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Rift Mentoring System Review

Introduction

A while after Rift was out, a new feature was added to the game called a mentoring system. This allows players to drop down to a level below their own in order to experience older content and still have a challenge or to join up with their friends and not one hit everything. This is one of the coolest features that has been added to the game so far, and it has a ton of benefits.

Lore

If you are interested in Rift's lore and you want to do every quest that is available, one thing you will notice pretty quick is that you will constantly be leveling faster than the quests do. Before long you are already to the point where the mobs needed for each quest are so easy that you can kill them without any challenge at all being posed towards you. This is not fun for a lot of us, and the only way around this issue used to be to make a new character and then go through the same experience with that one, or to slow down leveling by constantly attempting to avoid as many mobs as possible just so you would not gain experience.

There was an attempted fix that did not work too well, which was to allow players to lock their leveling. The idea behind this was that you could just lock your level and continue with your content, and then unlock it when you were ready to go up another level. While it was a good idea in theory, the simple fact is that it was more limiting than anything. As long as your level was locked you would not gain any experience, which meant that anything you did while your level was locked was going to be lost.

The mentoring system fixes this by allowing you to still get experience towards your true level, while allowing you to play the game at a lower level. As an example, you can be level fifty nine and be mentored down to ten. If you are close to leveling up already, you can hit sixty even while you are still mentored down! The same goes towards earning planar attunement experience, which would have been lost in the old system as well, so this new system works great.

Events

One of the reasons I mentor down is to take part in events. I love the way the events in the lower end zones feel because it is where the majority of the new people are always found, and it is a blast to get to join them and watch them learn as they go. As a high level, this is no fun since anything you hit will instantly kill it in these zones, but when you mentor down you can experience the content again while not being too over powered.

One thing the system could use for events is a forced mentor ship, though, to where if you go to a lower level rift or find an invasion somewhere, you will be automatically dropped to their range. There are still some people running around at max level that like to harass others by constantly killing their mobs, so this would be a great fix. As soon as they left the area, their stats could be boosted back up and their mentor ship removed, so it would not cause too many problems with people that are just trying to pass by.

Farming

If you need to farm certain materials and you want to have at least a little bit of a challenge, mentoring down is an excellent way to do this. If you want to just one hit everything, of course, this is not what you want to do, but in my case I love having fun with the mobs rather than just steam rolling everything.

Dungeons

This is an area where you do not really choose your level, and instead the system does it for you. When you are queuing up for dungeons you can choose to allow mentor ship. If you do this, and it chooses a dungeon for you that is lower than your level, it will automatically mentor you down so you are about on par with the others that are in your group. This helps give everyone a fair dungeon run, rather than sticking a level sixty in a level fifteen dungeon. While the latter would give a much faster run, the dungeons are created to be enjoyed, instead of just run through!

The Problem

Really, there is only one problem with the mentoring, but it is a pretty big one. It deals with the skills you have. While your damage, defense, etc., is all lowered down quite a bit when you mentor, you do not lose any of your good skills. This means that if you are level sixty and you have some awesome heals and AoE's, you will have those even at ten. While they will not be nearly as powerful as they would be if you were your true level, this still creates a massive imbalance because those skills can still make a world of a difference in how many mobs you can pull, what situations you need to worry about, and other things like that.

Ideally what the mentoring system should do is somehow block out some skills. I think it would be a bit hard to come up with a solid way of handling this because of how Rift's setup works, but the least that could be done is at least block down anything that is above your mentored level. For example, if you are mentored to level ten, only the first two rows of the soul tree should still be usable. Anything above that should be grayed out temporarily. While you would still be a bit more over powered than you would be if you were a true level ten, this is a lot better than the system allowing you to keep every active and passive skill that you have at your true level.

Conclusion

Rift adding the ability to mentor down to lower levels is an awesome feature to the game. This allows everyone to experience lower level content without the ease that would otherwise be seen, and it also gives more of a reason to do the lower level dungeons again. The system is definitely not without its flaws, but as it stands now it is a lot better than if it did not exist.

I am looking forward to seeing how it is enhanced in the future, and I am really hoping that changes to how skills are handled will come in to help out with removing the benefit of having high level skills at lower levels. Even if this does not happen, however, at least the way it is right now is better than nothing!

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