[Rift] Shaded Events

I am nearly done with Scarwood Reach. The weekend hit a nice upswing in zone population, and we actually completed a few zone wide events. Sadly the Winged Horror event to defeat 50 invasions (then the boss) always seemed beyond our grasp. I think too many people were still rift chasing when that event really just requires defense. Anyway, I am starting to see more shades in Rift’s dynamic event system beyond the basics.

Within the rifts themselves, I am starting to see a few “dungeon” mechanics that help freshen up the gameplay a little. For example, there is one rift event where a big worm boss appears first. As players whittle it down it burrows underground and digs up corpses and other worms for the players to fight. In another rift event, a spider boss goes into an [annoying] invulnerable mode and then starts to hatch small spiders. My favorite twist involves aggroing werewolves to one of three shrines on the map. After a player activates the shrine, if they can get the enemy to run into the shrine’s light they cleanse the enemy. This rift requires not only the killing of a number of werewolves, but also that a certain number of werewolves are cleansed.

Departing from the core rift mechanic, there are also two public quests linked to Scarlet Gorge ancient wardstones that I participated in. At one ancient wardstone near a Defiant quest hub, the Guardian NPC will ask players to escort a golem down the road to the nearest Guardian quest hub. This quest is public, and nothing has to be accepted. In the Auld Warden area, there is an ongoing public quest, Keep Away, to snag some Rift Blooms filled with Life energy and bring it to the ancient wardstone at the top of the monstrous tree. The Rift Blooms are located in the outer branches far above the ground. Again, no quest has to be accepted. Merely entering the area will put a player in participation. I have to say knowing that Trion Worlds has the basics for non-rift events is nice because that can lead to a plethora of new events.

I do have one suggestion for a problem I had with the public quests. With Keep Away I was really confused as to blundered through figuring out how to participate. I tried asking in guild and zone chat, but I think the majority of players ignored this confusing public quest. When I entered the area, the quest tracker shows me the quest with “Bring Rift Bloom Energy to the Blessed Wardstone 0/8.” I had no clue what any of that meant. What were Rift Bloom Energies? Where was the Blessed Wardstone? And why was this public quest called “Keep Away”? My first thought was that this was some openworld PvP area with a goal-scoring variant.

The thing I don’t like with these public quests and zone-wide invasion events is that when they enter the quest tracker what you see is what you get. In other words, if I don’t understand what to do for Keep Away with it’s 9-word description, that’s all I get. With zone-wide invasion events, the objectives are more clear (e.g., close 10 rifts, don’t die), but it seems that certain zone-wide invasions events are linked to specific wardstones. The specific wardstones are not described in the quest tracker text. Conversely, with the ongoing Grim Harvest world event (or any normal quest) that also appears in my quest tracker, clicking on it gives me a pop-up filled with additional information. I think it would be extremely helpful if the events that did pop up in my quest tracker could be pulled up, via quest window, to provide more information, especially as events become more complicated.

I am about wrap up Scarwood Reach, and then I will head to the Droughtlands or Moonshade Highlands. I’m not sure which yet. I am interested to see what other shades of the dynamic events I will find.


7 thoughts on “[Rift] Shaded Events”

  1. Good to see I wasn’t the only one wondering about that in Scarwood Reach. I even clicked the event text in vain, hoping that a hidden quest text would pop up and explain to me what exactly they wanted me to do.

    In fact, there are quite a few things in Rift that requires a little more information than we get. Just the other day, shortly before hitting level 40, I learned about the additional skills for buffing and healing blessed wardstones, calling upon a guardian NPC team to beat an enemy wardstone, and other similar powers. The way they were described at the vendor in Sanctum always made me think that they were one-shot consumables; that’s why I never bothered. Then I read in a forum that they are indeed permanent skills. Also the way an ancient wardstone has to be activated with a skill to create a new quest camp raised quite a few questions in our guild.

    But the biggest blunder in my eyes are the way they’re handling some of the rules in the death rifts in this world event. I was fortunate enough to learn about dragging werewolves over to activated stones to make them transparent before killing them, but all public rifts I took part in was a complete mess where a lot of players completely ignored it. Other angry players screamed and cursed in /say to no avail.

