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
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.
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.