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NDA Up: Post your Beta Feedback Here!Follow

#1 Dec 22 2010 at 12:29 PM Rating: Decent
32 posts
With the NDA up, just wanted to offer myself as a resource for people with questions.

A couple notes:

1) I played a Shaman/Sentinel, a Bard/Nightblade/Riftstalker, and a Reaver/Warlord/Riftblade, all to 20.
2) I ran and loved the dungeons.
3) The invasions were beyond nifty.

Edited, Dec 22nd 2010 5:09pm by Kaasha
#2 Dec 22 2010 at 1:24 PM Rating: Decent
32 posts
here's my post about it, taken from the official forums:

Character creation was easy and had a good amount of options... More than many MMOs out today but by no means a ton. The characters themselves on the Guardian side are beautiful, and you can really create some amazing, life-like characters. Also, the elves can be made to look actually elvish instead of just human with pointy ears... well, that is pretty much what an elf is, but you know what I mean. ;P

The starting experience is designed to give the player the background lore of the world and their faction. Each side has an intro cinematic (which has been shown off on the web already). The two starter experiences for each side are VERY VERY different, but they are identical for all three races. This will be an issue with replayability to me, but you can get it down to doing it very quickly. The first few times, there is a ton of stuff to explore in the starter area, with books and easter eggs hidden around. For instance, I wandered up to the top of a building and killed a Defiant Technomancer. He dropped a letter noting the location of an artifact. When I killed the next one, this guy dropped a letter from Orphiel detailing how angry he was that one of his apprentices had hidden said artifact. In a building a bit far away, I found a peasant trapped behind burning logs calling for help. After I saved him, he gave me some green loot. The starter zones feel much more complete and alive than the outer world, which is a negative. Upon completion of this starter experience there is a cinematic that shows the players what they are fighting for.

The outer world itself, at least the first two questing zones, are meant as introductions both to the game world, combat, and the story. As such, mobs are often one dimensional and don't do anything all that special. There are elite mobs that wander around, but I did not run into any hostile ones, and the ones I did often dropped quests. There are towns and quest hubs that offer quests. If you follow all your quests exactly you will be taken from one quest hub to the next, but if you are the right level, you can wander between them. In the Guardian area, I often ended up with a mixture of quests from different quest hubs because I spent a lot of time racing from Rift to Rift to seal them.

Rifts were repetitive in that they frequently had the same general objective, but the visuals and what you fought did change. Also, at low levels in each zone, only a small subset of Rifts are opening in that area of the world relevant to the story of that zone. This means that some of the other types of rifts and some of the other enemies just aren't present there yet. Additionally, podcasters etc have mentioned that the Raid Rifts have some complicated mechanics. I would NOT expect these from low level rifts because these are introductory zones.

The Rifts left unattended sent out Invasions and fought each other and players to set up footholds in the world. They would charge player-held towns and take down defenses and establish their own idols that spawned more mobs. These invasions varied in strength from pretty **** tough, requiring either characters way over their level to take down or a decent sized group, to just a handful of normal mobs. Healers, tanks, and DPS all get credit for taking part in sealing the rifts by doing their thing, though I am unsure of how exactly it is calculated. More than once I received group invites from people standing around so we could take the Rift out easier, but Invasions tended to be more on your own, since it was groups of players returning from questing. A group, even a small one, can make as much if not more exp from rifting as it can from grouping and questing.

A massive world event also took place during Beta 2 centering around the invasions and rifts that took place on all servers. The major storyline in the zone come to a head when the big badguy you had been hearing about for a while mobilized a plethora of life rifts and invasion forces of levels ranging from 8 to 20. These rifts and invasions attacked an area called Argent Glade and Quicksilver College, and our own NPC warriors mounted a furious defense while player raid groups battled through raid mobs, including some with an astounding 800k hp, through a castle full of mobs from the planes, to secure the zone for our forces. At first, we were convinced it was GMs… but apparently, at least according to Scot Hartman, this is *part* of the system and an integral part of the game that happen dynamically and randomly in the world… This was an amazing experience and I can’t even type it up to explain it. It was that cool.

Questing is fairly standard for an MMO, with nothing remarkable save for the ease of doing so. You are direct to quest locations via the minimap if you don't want to read the quest text, or if it is unclear. Mobs that drop things for your quests say so in their tooltip for the most part. I often ignored and turned off the yellow circles if I knew where I was going. There are named mobs in the world (some are Elite and usually require at least a duo to take out) and they drop quest items. In the Defiant zone there was an Elite area of the map where players could group or duo kill anyway groups of mobs.

Group bonuses exist for groups of 2 on up, so it makes sense to group with a friend, even if it's not forced.

Crafting is a lot like WoW, though you can add some item customization based on items won during rifts and invasions.

The dungeons are FANTASTIC, really REALLY fun. I think a lot of the people who don't comment on them likely didn't do Realm of the Fae. The Defiant one wasn't as good but was still a fun romp with some difficult encounters the first time through. Anyone who says this game has a "lack of meaningful group combat" should modify it to say "outside of dungeons, low level areas have a lack of meaningful group combat" but they should also keep in mind Hartsman has said Rifts will actually drop loot soon, which may make them meaningful. Also, when I ran Iron Tombs I was not 20 and I received a TON of experience and hit 20 mid way through (gained a full level in a short period), so dungeons are likely a good way for groups to level if they wish to.

