The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and you have burned so very, very brightly…
-Dr. Eldon Tyrell, Blade Runner
Catch up is over. Because that is what the last couple of weeks in Meridian have been as far as I can tell, a catch up period.
Trion has brought the fight right to our doorstep and has been handing out fist full helpings of prizes like that one great house you run into every Halloween. There have been bosses right there in the city.
There have been video card slagging invasions.
And then when you think you’ve seen it all, they throw a really big boss at you.
Granted, some of it is a little silly… like the Storm Legion camp.
If the Storm Legion can set down a foothold right in the middle of Meridia, how come they cannot overrun the place? And if we’re strong enough to prevent that, how come we cannot toss them out? They let us set up cannons to bombard them from 20 feet away.
I bet the Autumn Harvest Festival was holding up their invasion. You have to book that spot well in advance.
And while I could do without putting up another barricade, clicking on another pole, and rescuing another keg of beer (I never get to drink the damn things), the whole event has been a giant pile of exp and planarite and planar attunement points and inscribed sourcestones. If you wanted to get to fifty (congrats Potshot!) or wanted to lay in those last few planar attunment points (I made it to 107) you were given a big boost these last couple of weeks.
But now Storm Legion is upon us.
Rift 2.0. The first expansion.
And the first expansion is always the good one, right?
Ruins of Kunark!
Uh… Desert of Flames?
But the first expansion is always the most hungered for, as it comes before levels and alternate advancement and mid-tier zones have become a thing of drudgery, before they stand like unassailable mountains before the new player.
Anyway, it is time for Rift, bigger, better, and deeper.
We have a launch trailer.
We have patch notes.
And our group seems good for it.
We were actually discussing the game this past weekend as we did our own bit of group leveling, trying to get everybody into the zone for the final three instances in what will soon be the “old” world. While I spoke a bit about my time on the beta tour, we spent most of the time on the current features and how much things have changed since we showed up, which was a good 8 months after launch.
General consensus was that Rift really has no unique features, having freely borrowed from the rest of the industry. Almost everything we could come up with had precedent in previous games. But the way Trion has put things together has worked well for us. We will be here for a while longer.
The other observation was about how willing Trion has been to tinker with the game. They jump right in and alter things they feel are not working, they iterate on things that are working but not as well as they would like, and they have gone along fixing, changing, and adding features at an almost fevered pace since launch.
It is hard to tell how much work is really going on behind the scenes in any game… just because the devs are quiet doesn’t mean they aren’t in crunch mode… but it sure feels like the Rift team is the hardest working set of devs in the MMORPG genre these days. And they have not made any critical mistakes that I have noticed.
But can they keep up this pace? Will this willingness to change things up quickly be their undoing in the long term? How will they juggle the needs of those still in the old world with those deep into the expansion without trivializing one or the other? For that seems to always be the long term issue in games with levels and level cap raising expansions.
Does the light that burns twice as bright last half as long?