More Rift Impressions, Combat weird?

White out in Realm of the Fae (Reminds me of LotR)

Days 2 and 3 went pretty well in Rift.  Graev and I managed to get on early enough to avoid queues that were too long and stayed on until we were content with not trying to get back on.   I took a few screenshots using Steam’s new integrated screenshot manager (which totally rocks) and uploaded them to my online screenshot gallery.

I can say with a comfortable amount of certainty that I am enjoying myself.  We’ve only played in the very first zone, closing in on 20 quickly, and already feel like we’ve seen a lot.  We did the first Guardian dungeon, Realm of the Fae, which was good.  I liked the atmospheric effects more than anything else (See the whiteout screenshots in the gallery). Getting souls has proven extremely easy.  I have almost every warrior soul because it only takes doing a single rift to unlock each one — it’s changing (read: being nerfed) in a patch coming soon according to the rumors.

My biggest complaints right now are with combat.  For some reason I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a bit clunky.  It might be the global cooldown (GCD) but it feels a little disconnected right now and I don’t know why.  Feels like I’m already trying to ‘push’ my way to using abilities.  I bet I’m not alone in feeling that way, so back me up if you feel the same.  It lacks the fluid use of abilities and feels just… uncomfortable. A lot like WAR actually.

I’m actually, as odd as it sounds, having a lot of fun with the crafting.  I have no idea about how it plays out in the end, whether it’s just a waste of time or remains competitive for gear, but regardless for some reason I’m loving getting the materials and making gear I actually use.  It’s no Vanguard crafting system, but it’s fun to me.  I’ve made myself full sets of armor for tin and copper and now I’m working towards iron gear.  Being able to gear myself up, in a system that is -not- a grind, is cool.  I’m also able to give everything I make and don’t use to Graev so he can raise his Runecrafting.  (I’m Armorsmith/Weaponsmith)

Rifts remain decently fun, distracting, and at times in the way.  I both love the fact that they’re always popping up and posing a threat and hating it.  I’m loving it because I feel that the only reason they’re worth anything at all is that they’re not easily done.  I’m hating it because they’re pretty much the same every time and after you do them a few dozen times it gets a bit old.  Maybe I’m just ready to move on to the next area and see some diversity.

It’ll be really telling for me how the next big zone goes.  I’ll keep you guys updated.


  • Does anyone know exactly how long the GCD is? I hate to simply assume it is 1 second just because WoW’s is 1 second. I don’t mind the combat really but I am primarily a Reaver so I focus pretty heavily on applying DoTs. My healer uses a 1.5 second heal spell so the GCD is up faster than the spell casts.

    My healer is on a different server 🙁 Sunrest queues are the bane of me

  • @Gringar: Queues will be gone soon. It’s a law of physics or something.

    I’m not in-game right now to test, but it certainly feels 1 second or more. I use instant abilities so I always feel the full brunt of it.

  • GCD is 1.5 seconds except for Rogues, which is 1 second.
    I think it is the GCD that makes things feel out of whack.
    Make a Rogue and play it, it will feel more fluid. Other classes, with the slightly longer GCD, don’t feel as smooth.

  • Yea, i have this too, but mainly on my melee character. The thing is, you get a typical melee attack that is instant and with an instant animation [so it’s a fast jab] , but with like a 2 second global cooldown on EVERYTHING . So i’ve found myself having to “wait” more than actually “participating” in combat.

    When i say melee char i’m talking about my Clerics [Justicar etc] and Warriors. Rogue uses the energy mechanic with the points buildup [same as wow rogues] which means you’re not hampered by global cooldowns but the energy points [which is as it should be].

    I don’t have this with my Mage where the spells tend to have 1-2 second casting times, combined with various other mechanics to keep you occupied.

    That is what feels “clunky” to me, because now you end up pressing too soon and the ability don’t fire and you will soon find yourself “spamming” abilities to get it off, becuase it’s simply impossible to stare at the global cooldown for a silly melee attack!

