The instance group isn’t set to get back together in full until this coming Saturday, but three of us still got together as part of our slow exploration of Rift. We’re trying to get into the game without getting too far ahead, though I suspect a couple of us will want to roll new characters for the full group kick-off.
I was on ahead of the other two, so started tracking down some quests I had, including one I had that wanted me to talk to a guy all the way across the zone.
And had I taken the direct path to that guy, I would have wandered through at least another dozen quests, and doing them would have gotten me to the appropriate level for the guy. But I had missed a quest turn in previously, so I went the long way around the zone, missing all those quests, and ending up in a bit over my head.
(Not that there is any place in Freemarch that is a “long way” from anything. It is a surprisingly compact zone. I think you could fit three Freemarches into West Karana in EQ.)
Anyway, there I was, keen to go into this burning town, only the mobs I had to fight were levels 16-18, and I was level 15. Level 16s I could take, even if I got an add. 17s were a little tougher. But level 18s… well, I couldn’t lay a blade on them. I learned that the hard way.
So I tried to avoid the level 18s, which was possible, except that one stood astride a quest item I needed. I ended up using the old hunter trick of sacrificing my pet (glad I chose beast master) while I grabbed the quest item and then ran and stood some place where it was safe to revive after the mob in question tracked me down and killed me.
We do what we must.
Two rounds of quests and 9 deaths later, the Potshots showed up. We grouped up, they rode on out to me, having the same cross-zone “talk to a guy” quest, though they were level 16 so had obviously done some in between quests, and we went through the same set of quests I had just finished.
Which wasn’t really a bad thing.
I was able to be a bit of a guide, the three of us together could take on any number of adds, and Rift seems very good so far at sharing quest updates across a group. I hold this up in comparison to the disaster in New Halas where the sheer bloody minded refusal of the starter zone to be group friendly pretty much killed EverQuest II for the instance group forever. Individuals have stated that they will never play EQII again, so it is dead to the group.
Rift won’t have the same result it seems, at least not because of that.
That set of quests done, we decided to head out and help defend Freemarch from invasion. There was some sort of “Angela’s Ashes of History” world event of some sort going on, and we were instructed to find a quest giver in our capital, but none of us managed to find this quest giver.
Either Meridian isn’t our capital, a possibility, it being merely the first city we’ve seen, or we were too low level to participate. Because I would guess that the the quest giver for an important, we’ve announced it everywhere, world event would be put in an easy to find location, and not in the back room of the third cave to the left in the side annex of the city, right?
So we went riding off to attack the more mundane invasions.
We started in on footholds.
Footholds through me for a minor loop when I first encountered one, as they pop up and shoo away the quest givers. That was before I discovered that the enemy NPCs guarding footholds are pretty flimsy and not very observant. You can pull them off one by one. But if you get the whole group, it isn’t a disaster, as they tend to be manageable solo as a whole.
So we knocked out a foothold, destroying their “blue thing” and cheering for the restoration of our “red thing.” (We were not up on the terminology in our fellowship… erm.. group.)
And then we ran on to the next foothold, and defeated that.
We ran along and killed a couple more, then consulted the map.
The map showed a foothold back at the first two spots we had just cleared. So we apparently either missed something (I think I saw a roving group of invaders previously) or the who dynamic thing isn’t really as dynamic as they would like you to believe.
Tired of footholds, we moved on to a nearby Rift.
The first one we encountered was already in progress, somebody having defeated the first couple of rounds before they wandered off. We closed that one up, but failed to make the timer on the bonus round, mostly because nobody noticed the timer until it was down to 00:04, at which point we were not going to make it.
The next one we found was a fresh rift. We went after that with a vengeance, now a bit more aware of what was expected. We were successful, beat the timed round, and the bonus round with the boss. Full victory with a group of three.
Riding around looking for more trouble, we spotted a rift forming.
We used our special “get this rift going already” ability and a rift with fire based bad guys popped into being. We had been mostly fighting water footholds and rifts up to this point, but what did that really mean? How about a little fire, scarecrow!
This rift, flagged as level 13, was actually lower level that the last couple we took on, which put up level 15 bosses which we defeated without much issue, so when we got past the timed bonus and went to the boss round, we were pretty confident. We were level 17 by this point, and what chance did a level 13 boss have against us? Bring on the so-called Beast of Flame!
And then, of course, he kick out collective asses.
After three rounds of that, we decided the Beast of Flame could keep the stinking little farm he was occupying. It was getting late and our mothers were calling.
So we rode off.
But it was getting late, so we headed back to Meridian, where I still failed to find any world even quest giver, which doesn’t mean the quest giver isn’t there. I probably just missed the giant sign with the arrow pointing at him or something.
Anyway, the hope is that we will have a group of five this coming weekend and will start sorting out into specific roles within the group, so when we next run into the Beast of Flame, we’ll have somebody spec’d for healing and for tanking as opposed to set of people all spec’d to solo.