Recent happenings

I haven’t been posting much for the last few days, here’s what I’ve been busy with:

Rift

I’ve been invited into the third Rift beta event. I can’t post much because of the NDA, but here’s what I will post (and hope I don’t breach the NDA):

  • It’s very obvious where the game draws its inspirations and gets its ideas from. You could point at features or parts of it and identify which MMORPG pioneered it. Which certainly isn’t a bad thing, making an amalgam of every successful MMO idea, or well-received feature is bound to produce a good MMORPG.
  • The problem though, is the same with taking out all of the good bits of the hits of the previous decade and composing a new super-hit, or taking the most appealing features of the past beauty contestants and making a universal beauty, so to speak. Because it’s trying to appeal to every type of MMO player at the same time, it ends up being very average. As a result players might not dislike the game, but it’s harder to like it aswell.
  • In my opinion, the game is lacking a certain soul or theme. This might appear because of the above, but I just can’t point out any part of the game that I could immerse myself into or could remember memorable elements of it later. And while the lore behind it seems fresh at first, it waters down to the usual fantasy stuff in an hour or so. I guess if you mechanically glue together different bits of something you can’t expect the whole to resemble anything. In that aspect, Rift reminds me of Allods Online.
  • That’s not to say the game doesn’t sport fresh ideas of its own. But I feel like those ideas aren’t taken far enough, the developers seem to not want to risk too much and stick close to the guidelines.
  • Keep in mind that I only played two days or so and that this was my first Rift beta event. I haven’t seen the end-game or even much of the middle game, but as it stands I can’t see myself playing at release. While the game seems quite adequate, I can’t see the long-term appeal.

WAR

Still having fun, mostly doing small-scale or scenarios. For all the ranting I’ve done in my previous post, the community and the competitive aspect still seem to outshine the game’s flaws. Though that’s probably because I try to avoid the most glaring flaw, the keep sieges.

Even though I’m playing quite a lot, I seem to be getting nowhere with leveling. My WP just hit RR82 and I can’t see myself getting to RR90 anytime before April, possibly even later. I simply have no desire to grind renown and instead try to have fun, which unfortunately means that my renown gains are quite poor. But with my Slayer, on the other hand, I’m really trying hard to get to RR80 quickly. Because with people hitting RR90 I’m afraid I can’t compete without Sovereign gear. I just dinged RR70, which puts me into an uncomfortable position.

Slayer technical details incoming, you’ve been warned!
As you might know I’m not really a fan of trying out new things, once I find a spec, gear-setup or playstyle that seems to work, I stick to it. Now that I’m able to wear full Warlord and get it’s godly (or so I’m told) armor debuff proc, I find myself wondering if it’s worth it. Previously I would wear 3 Tyrant/3 Invader combination for double strength and wounds bonuses, with most talisman slots being filled by weaponskill and specced fully in weaponskill aswell. It seemed to work great, I could kill almost everything bar good healers, tanks or mdps in defensive Sovereign solo, and had a lot of firepower in a group. I also had the option of simply respecing my mastery and switching between solo roaming mode and high dps group mode. But now that I’ve completely respeced renown training and reslotted talismans to make up for bad itemisation on Warlord armor, I can’t do that. In addition, I’m not quite convinced yet that 60% armor penetration, 200 HP, 10% more parry was worth trading for 40% armor penetration, a 10% 1800 armor debuff proc and 10 more ability dps. I’ve yet to really test it out, but I’m not liking the spot I’m currently in. I guess my race to RR80 is now even more justified.

I will have a post on how overpowered Slayers are up sometime this week.

Other stuff

I have also been playing a lot of other games, mostly Dragon Age. I have been trying to complete a playthrough with a rogue so I could finally have a look at Awakening. I really wanted to complete at least two playthroughs just to see the other side of the game, as there are so many choices and decisions to make, you could be playing a completely different game the second time around.

I tried to roleplay a pragmatic rogue, always making the choices that most benefit her or her party (because I always fail at playing evil I tried something more neutral). But somehow, despite vowing to not make the same decisions the second time around, I ended up playing almost exactly like the first time. I don’t know how or why, it just happens. I guess that when I find a path that I like, I don’t want to deviate from it. If I want to choose different options in the story I have to be constantly reminding myself of what I’m trying to do. And even if I manage to be evil in one part of the game for example, I always feel like reloading the game and doing it the way I feel it’s the best.

I’m a bad roleplayer and I hate myself for it.

But to move away from Dragon Age for a bit, I’ve also been digging up some older games. Namely Dungeon Keeper 2 and Startopia. I’ve been thinking of doing a little write-up for one of them, but I have no idea if that’s actually going to happen. One can always hope, I guess.

That’s it. Hopefully this little post will get me going again. I’ve got a backlog of posts I need to edit or write. Fingers crossed I can finally get off my ass and get something done.

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