3 Reasons Why I Go Back To Do Lower- Level Rifts

March 22, 2011

And no, it's not "to gank noooobs" 😛

Okay, I’m no altoholic and I love my Cleric, but I’m also not precluding the possibility that I might want to make myself another little Ranger or Warrior in Rift one day. Around the time of launch, however, I started getting a bit worried about the future of rifts and rift events, especially given how their frequency are based on both player population and their level of participation. Remember how I pondered about what would happen when the majority of the server moves beyond the lower-level content? Will my future alt be fending off rifts mostly on my own while tumbleweeds roll by and crickets chirp on? Or worse, as overall populations become sparser at the lower levels, will there even be enough to trigger events like zone-wide invasions to do at all?

Well, after I actually started playing, I realized Trion had much of this figured out already. When I wander the starting areas now, I still see a ton of people — and not just the lowbies either. There are players from all level ranges, all doing rifts together. I find that whenever I have the time, especially when I’m playing by myself, I’ll go back to the lower-level areas to do the them too. The game actually gives you plenty of reasons to go back, perhaps as a way of ensuring populations in all the zones will remain relatively healthy.

I’ll tell you this though, it’s not for the rewards or experience. Things are adjusted in a way that a higher-level character will not always contribute more than a lower-level character, so more often that not, players who are well above the level of the rift will only get crap planarite. Which is also why I try not to be a jerk whenever I find myself at a rift with lots of lower-level characters around — I’d hold back on the DPS, single-target instead of AoE, etc. I want the others to reap most of the benefits, while personally, I’m after other things:

1. Achievements and Artifacts
Can’t resist…must do…achievements! There are many related to closing rifts of certain planar types, some of which can only be found in certain zones. There are also specific achievements requiring you to close rifts only unique to a zone, and same with bosses. Sometimes I’d hang about hoping to get lucky enough to be around when a zone-wide event triggers so I can participate in the battle leading to their defeat.

And since I’m in a completionist mood, some artifacts also only drop from certain rifts or certain plane types. I’m too poor to afford even buying one or two artifacts from the auction house to complete my collections, so I try my luck with the rifts while I’m at it.

2. Notoriety
There are a number of rift factions in the game associated with certain rift types. Players can gain notoriety, or reputation, by sealing rifts, defeating footholds and invasions, and killing planar mobs. Each faction has a quartermaster located in the major city, dangling their rep goods smugly in your face. Curse you, Atlas Nicolo of the Ember Scholars, you dirty tease! I want your flippin’ Flame Squirrel!

3. Crafting
My Cleric is a Runecrafter, quite possibly one of the most annoying and abusive professions I’ve ever had the misfortune of leveling. Raw materials for it can be obtained from items that are “runebreakable”, which includes more than just uncommon or rarer equipment. Planar essences and crafting augments, both of which can sometimes be obtained from rift rewards, can also be broken down. Being able to pick these up every now and then while doing rifts is a nice side benefit. The best thing about runebreaking is, the lower-level mats can be combined to form higher-level mats, so nothing goes to waste.


  1. Them’s actually good points. I was passing through the Ark the other day on the way to Stonefields, and saw a FEW people. Other times, I bypassed rifts in the area because I didn’t think it’d be worth it, or didn’t want to look like “that guy” who was trying to edge out the lower levels. But your methods make sense, and for good reasons. I still have a lot of achievements to…achieve…

    • If I pass by a lower level rift that’s deserted, I will go and seal it, even if I have to look like “that guy” 😛 No one’s around anyway, waste not 😉 Lots of achievements to achieve, as you say!

  2. As a lowbie, I really appreciate your holding back when doing rifts around us. Not everyone is so considerate and not only do high level people really impact our rewards (maybe they aren’t getting much, but neither am I) they’re doing something even worse: taking away the fun of the game for level-appropriate players.

    There’s nothing more frustrating than having everything die before you can even get to it or fire off a spell!