The Soul System overall is awesome but it has it's flaws. It's not perfect, as many abilities end up feeling repeated between similar classes, but overall it is much better than any system I've seen so far. Being a rogue that could tank through a dungeon one second, then become the ultimate in group support in a bard the next, then become a solo artist with a mix of the two or ****, even a stealthing character, was fun.

The graphics of the game world were very nice and immersive. The cities themselves could use work; Sanctum had a lot more talking NPCs and interacting objects than did Meridian, so I think Meridian may have been at an earlier stage of "completion," but both of the "cities" feel much more like fortresses... though, Meridian much more this than Sanctum. Speaking of Sanctum, it is a visually stunning city on high graphics.
#3 Dec 22 2010 at 4:55 PM Rating: Decent
23 posts
My very general Beta 1 & 2 Feedback
Ok Here it goes this is just a summary of my thoughts on some areas of the game after getting 2 20's and a bunch of mid teen characters in the 2 betas so far


1) Performance- Ran fine - 920@3.6GHZ 12GB Ram ATI 5970. No lag even durring the massive invasion events

2) Graphics - Not bad not great. Ran on ultra @2650x1600 with no lag (~40FPS but I think the FPS monitor is broken in game as I didnt notice a difference between when it was saying 14 FPS and 40) durring both betas. I did start to get some tearing after a patch but considering everything was up to then fine Im sure it will be fixed.

3) Character creation Above average customization its no CoH or CO but not bad. Gamebro engine I do think looks generally like umm posterior on ATI cards though.

4) Quests - Lots of them. Most are pretty standard fare. Kill 5 X's some however showed some pretty interesting tech ( turning mobs friendly when within range of an ambassador mob and so on) or a foot race where you get attacked by the competitions family and so on. I think the system shows pretty good promise once they've had a chance to play with the system some more

5) Instances - Show AWESOME promise neither of them were pure tank and spanks and the environments were really awesome VERY WELL done we just need more of them =)

6) Loot - meh not much difference between a blue and a green though loot is pretty common ( good due being needed in tradecrafts) and lot of it is an upgrade. The pvp and rift rewards are pretty good however

7) Crafting only did weaponsmiting and armoursmith to ~100 ish durring beta 1 and 2. Its a spin off of the wow system with the difference being that the craftible gear is quite good for the level ( eps. with the planar mods you can do and with runes). I know lots of people prefer the Vangaurd / EQ2 models but its functional and simple and doesnt clutter your bags with tonnes of crap. Not really into crafting myself but I can see crafted gear being in demand no problem.

9) Exploration - ummm We're confined to 1 zone so yeah.. that said I got much more of a feeling of exploration in the defiant side. The gaurdian felt too much like been there done that before in every other game. The defaint not so much. That said there are roaming epic named and mobs in both sides so that bodes well. On release I dont see any complaints with this at all.

10) Next Gen ... Seen alot of complaints on this. Umm if someone could define next gen to me and how rift is not that I'd love to hear it. As it stands it is advancing the genre in the Blizzard model. Take everything thats been done before and polish it. And Rift is very polished so I guess it fits?

11) Combat: VERY stilted and jarring. I am NOT a fan of the way GCD is implemented currently. Its better in beta 2 but as it stands combat does not feel natural at all. As a healer actually using your instants in hard fight is actually a bad idea as it takes you out of the fight while the GCD cycles. Some abilities can mitigate it but overall combat really breaks the imersion for me. I dont feel epic I feel like a dude fumbling with my weapons hoping I dont get omgwtfbbqpwn'd while my timers cycle.
#4 Dec 22 2010 at 6:49 PM Rating: Decent
35 posts
Well, what to say. I really liked this beta 2. It all felt kinda old style, not really Next-gen, till the big events and invasions where it all became fun and different. I really hope they improve that, and make it more awesome with pvp and open world pvp.

Apart from that, graphics were great, apart from some fps degradation bugs which are being tested and hopefully won't be present from beta 3.

Quests were kinda similar to all the quests i've seen in mmos... maybe less fun than some WoW quests, but still, do that and take it back here kinda quests.

Overall a good game, i'm definitely looking forward to testing it a bit more.
____________________________
Leelium
#5 Dec 22 2010 at 7:00 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
I got lucky enough to get two separate community beta keys since I was unlucky enough to get a VIP, but hoping that changes. With that said I can give you my point of view on the game so far. As a Defiant I was fully engaged in the opening and beginning levels and it set me up to be pretty excited.

Classes:

Defiant - Cleric - Souls - Inquisitor, Cabal

I started off as a Inquisitor with seem to be a solid dps role based on life and death magic and I soon realized that being a cleric without a heal spell had its disadvantages. None the less I loved playing this type of class.