  • There’s also a spell queuing option in the options system and i’ve always found similar systems to mess with fluidity if you have low amounts of lag.

    I can be turned off though by the looks so that might be worth a try, would test it myself but i play a mage and am too lazy xD

  • I had a quick look, the GCD is different between classes. Rogue it looks to be 1s , on my Cleric it’s definitely longer, 1.5s or 2s [feels like 2s, but my stop watch is not nearby] .

  • My biggest positive surprises so far:

    -Leveling with different soul builds is really fun. I enjoy the soul system and the flexibility.

    -I thought the first Guardian zone lacked inspiration and I expected the upcoming zones wouldnt have much atmosphere. Getting to Gloamwood though proved that wrong, very interesting zone with lots of atmosphere.

    -First time I was really impressed by the graphics was in the last stage of the Fae dungeon. The winter zone is awesome.

  • I’m playing a mage and combat feels just like mage combat in every other MMO ever. Oh, except that now I added a Chloro/Dominator Role I can tank solo mobs a level higher than me (18th). That’s odd, but very welcome. I played a Cleric to 22nd in beta and didn’t notice anything unusual or “off” about the melee combat then.

    Counting all the betas I’ve probably now spent upwards of 60 hours in Silverwood alone. That is a heck of a long time to spend in one level 1 – 20 zone, but I am still not even beginning to be bored with it and there is still quite a lot there that I haven’t even done. Gloamwood is better though! Overall, more impressed with Rift than ever.

    Thanks for the heads up about a potential nerf to the ease of acquiring souls. Better get ’em while they’re hot!

  • I would add one more point to GDC and animations, that auto attack are midless filler, its just something that happens backgroug.
    I played cleric in betas and switched to rogue at the last few, just couldnt stand whack melle attack wait again wait again wait again wait again apply defbuff, wait melle again
    insert heal some time when you need it.
    With rogues it was bit different as you need to switch out more and your more limited to combo points, the shorter GCD i didnt even notice, but that explains why i liked rougue better as well

  • 1.5 is way too long for a GCD, higher up in the levels I see some abilities that have their own short cooldown but are not affected by the GCD but it really doesn’t seem like there will really even be enough. I’m actually having a hard time keeping agro off of rogues that are near my level.

  • The crafting is lots of fun so far, it was crazy to watch fire demons killing players & maybe some NPC’s while I was standing there making gear on the loom. This is a game where AFK crafting can kill you.

  • The combat lacks the dynamism of WoW’s unless you go Rogue.
    I think part of it is that Auto-Attacks do almost nothing and are often not animated – so between abilities you almost seem to be stood their waiting.

    And yes GCDs are right out of WoW: 1.5s for all but Rogues who go with 1s.

  • I hear ya. Personally I think we’re getting overloaded with combat abilities and it’s kinda distracting. I love the flexibility and interchangability of the Soul system but not sure I really need to be able to have three active at once. Seems like a balancing nightmare.

  • I like having to put some thought into it and it’s novel to work out which abilities to completely ditch as well as the usual pile of abilities to slot into various rotations.
    But I for-see that there will be some trimming to come, some streamlining and such because a lot of people are just going to feel swamped.

    Something else about combat/animations that helps disconnect you a little: there’s not much in the way of reaction when you hit something….

  • “I’m loving it because I feel that the only reason they’re worth anything at all is that they’re not easily done. I’m hating it because they’re pretty much the same every time and after you do them a few dozen times it gets a bit old.”

    Agreed. I am looking for some mechanism that ties it all together and makes going after rifts something other then…well just completely repetitive. I mean fort captures in DAOC meant something by opening up access to a great dungeon. Could we not get some overarching impetus to clear the zone of rifts, besides currency and drops? Maybe rifts turn into main city sieges if you don’t work to close them? Something…

  • Yea as someone mentioned, i think the 3 souls by lvl 6 is a bit overkill. They should encourage players to specialize a little, since i’ve shot myself in the foot already due to “spreading myself thin” across the 3 souls.

