Since Rift recently went Free to Play, I figure there are a lot of new players running around who could use a few tips. So in this post I’m going to go over some of the things that have really helped me since I recently returned to the game after almost 2 years.
Faction is Fiction, and Server Shards Are Too (sort of)
Outside of lore, faction doesn’t matter much in this game now. You can join groups with people from other factions, chat with them, be in the same guild, and mail them things. The story might say the two factions hate each other, but Trion is smart enough to acknowledge and facilitate the fact that people like to play with their friends regardless of character creation choices. So if you’ve got friends who happened to roll Defiance toons and you’re really loving your Guardian, it’s no big deal. Just send them an invite and start slaying those internet dragons.
The same concept applies to server shards. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a different server from your friends, you can still join their groups and guilds, chat with them, and do almost everything else. Why almost? Because the one exception, that I’ve found, is that you can’t send mail from one server to another. You also have the option of transferring your characters for free. You are limited to transferring each character only once per week. If you’re content to be on the server you’re on and so are your friends, but you feel the need to send them some items, then you can always roll a random character, send them the items, and then transfer to your friend’s server and hand over the goods.
One other note on server transfers. There is a limit to the amount of cash that you can take on a character that’s below level 40 (it might be 50, but I think it’s 40). Until that point you can only send three times as much platinum on a character as the character’s level. So if you’re level 10 you can only take 30 Platinum as a max. If you happen to have more platinum than that then you can either divide the cash between your alts or you can invest in items off of the auction house that you know you can resell on the other server. From what I’ve seen of the AH so far, your best bet for transferring cash via items is probably going to be Deeps’ Lock Boxes and Keys. Of course, if you have a high level character then you can also just send everyone’s excess cash to them and then transfer without the limit being applicable.
Rift Store: Sell Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
Having little-to-no bagspace really sucks, and having a game that loves to fill your bags with trash items, gathered crafting mats, gear, and those pesky consumable rift rewards can really make that a problem. Lucky for us, there’s a very easy way to get around some of that, and it’s called The Rift Store. You can open the Rift Store anywhere by either clicking on the cart icon on the main toolbar or hitting the default keybind which is the right square-bracket “]” on your keyboard. When the store opens up you’ll see the sales page, just click on any of the tabs over on the left-hand side of that screen to open up the actual store portion and there you have yourself a vendor. You can sell all of your trash items at any vendor, including the store, by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the vendor screen, and then you can unload all the other junk by right-clicking them from your bags.
The Rift Store also has the added function of offering you several things that can be useful to you while you’re leveling. You can buy food & drink to restore your health and mana from there so that you don’t have to keep looking for General Goods vendors, and you can also buy bags of almost every size. When we first started playing I would outfit all of my characters with 8-slot bags for a fairly cheap price as soon as I rolled them. You can buy bags for either gold or store-credits, and most of the bags aren’t priced too ridiculously credits-wise. I always bought mine with gold, but options are always nice.
There are several categories of things that you can buy from the store like mounts and crafting mats, so I suggest you take a look through the different tabs to familiarize yourself with the options in case you find yourself in need of something later on down the road. Basically all of the crafting stations have trainers next to them who also sell you the vendor materials that are associated with that profession, so crafting mats might not be a necessity for you to get from the store, but there are some places in the world where you will find vendors and workstations for some professions but not all of them, and some professions do use cross-over crafting stations but the vendors don’t sell the cross-over materials and that’s when you can take advantage of the store instead.
Gathering & Crafting Professions
The main thing I wanted to point out about crafting professions is that crafted gear almost always trumps quest rewards in this game, making them very useful. For the most part, crafted gear is roughly as good as quest rewards that are 4-6 levels higher than your level. So if you’re wearing level 19 crafted gear, it’s going to be better than most of the quest rewards you’ll find up through level 25 content. Crafting professions are the simplest way to make sure that you’re well geared up through level 50. I’m just now getting into the level 50+ content myself, so I can’t say for sure yet how the rewards compare in that level range, but I might update this part of the post once I have a better grasp of it.
One other key thing about crafting professions is that you aren’t (mostly) gated by your character level. The exception being that you cannot access the Storm Legion level of recipes until you can actually reach those zones at level 48. Some people like to take advantage of this situation by having a main character who does all crafting so that they can provide mats to all of the low level crafting alts, and some people do the exact opposite, using the main character to get all of the recipes and do all of the crafting while having an army of alts to supply the raw materials. Personally, I give every character a set of professions that all go together so that everyone can gather and everyone can craft. How you do things is up to you, but I wanted to throw that out there so that everyone’s aware.
Of the crafting professions available, I find that Armorsmithing, Outfitting, and Artificing are the most valuable for leveling as far as how many items they can provide for you. Weaponsmithing is a very solid option as well, but weapon upgrades usually come one or two at a time where the others will provide three to six item upgrades at a time. Apothecary (consumables) makes some really useful items for leveling, like restorative and buffing potions and consumables that deal AoE damage, but some class/soul combinations render them obsolete so I find that I end up vendoring a lot of what I make. Apothecary also makes armor dyes though, so if you’re into that then you probably want ot have your own Apothecary to cut down on costs instead of buying them off of the auction house.
