Friday, March 11, 2011

Rift Leveling Zones

Here's a list of zones for leveling in Rift: Planes of Telara, along with their level ranges.

Rift Level 1-35

  • Freemarch / Silverwood
  • Stonefield / Gloamwood
  • Scarlet Gorge
  • Scarwood Reach
For about the first 35 levels all the quests you'll receive will lead you to the next appropriate leveling zone. After that though you have several options and it's up to you to pick which zone you want to level up in.

Rift Level 35-40

  • Droughtlands
  • Moonshade Highlands
Moonshade is a zone where each faction has its own questing path and hubs but in Droughtlands both factions share questing paths and hubs. Even when you do all the quests in the starter zones, you may find yourself a little underleveled for these two zones and think you’re in the wrong place for leveling in this range, but once you get started on the quests, you shouldn’t have an issue.

If you only do one of the two zones, you won’t level high enough for the next range of zones. The best leveling path in rift at this range is:
  1. do Droughtlands quests until you get to Lantern Hook
  2. leave Droughtlands and do all the quests in Moonshade
  3. go back to Lantern Hook and finish all the quests in the Droughtlands

Rift Level 40-50

  • Iron Pine Peaks
  • Shimmersand
  • Stillmoor
Neither Iron Peak nor Stillmoor will level you all the way to 50, and once you outlevel one, you’ll outlevel the other. Shimmersand will allow you to level from 40-50, but the first quests might be challenging in the lower 40s. For this reason, this is where to level 40-50:
  1. pick Iron Peak or Stillmoor and quest there until about level 42 or 43
  2. move to Shimmersand and do all the quests in the zone until level 50
And that’s it. In Rift, where to level is easy to decide because there are so few zones. However, even within the zones, there are quests that take a long time and you might want to skip them, or you may find yourself wasting time running back and forth between quest objectives and quest hubs, killing the same group of monsters over and over again.

Be sure to also check out post with tips from a level 50 player: it's very useful and I'm sure you'll agree. Also, check out Xerxes guide if you need detailed guides on every zone and quest.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rift Leveling Tips From Level 50 Player

After about 10 days of playing Rift, I managed to hit level 50. I played more than I’d like to admit over the launch weekend (can you blame me?) but after that, I took my time and only played in the evenings and still managed to be one of the first players on my server to 50.

I forgot to take a screenshot of my playtime when I hit 50 because I was actually running an instance at the time. It was just over 3 days to 50:

The pic above was actually taken a few hours after I hit 50. I could have definitely done it faster but I took the time to PvP a bit at 49, level my professions (my outfitter is almost 300, and my butchering and foraging are high as well), get an epic mount (bought mine at 48), and get my fully upgraded sigil (grabbed that as level 48 as well).

