Rift devs also answer questions about raids, itemization
Toward the beginning of the year, we were able to submit questions about game content, itemization and more to Trion. These were questions from our staff, as well as common questions found on the Rift Community forums. We were lucky to have the time of Executive Producer Hal Hanlin and Lead Designer Adam Gershowitz to answer them.
Due to the very high development pipeline of Patch 1.7, we weren't able to get answers to some questions before they went stale, but we have included them all so we can get a snapshot of questions which were important to the community.
Rift in Russia launch
Q: Congratulations on the successful launch of Rift in Russia. Now we understand that this venture is not fully run by Trion, how will this work for user account services and game updates?
Hal: Our partner GFI handles the user account services and we provide them with updates. Its pretty seamless.
Q: What would you consider your biggest successes (and hurdles) in the development of the Russian version of RIFT?
Hal: The biggest success is that we were able to expand into another market rapidly and work hand in hand with our Russian partner GFI. There were a few minor issues but all in all it went very smoothly.
General Game Questions
Q: Since we are seeing an optimization of itemization, should the player base expect that damage output across the classes will be revisited?
Adam: Remember the item progression got smoother which meant many items got upgraded in line with their old stats so we didnt dramatically change / optimize stats for a given build. There are some examples of where we improved things for players such as adding focus to more cleric gear, but overall the gear changes shouldnt result in a radical power shift for a given build using the same items they had previously.
Q: There have been several images which have been leaked from dataminers which appear to be new content, and were broadcast on the GamebreakerTV show, "The Sanctum". Do you have any comment about the material that was seen?
Hal: I wont comment on a specific piece but at Trion we are always working on new content and will continue to deliver really cool and exciting stuff.
Q: Are there any plans to implement a visual indicator of instance difficulty?
Hal: No, right now this is currently not in the plans.
Q: There are some who have said that RIFT is very centric around group activities. Will we be seeing a focus in the future on solo-able content?
Hal: Solo-able content is very important to us and with features like Chronicles we will continue to deliver more solo-able content. We are an MMO and we really do want to encourage group content that is very easy for a solo player to get into. Instant Adventure is a good example of this. As a single player I can jump right in and run around with a mob of people and do some really cool content. I can still be kind of solo, not talk to people and just run with the mob or I can try to meet some new friends. Its pretty damn cool.
Chronicles of Telara
Q: Many were excited about the release of the Chronicles of Telara. In your opinion, have the CoT's been a success, and why?
Hal: Oh yeah, great success. They are a success because they allow us to craft a tailored experience, similar to what we do for raids, for a two player or an experienced solo player. This allows for people who do not do raiding to get some of the story and feel of raids.
Q: Will we be expecting more CoT's in the future?
Hal: We released a new chronicle, River of Souls in patch 1.7.
Dungeons and Raids
Q: As we move farther along in raid tiers, will we be seeing any effort to keep the relevance of some of the older raids (such as we saw with HK in the CoT)?
Adam: We always want our content to be relevant and we definitely pay attention to who is playing what, a great example of that was the combining of Expert tiers… Players stopped playing Expert 1 content and we did something to ensure that those dungeon stayed relevant to a larger number of players.
Q: Does Trion intend to place any focus on minor bugs still appearing in various raid encounters in Greenscale's Blight, Drowned Halls and River of Souls?
Hal: We are always working on making the experience of playing Rift better.
Q: In the patch notes for 1.7, we saw that there is an intention to combine the 2 tiers of expert dungeons. Yet the user interface, as well as the rewards, still imply a 2-tier expert dungeon system. Would you be able to clarify this for us?
Adam: Yup, we forgot to update the tooltip on the plaques of achievement. That will be fixed shortly, no worries! As we stated before there is only one tier of Expert content now. All of the loot, recipes etc. should all be of similar quality. Now, keep in mind plaques of achievement are actually obtainable in any instanced endgame content (50 Dungeons, Chronicles, and Expert Dungeons) and as such we left the earlier suit of armor on the store to retain the progression from Chronicles/Dungeons -> Expert Dungeons.
We did ask some questions about Rogues and Rogue tanking. However, due to the highly fluid nature of tweaks to that Calling, we were unable to get any comment.
We wish to thank Hal Hanlin and Adam Gershowitz and the Trion team for taking the time out to answer our questions. We will have much more to come very soon!