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The Trip to Shatterbone and Stonefield January 19, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Instance Group, Rift.
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As I reported last week, our server is being declared a “trial server.”  We were being asked to leave Alsbeth.  A server merge by any other name….

So when Saturday came around, it found Potshot, Earl, and I online in the afternoon, so we had some time to talk about the transfer.

We decided to go with Shatterbone, if only because the “saved you a spot” message gave us a glimmer of hope that there would be less likelihood of issues.  And if there were issues, I would at least get a blog post out of “what do they mean when they say they have ‘saved you a spot?’”

I changed the guild message of the day announcing where we were going and then, because we had time and wanted to face any issues early on, Potshot, whose character Zahihawass is the guild leader, transferred his character and the guild over to Shatterbone.

And it worked.  Only, we suddenly found that those of us remaining on Alsbeth lacked a guild channel.  And the guild MotD went with the guild as well.  Kind of a “well duh” moment, but now we were committed.

At this point, 4 out of 5 of us had the news where we were going, so we started transferring characters over.  The transfer worked, and when we logged into Shatterbone, we were reunited with the guild.  We kept our progress with the current guild quest and, aside from the fact that we all had to have our ranks restored to their previous level, there was little to do once we were over.

The Guild Log Shows Transfers

I left Hillmar behind on Alsbeth to watch for Jollyreaper when he showed up.  When he did, I gave him the quick run down and we were both over on Shatterbone in a couple of minutes.

I did end up having to leave a character behind.  I had one level 7 alt who did not meet the minimum level requirements for a transfer.  I will probably just delete him, as I understand that the Trial Server conversion will leave him stuck in Meridian unable to do anything.

Anyway, we all ended up together on Shatterbone on Saturday night.  Potshot decided to swap out his rogue, Hakawati, for his DPS cleric, Zahihawass in the group mix.  I suspect this was because we had finally learned how to spell and pronounce “Hakawati.”  So the line up for the night was:

  • Jollyreaper level 22 mage
  • Earlthecat level 22 warrior
  • Zahihawass level 22 cleric
  • Gizalia level 22 mage
  • Hillmar level 21 cleric

Potshot had proposed a master plan for the group to help us see more of the world.  We were going to try to travel overland to enter dungeons going forward, unless we were unable to get to them at out level.  So, for example, last week’s trip to the Iron Tomb was overland.  But before that, the Realm of the Fae was way over on the guardian side of the world and there was no way we were going to be able to get there without a serious, and probably all night, effort.

In furtherance of that, and because we were right at the lowest level for the next instance, we decided to make the night a travel and explore night.

The goals were modest.  Travel to the main encampment in Stonefield, Granite Falls, which would put us in the general area of our next overland dungeon trip, the Deepstrike Mine, and then run around, close a couple of rifts and do a few quests as a group to get us all another level before we attempted Darkening Deeps, the next instance on the list, though one to which travel probably won’t be an option.

The travel portion was not a big deal.  Most of us had been there before, though I hadn’t been back since they added in the new travel portal.

Travel into Stonefield

We got to Granite Falls, grabbed the travel point and the local quests for closing rifts and killing rift creatures and then began to look around.

Welcome to Granite Falls

Rifts turned out to be few and far between.  It was one of those nights when we really could have used a zone event, but the planar creatures seemed to be otherwise occupied.  We knocked out one rift we found, but spent more time fighting the local flora and fauna that beings from other planes.

Dude, don't feed the trolls!

Finding the planar population rather lacking, we headed back to Granite Falls and picked up the quest chain that takes you through the graveyard and crypt just outside of town.

I’ve been through that quest line twice already, once solo and once as a duo with Potshot on other alts, and it is really one of those areas where being grouped is better than solo.

A group of five might have been major overkill, but there is no shortage of undead to slay down there.  Getting everybody their last bit of grave moss was the only challenge.  But we wanted to do something to maybe get us all another level and maybe a bit of fresh gear.

It is never a mystery when you level in Rift

After that, we dropped the quest line, popped another rift that showed up on the edge of town, then started talking about gear and currencies.  It started with the planar gear vendor in Granite Falls and what to buy and where to get more planarite and the special stones for the purple gear.  I think after that four out of five of us are now using the Rift Mobile app on our iOS devices to gather more planarite during the week.  I know I do my scratchers before I go to work and when I get home every day.

Then we moved on to what to do with all those damn unique snowflakes in our bags, which lead us back to Meridian and the World Even Merchant.

Turn in Unique Snowflakes here

After which we were feeling about done for the evening.  There was more discussions about gear and crafting and who was working on what and how much it was going to cost for a guild bank, but the actual adventuring portion of the evening was over.

So we should be leveled up, geared up, and lined up for another instance this coming weekend.

Comments»

1. Vatec - January 19, 2012

The transfer (and guild transfer) process in Rift is so smooth, it makes one wonder why other companies get away with charging $25 to do the same thing.

It also makes one wonder why some companies didn’t have server transfer mechanics planned (if not actually implemented) from Day One. Funcom’s lack of a contingency plan for AoC’s plummeting server populations undoubtedly helped accelerate the plummeting. Who wants to stick around on a dead server? Who wants to go through the hassle of rerolling from scratch on a new server?

2. Wilhelm Arcturus - January 19, 2012

Yeah, it went about as smoothly as one could want.

And I remember when SOE was charging $50 for server transfers in EQ and EQ2. Maybe back in the early days of EQ, when it was probably done by hand that price made sense. It was a pain so you wanted to scare people off. But now, even at half that price, it is still clearly viewed as a revenue stream, since it is all automated.

I wonder what the demand curve is for server transfers? If you made them $10, would the number of transfers go up enough to meet or exceed the revenue they create at $25? Or do a significant enough percentage of such transfers end up requiring a support ticket that companies like Blizz keep the price high just to keep the service from being used too much?

3. Vatec - January 19, 2012

A very good question. I know in EQ2 there is apparently a fairly strong market for server transfers among the “bleeding edge raiding” subset of the player base. But I’m guessing those people are willing to pay whatever the going rate might be. I’m not sure that really maps well to the rest of the population.

As for the support ticket aspect: anecdotally it appears that Rift doesn’t suffer much; my guild actually transferred from Estrael to Faeblight about a week before the official “nothing to see here, move along” campaign was implemented. Among our 20+ active members and the 30+ active members of Play Nice (shard-first raiding guild on Estrael, shard-first Akyllios kill after transferring to Faeblight (yes, I’m told that annoyed the “natives”)), I haven’t heard of a single player having an issue with any character. Given the number of alts, that’s probably 150 to 200 characters transferred without a single glitch.

Proof of perfection? Absolutely not. Anecdotes aren’t “proof” of anything. But that’s still an awful lot of smooth transfers. My impression is that most of Trion’s staff are MMO industry veterans; and this is one of those areas where all that previous industry experience seems to show.

Bah. I come across as a Trion fanboi, don’t I? I’m not, I swear. I just like giving credit where credit is due. After dealing with Funcom (well-intentioned fools) and Turbine (greedy fools), Trion has been a refreshing change of pace.


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