Making Our Way to Meridian

Here we are at the end of the week and I am finally done talking about Sony, Star Wars, and Free to Play conversions.  It is time for the Rift update, a game that has no intention of going free to play.  Good for them.

And I do not really have that much to report.

We seem to have an issue getting all of us online and in-game at the same time.

Saturday night rolled around and there were just four of us again.  This time Jollyreaper was in and Earl was nowhere to be seen.

We decided to do some rift stalking for a bit in hopes of Earl showing up late and to help bring Jolly up to speed with the group.

But in the randomness of the game, there was no big death rift invasion like we faced last week.  There was the usual fire rift or two.

Beast of Flame Defeated!

And there were footholds were scattered about and there were wardstones to be retaken, but it was not the same as the sort of unified event that hit Freemarch last week.

Kill the blue thing!

So while we advanced our guild quest a little bit, we ended up clearing out most of the stuff in the vicinity.

Guild quest - We're already level 2

We went back to Kelari Refuge and picked up the quest path where we Jollyreaper left off last time we were on.  This turned out to be a good thing, as some people in the group missed a couple of the quests along the way.

In a sort of leap-frog quest method, we got up to where Earl left off, then ran on ahead for a bit, scaling a couple of the “better in a group” quest chains.

Getting to the top of this tower... better with a group

We ended up out on another stretch of beach up the coast from Kelari Refuge where we ran into one of the first sets of quests that were not really group friendly.

It wasn’t the huge pain of the New Halas starter quests, and it certainly wasn’t the first quests we had run into that did not do group updates, but it might have been the time that we had a couple of quests as a group that each required individual updates.  We were scooping eggs out of corpses and picking up underwater sparklies and that sort of thing.  Nothing really challenging.

But when quest objectives do not give group updates, you start to wish for a way to track where everybody else in the group stands.  There might be a way to do that in Rift, but I have not figured it out.  Fortunately, we work together on Skype, so we just kept calling out updates until we were all finished.

It sure was pretty out on the coast

The coastal quest hub cleared up, we decided not to get too far ahead of Earl and leave the questing at the next hub, the mine.

Our last goal for the night was to make it to Meridian, which was not much of an effort at all.  As I said previously, Freemarch seems like a big zone to me until I decided to travel across, and then I seem to get there pretty quick.  It is actually an interesting illusion, though it might just be an artifact of my own perception.

And so we quickly found ourselves on the steps of the Defiant capital city.

Welcome to Meridian!

Parked there, we will enjoy the benefit of rested experience, something that seems a bit odd to me.  Why do you only get rested experience if you camp in town?  Quirk of the game I suppose.

Freemarch before us

But now we have access to all that the capital city has to offer.

Now I have to remember to tell the group to patch before Saturday.  This weeks Ember Isle update was about a gigabyte.  And while the patcher is efficient, it only took an hour to download over my slow DSL connection, that is still an hour I would rather be playing.

7 thoughts on “Making Our Way to Meridian

  1. Aufero

    Limiting rested experience to towns and inns happens in a lot of other MMOs, too – I think it’s done that way so that when you start out each game session the world feels heavily populated and you’re near other people to group with.

    And yes, both Rift starting zones have an odd and sometimes inconvenient mix of quests that work much better solo and quests that are tough to complete outside a group.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Aufero – The quest annoyance came as a surprise only because it hadn’t been much of a problem up to that point. There had been a number of quests with individual updates, but they were usually mixed in with several group update quests which sort of smoothed things out. This little area seemed a bit of a hiccup in that otherwise smooth transition.

    And, like I said, it is still nowhere near the EQ2 New Halas starter area, which seemed designed to discourage grouping as much as possible.

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  3. Aufero

    @Wilhelm – I did 95% of Freemarch solo the first time around, (the Bard/Ranger soul combo makes soloing pretty easy) which probably affected my perception of the quest flow in that zone.

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  4. pkudude99

    I see yer all approaching level 15. Time for me to crank out some more gear for y’all, it would seem.

    At 16 or so there actually are some group quests a bit to the south of Meridian. Not many, just there to give you a taste of grouping, really, but they’re still kinda fun.

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  5. bhagpuss

    All zones in Rift are much “bigger” than you’d think by looking at the map. I think it’s because they make great use of the z-axis. Loads of stuff is up hills and mountains and towers or in caverns or caves. Not to mention underwater, although I think they could do a lot more with the underwater areas.

    The Ember Isle patch seems to have introduced some major server instability and I have yet to stay connected long enough to get there. I hope that’s been fixed now – not logged in yet today.

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – This is where you get to say, “It’s a trap!”

    I purposely put that statement in about the map seeming big but feeling small when traveling again because I knew you would comment on it! Hah!

    Look at the last picture. That is the Iron Fortress sticking up there in the near distance, which on the map is all the way on the other side of the zone. The place just isn’t as big as it feels. I will agree with you on effective use of space, especially vertical, but it is still not all that big.

    Or that is my gut feeling in any case, having ridden across it for the daily crafting quest turn in.

    And on the patch, I was on for a couple of hours last night and did not have any problem. I must have picked a good server I guess.

    @pkudude99 – Yeah, I found that little group quest area with my lead character. I have been running out ahead with my warrior who is closing in on 30. Have to do a post about his view of the world soon.

    Don’t go nuts with the equipment! It is nice, but people rarely appreciate stuff they get for free and some of us are working on crafting in hopes of being useful. Suffering builds character or some such.

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  7. bhagpuss

    Hehe! What’s that thing Sheldon out of Big Bang Theory says when he plays one of his “practical jokes”?

    Blogs need sound effects.

    I also completely agree on the not appreciating stuff you get for free thing. Learned that in a few guilds over the years.

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