And now we’ve come full circle with the game. From the things I loved, to the things I dislike, and now on to the things I despise. These will be a much smaller list in theory because the things that truly set me off in this game are few and far between, but they do exist and I’ve been waiting a whole week to really get into them and start tearing things apart. If you are allergic to vitriolic comments, you might want to skip this, because we’re starting with the one thing I hate most.

“Expose”: Now you’re probably wondering what expose is, and I’ll answer that right now. Expose is a very simple mechanic in Rift that slows you by 6%, stacking 5 times. So why is expose bad? Every mob in the game has access to it. Every creature in this game has the ability to slow you with basic auto-attacks, up to the point where it is impossible to run from them. Your only options are to keep moving a stupidly diminished speed or turn around and fight, and if you have Exposed stacked up to 5, odds are very good that there are more than just one freakish abomination trying to run you down and turn you into paste. So, you have a mechanic in your game that gives everything with the default attack (Literally everything) the ability to slow players who are actively trying to leave. What could be worse? Oh, they also have access to your player skills. In a move I used to enjoy, nearly all PvE mobs have access to one or more souls, depending on the intended difficulty. This means you can easily find, say, a Reaver soul infused monster, or Assassin soul, and this makes a good deal of sense in the game for the humanoids and undead. What doesn’t make any sense is then going and giving those mobs player slows. I’m talking about PvP centric talents like the ability to slow your opponent by 70%, or disorients and stuns on semi-low cooldowns. Pray to your deity of choice once a big pack starts following you, because odds are good that something in there has access to those 70% slows along with everything else rapidly stacking exposed on you.

Exposed needs to die. There is no reason that every mob in an entire game should be able to slow you the moment you turn your back. Isn’t that one of the skills players should be learning? When it is appropriate to fight and when it is appropriate to run? The only thing Exposed imparts is an aggravating submission to death. “Well, I pulled too much on accident. I can’t run because I’ll just get slowed, might as well die.” I’ve seen players on mounts be snared down by the full stack of Exposed, and don’t forget everything runs faster than you, and unmounted because the pack is just able to keep hitting them. Exposed is, bar none, the worst mechanic I have ever seen in a video game that I have ever played. Yes, it’s worse than pipe dream in Bioshock. It’s worse than every collect 10 bear asses quests you will inevitably have to do in every MMO ever. The only thing it encourages is for players to grind their way through an entire zone because running from point A to point B un-slowed is somehow evil.

PvE Accessibility: Now, this is a thing that utterly infuriates me because Trion has the technology to implement, they just decided not too. What am I referring too? A very simple fact: PvE dungeon groups are not multi-server. You will only ever be in a group with people from your server. This is a terrible idea. A lot of players like to take on the role of a damage dealer. I know, I’m one of them. Pure damage dealers get to sit in a que for hours because there just aren’t enough tanks and healers to adequately generate groups. Tanks and Healers get the better end of the stick, but you’ll still be sitting in the que for almost an hour by yourself. The fastest group I’ve ever seen put together was for a low-level dungeon, and that took about 2 minutes. You might think, see, it happens, you can get in early. But here is the thing: I was on my warrior. My tank warrior. My friend is leveling a healer. My other friend a support. We had to que up with 3 people just the get a reasonable time in the dungeon finder. I’ve logged on my Rogue when I was alone, que’d, then ran around leveling professions and playing with the auction-house before being frustrated and dropping the dungeon que for a PvP one. That took about 30 seconds.

The worst part of it is the ease of leveling through questing or pvp means you can skip dungeons… only you can’t. Every zone has an epic quest line meant to drive the story of Rift, and every single one of them ends with a series of dungeon quests. So you have to que to get the storyline complete, which usually comes with nice rewards like a title or good pieces of gear. So into the que with you! Have fun waiting, and try not to level too fast before you make the dungeon irrelevant or, gods help you, you want to start questing in a new zone only to have the dungeon finder pop when you’re doing something else. Like, say, doing another epic storyline quest, or doing a zone wide event, perhaps helping someone with their own quest, you know, things you might like to do. Only you now have a choice of continuing to do those things or getting dumped back into the end of the que because you wanted to finish something while the unholy dungeon finder was lazily trying to stitch a group together. If you want to put story into your dungeons and make that story central to the game itself, do not force people to wait for over an hour to see it. It’s that simple. You have a fun story Trion, especially on the Defiant side. I want to see more of it. I do not want to sit in a que to eternity because I wanted to see it on my own time.

Finally, I’m going to end on the worst, most infuriating thing Rift does. If you thought what I said before was me being mean or frothing mad, this is going to a whole new level. This is the game striking me with something so aggravating, so depressing, so painful, that words fail to accurately describe it. It might almost be as bad as Exposed.

Ascend-a-Friend: Why oh gods do you torment me? Do not get me wrong, Ascend-a-Friend is a great mechanic and tool for the game. But hear my suffering. I’m now bound to my friend Telnia forever. Forever. No matter what, we’re always going to be stuck together on Rift. For all eternity. I take back what I said, this might be worse than exposed. I think I’m going to go cry in a corner until I forget. Or Tel summons me into a pack of a billion monsters. Which ever comes first.