Rift Prime Thoughts

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The launch of Rift was a really special time for me.  It was the first time that my “wow tourism” turned into something else.  It was the first time that I really immersed myself wholeheartedly into another game and I loved it so much.  At the time Rift was giving me everything I had said I wanted in an MMO and I chose to be a giant purple Bahmi warrior.  We had a lot of great times in the game and while we didn’t really start to break into the raid scene until the release of slivers…  we regularly had huge guild outings to open raid rifts which were an awful lot of fun.  At that point it was just a lot of fun to grab some friends and chase rifts for awhile, and in truth I cannot really remember what caused us to initially fade away.  For some players they never really grasped it in the first place as player fantasies turned out to be less than what they expected.  Others shifted back to the familiar womb of Azeroth, but a group of us stayed true to the cause for quite some time.  By the time the first expansion had rolled around however we were down to a shell of our former selves and a series of server mergers saw our little guild scattered.  I personally had landed on my feet with another very active guild in the form of Machiavelli’s Cats helmed by fellow blogger Liore, and entered a sort of second golden age of Rift for me personally.  I even managed to make my way into their raid rotation as I did my best impersonation of a dual wielding warrior.  With the launch of Storm Legion saw a bunch of changes and a bunch of folks wander off, and before long I was once again left as a member of a dwindling guild.  I made an attempt to rekindle the interests of my friends with a fresh start on Faeblight and the proper founding of House Stalwart in Rift, and it again worked for a time…  but by three months down the line we were once again down to a handful of people actively playing.  Essentially the core problem I have always seem to have with Rift is getting anyone other than myself interested in playing it for any length of time.  No matter how solo at heart you happen to be… if you don’t have a guild core to organize around it is really hard to keep excited about logging in every day.

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Recently Trion announced that they would be creating “Rift Prime” and it is not in fact shipping a temporal disturbance to your house in an hour or less.  I realize I am super late to the party in talking about this…  but I’ve been largely out of commission due to the flu so cut me some slack.  The idea in theory is that they are trying to roll back time, to an era when the game was subscription based and not fueled by loot box purchases and store purchases.  We don’t really have a ton to go on as to what specifically this means, but the full text of the blurb released on January 18th goes as follows.

Introducing RIFT Prime

In the Spring of 2018, we will launch a new server, RIFT Prime. We’ve paid a lot of attention in discussions with all of you and within the broader gaming community regarding business models in the MMO and games industry as a whole.

We have the opportunity to experiment with this fresh RIFT server using an oft-requested subscription model and progressively unlocked content. Our goal for RIFT Prime is to provide the experience that many of you have requested: no lockboxes, a significantly reduced store with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay (or removed entirely) – plus the excitement of sequential progression through RIFT’s content with monthly milestones and achievements.

So we know whatever it is will be happening in Spring…  which is one of those super squishy definitions as far as time goes.  It promises a return to a subscription only server, which admittedly is a huge boon as far as I am concerned.  During the early days of Rift the community was something I cared about and I regularly volunteered for groups forming up in public channels.  With the introduction of the free to play players…  I more or less stopped watching public channels because they were full of nothing that I cared to see.  I like the idea of starting over again with the core of vanilla Rift and building back out from there.  A good portion of my struggle to stay connected myself is that there is just so much competing wrong information that you have to sift through in order to find what is actual good advise.  We are lacking the Rift equivalent of Icy Veins to use as a sanity check to see if you are in fact speccing your characters in a reasonable manner.  I think rolling back the sands of time might help this a bit, especially if prime sees its own forum infrastructure to support the initiative.  Sure I would miss all of the toys I have accumulated over the years, but I also think having a reason to start fresh without having to deal with the baggage and friction of a free to play experience would be positive.

