Dev Chatter – March 22 – 24 (4.2 + Primalist spoilers)

The following conversations were taken from the Rift Community Discord, live stream chat, the dimensions skype channel, and Seshatar’s stream.

Come join us at the Rift Community discord here:

As usual, these have been anonymized, and edited for topic flow and some minor grammar tweaks.  We got talk on a breadth of topics, including cross shard trading, server tech improvements, details on the Farseer and Primal Lord souls, and insight into challenge servers.

The purpose of these dev chatter posts is to summarize the general thoughts of Rift’s dev team.

As usual, all details are subject to change, and should not be taken as 100% guaranteed to happen.

With the new cross-shard trading, there are fears that this will ruin the economy, especially for REX prices.

In a closed system without the ability to transfer /at will/ for free, maybe.  [Cross shard trading] just removes the restriction for those who don’t want to deal with alt muleing.  Mail and AH are on the list down the road, but don’t have a milestone yet.


Does this mean we are to expect server merges down the road?

I wouldn’t assume that.  Better question would be…why do we need separate shards? Last year was tech improvements for clients/servers.  This year it’s all about modernizing how much of our shard/server architecture works. (for crazy spanning tech fun stuff)


Dev Question: Assuming there was a EU and NA region, and shards were nothing more then channels, How would you want world PVP handled?

optional pvp flag

A dedicated PvP channel

Definitely no owpvp with no level limitations


What about auto-mentor in pvp zone?

Auto-mentoring would be interesting.  We’d have to overhaul the existing balance for mentoring (PVP was not in mind at all when we set those up).


What about merging EU pvp shard with NA pvp shard?

Cross region merges are not possible currently. [This is] not really a no, but just a “not now”


What about cross region transfers?

Similar for the same technical limitations


IMO implement auto-mentoring in pvp zones/shards with a bolster to stats to get both high and low lvl stats on more or less equal level to make it fair. Fair = fun. A lvl 70 oneshotting lvl 20s = no fun.

[we] like the idea. (and it’s one of the most popular currently over here).  Typically we treat mentoring and bolstering as separate things (due to the imbalance in mentoring, and that it’s not up to snuff for PVP “balance”)

Will Nightmare Rift caches be updated to give planarite for 66+ in 4.1?
Yes – caches will give VS and planarite for lvl 70s with 4.1.

What about essences for 66+?
They do not give essences.  NMRifts are not really 70 content, and we do not currently plan on updating them to lvl 70 content.  [we] went ahead and extended the currency to drop for over 65, but the essences loot tables are a crazy intricate web of data.  So there are no plans to dive into that tangled web just to extend access to last expansion essence that is about 10-30% of the ilvl of current essences.  Touching anything else [except for currency] with NMrifts has very significant costs in terms of time.


Dimensions updates (From the Dimensions Addicts Skype)

  • In [the new 4-hour minion premium] boxes, the chance at a red border item is roughly half the odds of an orange border item.
  • ~130 epic items (purple border) are expected to be added in the next PTS Update after March 16th.
  • The orange/red items so far are things more like centerpieces.
  • The mine cart track pieces from Scarlet gorge are going to be added.  long straight, short straight, long curve and short curve.


How dimension minion boxes work: “Basically for each premium box has 4-6 items, (quantity skew higher with more stars), not counting blocks.  Blocks are 1-3 free additional blocks that do not take the place of non-block loot.  From there, each roll first determines what rarity table it rolls on (skew rarer with more stars), and then picks an item from that rarity.”


Would it be possible to increase the value of Lifewarding Beacon for 4.1?

The easiest way to buff it is [to] fix the scaling and make it affect a larger area to reduce the number of GCDs you have to move it, but it is not a core defensive tank CD for Titan.

Another factor is where it falls in the talent tree/root as to if other souls can easily take it for off-soul.  It requires 13 points to buy it, so you’d sac another tier to take it. A substantial buff would be dangerous.  Since it has so much potential value over its lifetime, it needs to be pretty weak moment to moment, or it risks becoming too powerful very fast.

As far as things that are “vitally urgent” this has been low on [the] list. we have a note about LWB but other things have been more important.

Ideally, we’d make it last a short time and be a cd that’s easy to get full value of it, and make it have a clearer purpose.


[Will there be buffs for Necromancer?]

Necro has a buff coming.


Any updates on the Primalist souls?

