Mercredi the cleric hit 50 on Monday in the middle of a Library of the Runemasters warzone. She is now my second level 50 in RIFT, although my original main has been relegated to the role of auction house mule and crafting bot. I liked being a bard, but it’s a role with limited use and I deeply missed being a “real healer”.
One of the opportunities that opens up for new 50s is the ability to run the “Ceremony of Attunement” Chronicle (small solo instance). I think I wrote briefly about this when it originally launched, but this was my first time trying it as part of the intended brand new level 50 audience and I appreciated it even more! The Ceremony of Attunement takes place in an instanced version of your major city and starts out as essentially a celebration of how awesome your character is now… until an unexpected and evil guest arrives!
The incoming mobs are of the right strength for a character who is probably still in level 35 quest greens. The final boss is a masterpiece of “don’t stand here” beams and auras, and was clearly intended to get newbies thinking about the challenges of higher level encounters. After it’s all over you get a weapon and breadcrumb quests for various level 50 features, and then your NPC friends gather around you and clap and cheer and bow.
It’s pretty silly and slightly overwrought as a whole, but I genuinely enjoyed taking a few minutes to celebrate the fact that Mercredi is at the level cap. It reminded me of two of my favorite quests in WoW: The Unwritten Prophecy at the end of the Exodar questline, and the quest in the Ogri’la chain (I can’t remember the name!) where you become the King/Queen of the Ogres. What can I say: I’m a huge sap who likes a little scripted applause now and again.
Of course a big part of hitting 50 is upgrading one’s gear and I filled my boots at the PvP Favor Quartermaster and the Summerfest holiday vendor. Goals for the coming weeks include more Summerfest quests, working on Unseen rep (ugh!), and starting Merc’s Water Saga questline.
Less than 24 hours after hitting level cap I totally irresponsibly volunteered to be a main healer for my guild’s first forray back into 10-man RIFT raiding. As it turns out we blew through five bosses in 2 hours, netting a lot of neat achievements along the way. I’m sure it was a combination of buffed gear and nerfed encounters from when we last raided six months ago, but it was a nice way to get back in the groove.
There is a certain amount of liberation when one’s guild is well behind the line of progression content, such as we are now in RIFT and were once in The Burning Crusade. I don’t feel the need to rush, and things have been nerfed over time so we can generally bumble through them without worrying too much about that last difficult 5%-10% of optimization. We have pretty good builds and pretty good gear and pretty good spatial awareness, and that’s just about perfect for what we’re trying to do.
Speaking of builds, right now I’m rocking this popular Senticar spec and it’s a lot of fun. I am kind of terrifying in PvP with instant DPS and AoE heals, but it was slightly less convenient in my raid. I’m hoping more gear helps, and I’ll probably prepare with a more HoT-oriented Warden spec for next time. Build flexibility is another great part of RIFT, and we exploited it last night to the fullest with people flipping in and out of ranged and melee, support and dps, and special buffs whenever they thought it might be useful.
I think the time immediately after hitting a level cap is my favorite in MMOs. There are endless opportunities for activities and character progression and many things to learn about my class. Now I can just relax, pace my enthusiasm, and do whatever seems fun.
PS: Returning to RIFT and looking for a bunch of casual screwballs to hang out with while you remember what your buttons do? We’re Catari Honour Guard on Defiant Deepwood, and you should join us. :)