The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 4

Continuing on from The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 3.

10:53 pm GMT, 30th of December

The servers have come back up.

We left Osgard up on Ascension Hall, dithering over which soul to claim as his reward. While Ranger was quite tempting, I wouldn’t be spending many points in that tree, meaning that my pet would be forever limited to being level 5, so it would cease to be of any use pretty quickly. Marksman fits Osgard well, especially once he gets rid of this silly bow and finds himself a decent rifle!

As it turns out, this is not the end of the tutorial area, and the Messenger of the Vigil sends me back to Valor’s Hold for more instructions. Two more tasks await me.

1. I must seek out one of the undead steeds that I’ve previously noticed about the place, cleanse it with a magical bridle, and ride it back.
2. I must gain control of a catapult, and use it against the necromancers and their ettin friend.

Now we’re cooking with gas! These sound like mighty and worthwhile deeds, not to mention fun!

Rift Horse Mount Steed 550x385

Wheeeeeeee! Unfortunately you don't get to keep this one!

After a rather self-indulgent dash around on his horse, Osgard returned it to the stables. Cyril Kalmar will actually give it back to you temporarily if you ask him. The mounts work like in most games, vanishing when you enter combat.

With the horse safe, and the ettin very thoroughly catapulted, it looks like I’ve reached the final task here. Osgard must disable the Rift Pillars (whatever they are), and reveal mad King Aedraxis for a righteous pummelling. There’s just one problem with getting to the rift. It’s a bit guarded:

Death Rift Tutorial 550x325

A Death Rift

While this is pretty much the only rift I’ve ever seen, I’m fairly sure it is of the Death variety. The clue would be the small army of undead standing in Osgard’s way. Luckily, standing in the glowing pillar of light causes them all to explode. Huzzah! Osgard charges up the hill, where he notices quite a gathering of other players.

By the time he gets up there, they’ve all gone. (I take about 10 times as long as everyone else to get anything done, with all my writing and picturemaking. Never group with me when I’m doing one of these things).

Before him lies an alien scene. Black tentacles thrash about above his head, and strange vegetation oozes from the floor on his approach. Osgard is alone.

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Within the Death Rift

Rifts work quite a bit like public quests in Warhammer, with a number of phases that cycle around. It looks like I had arrived right after the last cycle had finished, meaning I would be alone until more players arrived.

For the first phase, he simply had to destroy (by interacting with them) the two glowing pillars. There’s a few undead about at this point, and a couple of very regretful Defiants who seem to realise that this is all pretty much their fault.

When the pillars are aflame, King Aedraxis appears. It was he, after all, who opened this rift in the first place, and he who must fall for it to be closed. He looked upon the lone Osgard hungrily, as if anticipating a most delicious feast indeed, but then his gaze jerked upwards, beyond Osgard.

Osgard turned to see half the questgivers of the zone marching forward with intent. Most had already been killed by Aedraxis once this day, and they had something to say about it!

Shyla Starhearth, Borrin Gammult, Cyril Kalmar, and Carwin Mathos standing shoulder to shoulder with Os must have been a terrifying sight, for Aedraxis quickly changed his mind about attacking, and instead decided to offer his life to Regulos. I’m a little unsure what happened at this point. I may have been panicking too much to pick up on the finer points of what was going on, but I *think* Regulos and Aedraxis somehow fused their essences, and then proceeded to rather cheekily one-shot Carwin, his half-brother (or is that quarter-brother if he’s half Regulos now?).

To cut a long story short, we then got attacked by a variety of unpleasant things before facing the being that was Aedraxis. We defeat it, with another player arriving halfway through, and Osgard smites its fallen corpse with a holy hammer to close the rift. He sprouts angelic wings and goes towards the light. We fade to cut-scene.

The Tutorial is over.

0:50 am GMT, 31st of December

Moving in to the real Rift world from our safe little newbie instance, we’ll be getting into the meat and drink of Rift, which is, of course, the rifts. I also want to check pout the harvesting and crafting systems.

The servers are down for another patch, so that’ll have to wait a little while! Patch Notes! :

* We are trying out different backend load balancing setups for the major zone events. Thank you for helping us test these by defending Freemarch and Silverwood!

We’re back. Time for a fresh page I think, over at The Rift Beta Bonanza Part 5!

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