The last couple weeks have been a bit bonkers due to a mixture of gaming stuff, a dose of the pox and a wide range of other real life issues, but I’m back again and ready to start waffling on here once more.
Soooooo RIFT then… Where to start? The launch has been very, very smooth. Not perfect, but not far off and without any doubt it was the best MMO launch I’ve been on by a country mile (and was there for most). Queues were a major issue on our first choice of server; 4000+ people in the queue and players having to wait for up to 6 hours to log in. We had wanted to play on Whitefall, but it was such a block to getting started we decided to not waste any more of people’s time and we re-rolled to Bloodiron. The server does have queues at peak times, but for minutes rather than hours. Other than that my only gripes have been the occasional server-wide lag spikes of DOOM and the recently introduced bug with planar shifting (teleport abilities certain classes have) which sometimes transports you under the world. Strange that bug never featured in the beta at all, but hey that’s MMOs for you, the live environment always throws up some trippy weirdness. Anyways, whilst I’ve listed a few issues there, they really have not happened very often at all and it’s been a great launch experience.
One of the things that’s been amusing to see from some of the bitter people left behind in WAR is the claims that we’re all gone off to PvE in RIFT. Whilst there is undoubtedly far more PvE to do in RIFT and the emphasis is very different to WAR’s, at the same time I’ve been doing a lot of PvP. Or perhaps I should say a LOT of PvP. After the first zone (Silverwood or Freemarch) on a PvP servers all the remaining zones are fully PvP activated, plus in the latter zones the quest hubs, PvE areas and everything are shared. As such it’s pretty much constantly a mixture of PvE and PvP and you have to be on your guard at all times. We also started doing some PvP raids very early on, because basically you have to…
The first big raid as such was when we were around the level 20-26 mark in Gloamwood. An enemy guild turned up in force with a large number of higher level Defiant players and proceeded to gank the crap out of all the lower people in the zone. Now you can’t leave things like that on a PvP server, else the enemy wins, nobody gets anywhere and you might as well log off. So we rallied the online KF together and fought back, difficult as it was with the huge level difference... Despite asking for assistance, we were the only guild that showed up in numbers, but we did get some help and eventually we wiped and got rid of the enemy. We then decided to return the favour and took our KF raid over to the equivalent Defiant zone (notably we chose to actually fight players our own level, rather than gank lowbies…) and spent an hour or two fighting people there. Great fun and hopefully more fun than frustrating for the enemy players we attacked. But they started it and that’s life on a PvP server, if your faction attacks, then your whole faction should expect retaliation.
Of course in WAR the PvP is constant and you shouldn’t for a moment consider RIFT to be the same, because its not. Whilst levelling there’s a lot of PvP, but in general it’s incidental PvP as people are more focused on levelling right now. Of course for some guilds once we’re all at 50 that emphasis will change... Certainly KF will be going full on with PvP and the PvE side at 50 will be very much secondary. There’s a lot of mouthy, over confident gank guilds on our server’s Defiant faction, people that revel in trash talking whilst outnumbering and out-levelling their targets. Now, I’m not entirely sure that they’ve thought things through very well, certainly the ones we destroyed after responding to a distress call the other day didn’t use their grey cells much. While we remained silent throughout and spawn camped them for nearly an hour, it was funny seeing them claiming we outnumbered them, despite us being just 1 group versus their equal numbers. I guess some pro-gankers just can’t cope with even odds :P This sort of situation is quite common so far, un-tiered PvP is always a gankfest and RIFT is no different. Gankers prey on lesser numbers, we then respond, even the odds and utterly annihilate them, over and over and over. They then cry, gank any soloers or small groups from our guild on sight in future, we butcher them again and it all gets rather nasty. Fun though and they’ll learn eventually. :P
Anyways it will be very interesting to see how it all develops. Our server has a few organised ex-WAR guilds, which means lots of players that are used to properly coordinated small and large scale PvP combat. WAR and DAoC style PvP is very different to what I’ve seen on more “normal” MMO PvP servers; like WoW and AoC for example. So it will be very interesting to see how that effects the style of the end-game and how guilds from different games blend.
Anyways, I’ll post more about what I’m levelling and how I’m finding the game itself soon.