Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rift Beginner's guide Part 2

Continuing from yesterday with a crash course in how to play Rift we'll look at a few more points in the game that everybody should know when you first open it up. After I spend a little more time at the level cap I'll give you a once over of what dungeons and the like are all about.

Callings and souls.
A calling is your base class which pretty much just defines your armor type and how you want to play them. You have warrior, rogue, mage, and cleric to choose from. With each of these callings are several different souls to pick from of which you can have 3 at once. Each soul has it's own talent tree which decides if you're a wow hunter, a ranged rogue, a healing priest, dps priest, tank, or support class.

Support is a new role added into the typical mmo trinity. The support role is exactly what you think it would be, support. The entire soul tree is centered entirely around utility with things such as super awesome CC, aoe silences, snares, focused and raid healing counterparts to dps (1 damage also turns into 1 healing, not replaced) etc. Depending on how you spec and souls taken, you can be a very solid dps loaded up with utility. Fun stuff.

In other words there are dozens of different talent trees for you to look at and each one has a tool tip telling you what a recommended pairing is for it. Choosing talents is totally simple, take whatever adds to DPS, healing, or survival and grab utility with anything left over.

What's built in.
Since there are no addOns in the game currently, they made sure that almost everything you'd want comes already running by default. Unfortunately it is lacking in anything relating to the AH aside from the basic functions. Here's a few wow-esque addOns that come stock with the game.

Carbonite / quest helper: The awesome mini map and questing database from these two addOns is a much have for any game if you ask me. You get a note in an enemy's tooltip if they're for a quest, you can track them on your map and mini map and get yellow circles around the area the quest is at. Oh and the mini map is actually useful! In wow the mini map or compass were absolute garbage and had zero use what so ever, but the one in Rift has everything you'd expect it to have.

Map coordinates: Mouse over any pixel on the map and you see what coords you're pointing at. Winning. In addition to that you can right click and set a "way point" which is exactly what you think it is. It sets a marker on the map and you get a small arrow pointing you what direction to go in order to get to that point. You can only have one up at a time, but everybody in the group can set one.

Dynamic events.
The first are rifts which are entail a spawn point of baddies, mini quest, and unique loot. If you clear the stage that it's in within the time limit (if there is one) you'll get a bonus stage which is where all of the real goodies come from. Next are invasions and foot holds which are just a smaller version of a rift and only entail clearing a small pack of mobs to get some drops.

Lastly are epic invasions which are when dozens of rifts, footholds and invasions happen all over an entire zone at once. These are zone wide and totally massive. They require basically everyone in the zone to take part in a quest that gets added to your log by default to complete and get high end rewards and level appropriate epics.

If you're worried about there not being enough people doing them I took part in one the other day at like 2am and we cleared everything including the final boss with about 20 people total.

In addition to that, there is still good reason to do an epic invasion quest in a lowbie zone even if you're at 50. The rewards you get can be traded up for things you can sell to lower level players or special currencies you can use at any time at any level. Doing lower ones will give you lesser amounts than higher level ones of course, but you will still get a useful amount at any level.

Dynamic groups.
The big thing in Rift are world events that happen on the fly, some only need a small group of 2-3 people to do while others need an entire raid. To make this easier if you're group is trying to close a rift (spawn point of baddies, mini quest, unique loot) at the same time as another one is, both groups will be merged together automatically.

This is called being in a public group which the group leader can change any time they want by right clicking their picture and changing it from public to private. If your group goes above 5 people it'll be turned into a raid group which you can still invite more to and so forth. And as far as I know, you can still do regular quests while in a raid group and are not penalized for being in one.

The same as wow. You can do world pvp if you're on the right server or flag yourself if you're on a carebear server. There are plenty of questing hubs and outposts for you to go explode if you feel so inclined. Be advised though that even at max level with decent gear, you won't be one shotting everything you come across and can easily lose a 1 on 3 battle if the 3 lowbies actually try to kill you.

The big difference here is that you have to select a certain pvp soul in order to compete instead of getting a ton of pvp gear just to not be exploded.

What am I playing?
I'm a dps warrior using the Paragon soul. Think fury warrior from TBC, dual wielding great aoe, and high sustained damage. My gf is playing a chloromancer mage which is a dps/healing support role. All of their damage heals either the group or an assigned target with certain buffs being handed out. So far every soul seems to have a solid niche that they can fit and do well in with their flavor of damage and such. Also of note is that you can have up to 5 different specs at once so there are plenty of options with a single calling.

Crafting and selling.
Ah what you've all been waiting for! Unfortunately there won't be anything here that you don't already know from wow. The only real difference here is the names of everything. The big thing to point out though is that every crafting profession has a set of daily quests you can do that you can start doing at level 1. Each quest is chosen randomly each day and at a max of 2 daily's per crafting profession. The reward is a fist full of assorted mats for that profession and tokens that are used to learn more recipes, think JC gem cuts but for every profession.

Each one of these quests requires you to turn in a number of crafted items to an NPC. The things you turn in don't have to be crafted though, so you can just buy them from the AH if they're cheaper than the mats and hand those over.

The prof daily quests (which reset at 4am server) scale with your current profession skill level and not your character level so you may get a quest at level 20 that needs you to deliver something to an NPC in a level 40 zone. I know, it happened to me many times. Also you can predict what you'll need to craft to a certain extent. The two crafting quests will want the highest tier material and the second highest material to craft something that you can make.

To put this into wow terms, Enchanting at 525 skill level would get one quest that needs maelstrom crystals and another quest needing heavenly shards. Below that you would have to craft something with GCE's and below that would be something needing hypnotic dust. I'm sure that's a tad confusing, but it's a lot harder to explain that it actually is. Once you check it out you'll understand completely.

Thanks for stopping by!

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