Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I guess I might as well get this out of the way.

Rift is an MMORPG created by TRION.

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.  World of Warcraft is probably the most famous of such games.

My first MMORPG was Everquest.  I played Everquest from about April 1999 until around April of 2001.  I was thoroughly addicted to it, but like all good addictions, I finally gave it up.

I played Dark Age of Camelot for a spell and then, like all good addicts, I played World of Warcraft.  After WoW I played Age of Conan and even blogged about it somewhere.  That's just to name of few.

With every MMO I've played, I've always stopped playing because I run out of things to do by myself.  They generally have all these fantastic dungeons to go through, but you can't go through them alone.  It always requires a team.  Sometimes a team of 5 and some of the more intricate ones require a team of 20 or more.

My socially inadequate self is not geared up for the kind of hobnobbing required to gel with a team of 20 so I quit playing.

Rift has somehow managed to fix this.  I'll attempt to explain how it works.  In Rift, you have callings, souls and roles.  A calling is one of four broad categories: warrior, mage, cleric or rogue.  For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about you should probably have quit reading 3 paragraphs ago.

Each calling has a set of souls to choose from.  A rogue, for example, can be an assassin, bard, ranger, bladedancer, marksman, riftstalker, saboteur, or nightblade.  But, then it gets tricky.  Your character starts with 1 role, but can purchase additional roles and each role is a combination of 3 souls.

One of my rogue's roles, for example, is an assassin, bard, and nightblade.  This combination of souls gives you grouping possibilities because a soul combination gives you a role in a group.  The general roles are healer, tank, damage, and support.

Groups of five contain two damage, a tank, a healer and support.  When I need to throw caution to the wind and get into a dungeon where I need a group of 5, I simply toss my hat into the ring and check which roles I can perform.

My rogue, again, can be support or damage.  If I check those two roles and click join dungeon, the Rift system will look at all the groups currently in development and find a group which needs support or damage and throw me into the group as either support or damage (depending on which role is needed).  Generally tanks and healers are the most rare.  If I want to get into a group quick I'll choose one of those roles.

Anyway, it's a beautiful thing.  It makes it easy as pie to get into groups so the entire Rift universe is yours to explore regardless of your social ineptitude.  Trust me.


  1. I am not really sure why, but for some reason this was just about the saddest thing I've read today. I don't think I'd be admitting to an addiction to something like this. Aren't you something like 35 years old now? 35 years old and playing the 2011 version of Dungeons and Dragons? Why don't you join the National Guard? I've seen teams of National Guard guys and girls playing war games in River Legacy Park. You even get to have a real gun and wear a uniform. Wouldn't that be more fun than pretending to be a rogue, waiting to be called in for support or damage? I remember you showing me one of your MMORPG games, I think it was Everquest. You gave me a tour of Everquest. I did not know what to think. I thought maybe you were testing me, some sort of trick, waiting for me to ask if this was a joke, you don't really play this do you? But, somehow I realized you were serious. And now, decades later, you still are exploring dungeons looking for dragons, while hoping to be called in for support or damage? Have you talked this over with your therapist yet?

  2. Seems a little harsh, Durango.

    I mean, as entertainment or hobbies go, this seems pretty harmless. It's a helluva lot less sad than reality television; there's a whole helluva lot of American wasted hours sunk into that cess pool. Fantasy football? Farmville? Philately? Etc.

    Meh. Seems pretty harmless, and it keeps Gar from buying that white panel van ("It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.").

    Nobody wants that.

  3. The only reason I play the 2011 version of Dungeons and Dragons is because I can't find anyone to play Dungeons and Dragons with.

    Well, no, that's not the only reason.

    Does Ed know that Durango owns a white panel van?


    Maybe you should do some Rifting.

  4. I like Reality TV, Ed. Top Chef taught me how to properly chop onions.

    Gar, I don't own a white panel van. I don't understand Ed's reference to a white panel van. Is it a Wink/Kermit thing?

  5. White panel vans are symptoms of antisocial behaviors....

  6. I heard of Rifts but it does seen very similar to WOW. Some reviews even say that it's just a more polish version of WOW. Is that a fair assessment of the game?

  7. Ghost, WoW is a very nice game. It has lots of content and is very playable. It can't be a bad thing to be a "more polished version of WoW".

    I haven't played WoW in about 5 years, but from watching some others play it, it seems like it's changed quite a bit in 5 years so I'm not the best one to name the similarities.

    The largest difference between (the old) WoW and Rift is the calling, soul, role (class) system and, well, the Rifts. Periodically a "zone" will get a Rift invasion. Pretty soon you find yourself in a 20 person raid fighting off the invasions. It doesn't seem like much, but you'll find yourself spending hours fighting off invasions. And there's no yelling for a group. As soon as you start attacking an invading force, it'll ask if you want to join the group...

  8. Ed, that video of Gar tormenting a poodle and a girl in his backyard well was very creepy. How did it show that white vans are symptomatic of anti-social behaviors.

  9. Durango-
    The girl in the well (and those before her) needed to be transported somehow! White panel vans are the wheels of choice for pedophiles, serial killers, frustrated semi-professional bloggers, and ex-D&D-players-in-withdrawal.

  10. Ed, I find it a bit troubling that you have somehow developed an elaborate theory connecting white panel vans to pedophiles, serial killers, frustrated semi-pro bloggers and former D & D players with addiction disorders. Reality TV and Crime Procedural TV addict that I be I can not help but be a bit concerned that you are projecting your own reality here. Do you have a white van from whence you practice your pedophiling, serial killing, frustrated blogging and D & D withdrawal issues? I tell you, Wink/Kermit Texas is the Twin Peaks of Texas.

  11. Sadly, I had to sell my white panel van when I moved to India. Here I must pedddle my trade from this.

    Loses a lot of the romance, but you gotta make do with what's available. Lemme tell you, it can be hell haggling for a decent fare when you've got a trussed-up, blindfolded cosplay victim you're trying to bundle into one of these bad boys. It easily goes to triple-meter-fare.

  12. Ed, I knew America was doing a lot of outsourcing to India, but I did not realize we were also exporting our serial killer population. Be careful trusting those Indian cabbies. I'm pretty sure the Indian FBI has you under surveillance. Any contact with Gar, the former Texan, puts you on all sorts of watch lists. Chronic importer of multiple foreign non-English speaking wives that he be.

  13. I was just trying to find evidence.





    And he claims to be from that area notorious for serial killers. I'm probably luck to be alive.

  14. Pertinent to the original post (as opposed to the ongoing discussion of other antisocial hobbies):

    What it's like to play online games as a grownup.