Farseer should go to PTS as soon as our test build is safe from going live. I’m going to get it up as early as humanly possible.  Its been under internal testing for quite a while as is, but our build cadence has blocked me from doing much with it beyond that.  Its definitely overtuned, but it requires some forethought to get max value


Will other souls be coming soon afterwards?

The second soul to go to PTS after Farseer will [most likely] be Primal Lord.  ([we were] working on mystic second but it takes way more external research to build a support soul, and between my travel and 4.1 polish it’s too slow)


[Is there going to be an alpha test for these souls then?]

[we’re] leaning towards no alpha this time. [we’ve] often found the alpha feedback too myopic and out of touch with more average player perceptions, which has led to things increasing in complexity for no meaningful design benefit beyond some perceived difficulty curve imposed on the souls.  It has led to some design changes that haven’t improved some of our soul designs in a super meaningful sense.

Getting broader feedback earlier on will help [the team] sift [through potential issues] a little better.


As long as it can pull around the same numbers as others and have a different usefulness over other raid healing (some sort of cooldown) to make it worth taking over another, would be fine for me

Farseer specializes in reacting to damage, especially uneven damage.  It has major cooldowns that heal for percent of target hp, as well as spreading overhealing and a major raid cd that spreads any overhealing received by anyone to a wounded target.

They also handle mobile fights relatively well since one of their core hots is actually centered on them, but fights where people are vastly spread out they will struggle more.


Is it a soul that will require you to go through 100 fury to 100 cunning for maximum output or it will be a bit brainless on the bar?

You will lean more heavily on cunning. Things that push you towards fury in the kit are used to generate soul shards (that can empower and enhance spells), but your main heal (soul Shroud) is stronger the closer you are to full cunning when you refresh it.  It does have some useful pickups for Pres stuffed in there as well, including a low hanging aoe spam heal.


[Can you give us a basic idea of the rotation?]

Maintain Prescience (the hot that spreads to allies)
Maintain soul shroud (empowered if at all possible)
Cast Fortune protection on any wounded target
forms of filler (Empowered Spiritual Guidance, Insight, etc)

You are going to do most of your deep thinking about when and where to apply your CDs, and because of a talent that shortens CDs when prescience ticks on anyone you will be rolling them relatively aggressively.


How will Primal Lord play?

Primal lord is much easier to play close to optimally

1 – Keep Primal Rage on CD always and forever Scything Strike – Bloodletting(Serpent Tooth) – Primal Sunder – Hawk’s Wrath(Bear’s Fury) – Scything Strike – Bloodletting(Panther Claw) – Primal Sunder – Thresher’s Maw(Bear’s Fury) – Repeat

That flow repeats ad infinitum.

They also have a 15ft blink on an 8s CD for positioning to keep your combo flow, although it won’t break cc and cannot be used while rooted.

The way the CDs line up you will do one full cycle at .75s GCD (at least for now) and then one full cycle at 1s GCD, then the CD will be back again and you start over.  So every other cycle you get Rage of the Beast.


Is it a GCD reduce for that new soul specific or will it be gained from an offsoul too? like casting deluge from preserver in a hybrid

It will be Primal Lord only, and it will only affect 8 on gcd casts. It’s also a 40% damage amp.


Are you making the [Primal Lord] soul toward being hybrid friendly or you want it to be 31 for best output?

31 is best output by far, you don’t get primal sunder till 31.  It’s also so deeply entwined that it will be difficult to make the combos work right without all the points.  It is also profusely macro unfriendly


You said you desire to release them around 4.2 (which was said around summer) right?

That is the running plan.  Although no plan survives contact with the enemy, as they say.


Is there a timeframe for Mystic or Predator?
Due to the complexity of the [Mystic] soul in making it have the same tools/bells/whistles as the other callings A supports, Mystic will not be available [Soon on PTS].

The issue is that primalist souls are designed to be more streamlined than vanilla souls. On average, a primalist soul has about half the abilities of a normal soul (aside from those that have been streamlined like Pyro and Reaver).

So the challenge is that if we want to keep the same number of abilities as the other A supports, Mystic [will be] rather bloated on abilities compared to the other primalist souls. However, if we condense the abilities so that each gcd is more efficient than the other A supports, well, now we have pissed off everyone that plays those souls because they are less powerful per button press than the Mystic.

So, it’s a balancing act… like everything else


Maybe apply different debuffs based upon whether you’re in fury or cunning?

It’s one of the things we are considering. Ultimately it will come down to how it feels to play. [However], it puts too much overhead on being able to buff/debuff at a button press since you are required to be in one state or another.  [This is] something that the other A supports don’t have to worry about.


