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  1. #1
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    RIFT: the F2P customer's level 1~60 adventure (and experiment)

    Despite Trion's few ups and downs, it looks like Rift has a bright future ahead if they stay on track.

    I'm not happy with the current game client's current performance state, but I am hoping these changes will come soon enough. On every other level, Trion seem to be listening and I am impressed.

    As an experiment for:
    how the game feels for new F2P players - in grind, etc.
    as an EU player who has experienced my share of lag - testing the US servers
    experience the changes to zones/quests since I levelled my first 3 toons
    to share my experience as a guide for new players
    to experience what it feels like to be "a Guardian"
    to test the time to level from 1~50
    to compare/test the time to level from 50~60 since the nerf
    to see how much plat I can get from 1~60
    to learn how to tank again
    to learn a bit more about the warrior class

    I have am levelling a warrior on Hailol from scratch on a completely brand new Free-2-Play account so I have no advantages.

    I will also be imposing these restrictions on myself:
    not be selecting any professions - except maybe gathering - will see how it goes.
    not be using the Auction House as there is a "1,500 loyalty gate"
    not be using any add-ons
    setting the game to "Ultra" as I play - no more, no less.
    setting the UI to default
    diversifying levelling doing Rifts, Invasions, Quests, IA,etc
    limiting my time played per week and logging off in a city

    I will be devoting 2~3 hours per week/per session on this and recording it in segments of 45 minutes to an hour.

    See you in-game

    the Wocky

    edit: 3 hours in and level 10.5 or so - Just entered Argent Glade quest hub. busy editing sound, etc...


    to clarify: the experiment? to experience the game as a F2P player - to do a real-world, live test to see how hard it is to level without XP pots & buffs to 60, how long to unlock 1500 loyalty, acquire items and gear up without using the cash shop, etc, test the performance of EU vs US and the other things mentioned in OP.
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  2. #2
    Heh, this seems similar to what Larry Everitt over at Massively did with SWTOR. But he didn't make it past his mid-30's before giving up (for various reasons).

    I don't see how it would differ too much from the original subscriber experience other than having a few less bag slots.

    But the idea of running the game on ultra only...you crazy.

  3. #3
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edge- View Post
    Heh, this seems similar to what Larry Everitt over at Massively did with SWTOR. But he didn't make it past his mid-30's before giving up (for various reasons).

    I don't see how it would differ too much from the original subscriber experience other than having a few less bag slots.

    But the idea of running the game on ultra only...you crazy.
    first session is over and getting recorded. I may give up - will have to see how it goes. The leveling isn't actually too bad as I tend to joke around, read the quests and talk all the time.

    yeah - but you'd be quite shocked with the results - I got 20fps in a zone event I recorded at 11.30am server time - like less than 30 peeps on the screen, so I am a bit worried. Client appears worse optimized than I thought. Was hoping it was a server issue as the EU seems to complain more than the US, but so far... the recording speaks for itself.

    If the graphic settings make so little difference, I may as well just max the damn thing out.
    Last edited by theWocky; 2013-11-18 at 10:47 PM.
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  4. #4
    Why play on ultra? There are games like 10 years old which many modern PCs struggle to play on the highest settings. That isn't to say Rift is poorly optimized. It is. But what value to the rest of the "experiment" is insisting on running the game on Ultra settings only?

    Seems a weird, and frankly arbitrary qualifier in the context of your treatment.

    This is illogical.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    This is illogical.
    Life is illogical. Deal with it.

  6. #6
    There has to be science, Edgecrusher0o.

  7. #7
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Why play on ultra? There are games like 10 years old which many modern PCs struggle to play on the highest settings. That isn't to say Rift is poorly optimized. It is. But what value to the rest of the "experiment" is insisting on running the game on Ultra settings only?

    Seems a weird, and frankly arbitrary qualifier in the context of your treatment.

