I play a lot of MMOs. Not all at once, of course, but I've generally dabbled in most of the more popular ones.
Rift is the latest of these dalliances and while there's definitely some similarities to other MMOs, it's got enough original concepts to be interesting.
But that's not what I'm here on my blog to talk about. Not at all.
Many MMOs have been recording who was the first player to achieve certain goals in the game or the first to find certain items. Ordinarily I am not someone who ever finds any of these things because I'm either coming into the game late or just not playing it 18 hours a day, as it seems some people will do during the launch of a new MMO.
Until the other day, when I was the first to find... Err, some "rare" bow that really wasn't that useful to my Warrior. But it was announced to everyone that I found it first, which was pretty cool!
What was even cooler was the way in which I found the bow.
A few days prior to my discovery I had stumbled across a Travelling Vendor, Buckley, out in the middle of nowhere in particular. I thought it a little odd and decided to see what he had for sale. I managed to pick up a much nicer shield and some other item I've since forgotten or replaced. All in all, a nice little discovery. I wondered if I'd run into the guy again later, or one of his friends in another zone.
Then, while riding back to town to turn in some quests, a portal opened beside the road. I stopped my mount and waited to see what would happen next.
Out strolled Buckley the Travelling Vendor!
He hailed me and said he recognises an item he sold to me, is it serving me well, etc? Then says he has another stash of items nearby and he'd be happy to offer a discount to his best customer.
So I follow along after him, sort of expecting a trap or a quest or maybe just some new shinies to buy.
We get to where his stash is supposed to be and - surprise! - it's gone. Buckley scurries back and forth trying to work out where it's gone and then requests my patience while he tries to locate his items.
He starts casting some kind of spell, which I figure is the prelude to him finding the treasure and sending me on a quest to retrieve it. I had nothing better to do at the time so I was curious to see where this was leading.
Then suddenly Buckley the Travelling Vendor is gone and in his place is Buckley the Travelling Vendor big-freaking-troll-ogre-thing, who immediately tries to eat me. :-D
After a bit of a battle I emerge victorious, of course, and get to loot him. He had a ring named after him and the rare bow I was the first to find, plus some cash. Score!
Turns out he'll randomly reappear when you're riding through the Gloamwood, both in the "It's a trap!" mode and as a vendor you can buy some random goodies from. So it's a dynamic and repeatable sort of "mini quest".
But that first time is definitely the most fun. :-)