True, but Archon does have to juggle between a bunch of different spells to maintain their shorter buffs

[Some of us believe that] Archon is probably a bit more complex than it needs to be.

If [we were going to] redo Archon (in our copious amounts of free time) [we would] remove all of the negative effects for the buffs/debuffs that land on the Archon. Make it purely about affecting the raid or the target(s).


Ideally, Archon and BM would be tweaked at the same time Mystic goes live (not necessarily to PTS), so all 3 A supports are at least pruned a bit and fairly equal in DPS (with melee DPS being higher, assuming no disconnects)

And now we’ve come full circle… Mystic isn’t as simple as making one soul. The [other A supports] have to be touched as well.


[Any update on the IR Charge bundles?  They haven’t appeared on the latest PTS patch]

[We] just finished the IR charge bundles, [and we are about] to check them in. Not giftable though


Why [are they not giftable]?

We originally set them to giftable. However, [after further discussion, it was argued that] really a great reason for not being giftable because of the CS headaches that it would cause so we changed them to actually be non-giftable.

This justification was also used in lowering down the 100 IR charge pack to 50 because we aren’t going to allow them to go beyond the 100 IR charge limit. Plus I added warning text about overflow charges being lost.


Could you put the 5 IR charges pack on the store and only that one giftable? Since its already from weeklies and stuff, and calendar. /compromise

We’ll consider it.  In an ideal world /everything/ would be giftable outside of stuff locked behind achievements or notoriety.  We’re a big fan of the option, [but sometimes people abuse systems].


Will there be additional skins coming?

There are still a handful of additional skins hitting the store with 4.1 (including a few in the Affinity store).  And then at some point in the near future, I will add the classic era skins (including the ones Boase has asked for that were made during classic but not released until SL).


(in response to the producer’s letter) [I] Didn’t know about the version control server committing suicide.

Yeah, we mentioned it before now publicly.  It was a huge curve ball on top of an already complicated month.  Nothing like a cascading drive failure before your morning coffee!


[will we] have to wait until 4.1 to see the final Affinity things?

Sorry, it’s still on [the] list!  [we] can spoil it if you all really want to know

Affinity #1

The new mount for the Affinity store [should be] a black variant of the mouse mount.

There’s 3 of the budglings.  Ones a credit purchase, another is Affinity only, and still looking for a good home for #3.


[I am] curious about the slime mount and IR rewards, are those for affinity?

Slime mount ended up not making the Affinity Cut, but it will be available in a new intermediate pack being released next week


So I’m reading this part about “Rift challenges” in the Producer’s Letter and I understand nothing is set in stone, but i’m just curious of the basic idea of it is meant to be like a “season” type thing similar to what D3 does?

We intentionally avoided seasons, since the current ideations wouldn’t have set periods of time.  [For example] some could be a week long, others, 2-3 months.  Like the letter says, we’d love to hear your ideas.  We might steal them depending on how the system works out


Wouldn’t that only split up an already fractured community? I’d rather see the challenge brought back to current things rather than it being a separate server. That is of course my own opinion.

[These would] appeal to a different kind of player.  But again, it’s so far off that nobody has thought about it that deeply yet.  We’ve been kinda just shotgunning ideas into the wall and seeing what sticks


Make Ancient Wardstones in game again!
Never going to happen.  The idea was interesting, but there were SO many issues, and at this point the content to support them is not just disabled, but completely removed from the game.


I’m hearing this from another person but is there a reason there are no dimension grab bags for affinity?

Because there is already plenty for dimensioneers to buy with Affinity.  Most dimensioneers seem pretty starved for Affinity, because there is a lot for them to chase there.


I kinda hope they never replace a raid with a higher level version again.

I’d never say never, but it’s not something I want to do again


[Any plans for another 20-man raid?]

MoM was the last 20 man for the time being.  We have no plans to launch anything > 10 man.


[what about a] 10 man Caduceus Rise?

10 man Caduceus Rise…I’ve heard someone mention that before.  At least a few times. [Though a 10-man CR would] not [be] a LFR candidate, [because] Its got [so many] bosses.

[We know this brings up master modes, but it is doubtful that] we’ll ever see another Mastermode.  But [we] could see 10 man versions of some dungeons [in] LFR.


[Speaking of raids, when can we expect iRotP to go public on PTS?]

[we’re going to] open up iRotP soon™ now that we are past the series of setbacks that has been March 2017


You can look forward to April setbacks!



Please unlock that damn nightmare tide bottle on my dye bucket

We might actually have a way to make it less annoying.


