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While the Rift Instant Adventures system has been active for a while, they have taken part only in the zones of Shimmersand and Stillmoor. Next up is the inclusion of Ember Isle Instant Adventures. While they definitely share some similarities (as one might expect, being that they all run on the same system), there are also some differences.

Introduction

In case you are not familiar with what Instant Adventures are, they are quick little mini quests that players can take part in together. When they are joined, players are automatically grouped with others on the same quest, so you can jump straight into the action, play as much (or as little) as you would like and then leave. As for entering, this is easiest done by pressing the “.” key and choosing to “Join.”

It is also worth noting at this point that the difficulty of Instant Adventures increases as more players join in. This helps balance it whether there is a single player or an entire raid. While it does not scale linearly, it is still a good gesture!

Ember Isle vs. Shimmersand and Stillmoor

Mobs

The biggest difference between the two groups is the level of mobs included. Shimmersand and Stillmoor are both for players between the low 40's and 50. As a result, you will often come up with green mobs if you are already at level 50. This causes a “steam rolling” feeling when you mow down entire groups of enemies with no problems. On the other hand, Ember Isle, by default, is for level 50's. The mobs found on it are level 52, and the Instant Adventures are no different.

When looking at the enemies and their difficulty, for the most part they were quite easy. A majority of them were the same ones we already kill while doing quests or exploring, so there's a bit of familiarity there. The difference comes in on the Source stone invasions. There are a lot of enemies that rush in, and the boss is actually difficult. Especially for players who are fresh level 50's, getting a tank is going to be important to successfully complete the final quest. Furthermore, there is one quest in particular, Marine Beetles, that requires killing level 52 elites with almost 80k health. Even as a full raid, these were quite difficult, but we also did not have a tank with us (which can easily represent how this would go on the live servers!). But for the most part, even without a tank the adventures are not too tough.

The rewards

When it comes to experience, it appears to be about equal between this Ember Isle and Shimmersand/Stillmoor. As of the testing there were not any bonuses for each individual quest completed, so this may change, however as it is they just about even out.

Item wise is where Ember Isle's Instant Adventures really start to shine. Rather than giving an Inscribed Source stone for every few quests (if you are lucky), it gives one for each quest done. These can really add up quick, making this an excellent way to get the top planar gear and essences. This should prove especially helpful for tanks (or others) who do extensive raiding and need to fill up multiple foci.

Crystallized Insights are seen at about the same rate as the ISS's. Pretty much with each of the individual quests, another insight is earned. Despite this much increased rate, Eternal Crystallized Insights are still rare (out of 33 quests, none were obtained). This sets it on the same level as SS and SM.

Other than these items, there are not any special drops that I experienced. They just included the normal: artifacts, Eternal Planar Dust, Planarite and those things. It is worth noting, however, that the Planarite rewards were pretty big. Players can easily fill up their rift bags between that and the other small goodies, so cleaning it out regularly is important!

I had to use the low quality renderer here due to the flood of mobs that came in. It was many, many invasions at once. And about a fourth of them were elites!

This image shows a massive grouping, much like the one above, as it is seen on the map and mini map.

Similarities

If you are looking for a completely different type of adventure than the previous ones, this will not fulfill that desire. In just about every way conceivable, the adventures are identical when they come to quests and mobs. The only differences are as follows:

  • On the “defend” parts (the final quests), rather than defending a Ward stone, players are defending a Source well. As a result, the turrets, NPC's and other things can be used, but for the most part the two are the same
  • The quests are pretty much generic “go kill x, go kill y” types again
  • The areas that are needed for different quests are closely packed. Of course, we want this as it allows much quicker movement from one to the next!
  • Most of the quests revolve around killing normal mobs, with elites being a rare requirement. This includes when in a full raid

Conclusion

In a very real sense, the new Rift Ember Isle Instant Adventures feel a bit repetitive just like the old ones do. Due to their nature of just killing things, it gets to the point where you end up droning on, not really paying attention to anything other than the mini map and spamming whatever attack keys you are using. Though, at the same time, the only real thing I could see to help alleviate those feelings of repetition are to toss in new game mechanics that can somehow bridge the gap and give more feelings of fulfillment.

As they stand now, the new Ember Isle Instant Adventures are an excellent addition to the game and will definitely be useful for gearing up with planar gear. Even if you just have a short period of time to play, you should be able to get in a bit of progression. No longer are you forced to hand for multiple rounds to get an ISS; simply drop in, do a quest, get it and continue or move on!

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