    With 3 souls, you will initially get some basic generic abilities and only once you invest up to 8-10 points do you get to the “meat” of the specific soul. It is very easy to try to go up all 3 souls at the same time and ending up with a very mediocre,boring character that can do a little of everything but can’t actually do anything well….especially below lvl 20 . This can be a game breaking experience for new comers.

    I am comparing specifically spreading my points between my [Rogue] : Riftstalker [tank], Bard [heal/buff] , Saboteur [AOE Dps]


    [Mage] : Necro , Warlock , Dominator [all points going into Necro].

    My Necro got more survivability,more dps and more cc than my Rogue at lvl 15 . Scary thought.

  • Gringar :

    I have a Warrior @ level 28, my main tanking build right now is Paladin, Reaver and Warlord.

    I can say without a doubt I have no problem keeping aggro and holding it, even with party members dumping a shitload of damage on the target.

    Furthermore, while early on the GCD feels clunky, you’ll get a ton of abilities that aren’t on GCD, it balances out.

  • @Crackbone: Those are my three souls as well. I’ve spent all the points I can in Paladin and put the rest into defensive Warlord stuff.

    How is your spread? Have you invested much into Reaver?

  • I used to think the combat was clunky. Then i turned on FULL ability queue, and it made it feel just about right. It allows me to hit a button, immediately queue another, and go go go. I play a cleric and its 1.5 gcd. With the full queue it feels fluid and quick.

    Make sure your on full queue. It will remove the split second between abilities that makes it feel jittery and clunky

  • @Alchemda: Thanks, I’ll see if that’s on.

    @Silvertemplar: The nice thing is, you can respec your souls without much effort. Get all new souls from a simple quest or pay gold to respec the points in souls you already have going.

  • I guess I was lucky in choosing to create a rogue as I haven’t seen any of the attack slowdowns people have expressed here.

    OTOH, does anyone else find that tabbing to select a mob to attack is slower than molasses?

  • Tabbing is not great, sometimes it fails completely.
    Also Smart Target does not always find a target for your attack but essentially tab-targets for you and then you have to press the ability again.. sometimes. Still nothing gamebreaking and hopefully due to be addressed by Trion.

  • Last night I respecced and experimented a little bit, right now I am Reaver 13 and Paladin 8, and well, Riftblade 0 for now

    8 in Paladin was enough to get the 10% armor, the 20% threat, and the 5% hit and block shield buff, lay on hands, and the two shield attacks that aren’t affected by the GCD.

    13 in Reaver gives me the 15% extra threat from DoTs, i plan to be mostly Reaver, i also have the ability (not affected by GCD) that turns the Reaver DoTs into aoes

    That really fixed my agro, i can hold agro now without even trying to chain my extra threat abilities together. The 3 abilities that aren’t on the GCD make combat alot more smooth granted the Reaver one isn’t really an attack but there’s something very satisfying to me about casting aoe DoTs.

    I’ll have to experiment some more but right now I like it.

  • I feel the same way about combat on melee classes. As a caster, it feels the same as WoW does.

    Part of the issue I think is that autoattacks count for crap. There is no contribution from attack power on autoattacks. So abilities are your only real damage output. This means reliance on a single ability for most of your damage. It doesnt feel very good imo. You simply spam your starter ability as fast as possible, with a few others sprinkled in when off cooldown.

  • @ Keen

    That’s what i’m running right now in the tanking spec.

    Warlord is the supplement, it’s really not necessary. I have a PvP sword and board build with the PvP soul slotted.

    The 5% chance to miss for enemies is nice out of warlord, but it’s really a Paladin/Reaver build.

    With a pocket healer this also does very well for PvP, in that you have a number of ranged stuns, melee stuns, reflective damage from Balance of Power. Shield charge to get in close, and it’s still active during combat, so, get rooted, well, you just charge again.

