Enter at Your Own Rift: Finally 50

RIFT statue
As an MMO player, I'm generally behind the curve when it comes to leveling and cutting-edge content exploration. Pushing myself to level quickly is far less fun to me than taking my time and exploring all the nooks and crannies, and my available playtime is far less than it used to be. Ergo, while many of have been at the level cap for months and are either elite PvPers or Raiders of the Lost Hammerknell, I've just hit 50 this past week for the first time in RIFT.

In a way, being behind the curve is a blessing because others have gone before you and forged a path so that coming from behind is much easier. That said, I still felt overwhelmed when the final ding happened because my previously clear goals evaporated in a second. What do I do now? How do I gear up? What does one do at level 50, anyway?

Fortunately, I'm part of a guild that's full of seasoned 50s, not to mention that I'm friends with plenty of bloggers who were 50 when I was still in diapers. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Ahem. So for this week's Enter at Your Own Rift, I posited them this question: What do you and should you do when you hit 50 in the game? They came back to me with excellent responses that I'm now going to share with you.

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR IMMINENT KNOWLEDGE!

RIFT dinged 50
Sallennia, MMO Reporter

When a player hits level 50 in RIFT, she is faced with a lot of options for what she can do with her game time.

The first thing you should start doing is working on daily quests. It will help you collect crafting items as well as money, which you will need help get and keep yourself geared up. Quest dailies are available in Stillmore, Iron Pine Peaks, and Shimmersand. The quests available vary by day, and they are fairly quick and easy for a level 50 player to complete. More importantly, completing daily quests is a good way to gain reputation with the factions in those zones. With that faction, you gain access to higher-level gear, essences, food buffs and in some areas, awesome level 50 mounts! Check with the faction vendor in each area before you decide where to start doing those dailies because it does take a while.

The other thing you want to start doing is running Tier 1 expert dungeons. You may need to pick up some better gear before you are very effective, but if you look at your stats on your character sheet, you can see what stats you should have before you can manage a Tier 1. Completing T1 dungeons will gain you Achievement Plaques (which you can use to purchase better gear) and will allow you the possibility of picking up a loot drop that upgrades your gear for Tier 2s. Once you get a few good pieces, you should be able to start working on Tier 2 dungeons as well.

Another way to get better gear to prepare you for the higher-level dungeons is by completing expert rifts. Expert rifts are meant for five players and often drop some really good gear. The nice thing is, if you are playing with other players who are new to 50, you can run them with more than five people. This gives you a better chance of completing them while you are learning the mechanics. Expert rifts require an Expert Lure and finding a rift tear in one of the three high-level zones.

Once you have some experience with the expert rifts and some higher level gear, you can also run raid rifts. They are a lot more challenging, require a minimum of 10 players, and drop some fantastic loot!

And of course, when you're tired of doing all that or don't have a lot of time to play, there are always PvP Warfronts. You can get some really good gear using your Favor collected in Warfronts, and it's good to start working on your rank right away if you plan to PvP at all.

RIFT campfire
Nikayla, The Fluff Factor

You have many options available to you at 50, including working on getting ready for raiding, continuing PvPing to get prestige, gaining notoriety with the three major factions in Iron Pine Peaks, Shimmersand and Stillmoor, and continuing to work faction with the other smaller allies as well as planar factions.

If you enjoy PvP, you'll notice you have a new bar in your Warftonts tab (press K to open) under PvP called prestige. You can only gain prestige once you've dinged level 50 and are in the PvP zones and rifts. You'll also notice you can now queue up for a new Warfront, The Battle for Port Scion. Once you've gained enough favor and prestige, you can visit your PvP vendors for some really nice gear.

If factioning is your cup of tea, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, if you haven't finished the zone's quests, you'll want to do that. Once you get the dailies for each zone, you can do these to gain more faction. Stillmoore and Shimmersand will also give you the availability to buy mounts once you hit a certain notoriety level. If you enjoy instances, Charmer's Caldera (CC) can give you faction for Shimmersand (Dragonslayer Covenant), while Abyssal Precipice (AP) will give you faction for Iron Pine Peaks (Icewatch).

