Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Three hours into Rift: Storm Legion, and FF XIV Bites The Big One
As of Tuesday night, after waiting for servers to recover from the shock of upgrade and transition (or something) I managed to get in a few hours in Rift: Storm Legion. So far I have the following initial observations, based on my one level 50 guardian in the kingdom of Pelladane:
1. I'm getting an eerie deja vu sort of "like Burning Crusade but bigger" feeling. This is good, though; Burning Crusade was a real knock-out expansion for WoW and the only expansion where I was actively subscribed and waiting for content back in the day. The reason, I think, is because the new realms have distinct flavors which separate them from Mathosia and Eth.
2. There's a lot going on, and questing has been revamped a bit. Your character is considered sufficiently worldy to find and start quests on their own, a lot more often. Quests pop up spontaneously, or just by being in a certain area, or grouped...or who knows, but I kept acquiring quests through channels far more unusual than the "find guy with quest marker and talk to him" approach, which was good. Those quests appear to mostly be story quests now, which is pretty interesting.
3. There are a huge number of people playing, and for the first time in ages I had to get into queue. Rift, despite having a better focus on group and shared questing experiences that is effortless, is till prone to the occasional resource/quest object hog situation. You know....you're killing a mob of storm legionnaires, and someone runs up and takes the lighting rod you're trying to liberate while you're fighting? That sort of thing. On the other hand, I think Rift has found a fine balance between the "everybody is happy and shares everything" mode of Guild Wars 2 and the "everybody is in a vicious knife fight for quest resource" mode of WoW and older MMOs.
4. The graphics are impressive as always. The God Engine of Pelladane is incredibly cool, Crucia incredibly evil, and the entire area just begs to be explored....although not, preferably, at the breakneck pace of the current day-one crowd, which was head-spinningly fast as everyone seems determined to blast through the game's content in a week or less. Good luck with that, though. Three hours in and I think I moved my XP bar 15%.
More on Storm Legion later, as I get further along! For now, here's the end of the world video of Finfal Fantasy XIV as Square/Enix shuts it down for a rebirth in the near future. Taking out your game like this as an in-story reason for a major revamp (also known as going out of accidental open beta) is kinda cool, and I really hope the new version is worth checking out:
If only Squeenix could reconcile its status as a game company with its love affair with making CGI movies!