The Kelari raced toward Seriia breathlessly. Seriia's eyes widened as she hopped to her feet. A quick glance at Kitter the Faerie explained the dread. Kitter seemed to feel the same impending darkness Seriia did. Something was certainly wrong, but it appeared to extend beyond just the fact that a strange Elf was running toward her. That's when she saw it, the source that seemed to pull at her strength: The Kelari held a long tooth in his hand. Although Seriia had never seen one in person, she had more dreams about this than anything else. This was the fang of a dragon, and not just any dragon, but the creature that had haunted her nightmares since she was reawakened: the Black Dragon of Regulos.
The Kelari smashed into her then collapsed to the ground. "You... must... keep it safe," he breathed. Then the light fled from his eyes as his eyelids closed for the last time. Seriia glanced down at the Kelari's hands. They were empty. But before she could ask the obvious question, she noticed the fang buried in her tunic between the leather vest and chainmail shirt.
Just as she lifted the ivory tusk from her clothing, she heard thunder, and the ground vibrated. Her attention turned toward the hill where the Kelari had just come from. A dozen or more heads peeked over the hill -- Guardians! And they were running after her now.
"Kitter, I believe we should leave... quickly," Seriia squeaked. The faerie nodded her head slowly, trembling.
Perhaps starting with the positive is best.
On Gamebreaker last night, we mentioned twinking -- not that kind of twinking! (OK, maybe we talked about that too, but that's not what I mean.) I mean twinking as in acquiring gear or stats beyond your level, and here I was earlier this week a level 19, almost 20, in a level 10 to 19 PvP zone. Technically, that's not twinking, but I did outlevel most everyone else in the warfront. I'm really not a PvPer, so I needed a leg up in the situation. Is that a good enough excuse? No? Yeah, OK, I didn't think it was either. In my defense, I did want to experience what it felt like to actually win some warfronts before getting skunked in the level 20 to 29 battlegrounds. Plus, I was already level 19. I had no other choice.
Let me explain the Black Garden warfront quickly. In the center of the forested area sits a small rift. In the center of the rift, a large tooth floats. The tooth is called the Fang of Regulos, and the rift is called the prison. I am not completely aware of the whole backstory of the zone, but the objective is to pick up the fang and hold it as close to the prison as you can. Of course, while this is going on, enemies attempt to kill you so that you drop the fang. Since the area near the prison is fairly open, it is best not to stand right next to it. However, the farther away you get from the center, the fewer points you get. The first team to 500 points wins; if no one reaches 500, the team with the most points when time runs out wins. However, I never saw time actually run out. Did I mention that the fang depletes your health pool the longer you hold on to it?
My first PvP experiences were more than chuckle-worthy. The number one mistake I made was attacking pets that I did not know despawned when the attacker respawned -- that is, until I realized that my pet fairy would reappear next to me after I died -- duh! However, the most humorous mistake had to be my attempt at capturing the fang. Taking down enemies was easy and fun. I didn't win every battle, but I picked up some signature combinations pretty quickly. Yet when I would defeat the fang carrier, I couldn't click on the fang to pick it up. At first, I figured I was getting interrupted all the time, yet I never received a notification to that effect. Then it dawned on me what was happening. Maybe the SOE MMOs have been spoiling me; in them, you need only a single left-click to activate something in the world. But apparently, in RIFT, I needed to use a right-click to pick up the fang. Needless to say, I facepalmed.
Once the frustration of picking up the fang was over, I became the star quarterback. I even have the badge to prove it! In fact, I gained a total of 10 badges in the Black Garden PvP zone: Star Quarterback, Slayer, Victory: The Black Garden, Carrier Down!, Carrying Corruption, Favorful, Left Holding the Fang, Killer, The Best Defense Is A Good Offense, and of course, Level 20! In the end, I walked away with 294 PvP kills this week. I'm satisfied.
Despite enjoying PvP and receiving some nice badges for it, I found that PvP does not carry as much weight for me as roleplay or PvE. Unfortunately for RIFT, my enjoyment of these aspects of the game are dwindling. Perhaps I'm attempting to absorb too much at one time rather than blowing through the content like many other RIFTers are. I know the majority of players I work with at other websites tend to press as fast as they can toward endgame. I do enjoy endgame content, but I like the gratification of leveling as well. Grinding from quest to quest while watching the little bar fill up does not constitute gratification. If the only thing I was looking for was filling up a little bar, then I would run off to play a Facebook game. At least there, I get my own little farm to decorate.
At this stage in my game, the story no longer interests me. This could be because the story at my current level feels just like the last two story arcs: go kill five of these and seven of these other things. When you come back, I need you to go back out to the same spot you just came from and kill 10 of these other things, and while you're out there, click on a couple of these items. When you come back from that... you know that big guy you accidentally aggro'd and killed the last time you were out there? Yeah, I need to you kill that guy again. I understand that this is the "MMO formula," but MMOs are old enough now -- they need to get off formula and start drinking milk or maybe eat a steak.
Next week, I will attempt to gain a few more levels, but to be honest, I look forward to doing more PvP. If you have any specific suggestions, I will do my best to try them out before I close out my term in this column. I play my hardest during the weekend, so if you play on Faeblight, add Seriia to your friendslist and say hi. Even though my enjoyment of the game is waning, I still want to hang out with some Massively readers. I hope to see you in game!
Larry Everett is a nut who loves to play MMOs. Sure, he really wants to be playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, but alas, it's not out yet. In the meantime, he needs your help: Tell him what and how to play while he waits! Direct his game time in Choose My Adventure on Wednesdays and the livestream on Fridays!