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Rift: Over The Stonefield Hump

May 3, 2011

So it’s been one week since I wrote about my Rift alt and loudly proclaimed I was going to actually try to work on the character and not abandon her to a fate of lowbie purgatory. Yeah, not going as well as I’d hoped. It’s not that my resolve is flagging, but it’s always difficult trying to go against one’s nature, and I find myself always tempted to work on my main instead.

Last weekend was also a pretty crappy one for gaming; April showers bring May flowers and all that, but what all the poems and songs neglect to mention are all the and grass and shrub and weed growth that also happens, and I spent the bulk of my Saturday outside toiling on yard work. After a long day, I came back into the house, looked at my computer and decided I just wasn’t in the mood to face Stonefield.

Then the realization hit me — it’s not me, it’s Stonefield. Every game seems to have a “blah zone” like that for me, i.e. one that I can’t wait to get the hell out of. I don’t know what it is about that place, but I’m just not that into it. I wouldn’t say it’s an ugly zone, but it’s far from being one of the prettiest. It has its moments, but for the most part it’s a dreary place, and the quests aren’t very exciting. It’s also caught in that awkward “in-between” place, if you know what I mean, hitting you right after that initial high of learning a new class and new abilities has gone down…but right before the more interesting and “advanced” content can roll out.

Rift has a variety of higher level zones as questing paths begin to branch out once you get past Scarwood Reach. I wish Trion had done something similar for the mid-20s to 30s zones too, especially since this ennui is more likely to turn me away at the lower levels when I haven’t invested so much yet.

I have a feeling progress will pick up again once I get past this “Stonefield hump”. The wonderful thing about playing a Rogue is, you level so damn fast.

25 comments

  1. Interesting. I really loved Stonefields. Especially exploring all the mountains, etc. I guess, too, I was just starting to play around with my 2nd and 3rd souls. The good news is, based on this, I have some really excellent stuff to look forward to as well!


    • I didn’t mind it the first time through; in fact, I think I was relieved to get out of Freemarch and Stonefield was a breath of fresh air. The third time through though, I think I’m starting to get burned out on it.

      Oh yeah, some of the later zones are great, I can’t wait to get to them again, especially the two zones I missed when I leveled my first character.


  2. Ochroma and Cerrene(DGF) are stuck there right now, too. It’s pleasant enough I suppose. Reminds me of Arathi Highlands in WoW. Gloamwood on the Guardian side isn’t much better, actually, and the town, Gloamwood Pines, is horrible.


    • I think it would be better if I had someone else with me…most zones are :) Alas, Mr. MMOGC isn’t leveling an alt with me.


  3. Odd, Freemarch seems to be my hump zone. Stonefield was a breath of fresh air to me when I went through things iwth my Mage. We’ll see if that holds when my alts get there.


    • With Freemarch it’s not as bad for me because you can level past it so quickly. Plus, I like how pleasant and green it is :)


  4. yea; i didn’t like stonefield too much either :P
    i was like “are we donnneee with this place yet??”


    • Yepppppp…that’s what I’m sayin’ now :P


  5. I rather enjoyed Gloamwood Pines, if for nothing else than that it reminded me of the Channelwood Age from the original Myst game!


    • Ah, I loved that place from the original Myst game! Graphics were really nice for back then, I remember being enchanted by that game :)

      If only there are quests for Defiants to do in Gloamwood, I’d go there instead if I could :\


      • You do realize that the final incarnation of Myst is an MMO, and it’s 100% free to play?

        I will allow that it has the worst UI of nearly any PC game I’ve messed with. However, it also has some really interesting elements no-one else has done. For example, the voice volume of folks u are in a party with (over your headset) scales directly with how close to you they are to them in the game.

        Getting someone in your party so u can talk in the first place is hard as hell. However, once u do u will experience amazingly advanced voice chat. For example, in rooms where you should have echoes, you will hear echoes. For an utterly FtP game, URU has some astounding tech.


      • I know, I’ve seen your posts on it :) I don’t know if it’s something I want to play as an MMO though, I get so nostalgic thinking about Riven and Myst back when I was a kid sitting in the computer room with the lights off and the headphones on, and the feeling of contemplative isolation and being alone in this beautiful gorgeous world was what made me love the game so much. It’s the only reason why I haven’t tried it.


      • The Myst MMORPG actually isn’t too bad, and since it’s free you have nothing to lose. Basically, though, while I know some things have been added, a lot is unchanged since 2003 or so when it first started out.

        What I’m really excited about and which would get me back into it is going to be the user-generated Ages, and making them easy to use with the main game…That, I think, will be the ultimate culmination of the series!


  6. I know exactly what you mean about these kinds of zones; but what happens when that zone is nearly an entire expansion *cough*Moria*cough wheeeeezz*??

