RIFT Beta Test Diary: Days 2 and 3


My new and improved Mage.

I keep swearing up and down that I’ll never play a caster or healer again after WoW, and for the most part, I’ve stuck to that. In RIFT, so far I’ve tried a Warrior and a Mage – the mage was because I absolutely didn’t want to be a healer, but figured I would poke around the caster DPS class. Bad news everyone…I can’t stop playing my mage and I don’t even want to THINK about my warrior.

Anyway- today I thought that I might tackle the crafting, game play, UI aspects of the game, and why I’m a fan.

*Note – I also decided that I would combine days two and three since beta ended at noon PST today, and I wanted to try and get some instance/dungeon info in here as well.

The crafting menu.

Crafting

The first profession that I picked up on my mage was Outfitting, which is the same thing as tailoring. I figured that as a clothy, this was probably a smart choice, coupled with the fact that everyone likes someone that can make bags. The crafting panel is very similar to WoW’s, but it’s laid out a bit better and is more organized. All crafting is in the same menu – at the top right where it says “outfitter”, there’s a drop down menu that lets you switch between professions.

Everything is pretty straight forward, and so far the only annoying feature is that to craft anything, you need to be at a loom, workbench, forge, or laboratory – so you can’t make bags or potions in the middle of the road or while you’re randomly waiting for someone or something – you must be in specific places. An interesting feature of crafting in RIFT is that you can add Planar Augments to items that you craft which will give the items some extra bonus stats.

The game menu.

UI (User Interface)

Hitting the Esc button button brings up the game menu, which is again, very similar to WoW. The similarity is a good thing, though, because it’s non threatening for noobs and is familiar for the rest of us. The big change in the menu, however, is the added feature “Edit Layout”. The Edit Layout feature is similar to Warhammer Online’s UI, and by click on this button you’re able to change every single aspect of your HUD, which is pure AWESOMENESS. Anything that is outlined in yellow can be moved or scaled.

Edit your layout any way you see fit!

In general, the UI is fairly polished. Whatever you’re looking to do, be in interface options, video or audio settings – everything is in a logical place, organized within the menu and easy to navigate.

No confusion HERE.

A New Way of Mapping

One of many things I’m really liking is the way you can use your map in RIFT. When you’re standing still, the map is standard and solid. However, if you’re moving, the map becomes TRANSPARENT so that you can still see where you’re going, but also see WHERE you’re going on the run. YES! Another very cool map feature is that you can zoom in or out if you want a closer or broader view of the area.

The map becomes transparent when you move.

Questing and Dungeons

Questing in RIFT follows the MMO standard – there are a lot of kill/fetch quests, or as a friend of mine is fond of saying, “it’s all grind and spiders”. It’s not QUITE all grind and spiders here though – because there are Rifts constantly opening up around the world, you have a great deal of opportunity to gain decent experience by helping to seal rifts and defeating invaders. With as many rifts as I helped seal (or get crushed by), I never felt like it was a grind. I thoroughly enjoyed dealing with each rift, whether we were successful or notI would be out doing some quests or crafting something, the sky would turn BLACK and the call for help would go out. Dropping everything to go help a bunch of random people protect ourselves was a pretty cool feeling.  Anyway – when it comes to dealing with rifts, most of the time you need a group. Lucky for us that Trion has implemented public groups/raids. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, what it means is that anyone in the area can band together at a rift by clicking the “Join Public Group” button – no invitation necessary!

Last but not least, myself and two friends tried the first dungeon/instance last night – Iron Tombs. We were all around level 17, which was high enough to get in, but a bit on the low side for everything else, especially considering most groups have five members. Our group consisted of a tank, healer and DPSer (me), and two of us had pets…so that’s like another half a person at least.

We got through the trash just fine, but wiped about eight times on the boss before getting him down. None of cared about wiping – we knew it was going to happen – but we were pretty pleased that we managed to down him at all with just three people that were a bit under geared. Once we worked out how it had to be done (it involved me dotting up the boss and then back up healing), it wasn’t too bad. I’m not sure if it was an easy encounter in general, or we’re just that good…but there was much swearing and close calls.

So, that was my time in Beta event 5. I had a real blast and can’t wait for Beta event 6. If you can get a key and are even slightly interested in this game, I highly recommend checking it out!

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