in dungeons, I either am primary healer or support dps). So, I switch to healer in PvP, problem with that, is that some matches, most people do not protect me and I end up dying allot.... and my biggest laziness (purely my fault), is that after each match, you are thrown back in the PvE land EXACTLY where you left off...Now, here is the problem. If I was a fighter in PvE - enter healer in PvP, and shot back out close to a mob in PvE after the match as a healer, I get ganked by mobs. I need to not be close to a mob or in a safe place before entering PvP (I wait in a queue). This happened so many times I just gave up going heal in PvP, and stuck to my weak fighter. My team still wins, I get the exp. Easy up. 
  You can get EXP bonus 7 matches a day in PvP, instead of 4K exp, you get a fat chunck of 9K exp, only if you win. So if you lose the round will not count as one of your 7 tries. A cool feature. Level 49-50 that helped me move the xp bar about 5 places up. But that is the new standard. SPAM PvP, not because you necissarily like it, but it will be handy as a exp bonus. PvE content is constantly there, as well as repeatable quests so it was not a REPLACEMENT of exp, but just a sort of different way to get exp. Sometimes I prefered fast in teh face action for 9K exp instead of running across some barren wasteland to the next npc. But again, PvP is hugely disorganized, massively one sided and unbalanced. But you will have a few surprise rounds.
(Have you ever been so mad you blew up a harpies nest?)
"Warrior armor is my upgrade from here on out. But I cannot equip it. All others I vend and have no stat increase for me. This is horrible design and falls back on my pigeon hole fact. IT works for the game. I am not gimped, but I also am not armor progressing as often as I would like."  This is complicated. So in my older experience I mentioned that despite the marketing of the "multiple class choice" you are pigeon holed into specific roles as is expressed in dungeons and armor selection. Dungeons consist of the Holy Trinity with eveyr one else along for the free ride (exaggerating), and armor rewards always fall into 4 specific categories. Magic int - Rouge dex- Warrior hp- Fighter st.  That means if you are a druid, Cabalist, etc...it is just a fancy name to associate to cool cast animations, spell variety, but in the end you are squeezing your butt into a pair of magic caster pants, regardless of build. This became VERY evident for me. I wanted a set of Healer armor (Magic) for my healer class. For my fighter class, I only had about 2 real magic based spells, I built the rest in physical damage (best attacks) I wanted HP, and armor upgrades. 2 things are wrong :
 1) You do not have armor slots. You cannot swap out armor from one slot to the other based on class choice. THERE ARE MACROS TO DO THIS that you have to program in. But the trick is with macros, they are not physical slots, they are just automated commands. So, that means you have to chug around different armor pieces in your bag and program them to be macro'd. I did not like this as bag space is precious for me and ....EVEN IF THIS WORKED: 
2) I cannot equip the armor of choice because it is not my class. This makes no sense to me. I can, as a cleric healer, make sub dps classes and a tank class (We have 1 tank, 3 heal, and about 3 dps builds). HOWEVER, each armor reward (the 4 mentioned above) I can chose ALL of the armor EXCEPT 1! WARRIOR stat based! I do not understand, how come 3/4 classes are available except the one??? because of this, all my armor upgrades and weapons are those that benefit my healer (magic) and work just decent enough to give out PvE fighter build. All my gear is usually farmed from a dungeon (I am all blue) with a few green quest exceptions. EVERY quest reward I get has an upgrade armor piece to replace for my fighter. MY healer is fine from the dungeon stuff...but my fighter desperatly could use those armor and hp buffs in the warrior armor pool...because of this, I pass up and sell all armor I get as a quest reward and drop. I have been selling all armor since level 25 respectively. Nothing they offer is good. I find this a HUGE let down and kills the excitement to turn in quests. 
  I must emphasize (because I can hear the trolls responding already), that this does not mean I "failed" in armor. I have all the best pieces from the dungeons my level (not currently at 50), and the rest is just vender fodder (normal for dungeon farmers), HOWEVER the second build that is a fighter and needs fighter gear, is stuck in the magic realm and not allowed to change his suit. In comparison with other games...This is a fail design. Other games have physical slots to equip your other class choice with. Why did they not do this?? 
  In conclusion, it is ok, it is not game breaking, just heart breaking.
(Cross server dungeon and pvp finder is good)