At any rate, I wanted to share with you everything I learned on the way to 50, so that you can level up faster while still getting all the good stuff. Here is my list, in no particular order:
  • The key to leveling quickly through the early levels is via questing. At early levels, quests seem to give great XP whereas this tapers off by a higher level.
  • Quest XP does not scale as well as monster and dungeon XP at higher levels. For example, a quest only gives around 4-5k XP by level 45; you can earn that much by killing just 10 monsters, both solo or in a dungeon. You are able to kill monsters more effectively at higher levels (if you have a good build) and run dungeons faster (if you have a good group).
  • Leveling up in dungeons is very effective. The first group players to level 50 on my server ran dungeons over and over again in a static party. This gave them tons of reputation and fast experience. I suspect their /played was higher than mine on the way to 50, but it is certainly an effective approach.
  • While leveling up in dungeons is effective, standing around waiting for your party is not, nor is worrying about getting that 1 piece of gear. Your gear is upgraded very quickly from quests and even from just random world green drops.
  • Spellspun Bags (18 slotters) are very easy to make. These will become very cheap (probably 1 plat a piece or less) shortly, so you have not excuse for not getting 4 18 slotters for your character. This will quickly pay for itself in the extra trash drops you can pick up. You should have 4-5 spare plat by level 25 and I would recommend getting these bags ASAP.
  • Invasions, Rifts, World Events, and the like are quite worthless prior to Scarwood. You get almost no planarite for the effort, little XP, and spend forever running around. Not worth it in my opinion.
  • However, once you hit 35 and get to Scarwood or beyond, these can be great ways to earn planarite. I have found invasions and footholds much faster sources of planarite than Rifts. For example, as a Rogue I can take out 4-5 invasions below my level, 2 at my level, or a foothold and invasion combo at my level with the build I contributed to Xerxes guide. Any class should be able to solo an invasion at your level.
  • Back to the point: once you Scarwood, Invasions and Footholds start paying out around 30-35 planarite a piece for a max participation bar. If you solo the invasion or foothold, that means you get a max participation bar. The level 45-50 invasions pay out ~65 planarite a piece.
  • This means you have to do just over 100 invasions or f0otholds at level 45-50 to get the absolute best in-slot sigil (sourcestone engine for Defiant). Considering these can be soloed easily as you do quests in Moonshade Highlands, Droughtlands, Stillmoor, and the like, you can easily get this before you hit 50.
  • Compare that to Rifts. While I have been able to solo all the way to level 5 in minor rifts, this only provides ~150 planarite for a max level rift. This is only about 2.5 invasions worth, yet since it takes many times longer than the 30-45 seconds it does to take out an invasion or foothold. With that said, you do get rare rewards for getting level 4 or 5 in a rift. If you can’t hit level 4 or 5 in a rift when playing solo, don’t bother with them and rather stick to invasions and footholds.
  • Buy all 4 roles by the time you hit 50 and make sure you use them all. This will make your character much more useful. You should equip 1 role to be a “planarite hunter” which should be specced for soloing rifts. For Rogues the leveling build I mention in Xerxes guide is ideal for this.
  • The amount of quests between levels 30 and 38 is quite thin. If you do nothing but quest for these levels, you will assuredly run out of quests by level 33-35. If you do not run a single instance, you will finish up all Scarwood quests by about level 33, yet Moonshade Highlands does not start until about level 36.
  • There are a few ways around this. Personally, your best bet is to do all the Silverwood and Gloamwood quests at the start so you come into Scarlet Gorge a bit over-level. Next, run Foul Cascade as many times as you can up to level 33. This works best if you have a group that wants to run it a few times (or more).
  • King’s Breach is not nearly as good for leveling up as Foul Cascade. The trash packs are harder and unless your group is a bunch of all-stars, the first room is quite hard to pull quickly due to all the patrols.
  • As a result, stick to Foul Cascade and if possible run it over and over again till 33 before ever entering Scarwood. This will prevent being under-level for quests.
  • Personally, since I was ahead of the curve, finding a Foul Cascade group was out of the question. I did the PvP daily and simply grinded (yes, grinded is not a word but something about “ground” just does not feel right here) from level 34 to 35. I did the early Droughtlands quests which pushed me to about 36. Once I only had level 38 quests left in Droughtlands, I went to Moonshade Highlands, which took me all the way to 39. This was all I needed to get back on track. Droughtlands then took me to level 43.
  • Since Iron Pine Peak, Stillmoor, and Shimmersand are all level 44-50 zones, you can quest easily for the rest of your time in game.
  • Do not buy your level 40 mount. It is a waste of platinum which you should save up to spend on your level 50 mount. Level 40 to 50 does not take that long, and you will never use the level 40 mount once you get your level 50 mount.
  • On a related note, do not buy low level rares and epics. For whatever reason, low level rares and epics have very little advantage over greens. A level 30 blue item is worse than a level 35 green item, so your rares and epics get outdated extremely quickly.
  • In fact, I would not recommend buying any rares or epics at all. Once run of Abyssal Precipice and Charmer’s Caldera will give a lot of good items just from quests alone. Once you start running expert-level dungeons you will quickly replace any bind on equip gear.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Xerxes Rift Strategy Guide Review

Xerxes Rift Mastery Guide Website
Even though only recently published, Xerxes guide has been getting a lot of attention from tons of Rift players lately. Many players have quickly realized that Xerxes guide is right now the most complete and up to date strategy and leveling guide for Rift: Planes of Telara, and it's frequently recommended to both new and seasoned players when they ask question in the chat channels.

