Jaradcel writes up another in-depth guest post on Rift news. Enjoy! –Ravious
This week marks a massive riot in the world of Rift. The proverbial straw came in the form of news of another new change to PvP, one that was implemented not two days after its announcement. With only a few hours of test realm testing before it was pushed live, many feel like the choice was rushed, sloppy, and a band-aid. Is it true? Continue reading
Jaradcel writes up a guest post on Rift news. Enjoy! –Ravious
Rift has released its state of the union address on the game. Some additional info slipped out from a conference call to journalists, and the most intriguing information is below.
The two biggest highlights include Chronicles, a form of solo to small-group content focusing on the lore of the world, and the possibility of Alternate advancement experience sometime in the near future. A lot of what I’ll be talking about is theorycrafting based on available information (of which there really isn’t a lot of)
First off, Chronicles. These are listed as instances for players from one to three, and are meant to be finished relatively quickly. They will do things such as have players interact, fight alongside or work against famous in-game non-player characters. It will also allegedly flesh out the lore for players who prefer that, rather than loot or bashing heads in. Unfortunately, there is very little beyond the bullet point information to go on. Serrain at RiftJunkies reflects a lot of my concerns regarding this introduction, such as whether it’s for max-level characters only, how it will be implemented et al.
Jaradcel writes up a guest post on the upcoming update for Rift. Enjoy! –Ravious
Rift is to have its third major update in 1.3 come June 22nd, and besides a new raid in Hamerknell, also features major revamps to warriors and mages. Of note however, was the originally planned overhaul to PvP as well, which was scrapped after a massive outcry from the forums. I’ll skip the first two, and look at the results and issues of the third since I happen to be PvPing alot lately.
As in other MMO’s, Rift has its own special stat for PvP players – Valor. The more you have the less damage you take from other players. There are six ranks to gain at level 50, called prestige ranks, which subsequently unlock better valor gear as players rank up.
Initially, patch 1.3 was slated to drastically readjust how Valor worked.
Tobold has an interesting post up mostly about Star Wars: The Old Republic fortune telling. I must say I did laugh at his response to the financial analyst not understanding the MMO genre because “MMORPG’s release date is independent of their state of readiness.” Tobold had another thought buried at the end, more about Rift:
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Rift is doing well, but not quite as spectacularly as the initial hype suggested. Bloggers like syncaine pulled a Keen and now post mostly critical things about Rift, or have just silently dropped the game.
I think that this is a two-part problem. First, the only reason Tobold seems to expect some announcement is because Rift, like many other MMOs, is a subscription game. It has an end point where a gamer can definitively say “I am no longer playing this game because I am not subscribed.” Compare that to any other game, which a gamer can have installed, and the line gets much more hazy. I have not played Guild Wars for a few weeks, but I feel I am still active with the game’s community and ready to jump back on anytime. I am definitely not going to write a good-bye post on a game I have played actively for 6 years!
Second, even though subscription games have this definitive line, I do not think it is a blogger’s duty to announce un-subscribing. I did not announce my unsubscription to Rift (as opposed to when I did for Warhammer Online) because I unsubscribed as a happy customer. I got what I came for. Now I have other games to play. It isn’t like Rift failed; it’s just not what I subjectively need right now. I am happy right now with Trackmania and Team Fortress 2, while I still dabble in some other MMOs.
Is it some evidence of MMO success when a blogger goes to other pastures? By all means if the crystal ball is already out, might as well go the distance. Rift, objectively, seems to be chugging along quite nicely even if it’s press honeymoon is now over.
Blizzard’s marketing department has to be scratching their heads at this one. Penny Arcade is notoriously picky about who gets to advertise on their site, for those that didn’t know. (Link to original article at Penny Arcade for posterity.)
I don’t know whether Trion Worlds has been holding this ace-up-the-sleeve for the perfect time or whether the serendipitous moment just fell in to their lap, but the result has been very effective. Basically, Rift will give players free server transfers to characters to try and hook up with friends, get away from a busier server, or change to a different rule set. Fans are happy. Cynics are cynical. And, business goes on, much as usual.
Two heavyweight MMO bloggers, looked at it from differing perspectives regarding the marketing approach. Tobold noted that the inclusion of some weasel words could turn this amazing feature into what every other struggling MMO has done at the three-month mark: merge underpopulated servers. Wilhelm at TAGN takes the same premise, but broadens the focus a little to remark on server architectures and Blizzard’s premium service allowing subscribers to do the same thing for a price.
It seems the Monday blues have destroyed any creativity for a full-on, introspective, analytical blog post. Instead I’ll just bait everybody with random thoughts I had over the weekend.
I am in the mid-high level zone of Moonshade Highlands still. My vacation slowed me down for a week. I am pretty sure I am nearly finished with it being level 41 and nearing the final Guardian quest hub. I am starting to see an interesting change in these lower populated zones, especially during the week (i.e., even lower pop.). It sadly reminds me of Warhammer Online’s descent. The problem is that fewer people care about lonely rifts that open up. Invasions still seem to draw a raid group or two since they give rarer tokens and an achievement if beaten. Rifts, especially major ones, seem to be drawing less people.
I went a different route in Rift, and I joined a very large guild, The Gaiscioch Family. Usually I join guilds with about 40-50 members or smaller so this has been a much different experience for me. I am finding in an open-grouping MMO game, specifically Rift, the larger guild has provided a great experience. I wanted to interview the guild leader, Foghladha, about some of the unique aspects of a “mega-guild” or one big family.
What’s your elevator proposal for joining Gaiscioch?
The Gaiscioch Family began in November of 2001 as a channel for people of similar hobbies to make new friends by participating in something they already have in common. Our roots are set in the Celtic Mythological Cycle and take the name Gaiscioch from the Lebor Gabála Érenn where a group of Warriors chosen by the Tuatha de Danaan — The Celtic Gods — to fight along their side in the First Battle of Moyturna. These warriors not only displayed honor to their own troops but to the enemy troops as well. They took the time to teach the Fir Bolg warriors their technologies, their weaponry, and teach them to use it in hopes that the battle would be more fair for both sides.
This type of thinking is exactly where the Gaiscioch family has grown to become. We are an outward thinking family who looks to improve the community that they are part of by hosting large scale public events open to everyone including the opposite faction. They organize server wide events and provide them with the publicity for people to hear about and flock to attend. While most “Guilds” focus inward and strive to make their own better, the Gaiscioch strive to make the whole server better. Our focus is on community development and involvement and with this comes several benefits and several curses.
The Gaiscioch Family has consistently grown over the past decade reaching over 1,400 members from all around the globe. We feature an out of game leveling system within the family which rewards members from participating together through gaining ranks, badges, achievements, and even family currency called Family Vault Credits. Using family vault credits you can purchase things from the family Marketplace, or request resources to help fill crafting orders. We have a dungeon planner system in place to help people find others who need the same dungeons at the same time and have one of the most in detail list of guides and discovery locations on the web. With thousands of members you will rarely have trouble finding a group.