Defiant - Rogue - Ranger, Bladedancer

After playing WoW for so long I got use to "hunters" not being able to melee, but that isn't the case here. I had solid range options and if my pet couldn't keep aggro the second soul allowed me to rip through enemies at close range fairly easy.

World -

It was a beautifully created world with a dynamic feel as you engulfed yourself in the storyline, which by the way didn't feel forced. The invasions and rifts were a bit weak with so many players in the area, which was addressed in the beta section of the forum, and I feel they fixed that problem with the second beta when I played the guardians.

Not too much of a grinding quest as it allowed you to level at a nice pace without lack of quest to continue to the next part of the story and area. There were some "annoying" quests but I don't think you can have an MMO without them. It didn't feel like a kill "X" gather "X" type of quests to me, which is a huge plus.

More to come on the guardian side.
#6 Dec 22 2010 at 7:08 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
36 posts
Thanks for the feedback on the beta events. From browsing the official forums, it seemed alot of people truly liked it so far. But what where those massive invasion I heard so much about?
#7 Dec 22 2010 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
32 posts
evil21 wrote:
Thanks for the feedback on the beta events. From browsing the official forums, it seemed alot of people truly liked it so far. But what where those massive invasion I heard so much about?


There are invaions and there are world events... Normal invasions are spawns from rifts and travel to a PC quest hub, slaughtering any players and NPCs in their way to take it over.

The world event was dozens of rifts and Invasion forces that set off together to take a player quest hub. Meanwhile, players had to defeat two raid-level mobs in order to take down the central mob summoning stone of the enemy forces, all the while fighting smaller groups of forces spread around the map of varying levels. It was... gigantic. Rifts and invasions ranged from 8 to 20, and participant players were all over that level range.

[img=http://www.blogcdn.com/massively.joystiq.com/media/2010/12/invasion.jpg] (image from Scot Hartsman, on massively and elsewhere)
#8 Dec 22 2010 at 8:54 PM Rating: Default
48 posts
I like the game. It's not the next coming of Vanguard: World of Everquest or anything, but it's fun. I'll say that again, my main reaction to the game was: this is fun.

The soul system is super cool. And I love what they're doing to allow access to all souls and more points, earlier (allegedly). This is a good idea, because the soul system IS the game, so no point in keeping it from the players. It offers a lot of micromanaging for people like me that love to tinker, and is still simple enough for people who don't want the hassle, as you won't have to min/max/tinker/test a million soul combination to still have fun and more importantly be viable.

The world looks cool. I like the art direction when it comes to the world and most mobs. Even cities were kinda cool, Sanctum being amazing. Mounts were awesome (the ones I've seen in videos and the two-tailed horned-tiger thing the Guardians could get, superfun).

The character creation and selection is hella meh. All the races sorta look the same and even huge, silly ears don't make the elf sort of races really feel or look different. I mean, there was more character and diversity between races in Everquest, ugh. It has differing racials, which is a nice touch (despite nerds on the forums declaring doom to the mmo genre if all racials weren't available to all races, which makes no effing sense, because they didn't want to be 'forced' into making any certain race due to racials, which is ridiculous anyways and people like that end up sucking no matter the 'perfect' race/class combo, but I digress). For the most part, the entire character selection was bland and boring and not at all impressive.

It doesn't help that all races start in the same tutorial-style story-based opening instance (or shard, or whatever it is, removed from the world). Replayablity is only there because after the first time (well during the first time, really) the game becomes so easy that you can fly through the beginning. I understand they want an 'epic' feeling to the start, and to control the newbie exp, etc, but right now the opening few levels before being sent to the 'real' world are beyond mediocre. Think of it as the opening to a terrible action movie, where there are explosions everywhere and things are happening and you don't really care what's going on, because you have no clue WHY you should care. Wow, assploshuns, nice try, but it's condescending to think most semi-intelligent people will simply see big badda-booms and be hooked on the game.

Speaking of action movies, the voice acting both in cut-scenes (there are some, for the most part cool) and during story events/quest is terrible. Utterly embarrassing. I got a lot of flak on the official forums early on for mentioned I thought much of the lore and website was poor writing. People told me I was just being elitist (I'm elitest, sorry) and that it would obviously improve. It didn't. The writing in general in the game is terribad, and the voice acting on top of poorly written lines was even worse. It's high-time these major blockbuster games start actually hiring WRITERS to do their writing, not just random devs who happen to think spitting out words means you're a writer. One of the story events (a cool system where mobs all around go non-kos and story-npcs act out scenes) was so bad it reminded me of the start of Castlevania Symphony of the Night, how it's all retro and oldschool and has TERRIBLE voice acting that is campy and over the top (but in an entertaining way). The difference is Castlevania is pretty old, and always had a neat sort of campiness to it, but Rift is trying to be super serious, but the voice acting is terribly campy and ridiculous to the point of being comedic at what should be the most dramatic points. Sorry, could go on about the writing, but in general it was serviceable, I suppose, but with some points where nobody could ignore how terrible it was.

