Mass Exodus

Numbers are deceptive

A decrease in number of hours (via XFire) can mean many things which does include people quitting the game. Quitting the game isn't always a negative ding to Trion. Just take last night when I had logged into my rogue and found my long lost friend had sent 25 pieces of mail: his whole wealth accumulated in a little over a month. It was my signal that he had quit the game. Had he lost interest, did something turn him off? He partially lost interest in the genre (mmo) and wanted more balance in his life.

A decrease in number of hours can mean other positive things such as:
- hitting the level cap and doing other things that don't require alot of time put in
- making alts and knowing how to complete quests and lvling faster than the first time
- logging in to complete dailies or focusing on certain areas of the game that they enjoy
- logging in to chit chat with guildies

This is not the flag you're looking for......

Myself, I try to play less these days and have more control (RL balance). There is less urgency to get to max level and i'm enjoying questing and pvp with my gf. It/Rift has grown to become more popular and more enjoyable for me but at the same time, missing a day or two isn't the end of the world or mean that i've lost interest.

In mmo's numbers is king and server population is key. I like it that 99% of the time these nights there is no queue but is still rather busy. The zones could use a handful more players, but when you concentrate on questing and enjoy rifting, having more players in the same area makes it harder. I think we need to stop stressing so much about the decreasing numbers in our mmo's and just enjoy the time and the game. Let the developers worry about the numbers.


Some Awareness

If I was a bit more artistically inclined, I'd design, print and wear some shirts to promote my political party of choice as I don't want the Canadian Conservatives back in power with all the controversies and the lack of cooperation that they are showing. I also didn't realize how short the political campaign is (like a month). In the US it felt like 3 months of campaigning across the country. Unfortunately right now the best I can do is blog about it and throw in a gaming article too so it doesn't get too political!
My shirt would read: After what i've seen, I'd rather vote Bloc than Conservatives!
The back would say: Vote Liberal!


And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

Why do game developers bother with Tattoos?

unless your character is female, when you have full armor on your character, you will never see those tattoos again. I would spend more time designing more armor sets and cosmetic dyes than designing tats.


If you like buying funny shirts, try going here

My coworker Wolfman buys from there and says the only drawback is you can only ship one item at a time... odd..


WHAT?: Better Communication

I agree with Pete from Dragonchasers; a good idea of Trion would be to make better use of the Patch UI when loading up the game. Not everyone spends their time on the forums or on the official website to look for news. The only reason I knew of the original live event to a great detail is because I went to a fellow blogger's site and read up on it. We all need to go through the patcher to open the game, so putting news there just makes logical sense.

Another idea would be to have news and information on the loading screens; whether it is the giant Rift beginning loading screen, or the screen when you login with your character or while you transition between zones via Porticulum. Having news posted there would get the word out alot more effectively than previously used methods.
I'm not too upset about missing the Stage 2/3 of the Live Event, just thought these would be some good improvements for a company that seems to be making an honest attempt at improving a game that I thoroughly enjoy already.


Thank you guildies for running us through Foul Cascade!

I had recalled when Warhammer Online had the special promotion for WAR bloggers, where if they signed up for it, would get a nice in-game title. I kinda wish Trion would do the same. I've obviously been blogging about it ever since it launched and have given positive reviews which were honest opinions of my own experience. I think it would be nice to get some more traffic on this blog and enjoy a nice reward from Trion for helping promote their game.

I can think of two things off the top of my head that i'd want as a reward/perk:
1. An emote of your character pulling out a pad of parchment and writing something down.

2. Special in-game title

Any good suggestions of titles?


Come and Gone in a Flash

Zoom zoom!
That wasn't a Mazda car that passed by, it was Stage 2 and 3 of the Live Event that probably most people missed.
What were you doing when the hourish (per guildies) Live Event came and went?
I was at a wings joint celebrating a friend's bday and sucking royally at pool (sunk the cue ball twice, got 2 opponents balls in, and lost the game by sinking the 8-ball when I wasn't supposed to).
Minus one for Trion; i really expected something better after about 3 weeks of a Stage 1 live event.
/Sarcasm off

I love the game still ;)
Ran King's Breach and Runic Descent last night with my guildies with my lvl 36 bard. I'm useful now :D


Happy Friday

Hope everyone's workday goes really fast, and that you dont' have any work this weekend (Rift live event stage 2 tomorrow, don't forget!).

