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  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: RIFT: One Year Later

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    CEO Hartsman's Avatar
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    Default RIFT: One Year Later

    Hello, Ascended!

    What an amazing year it's been. As we approach RIFT’s first full birthday, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the things that have happened since launch and discuss the thinking that will shape the year to come.

    If you’re reading this, chances are you already know that we think about MMOs differently than everyone else. To us, everything is about the quality of the service, the speed of meaningful updates, and the relationship that combination creates with you. We never forget that you are the reason we do everything we do.

    In our last big Producer’s Letter, we talked about the kinds of themes we were aiming for. We talked about making more story-based adventure available to more people (which surfaced in the form of Chronicles and Slivers), unique and better ways to play with others as easily as possible (which took the form of Instant Adventures, Onslaughts that added new build-and-defend gameplay to Ember Isle, and the largest zone events we’ve ever created), and ongoing advancement that occurs even after you hit level 50 (which then arrived in the form of Planar Attunement).

    In addition to those other key elements, RIFT saw more features, content and gameplay added than many games will deliver in a full-blown expansion.
    • We released Ember Isle, the biggest zone in the game to date, along with the largest dungeon to date, Caduceus Rise.
      • Ember Isle was particularly important to us, since it showed off our ability to level up the look of world zones, and demonstrated an important iteration toward a new way of doing zone content – A way where dynamic content, events, and story quests are blended together more closely than what came before.
    • Five new raids debuted, for groups of both 10 and 20 players: River of Souls, Gilded Prophecy, Hammerknell, Drowned Halls, and Rise of the Phoenix.
    • Celebration weekends that provide a way to get your friends checking out the game easily, while adding bonuses to our esteemed subscribers.
    • Master Mode difficulty for one dungeon (as of the time of this writing) with more on the way soon (edit: NOTE! This post was written for translation before 1.7's release)
    • Alternate Gameplay Warfronts and Weekend Bonus Warfronts, Post-50 soft bracketing, PvP Rifts, and world PvP bonuses. And a new warfront entirely: Library of the Runemasters
    • A new world event every update, each with its own new zone event and frequently its own rifts
    • A new Addon system that enables creators to add some really great things to the game. From buff management, to custom layouts, to outfit management, to auctions, and countless others!
    • A new Costume system, giving you the ability to look like what you want to look like
    • A Veteran Rewards program that rewards loyal subscribers, and Ascend-a-Friend that gives us a way to say thanks when you get your friends on board
    • That is not even counting the hundreds of quality of life and playability improvements we’ve brought to the core game.

    It’s really insane when you look at them all one after the other. Who does this in under a year? Here. Have a look: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.6.1, 1.7

    And we’re just getting started.

    As we were planning out 2012, we focused on some key themes: Things that make RIFT unique that we’d like to make even stronger, and places we’ll continue to build on that people really enjoy. Here’s a sampling of the kinds of thoughts that have gone into our 2012 development so far.
    1. RIFT is about playing with other people

      This is really the key theme of the game, and where it really shines.

      We’re continuing on with our theme of eliminating all barriers to playing with your friends, whether you’re talking about getting new friends into the game, or playing with friends on other servers. We’re also coming up with new ways to make friends, and giving big groups and guilds even more to do together, both in PvE and PvP.

      While we think this is a place that RIFT is strong, there’s more we can offer and places we can continue to leap ahead to give you the best experience possible. We’re planning some great new things to roll out over the coming year.

      We’ll also be expanding Instant Adventure through improved variety and types of adventures, as well as the amount of the world they can be played in.

      It will be an excellent addition to Ember Isle, and there are many other zones that can benefit from this sort of gameplay. Traditional questing is great for some, while many are looking for newer ways to advance. We will be expanding the ways you can choose to progress through the lower level zones.

      Moreover, we’re also looking into the introduction of a Mentoring system, which will empower players to play through areas they have not been for quite a while and be well rewarded for it.

    2. Souls: Making a great system even better

      We’ve been hard at work on making Souls and Roles easier to understand, while taking a cue from the great combos that you have created, via Soul presets. These new templates will give new players (or players trying a new calling for the first time) a much easier route to understanding the fun of the system and the options it provides, while giving them a way to just pick a popular combination and advancement path if they just want to get in and play.

      We’re looking to maintain the popular feel of the core system itself, while making it more fun to use and keeping the advanced play intact for those who love experimenting and playing with the numbers.

    3. PvP: It’s time for a leap forward

      The PvP enhancements in 1.7 might as well be called “PvP 2.0.” The Prestige ranks are being re-leveled to provide a more fun progression for everyone. These updates to Prestige Ranks are aimed squarely at making the PvP experience a lot more fun for fresh-50s and lower ranked players. We definitely heard you and agree that was a great place to spend time improving.

      Expect a progression path that’s more fun and more frequently rewarding. Expect a system where you no longer have to swap out a primary soul just to be competitive in PvP. Characters getting their Break Free type abilities built-in.

      The new Mercenary mechanic in Warfronts is included in 1.7 as well. As the number of people participating in PvP has been going up recently, certain wargroups and brackets have become too-Defiant or too-Guardian favored, causing the other side to suffer extended queuing. The mercenary mechanic aims squarely to fix that, by having people from the more populous side standing in as Mercenaries to ensure the queues are flowing as fast as they possibly can.

      We’re also taking the next step in world PvP action through more focused PvP rifts (where only one can exist in the world at a time) and introducing global side-based rewards for the most recent victors, among other enhancements.

      We have some even bigger thoughts for the future of PvP that we’re really excited about for how PvP could eventually transcend the two existing factions and we look forward to sharing those as well.

