Tags: game design, hawley loves artifacts, rift
When I first encountered Artifacts in Rift I was, in all truthfulness, a little south of skeptical.
And no, Skeptical is not a town in Essex. (It’s in Dorset. And just south of there is Decidedly Antagonistic).
I’d first encountered the concept of right clicking on a non-specific glowy/sparkly thing in Everquest 2, and I think that’s what coloured me regarding it.
I only played Everquest 2 for a couple of months, and got a character to around level 20. I’ll limit myself to a quick gripe here, because I know that Everquest 2 has a dedicated and loyal following, but it felt to me that there were loads of great ideas that had been badly implemented. Or implemented in such a way as to make them Not Fun. In some cases, Really Not Fun.
One of the memories I have is of running around, right-clicking on anything that didn’t move, and the non-specific glowy/sparklies came up with things like flowers, and butterflies. I then put them in a small collection. Small collections then were added together to make large collections. And then you got some sort of reward.
But the reward seemed so pointless, because I just couldn’t get a red butterfly. I had so many yellow butterflies that I could have ground up plenty of yellow butterflies and used their blood to paint a further few butterflies red, but it seems that there wasn’t to be any forgery on that scale.
Pretty soon I just stopped bothering. All my bags were filled with random butterflies and flowers, and so for the sake of my own sanity, I just stopped. It was Not Fun.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered myself just north of Pleasantly Surprised (it’s near the Yorkshire Moors) with regard to the Artifacts and Collections of Rift. The items are entertaining, and strange, and reference a surprising amount of lore without ramming it down my throat. Some are small, such as the two item collection found within one part of Meridian, others have a good few items, whilst some artifacts can go in more than one collection.
Artifacts can come from a variety of sources. Most pop up as non-specific glowy/sparklies dotted around the landscape. Others appear as part of the random tat to be found on a freshly lootable corpse. Others have appeared as part of the reward for closing a rift.
Some of them are zone-specific, others more generalised. And some are decidedly weird. No, I’m not sure why I felt the need to collect troll toe-nails, but luckily it’s only a three artifact set, and that’s handed in now.
I’m not sure why I’m enjoying them so much. The largest part of it is that Trion have managed to trigger my largely dormant collector gene, most probably due to using it as a way of bringing a little more of the character and lore of a zone to light.
It’s a little bit of flair, and Trion seem pretty good at not just polish, but adding flair.