I fear that my friend Ezuri may be losing interest in Rift... I normally see him on every day.. and i haven't seen him on the past 2.. My friends have a bad habit of quitting a game and not telling their friends that they did. But then again, Ezuri did say that when he hit lvl 40, that he'd make a tank.

I'm torn between my tank and my rogue; my tank is fun to play with and very durable, but the rogue is so much more versatile; I can range dps, melee dps, or support/heal and do that all very well depending on the soul specc I pick. The tank seems to be all about tanking..... it certainly can't heal very well except itself.. the Riftblade doesn't seem too viable for range dps (b/c most time there isn't a tank available), and whether it is a Paragon/Champion... dps isn't as good as an Assassin (but then again, that may be the most powerful melee dps class).

I'd like to get one character to lvl 50 to join my guild mates as soon as possible... And with the new Assassin (3 hit wonder specc) and Paladin Shield Charge ("in your face!")... I have an even harder time deciding these days..


Making the Impossible, Possible.

From my gameplay, the top 3 souls from each calling that i've seen:


None; b/c no one plays a cleric! :P
Ok fine; Druid



What have you seen as favorite/frequently used souls? (i like being less frequently used souls)


I must commend Trion on once again surpassing my wildest dreams and kind of causing me to play till 3 this morning.

Mythic helped me grow to love my first tank class ever: The Blackguard. With the cool looks, polearms (memories of UO) and my pocket healer which had me taking down 5-8 monsters at a time, I was instantly attracted. Trion continued that love with the Paladin which had countless aoes. And now I understand the love of Captain America; using your shield as a primary weapon and flinging it at your enemy gives you a such a rush. The skill Bullrush in the Champion soul reminds me of Gundam Seed and I absolutely love that anime. Constantly jump and fly into an enemy's face? Yes please!

Trion has possibly done the impossi
ble; making a melee stealth dps an interesting and fun experience for me. If i've ever played a dps class, it was always ranged, whether it be magic or arrows. It would never be an assassin. Thing is, once people closed that gap and got into the face of the ranged dps, you were done: Game over. I've been playing alot more pvp recently as it is my girl friend's choice of activity and found alot of people were ranged and i've always liked being unique.
And then I made a 32 Assassin, 10 Nightblade, 0 Bladedancer. And it worked. Solo is incredibly fast; I can manage 3+ monsters at a time, and sometimes down a monster in 3 hits. THREE hits. Thats impressive. I haven't tried pvp, but i'm quite sure ill be a terror on the battlefield now.


Open Letter to Gaiscioch

-note: this is just my opinion and not of my guild's who is much more easy going-

Dear (Guild of) Gaiscioch on Faeblight,

I'm not too sure what your intentions are as a whole as a guild, whether it is a group building exercise, achievement hunting, rifting currency collection, an adventure in enemy territory, a role-playing event, or your own form of griefing. But i'd like to let you know, that you are ruining the game (and in my eyes: reputation) for many innocent players when your zerg guild comes to Defiant territory to close our rifts as lvl 50s in Scarlet Gorge.

I'm writing this the day after this happened, and after I experienced it for the second time, so i've had time to think about it and cool down. And after that, I accept all reasons to why you're in our zone; its a game and you're free to do whatever you like.

What i'm going to make you aware(and hope this isn't a reminder) of is this though: you not only hurt the players on the Defiant side (which may be your goal), but you also hurt the Guardians as well. When you come into a zone 20+ levels below you and stop people's fun, they will remember. They will eventually get to level 50 as well and then do you know what they will do? They will come into the Guardian low levels and grief their areas. And they won't flag themselves (or they might) and just ruin the fun of any Guardian playing in that area. See, they won't be coming into the area to do anything else BUT to ruin someone else's time. Some innocent person is going to be asking "why the heck are these high lvl guys doing this?" So now you've hurt two groups of players now. And then these Guardians remember they were griefed and they continue the perpetual cycle of griefing.

