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5:55pm on Tuesday, 8th March, 2011:

Elemental Mistake


I'm plodding through Rift right now, and yesterday reached level 20.

OK, so this is a game in which rifts open from elemental planes and elementals pour through. There are six elements: water, fire, earth, air, life and death. Fair enough.

My character is some kind of fighting priest, who can heal but who can also do a bit of damage. I have spells with names like Dehydrate, Spirit Rupture and Drown (which "fills the lungs of the target with sea water").

So, if I'm attacking something that's made of water, I might expect Dehydrate to do considerable damage. Against a fire elemental, though, well there's no water to remove so it should be pretty ineffectual. Likewise, filling with water the lungs of a creature that lives under water shouldn't really do much — only mammals have lungs anyway. Likewise, casting Spirit Rupture on an inanimate object shouldn't do it a great deal of damage as it has no spirit to rupture.

None of this seems to happen. As far as I can tell, the damage a spell does is pretty well independent of the elemental nature of the target. I don't have to choose my spells carefully against different opponents, I just use the same ones every time. I do have some decisions to make (don't use Crushing Wave if it might blast your opponent into some enemies and set those on you too, that kind of thing), but the whole elements thing just isn't a factor. Given that this is a game about elements, this seems rather unsatisfying.

Other than that, it's going well enough. I only have one quest that I have no idea what it involves, but I'm resisting looking up the solution on the Internet in protest.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).