Archive for January 4, 2011

Rift Beta Musings

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I’ve been in the last 2 beta events for Rift and since the beta has been lifted I can actually talk about it.  This is looking like a seriously fun and in-depth game that I’ve very tempted to go ahead and pre-order.  My max level character is only level 10 so I haven’t seen nearly as much as some but I have tried out a number of different classes and they all seem different and intriguing.

The class system, while not new, does seem very like a nice expansion on the usual system.  There are tanks, rogues, healers, and mage/damage classes but with the soul system you can really customize the heck out of your character.  The way souls work (for those who don’t know) is that you can have up to three souls equiped which equate to classes in other games.  So for instance, one of my level 10s was a Paladin which is a defensive tank in the tradition paladin build coupled with a Reaver for the anit-magic effects and finally bringing in pieces of the Warlord for the buffs.  You can spec as deep in any of those trees as you want to make it more of a hybrid or fully down one line with pieces from the others.  So you could build a fully defensive/support character or you can mix in some offensive capabilities.  I also like that you can now preview the entire soul line to see what’s available and the game does give you some hints as to which souls go together.  From what I understand you can also switch those up, but honestly I haven’t really tried  and I’m not sure how the final system will work versus how things work currently in beta.

Combat to me seems pretty fluid and I like the combo system that they have for both rogues and warriors as it allows you to build up to more powerful attacks but still be effective while building it.  I haven’t tried a Mage yet, but from my understanding they’re quite fun.  I started looking at the Clerics which are the healing line and they did surprise me as they seem to also have some pretty nifty combat options.  I just started one at the end of the beta event, but I plan to check them out more in Beta 4 this weekend.  I did put together a video showing an introduction to the combat system:

The big draw for Rift is their dynamic content system of both the rifts and invasions.  Beta 3 was mainly testing these out, so they were everywhere and at times were quite overwhelming.  I managed to check these out and not only are they fun, but they have some nice little features too.  They dynamically add you to the loot table such you get credit no matter how much of the rift you clear out.  You also don’t have to worry about tagging or group makeup in there as the system automatically splits things up for you.  I captured a couple of videos of me inside the Rifts, one that went well and one, well not so much.  I also did get involved in the end of beta event which being only level 10 was a bit rough as the incoming mobs were all level 20+.

Overall, I’m very impressed with Rift and have a feeling I will be playing quite a bit of it during the beta phases but also once it launches on March 1st.  I have no clue about PvP or the raiding aspects so it will be hard to judge long-term viability of the game, but from the starter areas it certainly looks like a great base to build from!  In my launch post, I did link to a couple other articles talking about the systems I have yet to fully check out which have me further hooked on the game.  If you haven’t checked it out I suggest trying to see if you can get your hands on a beta key, or you can just keep your eyes on our YouTube Rift channel for more videos.

 

Rift Launching March 1st

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As I was writing up my review of the latest Rift beta event, twitter pretty much exploded with great discussions on various aspects of Rift, the most exciting being the launch date of March 1st!  I was expecting it soon, but this is quite a bit earlier then I thought as I was looking for more of a summer time frame.

A few other links and articles mentioned in that twitter conversation between me, @adarel, and @Elementalistly are the following which really have me all sorts of pumped about this game:

For me now, the only decision is which preorder to go with and what subscription.  I’m leaning towards the Collector’s edition with the 6-month sub, but I think I’m still debating.

I will still have my videos and thoughts posted here later, just trying to get my commentary finished off on the videos.

 

Looking Forward and Back

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I’ve been getting back into a more normal schedule now that I”m back from the holidays and wanted to take a quick look back at 2010 and look forward a bit as well.

I’ve had a bunch of fun not only gaming in 2010 but blogging as well.  Certainly much of my time was spent in LOTRO but Dragon Age was another big game for me in 2010.  I dabbled in a number of others including Eve Online, Age of Conan, Star Trek Online, Vindictus, Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Warhammer but none were able to really capture my attention like LOTRO has.  I’ve also gotten into a couple of EA Sports F2P sports games including Tiger Woods Online and FIFA Online.  I would love for them to continue that trend a release similar titles, but I imagine those would be seen as competition for their big money annual titles like Madden, etc.  I totally didn’t see the LOTRO F2P switch coming but I’m really starting to enjoy it and I do believe it will turn out well not only for Turbine but the players as well.

I’ve been in the process of expanding as I’ve been writing for LOTRO Reporter and TOR Reporter and more recently joining the TGN-Stratics team.  I’ve managed to join in on a couple of podcast episodes for CStM, LOTRO Reporter, MMO Reporter, and the Dunedain all of which have pushed me to start up my own podcast which will be out hopefully this week.

Looking forward, I’m pretty excited for 2011 and can’t wait to see what surprises we have waiting for us.  I already did my LOTRO predictions over on TGN-Stratics but wanted to toss out a couple of other more general ones here, only focusing on games I’m following and/or care about.

  • Rift will be a big success as the combination of the dynamic content, crazy class customization and PvP will all result in a healthy subscriber base.  I’m not saying it is going to be a WoW killer or anything like that but it will probably be in the top 5.  I’ll have more on my Rift beta thoughts later today or possibly tomorrow depending on how quickly I can get my videos polished off.
  • We will not see anything else from Blizzard this year as Diablo 3 will push into 2011 as they work to make it the game we all expect from Blizzard and the Diablo franchise.
  • Dragon Age 2 will be another hit and will be more like the first Dragon Age and less like the Awakenings expansion.  I can’t really put my finger on what the issue I had with Awakenings, but it just didn’t grab me as well as the original.  I went through Origins at least 6 times from start to finish, not to mention small tweaks in my story as I went, but just went through Awakenings the one time.
  • We will take the Hobbits to Isengard before we visit a galaxy far, far, away.  As I mentioned in my LOTRO predictions, I think Isengard will be in the October timeframe and I’m not expecting to see TOR until the holiday season closer to December.

That’s all for now, I hope everyone had a good holiday break and lets gear up for a great 2011!

 
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