Dimensioning on Rift
Been gone so long that I am fairly sure you all thought I’d stopped gaming…
Well, I didn’t, I just got bored and have kinda stopped blogging. Since my last post, I have done quite a bit. Utu and I hit endgame content pretty hard. Was in T2′s within our first week (first night actually, with a drunk, over-geared tank friend… it was.. excruciatingly painful to clear RD in our green/blue gear), and within three weeks we joined Hex, the primary end-game guild on our server.
Not much to say but the grind to get vial mats so we can raid has burned us out faster than Lindsey Lohan in rehab. We have some rather spiffy gear to show for all the work, but spending every other spare moment online looking for ways to farm or purchase 9 Eternal Planars each day, and an odd assortment of herbs, makes doing anything else in this game within the time constraints we have (20+ or – hours a week) almost impossible.
Hope to bring you some good news soon, either a new, less “grindy” MMO, or some good news about life being breathed back into Rift. I’ll keep you posted….
Only ten levels to go… the excitement is building.
These last few levels, if anything like the other MMO’s I have played, will be the longest levels in the game. Well, compared to the first 30 I just played through. I have been thoroughly enjoying the Rift leveling process and have only once been impatient to leave an area and move on to the next – and that was only from excitement that the next are was visually very pretty to play.
Callista, my Cleric, is still primarily an Inquisitor using Vex as my main spell in a 40 inq / 7 warden / 6 sent build. But more and more often, I am finding I need to kill large packs of mobs faster as Vex’s throughput doesn’t heal me enough to keep up with the damage that the higher level mobs are dealing out. This is especially apparent in Invasions where you can’t control how many adds come tottering along with dire intent to maim and murder everything in their path. Sometimes I find myself facing off with up to 15 mobs and it can be a bit too much to deal with. Plus, if Utu pulls threat when he is in his Pyromancer wtfbbqpwnsauce build, I sometimes can’t heal him fast enough to keep him alive with only Healing Breath from the Sentinel tree and Healing Spray from the Warden tree. Even pre-loading the Healing Spray hot and the Healing Current hot on me before a pull can sometimes still be pretty dicey when it comes to outlasting the packs of mobs with only Vex as my DPS heal. I find myself relying on Circle of Oblivion (hereafter to be referred to as Circle of Awesomeness) and Soul Drain between keeping up my Vex dots to burn them down before I die.
I am beginning to yearn for more AOE abilities…
So I have been thinking of switching around. Anyone who has done some serious end-game raiding knows the inverse equation of healing ratio to damage output. More damage output can mean less healing is needed. Conversely, stronger healing can mean less burst damage is needed. Its a balancing act that starts out innocently with merely slotting for class balance in a raid, and ends with min-maxing for hard modes and capitalizing on class stacking and spell rotation usage. But this blog isn’t about hardcore snooze-fest theorycrafting on how to top meters and crush your fellow healing teammates with uber play, its about celebrating being an MMO healer and how much I am enjoying killing things while I level to end game in my current MMO, Rift.
I am thinking I either need stronger heals or I need stronger AOE. The Cabalist tree offers some serious AOE throughput but that would exclude any sort of heals from either my Warden hot or the Sentinel Instant heal. I would have to drop one tree for the Cabalist, and that got me thinking. Why not consider dropping both Warden and Sentinel in favor of an Inquisitor (35) / Cabalist (14) / Purifier (4) build or maybe just drop warden with a Inquisitor (41) / Cabalist (15) / Sentinel (10) build.
Just looking briefly over the numbers, the Cabalist tree offers Entropy which would boost my Vex output, and a spell power increase which replaces the Warden instant ability spell power buff Destructive Tide. The Shield of the Ancestors from the Purifier tree absorbs 658 damage (before spell power modifiers) vs the instant heal of only 304 (before spell power modifiers), but it only has an 8 second CD VS a 30second CD on the shield. The little heal from Healing Flame gives 208 (before spell power modifiers) and its on a 1.5 second CD so maybe it might help, but my instincts tell me that that is too little too slow to really do any difference compared to what I have right now (instant heal and a hot).
So my real dilemma is A) how to get more fat AOE damage without giving up too much healing protection and, B) is the pure AOE output in Cabalist worth dropping the security blanket that the Warden hot and the Sentinel instant heal have given me so far? I guess the only way to see is to spec into the Cabalist/inq/Sent trees and find out.
more details to follow…
Video courtesy of Fallingdown08. No thanks to EMI who relentlessly makes sure no one will ever ever ever see an original video of Thomas Dolby’s early work.
Just a little bit of Derring Do…
One of the most fun moments Utu and I have had so far in this game, aside from the spontaneous Rift Raids (informally called Rifting by those of us playing the game) that you get when you are out in the zones was a quest called, “Just a Little Off the Top“. this quest, started by the NPC Helena Brass, asks you to go upstairs and pilfer some off the protection money the local mob boss took from the merchants of Lantern Hook. Seems simple enough, right? Utu and I headed off to grab the cash and get some easy exp.
Well, what we hadn’t realized is this guy here doesn’t want us to pop into their little cave of ill-gotten lewt and make off with the goods. No, instead, he wandered in like a normal NPC, noticed what we were doing and kicked our butts. He trampled Utu and almost got me before I could run away and reset him. It was pretty cool because we didn’t expect that level of NPC interaction in a game; after all, he is yellow tagged and that usually means he is neutral hostile.