Xerxes guide is definitely the number one leveling guide for Rift. Unlike some other guides this one has both factions covered, and to great detail. Xerxes includes plenty of additional maps and screenshots that help guide you through the leveling areas. If you follow his optimized leveling paths you will level up insanely fast guaranteed.

The thing that makes Xerxes guide stand out from the rest of these leveling guides is the fact it has so many extra bonuses telling you about various aspects of the game. For example his dungeon guides are invaluable as they will help you not look like a complete noob when you group up for your first instance. Knowing these strategies is important, and so is knowing how to make platinum, and Xerxes talks about that extensively as well. Whether you're into crafting, gathering or reselling rare items you'll surely find some platinum making strategies that work for you.

In addition to all the above Xerxes also tells you everything you need to know about professions in Rift, such as which ones are easiest to level up, which ones will benefit your calling/souls the most and which ones are best for making platinum. There's also equipment guides, zone maps, PvP strategies, Warfront guides and a lot more that will no doubt be useful for everyone.

Compared to other guides, Xerxes is cheaper, more complete and has the best leveling guides you can find. Also it has a lot of additional bonus guides. All that makes for one impressive and extremely useful Rift leveling & strategy guide.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free Rift Leveling Guide

In Rift, simply following the Quest Chain is not the fastest method of leveling. There are times where you can gain practically an entire level in under 30 minutes through Rift Events. Also, PvP is a viable method of leveling.

We strongly encourage you to take part in the zone-wide Rift Events. From time to time (about every hour or two), there will be a zone-wide invasion. Meaning, the entire zone is automatically given a quest and everyone's efforts go towards the completion of the quest. For example, one of the zone-wide invasions is called "The Hand of Death". For this quest, the zone must work together to defeat 20 Jakub's Invasions and close 10 Death Rifts. Once the objectives are completed, a raid boss will spawn and must be killed to complete the quest. You must actively take part to receive rewards.

During the event, dozens of Rifts will spawn hundreds of invasions. An invasion is usually a group of 5-10 mobs with one of them being a powerful elite. When the boss of the invasion dies, everyone who contributed to defeating that invasion is rewarded with XP and item rewards. When defeating dozens of invasions and the final raid boss, the amount of XP and item rewards becomes a very high amount. Even at Level 20, I was getting 20-40% of my level per Level 15 zone-wide invasion.
If you are going to take part in the Rift Events, here are a few basic tips:
1. Find out where the central attack point is. This is usually announced before and during the event. "Kelari Refuge is under attack" for example.
2. Stay near central attack points. That is where the invaders are coming. Use your map to find invaders and hover over their icon to see where their destination is.
3. The goal is to take part in as many invasions as possible. The more you're a part of, the more XP and item rewards you will receive.
4. Once the main objectives are completed, some sort of raid boss spawns. Use your map and hover over each invasion until you find the one that's the raid boss. Then travel as fast as you can to that raid boss to get as much credit as possible. Remember, for invasions, the more you contribute the better your rewards are.
Not only is it fun to take part in the invasions, but it's also a great source of XP if done correctly. In the near future, we'll add specifics for each zone-wide invasion. 

As for Warfronts, you should complete Koke Tegus' daily everyday, and any other PvP quests once you get them. Not only do you earn lots of Favor (which is used later to buy powerful items), but you'll also earn a decent amount of XP and some item rewards along the way.

Killerguides Rift Leveling Guide Review

The first leveling guide for Rift I came across is Killerguides Rift Leveling Guide. It's overall a decent guide, but in my opinion needs some additional work to be great. However, considering that their guide is in "beta" just like the game, I do think it's worth getting as it will receive many updates in the coming days and weeks.

Here's a short summary of the contents in Killerguide Rift Leveling Guide:

  • leveling guide for all races, classes and factions
  • professions guide
  • platinum (gold) making guide
  • equipment guide
  • instances (dungeons) guide
  • PvP guide
There are several more chapters, so be sure to visit their website to see a more detailed list, or just go ahead and download the guide. It's a good read and will help prepare you for your Rift adventures better than most other fansites and guides will.

Rift Leveling Guides - We Have Them

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