    This is illogical.
    You do realize that "ultra" is far from the best setting - it's not even "middle-of-the-road"

    AA is off, most of the sliders are on 1/2 or less.

    I am probably going to just run it on max now as the darn thing runs pretty much the same on Ultra or Custom with everything maxed. Rift has a weird client.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    There has to be science, Edgecrusher0o.
    I truly mean No disrespect or offense, but it just dawned on me... you're being satirical in most of your posts right? Kind of like the Stephen Colbert of the forums? No-one really communicates / types / speaks like that, do they? You're emulating/impersonating "Spock" or a "Vulcan" aren't you?

    Sorry if it took me a while to catch on, I usually only post really, really late at night. Sincere apologies if you really do communicate like this.
    Last edited by theWocky; 2013-11-19 at 04:41 PM.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    There has to be science, Edgecrusher0o.
    I suspect that the science behind it is that playing on less than high settings would be detrimental to actually putting together footage for youtube viewing.

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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by theWocky View Post
    You do realize that "ultra" is far from the best setting - it's not even "middle-of-the-road"
    There still is no real value in it though. Are you testing the gameplay experience of a f2p player or the performance of the game?

    If the former than there is no reason to make it a bullet point as to what settings the game is being run. It's inconsequential.

    If the latter, than the f2p experience is irrelevant.

    I truly mean No disrespect or offense, but it just dawned on me... you're being satirical in most of your posts right? Kind of like the Stephen Colbert of the forums? No-one really communicates / types / speaks like that, do they? You're emulating/impersonating "Spock" or a "Vulcan" aren't you?this
    I tend to be quite snarky, yes. My reply to Edge was intended to humor him as well.

    Otherwise I am pretty serious about gameplay, mechanics and the operation of video games.

  10. #10
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    There still is no real value in it though.
    Value of things to different people is subjective.

    As few examples, I feel will be able to give a realistic idea of how long it takes to level as a non-paying F2P user as well as how long / how difficult it is to get the 1500 loyalty with in-game cash, time to get mounts, how limiting bags are, give an idea of difficulty while levelling in the game, show diversity of levelling, many other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    Are you testing the gameplay experience of a f2p player or the performance of the game?
    both.

    many people (including myself) complain about the client performance / server performance in different regions - especially the guys on EU. I discovered last night the US has its fair share of issues with lag too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    I tend to be quite snarky, yes. My reply to Edge was intended to humor him as well.
    Otherwise I am pretty serious about gameplay, mechanics and the operation of video games.
    Ah, ok. Difficult to take you seriously sometimes as your comments sometimes seem overly verbose and/or deliberately complex in structure.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Herecius View Post
    I suspect that the science behind it is that playing on less than high settings would be detrimental to actually putting together footage for youtube viewing.
    Well, my card is quite beefy and can record at max detail. Funny thing - the game runs about the same at max or ultra - "pretty average"
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by theWocky View Post
    I will also be imposing these restrictions on myself:
    not be selecting any professions - except maybe gathering - will see how it goes.
    not be using the Auction House as there is a "1,500 loyalty gate"
    Eh, think you should take gathering? Even if you're not going to be using the AH, you'll at least have the stuff to vendor unless you want to stand in Sanctum hawking your wares in /trade. :P Don't think it costs much to train, and you'll be harvesting money in the field as you play anyway. Bag space shouldn't be an issue since you can liquidate your stuff whenever using the Rift Store. (Nice touch, Trion.)

    Will be interested to see how long it takes for you come up with the plat to buy a REX. Assuming that's the route you're going to take to come up with 1500 loyalty. The going rate on Faeblight is somewhere around 1000-1200 plat. Which feels like an insane sum to me at L38 and 150 plat to my name. :P Already have the loyalty unlocked prior to f2p so it's a non issue. If I were starting f2p today though, I'd probably buy the $5 worth of credits and call it a day. The game is worth far more than that imo.