The questing was boooring. Very linear, with hold your hand quest helper. The biggest letdown was the fact there ARE other things to do, but you get so paranoid you'll miss out on the gear vending machine quests or the important story-related quests that are actually relevant, or worse miss out on the quest that gives you more souls. So, everyone pretty much felt beholden to the quests, even though there were uninspired, linear and not worth reading most of the time. The answer, imo, is to open the system up a bit so you don't need pre-requisite quests to get later ones, and make it so quest indicators show a red exclamation point (or something) when the quest is actually important. That way, people can ignore the quest chains, but not miss out on the 'necessary' quests, because most of the mundane fetch quests were, umm mundane fetch quests (Oh hai, you're an ascended soul and the savior of the world... would you mind running a few errands for me? /gag).

The thing is, there was a LOT to do other than quests. The biggest thing was rift and invasion hunting was tons of fun and even challenging at times. It was about as dynamic as these games will get (though many people complaining it's not dynamic enough, as if a dev should be behind the controls of every mob before it's actually dynamic). It was GREAT to have random groups of elite mobs roaming around. It made the world feel alive and risky, which is a good thing. Of course, people will complain they got killed while trying to complete a quest, but it's that good kind of 'I'll come back for revenge' sort of feeling I haven't felt since EQ and Griffons slaughtering noobs in East Commonlands.

The best part about rifts, which lead to invasions if not closed down, is they can and will take over quest hubs. Oh, boo hoo, but I can't quest now. Sure you can, just find some friends and defeat the invaders. Great fun and was the biggest challenge of the game and will supply the question of having something to do besides regular pve that pvp has never been able to provide (despite games thinking with pvp, they don't need other content, as people will be satisfied with just killing each other). I think people will be satisfied for a long time just rift hunting, though, as the rewards were good and unique (a second currency system, basically, to buy gear and items, and special equipment slot just for rift augment things). It's the open-world, dynamic feeling content that games have been trying to find for years, imo, and it actually works pretty well to feel dynamic.

The dungeon I did was pretty cool, but painfully linear. You can go there at level 17, and at level 20 three of us killed all but the last encounter without too much trouble (mostly just figuring out how to play varying souls). It wasn't the challenge I was hoping for, but still interesting enough I have hope for future dungeons and raids.

The thing that ****** us all off though was that in a game designed around reducing ALL tedium (and doing a pretty good job of it), when you die in a dungeon you have to run back through the entire thing. Not a big deal, but it's empty, painfully linear, and utterly pointless... so it's the kind of down time that isn't good, as people aren't playing the game, but feeling like a forced time out. After every time our group wiped (A few times with only three people, trying to learn encounters) there was a moment of 'well, it's getting late' that kills a game because it gives a chance for people to log out. It was silly. Either make CR matter by having mob respawns, or some kind of effing puzzle even you have to 'defeat' before you get back to fighting, but just having 10 minutes of mindlessly running back through the dungeon is bad design. And no, I don't believe punishing players with tedium is a good idea. Good death mechanics get players back to playing the game to make up for their loss, not effectively sitting in a time out.

The dungeon looked great, though, along with most of the world. And the fights were just varied and challenging enough to give me hope for later dungeons and raid content (keep in mind it was only a level 20 dungeon, the first most players will encounter).

The combat mechanics felt smooth and good. A bit spammy at times, but that's just the nature of these games nowadays where your first hotbar is filled by level 10, and by level 20 I already had a full on 3 hotbar setup like in most games these days. Every soul combo I played gave enough options that combat was interesting and each fight could be approached in a few different ways. Add to that the ability to change soul setups on the fly (out of combat) and it's a lot of flexibility. This is good especially for dungeons, and I hope that means the challenge will be raised to make people actually have to consider their roles in a group, and not just mow down easy content with the same soul combo they always use.

The best thing to remember is that Trion is actually responding to feedback--sometimes within the first day of beta events--and doesn't seem afraid to make changes. I hope they keep doing this (and try to fix the quest situation which is the biggest letdown so far). Consider the fact that based on feedback they're completely changing not only how souls are offered to the players (before you chose from 3, now from all 8 apparently and get 2 early on to start playing with hybrid combos), but also considering adding more points to the soul system, so there's more room for players to get involved in it early. This is a pretty big undertaking that many companies wouldn't bother with even if the feedback from testers was there, because it's going to take time and resources to balance the game around these changes. Trion is doing it though, because they actually seem to care about what's best for the game, which shouldn't be a surprise, but in todays mmorpg climate it actually is (hah?).

The game, like every released the last few years, has things that can be nitpicked if one chooses. It also opens itself up to the typical 'WoW clone' remarks (though people were also saying it was a WAR clone, a Vanguard clone and even an EQ clone, /boggle). Basically, haters gonna hate, and no matter how perfect there will always be something one can use to dismiss a game as has become tradition the last few generations. It's not a perfect game, but if people can get over themselves and their biases for long enough to actually experience the game for what it is, not what it isn't or what any other game is/isn't, it's actually just **** fun to play. There are plenty of opportunities for min/maxers to go crazy, and for ocd perfectionists to tinker, but the thing is that across the board it seems like a game where you can simply log in and have fun. In that way, due to the sad state of the mmorpg landscape, Rift actually feels quite revolutionary.



