Here goes my attempt to write one of these posts quickly. I am certain I will fail at it, but this morning is trash day… and as a result I need to go around the house and gather the rest of it. I am doing a bit better than I was yesterday morning, or at least I am feeling slightly more awake. Today is the day my wife travels again, so not really looking forward to that one… but at least this time she will be back by Friday. Unfortunately however it seems like she is going to have shittier wifi, so that will be annoying. Why is it that a budget hotel can give you free wifi, but a ritzy hotel does not?
The last tradeskills I have to level are fishing and survival, and mostly due to the hours of doing next to nothing… I have put off leveling them. I like the fishing system in Rift so much more than I did the one in WoW, but in either situation it is still a very passive activity. That said it was designed hand in hand with Survival, so if I wanted to be able to make nifty stat increasing foods… I figured I would have to level the two skills together. More or less that has been the case, except that the fishing always seems to lag behind the survival level.
The fishing system is much more enjoyable as a whole than the one from World of Warcraft. Namely they have introduced several new things into the genre. Firstly and the most important thing… you can target the water you want to fish in. The thing that drove me insane over in WoW was the recasting over and over hoping that you got your lure in a school of fish. Additionally there is a mechanic for telling you if you are fishing shallow or deep water, and different things can be caught in each. The real hook for me however is that you have a decent chance of fishing up random artifacts and housing items.
I set out last night to fish and level survival all night long. I literally spend roughly four hours fishing last night, and in that time I went from around 200 to around 270 in fishing. Additionally I managed to level survival from roughly the same place to 300. During the time I got a few dozen artifacts, and four housing items that were contained in chests that also rewarded crafting currency. There is something strangely peaceful about fishing, and I had my hotkeys set up that I could fish entirely with my g600 mouse. It really is the perfect activity to do while watching tv… I am still shocked no one has packaged this mini-game and created it as a mobile app that lets you fish up in game rewards.
Plane of Water
Last Friday Trion had another one of their live streams talking about the future of Rift. You should check it out over on twitch if you are interested, but be warned… it is roughly 2 1/2 hours long. Essentially they teased a bunch of features for Rift 3.0, the next expansion in which they showed the picture above hinting that it would take place in the elemental plane of water. Essentially at this point all of the dragons are now dead, and the Rifts still have not stopped… so it is time to investigate the planes themselves for the cause of the tears.
The coolest thing is, that they seem to have firmly adopted the D&D model of elemental planes with the quasi-planes intact. If you notice in the above drawing you have a glacier, ocean, giant overgrown coral forest, underwater areas, undersea caverns… a really rich environment rather than one giant non-descript ocean. I personally am pumped over this expansion… I think I am one of the few people that really enjoyed Vashjir in WoW and while it obviously seems like they won’t be fully underwater… I am sure there will be elements of it. They mentioned that they will likely begin releasing small bits of underwater content to test out the tech well before the expansion release.
The thing that really caught my attention however is that they mentioned they would be adding some more meat on the bones of the companion system. That you would be able to level them, and assign them certain tasks. This immediately got my mind spinning… and I thought to myself… man would it not be amazing if they found a way to merge the Pet Battle system from WoW with the Crew Crafting system from SWTOR. If I could send my companions off to go harvest ore, craft an item, or more importantly ferry crafting materials to my bank… I would be in heaven. I was surprised at how much I liked both systems, and I would love to see them create a new hybrid system.
Finally they announced that there would once again be four new souls. Essentially this one was expected… in each case there is one role that a given class lacks, and they are filling in these gaps. Warriors will be getting a pure healer, Rogues will be getting a pure healer, Clerics will be getting a pure support, and finally Mages will be getting a tank. The concept of a tanky mage is just intriguing. I figure they have two ways they can go with this one… they can either make the pet tank, or give the mage magical armor to absorb damage. As far as warriors, since they already have paladin souls… I am figuring their healer is going to end up being a lot like the WoW paladin with tons of single target heals and a combo point based healing finisher system.
In any case… I am now super pumped about the expansion. I honesty did not expect to be hearing news about it quite yet, but given that it is Trion and with their rapid development cycle… it makes sense. I am wondering about the time frame, knowing how Trion works it could be entirely possible that this is a November/December expansion release date. That would make for a very merry Christmas indeed… essentially they would be delivering on the promise that Blizzard has never been able to… an expansion per year. This is about the speed the EQ2 has managed to maintain, so it is entirely doable so long as they always have a team devoted to expansion.
One of the things I miss the most by being a nomad is the constant camaraderie of the Stalwarts. I am trying a new experiment, and not sure how well it will work. Right now in Rift we are not in a guild of our own, but because of this it opens up a lot more doors to grouping and regular open raiding. It also makes it hard to organize the people who are used to playing together in other games. As a result I have decided to start a server channel that way folks connected to House Stalwart that are playing Rift again can join in and get into group activity regardless of what server they are on. Since everything is cross server it makes life easier for getting together.
Additionally I am going to try and set up Monday and Wednesday nights for group activities. Roughly 8pm EDT til bedtime I am going to be around and available for random grouping with anyone that happens to be in the channel. The idea will be to grab whoever is around, and pick an activity that suits our levels and numbers. Rift is amazing good at giving something to do with varied group sizes. Some of the many options.
Basically there are a ton of different activities and the excellent mentoring system in Rift allows us to tailor the activity so that everyone is getting benefit. I posted this note on our forums, and social media yesterday, but it is a bit too soon for it really to kick off. However off and on through the night we had four people joining the channel and it at least became a more friendly chatbox option. If you are a current or former member of House Stalwart, or just someone interested in this little endeavor check out our forums. I will be turning off forum account sign-up moderation for a few days in case folks want to check it out. We get an inordinate amount of spammers hitting our forum, so ultimately I will be turning it back on in the future.
I need to get up and around and finish gathering the trash. I hope you all have a great rest of the week, and you get whatever accomplished that you need to. I made some serious progress on one project yesterday, but as soon as I did four others popped up in need of attention. Right now we have thirty five active projects for three people… so I have become adept at juggling work. It leads however to an extremely unstable and frustrating environment for me. Thank god I have amazing people to work with on my team.