Are the guild changes going to be included in 4.2 stuff or will we hear some whispers and see it before then?

Currently on the wishlist, not slated for 4.2


Seshastream march 24

Did you [get inspiration from] the new legendary gear from wow [for the] “eternal” items?

We were working on eternals before legendaries were announced


I’m a bit out of the loop for news.. when’s the carnival going to start?

[Should arrive shortly after 4.2 hits]


Do you think that there will be last minute changes for balance of pts?

That seems possible.  Balance changes are for the most part locked down. there are a few that haven’t hit pts yet, but in general it’s close to what it is going to be for 4.1 launch.

For the average player, lots of souls should be viable options now, and for experts it will be a bit narrower (because skill is such a big scalar to performance in rift)

See – all of the changes should be in there


Can we consider pts’s tactician like the first step toward the actual rework?

[we] wouldn’t go quite that far, but [we will] likely give them another finisher at some point during 4.1 or 4.2 that is their go to healing finisher, that isn’t a 15s hot.

Tact’s cd options are a little [narrow] atm, and unless you [want to] run double ablative coil (via pally+tact) their cds aren’t as strong, but legendary ablative is pretty awesome.


Tact might be a nice dungeon healer – like the old sent, but like the old sent i see no place for them in raids atm

They need another cd and another finisher to do raid healing at full tilt, but for the moment they’re good dungeon options and hybriding with bard provides quite a bit too.


How much work would be needed to change casual treatment with alternative treatment active, to use the aoe heal synergy crystal?

way more than we’re going to commit to.


Any plans to upgrade to DirectX 11?

It’s unlikely that we will do that. While it would technically work with a bunch of engineering time, dx requires the art be built for it, so it would be a huge art cost to overhaul all the lighting and textures and shaders etc.  It’s not like you just plug into dx11, most of the features require the art be built with them in mind


[How are things being handled without 2 supports?]

Expert raids are expected to run bm or archon, more average players who are struggling with survival will run an oracle or bard.


Do you see any possibility of the cleric eternal proc to act the same as the synergy crystal does now? the static heal increase >75% mana

Cleric eternal shouldn’t stack. it should just be a binary mana check


I’m hoping the eternal proc will push assassin above shadeborn at some point – i’m just wondering when that point will be.

Sin and sb should be relatively close in most cases atm.  poisons won’t proc the bonus damage, since they are a procced effect.  procced effects shouldn’t benefit (neither should dots or hots), [but I will double check]


(In response to the producer’s letter) new [race!?]

I wouldn’t hold my breath for a new race.  We’ve definitely talked about some insane [rewards for special challenge servers].


[Can you give some details on the challenge servers?]

For reference, we’ve been playing on one of these servers internally for like 2 months trying it out and talking about it.  It’s [basically] a live version of rift with special modifiers. the current one is “players take 400% more damage, deal 25% less damage, earn half xp”.  The mode we’ve talked about is its totally new characters, and it only lasts a period of time, no live characters can get on it.

You’d all start brand new characters each time a new one opens, and then it would run, and then it would shut down, all characters gone (and you would get whatever rewards to your live).

[In this one,] you can’t even open the store.  we’ve been doing it basically as shortest playtime to 50.  it’s not set in stone, but we’ve talked about them running for 1~3 months when they do run, and possible breaks between them.  but none of this is actually fully designed.

we’ve talked about making crazy eternals that drop for all levels on these servers only with crazy effects.  like a mage example [would be] “all fire damage has a chance to grant you an instant cast cinder burst” on an item, and then an item “half of your death damage is converted to fire damage” so a lock pyro hybrid could be bananas


I’m not sure how i’d feel about crazy eternals, wouldn’t that get in the way of re-experiencing the content? i think looking at a lvl 50 weapon and thinking: “this is amazing” has it’s charm

The question would be “does that charm last long enough and appeal to enough people to be worth not doing other things”. We posit the answer is no.  To facilitate the items we’d need something that allows you to crank up the enemies as well.  Think about how diablo does their power advancement loop


Why should they create a “challenger server” instead of creating a challenge on the “normal server” ?

These are cranked up so hard or are so offbeat that we would by design want people starting at the same place and make them obviously opt in.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Also because the average player doesn’t want the difficulty level that a “Challenge” server would provide.)


Why would I use a farseer over a warden or lib?

The honest answer is that it handles movement quite gracefully and has lots of powerful cooldowns that you can use frequently that make their healing smarter and more efficient.

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