#9 Dec 22 2010 at 9:14 PM Rating: Decent
32 posts
hey pops, they did change the Guardian voice over at least, but I agree the voice overs are pretty miserable...
#10 Dec 22 2010 at 10:28 PM Rating: Default
48 posts
jmav wrote:
hey pops, they did change the Guardian voice over at least, but I agree the voice overs are pretty miserable...


Since beta event 2? If so, I'm impressed. I heard rumors it was all just devs filling in, but wasn't sure if that was just fanboy defensiveness or true. Either way, it's an issue that needs to be addressed.

And I try not to be an *** about it, because I know devs spent time and creative energy on the writing in the game. I just feel it's time these games, with huge budgets, actually hire some 'real' writers. It's not cutting it to just have a dev volunteer or have someone that has written in mmorpgs.

Some stuff on the websites is good, and most stuff was serviceable. But holy **** some of the 'live' type of stuff in particular, where we're supposed to believe a person would actually say the lines, was embarrassing.

And yes, before the responses of 'if you're so good, why don't you do it yourself' come in, I'd actually love to. Besides a Pulitzer, writing for video games is on my to-do list as a writer. :P
#11 Dec 22 2010 at 10:41 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
36 posts
Wow that sounds amazing to be honest. Wish I was there. Just to clarify, that screenshot you linked, is that from one zone, or is that the full map?
#12 Dec 22 2010 at 11:25 PM Rating: Default
48 posts
evil21 wrote:
Wow that sounds amazing to be honest. Wish I was there. Just to clarify, that screenshot you linked, is that from one zone, or is that the full map?



If it's the screenshot I think it is (link didn't work for me) it's just one zone, Silverwood, that runs from 1-20ish (both for beta and gameplay perspectives). The cool think is in the lower left is the newbie area, lower right the capital city, in the middle is a main quest hub that servers both lower levels (pre 12ish) to the south and higher levels to the north.

Some people didn't seem to like it, but what this means is chaos. Dynamic chaos. There were reports of a low level dragon attacking the newbie area, and in among the level 20s fighting in the middle city were lower level players too who where there due to the quest progression.

This sort of interaction, both for normal PvE and invasions, was great. And as you can see from the screenshot, nobody got off the hook as invasions were everywhere and effected all levels (well, I suppose you could duck away into the dungeon instance, but I'd love to see a system where invasions went into dungeons too!).

It was awesome, pretty much. And not just for the 'holy crap' aspect, but people were actually working together to get invasions cleared out. In one event they basically re-defined the two M's in MMORPG in my opinion.
#13 Dec 22 2010 at 11:42 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
I took part in both betas as well and I'm so pleased to see feedback that is accurate regarding the good and the bad in the game. I can't add anything more than what has already been said, except to say that I had such a blast during the world event, I have never had so much fun while playing an MMO. It felt new and exciting and amazingly challenging while you were standing in the midst of it all. I just kept trying to stay alive long enough to kill the **** things...they just wouldn't stop spawning. lol It was terrific.

I played a warrior/beastmaster. Didn't get the 3rd soul because I only leveled to 17....took a lot of time testing out crafting and wandering about the land. What I liked about combat was the skill set I had actually gave me something to work with in combat. You could see the difference in power from one skill to the next and it was fun testing out different arrangements of skills during combat and actually seeing how they affected the outcome. I have found with other MMO's the spells and skills didn't seem to differ all that much when you hit a mob...not until you were much higher in level anyway. At level 10 I could feel the power of my hits. That was fun. The pet I had wasn't as strong as he could have been because I focused more on training the warrior rather than the pet, but it was great as a warrior to be able to have a pet and use it to draw an add away when needed. Just having a pet as a warrior was a treat for me.

I heard some people complaining that there was no individuality of classes...I have no idea what they were talking about. You have skill trees for each soul...your choice of training is totally up to you so how could you not be unique and individual in the game? It's one of the things I really like about Rift...I'm so sick of being a clone of every other warrior in the entire realm. As written in this forum, people are already coming up with their own unique combos of souls. It seems to me the possibilities are almost endless for a person to have a completely unique toon that will leave people wondering how the **** you were able to drop that boss with 1 hit. Ok, so maybe I'm day-dreaming a bit here, but who knows? It might happen.

I am looking forward to the 3rd beta and hope that I will be among the testers once again.
____________________________
Before opening your mouth make absolutely sure your brain is working
#14 Dec 23 2010 at 8:13 AM Rating: Decent
6 posts
I quit MMO's a few months back when WoW decided totally change the game. I've played quite a few MMO's over the years spanning from UO, EQ, Vanguard, WOW and a few others. This by far had to be the best beta experience. Ran into a few crashes early on in Beta 1. Beta 2 was pretty solid. Aside from the random RAAWWR sound that would crop up.

What I liked:
Too many to list but here are a few.

Being able to switch between souls and specs on the fly. Gave me an opportunity to test quite a few different builds.