The main thing worth noting on gathering professions is that you need to make sure you level them to at least 280 before you reach level 50, and in most cases you need to get up to 290. The reason for this is that the Storm Legion (50+) areas don’t have the lower level gathering nodes that you’re used to, so there’s no way for you to level up your skill in those zones unless you’ve reached the new minimum level. Nodes that I’ve found so far require 290 to gather, but some mobs can be used after you kill them at the 280 range. I know for sure you can level mining off of mobs at 280, but so far I haven’t found an option for Foraging or Butchering.
Also, since I know some of you won’t have a clue which professions go together, here’s a little table showing you which professions go together. I’ll also give a little bit of extra info on each one that’s important for you to know right below the table.
|Crafting Profession||Uses Gathering 1||Uses Gathering 2|
|Apothecary||Foraging (Herbs)||see below|
Apothecary only requires herbs from Foraging, but it can benefit from Butchering as well. The Butchering items that it uses you can also get from simply killing beasts out in the world, but Butchering can provide additional quantities of those materials.
Armorsmithing also uses cloth, and while there isn’t a cloth-gathering profession, you should be aware of the need for cloth so that you don’t go rushing off to sell your cloth only find out later that you needed it for a recipe.
Artificing can also use raw hides from Butchering to gain skill points. The materials you make with the hides aren’t used in many patterns so it is sort of a waste as far as end results go, but you can save some value by using the much more abundant hides instead of using ore, gems, and wood. There aren’t enough of those recipes for you to level solely with Butchering, it’s just something else to keep in mind.
Outfitting supposedly gives you a bonus to cloth drops. I have sometimes maybe seen this by being able to loot a corpse after someone else and getting only cloth when I did so, but I can’t find any source online that can say definitively that Outfitters get more cloth and what the percentage is or at which level or skill ranking the extra cloth thing kicks in. Butchering is not required to level Outfitting, but it really does help. Leather is much easier to come by than cloth as every beast you kill is guaranteed to give you leather but not every humanoid will give you cloth. For that reason, it’s often much cheaper for you to focus on the leather while leveling.
Runecrafting doesn’t require any gathering professions, so it’s a good one to pair up with Apothecary or Outfitting which both only require a single profession. In order to get Runecrafting materials, you need to Runebreak (disenchant, destroy) green or higher quality items. You can Runebreak almost anything that’s not a consumable or an actual rune as long as it’s the right quality. The great thing about Runebreaking is that you can convert lower level mats to higher level mats, and you can break the higher level mats back down into the lower level, so if you Runebreak a ton of low level gear all of the mats that you get from it will still be used to craft level 50 Runes. My Runecrafter is only level 22, but already has 300 Runecrafting because I made tons of things for her to Runebreak on my Outfitter and Armorsmith. However, since she’s only level 22 she can’t access the Storm Legion patterns so I have no idea of the materials continue to be scaleable beyond 300.
Weaponsmithing will also occasionally require leather from Butchering, which can be pretty annoying since it already requires a lot of mats from two other gathering professions. While questing, weapons seem to be one of the most rare rewards to me, so having a Weaponsmith can really help you keep your damage numbers up while you’re leveling. On both of my highest level characters, I didn’t replace my level 29 weapons until I was over level 40. I could have, and should have, replaced them with other crafted weapons in between, but in those 10 levels I never found a better weapon for either character from either questing or from mob drops. That should give you a little bit better idea of how good crafted gear can be in this game.
Survival is one of those professions that doesn’t take up a profession slot, just like Fishing. Survival is basically cooking from all of the other MMO’s out there. You take materials that you get from fishing or from killing beasts out in the world and you turn it into foods that restore your health and mana and typically also provide you with some kind of a buff. The buffs vary quite a bit surprisingly, from giving you increased stats to making you run faster. There’s a lot of really cool stuff in there, but I’ve never been big on fishing (though I like it better in this game) so I’m naturally never very big on cooking either. I honestly don’t know much in detail about this skill.
Planar Goods and Planar Currency
Just like crafted goods surpass quest rewards, Planar Goods surpass crafted goods. Each level bracket (1-10, 11-20, etc) has a special type of rift-related currency along with Planarite which you get for sealing rifts and fighting off invasion forces. You can see the different ones that you have by clicking on a little icon on your bags bar that looks like a stack of coins. Then you can mouse-over the icon and it will tell you something like “Used to purchase rare quality gear for levels 20+.” or something like that. Planarite is used at every level, but the special currency is only good for its own level bracket.
My wife and I are both avid crafters, and in Rift I make the armor and she makes the weapons and accessories. We craft all of the upgrades that we can for each other and we almost always use Augments as well, which adds additional stats when you craft the item. They’re like pre-crafted enchants that can’t be replaced. Even doing this, making the best gear we possibly can, items that you purchase from the Rare Planar Goods vendors are almost always better than even the next tier of crafted items. You can’t buy items for every slot from planar vendors while you level, but you can get key pieces here and there. So if you want the best gear around, seal those rifts to get the currency you need to buy gear from planar vendors.
