Rift's first expansion, Storm Legion, is finally here! In this special report blog entry, I'll be updating with my first impressions as they come. As always, you can click here for a free trial if you want to try out Rift for yourself. Be sure to join me on Faeblight!
First impression so far: cool new patcher theme! I like the purple and red! I'm glad I could be such an artistic influence for you, Trion ;)
Server just came down for a fix, so it seems like a good time to update. So far it still very much feels like Rift, which is a good thing. The patch process was quite painless: I risked trying out that "download while you play" mode I'm always so wary of and had no problems or negative experiences at all. Bravo Trion! There was a bit of lag, but nothing out of the ordinary for a bajillion players all shoving their way into the opening area of new content.
I especially like the change that allows players to get quest credit for attacking monsters tagged by other players. Up until now whoever got the first hit got the quest credit, and while Rift's public-by-default party system usually makes it easy to join your way into someone's party to get that credit, not everyone appreciated the intervention. Now players will never EVER fight over quest mobs again... provided they just have to be killed. The system isn't perfect: any quest monster that you have to spawn you still can't share quest credit, and any quest item you interact with is still one person only.
So I made it to level 51 with Soulrift, my rogue, and I figured it was a good time to take a break, eat some food (yummy scrambled egg!) and post another quick update.
So far the leveling experience in Storm Legion has been very hectic. Instead of the typical quest hub with a dozen quests system has been replaced with fewer quests per hub but significantly more quests you stumble upon as you travel. Trion's done a spectacular job making sure players stumble upon them as they go, but the constant bombardment of different objectives makes you feel a little bit frazzled.
A big part of that is the new "Carnage" type quest, which lets them take the "kill x rats" quest type out of the quest hub and allows story quests to focus on more meaningful objectives. Carnage triggers when you kill one of the quest monsters, then you get a quest to go ahead and kill a bunch more. Another nice advantage of the quest separation is that you don't need the accompanying area's story quest to start the carnage quests, nor do you need to complete the carnage quests to complete the story quests. This certainly empowers players to explore or focus on story.
There's another feature I really like so far in Storm Legion: propaganda. Yes, you read me right, propaganda. Throughout the major settlements, there's a propaganda war going on between Crucia's Storm Legion and the allied forces. Much of it is pretty typical "abandon all hope, ye enemies of mine" fare, but a few areas have particularly amusing propaganda playing out in the background. One fortress informed the stationed Storm Legion troops that they have all been tasked with slaying ten Ascended each. Those who succeed will be promoted to the next level... (pause in audio)... of command. Well-appreciated humour :)
One last bit: I realized right after I quit for the night that I hadn't seen a single zone invasion in the new expansion area. Maybe the intentionally don't trigger any in the first zone? I wonder what they'll be like, especially because I've heard about these Colossus monsters that are supposed to be really awesome and all that...
Also: no new Storm Legion scratch games for the mobile app?