    Good luck Wocky on your experiment!
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  12. #12
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    I still really like Rift, even though it still has a ton of issues that have been there since beta.
    I only play for a couple of days every few months though, because I quickly get frustrated over how bad the performance is regardless of settings.
    I started a fresh account with a friend of mine a couple of months ago to try to get him into the game, and honestly besides fewer bags I didn't notice anything different between the new F2P and the old Sub model.

    GL on your experiment. I have a feeling that you will find that it being F2P doesn't really detract too much from the overall game experience.

    Really the only issue I had was that the bag space was so limited even with all of my available bag slots having one of the largest available bags, that I felt like I HAD to buy more bag slots.

  13. #13
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efsunshine View Post
    Eh, think you should take gathering? Even if you're not going to be using the AH, you'll at least have the stuff to vendor unless you want to stand in Sanctum hawking your wares in /trade. :P Don't think it costs much to train, and you'll be harvesting money in the field as you play anyway. Bag space shouldn't be an issue since you can liquidate your stuff whenever using the Rift Store. (Nice touch, Trion.)

    Will be interested to see how long it takes for you come up with the plat to buy a REX. Assuming that's the route you're going to take to come up with 1500 loyalty. The going rate on Faeblight is somewhere around 1000-1200 plat. Which feels like an insane sum to me at L38 and 150 plat to my name. :P Already have the loyalty unlocked prior to f2p so it's a non issue. If I were starting f2p today though, I'd probably buy the $5 worth of credits and call it a day. The game is worth far more than that imo.

    Good luck Wocky on your experiment!
    Hi, thanks! Yes, I am going to take gathering. I've been throught the friggin' guardian zone 3x now.

    First time - I somehow forgot to switch the game to full-screen windowed and I recorded 3 hours of blankness
    second time - one of my studio lights started buzzing - I didn't pic it up as it was a high frequency, but the mic did

    messed up my d&d video too! grrrr...

    third time... forgot to start my audio record for the game!

    aaaargh :P
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by theWocky View Post
    Value of things to different people is subjective.
    How can it be subjective if you told us what your intention is in outline? o.O

    You actually stated it twice in the OP.

    both.
    Ummhm. That's not a reflection of the f2p experience though. It's like a totally separate treatment and could possibly contaminate the data &/or conclusion of your proposed treatment. Qualifiers, natch.

  15. #15
    Well, if it's of any help, I partly did what you are trying to do, which is levelling as F2P.

    Overall, I really like it because it feels that you have more variety of things to do. IAs and Rifts, even if sometimes they are simple zergs, give a nice touch imo, plus the quests are not too bad if you actually pay attention. I love the pvp while levelling and also the fact that you could get some nice gear through it at all levels. The pace seemed ok to me, it wasn't the fastest but it allowed for enough time to experiment with builds and play-styles, even though I can't comment how any of that helps at end-game (raids and all). The one thing I found a bit of a turn-off where the queues for dungeons as a dps, on average I had more than an hour wait. Yes I know, the soul system is there so that you mix and match and play different roles, but sometimes I just want to blow shit up, plus I don't like chloro healing (I am not saying it's not good, I just don't like how it plays). As a tank I would imagine you get almost instant queues.

    On the subject of profs and the AH, I would say that if you do any group content on a regular basis you will quickly and significantly outpace your professions' progression and you will have to backtrack a lot. For the AH, just spend a fiver and be done. I mean really, you get the AH, you can buy a very cheap and cool mount straight away, 16-slot bags and extra slots for them and still have some change left after doing so for 2 characters.

    For addons, I would say the bag manager one is a must, plus a dps meter of some sort just to gauge your different builds.

    In the end, by gearing up through pvp and a bit of questing (and vendoring the rest), plus playing the AH just a tiny bit, you will have more than enough money for your levelling needs. As a tank I would imagine you can swap pvp for dungeons and the result would be similar (if not faster and more profitable).