Also, once you out-level those special currencies that are used to buy rare quality items for each bracket, you can go to a zone that’s level-appropriate to that currency and use them to purchase boxes of planarite from the Rare Planar Goods vendors (not the regular Planar Goods vendor). Each different level bracket’s currency gives you more planarite than the previous tier. So if you have extra currency that you’ve out leveled, you might as well go turn it in for pure planarite that you can use at any level.
The bad thing about your UI is that they are specific to each character. The good thing about your UI is that you can import and export your UI from any character onto another. Do note however that importing settings from one character will completely overwrite the settings on the current character, and importing macros will delete all of your existing macros.
To access the Import feature, just press Escape in-game (or click on the Options icon on the main menu) and click on the Import UI button. That will allow you to select any of the following components to be imported from one of your characters to your current character: Keybindings, UI Layout, Macros, Chat Settings, Game Settings, Misc Settings.
Most of these are pretty self explanatory, except for that last one, and even I’m not sure exactly what it imports that the others do not. Personally, I set up everything the way I wanted it to be on one character, and then every other character that I create the first thing I do when I log in is import all of the settings from that first character. That way I know that everything is standardized across my board.
An important thing to keep in mind when you’re setting up your UI is that the only options you have for which things can be moved is whatever appears on your screen at that specific time. You might find when you go into a new area, like PvP or a dimension, that you moved something that will cover where those new UI elements are placed and you’ll have to reconfigure and then re-import to other characters as necessary. Also, when you place the UI elements, if one of the sides glows then it’s tied to the location of the element that it’s touching on that side. This can sometimes cause problems if you tie an element to another element which moves. I had a heck of a time getting my Planar Rewards emblem to stay in place because it kept getting tied to the bottom of my quest log and as it would fill up my planar rewards would end up half-covered in the top-left corner of my screen for some reason.
One last note on Importing UI’s. By default you can only import settings from another character who exists on the same server. If you want to import a different server’s settings, then you need to use slash commands in chat. To start, you need to do an export on the character you want to import from. To do this you log into that character and type “/exportui FileName” using whatever you want for FileName. I used the character name, but if you use different layouts for melee toons vs ranged vs healers vs tanks, then you can name them after the roles or whatever you feel like doing. Then you log onto the character you want to import those settings to and you type “/importui FileName” and it’s that simple.
PvP Flagging and How It Impacts Groups
If you’re not a fan of PvP out in the world while you’re questing, then I suggest you take a look at your settings and turn off the option for “Auto Flag PvP”. If you have auto-flag enabled, then if you ever happen to accidentally target a PvP target, then you’re going to get flagged. If you have it disabled, then you will not be able to attack a PvP target unless you flag yourself first; even if that target is currently stabbing you in the face. You can’t stop NPC’s who are hostile from attacking you if you get too close, but you can at least prevent yourself from accidentally getting flagged and then having to worry about some level 60 scrub ganking you while you’re in the middle of a quest.
If you ever do get flagged for PvP, it will either be because you set your flag manually, or because you got too close to a city of the opposing faction. Getting attacked by an NPC won’t flag you unless you attack them back, but getting too close to a city’s walls will flag you every time. If your flag does get turned on then you can toggle it back off by typing “/pvp” into chat or by right-clicking your portrait and switching the PvP option off of automatic. When you turn off your PvP flag, you’ll have to wait 5 minutes before the flag actually goes away, and if you do anything that’s PvP related during that time then the counter will reset. And when I say “anything”, that includes healing yourself if you get attacked by another player.
Also, while the whole “Faction is Fiction” thing is great, it does have a drawback. If you are in a group that’s mixed with Defiant and Guardian, then if anybody in that group flags for PvP that person will get kicked out of the group automatically and they cannot rejoin the group until their flag expires. So if you’re closing rifts with your friends and you step just a little bit too close to Miridian/Sanctum then you’re going to get flagged and any of your previous partymates that didn’t have the Auto Flag PvP option disabled may very well start attacking you without even noticing it.
Addons do exist in Rift, but they’re a relatively new addition. Right now the Rift API isn’t all that great and it limits some of the things that developers can do with addons. I say that so that you know going into it that you’re not going to find addons as slick as you’re used to in games like WoW. There are still some great addons, but don’t expect anything too spectacular until they release an updated API.
I do have about a dozen different addons that I use right now and some of them I really love while others are just really handy. I suggest you jump on Curse.com and take a look at the Rift addons that are available so that you can try them out and see for yourself which ones you like.
Keep Calm And Seal Rifts
I think I’m going to go ahead and wrap up this post as it’s already gone way over what I thought it would. If I think of other things to share, then I’ll add them to this unless unless there are so many things that I forgot to cover that they deserve a post of their own.
If you have anything you would like to add, you have any questions, or you think my tips were wrong or incomplete, feel free to leave it in the comments below.