RotF was very nice! I especially liked the environmental effects during the last phase. Without the mini map it would make for some interesting things. (Suggestion: Making environmental effects limit mini map visibility. Allowing people to get lost or separated from the group.)

I liked the invasions and rifts and it made it a dynamic experience. It will be interesting when people start moving out of the starter zones and I am sure people won't be heading back to kill invasions on a regular basis.

Room for improvements:

1) I hate having to sort through my inventory for loot. Auto sorting would be nice. Armor, weapons, crafting and junk.

2) Loot bugs. Had quite a few instances where the corpse would twinkle and I'd get the loot all button but not loot.

3) Think the Sentinel was EZ mode compared to the warrior/mage classes I played.

4) Willpower seems to regen mana too fast at least at lower levels. Only had to drink a few drinks when doing RotF.

5) RotF could use some tweaks where you can't bypass as much as the content. I don't mind a few groups you can pass but there were quite a few.
#15 Dec 23 2010 at 11:13 AM Rating: Decent
32 posts
popsicledeath wrote:
jmav wrote:
hey pops, they did change the Guardian voice over at least, but I agree the voice overs are pretty miserable...


Since beta event 2? If so, I'm impressed. I heard rumors it was all just devs filling in, but wasn't sure if that was just fanboy defensiveness or true. Either way, it's an issue that needs to be addressed.

And I try not to be an *** about it, because I know devs spent time and creative energy on the writing in the game. I just feel it's time these games, with huge budgets, actually hire some 'real' writers. It's not cutting it to just have a dev volunteer or have someone that has written in mmorpgs.

Some stuff on the websites is good, and most stuff was serviceable. But holy **** some of the 'live' type of stuff in particular, where we're supposed to believe a person would actually say the lines, was embarrassing.

And yes, before the responses of 'if you're so good, why don't you do it yourself' come in, I'd actually love to. Besides a Pulitzer, writing for video games is on my to-do list as a writer. :P


I agree that the writing quality here is mediocre, but that is pretty common in MMOs :( It is one of the reasons I think the world doesn't feel so immersive. You are not the only one who wishes they could rewrite some of the dialog in game though, believe me. Still, I do think that is overall a minor concern. With a little luck, perhaps Rift's lore community will grow large enough that player-written lore might find some of it's way into game. That would rock, wouldn't it?

Anyway yah the voiceover was changed since beta 2 :) You can listen to it at http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=24544 . It is way better, though the lines are still kinda weird to me.
#16 Dec 23 2010 at 12:03 PM Rating: Default
48 posts
jmav wrote:

I agree that the writing quality here is mediocre, but that is pretty common in MMOs :( It is one of the reasons I think the world doesn't feel so immersive. You are not the only one who wishes they could rewrite some of the dialog in game though, believe me. Still, I do think that is overall a minor concern. With a little luck, perhaps Rift's lore community will grow large enough that player-written lore might find some of it's way into game. That would rock, wouldn't it?

Anyway yah the voiceover was changed since beta 2 :) You can listen to it at http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=24544 . It is way better, though the lines are still kinda weird to me.



Yeah, it's those 'little' things that make a world feel real. It seems minor, but the things that break the suspension of disbelief in story telling (whether fiction or a game) are the little things. If they can't get what seem minor things done right, then a lack of trust for bigger things is bred.

I loved the lore community with Mortal Online, where people were writing stories and stuff. Hoping to see more of that with Rift, too.

Thanks for the link. Didn't know it was updated videos or would have watched sooner. Much improved! It actually sounds and feels dramatic now, as opposed to melodramatic and campy. I don't know if it was changed quick, or the previous stuff really was just placeholder voice-over, but either way love how quick Trion reacts to [valid] critique.
#17 Dec 23 2010 at 9:44 PM Rating: Decent
23 posts
the few videos posted on the site so far from what appears to be an ingame rift raid looked so **** awesome, i was glued to my computer as I watched in awe, wishing i was actually a part of that raid, Im really looking forward to being able to test out the game and help make rift a better experience for everyone with feedback and any info i can provide that would benefite the community, I really hope i can get a vip key and start playing the beta events, very excited!
#18 Dec 24 2010 at 12:22 PM Rating: Good
*
102 posts
1) Quests - They are streamlined and easy to follow. They are generic enough that for the most part I'll just call them Tasks instead of quests. For the most part I find them forgettable, but an easy enough way to grind. I have fun doing the quests, but definitely not the reason I'd buy Rift.

2) Crafting - It's there. It's very comparable to LoTRO or WoW crafting. Output of crafting seems like it's going to be better than your run-of-the-mill quest gear, so at first brush looks like they will be worth leveling. Big question in my mind is how will crafting do at high end. Honestly I'm not a big crafter, so I haven't looked into crafting that much. As of level 20 it didn't feel like I was going to be forced to do crafting, which is something of a relief after trying to play FFXIV.