Good job Gaiscioch! Brotherhood, honor and blood feuds. That is your legacy.

Think about THAT next time you come to Scarlet Gorge.


Rift Musings

I thought I had something written for today, but apparently not.

A whole lot of turtles (through pre-orders)

Still wishing there was a greater variety of dyes I could make; i'm around 150ish and can only make different shades of cyan and green.

Got a flat tire on Saturday through a combination of excitement and lack of sleep. When changing tires, make sure if the jack has a groove on it, then your car has a protruding part to fit the groove. Also when tightening and loosening bolts on tires, to make sure you do it in a star formation (so one side isn't loose). [thought this would be helpful]

Less urgency to get rift dailies/death rifts complete as Trion keeps increasing the Sourcestone rewards. It looks like its now 15 instead of 10. It reminds me of the Syndrome, the villain from The Incredibles who quoted that once everyone has super powers that no one would be special/super anymore. That because its very easy/easier to get these rewards, everyone is going to have it and thus it won't be 'that' special anymore. 5 as a reward was kinda skimpy, 10 was a good amount, but 15 is being a bit too generous. But now I don't feel pressured to run for every single death rift.

For those that like the anime series Gundam Seed, you must play the Warrior and use the Champion soul. Nothing feels more satisfying that jumping down a ledge that would cause damage, only to use Bullrush and fly into a monster's face instead. Hiii-yah!

I apologize to the dirty Guardians that I played against in the Codex and Black Gardens over the weekend:
1. I wanted to see what kind of diminishing returns are on Transmogrify (3 by the way)
2. I like turning people into squirrels
3. I know its annoying ... sooo.. Ha!



The Quest to Design a Quest

I've been reading alot of blogs on an mmo's poor delivery of the traditional quest format.

Quests have been around for ages. One can think of the most mundane RL task as a 'quest'. It doesn't need to be glamorous or glitzy, a quest needs to be completed to get a reward.
I don't understand why each new mmo needs to break the mold of the current delivery of quests. What do you want changed?
More lore?
Honestly, people are not going to read it; people want to know where to go, what to kill/do, and know what is the reward.
I make the honest attempt whenever I play a game to get into the lore and know the whole story, but eventually all I want to do is know where to go and complete it and get my experience and reward. I dont want to spend my time reading, or even listening to what the story is about.
Maybe its a trait i've picked up from my work; I filter out 90% of what people call in for, listening to only the critical parts of the conversation and getting a fast resolution to them.

If questing was changed, so it was all voice-overed, with in-game cutscenes, or whatever else you want, no one would play that mmo. It would take too damn (annoyed at the complaining without solutions) long to get to the point. Its a lose-lose situation, though the developer gets more money b/c it will take longer for players to reach max level b/c they spend more time watching/listening than playing, they need to spend more time coding and developing these storylines. Coding pre-scripted events isn't easy and if they did it; i imagine it would be repetitious. Players don't want to spend their whole time watching this; they want to be out there, swinging their sword, shooting fireballs and exploring an unknown world.
This is why even games like Dragon Age 2 or Mass Effect 2 cannot be fully voice-overed or cut-scened; it would take too long and make people lose interest. Just like Final Fantasy; there you go. It looks gorgeous and has everything you want.. but if you hate themeparks, this is even worse! You're on the same rollercoaster forever.

Sure there needs to be improvements to quests; make them a bit more robust; even make the player think a bit more. But really, what do you expect?


