Rift Gamescom 2018 Report

Another year, another Gamescom with Trion Worlds in attendance.  This year, we only have one report to deliver.

Thanks to Keepro and Soulghost, I have received a huge list of notes taken from interviewing Amary and Salvatrix at Gamescom 2018 in Germany.  What follows is a summary of what they discussed from the notes both of them have taken.

Please understand – all details are subject to change! The concepts and solutions put forth here represent works in progress.  Remember, nothing is guaranteed until it is patched to live!

As always, you can join in the discussion of Rift and Rift Prime on both The Ghar Station Discord and on the Rift focused Heroes of Telara Discord.  Please follow us on twitter @TheGharStation.

Gamescom 2017 In Review

First, let’s delve into what was delivered according to last year’s Gamescom report (For more detail, read Part 1 and Part 2).  Thanks to Holyroller over on The Ghar Station Discord for helping to put this list together!

Things that did come:

  • Gedlo Badlands IA
  • Tier 2 Raid (Bastion of Steel)
  • Challenge server which evolved into Prime.
  • New Warfront (Tenebrean Prison)
  • “We are considering increasing the queue sizes (level ranges) for lower level warfronts.” – Datamined earlier this month as a new Black Garden Warfront mode: Brawl.  Players in the 10-50 level range all in one warfront.

Things that did NOT come:

  • Fragment work
  • Fortress Siege rework
  • Guild changes
  • Cross Shard Auction House

Gamescom 2018 Info

The following information is a combination of a summary of a twitch stream from Soulghost written by Holyroller on the Forums and notes provided to me directly by Keepro.  The duo managed to speak to Amary and Salvatrix for 30 minutes, much shorter than last year’s 2 hour conversation with Archonix.

Thanks to everyone who helped compile this information together!

 

Any details on Planar Disciples?

Planar Disciples are coming to live.  They obviously exist in data, and the datamining is early, not complete, and not final.  A lot of the speculation is limited compared to the reality of the feature.  It’s a new gameplay system that is in very early development, with more to be revealed later regarding it’s full features.

Planar Disciples will be coming sooner than people expect if everything goes smoothly in development.

Confirmed as a new feature.

 

Any plans to bring auto mentoring to live?

No.  most likely will use it for new zones, events, etc.

Their feedback has been pretty split in regard to whether people like or hate the auto mentoring system on Prime. They will bring it to live eventually, but it will only happen in any new zones and will not retroactively be attached to any old/current ones.

 

Any plans to make affinity mounts account-wide?

Not right now.  But there are plans to update the costs for the affinity mounts.  This will likely be re-evaluated now that the mount reorganization is completed.

 

Any updates on the mount reorganization and change, or availability of Prime mounts on live?

There are around 3 dozen mounts that are currently not utilized within the game.  These are either prime only, or not available yet.  At some point these will be made available.  No definitive plans yet to introduce mounts as drops in raids on Live servers.

First step with the mounts was to organize the mount data, then start making them available.  One in-game example of this now is the 21-day trove of mounts for the log in calendar on Live.

Raid dropped mounts on Prime originally had a 1% drop rate, then Salvatrix increased them to 5%.  Salvatrix is planning to increase this again.  Only 3 Alsbeth mounts have dropped on Prime from River of Souls, they want to see this number go up.

 

Will T3 be Greenscale, or an original raid, and when?

Intrepid GSB will be the next T3 raid for 4.x.  it’s the fastest raid they can release.  Combat calculations are being refactored to utilize 64-bit values instead of the current 32-bit integers.  A quick fix for this caused more problems than expected, so it must be revisited more thoroughly.  i:GSB will be made available shortly after the 64-bit conversion for combat calculations are complete and stable.

 

PoA features, will we see any changes to eternals, or fragments?

Fragments are next, now that Mounts have been tackled.  The mounts needed to be out at the start of a month for the trove of mounts reward

No info on next steps for Eternal weapon procs.  The current system is a bit difficult to maintain and balance, and is something being discussed.  There are concerns about player reactions to removing/chancing them.

