Being (New) Together

March 3, 2011

Fancy a swim?

“What the heck does this boss do?”

“How does that item work?”

“Why does such-and-such do this-and-that?”

Ha, no one knows a damn thing! And guess what? I love it.

Personally, I feel that’s the beauty of playing a new game with everyone else. I like how not one person knows everything and it’s still too early for an all-inclusive website guide to pop up with all the answers. I think that’s part of the reason why I’m having such a good time in Rift. Within the community, now is a time of questions, discovery, speculation, and experimentation. And it’s fun being a part of it all.

It’s bringing to my mind the age old question of “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Well, to be honest, I know if I’d hated Rift, felt no connection to the game at all and didn’t feel it was worth money, I probably would have uninstalled after beta testing and never looked back. Time and money are too important to waste on something you don’t like.

But as I recall, I did like Rift, my first impressions of it being positively so-so. And while I wasn’t completely blown away at the time, I knew of several people who were going to be adventuring in Telara this spring. Peer pressure probably isn’t the most accurate way to describe the situation, but I’m also not going to lie and say that the prospect of playing with others isn’t a factor that ultimately pushed me over the edge to make my purchase. And I’m glad I did. The game has been growing on me ever since beta (around the time the NDA got dropped, coincidence?) and the deeper I get into the game, the more I’m finding to like about it.

Still…the souls, the quests, the rifts and public groups — all fine and good, but I think the game discussions I’ve been seeing everywhere in my Twitter feed, on articles in my blogroll and on the forums I frequent are also a big part of why I’m enjoying myself so much. People are sharing ideas, tips and other neat things they’ve found in-game, and that makes things even more exciting and fun. I’ve been reading some of my comments, for instance, of readers telling me about the random little Easter eggs they’ve come across on their journeys of exploration, and I constantly find myself thinking, “Oh damn, I never knew that! I’m going to have to check that out next time I’m on!”

Plus, nowhere do I discover more things than when I’m online playing with people. When a game is fresh and new, that’s the best time to be playing it with others, in my opinion. I’m not afraid to be a noob — because we’re all noobs. Take something like running a dungeon, for example. It’s like the experience is taken to a whole new level when it’s everyone’s first time, and I certainly don’t mind doing things by trial-and-error even if it means wiping a bunch. Heck, that’s the best part! I like the clean slate, of not only being able to play with my friends but also being able share knowledge with them at the same time, making mistakes and and learning together.

In the past I’ve made friends and built many gaming relationships this way, and it reminds me once again why I love playing MMOs.


  1. Rawr! +1

  2. i have that same “its new and its great that it IS new” feeling too 🙂
    i’m trying to look back at previous entries but can’t really find it; what server are you on? I’m Faeblight Defiant

    • my bad; found the entry; my tank’s name is Exponent and my Chloromancer is Jomu =)

      • I will add you up the next time I’m on!

  3. “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”

    If it meant getting a base-jumper achievement I would!!

    • Sadly, I am wholeheartedly in agreeance with you on that one 😛

  4. the feeling of being a noob is what makes mmos fun! Once i have learned or researched stuff what is there left to discover? What adventure is there? The start of games with like minded, similarly disoriented folks is the best.

    • It’s true! I love it when I’m clueless and it’s even better when everyone else is XD Community is better and more willing to help too, I find.

  5. Being in the launch of an MMO is always exciting. I was tempted to try rift just for that. In some ways, the community is as vibrant as it will ever be.

    • That it is, I gotta say. One thing that scares me more than a bad community, is a dead community. I don’t know, I just like it when I play a game and I know there will be lots of people around.

  6. I recall once the Undead wing of Wrath came out, we decided to jump in with whoever was online, including a few drunken doods, and just went in completely blank of what was even inside.

    One of the best raids ever.

    The realization that the dogs walking the halls were basically the same fight as in Naxx, to noticing they stack the debuff extremely fast, to yelling at the other tank to mash that friggin taunt button, to running around trying to pick up adds suddenly everywhere with a 90% reduction to healing… it was awesome.

    An older cousin of mine used to ask “what are ya, new?!” whenever someone did something stupid. In this case, I hope RIFT keeps grinningly asking the playerbase that very question for a while.

    • I’m sad because I haven’t done a blind run of anything in WoW for a while now, not even when WotLK was new. Guides pop up way too early for that game, and inevitably, someone always reads a one first 😛 Not to mention the many mods you can use now to tell you exactly what to do at exactly which moment during a boss fight.

      There’s both good and bad to this. Good because, well, it’s nice to have a reference out there in case you’re truly stuck. Bad because no one seems to have a sense of adventure anymore. 😦 All every raid wants to do now is hit the video guides so they can get it over as quickly as possible, grab their loot and move on to the next boss.

  7. An excellent reason to play an MMO at launch that I hadn’t thought much about. The usual thinking is to play at launch in order to ride along with that first wave of players, but getting to experience content without spoilers or getting to see zones before you’ve seen screenshots or the database of mob spawns is an even better reason.

    • I like to ride that first wave of players, especially if many of them are my friends. And yes, at this point, we are still seeing very little in terms of spoilers and guides on the internet. Everything I’ve needed to research so far has come from forum posts or blogs where players write about their experience and things they learned or discovered. It’s so refreshing!

  8. Totally. It’s just like anything in life – relationships, holidays, jobs – the newness can always be very exciting and intoxicating 🙂

    Personally I just love the fact that I still know so little about the game and everything is going to be a surprise!

    • Heh heh, Rift definitely has that fresh new relationship feeling. And I love to play it with my friends…oh goodness, so it’s like one of those relationships! 😛

  9. Damn it! I thought I was immune to all of this Rift-lovin’, but I feel the worm of interest burrowing into my heart.

    • Oops, heh, didn’t mean to tempt you 😛 I know you have a lot of games on your plate right now and with the DCUO challenge. But Rift really is a lot of fun 🙂

  10. Even tho people say Rift is the same as this or that, it’s not. It has depth if you look past the skin and discover the hidden gems in the game. I do feel after SWTOR comes out, RIFT and many other games will seem like they were made in 1999

    • There are many hidden gems. It’s kinda interesting, I used to be ambivalent towards the automatic achievement tweets my friends announce on Twitter, but lately I’ve noticed some that are more obscure. Now if I see an interesting one I make a note of it to see if I can get it myself as well.

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