    I just don’t think it’s a good idea to add nifty rules in rifts likes these. When a lot of different players gather together in public groups, it’s as if the average IQ drops radically compared to guild groups or raid runs. You sort of just expect it to be tank and spank, and if there are odd rules and the rift doesn’t close, most players go on spewing damage left and right for a while until they lose patience and eventually just leave.

    1. I think its a good idea IF they are implemented well. For that cleansing werewolf example, I would have added some sort of mechanic to lead players to the answer. Perhaps a 80% DR until they are cleansed or a cut screen NPC “calling” the wolves each round and mentioning the need to cleanse at the shrine.

      I am all for learning experiences in this chaotic event manner, but they need to be handled more delicately than a sometimes unforgiving dungeon. In this case it can be argued they are forgiving because the only detriment is players miss out on bonus rounds, but I still think a more obvious carrot should be used.

      1. It agree it certainly spices up rifts, but the rules would need to be made clear like you suggest.

        Instead of a cutscene NPC, it could be a loud friendly NPC at the edge of the rift repeatedly shouting (with great voice acting of course) what needs to be done. Perhaps he could even curse when you kill them the wrong way – then the angry players wouldn’t have to. ;)

  2. In my experience, these events are pretty forgiving. I blundered into “Keep Away” and managed to complete the entire thing without ever having a clue what it was or what I was meant to be doing. I thought this was a very strong point in the designer’s favor.

    Indeed, it’s instructive if you know what I was actually doing when I found and completed that public quest. I was just wandering through Scarwood exploring when I saw a huge tree in a deep crater. The tree had massive tendrils or vines covered with flowerbuds and I wondered how climbable they might be. I started to clamber up and along them, whereupon I found that some quest I’d taken at some point in the past required those flowerbuds.

    It’s entirely normal for me to have fifteen or twenty unfinished quests going on that I’ve forgotten the details of, so I didn’t think much about it. I started hopping about on the vines, collecting flowers as I went until finally I got to the trunk of the tree and managed to jump inside it. From there I could see that a spiral ramp
    went upwards so naturally I went up it, killing as I went.

    Eventually I came out on a platform near the top where there was both a named mob and some kind of device. I fought and killed the named and investigated the device and at some point during this I got a quest update message. That was when I started to read the quest and began to work out some vague idea of what I was meant to be doing.

    I then jumped out the tree and bounced down to the base on a series of large fungal outcroppings, because it looked like a fun thing to do. This turned out to complete an achievement which gave me a title! I ran around the tree some more and got into some fights and after a while I got the Quest Completed message for “Keep Away”.

    It was about 45 minutes top-notch exploring gameplay, entirely unplanned, in which I got a title and completed the public quest without ever deciding to take it or even really understanding it. Just about my perfect game design.

    This kind of thing crops up throughout Rift, which rewards exploring more than any MMO I have played for years.

    1. And the above experience would be ruined if the instructions were presented directly to you without some side effort (the directions are actually presented to you in one of the quest chains for that area, though not in a straight-out “collect this, turn in here, repeat” manor).

      Most of Rift’s content is tank/spank/shiny, but not all, and I think that mix is really nice. If you are a lore junky you get some extra stuff, if you are an explorer there is pretty specific content just for you, and if you want to go 1-50 facerolling on your keyboard, well hey, that’s an option too.

  3. I am curious in the exploration how many people have stumbled across any cairns? The devs were downright malicious in placing some of these.. if not for just trying to get to the top of a mountain in Stonefield, I certainly would not have even known they existed.

    In searching this first cairn, there’s also a puzzle up there by it (Spinning Plates achievement) with no explanation or anything describing what to do or how to do it. You just have to ponder through 1) what the puzzle actually wants and 2) how to do it.

    The totally optional and unexpected parts of this game are quickly turning into my favorite parts. The sweet items are just gravy.. (level appropriate blue items for wandering around and climbing up a mountain? sign me up!)

    1. I’ve done tons of mountain jumping, but only have come across one cairn by the Silverwood Peak (Achievement). I do love the artifacts/cairns/etc. that reward exploration.

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