Postcards From Telara: Falling For You

January 10, 2011

Something I realized this weekend — for a whole week before that, I did zero gaming. None at all. You see, on New Year’s Day, we welcomed another dog into our home, and I would have made a quick post about it the same way I did for our first pup, if only she would stay still long enough for me to snap a picture. The new girl’s got a sweet side but she’s also a hellion, which makes her a handful and a half. So it’s no wonder that when I finally came upon some free time this weekend, I latched onto Rift’s fourth beta event like a frightened child clinging on to her tattered, spit-soaked security blanket.

Even so, I didn’t get to see nearly as much as I’d wanted. Beta 4 was filled with a ton of goodies, including Warfronts, the zones Stonefield and Gloamwood available for play, and a new beta level cap. I didn’t quite make it there, though I managed to fit in a Warfront or two, but only got to see Stonefield. I don’t know what it is, but there is an aura about that place that somehow reminds me of Age of Conan. When I was in game, @Longasc pointed out its alikeness to Conall’s Valley, and though I can see that, I think for me it was a little like reliving Gateway to Khitai instead.

Thinking about AoC reminded me of the travelogue type posts I used to do for that game, after being inspired by the gorgeous graphics and environment. Well, Rift’s no slouch in that department either. I didn’t dare take any screenshots when the NDA was effect, not even for my own personal use (it was quite a scary and comprehensive EULA), but after it was lifted, I went nuts. The world of Rift is truly quite beautiful, and what I really want is to let the pictures do more of the talking.

As you know, I’m more of a PvE kinda girl, and that’s where my focus was on for this beta. Not being much of a PvP fan, I don’t think I’m in a position to comment extensively about balance, but I will say that the couple of Warfronts I tried were a lot of fun, and every time we the Defiants were victorious. Most of my time was spent questing and rifting in Stonefield, a zone that’s much bigger than I expected, and they’ve managed to pack a lot into this area. As before, the quests are organized in a way that will take you through the place in a set and very systematic manner, which might negatively affect “off the beaten track” exploring if your interest is questing.

But certainly, nothing can keep you from traveling all over to enjoy the scenery…well, except maybe the hordes of elite invaders pouring from multiple incursions all across the zone. These can get a little out of hand, and it’s quite irritating to keep coming back to a quest hub to see it entirely swallowed up by mobs and the player numbers are too few to do anything about it. This led to a fair bit of finger-drumming while I waited for the invasions to be over to turn in my quests and pick up new ones, but I’m hopeful that this is something that can be balanced, and if anything, these crazy invasions are making the rift events more interesting.

I’d wondered during past beta events how Trion will be able to keep up their appeal, and it seems full-zone scale events and zone bosses are the answer. I would like to see more. I just can’t put how I felt into words, seeing the dynamic events unfold as multiple raids formed across Stonefield, then watching as the groups traveled all over zone working together to complete the objectives. Finally, everyone came together to take down the colossus Oacris the Awakened.

I continue to be amazed by the quality of Rift. It’s by no means perfect or bug-free, but it’s far better off than a great number of MMOs when they were at this stage, and hell, even some that are already released. Rift is really growing on me, just like a damn Train song, and it’s not just because I tested the crap out of the beta this weekend. If you think about it, we’ve only gotten to spend a relatively short time with the game so far, but already Rift feels like the boy next door I’ve known for years, and I’m slowly but surely starting to fall for him.


  1. Apologies if you know this but I’ve found a lot of people kind of overlook the “Flares” that you get as a Rift reward. They’ll spawn a squad of defenders to help fight a rift invasion, in the event there aren’t enough PCs around. They’re not enough to do the job on their own but they sure can help.

    • Oh, that’s a good point! I don’t always remember to use them, but I see the defenders at work sometimes. Not sure if this was intended, but the rift invasions were heavier this beta when I was in Stonefield, not just in size but in frequency as well.

  2. In the second screenshot, is that fog that used for something other than to disguise the draw distance? That looks amazing.

    I’m pretty much sold on Rift now. I’d better preorder.

    • I’m not sure if there’s any other uses for that fog, but it’s there in some areas and it does make for a pretty backdrop 🙂

      And oh, were you playing in beta? I didn’t know!

      • No, not in the beta. Just been reading all the posts. Now I want to try it out for myself.

  3. Ooh looks saucy. Definitely going to be pre-ordering Rift 😀

    • LOL speaking of which, I have to make another preorder tonight as well, for my husband. Nice how Trion has a couple digital options available, but they do charge you for the game price (not the sub) right away.

  4. Sounds like a interesting game so far reading. Might just have to chek it out.

  5. Been reading a bit around the blogosphere and i can form my own opinions for myself and make up my own mind and not debate my thoughts forever. There is a more than 60% chance that I will be playing….

    • I think if you’ve ever enjoyed WoW, Everquest, Warhammer etc. etc. etc. you will be able to find something to enjoy in this game. People say it is like a lot of games, not no game is like it 🙂

  6. Looks like a lovely game. While I’m not sure how those ‘public’ type quests will be once the zones become underpopulated (maybe they scale with zone population?).

    I’d like to play it just for something new and different. I need to look into it more so, before launch day. I had high hopes for Aion but the heavy focus on PvP for any game pushes me away if it’s too much of an impact on all types of play.

    I’ll probably be playing when it launches, for something new and fresh. Those are some great pics you posted, it looks like a nice polished game thus far.

    • I had high hopes for Aion too, but it wasn’t the pvp that drove me away, I think I was scared off by the grind by level 20. I just remember not having enough pve content in that game to keep me going to the end. At least Rift, so far, doesn’t appear to have that problem. I have yet to experience a lot of pvp in that game either, other than the warfronts in this last beta, so I don’t know how much it’ll have and whether or not the focus will be heavy.

  7. “If you think about it, we’ve only gotten to spend a relatively short time with the game so far, but already Rift feels like the boy next door I’ve known for years, and I’m slowly but surely starting to fall for him.”

    Aaaaaand another one bites the dust. Looks like RIFT will be pulling in a lot of the blogging community that I know of…

  8. […] MMO Gamer Chick is starting to warm up to RIFT and sends postcards from the edge. […]

  9. I had a chance to be in the just recently competed RIFT 5 Beta which finished just yesterday on the 29th and had a total blast of a time. Got as high as lvl 24 Tank soul combo and did just about everything in game PvE wise. From initial learning the game to questing, Rifts, Warfronts, defeating Rift Invasion forces and even opening a few tear Rifts with the spell had fun doing it all.

    Fought off Rift invasion force mostly solo until people started showing up to help defeat it as well as defeating numerous bosses and gained numerous achievements for all the fun. Ran with a 5 man group through the first dungeon Iron Tomb and we had allot of fun there and felt really like a dungeon and defeating all the bosses. The last boss was awesome fun as well. Overall a great time. For the few days that was Beta 5 I really had a total blast of a time. From what i hear they will be 2 more Beta events before launch. Will do a write up on RiFt Beta 5 experience on the blog later as i can get around to it

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