RIFT recently launched its first expansion pack, Storm Legion, and I’ve spent the last two weeks adhered like a mollosk on a rust binge. There’s a quality about RIFT that’s hard to define but absolutely sings to the MMO fan in me. Maybe it’s the game’s coveted blend of freshness and familiarity. Maybe it’s the pedigree the developers bring to the table; the seeming ease with which they add to and refine their game. Or maybe it’s just that a game with rewards for licking toads is alright by me. Either way, Storm Legion is something special, arguably more so than World of Warcraft’s latest expansion, Mists of We Really Are Sorry for Cataclysm Pandaria.
Before getting into the expansion proper, I had to choose between two beginning zones, Pelladane or Cape Jule. Imagine if you will, a war torn region tinged with the blacks and purples and browns of death itself. Spikes shoot up from the ground and magical mortars explode around you. That depressing place is Pelladane. Now imagine another land, a verdant jungle where massive thorny vines choke the trees and soldiers in the spikiest of armor train huge dragons for the sole purpose of eating your face. That is Cape Jule. If you didn’t choose this option, I would kindly like to see your house because the color palette is probably terrible. Cape Jule is a feast for bloodthirsty eyes and, face-eating dragons or no, that’s where I began my adventure.
Now, there is simply far too much content to cover everything but there is enough to live vicariously through me. Join me as I share some of my adventures through Cape Jule.
I started my journey by discovering the Big Bad’s minions – Crucia and her Storm Legion – breaking some poor former-person-now-AI’s soul into multiple pieces. In one direction went “Aurum’s Hope” and another “Aurum’s Vengeance.” I looked around for “Aurum’s Lust” but apparently Trion didn’t think to include it. That’s interesting, because faced with a horde of angry storm people, lust would probably be a fitting option. You don’t get much action when your best friend is a raincloud, just saying.
Anyways, after that soul-rending vignette (bada-bing) I headed off to the nearby city of Tulan to tamper with their electronics – er, magitech. You see, I have this lingering hope of becoming the Steve Jobs of the MMO world. I envision a day when someone like Crucia could receive a text from mankind with a simple “y u do that lololol” and countless lives would be saved. Alas, this was not the day and I soon found myself flying through the air before being scolded by a scientist in skinny jeans and goggles. I asked him, “why u mad bro?” but he didn’t see the humor and sent me on my way.
Exploring the wilds I soon came across a fabled Hunt Rift. These, for those of you new in class, are progression rifts introduced with this expansion. You defend a whatzit, usually some kind of lightning rod or other inanimate object, from legions of invading enemies. Wave after wave flooded in but they didn’t stand a chance against the power of my /flex. The group I was with kindly let me tag along as we did a baker’s dozen of these and I filled my bags with planarite and other goodies.
Not long after I found myself deep in the strangely alive Hiberna Rainforest. Flowers sprouted legs (and tentacles) and wandered around like creatures with no eyes tend to do. Other blossoms just glowed and pulsed with thick pollen. Clicking one with an exclamation point over its bulb, I was awarded with a quest titled “Pollinate or Die . . . or Just Kill Him.” Kill what now? This flower here? Well, if you say so, but he really was quite nice giving me this quest and all — Oh look, a dragon just materialized. A gigantic, elite dragon. Running would be good. As it chased me, I scrambled to read the quest text which advised fleeing to five other blooms in need of pollinating. Much to my surprise, for each petal I pollinated, the dragon stopped to take a whiff. A great discovery for science, I exclaimed, a dragon who stops to smell the flowers! Unfortunately, ADHD is on the rise in the dragon community and I was quickly eaten up. Such are the risks when clicking random flowers in RIFT.
When I resurrected, I returned to my explorations and soon came across a friendly jungle frog. There he hopped, pitter-patter in his little tree enclosure.
I crept up behind him, my tongue lolling about outside my mouth. Friends, I take no shame when I tell you that I licked that frog. I licked him right up his slimy little back – and then all hell broke loose. In a booming, terrifying voice that will stay with me until the day I unsubscribe, he shouted “I will destroy you!” and I began the most memorable video game trip of my time. Colors skewed and changed before my eyes, visions floated before me, and as I licked him again and again, I even saw a raid boss emerge from the woods.
Reader, that boss wanted to bogart my frog. Well, let me tell you, I was in no mood to share, especially since said boss was a dragon and a dragon licking a frog is just a little bit on the sexual side of a T-rated game, so licking for the eighth time, I ascended to the clouds. When I woke up, it was with a nifty new title – “Touched the Clouds” – and on top of a poorly place pillar at the top of Cape Jule’s highest mountain.
That all really happened.
Much more occurred that I would love to tell you about. For example, how I helped a misunderstood arsonist test a diabolical and unfortunately useless death machine, or how I used a herd of rhinoceri as a vengeful weapon, but those tales shall have to wait for another day as word counts come with limits. Suffice it to say, I had a great time playing through my first zone in Storm Legion and I bet you will too.
And you know, maybe Aurum’s Lust is out there somewhere…