The maintenance for keeping eternal gear up to date has proven to be too much given the original implementation.  Having to add new levels each tier increase was more work than anticipated.

Salvatrix has been spending a lot of time working on the mount sorting which has taken up a large chunk of her time. Now that she’s done with that, she will be focused on getting the fragment changes out.

 

What is coming up for class changes next?

Din is working more on abilities now, coming forward on the forums.  He is continuing work on this right now.

 

When will the Extra Life event be this year?

It should be October this year, during the typical Extra Life timeframe.  Expect a forum post closer to the Extra Life date.

 

Some players are thinking the game is in maintenance mode, any comments to help reassure them?  We know info can be a damned if you do, damned if you don’t issue.

It is not.

There are long term plans [the team has] in place for future content, but the expansion cycle will not be the same as previous years. They said there’s a high possibility that we will see pre-expansion content similar to how Comet of Ahnket was released at the tail end of Nightmare Tide to introduce you to what will be coming. Salvatrix said the Ahnket story is not at all over and hinted and possibly bleeding into any potential expansion even if the story of the comet ends.

The team does not want to hold features for an expansion going forward, so once they are ready, they plan to push them live.  So Planar Disciples and i:GSB will go Live once they are ready.  In the past, a 9-month development cycle for an expansion would mean that they would have features prepared up to 6 months in advanced.  They do not want to do that anymore.

One thing the team is wanting to do is reintroduce events and content that has appeared sporadically over the past 7 years in Rift’s lifespan.  This is where the current Call to Action events are coming from, which they want to make weekly or bi-weekly.

As far as new features, there’s the toybox, called “cantrips”, currently in the pipeline.  Give an easy way to access things like the hands on fire, fireworks, rift shimmer effects.  Too much bag space taken up by these items, and they often get thrown away.

No ETA was given for any of this.

 

Will there be a next expansion (aka Rift 5.0)?

The team wants to finish the story involving Ahnket.  In the near-term, 5.0 is not coming out.  They want to finish up the 4.x story first.

 

Any updates on the Guild functionality changes?

The team would like to, but it keeps falling into the backlog due to competing and shifting priorities within the Rift team.

 

Any ideas to address the high REX cost?

It’s a sign that platinum is not as valuable as it used to be.  The best solution is a plat drain.  Plat drains, however, have their own major problems that make some players unhappy and provide huge barriers to other players.

 

What is going on with the combat calculations for Storm Legion on Prime?

Some devs are working on this.  The combat scaling for Prime and SL will be evaluated.

 

Any updates on releasing the next set of crafted gear on Prime?

This is part of data triaging and logging.  There is no fast or systematic way to actually veryify the power of crafted gear right now, making this task more difficult to evaluate what should/shouldn’t be released on Prime given Prime’s release schedule.

Base launch data(1.x era) is far less organized than content from Storm Legion onwards.  This has been a constant headache for setting things up for Prime.  The term “Data Archaeology” was thrown around.

 

When will T3 raids land on Rift Prime?

The plan now is to launch Primeval Feast around September 12th, with Infernal Dawn the next week on September 19th.  There will be another event to coincide with all of this. (Editor: Most likely the “War of the Wanton Maw” event. Remember that dates like this are estimates at best right now.  Nothing is guaranteed until it goes live with a patch.)

 

When will Storm Legion land on Prime?

First the Tempest Rising event will run on Prime.  After that, Storm Legion will open up.  Potentially the week of October 22nd.  (Editor: again, Remember that dates like this are estimates at best right now.  Nothing is guaranteed until it goes live with a patch.)

 

Are you happy with Rift’s past year?

Yes.  We did a course correction that was needed for the game going forward, both from a business standpoint, and a perception standpoint.  Rift needed to halt a lot of things and re-evaluate a plan forward.  That was the one major thing that needed to be done this year for Rift.

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