Last night I was having one of those nights where I needed to just blend into the background, and largely avoid human contact. That said I needed to schedule an invite for a potential Emerald Nightmare raid tonight, and finish up my Emissary quests that I had hanging out there. However before long I had done just that and was off to Rift to explore some more of the Starfall Prophecy expansion. This is the point where I am at a bit of a disadvantage because I never got the opportunity to play through the Comet of Ahnket 10 player raid instance, and learn more about the story of what is going on here. From what I have been able to glean, Ahnket is this sentient creation engine of sorts that seems hellbent on destroying Telara. I am sure at this point Captain Cursor is cringing like mad and will pop in and correct me, but like I said having not played that raid I only have impressions to go on. This expansion we take the fight to the comet, which has grown into a landmass. It seems like every time Ahnket crashes through a plane on the way to Telara it picks up a chunk of that world and carries it with it. At this point the comet has traveled through the planes of Fire and Nature and as a result we have two new zones themed after each, and a fifth zone that seems to be a place where everything clashes in conflict. We as ascended are sent here to try and stop Ahnket once and for all and help the friendly folk who have gotten uprooted as a result of the comet passing near their homes. All of this is irrelevant however because all I really want to do is hang out with this lovely bunch of weasels.
The other thing that has changed is this time around we have companions that tend to roam around with us as we complete the quest content pretty regularly. Firstly there is Shyla Starhearth that you might recognize as being the formerly half naked lady hanging out in the throne room of Sanctum for the Guardians in the room. This time around she managed to find some proper armor and is apparently now a super tanky badass. Next up we have Tasuil the Dragon, that we last saw in the Dendrome… and has shrunk down a bit to make adventuring with a little easier. At some point in the quest line you find someone who can Corgify him at which point he is both hilarious and adorable. Then during my current sequence of quests I also have Windflower the babby Unicorn hanging out with me. So I am hanging with a Corgi, a Unicorn, and a heavily armored elf lady… who could ask for more? It seems like with the impending doom the Guardians and the Defiant have set aside their grudges because in the new hub town you can also find Asha Catari leading the offensive, which makes my little Defiant heart crackle to life. I apologize for the image quality in the above two shots, but at some point during the evening I transitioned from my desktop upstairs to hanging out on the sofa with my laptop… that cannot run the game in nearly the same graphical fidelity.
In truth I feel like I have not experienced enough of the new content to give it a proper review at this time. Overall I like it considerably more than I liked Nightmare Tides, but I think that is because this content brings back familiar landscapes. Goboro Reef was just a completely foreign and alien looking zone, with its angry technicolor vibrancy. These zones are similar to what I have been seeing in the game since launch, just subtle variations on the planar themes. Of not I have only actually ventured very far into Scatherran Forest, as you are presented with two possible choices at first… and I could have similarly gone down the Gedlo Badlands path if I wanted to see a lot of fire themed landscapes. Even then I feel like I have just barely scratched the surface of the zones, and in the few hours I played I pushed about halfway through my first level. The leveling is slow, but it feels not quite as slow as it did during Nightmare Tides which is definitely a good thing. As far as crafting and such… I have only barely scratched the surface because I am competing with everyone out there for ore pops. If anything that would be my one complaint so far that the spawn rates maybe need to adjust up a bit to deal with the influx of players. Completing any of the “kill x” style quests seem to require either a lot of luck or patience. The best part so far however has been the music, which is more technological in nature… and it comes with an amazing remixed version of the main Rift theme. If you have been a long time fan of the franchise, I feel like this expansion is already well worth checking out. That said expect it to still feel more like Storm Legion or Nightmare Tides than the original content.