    Happily the level 40+ types who love to gather up all the mobs and 1-shot them seem to be relatively rare. 🙂

    • The rift’s bosses are elite. Believe me, a level 50 player cannot kill them with one shot and I am talking about rifts from lower zones.

      That elite mobs need more than one player for be killed. It can be faster to kill them with a level 50 helping, but a player level 50 cannot kill one alone.

      • I think he’s talking about individual rifts, not the elite rift bosses. Cuz yeah I just don’t see any way anyone can take them down solo, level 50 and geared or otherwise. That’s the only area I won’t hold back, especially with time restrictions and everything, every bit helps, especially any extra damage higher level peeps can bring.

    • I know how sucky it is to be a lowbie and trying to get a cast off or trying to run after a mob only to have it fall down dead as soon as I get there, I don’t want to have to inflict that frustration on others. Honestly, I figure I’ll just do as much as I have to to get what I came for (rep, achievements, etc) no need to take more than I need. If you think about it, that’s actually extra effort on my part 😛

  3. I’m really enjoying RIFT but, ironically enough, I don’t really spend a lot of time doing rift events. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my limited playtime that makes me want to focus on leveling and exploring more. Still, when I do take part, they are a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s just nice to join up with a bunch of other folks and really feel part of a community 🙂

    • I didn’t think I was going to get into rifts either, but now I jump in whenever I see one. I think knowing that there are achievements involved has something to do with it (guh, I am such a sucker for them) but also I agree, it feels good to be a part of something.

  4. I think that is why I try to get in to the rifts at least when I am nearby, The sense of doing things with other people (even if we never talk) can be rewarding in itself. It’s really the point of playing an MMO instead of a Single Player game, to feel like I’m part of something bigger.

    Plus, I’ve notice the shear number of achievements and artifact collections means there is far more to to do than what can you can accomplish in the time it takes to level out of a given zone .

    • I agree. I like big groups as much as I like small groups. In big groups, I get that feeling of being part of something epic, and nothing beats the cool factor of being able to ride with a score of other people from rift to rift, watching them collapse before the horde so to speak 😛 In small groups, it’s more about the challenge, trying to be as effective as possible, and beating the time limit on the bonus unstable stages. There’s definitely a lot about rifts to keep me doing them.

  5. its funny because I find myself not going back, but sticking around in a zone until i have the vast majority of artifacts and achievements. I’ve trolled around freemarch for 2 or 3 levels just “finishing stuff up” even though I could have moved on ages ago.

    • I find if I stay around too long in a zone to grab the majority of the rift achievements and artifacts, I’ll out level content. So I’ve taken to leaving stuff to do for later…so now during those “off times” when I want to just relax and be social, I can add artifact hunting and rift achievement grinding to my list of things to do along with crafting.

  6. Haven’t been playing much last several days, just working on stuff in Eden. But One the things I enjoyed doing allot was doing ALLOT of RIfts. If it popped up anywhere close I was there to help seal it, even so much as to do it solo. Hardest was when Elites are spawned at the rifts which I avoid doing solo because usually you will die doing them solo without help. Yet one the things I did realize early on doing that was importance of rifting to the Artifact mini-game and the Notoriety reputation.

    All which are points you listed including crafting. All those things you get allot rifting. Crafting less for me since I didn’t craft anything, I have all gathering professions.

    But rifting allot will reward allot of Artifacts to add to collection and help complete sets. That alone give allot of reasons to go back and do some lower level rifts which also helps to complete some achievements. All adds up to allot of fun. I just like in the process seeing the random achievement rifting without wondering how I even got it in the first place rifting. Normally not a fan of achievements going out to try to actively do them, but I just appreciate them when they happen and I wonder for a sec how or what it was for in the process rifting for Artifacts and Notoriety which you mentioned. Plus rifting allot gets you lots of sellable loots.

