My First Few Hours In Rift

The Rift patching took a little longer than the initial time suggested, but around 9:30pm last night I was able to log in to the game.

A month after the release the notable thing was that there were no queues, but quite a few servers did have a medium population. I picked one of the busier servers, as that is where the Casualties of War have set up. Considering that I play during the US offpeak period having servers with medium pop is not a bad thing. When I finish this post, I’ll be logging in again, and since it’s mid Saturday morning here I expect the number of players online to be much greater.

Anyway after creating my Defiant Warrior I logged in to the newby area. I’m quite glad I went Defiant as the story line paints the Guardians pretty much as zealots who want to control everyone’s beliefs and are willing to kill them if they don’t conform. Very much like the inquisiton period in Europe. Of course there are two sides to every story, so I’ll definitely need to create a Guardian and play through that intro. However, since the guild is Defiant I’ll be spending most of my time there.

Oh, BTW my characters name is Stropp of course. I chose the Bahmi, mostly for aesthetic reasons.

Rift Defiant Bahmi

The first thing I noticed after logging in is what others have commented on. Rift is graphically a very nice looking game. The Defiant starting zone is very foreboding.

Rift starter area

The starter area took me along a fixed path, progressing the Defiant story in a fairly standard way. For the most part it was kill x of something and collect y items. There weren’t any other players in the area, so I figure it was instanced as is the way of starter areas these days. At the end however, as I was about to go through the time portal, a rift formed, and I was given a taste of how the public quest system worked. A few shades of Warhammer there.

Once through the portal I was in the world. It was fun to see a few characters react to my presence, one fainted as a I walked past. These are the little things that make a game great.

At that point it was running quests.

I haven’t yet explored much. I want to get a handle on the systems first, but I fall into the explorer archetype of gamer so at some point I’ll be wandering around looking for things to see.

I ended up playing the game until 1am. It’s plain to say that I quite enjoyed the game, but there are a couple of things to mention.

The controls feel a little clunky. Once I got more than one Soul, and a few actions on the hotbar, I noticed that my keypressesclicks on the buttons had to be timed exactly to be effective. If I clicked on a button a little early, the action didn’t register. No biggie there, that simply means that Rift doesn’t queue actions and that I have to be a little more involved in the combat; that’s something that some players have been calling for a while now.

However one thing I’d like to see. If I don’t meet the criteria for a combat action, dual wielding a couple of weapons for instance, then the button should be disabled. That’s good GUI design practice.

I’ll end up here saying that the other thing to mention is that I ended up last night with some measure of confusion about the systems. Certainly the Soul system seems powerful; I chose Riftblade as my first Soul, and from the recommendation the game gave chose Champion and Paragon as my second and third Souls. This system has similarities to World of Warcraft talents, but adds extra dimensions to that system. Being a noob to Rift I find myself a bit unsure about where best to spend the points I get when leveling. So far I’ve only dumped points into Riftblade.

I figure that as I continue I’ll work these concerns out. Of course, a bit of forum research might be in order to figure out the best way to go.

My verdict then. It’s still a little early to say I love it and will continue playing after the free months, but I’m enjoying Rift so far and have hopes that once I get used to the systems will stick with it for a while at least.

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