RIFT: Group Bank Idea & Implementation

My RL friend & guildie Ezuri, thought of a good idea that hopefully Trion can think about and implement. He gave me permission to cut and paste this directly from his email and forum post so the idea would get more exposure:

hey all,

not sure if this is right place to post this, but i'm sure with enough interest it may garner the attention of the developers.

so my enhancement suggestion is piggy banking on a much sought after feature: the guild bank
what i would like to see is the ability to open a 'group bank'. aka no guild required.
between friends/players online that you play rift with, it would be super beneficial to be able to have a group bank for storing all those excess artifacts, gathered materials, BoE items, etc.

unlike the guild bank, this group bank wouldn't/shouldn't come with user level restrictions (aka who can deposit, withdraw, # per day, etc.). it's based on the honesty system and trust between friends.

also, since this would be a great benefit for many players, it can't be introduced without some negatives.
i would propose one or more of the following to balance this out:
- a nominal fee (in-game currency) for all withdrawals, while deposits are free (aka money sink)
- an additional charge to the monthly cost ($1/month per character attached to a group bank?) (each account is responsible for their own players)
- the 'destruction' of the group bank must have the approval of each invited/shared member
- increase the in game currency cost of buying additional 'bag slots' in comparison to a personal/guild bank

as a minor enhancement to this, i would like to see a mail-to-bank feature as well - also for a 'fee'.
imagine being able to mail items and checking a box that says something like 'send items to group bank'. obviously if a bank is full, it stays in the mailbox instead (and you lose the extra you paid to send it).



Good idea Ezuri; this would totally help; I think DDO did this and had to pay X amt to share between characters on your account.

p.s. Ezuri you owe me 5 plat now ;)

Lots and lots of Agro

I didn't rage quit last night, but I certainly rage logged-out. I was in Scarlet Gorge and there was an Earth Invasion where we had to collect Sourcestones before time ran out. Unfortunately alot of normal mobs were not destroyed by the invasion force AND there was singular elite invasion mobs patrolling the whole map. And when they got a sniff of you (HUGE agro range), they chased you the entire map. Or until you got pinned down by the normal mobs and then finished you off.

They certainly held a grudge too; I swear the same mob found me after I soul walked and killed me 2 more times. I suppose I had the last laugh b/c I think rift monsters stay down when you defeat them. :P

I died so much I looked like that.

Or maybe its just me changing sides; i'm fighting for Regulos now!

Its actually the effect of the Touch of Shade reward from the current Live Event. Costing 100 Sourcestones, it gives your character the death rift-affected look. No stat bonuses or anything. Atleast nothing that I can tell.


The Potion System

If you see this Rift Event and don't like reading what are the objectives: kill the slow moving spirits before they get close to the dragon! That specific rift pictured above, we failed, maybe because people didn't know what to do; maybe we didn't have enough people..

Trion has done a good job in listening to the feedback and making the source stones much easier to obtain and not feel that it's impossible to get the rewards. You can get 100 source stones in about 3 days from daily quests and doing a bit of death rifting.


I've always found that a potion reward is incredibly boring. I do not want to see them as a reward in future mmo's as it normally ends up as trash as they are so inconsequential as it may have taken multiple potions to get to that point.

I'm a rift! Rawrrrrr!

If we're talking about potions, lets start handing out multiple:
5 Healing
3 Buffing
3 Damaging
1 Special (polymorph or something else)

If it is a repeating quest, let there be diminishing returns in regards to the amount of potions recieved. Simple. Done.


Stop the Hate

I don't want to foster any unnecessary and ignorant hate of the Chinese b/c i'm Chinese myself and I've read of enough 'fear' of them. But when I heard of the earthquake and then tsunami that affected Japan and that some Chinese people were happy I was a bit ashamed. For those with little history between them, in the 30s Japan invaded China, and then there was the murder, rape, torture and all that horrible stuff. Its like if there was something horrible that happened in a Muslim country where many innocent people were dying (say Libya and deaths of civilians), would 'some' Americans actually be happy that they are suffering due to the terrorist bombers and tragedy of 9/11, even if it was innocent people and children?

It's videos like below that gives me hope for the human race; that there is inherent good, that we can hold hands, come together and comfort each other.

I wish I had thought of something like this; I bet I could have reached out to cosplayers that I know of and get collections, take pictures, videos, all that and donated more generously.