Well, after we ghost walked and got back to the cave we had a fun little time taking turns playing look-out and calling out to each other when it was safe while we each hopped over the wall a few times to grab the quest lewt. The bully/guard doesn’t pat away very far, and as a result we had a few tense, but fun moments making sure he didn’t see us as we pirated the goods. We got back safely to the quest NPC and turned it in. Both Utu and I throughly enjoyed being pounced on and running around like kids stealing candy.
Hopefully our sacrifice wasn’t in vain and we wont have to rescue these folks again. Maybe they will learn their lesson and not let bullies extort them for “protection money” again. Luckily for them, Mr. Paws is on the job protecting the good people of Lantern Hook from danger.
It appears that last night we saw some hot-fixes to the video settings in Rift. I ran around half the night either not being able to see people’s summoned pets, or not being able to see half of me. This is something that used to happen in Alpha to me occasionally. Here is hoping Trion gets on it and gets this fixed as it makes it hard to know if a pet is being attacked by an NPC or not.
Guess this screenshot just proves I really am just a Pocket Healer =)
Last night was yet another exciting and satisfying night in Rift. Time just flew by as we quested and played and had the time of our lives. Utu and I finally made it past content we had tested in alpha and we were really digging seeing all the new (to us) content. We took a slow ride on our tortoises to Lantern Hook and then followed the ‘bread crumb trail’ in Meridian to Moonshade Highlands.
After Scarwood Reach, it appears that Trion has two zones where they encourage you to quest at this point. So, after running around a little in Lantern Hook, killing mobsters, stealing back protection money and sending the gambling bosses out of town, we decided that level 37 guys were a little too hard-core for us and headed over to Moonshade Highlands.
So far we are impressed. This place is really pretty, the questing is gentle but engaging, you get a TON of exp for everything here so you level rather quickly, and we got to see Dwarf NPC’s. FYI, they sound a little like Yoda… err, yeah.. I even got buffed with an icky Guardian Wardstone at one point. I will follow up with more thoughts on why there seem to be two zones to quest in for the 35 – 40 level range, and some more pretty screenies from Moonshade Highlands when Utu and I finish the first quest hub tonight.
While I was on my farming toon….
Got some lovely screenshots of an earth rift in Stonefield today on my marksman, Lionesse. Thought I’d share with folks how visually stunning this game can be. It reminds me of Lotro with the light sources and how pretty the scenery can get. Even the desert areas are nice. Well, sorta a combination of EQ and Lotro and one step further along down the MMO graphics evolutionary timeline.
Okay, that’s all for my quick update. I wanted to close with a little screenie I took of the sky. Yes, the boring clouds and rain and the sky. Its for my skeptical Wow friends.
Look guys! WEATHER!!!!
… aka, why can’t she just play the game like normal people do…?
I completed a bunch of achievements with my gaming buddy Utu. He is, in case I haven’t mentioned him before, my partner, my best friend, my co-conspirator and one of the best persons I know. I am lucky to have such a great guy in my life.
There are several easy achievements to get while still low level. A few in Freemarch and some in Stonefield. I dragged Utu all over the world this afternoon grabbing a few of them. Took us about 90 minutes in total, but I think we could have went even faster if I hadn’t killed Utu twice jumping into things too fast.
First achievement we grabbed was called A Quick Escape (click the link for the guide). It was relatively easy and can be done while questing in that zone as well. It consists of simply jumping off the middle part of the bridge out of the burning town called Smith’s Haven in south-eastern Freemarch.
We then went over to Lake Solace and swam down until we found the Freemarch Puzzle for the achievement, Sleeping With The Fishes (click the link for the guide). Solving the puzzle was fairly straightforward and easy – I even buffed us with water-breathing as there was a line to do the thing. Opening the chest got me a blue tanking shield with some impressive spell power and endurance stats. Utu got a tanking staff with only spell power and endurance – a real head scratcher as he is a mage and needs int more than anything. Guess Trion wants us to PVP.
We zipped out to Stonefield for the other achievements stopping occasionally to kill squirrels in Freemarch as I am collecting 20 Squirrel Tears for the Heartless title. Once we got to the Giant’s skull in Stonefield, we ducked inside and looted the red sparkly bag for Red Handed (click the link for the location). The miner’s agro on you, and they hit REALLY hard. So be ready for a bit of a mixup when you nick it.
Next on the stop was up the mountain for the four achievements everyone wants in this zone. The Spinning plates puzzle, the Dancing with Squirrels title, the Mountain Climber achievement and Plop! Which gives you a cool ‘Daredevil’ title.
If you go up the mountain just above where the chest is looted for The Mousetrap quest, you can make it to the first spot which is the spinning plates. Easy puzzle if you know how to do it, I linked it for you in case you are in a hurry to solve it like I was.
Next we moved up one side of the mountain for the Dances With Squirrels achievement. Simply walk over to their torch, and wait for them to dance. The torch ignites and you do your /dance emote and get one of the cooler titles in the game =)
On your way back towards the upland meadow that had the spinning plates make sure to head a little left until you unlock the exploring quest, mountain climber. Head back to the other side of the falls and then you edge your way out to the rock promontory and jump into the lake for the Plop! Achievement and the Daredevil title (super easy, and better explained on the forums. Click here for the pic guide)