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Rift Artifact System Opinion

Introduction

Artifacts are collectible items that you find all along your journey through Rift. These are located on the ground, above the ground, in hidden areas, and even in some instances. They are a form of rewarding players for scouring the land and exploring places to find what you could consider as hidden treasures. These artifacts are then either used or traded to other players. As you finish a set (which can range from a couple artifacts being needed to a large number), you can turn them in for different rewards.

Randomized Drops

Probably the most annoying part about artifacts is that they are random. You could spend an hour looking for them, find a hundred, and only have found three different ones out of hundreds of possibilities. This makes finding the ones you want somewhat tough, in that you have to just keep at it in the hopes that at some point you get something usable.

There is a good part to this, though, which is that each zone has its own artifact database. This means that if you look at the achievements list for any zone, and see what sets you need to complete that zone's artifact achievement, you know ahead of time exactly what all is available there. Nothing will drop in a zone that is not on its achievement list.

This does still become a problem as you get more and more artifact sets finished, though. You can only turn in (or even complete) each set once, so if you want to get the best rewards you have to keep going. While this is pretty easy in the beginning since you do not have a lot of the artifacts you will be finding, as you continue on you are going to be limiting the pool of which you need. This makes finding usable artifacts harder and harder, to the point where you can farm thousands of them and still never get one that you can use. Luckily, there is a partial solution for this: the market.

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Buying, Selling and Trading Artifacts

No artifacts are bind on pick up. This means that if you find one, you can trade it or sell it to anyone. There is even a special area on the auction house for the artifacts. As you start to complete your sets and get some doubles, triples, etc., you will want to start throwing your extras on to the auction house. An alternative is to try and trade them directly using the chat system, but that will usually only work if you have rare ones and need other rare ones; otherwise most people would rather just deal with purchasing them through the auction house as it is faster and easier.

By opening the auction house, you can easily search for artifacts that you still need by simply clicking on the “usable” box. This will only show artifacts you can use to complete your sets, which speeds up the searching process considerably. When I go out and do a buying run, I will purchase around ten at a time, then go to the mail box to pick them up, put them in to their artifact sets, and then go repeat the process. This helps ensure that I am purchasing only the artifacts I still need, as the list on the auction house will not be updated until you have actually updated your sets on your own.

It is also worth noting that from the selling point of view, the auction house is awesome. Because artifacts have a normal NPC value of a single silver, this is also what it costs to list them. So really, even if you do not end up getting some of them sold, you have not lost anything in the process. What I will usually do is list artifacts. If they time out once I will list them again. If they time out the second time I will try to sell them through the chat (or trade, though this is a lot harder to do). If that does not work, I will then just give them away to whoever needs them or to my guild, depending. In any case, unless you are using them or selling them, there is really no reason to hold on to them. Bank space is precious, and you do not want a lot of artifacts that are essentially useless taking up all your space!

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Artifact Rarity

One of the most confusing parts about Rift's artifacts is when it comes to their rarity. Much like the other items you find while exploring Rift, they come in different rarity colors: green, blue, purple, gold, white. But does this actually represent how rare they are to find when picking up artifacts? Actually, you might be surprised to hear that this answer is “no.” Actually, the true rarity of each artifact is unknown, but there are some blues and purples that are quite common. In other words, this is not a very good way to determine how rare an artifact is, nor is it good enough to judge the prices. Instead, the market itself (and its buying community) has to do that.

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Multiple Sets Using the Same Artifacts

The other part about this that is confusing is when it comes to artifacts where you need more than one. Sometimes you will find multiple sets that can use the same artifact, and when you use one you will need to get some more of that one. The most that I have seen used in different sets, I think is three. There are actually a few of them like this as well. So when you are farming for artifacts, or buying them, do not pay attention to just their names, but also watch the numbers associated with them. For example, 0/3 represents you having collected none of them, but it also shows that there are three different sets that use that specific artifact (so you need to get three of them).

