Finding the Last Quest in Freemarch

I mentioned in my post about accidentally discovering the Instant Adventure feature that achievements in Rift are nearly as “shiny” as achievements in World of Warcraft.  I would be hard pressed to justify that statement, when it comes down to it.  It is an emotional reaction, no doubt related as much to the fact that WoW achievements came first as to how well integrated they are with the game and how they balance the mundane (achievement for hitting level 10), the quantifiable (I have 5,000 PvP kills), the recording of events (every dungeon complete achievement ever), and the fun/silly (I have danced in Dalaran in lederhosen during Brewfest).

I happen to like achievements.  Well done achievements can extend a game’s life for me.   And I like the idea set forth that achievements can be used as a quality indicator, though I agree with some of the comments about crap achievements being crap.  Still, it is probably more reliable than fishing as such.

Rift does an excellent job achievements and the balance mentioned above.  Achievement pursuit is part of what is keeping me playing Rift right now, as the instance group is into its usual summer hiatus.  And it was in this pursuit that I noticed Rift did WoW one better in at least once aspect.  On the achievement summary page in Rift you can see not only achievements you have recently hit, but also ones you are close to getting.

And so it was that I found that I was just one quest away from this achievement.

All I needed to do was find and complete one more quest in Freemarch, which is the low level zone just outside the gates of Meridian.

How tough could that be?

And with that achievement I would get a Pure Crystallized Insight thingy, which is essentially a consumable that gives you 50,000 planar attunement points, which I am not going to try to explain again, other than to say that it is a post-level 50 thing.  Anyway, 50,000 points is 10% of an “it’s always 500,000 points” planar attunement level.

So I ran out into Freemarch.  See map below.

Welcome to Freemarch – Mind the Rifts

I started at what would be about 12 o’clock on the map above, if the map were a clock face… maybe lacquered onto a dramatically shaped piece of polished driftwood, with the hands radiating from the lake in the middle of the zone. (Prototype)

Anyway, I started there and moved clockwise around the zone, stopping at each quest area… and running off the path every so often to make sure I didn’t miss some lone quest giver out in the middle of nowhere… until I got to about 7 o’clock.  Call it that little fire rift icon next to the Guardian stronghold.

And then I realized that I did not have “show low level quests” selected in my mini-map overview.

Well crap.

So I checked that box, ran back to my starting point, and began another clockwise circuit of the zone, looking for just one more quest that I might have missed.

And I kept coming up with no quests.  I know I can be a bit of a completionist but I was surprised at what a clean sweep of the zone I had managed.

There were still some daily quests green to me.  I did a couple of those on the off chance that I had not done them once already in the hope that they might count towards the total for the first run.  However, either they do not count or I had done them all already.  Or both.

I did stop by the Iron Fortress to grab another achievement while I was in the neighborhood.  There is one for going to the top of all the towers.

Just for the view

As I continued along my trek around Freemarch, I began to wonder what I was going to do if I did not find any convenient green bordered exclamation points.  Was there some quest I missed that was triggered only by a drop from an NPC?  There are a bunch of those in the game, but do they drop if you are over level?

I got to about the end point of my journey when I finally hit a quest.  Down at about 8 o’clock on the map, where the earth rift icon sits, is an area with a couple of group quests.  I had passed those up because I had been running through the quest chain solo.  But now I was nice and high level and could handle a couple of such low level group quests with ease.

Achievement achieved!

So that was one more achievement off the list, plus a nice boost of planar attunement.

Of course, the next closest achievement bubbled up to the top of the list.  I am just two quests away from the similar achievement in Stillmore.  However, Stillmore is a close-to-level-cap zone, so I cannot just run out and solo a group quest.  And even if I could, the only quest I could find in a sweep of that zone was a raid level quest.

Ah well, there are other achievements to conquer for now.

Towards that end, I have created an incredibly annoying Twitter feed.  It is hooked up to Rift Connect and Raptr and tweets all my achievements along with screen shots.  I couldn’t recommend following it really, but I like that it grabs screen shots of all my achievements automatically.

3 thoughts on “Finding the Last Quest in Freemarch

  1. bhagpuss

    Achievements mystify me. The only MMO where I really paid any attention to them was LotRO, because they gave titles and I do like a good silly title.

    That’s not to say I don’t like MMOs having an Achievement system. I always enjoy seeing one pop up unexpectedly, especially if it’s a funny one. I just can’t imagine ever putting in any actual effort to complete them.

    One the auto-screenshot thing, one of my favorite parts of Vanguard (and this was there right from the start) is the way it takes a screenshot every time you do something notable in-game (level up, discover a new area or object etc) and posts it to your own personal journal on Vanguard Players. I still go and browse mine now and again. Auto-scrapbooking should be a baseline MMO feature.


  2. SynCaine

    Story of Rift really; it does everything you would expect an MMO to do, and does most of them well, while also doing a few that just annoy you or make you go wtf.

    It’s the best MMO to play if you don’t have a good MMO to play.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Well, to a certain extent, achievements are a sort of gaming scrapbook. As I said, some are mundane, like marking a level, some are tied to events, like defeating a particular boss, and some are just silly.

    But I kind of like the silly ones. And the really good silly ones are the ones you look at wonder how to do it. I spent a good chunk of time figuring out how to get on the mountain that overhangs Granite Falls to get the achievement for jumping off the cliff. That I was able to get the squirrel dancing achievement once I got up there was a bonus.

    I am not sure I would have done any of that had there not been an achievement.


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