    Of course, you can suit to taste on that build, but it’s served me well tanking in all of the dungeons up to this point, and I ran that build tanking Foul Cascade last night with no issue.

    Hope this helps.

  • 33 atm and loving it

    gotta love server queue QQ’s
    makes me LOL everytime someone complains about it

    never played an MMO launch before?

  • [quote]
    never played an MMO launch before?

    Rift queues are worst I ever seen. By far. And I played vanilla wow on archimonde ( the “unnofficial” pvp server at launch)

    I give trion credit though other than queue its pretty solid probably even a tad better than wow at launch (which did have occasional loot lag)

    One thing though is their server seems to be unable to handle stress load. We had moderate scale world pvp on weekeend (about 100 ppl in total ) and it lagged horribly and crashed server shortly afterwards. WoW largest world pvp raids could handle north of 300 people in same area – and that was back in early vanilla. -couple of epic raids on ironforge and stormwind probably one my fondest MMO memories

  • I have played almost every significant MMO that has been released since 1997 and I have never seen 5 hour regular lines to login until now. Sure there have been a 20-30 minute wait here and there. But I have never come home from work and been unable to play until I am about ready for bed.

    I admit Keen has a point that in about 2-3 months, our server will be one of the few with a high population, but for a few months it is almost unplayable.

    Have you ever played fantasy football? You find yourself watching the games in totally different ways. You want guy x to score 3 touchdowns but his team to still lose the game.

    This is how I’m playing Rift now. I sometimes want to login and find zero queue. And other times I want to login and find a 2 hour queue because I want to play in two hours. But If I login in 2 hours it will be a 5 hour queue.

    I’m still a fan, but anybody that doesn’t admit this queue thing is a complete nightmare right now is….well I’ll leave that unsaid.

  • IF anyone still feels its clunky, not sure if it will help, but you can look into disabling the nagle algorithm, helped me with AION.

  • Just wanted to say, for the most part since official launch the Queues seemed to be fixed, neither myself nor anyone in my guilds has had one, and I personally play on 3 different servers (with different people)

    I don’t get the clunkiness of combat. I have a warrior, rogue, and Melee cleric all at level 18-22. Rogue I am playing assassin, which is kinda boring as you only really spam one ability, however it feels a lot smoother because your poison damage is ticking almost constantly, making you feel like your auto attacks are actually worth something and your seeing just a string of constant numbers.

    With my warrior I’ve played him as a paragon main, riftblade main, and champaion main. Champion is slow and clunky I admit, because you don’t really have many abilities to use. Riftblade though is very active, which makes it feel smooth, as your hitting ice strike, then you want to use your fire ability twice, then make sure you hit your finisher with 3 attack points, have to watch CD of ice strike, using stone shield, etc. Paragon is even more active with the number of abilities.

    I do agree auto attacks needs to do more damage, mainly they need to be increased by attack power.

    However, loving the game so far. Also, someone mentioned above about rifts should spawn invasions if not closed… they do. Same with footholds. Both will spawn invasion forces if they are not closed/defeated, even if there is no major invasion going on at the time. I’ve been soloing minor rifts and had minor invasion forces spawn right on top of me .

    Also, I love the new PvP matyrdom Warfront, pretty nice when coming from WoW battlegrounds to have something other than Cap the Flag or control different points.

    Lastly, if you want a very very active tank, Riftstalkers (rogues) make really good tanks, and are very active, as you have to keep up one buff that stacks 3 times, at 3 stacks each hit renews the timer of 20 seconds, keep up another buff that lessens damage, lasts up to 30 seconds depending on combo points used, a third buff that can last up to 60 second depending on combo points, and if you off spec blade dancer and get 8 points into it… a 4th buff that can go up to 60 seconds based on combo points, all while using your normal attack abilities to keep aggro. Very fun.

    All in all loving the game.