One of the big changes within Rift 1.7 was the merging of Expert dungeons into a single grouping. No longer are there two tiers. But how has this worked?

The merging of Expert dungeons was done in part to help streamline the gear attainment process. By not forcing players to go from normal dungeons to Expert Tier 1 and then Expert Tier 2, a lot of confusion has been cleared. But at the same time, this change has been a somewhat drastic one.

Starting Out

Getting geared up for Expert dungeons has always been somewhat easy. For Tier 1 there were no real gear requirements (other than “core” stats such as Wisdom for Clerics or Intelligence for Mages) required, making it easy to get started. As players progressed through the dungeons, the drops would help get enough Hit or Focus to enter Tier 2 dungeons.

One of the problems with the above method is that many players were bypassing the Tier 1 dungeons altogether by just crafting gear or using runes to boost Hit and Focus to the appropriate levels. It was somewhat easy to get geared up right after hitting 50, making Tier 1 dungeons a bit worthless to seasoned players.

Now, rather than having this happen, the two tiers have been merged into a single one that aims to be the equivalent to Tier 2 (with the previously Tier 1 dungeons being boosted in difficulty to try and match it). This, in essence, puts newer players at the same advantage as veterans, and increases the number of dungeons players run while doing Random Tier 2's.

Difficulty of Expert Dungeons

This is where things get a bit off. While the Tier 1 dungeons have been “boosted” to be as difficult as Tier 2's, that doesn't really seem to be the case. Between the two tiers, there has always been a somewhat clear difference in the way strategies worked within. As Tier 1 was meant to be the introduction Expert level, it has been a median step between normal and Tier 2. Now, that really seems to be the same.

As an example, through running all but one of the Tier 1's (KB), the only difference so far seems to be the boost in health and damage. This isn't really an “upgrade” as it doesn't require what the most important thing is: strategy. Sure, being hit for more requires a little more thought, but when it really comes down to it, it doesn't affect much. As a result, all that's happened is an increase in the rewards for running Tier 1's.

The Result of the Expert Dungeon Merge

There's been a couple changes I have seen as a result of the Expert dungeon merge. One of these is that Expert dungeons have become a bit more trivial than they already were. The other is that more and more “newbies” end up in the difficult dungeons (such as Caduceus Rise).

When looking at how easy the dungeons are, that is only negative because the assumed progression line is to go from Expert dungeons to raiding. In that sense, the dungeons are meant to be a stepping stone to help learn how to account for more intricate strategies. As it is, that has been diminished a bit more, leaving even less hands-on experience. As a result, it makes it harder for newer players to get in the groove during raids.

Looking at the “newbie” situation, it in itself isn't an issue (we were all new at one point, right?), but it does diminish the game when players who are unprepared for the end-game end up being tossed into it. Not only does it often cause them problems, it causes irritation for others as well.


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