I was looking earlier at the details for the three variants of the Nightmare Tide expansion for Rift. I enjoyed playing this MMO immensely during its original incarnation (called ‘chocolate Rift’ by the veteran community). Then came the Storm Legion expansion and I soon became bored with the slow leveling and uninspired questing content.
I’m not seriously considering going back as Rift is rather heavily focused on “level to cap, do heroic dungeons and then raid”. There is a super complex housing system as a distraction or alternate endgame but I’ve no desire to be a digital architect.
However the one element I’m most interested in is the Infusion edition of the expansion (see link above for details) as this gives you a level 60 character. That fits the pattern other devs have been making of late; whereby they offer a character that is ready to jump into the most recent expansion, or nearly that, to speed up the journey to the level cap. In Rift this allows players to skip the entire Storm Legion content and jump straight into the new expansion – a smart move I would say as I’ve read of several other bloggers who found the earlier expansion not to their liking. One particular complication of instant high-level characters for Rift however, is that the character customisation system is extremely rich and complex (with mix-and-match class ‘souls’). That could leave a lot of long-absent veterans, and new players alike very confused when trying to play their new level 60s.
Will the underwater zones be as annoying as I found Vashj’ir in WoW’s Cataclysm expansion? Will the combat be comparatively more deadly than on-land as it was in Guild Wars 2? I’ll wait with patient interest to see how this is received.