By necessity this is going to be one of my shorter early morning posts. I am in process of drinking some coffee, and before much longer I will need to run my wife to the airport. I’m awake roughly 30 minutes ahead of when I normally wake up… but for whatever reason it feels like I am missing 3 or 4 hours of sleep. I always find it extremely hard to shut my brain off when I know I NEED to be sleeping… and last night was no exception to this rule.
I am still finding myself very much inexplicably drawn to this game. The more I play it, the more nuanced the combat becomes… but at the same time everything about it is deceptively simple. It is essentially all the same clicks and key presses, but when you do them in timing with what other abilities produces entirely new results. This feels extremely liberating in that I can get all the same warrior like abilities that I enjoy in other games with a handful of key presses just varying my timing for different results. This guy feels like I have always wanted a warrior to feel… brutal and imposing but also controlling the battlefield.
My biggest problem so far is the fact that I seem to always receive the quest to do something… moments after I have done it. The game has these public quest areas that are very reminiscent of Warhammer Online. They involve killing a bunch of things, and then finally an insanely difficult boss spawns and taking it down rewards treasure and completion of the public quest. In every single instance of a public quest in game… I have completed it, and then shortly thereafter gotten a quest to kill the final guy in the public quest.
Some of these were extremely difficult to solo… like the Subject 18 public quest area, and I have not been amped to try and do it again. So as a result these public quests kill tasks sit in my task list undone until I finally get frustrated enough to go over and repeat the process. This is the one thing I really wish they would change… instead of unlocking the public quest kill task at the end of a chain… just give it to players up front similar to the wanted posters were in World of Warcraft. That way if you are already in the area and are feeling your wheaties you can make a stab at the big boss.
The Rat Trap
The other aspect of the game that is quite literally killing me… is the fact that killing rats of ANY kind is a trap. Basically when I play any game I thoroughly believe in a scorched earth policy. If it is killable… it should probably die and die often to give me tasty tasty loot. I find myself ping ponging across most maps killing everything in my wake. The problem is… in Dragon’s Prophecy this is a brutal trap. Rats are generally non-aggro neutral mobs, that have a nasty habit of wandering into AOE attacks and adding onto whatever you happen to be fighting. They rarely have much hit points so the immediate thought is… this is no big deal.
The initial thought process… is so deadly wrong. While rats don’t do much attack damage and are fairly week… they pack the single strongest attack I have encountered in this game… Bacterial Infection. This appears to be a percentage based damage over time ability… that can take me from alive to dead in like 10 seconds. I have yet to really find a good way to counter this. Right now I take on of the strongest potions I have and pray I will survive. I would say that 90% of my deaths so far… have been to a damned stray rat.
This has lead me to play the game completely different than I normally would. I end up carefully picking my way through packs of mobs… drawing them around corners to try and fight in areas that are not so rat infested. It is so difficult for me to quell my “kill all the things” instinct and carefully pull my way through content. This basically has flipped me into dungeon tank mode… tanking an instance is the one time I am super cautious about my pulls. Everything about the guardian feels like the WoW Warrior on steroids, with more nuanced controls.
I am still not 100% sure why I am enjoying the game so much. It just feels like it is perfect for whatever state of mind I have been in. I am sure my enjoyment will fade over time, but right now the dragon taming aspect with some really amazing tanky gameplay has made this a real win for me. I always find it interesting when a game like this completely takes me by surprise. Everything about the setup for this game, sounds like something that would annoy me. I never really cared for runes of magic so the constant assertion that this was developed by the same people… was only taken as a negative by me. What we have instead is an extremely deep and subtle game, that I feel like I have just barely scratched the surface of its systems.
PK Comes through Again
Last week in response to a post talking about playing a Ranger again in Rift and farming cloth, PKDude99 the guy behind my favorite warrior solo build… posted a link to his favorite rogue build. This one is called the “Granpa said knock you out” build and is comprised of 41 Nightblade, 21 Riftstalker, and 4 Tactician. I have to say once again PK is completely right. The build works amazingly well, has extremely high damage output and next to no downtime. I can routinely take mobs 2 or more levels than me without any issue or added difficulty. I played with it quite a bit this weekend and was burning through the quests I worked on.
The funny thing is… as melee centric as I tend to be. This is the first time I have ever really seriously played a melee rogue in Rift. For whatever reason I was always drawn to the ranger/marksman builds that mimicked the WoW Hunter. I think it is mostly that traditionally I do not get along well with stealth classes. It always feels so tedious stealthing around and setting up the perfect moment to attack… then the combat itself is usually over in seconds. If you do not stealth around, usually you die horribly for your poor life choices.
Fortunately stealthing in Rift is completely different than my experience playing stealthers in the past. Stealth is a 30 second buff that you use only as a setup immediately before combat. Additionally you do not slow your movement speed, so combat still feels fast paced. Additionally it seems to not really matter if I open with a stealth attack or not… I can still chew through mobs just as effectively without a big opener. I feel like the Rift rogue is the “warriors” rogue… for someone who prefers fast paced combat to fiddly stealthy nonsense. I am sure most rogue types are ready to throttle me at this point… but I am enjoying it.
I need to wrap this up so we can get on the road. We need to get to the airport, and then me on to work. I hope you all have a great day, and hope that you all go as much sleep as needed… unlike me. Not really sure what this week will bring, I tend to completely vege out on video games during these periods. I am sure I will play a good deal more Rift and Dragon’s Prophet… and I would like to get back in to some more SWTOR as well. Hopefully the week goes quickly.