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There are two problems I foresee and I am going to talk a little bit about them.  Firstly how vanilla are we actually talking?  I never again want to return to an era when the “faction as fiction” patch has not been applied.  One of the best things to happen in Rift was the fall of the faction wall and I want to be able to run Guardian and Defiant together freely based on user choice.  Secondly…  if they build it will the people come back?  I can be as interested as possible, but if no core upwelling of players want to come back and play…  then my own journey through the game will be truncated as well without a guild base to build out upon.  I’ve not had the best luck with guild projects lately, and I am not sure if I even have the energy in me to try and organize anything for the purpose of Rift.  Destiny 2 was a colossal mess that never quite materialized into any semblance of regular group activities, but admittedly a lot of the problem there was the complete and total lack of guild chat.  I still love Rift and I have so many fond memories of the game, but always run into issues each time I attempt to play the modern incarnation.  At some point I left the tracks and never quite figured out how to re-rail myself.  If I could find an active community to do this thing with me… then maybe just maybe it would work.  However similar nostalgic based trips into other games have been short lived in the past, and even the third resurgence of Rift myself was us trying to do a similar “fresh start” that only wound up lasting three or four months.  At this point however I am willing to give it a shot.  If I am actively playing a game I am already in the mindset where I want to subscribe in order to support it…  so flipping that switch is a no-brainier for me personally.  The real question however is…  will I have anyone else joining me in that madness?

 

Rhino Prime Incoming

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Secondary Market

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Once again last night I spent most of it running around with friends in Warframe.  At the moment this seems to be the new hotness among the AggroChat podcast crew, and I guess in part I am going to ride the bubble as long as it lasts.  I know like many games this one is likely to burst at some point, when either we enter the endgame grind….  or one of us tries to do something that the game doesn’t really allow for.  However in the meantime I am enjoying my space ninja action, and spent most of last night leveling “stuff”.  Another really important thing that I discovered yesterday was the trade market.  Now Tam and Ashgar had both been talking about the deals that they had been getting in trades with players, and I never really spent much time thinking about it…  that is until I realized that I was quickly becoming the only player without a prime frame.  In many ways the prime frames are just flat out better than a normal frame, and since I had already been laboring towards trying to get a Rhino, I thought maybe I would check out the potential of just bumping that up to prime.

Within a few minutes I was able to find a Prime frame for considerably cheaper than the price of the base Rhino frame on the game store.  So I guess in truth if you are willing to spend ANY money on the game at all…  you can pick up some bargains.  I know some of our crew have picked up really nice weapons…  and managed to get some freebie mods thrown in to fill out the rest of the trade window.  So for me in particular… last night was all about farming up the rest of the components I needed to craft my Rhino Prime over night.  Unfortunately when I checked in this morning I still have a few hours left to go on the build, and then 72 hours after that before I actually get to drive my frame around.  In the meantime however… I need to sort out exactly what I want to use for weapons on my stompy mech.  I love my excalibur, but there are just times where it does not seem well suited for some activities.  Mostly I feel like I need to have a solid backup for when running around like mad and slashing things with a sword is not necessarily the best idea.

Atlas Rising

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The other big activity of the night was to begin work on my Atlas frame, that I had picked up some time ago… but never spent much time working on.  For the time being I have it decked out in a Braton, those starter fist weapons, and a Lex pistol…. all pretty much for the purpose of leveling them since we were running low level content.  Early in the evening we were trying to make it through Phobos, and we ended up struggling quite a bit… so it forced us all to switch back to our “main” frames for the purpose of finishing up that planet.  However after that we shifted to doing low level defense runs which are pretty amazing for leveling stuff.  By the end of the evening Altas was hovering around 14 with the weapons I think in the 16-18 range.  The big draw right now of Atlas is the rock shield ability that I can also push forward as a ball of stone to bowl over enemies.  This was absolutely amazing for “wave clear” when the Grineer were stacked up in neat little columns.  Nothing yet has beaten the pure joy of hitting the giant “Nope!” button that is Excalibur’s Radial Blind, but this comes close.

I absolutely feel like an earthbender though, and there are several of the abilities I have yet to even play with… like the ability to summon rock golems to fight by my side.  The other takeaway of the night is just how damned awesome the Braton is.  I was looking for a good light machine gun, to give me that almost destiny  like feel… and that really does it.  I also plan on building a Latron soon, because several other members of my team have had good luck with that.  From the sounds of it… the Braton is more of an Auto Rifle in Destiny terms, and the Latron would be something more like the Scout Rifle.  Both are weapons that I really enjoy, but for vastly different purposes.  The only thing I wish this game supported was the changing of loadouts while in a mission.  Because sometimes you hit situations where your weapons are just ineffective and it would greatly improve the experience to be able to swap things up planet side.  Maybe there is a way and I just have not found it, but in any case…  because I don’t think I can do it… it makes me pick more generalized builds so that if my primary is ineffective, then my secondary will work as a backup.  Regardless… I am still very much enjoying myself and looking forward to getting to play with a Prime frame.