3) Soul system - I love the way it works. I think at level 20 in Beta1 and 2 you could start seeing it's potential, but having more points to play with is definitely going to make lower level play much more interesting. I'm definitely worried about high level balance. I fully expect there to be "optimized builds" which get developed. The success of the soul system will be in how many viable and popular builds exist at endgame. If there is only 1 optimal build per each calling, and everyone gravitates toward those 4 builds, I will consider the soul system a failure. If there is at least 1 optimal build per soul than I will consider the soul system a reasonable success.

4) Graphics - solid and good. Good variety of models and monsters you are fighting. Definitely not the best models and animations I've seen, but far from the worst as well. Some very nice special effects. Performance on my system was reasonable but expecting it to get even better once they have gotten more optimization in place.

5) Rifts - My first impression was that rifts were PQs that could spawn randomly, which seemed reasonable but nothing revolutionary. Once they cranked up the intensity of the Rifts spawning and they started spawning invasions I got very impressed. I started to see how Rift hunting could be a valuable leveling tool either solo or in a group. Then the beta ended and I found that I couldn't go back to the other MMOs I was playing, since they all seemed so stagnant.

Rifts are also the first time in a long time where I really felt camaraderie with a random group of strangers. Numerous times I found myself grouping up with random other solo players to fight back a group of invaders and clear out a quest hub. This is one of the first MMO game mechanics I've ever felt was really unifying. Solo questing, especially involving quest chains, is really separating. The concepts of "my mob" or "my loot" are separating. Rifts, on the other hand, you get XP and loot for helping fight back the mobs even if the mobs aren't "tagged" by you or your group. You get more XP and loot for Rift mobs when you group up, so it's a win-win circumstance.

6) Zone Events - I was impressed and sold on the idea of rifts and invasions before seeing this. This exceeded my expectations in every way possible. Given that this was the first zone event in the newbie zone I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in later zones and at higher levels.
#19 Dec 24 2010 at 2:51 PM Rating: Decent
17 posts
Beta's 1 & 2 - Thumbs up for me!

Graphics - The graphics were really stunning in this game, so much so that it actually affected the performance of my PC, now this doesn't happen too often since my PC is pretty top of the line. However, this makes me wonder if i actually should be running this game at higher FPS, and it is something to do with the code, or leaking performance. Either way, best looking MMO I've played so far, Aion in close competition with it's effects.

Audio - I will only touch briefly on the Audio, as it was mediocre at best. I didn't feel like it really got you immersed in the game, but i doubt many people will notice this as I am a stickler for Audio =P

Questing - I did think that the questing was rather dull. However this is true in a lot of MMO's. You have to kill "x" amount of creatures and return the the quest giver. It's either this or you collect "x" amount of resources and return to the quest giver. I don't mind it, as i love leveling up and seeing my skill tree progress and getting shinies, but at the same time it's not revolutionary. Questing - Average.

Dungeons - This is where RIFT really shines i believe. The Realm of the Fae in Beta 2 had some really good moments. The best moment being when you reached the snowy mountains near the end of the instance, where you are shrouded by a blizzard and the audio gives way to that of a blizzard. You are actually blinded by this blizzard, and you must find your way through the blizzard, mostly walking on your mini-map. My whole group was actually on vent, and it was silent for a while, then we all expressed our appreciation for something more than just a dungeon. THIS is the kind of thing that Rift needs to have more of, it felt more of a story than an actual dungeon, more like a RPG. The same goes for the Iron Tombs in beta 1, which i also loved as a dungeon. My favorite part about this dungeon was again the environment. The dark room where you have to trigger the lights, and you can see nothing but the ghosts eyes was great, again RPG elements. This is the thing companies need to focus on.

Animations & Combat - The combat was decent. I felt like all the animations of my rogue were the same, and no matter how many skills i used, my rogue always basically did the same motion. The animations should be extrapolated and more expressed to make the player feel like they are really controlling their character and using different skills, not just watching the numbers float above the enemy mob. Another thing that kind of bugged me was the speed at which the mob's ran, they run so fast it's almost impossible to get away. Being a rogue, i was able to get away fairly easy, but i saw rangers, mages, and warriors fall prey to this Usian Bolt offspring. It feels like, to engage a mob,you absolutely know you have to beat it. No trial and error here.

Rifts - Probably the main focus of the game, i suprisingly don't have much to say about them. Not that they're bad, take my word they are friggin' awesome. As a level 8 rogue questing, i would directly go out of my way to help defend my zone from the Rift invasions, and it was a great feeling fighting wave after wave until you got to the boss, which after this you got nice loot. However as more people started coming to the rifts, catching up to the leveling curve, i found that i was competing for pulls in the rift, since there were actually too little mobs spawning, and i would be spamming tab target + twilight strike so that i could get the first hop on the enemy mob, granting his loot mine. Also, when you kill a mob there is some sort of ranking system, in points. There are points for Gold, Silver, and Bronze factors. I am not exactly sure what this means, but the more mobs you pull, the higher points you get, and as i believe the better loot you get. I think this is very interesting, especially when PvP will be integrated and it will be an epic 3 way battle. The vendor's are similar to those from honor points from WoW, where you can buy things with the "Motes of Sourcestone" you have collected from your rift battling.
The Giant Rift invasion was really cool, but the guardians were way to good and we wiped it in about half an hour, and it was a lot like just killing a lot of mobs. If they upped the invasion spawn rate it would have been way cooler fighting our way out of sanctum, pushing the hordes back and saving our city. Overall - Rifts, good addition.