  16. #16
    GJ OP, this will be an interesting test to follow. I hope you posted it on official forum as well, add more value to the test if some Trion staff get to see it. I dont know if any Trion staff is on mmo-champion these days, only guy I've seen is the now fired dude.

    I only know the grind from the past. And I did my leveling as a subscriber. First time was really hard, even with access to AH the cash didnt exactly pour in. Questing was the only leveling option most of my game time, endless queues for lowlvl dungeons and warfronts (before twinks hit the game). I was sick and tired at the end, but then IA hit live. I got my final 5 levels from that and that's also when I started to get stuff of value to sell (on AH). Still, buying mounts was far away. I had the first one you got from favor, but getting anything faster than that seemed impossible. At lvl 50 I grinded the one from Port Scion rep, and it took quite a while.
    Second time I could level through warfronts, twinking was alive and warfronts popped instantly on every level. Good days having fun leveling. It took a while, no doubt, and cash wasnt very good... you could get some greens drop from corpses that if you were lucky on need you could get and vendor.

    So I managed to hit lvl 50 on 2 chars, however I wasn't rich. Had to spend some time farming and crafting and ofc, selling stuff on AH. I think that limiting f2p-players from AH is a horrible thing. Do it the way usually done in f2p-games: add a limit on how many things to put on AH... like only 10 auctions going on at same time. How hard can it be? Sure, someone can claim that spamming trade chat with "WTS item x" creates a living community, but those people can do that if they like. AH is a part of the game, and a quite important one. Leaving f2p-players out of serves no good. Even if you can buy credits for plats... getting those plats without AH... well, it will be interesting to see your result.

    Will you continue the test after 60? Because that is also a grind, either to the endgame raid or to hit max in pvp ranks. I have given up quite some times trying to reach highest rank in pvp, it just takes so long. And I had boosts in the past, as a subscriber you got those favor and prestige pots, but it still took ages. Only time I found realistic time to get ranks was in conquest at start with those big zergfests. Prestige and favour poured in and you felt like you had a chance to keep up. I had an everyday life so I couldnt log in every conquest, so I still didnt reach max prestige rank... far from it. You also could be unlucky and end up Domino team - the team that everyone not fast enough to get into nightfall ended up in being outnumbered and lacked organization, and also got way less favor and prestige. However a viable grinding time for normal people wasn't what trion liked and it ended up getting nerfed, and conquest turned into pve with a little pvp on the side (after boss died remaining players tried to kill eachother).

    I never did endgame pve in this game, but I've been in pve guilds and I know the constant problem of getting players committed enough to do the long grind to get geared for raids. It was hard to find members, and they did all they could boosting new members through dungeons and easier raids, but it wasn't enough. I dont know if that changed, if f2p brought enough new committed players. I've noticed more new players, but also a lot of players either not making it to lvl 60 at all, or quitting soon after hitting lvl 60. Heck, I have played a little now and then since f2p hit, was 50 when it started and Im still only lvl 58. If you make it lvl 60 as a f2p-player, I hope you have patience to do the after 60 grind. It would be interesting to follow as well.

    I dont know if Trion did any 50% off deal on their buy credits? When I bought real money currency in f2p-games I've always went for those deals. I was pretty active at Planetside 2 prosieben forum when sony players would get a 50% off deal last christmas, at first it sounded like prosieben didnt want to have that, claiming that sony had their events and prosieben had theirs. First sign of prosieben christmas event was send in a screenshot and the best ones get a reward. It wasnt enough for some of us players and a forum that otherwise was half dead suddenly came to life, and resulted in us getting same 50% off deal as sony players. I play warframe now and as a daily login reward I got a 50% off-ticket on their real cash currency lasting 48 hours. For half the cost of a game (25 dollars) I now never have to worry about weapon and warframe slots. Sure I wont be able to buy all the cosmetics, but it's the way it should.. the company needs to make money and cosmetics are a good way.
    So, I dont know if Trion has had any of these kind of deals, but they sure should. Not only does it provide an opportunity for f2p-players to get most necessary stuff for a lower cost, but also people found of cash shops tend to go crazy during these deals buying more credits than they will probably spend. Now Trion got among the largest cash shop on earth so I bet there is always things to buy for credits.