"The gold ratio. Mount and costs like wow vanilla" - Why did I say this? Because in vanilla wow, having 50 gold meant you were AMAZING! Silver and copper were scrounged up like mad. SELL ALL THE SCRAPS was the moto. To entice people to make great economic decisions, they would have level tiered mounts to buy at prices targeted at your gold making range. For example. A typical player that collects, sells all scraps, does a few dungeons, sells decently on the market will have about 20 gold to 30 gold at level 25. Guess what. You have 2 choices: 1) Buy a mount for 25 gold and part with everything you saved for (but hey, it is not like there is allot else to buy). Save it for level 40 mount at 50 gold (about double the amount that will come naturally) or do a quest line that is hard to get a free mount....oh the choices! That is RIFT. GOLD Is hard to come by. I am level 50 and have about 200. Think about that, Close to end game and only 200 gold. There were times I was afraid I would not be able to pay for transporting! Seriously, early 30's, I was running a bit low. What saved me? NOT dying allot, and farming the hell out of dungeons in the level 30 range. Quests give you some. etc...but Gold is not as easy to come by and those mount and other purchase decisions can cut into your stash. All in all this economy made me think of vanilla wow, that is all. 
(Game glitch, no gun...)
"My clerc DPS feels like a star ship. SHIELDS UP!": After a recent patch that made us clercs a bit nerfed, I noticed I was relying on my shield spells (about 4 kinds). There were moments, managing spell timers, buffs, spell types, and shields in battles...I could not help but be reminded of my button pressing frenzy in Star Trek Online. I throw shields up and go at it! In PvP it is especially funny to see people running around throwing shields up as we engage in battle. It started to feel less human and more machine...
(Invasion gank. No fun)
"Level 50 finally! I get a new skill system to play with" - No idea what it does other than buffs n stuff. You will have to wait for my 50-60 experience :)

(Level 50 opens up a while new can of woop ass!)

"I can now join smaller elite dungeons. I am still on level 40 quests and quest lines, so we see the over lapping of 40/50 ish will be the final grind out to 60 with a mix of the spammed pvp and dungeon crawl as usualI have not touched the layer housing, the crafting, or armor purchases (with pvp credits and faction credits)." -  I mentioned in my first noob levels that I skipped PvP. People told me I was lame for doing so because it is "rich". I said, "no, I am leveling fine and have no need for it". Then level 30 hit and I had the need for it. 
  I also said I skipped dungeons for the same reasons. But then I got into dungeons and had allot of fun exploring the different mechanics. Boss fights take skill. You will not stand there and cast spells. You will need to move, time, react or DIE. Probably one of the best tab targeting battles I have ever played. Well done RIFT. New dungeon systems await now as I hit end gameish.
  I also said level 40 is a grind. Level 40 is a well of exp you will hit. It is not as bad as most games. OBviously, I got over it pretty quickly, but it does exist. Proof is the map. Look at the map. More regions dedicated to level 40 than any other. I also noticed no real level 60 areas, they all seem to end at level 50. Meaning level 50 content will give us just enough exp for the last 10 levels??? I guess grinding that out with PvP spamming and PvE is the way it is till end game (EXACTLY HOW I PREDICTED IT IS FROM MY LEVEL 1-10 EXPERIENCE....take that GW2 fans! XD little inside joke if you read my trial GW2 experience). The only changes I for see now are "elite" level dungeons that crank up the difficulty. And other live events that will challenge all levels.
  That said, I there is ALLOT you can skip and still be successful. I skipped housing, crafting, and browsing my purchases with my PvP coins I am earning. I also have not studied the factions to get friendly with to get other items...I think that is also end game stuff I will look into. But it serves as great time sinks for fans that really feel apart of this game. I like that longevity in a game is pre-built in like that as an "extra" and not a necessary thing. 