If your main purpose is to raid, then you'll want to start gearing up. Notoriety with the higher-level factions will help to get you started, as will beginning the tiered dungeons and raids. The dungeons have three categories: regular, Tier 1, and Tier 2. The Tier 1 experts give gear that will get you into the Tier 2 experts, and the Tier 2 experts get you ready for raiding. You can also do expert rifts to get you ready for raid rifts. Although these rifts are meant to be for 10 people, you can bring an entire raid, so if your guild or PUG is a little under-geared, bring along a full 20. Everyone in the raid who participates will be eligible for the loot.

While doing all of this, don't forget crafting! With the new gear for crafting you can easily be raid-ready in no time. Get your crafting leveled as soon as possible, and if you have 20-hour cooldowns, use them whenever possible, as you'll need those mats to make your gear! If you don't like how your gear looks, use the wardrobe to wear other fun things. I had great-looking gear waiting for me when I dinged.

All of this doesn't even include RIFT's special events and your achievements list. The events can be done at any level but are still fun to do at level 50. So in short (or really rather long), these are just a few of the possibilities available to you in RIFT. Dinging 50 does not mean you've beaten the game! Explore some more and above all... have fun!

RIFT birthday cake
Ferrel, Epic Slant

When you reach max level and want to get into raiding, there are a few steps you'll need to tackle before getting started. The pre-raid gearing-up process is relatively simple but does require running Tier 2 dungeons repetitively. To get into Tier 2 dungeon running, you'll need to have a required level of statistics before the Looking for Group tool will allow you to get it. Each class has one to two statistics that it will need to max depending on the role you wish to fill.

Hit, focus, and toughness are basically gating statistics. They will dictate whether or not you're allowed to use the LFG tool. If you're filling a DPS role, you'll need to reach 100 focus (Mage/Cleric) or hit (Rogue/Warrior) to be able to queue up. For a tank, you need 100 toughness. There is also a less clearly defined primary statistic requirement. This has been the bane of some players because it seems like a bug. In general, the number should be around the 300 range. This may vary by class.

It isn't that difficult to reach these statistic milestones these days. In the past it was a progression from Tier 1 to Tier 2 dungeons. That largely isn't necessary now. If the majority of your gear is blue, you will already be quite close. Look into tradeskill products to get you the remainder of the statistics you need. There is a wealth of high-quality, not overly expensive purple items that can be made. These will get you where you need to be. It is also helpful not to forget your local Runecrafter! A Runecrafter can add some serious statistics onto the gear you already have for a very small fee.

Once you've reached your statistic milestones, it is time to use the LFG tool! Each day you'll earn one "random dungeon bonus" that can be used to gain bonus plaques and a mark. When you use the LFG tool and complete a dungeon, one bonus will disappear. You can't gain past seven bonuses, so if you're at seven and not using the bonus, it is going to waste.

Collect dropped gear from the Tier 2 dungeons you're running and save up your plaques to buy the set pieces you don't fill out. This gear will help you hit the next statistic milestone. Hang on to your marks because they will let you buy raid quality gear! When you're pretty well T2'd out, you'll be eligible to start into Drowned Halls or Greenscale's Blight. You'll need to reach 200 focus or hit for DPS and 150 toughness to tank. Remember that focus and hit benefit you up to 220, but toughness doesn't after 150. Good luck and happy raiding!

Whether they're keeping the vigil or defying the gods, Karen Bryan and Justin Olivetti save Telara on a weekly basis. Covering all aspects of life in RIFT, from solo play to guild raids, their column is dedicated to backhanding multidimensional tears so hard that they go crying to their mommas. Email Karen and Justin for questions, comments, and adulation.

This article was originally published on Massively.