This weekend I played Rift, the FFXIV beta, and more Rift. I also caught up with Elder Scrolls E3 coverage and inked a new comic strip that isn’t finished. So here goes.
I spent a lot of this weekend working on my Rift newbie guide, and I’m glad to see a lot of people visiting and hopefully using it. I think I’ve spent as much time Googling how to play Rift again than I’ve spent actually playing the game.
Friday, Elrar and the Rift devs did the most amazing dev chat I’ve ever seen–two hours of literally getting drunk on whiskey and scotch, answering fan questions, and spilling their guts on future content. (Ok, they didn’t literally spill guts, although one fan asked Daglar to take his shirt off.)
I was excited to hear them mention a mage tanking soul, so that locks my class decision. I was even more excited to hear the devs mention venturing off Telara into other planes (!!!), which is something I always hoped for.
I’ve sort of started dual-boxing my two old accounts on my new computer, bringing up a lowbie warrior supported by my mentoring mage. Rift boxes the same as WoW except with the addition of mentoring. I love it because I actually want to play the low level zones again, and I can get XP and on-level currency for doing so.
Other Livestream notes:
- The devs commented that the art team was super excited right now and putting in long hours on a new project.
- Two new raids coming soon. For what it’s worth.
- Tradeskill extension scroll (get another crafting profession slot, and you can purchase more than one) is the second best seller in the store right now. I didn’t know these existed, but they are a great idea. This is just another example of the Rift guys doing things that no one else does or is willing to do.
- No flying mounts foreseen in the future because Rift invasions are a ground game. It wouldn’t work well.
- Refer-a-friend is expanding.
Daglar also emphasized that Rift would maintain a raid focus at endgame with no raid finder or any watering down of “prestige” content. This was disappointing, because it’s why I originally quit. On the other hand, I appreciate the openness and honesty.
We will see. F2P and hardcore raiding are not a natural mix. Rift has always hunted WoW players since even before launch, and their F2P advertising took another shot at WoW with a panda image. Now that Rift is both a WoW clone and F2P, and WoW is not F2P, Rift may need to re-think their strategy.
What types of players might leave WoW and make the switch now?
Elder Scrolls Online
The E3 interview videos were a little boring, again without solid gameplay. The big TESO news of E3 was the planned co-launch of PC, PS4, and XBone in spring of 2014. Some other news included no housing at launch and no romance but some sort of bonding ritual that allows you and your partner to get XP bonus rings.
Adam Sessler (originally from G4TV) looks like John Malkovich now with his bald look. Shiny distracted the kitty, and she clicked the link to see the Saint’s Row 4 interview instead.
I might be more excited about Saint’s Row than The Elder Scrolls. If you’ve only got two skills, then forget about forward slash and fire bolt. I’ll take a machine gun and a grenade launcher. (Kidding. A little bit. I can’t wait to see TESO.)
Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn Beta
First, it’s my understanding that the NDA is lifted. Second, some history for those who don’t know.
FFXIV the original launched in September, 2010. I was there, unemployed, and ready to go. I considered it a waste of my formerly hard-earned time and money. I did not resubscribe.
In fact, the original game was bad to the point that Square Enix allowed people to just play for free for a long while until they figured out what to do with it, and then finally pulled it to re-build and re-launch this coming August with new management.
I was begrudgingly impressed by my short foray into this relaunch. The character creation is now fantastic with some great ideas, including the ability to preview your character in different lighting and settings, to choose from several different voice sets, and to preview your character going through some emotes.
Two of the three worst things about the original appear solved: the interface and the auction system. (The third thing in my opinion was not enough content, only a fraction of an MMO.) There is now an auction house. No more nightmare of opening up one slow-loading retainer inventory after another searching for what you want.
The user interface and game controls are supposedly different between PC and PlayStation 3 versions. It looks very good.
My overall impression after only a few hours of play is that this game breathes with a special feel and spirit, and I’m happy for die-hard fans of this franchise. While I’m not very inclined to give this MMO a second chance after it stole my money the first time, the fans of this effort have every reason to have hope for A Realm Reborn.