It is also important to note that when you do have an artifact that can be used in multiple different sets, you will need to choose which one to use it in. Different people have different opinions on how to handle this, but since the auction house is so easy to use for finding the artifacts you do not already have, I usually just toss what I do have in to the set I am closest to finishing. This is more or less just to knock it off the to do list, so I can focus on how many sets are left to complete.

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How to Find Artifacts

This is something that really requires a bit of learning. Essentially what you are doing is “hunting shinnies.” As you are traveling, you may see a shining, although small, white light. Run to that as fast as you can as it could be an artifact and you want to be sure that you are able to grab it before someone else does.

Some of these artifacts will be hidden well, or be in harder to reach areas. While this does not mean that they are going to reward you with more rare artifacts, it is still worth trying to get to them. If nothing else, you get the enjoyment of feeling like you hunted for an easter egg and you found it!

Artifacts appear to spawn in the same spot each time, although the timers are unknown. As far as my understanding of their spawns goes, the rate depends on how many players are within the specified zone at any given time. For example, if there are a hundred people spread through the lands of Silverwood, the spawns should be slower than if there are a thousand people spread through the zone. Proximity may also play a role in this as well, but regardless the principle should be the same: if you are hunting for artifacts, choose either a random path to take or choose some type of a continuous one and just keep following it and grabbing the artifacts you find. As you run out of them, you can either take a break (do some PvP, a dungeon, or take a break from the game completely for a bit) or head off to another area or another zone in the hopes that you can farm some more of them.

The Pricing

Different artifacts will go for different prices. While some may have some nice values (think in the hundreds of platinum), others will be worthless or near worthless. A vast majority of the available artifacts go for less than five gold, but do not get caught up in this trap. Usually the hardest part of each set will go for a lot more. For example, you may be going for a set of seven. The first six will cost, say thirty gold total for all of them. The last piece, however, can run you eighty platinum. This happens so often that you really want to do a bit of research before you start buying any artifacts, unless you are planning to try and collect all of them regardless. In this case, go ahead and buy away; just be aware that you are more than likely going to end up hitting what feels like a brick wall, in which you either have to pay massive prices for your missing artifacts or you are unable to find them on the market at all and will be forced to go around farming them on your own.

In any case, keeping up with the prices of artifacts will make life much easier on your collecting journey, and it will also save you quite a bit of money. So once you have bought all of the really cheap artifacts that are available, you will want to start watching to see when other ones pop up and then snag them when they are at a good value. Keep in mind, though, that these are going to be very volatile, so the prices may jump up or down considerably over a period of a day or two. Because of this, you really want to watch them over time so that you know about what price point you want to jump on them at. Also note that this will very from server to server, so if you are playing on more than one you may be able to find much better prices on one of them than on the other.

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Hidden Artifacts

Along with all of the artifacts you see out in the world normally, there are also some that are part of what is called the “twisted” set. These are invisible to your vision, unless you have the special rift skills that allow you to see things like the slivers. As a result of their high cost (twenty five thousand planarite), a lot of players do not have these skills. This works out great for those that do, though, as this means that they have access to new artifacts that others do not. Furthermore, there are tons of these artifacts and sets out there, so earning money off of them is a bit easier than with the normal ones.

All of these special hidden artifacts are located in Ember Isle and the new Storm Legion zones. As far as I am aware, there are none found in other zones, although this could be incorrect. In any case, you can keep the goggles toggled while you are playing anyways, so it should not really affect you since you will always be able to see both normal and Twisted artifacts while you are exploring.

The Problems

The problem I have with the artifacts is that there are way too many, and that they are randomized. Even if you are on a spot where a single artifact keeps popping up, each time you grab it you will likely get a different one. This is a great thing for players that are just starting out with their collections, but when you get down to where you only need a few, a couple or even a single artifact to finish your sets, this can become a big hassle. The only options at that point are to keep farming them in the hopes you get the one you want, buy it on the auction house for what is probably going to be a ridiculous price (if it is even available) or try to haggle with someone over the chat system that may have one. In any case, none of these are really fun and they can lead to a lot of frustration. The worst part is the feeling that you are so close, yet so far away from being able to finish them off.

