Over the weekend I decided, on a whim, to start leveling my mage in Rift. I’ve done the early zones before on two characters so this was an experiment in power-leveling – something I haven’t touched since the “refer a friend” era of WoW. This meant quaffing the odd +50% XP potion from the veteran rewards and running instant adventures.
Generally Instant Adventures do work even when you’re all on your lonesome. This was fairly early on Sunday morning so I’m hardly surprised that I was alone in a low level zone. One particular adventure stage had me close a nearby life rift.
Sadly random fate gave me “An Auspicious Harvest” in Silverwood. I’ve never seen this one before, featuring everyone’s favourite satyr from the autumn harvest festival. Basically the same annoying will-o-the-wisps from the event zone appear in large numbers – most of them zap you into a defenceless and immobile snowman form every 15 seconds for a few seconds. A few are proper monsters that do damage. This meant the rift took ages to progress with the constant interruptions to my attacks by the wisps’ polymorph. In the end I failed that stage of the IA – all stages are timed even though the task was to “close a life rift”.
So the timers can be an issue in these instant adventures if playing alone. I also had to kill a named elite in the same zone later, which would in theory be impossible for a solo character even mentoring. This was another fight that took too long. I doggedly carried on trying and found that the giant wasp creature’s health didn’t reset, so I could charge in with my skeleton pet tank, fight desperately for a few seconds till that died and then run away – the monster would reset position/aggro but not health so slowly, *ever* so slowly I could get its health down. Of course the timer on the stage ended with the creature still alive on a single pixel-row of health. <grrr>
After I’d taken a ‘sell greys and train new skills’ break I jumped back in and thankfully found a large group already doing a Freemarch IA. After some of the usual ‘kill spiders’ and ‘kill boars’ type stuff a major invasion started. Thus the next stage goal became ‘defeat invasion’.
This was were the real fun began – there were not more than ten players in the zone (a couple stayed out of the raid group for whatever reason). Yet the invasion ramped up pretty quickly, we tried keeping two of the five wardstones alive in two groups but it became obvious the planes were really annoyed today and that we needed to join forces. So we did and then the pitched battle began. Interestingly because we needed to defeat invasions, it was actually counterproductive to close any rifts as they spawn periodic invasion groups.
The final boss fight was pretty epic. Two players swapped to tank and healer and then the tank proceeded to kite the boss in a figure of 8 pattern around this area. Some very nice coordination and about 5 mins of smacking this fire demon-thingy and we took him down and completed the invasion and the IA.
I’ll probably keep leveling my mage through this manner, IAs and maybe some dungeons rather than proper questing. At least until he’s high enough to do Droughtlands as I haven’t been there on any character yet. My cleric is still gathering a mountain of mats to craft his first purple item, plus doing the odd crafting weekly/daily as time permits.