    Anyway, enough for now. Good luck with the experiment bro!=)
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Fencers View Post
    How can it be subjective if you told us what your intention is in outline? o.O

    You actually stated it twice in the OP.

    Ummhm. That's not a reflection of the f2p experience though. It's like a totally separate treatment and could possibly contaminate the data &/or conclusion of your proposed treatment. Qualifiers, natch.
    Makes sense to me. A player who is trying the game for the first time in F2P with a rig that he knows runs everything else he plays at Ultra will try to play on Ultra. This is a test run of that experience.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by theWocky View Post
    second time - one of my studio lights started buzzing - I didn't pic it up as it was a high frequency, but the mic did
    If you want to spend an extra hour in post, and the studio light was providing a consistent buzz, you can use Audacity to split the audio off and remove the noise. You'll need to recombine the audio and video with a standard video editing tool.

  19. #19
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onorvele View Post
    If you want to spend an extra hour in post, and the studio light was providing a consistent buzz, you can use Audacity to split the audio off and remove the noise. You'll need to recombine the audio and video with a standard video editing tool.
    Yeah - I did - it got rid of the fan noise, but my headset didn't pick up the buzz - it was intermittent too.

    However, I bought some LED lights today, and bought a Seinheiser H205 headset and Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card as well yesterday or Monday (I think), so hopefully going forward I can get the sound perfect.

    I'm a bit OCD about my vids, but seem to always have issues - I guess until I get more experience doing this I will during this time appear an amateur trying to be better, to be pro, but I truly am trying to improve all the time and can generally see the improvement between my first vid and my last. I am like this with everything in life - not happy till I master something I am passionate about.

    I don't mind the videos being "real" and having a few tech glitches, hearing a few birds fly over or whatever, but just want it not appear to be "low quality". A buzz is annoying. Bad video quality or jerky FPS is not acceptable.

    This series is going to look beautiful and sound crisp and clear, so I'm looking forward to it. Recording my first video if the wind dies down a bit tonight - the joys of living on a hill overlooking a valley.

    - - - Updated - - -

    So, my [email protected] F2P account I made for this series is banned on the forums. Says I was trying to "bypass a ban" and is permanently banned?

    Letter to Dahanese:

    Hi, Dahanese

    Your auto-banning system has a bit of a bug. It seems to remember an attempt to bypass a ban from months ago.

    Yes, I realize a few months ago when I was a bit erratic (due to a real-life issue, I was a bit emotional) and took it out on a few people on the forums and I got a few bans and once I logged in with another account in order to continue posting. No issue with that.

    But, I've been quite impressed with the game of late and was starting a new series.

    A few days ago, I made a new account, wock***@gmail.com clearly indicated WHO I was, what my intentions were, to start a new series on YouTube, posted a pic of myself and gave some info on an experiment / promotion I am doing for Rift.

    If I wanted to bypass a ban, I'd use VPN software and not announce "who" I was.

    My craven****@kondura.co.za is my main account. I am not attempting to bypass a ban. I am merely trying to experience the game from 1~60 as F2P as part of my YouTube series and hence made another account.

    Please ensure this account doesn't get accidently banned now and PLEASE lift the ban on wock***@gmail.com and please restore the thread I made as it appears to be gone too.

    Thanks for your time.

    Craven / aka Wocky
    Last edited by theWocky; 2013-11-21 at 10:14 AM.
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  20. #20
    Warchief theWocky's Avatar
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    the first episode is up: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...o-Thread/page5

    episode #002 is in the queue waiting to upload and episode #003 will be up in the next day or two.
    Last edited by theWocky; 2013-11-24 at 08:28 AM.
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