Community: I play on a French server. PEak time is active. Mid day slow. Never allot of folks for dungeons. Small pvp raids. People generally nice in RIFT though. I like the guild perks. If you enjoy guild establishment, management, and rewards, RIFT has a great set up including a guild skill tree that gives you PvP buffs...
(Can't tell if dead or having sex...)
Game still ugly: I am 10 levels away from end game and I hardly look different than a level 1 noob. I still think this games armor issues need a major rehaul. Give us flare. Something to show off our hard work. I am not asking for glowing light sabers...Just...use the IN GAME environment as the creative design! It is fantasy and steam punk! GET TO WORK TRION! 
(Proof level 40 is engineered as a grind. Look at all that 40 content in relation to the rest)
Conclusion: Last time I said RIFT goes from a 3/5 to a 3.5/5. I look back at yes, some things changes. I am futher enjoying the dungeons and progression. Any time I get into a "I have been on this horse traveling across this land for too long!" I get out of that flow, enter some PvP or Dungeon, and change the focus of my brain. Fully alert, I keep my party alive! Ahh sweet rewards! Cool boss fights! Ok back to questing! 
  PvP mixed eelings. I like the concepts. I like working to push off to regions on the map doing silly things like holding a dragon tooth thing the longest as it slowly kills you...but all in all it is massively unbalanced and lopsided. 
  So far great quest mechanics. I am still pushing into level 60 and I have always done something interesting. Disguising self to sneak into a base. entering fortifications freeing prisoners. There are "kill X" boring momments. But never allot to kill. And those fill in the holes to the cool quests. And ALWAYS seem to be intertwined. That is, if you have to kill 12 bad guys, they just so happen to be the bad guys on the way or in the fortress or hole or something that is cool to do. So it works out in the end and I thank RIFT for that. TERA is a little like that but with bigger grind holes between doing cool things.
  I like my class. I enjoy the trinity and having somewhat of a sense of identity. I heal, people need it and give me compliments for doing it well. I do however have issues with class management and armor etc.. Nothing really changed in that regard as I got to 50. Perhaps this new painare systme thing will change that....
  I enjoy the world. The only other game I played that takes advantage of the topography and the exploring and hopping around the environment that I have played was AION. Saying that, I would welcome limited flying in RIFT like how it is done in AION. That would be great! Nothing that exploits the game, but things that give us a full feel of the largeness of the upper parts of the world. 
  I still think the world is ugly. There is one forst part on the map for level 20 but it is not my faction so I never fully got into it. Saying that. Everything else is jsut interesting enough geologically, but as far as by colors and attractive...not really. Almost all maps are post civilization also. Meaning it is mostly destroyed objects. Like post apocalypse style. Never have I crossed into a zone that felt in it's proper time frame. Everything feels dead and destroyed. Mix in how ugly the armor looks and standard the humans are (where are my sexy women :"( and you have a sort of lack luster feel to the game. Strangely enough that set a sort of "realism" to the game and not cartoon like feel. I enjoy some of the adult themes and violence. But I feel something is holding TRION back. They need to get more bloody, vulgar and EXPLOIT the assets! Stop walking the line! Go and release us fantasy elements, or steam punk elements. All the models in game are either broken castles, magic casting baddies. And then you have steam punk machines littering the structures. What is it going to be??? why flirt with these two and go half assed! RELEASE THE DRAGONS! GIVE US THOSE AIRSHIPS! Do something because it is like a stale biscuit right now. Also, get a catch phrase in there. AION had those funny animal race vendors that did that little laugh:"nyik nyik nyik nyik". Wow has several memmorable npc moments. etc etc..Rift has the potential to add something that get's catchy with players. Just needs the right management.
  One thing I have to give it props for as of now. Is that, although I was mad at the auction house Pay to unlock. Nothing else is. This model seems fair. I just avoid auctioning stuff (damn it I want gold), and I earn it all in it's pvp and pve elements. I am fine with my builds and thus far see no need or feel gimped at all to continue in RIFT. There are a few questionable things such as certain items from the boutique. However: Concernign the auction house, I heard it is possible to do it as a F2Per. I will figure out how to get around that for free later perhaps. Or, I wil give a game a one time purchase that I feel it deserves. I like having that choice. Other games like Runes of Magic, Dragons Prophet, most SONY titles, Star Wars, Conan, Most Aeria games, and almost all PWE games all need a certain cash investment to get "competitive". Competitive to them is a fancy word for not getting group kicked for not having over 1, 000 USD in gems in your armor. RIFT will not do that to you. And I like that. For me, that is the definition of FREE TO PLAY! And in the end. I give cash to people that offer these kind of fair models. 

  So I would have to stick exactly to my ratings. As a new player the experience may be happening to fast and you might have no need to craft, dungeon, etc... and you might be turned off by it's lack of depth in that regard in the early levels. That is why, and other reasons, I gave it a 3/5 for so long. My last review, I gave it a 3.5/5 because it was catching on to me, and I grew to like allot of it's features, especially F2P and was never getting to bored. Although I wished it would give the game love. NOW at 50, so close to 60, I look back and yeah...I like what I did, how I did it. I am still logging in . I have been playing a few other games equally as long...and I have that itch to discover more and get that next mile stone done in RIFT for some reason. It lacks in allot of places. And honestly, with the financial situation TRION has, I am not sure how much love we will be getting. The last patch they used pissed me off....but all in all it is a solid game. I give it, now at 50 a 4/5.
 
If level 60 is hiding a whole new world of fun, perhaps this will be my perfect F2P 5/5 game. If not, it will stay 4/5. It could also get very lopsided and ruin itself (I can see that happening in some areas, but won't mention what I do not know)...and I will drop lower...But until then, 4/5.  

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