Monday, October 24, 2011

At the Cap

Last night my rogue in Rift hit level 50.  I hadn’t really intended to push it, I was just questing while waiting for an uncooperative dungeon queue to pop.  I got in a groove though, and being fully rested with a Veteran’s experience vial caused the xp to start adding up fast.  Before I knew it, it was late and time for bed . . . but I was about 10% from level 50.  I pushed on and finished up a little while later, portaled back to Sanctum and took care of some business.

First off, I have to say hitting 50 was pretty underwhelming.  Admittedly it’s pretty underwhelming in most MMOs, after all, you’re not “done”, you haven’t “won”, you’ve just entered at the ground floor of the next stage of the game – end game.  I donned a silly purple hat (from the current world event), spent an ungodly amount of money training up skills, crafted myself some new armor and . . . that was about it.  My guild has long since become inactive (I really ought to find a new one) so there weren’t even any congrats to be had.  I’ll go cry some big wet tears in a corner or something.

Tonight I’ll give the Chronicles a go, which was my primary motivation for getting a character to level 50 anyway.  Hopefully they’re interesting, and the “recommended” tag of two players for everything but the intro one is just that – a recommendation.  After that, I’ll try and do a couple of T1 elites just to see what they’re like.  I’ll probably end up going as a Bard, so likely no one will laugh at my dps.  Still, I have no intention of grinding the endgame here, I just want to see the sights and then I’ll essentially be done.

The new post-50 advancement feature, Planar Attunement, looks pretty darn bland.  I think the basic idea behind it is sound, but the implementation is just another grind for fairly minimal rewards.  I think the idea is that it’s just a bonus reward for doing the things you’re already doing (grinding elites) rather than something to do for itself.  That’s . . . ok I guess, assuming you’re interested in grinding out all those dungeons in the first place.  I know the Chronicles are intended as a way to advance Planar Attunement without doing endless quests or dungeon runs, but there are only two of them!

I can’t help but contrast it to City of Heroes’ post-50 advancement, Incarnate Abilities.  Incarnate abilities make your character not just more powerful, but cooler as well.  My tanker can do things that no pre-Incarnate tanker could do – summon pets, toss huge aoes, exceed the enhancement cap on his defensive abilities, etc.  For CoH, spending time post 50 advancing the character feels very rewarding, and they haven’t even finished adding in all the abilities yet (only 5 of 10 are done).  There’s still a lot of upwards potential.  In Rift, I can spend a great deal of time to make my stats a bit better, but that appears to be it.  Meh.

I’m glad I finally got a character to 50, but I’m just going to tool around for a bit and then go back to playing my Cleric.  If he ever makes it to 50 I’ll probably be done with the game until they release a major expansion.

Speaking of which, shouldn’t Rift be announcing an expansion soon, or are they going to follow the Blizzard method of releasing one expansion every two years?  While Rift does release far more free content than WoW does, it mostly seems to take the form of the World Events which are a little formulaic to be honest.   

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