And now it's here. By the time you read this, Storm Legion will have gone live on the servers and Telara as we know will be forever changed. New continents, souls, dungeons, raids, rifts, stories, player housing, dual-faction cities, and more will wash over us and leave us floundering in its wake. What to do first? What to see and experience?
I have huge hopes for Storm Legion. Trion's smartly releasing it after the crazy rush of most of the big fall expansions, and if the expansion lives up to even part of the hype, it could cement RIFT's reputation as a premium MMO worth the subscription. Heck, I'll just be happy to see an influx of returning players and new souls (so to speak) because this is a title worth supporting and enjoying.
My head is a jumble of thoughts and plans, so excuse me while I gibber about anything and everything in today's column.
Going into an expansion is kind of like opening up all of your Christmas presents at once. There's just so much goodness to absorb and enjoy that it's almost paralyzing. That's how I feel about Storm Legion. If it were just a single new continent, then my choice would be clear. But no, now I have to choose between the two. And that's not to mention the player housing system, which continues to send a jolt of excitement up my spine whenever I think about it. Should I get that first and start working on my new dimension? But if I do, all of my guildies will be overseas talking about the zones and I'll feel left behind!
Actually, my day one to-do list is remarkably mundane. I'm a patch notes reader, so I'm going to be chewing through all of that while the game updates because you never know when a developer is going to slip in some massive nerf or game-changing goof on the assumption that nobody studies every single line item. You hear that, Trion? I'm reading it! I'm holding you accountable! No more zombie kitten robots in PvP for us, no siree!
Step two is just as boring: create a new build based on my Rogue's latest soul, the Tactician. It's one thing to level up over time with a soul and another entirely to start using one at level 50, so I anticipate some tweaking and meticulous tooltip-reading.
Storm Legion! I'll be reading it!
Exodus of the Storm Queen report
Not all of Storm Legion is releasing this week, as Trion opened the doors to the first new dungeon earlier this month for pre-orders. I finally set aside an evening to explore the instance in the hopes of seeing expansion content and finishing up the world event costume set. What do you mean I can't dye this costume, Trion? For reals?
Anyway, I was fortunate enough to attach myself to a group that was both experienced in running Exodus already and tolerant of explaining the mechanics to Mr. Greenfoot here. As a level 50-54 dungeon, Exodus is pretty challenging from the get-go but completely doable if your group is well-geared, skilled, or both. Especially both.
The dungeon takes us through an instanced version of the Chancel of Labors, that big library-slash-forge (who thought it was a good idea to put molten metal near books again?) where some cronies are attempting to break the dragon Crucia out of her icy prison. It's short on trash mobs in general, preferring to rely on scripted events to tell the story and a quartet of boss fights to keep you on your toes.
Probably the most challenging of these for our group was General Grim. You fight him in the basement, where a ring of fight club devotees surround you and kick the crud out of you if you venture too close to the sides. To make matters worse, Grim keeps launching these flying reapers (get it? Grim's reapers?) that whittle down your health in no time and even one-shot mages if they're not careful.
The final boss wasn't too shabby, although it too took coordination between party members who had to avoid a huge flying sword (a theme of this dungeon) and snag orbs that helped us not die. I won't complain about the blue loot that dropped, although the final cutscene with Crucia flying out was a tad underwhelming. She's such a bitty little dragon that I kept craning my head around for the real thing.
I definitely want to get situated with dimensions before heading out to new vistas. I always accept the fact that most players will be rushing ahead to consume content like crazy, and there's little point trying to keep up with the Jonses. Instead, I'm content to take my time and get things situated within my new home.
Argent Glade and King's Retreat are the starting points for Guardian and Defiant home-builders, respectively. After a short quest, we're given the keys to our first -- but by no means only -- home. There are several other dimensions to collect, not to mention the many, many building objects. I'm probably not the only person who's set to go broke trying to buy all of these from vendors and the auction house. When it comes to player-created content like this, the more tools in my pocket, the happier I am. I've heard people call this "Sims Dimensions," and the moniker is sticking in my head.
After a day or two, I definitely want to pop over to my friends' and guildies' dimensions to see what they've created. I think the option of allowing other people to not only enter but potentially interact and shape your dimension is a powerful community-building tool in its own right. Plus, seeing what other people do with the same tools can often give me good ideas to use in my own space.
By the next time I come around to this column, I'll have a couple of weeks in the expansion and a much different perspective. But for now, it's an unlimited field of potential, and I can't wait to dig into it all.
Whether they're keeping the vigil or defying the gods, Karen Bryan and Justin Olivetti save Telara on a weekly basis. Covering all aspects of life in RIFT, from solo play to guild raids, their column is dedicated to backhanding multidimensional tears so hard that they go crying to their mommas. Email Karen and Justin for questions, comments, and adulation.