A Frustrating Night With Rift

I played some more Rift last night and found myself in a bit of a pickle. Shortly after reaching level 8, I got myself killed, and respawned in the next quest hub ahead of me in the progression… which was in the process of being overrun by a level 15 Life invasion. The defense was sparse and swiftly overrun, so I got stuck in a cycle of spawn-die, spawn-die, spawn-die. It was very frustrating, and I felt like it soured me on the game.

I see a potentially major balance issue here. Rifts and invasions (more than a simple copy of WAR’s public quests, by the way – there are elements from Tabula Rasa’s base control mechanic involved as well,) are central elements of the game, and they’ll need to be balanced correctly to prevent exactly this kind of frustration. This is where WAR, in its PQs and in some of the RvR content as well, fell apart – balance broke, so the game broke, and Mythic never fixed it except by shutting servers down to try to keep populations afloat.

I did play some more this morning and got through it (after the hub had reverted to PvE control,) and would like to hit the game again tonight, to try and experience the rift/invasion stuff as it’s meant to be. It may be that I’ll have different thoughts on it after that. Otherwise, I’ll have to wait until the next round of beta action to try again.

In other respects, the game impresses me; it’s very much a Frankenstein game, with elements from all over the place blended together. And everything seems to work well, except for this one area where it didn’t seem to, at least last night, but it’s an important one. And it should be pointed out that Rift won’t be releasing for some time yet, so there should be opportunities to address these issues, which may be as easy to fix as adding more respawn points so level 8 players don’t pop into level 15 hubs and get overwhelmed.

Even with that said, though, there’s a trap Rift could fall into – the same one that Warhammer did. WAR was gloriously fun during open beta and headstart, and became an utter shambles in a matter of a couple weeks after launch. That could happen here, too, and Trion will have to walk the fine line between neutering important content and making it actually work correctly. Let’s hope they can do that better than Mythic did.

4 responses to “A Frustrating Night With Rift

  1. I recall being stuck in a similar situation 10 years ago in my favorite MMO Asheron’s Call. I made the mistake of setting my lifestone (bind point) in some remote wooded area. A golem followed me to the stone and proceeded to camp me for a while.

    It didn’t help that you acquired a stacking debuff upon repeated deaths. I think I was maxed out at only having 50% my normal health pool each respawn. Grrr

    However, Asheron’s Call is still my favorite MMO. Yeah, there were corpse runs I couldn’t get back to, being camped at my respawn by mobs, etc.

    I like that the rifts can have a somewhat meaningful impact on the game world. It would be silly if they just sat outside the hub waiting to be dealt with.

    That being said, it IS poor design to prevent your players from…well….playing.
    I think situations like that (where a rift invasion takes over a hub / respawn spot) should prompt (force?) the player to spawn someplace “safe.”

    Glad you aren’t ragequitting over it. Try to laugh it off. You’ve got a great story and a great reason for your character to now seek revenge against all Life rifts that open. 😉

  2. My position on Rift remains the same as it was before I got frustrated; I am 80% sure I will not be buying it, at least at launch, despite me being reasonably pleased with it thus far. Not because of this, but because of sheer time constraints. But even if I don’t get in at launch (and I’m not even sure when that will be, but I’m picturing Q2,) it’ll be a game I keep my eye on.

  3. I got corpse-camped by Fire planars in Beta 2. It was one of the (many) things that convinced me I would definitely be buying Rift. I really love my characters being overwhelmed by the virtual worlds they inhabit; it’s a major selling-point for me.

    Of course, it does need tuning for practicality. It’s ok for my character to be trapped but obviously as a player I need to be able to access the game I’m paying to play. In general I’ll be happy to do that by playing another character until the situation resolves itself. Rifts naturally expire after a certain time, I believe, so even if no-one did anything the revive point would eventually become available.

    If I understand it correctly the Rifts and Invasions self-tune to match the zone population, though. In beta the available zones are constantly packed to bursting point so Rifts are large and frequent (and that frequency may have been turned up for beta too, I think). A while after launch, if here are only a handful of people in Silverwood the Rifts should be much less threatening to those characters than they are now. This is al if I understand the design correctly from what I’ve read.

    Also, isn’t it possible just to run in ghost-form to another, safe, revive spot and speak to the Spirit there for a rez? I am pretty sure I did that a couple of times.

  4. Ouch, that sounds frustrating. I found myself in a similar situation during my beta experience; like you said, here and there the defense is sparse especially when there are rifts all over the bloody map, and some of these invasions are pretty massive. I found out quickly how unfortunate it is to die in an overrun area and you literally do nothing but rez-run-die, rez-run-die, rez-run-die. I have heard news about plans to balance though, so I have faith Trion knows of the player frustrations. As of now, I still plan on picking up Rift when it releases. I’m not as hyped for it as a lot of people, but I think it has a lot of potential.