A Dream Long Realized.

I finally did it.  It took…I don’t know how many games, and almost nine years, but I finally accomplished what I had thought at one time would be impossible for me.


The Ultimate Ding


So Rift made this process painless, and fun, and…well, quick.  I played my first MMO for nearly two years and never came closer than 36/50 (which within six months was 36/55).  I think I’ve said before, but  I will say again, two things in particular got me here.


The first is the multiple roles and ability to swap on the fly was probably the biggest help.  I tend to be a bit of an altaholic, particularly as levels climb and groups become more and more useful.  But here I alternated between all aspects of the trinity, jumping around a bit.  I also found my center though – with all the options available, I tried them all and tried them early, and then locked into two particular builds that I used for the entire game (with minor tweaks along the way, of course).


The second, and perhaps more helpful, was having a regular gaming group.  We played 2-3 times a week, usually for 1-3 hours, and here we are, 6 months later.  The group was my Cleric and a pair of Rogues.  One of the Rogues did have a Riftstalker tank build, and I did have a Justicar tank build, but until the end of the game, we only used them in Rifts or for particularly difficult missions.


So what’s next?  Well there is still one quest out there bugging me.  The arena where you have to face down a Cyclops and two other people at the same time.  We got our butts handed to us at level 43 and 44.  Now we will see how they handle a trio of 50’s.


Oh, and I capped here too, just for good measure.


Ever Closer.

Last night, I had the joy of this, thanks in part to Rift’s half-birthday gifts of accelerated XP gain:



Now this is joyous for a number of reasons.  First and foremost it happened only with the help of my re-assembled regular play group.  I don’t think I would have made it this far without them.  That continues to be a strong force in my playing and enjoyment of the game.  So much so that I can’t imagine trying to play an MMO without one from here on out.

The second is that this marks the closest that I have ever been to maxing level.  I almost said capping level, which is probably an indication of how many battles I’ve gone through in World of  Tanks over the last 7 months or so (hint: including Beta, I’m inching in on the 3k mark).  With only ten more levels to go, the question that arose last night in our little group was – can we max out before TOR launches?  We decided that we have at least two months, perhaps more to accomplish the feat, and I see no reason why not.

The third is that this marks the first time that I’ve not had to deal with what is undeniably a self-handicap, and that is my serious case of alt-itis.  In addition to my Cleric above, I do have a Warrior and a Mage that I have played through the first 6 or so levels, just enough to get them beyond the tutorial instance.  But neither has gone any further and I have no real desire to do so.  I have three roles now that fit around all the play styles I could desire from my character, so there has been no need for them.  And if an unusually high level artifact I stumbled across sells in the next two days, I’ll be able to buy my fourth, even if it means putting me 22p in the hole to try and get my level 50 mount.

The fourth reason its such a joy is Trion itself.  The half-birthday was extended a week (and by some accounts continues today beyond the planned week extension) for the simple fact that Hurricane Irene interfered with much of the East Coast’s ability to enjoy the free time.  Trion continues to show whythey are the best developers on the block – by knowing, understanding, and responding to their player base.

Also, and this is just a bonus mention that I will eventually get around to doing a full post on:  I love the Cabalist rebuild.  As someone who actively played the class before its tweaking, I love it even more now.  That says something about design too – its not often that you can take something someone loves in an MMO and fiddle with it extensively and end up with something *better* than before.  But that’s exactly what they did.  Kudos Trion.