The Rewards

There are some awesome rewards you can get, if you are able to turn in enough artifact sets. For example, there is a special maximum speed (a hundred and fifty percent) mount that is available in return for the tokens you get when turning in some sets. Getting something like this not only gives you the benefit of having the nice run speed, but it also gives a sense of accomplishment and the ability to show off what you have done. The only real issue behind this is that at the end of the day, this mount is going to cost you significantly more than if you had just bought one of the other maximum speed mounts instead. Of course, with those you do not get the prestige and recognition, but this will vary from person to person. There are also some other rewards you can get in return for the tokens you get, but the mount is by far the coolest one there is (albeit the most expensive and the hardest to get).

Farming Sets

What I do to farm my artifacts is I will start off by going to the auction house. I will buy up all of them that I need going up to, say ten gold each. After I have bought all of them up to this wall (which takes multiple trips since I buy ten or so at a time, add them to my collection, then visit the auction house again so I can keep from buying the same ones over and over) I will go out and start farming some on my own. How long I spend really depends, but I try to hover at either thirty minutes or an hour, depending on how I feel, how lucky I am getting with finding them, which ones I am finding and what else is going on at the time.

After each break period, before I go deal with something else, I will hit up the auction house again to do another swipe up to the same wall of ten gold. I will then leave, do whatever it is I need to do, and return to the game again later to repeat the process.

This method actually has a few different benefits:

  • It reduces the chances of getting burned out, since I am not always farming and am not always spending all of my time on the auction house
  • It helps complete sets faster since I am farming and (ideally) getting new artifacts, while maximizing what I can get off the auction house faster
  • It is cheaper, because I am spreading out the buys over time. Even over a period of ten minutes or so, you will see tons of new artifacts listed in your buying range. So check back often

This method does end up taking a lot of time and effort, but when you spread yourself out along different tasks it makes it a lot less invasive. It is still pretty hard to get a lot of sets completed, though, and with how many players there are that are also hunting down artifact sets, you will likely still be forced to go out and buy or trade for artifacts you need at some ridiculously high prices. Regardless, if you are like me and are doing it because you want the rewards, not just “easy mounts” and such, this is a great way to handle it while minimizing your investment in to the artifacts!

Just keep in mind that once artifacts are added to a set, they can not be removed. So once you get rolling on this and you have invested a lot of time and money in to finishing up your sets, you will not want to stop; those artifact sets you have not completed would become worthless if you did, and you would have wasted all of your time and money on nothing. Because of this, you want to be absolutely sure before you get started and make investments whether or not you really want to follow through with it. If not, go ahead and back out now!

My Take

I love the artifacts. I think that this system is an awesome one because it helps give something that shares real value in the game. Being that most items are bound to players, the artifacts being a sort of commodity is nice. While they have no true value, but instead more of a perceived value, they still give a long term goal to work towards, and for players that want to go for them it can be a fun, although stressful experience.

If anything changed to this system, I would like it to be changing the way that artifacts are looted. I think the spawn areas and stuff are great. I have no issues with the hidden and hard to get to artifacts. What I do not like, however, is how when you are down to a single artifact you need in a zone, it can be seemingly impossible to get it, regardless as to how much time you spend out and about hunting for it. Even worse than this is when people charge very high prices because of its rarity, and then to take it a step further there are even times where nobody even has one for sale; in cases like this, it often seems like a lost cause to keep continuing, though it is hard to back away once you have made it that far.

To make the system a bit more fun for people to collect the artifacts, when you loot one it should take in to consideration what you have already added to your collection. I do not think that it should always give you something you do not already have, but there should at least be some type of calculation that goes on to give you a chance for it. This is a lot better than having someone go around picking up thousands and never getting a single one they need, while another player can pick up three and find the same ones the first player was going for. To account for a change like this, the spawn rate of the artifacts could also be lowered a bit; I highly doubt that anyone would complain about this, being that you would ideally not need to farm nearly as many artifacts to get what you need.

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