Finally, I can't wait for PvP! I feel like this will be a real shining light for this game with all the different builds... OR - A disaster, i can see so much balancing in the future it is ridiculous, but this is understandable since I'm sure there a billions of viable combinations to be made. Good luck to you Trion, your going to need it.
#20 Dec 24 2010 at 11:24 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
I played both beta events, and felt the game was a run of the mill mmo, but with 2 unique features: Rifts and the Soul system, both of which are very well done.

Rift is very much in a polished shape, and while it doesnt break the mold on MMO with its crafting/quests/instances that I saw in beta, it did do them very well with little to zero bugs encountered.

The Devs released many hot fixes to bugs that players did find,and tweaked the Rifts as the beta went through thier course. Overall a very responsive dev team who does listen to its players.... which especially shows with the changes to the Soul system they have coming in beta 3.

Top notch game... great dev team... if you want to play a fantasy themed mmo... Rifts should be your choice.

#21 Dec 25 2010 at 3:43 AM Rating: Decent
43 posts
I think I enjoyed beta 1 much more than beta 2. I HATE the Guardian voice actor, as I'm sure everyone does. Did not get to do the instances as I had some personal things interfere with my game time.

Mining - Awful. Please make more nodes.
Crafting - On par
Questing - Fun and intuitive
Combat - Very slow, needs to speed up to give a better pacing to the game (same goes with movement in general)
Looks - Amazing
Rifts - Here's where I'm disappointed. They are anything but Dynamic. They appear in the same places over and over and they are the same objective over and over. I am hoping that this is only because these events were so limited. They were starting areas and were just getting you introduced to the game. But you are introduced to the game at level 10, so they should ramp up right away. Yes, the big crazy stuff they did on the last night is cool and I love that the Rifts were getting footholds, but again, this is something the Dev's initiated. That is not dynamic. Dynamic would be the programming itself seeing what is going on in the world and determining what Rift's should appear based upon an algorithm of some sort. I don't know... this is one of their main selling points... ****, it's the name of the game, and they seem so blase.

Overall - I'm SO **** impressed with the game. For the most part it ran like a charm, and this is beta. This game could have been release after the first beta and would have been stronger than most games I can think of, including WoW. Remember, it took a good year or more for WoW to work out soooo many bugs that destroyed game play. Personally, I give the Dev's so much congratulations for putting out a very strong product that is only going to get better as time goes on.
#22 Dec 25 2010 at 3:09 PM Rating: Decent
32 posts
jaffrojones wrote:

Rifts - Here's where I'm disappointed. They are anything but Dynamic. They appear in the same places over and over and they are the same objective over and over. I am hoping that this is only because these events were so limited. They were starting areas and were just getting you introduced to the game. But you are introduced to the game at level 10, so they should ramp up right away. Yes, the big crazy stuff they did on the last night is cool and I love that the Rifts were getting footholds, but again, this is something the Dev's initiated. That is not dynamic. Dynamic would be the programming itself seeing what is going on in the world and determining what Rift's should appear based upon an algorithm of some sort. I don't know... this is one of their main selling points... ****, it's the name of the game, and they seem so blase.


Hey Jaffrojones,

You are right that the game isn't perfect but it has a ton of polish. As you may have heard, the Guardian voice actor has changed. Also, in Beta 2 they activated the algorithm to spawn rifts based on player numbers and locations, which is why you may have noticed a lot of elite rifts opening in heavy questing areas, but non-elites off the road. The game DOES spawn rifts and invasions based on the world. The objectives are kind of bland and I hope we see more complex ones in the future.

The biggest thing that you said is the same mistake I made in evaluating the world event at first. I assumed that event was GM controlled. It was *not*. The system is capable of, and does create, those events by itself. In so far as the system already had it pre-programmed that the world event was that, it is not dynamic. However, aside from first turning on that feature, the rift system actually creates those world events by itself when parameters are right... and it scales it to the level of the zone. The very first time it was a "GM" who started it because they had to throw the switch on that coding as it were - but apparently this is a regular feature of Rifts and something we should expect to see in most zones.

Edited, Dec 25th 2010 4:10pm by jmav
#23 Dec 26 2010 at 1:40 AM Rating: Decent
43 posts
Quote:
It was *not*. The system is capable of, and does create, those events by itself.


That is VERY cool to know. As you read from my post, that was one of my biggest concerns. I also agree with you that the game shows a lot of polish. Like I said in my post, this game was more "finished" then most games that go to consumers.

I am very happy with it and anyone that is on the fence should know that these developers have given us a very awesome, strong product even before release that they should be proud of. I also want people to know that these Dev's responded very quickly to problems that were discovered, fixing problems and getting the server back up FAST!

These any many more things about the game give me a lot of hope for a fully flushed out game that for the first time actually deserves my money and support. I can't wait!
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