    • One great thing about playing with my husband is that often the two of us are enough to take on elite mobs in rifts. If we see a major rift, he immediately switches to tanking and I immediately switch to healing. It might take longer, but we like the challenge and beating the timer for the bonus stages.

      And yep, lord knows I need as much money as I can get — to finance my crafting, my skills, and other more frivolous things. I still need platinum for my fourth role! So yeah, extra cash I can get from selling off loot helps too.

  7. a good reminder on why to go back; once I got to Stonefield i loathed having to go back and do anything back in Freemarch 😉

    i’m with you; i crave artifacts! 😀

    • I was loathe to go back to Freemarch after getting into Stonefield too, but once you get further into the game, it becomes more bearable. You might even find yourself starting to miss the lower level zones, like I did 😛 I didn’t think I’d care, but when I’m back in Freemarch, things feel good, relaxing 🙂

  8. Its good to hear that things won’t be aghost town in a few weeks when I get an internet connection at home again.

    • The lower zones will not be ghost towns. I am level 50 now and there are quests that open only at level 50 that send you to all corners of Telara. That are story and lore quests and the questlines have a nice blue at the end as reward. But you need use a lot of gates for a lot of diferent zones for spawn level 52 mobs. And to talk to a giant crustacean… at least at the guardian storyline.

      There are a lot of reasons to a high level (level 50) to return to lower zones: collections, reputation with factions (you can buy nice perks if you have enough reputation, like mounts, gear, crafting recipes), expert dungeons, achievements, crafting (the best place for craft are the capital cities, they are the only places with a bank), puzzles. Maybe there are more reasons, but that are all ones I remember now.

      On a side note, I was occupied following the quests to get to level 50. Now at level 50 I continue occupied trying to complete a “to do” list. The only diference is that I don’t gain xp doing them.

      • I’m so glad to read this comment. One thing I thought was missing from many other MMOs is a reason to return to lower level zones. I don’t like the idea of leaving an area, never having much cause to return again. One of the best things about playing an MMO is the feeling of being part of a big, wide world, so why not give us reasons to go all over? Thanks, Trion, for giving us that.

    • Definitely not a ghost town. Like I mentioned, I see people returning to lower level zones. It supplements the alt population that’s also always around 🙂

      • It is not only alt population, there are new players. Yesterday I saw someone at chat levels 1-9 asking how the soul system works, and other guys asking what is the best crafting job for a rogue. Definitivelly, there are new players coming.

      • That is good to hear too!

  9. I like going back for most of the same reasons, but I’m not quite as good about holding back on the AoE’s. It’s just so hard to resist as a Stormcaller.

    • Sometimes it does get hard to resist. I just got my 31 point inquisitor talent which is a crazy channeled AoE, and I love finding excuses to use it 😛

  10. It’s nice to stop and smell the flowers 🙂 I think those early zones are fun and very wide open, which helps, well the defiant side. Upon moving to the next are I found I just didn’t like it as much, it felt so enclosed and people were not as ‘into’ doing the rifts and invasions. The excitement is very catching in those first few areas.

    • Can’t say Stonefield is one of my favorite zones. The mountains and rocky cliffs probably lend to the feeling of being “enclosed”. I always felt rifts were much thicker there, probably because they all spawn in the same areas.

      Sorry to hear people aren’t as into doing rifts and invasions where you are…I think I got lucky because Faeblight is pretty busy, there’s always a ton of people doing rifts.

  11. […] MMO Gamer Chick says she often goes back to lower level zones to help close Rifts. It hadn’t even occured to me that doing so would be anything more than a form of griefing lower level players but her reasons for doing so are all good, and probably appeal to the completionists among us. I’m right there with her on wanting the rep fire squirrel. And allll the other squirrels from the quartermasters.. […]

  12. I am lvl 50 and I can Solo the lvl 50 Rifts with, all Elites, in NW Shimmer. So it is actually simple to kill all the elites in any lvl lower.

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