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Launch Diary: Now With Even More Video!

Rift's head start for pre-orders and collector's editions is live, and we're finally playing after dealing with some mild initial patching and server load issues. Check back for updates to see what kind of pithy one-liners Adam's journey through Telara is inspiring him to post. Latest update: 02.25.11 | 1742

The newest updates will always be at the bottom.

Alternatively, follow Adam on Twitter (@abiessener) for real-time updates.

Not sure if you're into Rift's fantasy MMO style? Check out the cinematic trailer for a taste.

02.23.11 | 1422: Install...patch...patch invalid. Whee!

02.24.11 | 2330: Three hour queue, no thanks. My guild sure can pick a server.

02.25.11 | 0800: It’s 8 a.m. and there’s still a queue for my server. It’s four people long, but the principle of the thing is what matters here.

0814: The character creator isn’t bad, but it fails to capture the fullness of my glorious beard. Still, I’m pretty happy with my soon-to-be-mage.

0819: So I’ve been brought back to life as some kind of awesome magical cyborg who consumes the souls of the fallen? Sweet.

0822: Okay, my initial scan of the lore may be slightly off. Even so, the Defiant base is bitchin'.

0825: All of the souls available to me sound amazing. See, souls are like WoW talent trees. You collect them and merge up to three of them (eventually, I’m as newbie as a kitten now so I only get the one) to create your own unique class. Pyromancer, Warlock, Chloromancer, and Archon all seem totally kick ass but they lose out to Stormcaller. Because, well, Stormcaller.

0844: What the hell is this thing? I haven’t even drawn my staff to throw out my first baby lightning bolt and this monstrosity is wrecking a bunch of dudes right here.

0850: Okay, yeah, this is totally giving me the new awesome MMO shivers. Squee!

0925: Too much time spent writing this, not enough time playing. Need to shoot things with lightning.

0930: Twitter integration! Woo!

0953: The one thing that sticks out to me so far is how many little things I appreciate as a long-time MMO player. Like how my racial is a short-cooldown out-of-combat sprint -- it's so much easier to get around as a lowbie. Chat functionality is fantastic. My spells (yeah, Stormcaller rules) interact in interesting ways from level two. The lore is available (and surprisingly not stupid), but not shoved in your face. I'm enjoying the hell out of this so far.

1006: Oh, awesome. If you happen to pull a bunch of guys you didn't think would aggro together and get squished -- not that I'm so much of a newb to ever do that, of course -- you get a once-per-hour delayed self-resurrect. Corpse runs are so 2005.

1038: Made it back through the time portal to stop the apocalypse. One newbie mage against the Destroyer of Worlds or whatever he's called. What could go wrong?

1158: Did some leveling and rift-stomping. The world feels more dynamic than in anything else I've played. Rifts are very similar to Warhammer Online's public quests, yes, but seem to be implemented better. So far I'm joining huge raids in the crowded post-tutorial newbie zone and not doing much more than spamming instants, but that's okay. There's a giant invasion going on right now, with monsters trying to overrun our Defiant defenses at two different locations and rifts spawning all over the place. As far as I can tell, about 80 percent of the players in the zone are running around trying to deal with it. It's pretty awesome. I keep getting distracted from my questing.

Super Bonus Update: Hey, my video finished rendering and uploading! Check out the newbie tutorial rift that caps off the intro zone and sends you to the "real" world below.

1419: Used my free respec to switch to a Chloromancer-focused build, and holy cow it's incredible. Just hit level 10 with it, and I went from "hey this soul is kinda neat" to "I guess I'll kill everything and drain all my health back and never ever die." The skill chains and interactions between abilities at level 10 in Rift are around what you'd get at level 40 in World of Warcraft. I'm loving the combat, the dynamic events, and the overall polish of the game so far. Then again, I was saying a lot of the same things for the first 40 or so hours of Warhammer Online, and look how that turned out.

1544: Dealt with my first major invasion. What happens here is that a bunch of rifts and invasions spawn across an entire zone, and everyone in range gets a public quest to defeat invaders, seal rifts, and eventually kill the boss. In the one I participated in, we had to seal 10 rifts, defeat 25 invasions, kill 1,000 creatures, and then deal with something called Grimnir. This was much better than regular rifts; the monsters were tougher and the number of invaders was better scaled to the number of players we had fighting back. I even died once! I'm still fairly positive on the dynamic content in Rift so far, but I'm curious to see how it balances out once there isn't such a huge concentration of players in just a few zones.

Super Bonus Update 2: Another video finished! Here's a brief look at what an invasion looks like. It's not a rift, with the giant glowing sky blob spawning monsters -- instead, this is a set of elite monsters that come into town and try to kill everyone. It's nice to see the dynamic content not being limited to rifts themselves, even right away in the newbie zone.

