I haven’t talked much about Rift. At first it was because I was under NDA and couldn’t. After that was lifted though, I just didn’t have much to add that hadn’t already been blogged about in a multitude of other places. The main reason is that despite being interested in the game, I just wasn’t as excited about the game as most other bloggers seemed to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my time in beta, but I quickly got to the point where I stopped playing because I didn’t want to get sick of the PvE content before it even launched. I don’t like repeating content very much, and I didn’t want to rerun the newbie zone too many times before I could play a character I would be able to keep.
Despite my tepidness about Rift, I did pre-order and signed up for a three month subscription. I knew a lot of friends (like Multiplaying’s Circle of Trust guild) were going to be playing and I wanted to be there for the initial excitement.
So Thursday night, I logged into Faeblight and was greeted by a rather large queue (I didn’t take notes but it was somewhere north of 1600). I ended up logging into Circle of Trust’s Vent and chatting a bit and then went AFK and read a book while I waited for my chance to get onto the server. I know some people were/are/will be frustrated with the queues but this is not my first launch and I was expecting to have to wait to get in.
The surprising thing about the launch was how smooth it went once I was in the game. I was expecting to be greeted by a newbie zone crowded with hordes of players sprinting around. Instead it was pretty sedate and I had no trouble finishing quests and working my way through and then out into the full world. I imagine this was a combination of instancing and the queues gating new players.
Come Friday, the queue seemed a little more sane. I logged in around 9pm Eastern and was number 650 something. I finished my book, Black Magic Woman, and played some Minecraft.
It wasn’t until Saturday when I leveled into the high teens that the game started to get exciting to me. I think it was a combination of getting out of the areas I’d seen multiple times before, finally getting some robes that looked cool, and (most importantly) starting to develop and interest in the lore. This last part is key for me. It is the main reason why I’ve never really enjoyed Age of Conan and why I love Lord of the Rings and Star Trek Online.
So while I initially started playing Rift because of the social tidal wave, I’m now also playing for the story. Look me up on Faeblight if you can complete the queue daily quest.