Terrycloth (terrycloth) wrote,

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ugly gray RIFT

I managed to avoid the beta, and planned not to play this at all, but everyone was talking about it so I 'pre-ordered' it in time to get into the headstart the very next day. I didn't run into the huge queues and lag that other people were talking about, probably because I can't really play MMOs during the week until 9 or so, so what I saw was a stable game with reasonable gameplay, although at low levels it's hard to really get a handle on what the character building system is going to be like. You only have a few points to spread around between three different classes.

I've heard you get a total of 51 at max level which isn't really enough to actually be triple-classed. At least one of the classes is going to be sadly neglected. At low levels, two of them probably are. OTOH that *does* still mean you have thirty two classes to choose from -- you pick from one of four callings, which is permanent and can't be changed, and each has 8 classes inside it which is what you mix and match. There's a lot of similarity between the classes within a calling at low levels, though. Of course, that's true in most games at low levels.

Character 1: I wanted to do yet another reprise of Linienni, my EQ1 magician. One of the defiant races can supposedly turn into a fox. So, elementalist/dominator/pyromancer, right? Only I went /stormcaller because of the obvious synergy (both ele and dom use lightning, and storm gives bonuses to lightning) even though really the third class could be /pastry chef for all the use I got out of it. Pet... so... weak... not that that should be surprising since everyone can take a starter pet with no investment of anything but their third (and therefore probably undeveloped) soul. So starting pets can't be strong. Maybe the pets that require more investment in the tree are stronger.

The fox form, however, is LAME. Semitransparent fox with the usual ugly semitransparency -- like CoH's stealth, where you see through each polygon to the polygon behind it, not like WoW's shadowform. Having it be ugly completely defeats the purpose!

Character 2: Kijji the bard, my EQ2 rat. Only, not a rat, because RIFT completely lacks rats or lizards or cats or interesting racial choices of any kind. Bards fight by strumming a lute at the enemies, although the damage is based on the weapons they're not holding because instead they're strumming a lute. Again I decided to follow the synergy recommendation, and went bard/riftstalker/ranger. The /ranger gave me a pet. An ugly, ugly pet. A pig. A gray pig.

Of course I shouldn't have expected anything else than ugliness -- being ugly is RIFT's entire reason for existance. Everything is gray, or brown, or mottled grayish brown. Or a sort of washed-out purple to show that it's evil, although the washed out purple is usually an aura around something gray and brown. It reminds me a lot of EQ2's art style, and not in a good way. Is it really *so* much to ask that monsters have more than one color each?

I want to give this game a chance but it's SO SO UGLY. You're trying to compete with WoW -- one of the most colorful MMOs out there. Is this meant to be a deliberate choice, to differentiate yourself? "Ha! They've cornered the market on games for people who have eyes -- let's make a game for BLIND folks. We'll make it so ugly that the people who come over to try it will gouge out their own eyes in disgust, and then they'll be ours forever!"
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