1633: Guess what a group of opposite-faction level 20+ characters were doing in the newbie zone! If you said anything but "spamming emotes and killing questgivers over and over," turn in your MMO card right now because duh. Oh well, I've been wanting to make it out to the capital city for a while now. Meridian is pretty cool, and holds all the stuff you expect: bankers, class trainers, profession masters, daily questgivers, faction bosses, etc. One cool thing: guild weekly quests. You can pick one of a couple -- there's a PvP one, a dungeon one, and what I think is a rift-focused one -- for your guild to work toward collectively for the week. Neato.

1701: Torched a major water invasion. This one was close. Three of our four Wardstones fell to the invaders before we could finish off the boss. Between all the different combats taking place across the whole zone, we must have had over a hundred players working together toward this one. Awesome stuff. Going to try to get some more game in tonight and put together a big post on my overall thoughts after a day of Rift, so check back tomorrow for more.

Super Bonus Update 3 (1742): More video! This is a small slice of the water invasion I was talking about just now. Looks very different from the death rifts I'd been fighting previously. I love how I get to pump out a ton of passive healing to my whole raid just by beating on enemies with thunderbolts and spore waves and keeping my debuffs up. Chloromancer is so much fun.

  • very good launch. im wondering how many wow players will flock over to this game. Guild wars 2 will be an even bigger problem for blizzard...... they better rethink that 2014 release date gor their next game
    mi not say it will kill wow, not a single mmo, or a couple of mmos can kill wow in a year, im just saying rift already has 1 million users and it hasnt even released yet.
  • Rift is a good game but by no means a wow killer.

    With the failure of FFXIV, APB, STO etc there's slim pickings to choose from, albeit they all look great at the moment.

    Guild Wars 2 and SWTOR will be big but will it kill wow? No.

    Their success solely depends on their launch, and if successful I'm sure they could at least get a significant bite in the MMO market.
  • I'm excited to get into this world.

  • I don't think any single MMO will kill wow, I think games like this one will keep chipping away a million or so users each year and end up balancing out MMO space a little more rather than one game owning all

  • Looks pretty cool. I am waiting for Old Republic before I start up another MMO though :P

  • Looks pretty cool. I am waiting for Old Republic before I start up another MMO though :P

  • Reading initial thoughts and reactions to this game people are all raving about the dynamic events (one of the games main selling points I reckon) but one has to wonder how well it will all continue to work once players are more spread out across the world(s) and of different levels and stuff...

  • So.....Is this game worth buying then? I'm skeptical about starting a new MMO after not being on MMO's for a couple years now (with the exception of DDO, which is free anyways, after getting a new computer with tax refund) Based off initial experiences, would this be worth it? Also, when is TOR coming out? =P

  • this game is awesome got to play yesterday almost every server is full with tons of people definitely worth checking out its takes alot of great things from many mmos

  • I remember warhammer online appearing awesome. But you leveled very quickly, and it got boring quick with "end game" stuff. Don't tell me it's like that adaM! NOOOOOOO! Tell me it's like most excellent cupcakes that you play.

  • That "ogre" looks like a mixture of the first mission boss in Painkiller and the cyclops in Disciples 2.

  • Oh, Adam. This is just the beginning indeed. Wait until you get to Scarlet Gorge, where everything will hit you for an upwards of 100 damage and you only have 1.7k health. It's fun when those hard earned blues and purples bought from the currency obtained from rift events suddenly become worthless.

    And who could forget the fact you can't run away from enemies because they slap a debuff on you which increases damage done to you by 20% when you run away. I mean, when you're level 20 with a shiny new mount and a level 10 faerie knocks you off your mount and drills 30% of your health away, how can you not help but smile?

    But... other than that I like this game!

  • I need someone to tell me what to do with my money. Someone do my critical thinking for me! QUICK!! Do I buy this game?! AHHHHH!!

  • AHHHHH!!! I want to get this game but I have been burned by so many MMO's lately. DC Universe and Aion left me with two $50 games that everyone started quiting after a month.
  • The game and leveling experience is pretty much as fun as Adam makes it sound (I didn't have any patching errors either) The queues can suck but that is to be expected with a high profile MMO release, and Trion is actively adding more servers to help spread the load.

    MMOs live and die by what they offer a endgame content so it will be awhile before we know if rift has any staying power

  • I was really on the fence about this one. I was in the last few betas, and I had "fun", which ultimately pushed me over the edge to preorder. I wont get my hopes up about it being the next youW-knOw-Who killer, and no one really knows what the end game is going to be like. I'll go into it thinking "hey, ill have a few months of fun and see what this is all about", and thats probably about all we can hope for, but maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.

  • I have to agree about this game not being a WOW killer. The market is a flood with a ton of players who want to play something that doesn't look gay like WoW but has the same type of easy addictive game play.

  • I'll stay tuned, though I don't think i'll be swayed. FYI the videos arent working for me.

  • Am I crazy or does this game seem really smooth and responsive?  This can't be a new MMO... unpossible.

  • cool