Starfall Prophecy draws closer, and there is a ton of stuff coming that will impact all RIFT players. We wanted to take a moment and share some of the details about PvP specific content, beyond the Legendary Powers and Planar Fragments that we’ve already covered.
We’ll reset ELO scores with the launch of Starfall Prophecy. That gives everyone a chance to start fresh, and earn scores that relate to their skills now, without any impact from historical data. Make the most of it!
In RIFT there are three broad types of PvP content: Open World, Warfronts, and Conquest (not counting other ways players can engage in PvP, with things like duels and PvP Dimensions). Within each of these types are multiple activities, leading to spreading out both developmental resources and the PvP population. By far the most popular form of PvP in RIFT (currently and historically) have been Warfronts, with all other types of PvP trailing WFs by a significant margin.
Within Warfronts there’s also a big spread of 11 different types of maps/modes, each with their own win conditions and means of awarding points. Different teams will often employ different strategies from match to match on the same map, depending on both team composition and personal preference. This is an enormous amount of information to learn and understand; someone who is interested in joining the PvP community has to learn a lot of different WF Maps, how CQ functions, why certain abilities are preferred in PvP over PvE, how certain abilities differ in scale of effect from PvE and PvP content, and why they keep getting jumped on by Assassins while trying to quest on Seastone or Bloodiron. It has proven daunting and frustrating for many.
In short, the amount and variety of content makes getting new folks into PvP way harder, and makes it less fun to play with newer members of the PvP community while they try to learn the myriad of details needed just to function at a basic level in PvP. We’ve not even begun to talk about finer strategy or what team compositions are dominating the metagame at the moment. As PvP is very much a group activity, anything which makes it harder for new people to get involved also makes things less fun for people currently involved.
So how do we plan to address these issues in Starfall Prophecy? We’ve decided to streamline the amount of PvP content that is available at any time. This makes it easier to learn what to do in PvP, and makes the experience richer, more fun, and more rewarding for all participants.
In Starfall Prophecy, PvP in RIFT is about Warfronts. While we love Open World PvP and Conquest, focusing our attention (and yours) means better PvP. During normal weekdays we’ll have the following Warfront Maps open:
· Black Garden
· Blighted Antechamber
· Library of the Runemasters
We plan to rotate maps in and out of this list over time, as well as special event weekends where a specific map not on this list is opened. This maintains variety, but keeps the options to a much more manageable level.
At launch, we’re going to expand the top level PvP Queue to include the 65-70 level range. Everyone participating will be mentored to level 70, and all gear(aside from Warmongers items above the bolster limit, see below) will be bolstered. This is to provide the maximum opportunity for everyone to participate in PvP as folks go through the leveling process. In the future, we have plans to introduce a high level PvP Queue that functions more similarly to the 65 queue now, but that will come after launch.
One frequent topic of discussion since the launch of Nightmare Tide has been PvP itemization, and how PvP items compare to downbolstered items that exceed the limits of item power in PvP. In Starfall Prophecy, PvP will continue to be itemized in a manner similar to how it is now, with one very important addition.
One thing that was added with Update 3.7 that we hadn’t discussed yet was the ability for items to ignore bolster limits. Currently the only items that this applies to are Warmonger’s Trinkets, since they are actually more powerful than the current bolster ceiling allows. We plan to continue to expand on this in Starfall Prophecy. Warmonger’s gear that is of a tier that would normally be downbolstered will ignore the bolster ceiling and continue to utilize their full stat potential in PvP. New Warmonger’s gear will be the best items in a given slot for PvP.
Which items we make available and how many slots they will occupy is still being finalized, but Warmonger’s gear will be extremely desirable for those seeking maximum effectiveness in PvP. New tiers of Warmonger’s gear will continue to roll out as we introduce more powerful content and release new tiers of normal gear to continue this trend.
Better PvP For All
Together, these three changes, along with raising the level cap, Legendary Powers, and Planar Fragments, represent an opportunity for us to address many of the issues that we’ve heard from you about how you would like to see PvP progress. Better matches, better teammates, and better items all combine to a better PvP experience in RIFT.