Yesterday saw the mega pre-patch 1.11 land ahead of the launch of the Storm Legion expansion for Rift. It was late by the time I got home so I only had an hour left to play. As I logged in I was informed that due to class changes all three of the roles on my cleric main had been reset. <oops> A quick hunt through screenshots didn’t reveal any records of the druid/shaman build I’d leveled from 1-50 with so I was faced, in a short play session, with the prospect of re-inventing it all from scratch. In the end I selected three of the pre-built ‘purposes’ that best matched to my old specs. I will definitely have to tweak them when I have time as I’m not happy with the druid purpose. I do like the idea of the Glacial Priest hybrid DPS/off healer purpose however.
The purpose system is good for getting into the action quickly, it even now gets you started by filling your bars with the abilities you have. A good idea for those who might be put off by the complexity of the soul system otherwise.
After sorting my soul build I headed off to start the quest chain for the pre-expansion event. This took me to a very familiar shore in Freemarch, one of the first areas a brand newborn Defiant character sees after the tutorial. This time I was tasked with heading out into the water beyond the barricades.
I’m avoiding the obvious but spoilerish shots of what’s beyond the beach. But it is interesting in doing the dailies in this new event quest area how much it reminds me of Wrath-era WoW. The changing scene around the quest-givers and the tasks you are asked to do (like shooting lightning bombs) seem like quests from Borean Tundra or Icecrown. I’m not necessarily criticising here, but I do hope Trion avoids the mistake Blizzard made of over-utilising such quests to the point where you barely feel like you’re playing your own character anymore. I also think the sense of urgency/danger and the effect of the action on the character is *not* as well done as Blizzard managed – in short it’s too safe and easy.
I did enjoy swimming around old-school again, i.e. with a breath meter. It’s rare thesedays to have one, or for it to matter. Of course strangely there were no opponents my level near the area to make it at all challenging, was that by design or is something missing?
The story carries on in the Iron Pine Peaks, as always Trion does a great visual job of telling the story complete with dialogues to read and some fancy spell effects. I think the schedule is a phase a week till the launch of the expansion so I should have some time to see each phase.