The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1

This is phase 3 of Rift’s Beta, and for this one we can play either Guardians or Defiant. You can check out the patch notes for phase 3 here. As mentioned, I’m going with Guardians for this liveblog.

10:16 pm GMT, 29th of December

Osgard regains conciousness in a great hall, the Sanctuary of Rebirth. Before him stands a Messenger of the Vigil, an Angelic being that has come down from the heavens to give Osgard his first newbie quest, and grant him his first soul (subclass).

Rift Guardian Starting Point Sanctuary Of Rebirth 550x326

The Sanctuary of Rebirth in Rift.

This is a good spot to take a look at the UI. There’s nothing there that will particularly surprise anyone who has played an MMO before. We’ve got a radar, a hotbar, healthbars, and the little buttons in the bottom left will bring up the more specialised UI elements like the character interface, quest log, collections, and achievements screen.

Right now, the only things on Osgard’s hotbar is some drinking water he started with, and a rather useful-looking dwarven racial self-heal. As he acquires new abilities, they will populate his hotbar automatically. They can also be dragged from his skills page. I’m curious to see how the hotbar deals with when you switch between soul combinations (which would give you a different skill selection), as reconfiguring everything by hand would probably be a little pesky. Maybe it’ll save the setup for each combo.

In the interests of preserving my sanity, I quickly create a new chat tab that doesn’t have any global channels. This is usually the first thing I do in any MMO these days.

10:48 pm GMT, 29th of December

The Sanctuary is a bit of a mess, with undead all over the place. They’re not attackable, and don’t seem to be doing very much, seemingly kept under control by the holy wards that lie over this place. Still, it doesn’t feel either safe or tidy.

Osgard steps up to the Messenger of the Vigil who speaks thusly:

The gods of the Vigil have returned you to life, Osgard. They have restored your body to battle Regulos, but you must give up your old life and begin anew.

To become truly Ascended, you must absorb an ancient soul. Seek wisdom from the souls in this sanctuary and make your choice.

We’re offered the choice of 8 rogue subclasses, and I think the one that fits Osgard best is the Saboteur, a specialist in explosives and incendiaries. He heads to the entrance of the Sanctuary to claim his new soul, and receive his next quest.

Rift Quest Panel Chosen One 550x275

I bet she says that to all the Chosen Ones

My goodness. It turns out that not only has Osgard been brought back from the dead, but he, and he alone, is The Hand of the Vigil! Osgard is The Chosen One. He politely pretends not to notice when she also tells those two chaps standing next to him that they are also The Hand of the Vigil.

Which puts me in mind of a song some goblins sang to me once:

With his first ancient soul installed, Osgard has acquired two starting abilities for the Saboteur subclass.

Fragmentation Bomb is a ranged AOE attack.
Adhesive Bomb is a ranged AOE snare. (Snares reduce an enemies movement speed.)

Stepping out of the Sanctuary, Osgard immediately heads to Fayne Doran, an elven Ascended who awaits his arrival.

In my life before Ascension, I never imagined that the god’s touch could be so powerful, so uplifting. But I see their power in your heart as well.

Slay the demons that possess the people of Mathosia and show Aedraxis that the Vigil guides your hand.

The area that Osgard is to seek the Ashen Defilers is clearly marked on the radar map, though it was scarcely necessary on this occasion, as they are all around him. Let’s see how these grenades work!

11:38 pm GMT, 29th of December

That was a little closer than I would have liked. The Adhesive Grenade uses a ground reticule, and has a pretty big area of effect. I accidentally managed to hit two enemies with it, and it was only by using his long-cooldown racial heal “Second Wind” that he managed to survive.

Hmm, this is quite an enemy-packed area, and I’ve only got AOEs at the moment. I’ll have to be careful! Saboteur may not be the wisest of picks for your first soul.

That’s better. Just requires a little care, and getting used to the area of effects of my powers. As each Ashen Defiler falls, the spirit of the Mathosian they were possessing rises and wanders off. Probably something to do with me having blown their body up. Not exactly a rescue, but I suppose it’s better than being possessed by a demon.

While I wander around the graveyard looking for isolated Ashen Defilers, I see something interesting:

Rift Ashen Defiler Collectable Book 550x328

Osgard finds a sparklie in Rift

That sparkling book is a collectable. It is named “Talos Roda: Purifier”, and goes in to my collections tab. I found another book inside the sanctuary, “The Journal of Zareph Mathos”, next to Zareph Mathos himself. I hope he’s not going to track me down for stealing his diary. They are readable from your collections window, and provide some interesting lore.

These tomes are always in the same place, so have a lot more in common with Warhammer’s Tome of Knowledge updates than they do with EQ2’s collectables system. I’m not sure, at this point, exactly why I’m collecting these, or what the benefit will be, but I’m happy to grab them just to read. It may just be a good place to keep them that doesn’t use up inventory slots.

00:05 am GMT, 30th of December

Returning to Fayne Doran with his quota of Ashen Defilers killed, Osgard levels for the first time. Fayne has a fresh quest, as does Orin Bancroft, who stands next to her. One desires me to slay Corrupted Knights, while the other desires the swords which they carry (and can also be found in the environment). The Knights lie down beneath the Sanctuary’s hill, in the village of Ardenburgh. We’re still in non-aggressive enemy territory, so the tasks are completed relatively safely. Both require being turned in to a new quest-hub in the center of the village.

I receive a second soul, and this time I pick Riftstalker, a defensive rogue subclass that grants me a melee attack and a rather strange teleport ability. I call it strange as it only goes 15 meters (which is not as far as you’d think in Rift) across an unobstructed path, with a cooldown of 45 seconds. Not sure quite how useful that is.

Ahh, you can use it on the run, so I guess it would be handy for chase scenes.

I’m now level 3, with 4 unspent soul points. I guess it’s time to take a look at my Soul Tree.

Rift Soultree 550x456

The Rift Soultree is laden with precious fruit indeed.

I currently have two of my possible 3 souls installed, leaving room for either Ranger or Marksman. Later I’ll be able to buy extra build slots which let me have three completely different rogue souls installed and spend my points differently.

You spend your points in the top half of the Soultree, called the branches. As you spend points in the branches, which typically improve existing skills or stats, you unlock new skills down in the roots of the tree.

In the picture above, I have put two points into “Toughened Soul”, a Riftstalker power which gives me a passive bonus to my armourclass. I’m always big on boosting my defenses, so that was a natural one for me to go for. When I bought the second point, it unlocked a new melee attack for me that uses the “combo points” that rogues build up from using their other powers. My new finisher attack “Guarded Steel” is more effective the more combo points I have to burn. It’s very similar to how Witchhunters work in Warhammer with their Accusations (combo points) and Judgements (finishing moves).

It looks like Saboteur also has finishing moves, so I’d guess that that mechanic occurs throughout the Rogue souls.

I put one more point into Toughened Soul, the maximum I am allowed to put into Riftstalker right now, and the final point into “Long Range Bombing” which increases the range and reduces the cooldown on my grenade attacks.

04:05 am GMT, 30th of December

I broke off play for the night a few hours ago, but a small patch was just released:


* Fixed some bugs related to losing tagged mob credit in combat. If you see any more instances of this, please report it.
* More stability fixes for Invasions and zone-wide events.

Onwards, ever onwards into the Rift Beta Bonanza Part 3!

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