Rift: Storm Legion Tour Part 3

In this last look at my tour of Rift: Storm Legion, I want to outline some of the details I gleaned about the world, souls, and overall Rift experience from Community Manager James “Elrar” Nichols.

Changes to the World

Rift: Storm Legion Tempest Bay
Tempest Bay finally brings that real capital city feel to Rift.

Storm Legion adds two new continents and a new capital city.  According to James, each of the new continents are bigger than the original game world.  That means the new areas roughly triple the size of the world. There are two starting locations — one on each continent — and a different experience can be found playing through each of the continents.  Brevane is all about discovering what is going on, figuring out the mystery, and exploring.  Dusken throws the player into the middle of a war.  James emphasized that players can find a unique experience on each of the continents, allowing for additional playthroughs without repeating content.

Quest Hubs are story-driven locations.  The team wants to get away from having a player go to a camp and pick up a ton of kill quests.  Now the kill quests are available in a slightly more organic way.  If a bear is slain it can offer a quest to kill more bears.  You can then turn that quest in to an NPC.  I was reminded of the “bears bears bears” Paul Barnett line back from the WAR hype days.   So like I said, quest hubs are for the story aspects whether for you personally or for the zone.

Read more after the break for my impressions of Rift: Storm Legion.

Rift: Storm Legion Map
The new continents roughly triple the size of the world.

The new capital city, Tempest bay, finally brings a true capital city to Rift. I was so disappointed by the cities in the game at launch.  They were small and not much to look at.  I got the feeling from James that he understood exactly what I meant.  He explained that back then the goal was to get something functional into the game before release, but this time around they wanted to give the fans something to drool over.  Tempest Bay is indeed very pretty, and the scope and magnificence are appropriate for a capital city.

Changes to Souls

Souls have been given 10 more points to spend, and many have received major tuning.  I talked to James about my experience with Rift, and how I felt that there was so much overlap between souls that nothing felt unique.  He explained that the goal now is to still have enough overlap that no one soul is required for a raid, but enough ‘uniqueness’ and ‘personality’ to still feel like a separate class.  James pointed out that the 10 more points should allow players more opportunity to expand their soul, but I am worried that more points simply means more homogenization.

Overall Impressions of Rift: Storm Legion

Storm Legion definitely makes the Rift experience more enjoyable.  I think Trion has come a long way.  Rift is still a themepark, though, and by its very nature going to be compared to World of WarCraft and other themeparks.  While providing a very similar experience, what Rift has going for it is a smaller community.   I get a familiar feeling about Rift that I hadplaying oldschool MMO’s.  The dev team is able to get much more involved with the players, and the players can direct the development of the game over the coarse of time.  Players want hard content to work on, and a social experience with gameplay tools (like Dimensions and events) to bring them together.  They can find those things in Storm Legion.

Sometimes playing for second (or at least not pushing for first) is a great thing. Those who are into Rift and what Trion does for the fans have a lot of content coming November 13, 2012.

At the end of our tour, James showed me a zone and asked me not to take any screenshots. I can’t remember if he told me not to share the details, so I’ll err on the side of caution and simply tell you that Trion has a plan for the future. I think the direction the story is taking is intriguing. I think they have plans to show that stuff in a few months.

Thanks again to James and the Trion team for allowing me this opportunity to explore your game and share my thoughts with the K&G readers.

Part 1: Dimensions

Part 2: Raids

  • Are these new continents all 50+ then? This player doesn’t want hard content–I want lots of easy content. If Trion thinks that a legion of non-raiders are going to come back “because expansion”, like in WoW (which adds new character creation options and start zones), they may be in for a rude awakening.

  • After recent disappointments in MMO’s, my attention is turning back to Rift. The new xpac sounds promising. I left 2 months after launch — much has changed.

    The biggest barrier that I see to getting back into the game is the mind-boggling number of skills that I’d need to figure out. And then putting it all into a spec that works. … ugh

    But if I can get past that, it looks like it will have plenty to hold my interest.

  • @Merketh: Sorry, I didn’t get into any of the PvP.

    @Jacquotte: Yes, they are all 50+.

    @Jenah: The soul system is definitely overwhelming. I think they want it to be that way, though. Macros have been tuned down to stop people from being able to make the 1-push-win macros.

    @Idunaz: They’ve made some changes, but I’d have to say overall PvP hasn’t change enough to warrant much attention.

  • I went back to Rift over the weekend as I was really impressed with the content of the expansion. As a long time advocate for “Player “housing and its effects on longevity I was really impressed with Storm Legions version of housing.

    Now after playing for 2 days on my 50 Warrior and 42 cleric, I can safely say: Not going to happen for me. The combat is too slow and the animations feel clunky and unrealistic. Call this what you will but for me I call it the GW2 effect. No way could I ever go back to the traditional hotbar tab target system.

  • Thanks, all this makes me alot more interested in trying Rift again. I played to lvl 50 back when it launched and as with all theme parks, promptly quit because i’m not into the whole end-game gear grind story. I did love the whole soul system and thinking back, the dynamic events with the Rift are still of the most enjoyable dynamic events i’ve experienced.

    Guildwars 2 just haven’t quite got that down that well, i suppose it’s because GW2 “events” are actually very static in that it happens at the exact same place, at a scheduled time with a very specific requirement to complete which does not change. At least with the Rifts, they could open up anywhere at any time and the actual Rifts were different in terms how to close them. Now that i think about it, i remember how it would increase or decrease based on population in the zone.

    As for the skills and complexity, admittedly this is exactly what bores the hell out of me with GuildWars 2, i believe GW2 skills are wayeee too simple and does not leave nearly enough customization (far less than in GW1 and even far far less than Rift). So that part is actually a draw point for me.

    The PvP, i never did much of it in Rift , i do however enjoy the Warhammer/Rift/WoW way of having this instant jump in “scenarios” for PvP. And Rift did not disappoint back in the day WHILE YOU LEVELED, i wonder if they are adding more “scenarios” [can’t remember what they call it in Rift, Battlegrounds? ] , since i will definitely go for them.

    I do sadly remember “end game” PvP wasn’t great in Rift, too much imbalance because of gear differences and people were getting one-shotted all the time when they were going up against the more hardcore players.

    Overall this does make me excited, i tried LOTRO recently with the Rohan expansions, but my char is like lvl 60 still and as much as i want to play Rohan, it’s too much grind to get there. With Rift at least it’s the only expansion, so it’s much much more reachable as a returning player. Hopefully Trion’s future plans takes into consideration this problem.

  • @Jacquotte

    I wouldn’t say that the bulk of the new content in Storm Legion is particularly hard. The leveling zones are of course aimed towards a wide audience, so nothing is supposed to be a huge barrier.

    That being said if you prefer a more overpowered experience (and there’s nothing wrong with that — we’re not all hardcore), you can “mentor” down to a lower level and earn XP and rewards from lower level content like quests and Instant Adventures, only as a slightly overgeared character.

    Once you’re at level cap there are a ton of things to do outside of bleeding edge raids, like Chronicles, Dimension housing, Conquest (3-faction PvP), the new progressive RIFT system, and of course the new zone events.

    (Yes, I am a RIFT fan. 🙂 )