What a difference a day can make! I had a blast in Rift last night, feeling like I’d achieved a great deal without bugs or lack of quests holding me back.
I hadn’t actually noticed or realised that the mini-bosses associated with quests are there in the world and free-game for anyone wanting a go. I guess I’ve been conditioned by WoW, SWTOR and other games that you can only do them just the once during the quest (thanks to PKDude for point that out). So I went back and solo’ed him in this session. It was a challenging fight still but I ended on just over half health so it was a comfortable win. The main problem about two thirds of the way through was the multiple stuns from the additional monsters he summons to aid him.
Afterwards I followed up on the next stage of the zone story questline. I’d expected the death of the above mutant lord to be the end of the zone to be honest. Turns out there’s a long-ish follow-up chain, mostly set in an instanced sub-zone. The starter area for the quests is one of the best designs of cavern I’ve ever seen, a proper ‘wow!’ moment when I entered it!
The instanced quest chain is excellent, the best I’ve yet come across in Brevane and easily the equal of any of the questing in Mists of Pandaria (so far) or LoTRO (up to Moria as I’ve not seen beyond). There are some fun mechanics mixed into this, a clear example that Trion aren’t resting on their laurels with quest design. The jumping puzzle is a reminder that actually Guild Wars 2 wasn’t the first MMO to feature these (Rift had at least one at launch). This one however had the added problem of weird gravity/momentum to up the difficulty without making it too twitchy – it was more a question of planning the route and careful execution than madly jumping through it.
That wasn’t the last of the “stop and think” moments, also there was a section of guards to sneak past, using crates to hide in so you can wait for them to patrol away. A fun, non-combat activity to break up the non-stop slaughter!
By the end I’d replaced quite a few items of equipment, and by chance I noticed my new chest armour looked rather impressive. So for the first time in probably twenty or more levels I’m actually displaying what I’m wearing and not a low level hauberk!