    Everytime I think about logging into an alt in LotRO, Moria is there looming on the horizon, and it hits me right in the face – I just can’t go back there. Which, from a lore perspective, is very appropriate! Not so much from a gaming/fun perspective, though, and is something I think Turbine will have to address. There are plenty of aspects of the expansion I love (LIs, some of the instances, and the *landscape* of Moria) but it was such a crushing grind at the end…

    I’m hoping they roll out enough revamped/alternative areas for leveling that it becomes possible to just run the epic quests for the storyline and skip everything else. Again, lore appropriate (run in and power through to the other side), and far more fun, IMO.


    • With LOTRO, my “hump” zones were always Lone-Lands and North Downs. Too drab for my tastes :P

      I haven’t gotten far enough to appreciate Moria yet :P


    • Moria isn’t so bad. Most of the zones are decent. My first time through I wasn’t too fond of Zelem-Melek, The Foundation of Stone and the Water Works. But the rest, especially Durin’s Way & Nud-Melek were quite nice.

      I’m right in the middle of Moria with my wife right now and this time around I still didn’t care for the Water Works. The first time I skipped the Flaming Deeps so this time we made a point to hit that and have been enjoying it immensely.

      Now, Lothlorien is ok but I dread having to do Mirkwood again. If I never have to do that zone again it’ll be too soon. :(


  7. I agree, though personally I found Stonefield to be quite lovely, but it is annoying that the game doesn’t immediately branch out more upon finishing either starter zone. It really should, since even if you can be practically anything to a group on one character, people will make alts. It’s not an /if/, it’s a /when/. Trion really could have dressed up Stonefield more though, it doesn’t have nearly the amount of visual breaks a Gloamwood, and could stand for more interesting questing.


    • I just find it interesting how they branched near the 30s/40s when it might have been more effective to branch earlier…like you suggested, immediately upon finishing the starter zone would have worked well. I mean, they already put you through that tutorial every single time, having some variation early on would do wonders :D


  8. I really, really hate Stonefield. It is so dull and boring… but tonight we had a huge invasion with tons of people so it felt a little better. I just want to get out of this place! I am slowly trying to work through it. Ding 22 tonight lol.


    • Ah, nice. I think I last left my Rogue alt at 24. Still have a ways to go to get through Stonefield :)


  9. Yeah, this is just another reason why I picked the Guardian faction instead of the Defiant. Gloamwood is *way* more interesting than Stonefield.

    Robots (oops, I mean titans)… and more robots. /yawn


    • I don’t even think I’ve even stepped foot in Gloamwood yet lol. My Guardian hasn’t made it out of Silverwood yet (which is a very pretty zone as well, with a beautiful musical theme). Not that I need any more distractions in Rift, but one day I would like to keep leveling that little Guardian alt :D


  10. You hit it. Stonefields. I’m suffering from Altitus bad right now. After getting my NecroLock mage to the low-40s I decided to roll a warrior and rogue to reserve my stock names. The rogue didn’t do much for me. The warrior, however, reminded me why I love being a melee class so much. So much prefer being in the thick of things. Well, that and she’s a pure gatherer.

    So I got the warrior to the high teens and in doing so learned about macros. The warrior build I have has too many situational buttons that I ended up just overloading a few of my buttons with sensible macros.

    Just for giggles I decided to go back to my Cleric who is stuck in the Stonefields. I didn’t think I’d ever return to her but now with my macro-fu honed from my warrior I decided to see what I could do about the mess that her actions bars are in. 2 macros later I cut 12 buttons down to 4. The cleric is nothing but cooldowns and reactions.

    She’s now far simpler to play but she’s in Stonefield. Ungh, ungh and double ungh. I want to play her a tad more but this zone is just a grind on the soul. All of them. Honest!


    • That’s great, I don’t think I can get into the warrior, just from what I’ve seen of my husband playing it. I love melee, but I also love hybrids, with more variation in the playstyle. I feel a helplessness if I can’t heal myself, and I know while Warriors have some minor healing abilities, it’s not much and the survival can be a little difficult especially in the early levels. So kudos to you :D

      Though from some of your recent blog posts I see you can’t decide on which class as well :D There are indeed a lot of good points to all of them.


      • Oh definitely! The hardest part of my warrior right now is actually having to stop to regain health. I’m used to my Necrolock. Her DPS takes a while to ramp up (4 DoTs, 1.5s GCD = 6s to get to full DPS) but once there she taps life, drains health and ends the fight at 100%/100%.

        My cleric was kind of the same. Between the pocket fae healer and her own self-heals she’d generally only lose 5-10% mana in a fight. So with the Necrolock and Cleric I generally only stop when I need to turn in a quest.

        The warrior? She plows through the enemies. Spike DPS is insane. But every 3-4 fights I have to stop to drink. If I fall into my Necrolock/Cleric pattern of back to back fights without thought of health I quickly end up dead.



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