    4. Interactions: You want more of them

      When we say interact, we mean both interacting with the game in non-combat ways, and interacting from out of game entirely. “Emphasizing Verbs Other Than ‘Stab’,” is how we talk about it internally. It’s how we think about the kind of a lot of activities you’ve complimented us on over the months – From puzzles and cairns, to artifacts, and more.

      The new RIFT Mobile app is a great example of a new external interaction. Farther down the line, we expect that our plans for Leaderboards of all kinds will provide a new type of interaction and social discovery.

      Our new social gatherings, Weddings being the first example, provide a new kind of non-combat social activity. We’re really interested in seeing what people think here. Enhancements to crafting and new tradeskills are yet another key element on our agenda.

    5. The End Game is just the beginning

      For raids we have even more 10-person and 20-person excitement on the way. Slivers have done a great job of getting more people into this level of the end-game, and we’re thrilled to be able to keep making this kind of content. As some of you already know about from helping us, the next 20-person raid is already in testing.

    Remember, we have several more dragons and their cults to slay before Telara can breathe easy. And then, of course, there’s talk of what will come after, which we’re really looking forward to sharing later this year.

    There’s even more excitement in store for 2012 than what we’ve talked about here, and we’re really looking forward to talking about all of it in much greater detail over the coming months.

    As always, we will continue to listen to you. You have given us some of our best ideas and we are looking forward to what lies ahead.

    On behalf of all of us here at Trion: Thank you very much for being a part of RIFT. Here’s to a great 2012 and beyond!

    Scott Hartsman
    Executive Producer, RIFT
    Last edited by Hartsman; 02-03-2012 at 02:59 PM. Reason: I know there are two master modes. I swear.

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    Official Rift Founding Fan Site Operator bctrainers's Avatar
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    Cool! Can't wait to see what's in store!
    --BC

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    Ascendant Credo's Avatar
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    Scott, there are two Master Mode dungeons
    Even free cost too much now

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    General of Telara Hawkmoon0028's Avatar
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    Overall, RIFT is a stunning game on a lot of different levels.

    I think 1.7 is the only patch so far that I haven't looked at and said "I'm 100% okay with all of this".

    But 1 patch isn't going to make or break the game for me- I plan to see what's in store for all of us in the coming months

    Thanks Trion.

    Hawkemoon- Cleric- Greybriar
    Waiting for: Star Citizen

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    CEO Hartsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Credo View Post
    Scott, there are two Master Mode dungeons
    Thanks Not-terribly-interesting trivia time:

    "The time of this writing" was a little over a week ago, when there was just the first MM live.

    We like to give the translators enough time to get important posts translated to French and German, so we can come out with all of them at once.

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    I love Rift!
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    FT 4/4 - EE 4/5 - TotDQ 4/4

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    RIFT Community Ambassador the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartsman View Post
    We’re continuing on with our theme of eliminating all barriers to playing with your friends, whether you’re talking about getting new friends into the game, or playing with friends on other servers. We’re also coming up with new ways to make friends, and giving big groups and guilds even more to do together, both in PvE and PvP.
    One thing:

    GLOBAL CHAT FEATURE LIKE CITY OF HEROES.

    Seriously. More important than ANYTHING else. I can log into CoH, any server, any character, and immediately see all my friends, be in channels with them no matter what server they're on, and so on. Guess why I still have an account there -- because there is no such thing as "out of touch" unless I want to be hidden.

    Moreover, we’re also looking into the introduction of a Mentoring system, which will empower players to play through areas they have not been for quite a while and be well rewarded for it.
    This would be, for me, probably the biggest single feature change of anything you've ever done to the game.

    That said: It would come a distant second to global chat. Seriously.

    ... And yes, you've done what I consider a great job for this year, and I'm really enthused about what comes next.
    You can play WoW in any MMO. You don't have to play WoW in RIFT. Oh, and no, RIFT is not a WoW clone. Not having fun any more? Learn to play, noob! I don't speak for Riftui, but I moderate stuff there. Just came back? Welcome back! Here's what's changed. (Updated for 2.5!)

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    Ascendant Credo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartsman View Post
    Thanks Not-terribly-interesting trivia time:

    "The time of this writing" was a little over a week ago, when there was just the first MM live.

    We like to give the translators enough time to get important posts translated to French and German, so we can come out with all of them at once.
    Indeeeeeeeed!
    Even free cost too much now

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    Ascendant Vyxagallanxchi's Avatar
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    I have to admit, it's crazy to think it has almost been a year. I remember getting Riftdrawal symptoms between the Betas last year like it was yesterday. Looking forward to what you guys have in store this year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Majorin View Post
    Think of a 30 meter circle around all ranged dps rogues and mages. Ranged dps can stand in the back line and focus fire targets without worrying about mobility and most forms of cc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zinbik View Post
    Sounds like an excellent plan for your healers to follow as well, as they have an even longer range on their heals.

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    Telaran
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    I've been playing MMOs for 10 years. This is the best first year of any game I've played so far(and there have been many). Solid gameplay and the constant addition of content make it worth logging in. I know my monthly subscription is my thanks for all your effort but i will say thank you anyway because all the folks at Rift deserve a pat on the back for a great first year.
    Last edited by DragonSedai; 02-03-2012 at 03:30 PM.

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    Prophet of Telara Muffinmans's Avatar
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    If this is the big letter that we were expecting telling us whats coming up, I have to say im a little disappointed . This really didn't tell us anything about whats coming up besides that there will be new raids, and a system that gives us rewards for revisiting the old zones. We really need to know whats going on and we really need to get something to be excited for. If people don't have much to get excited for, than they might loose interest if they don't have anything to look forward to.If you cant be sure that the upcoming content in an MMO will intrest you, than you will be less likely to continue wanting to play. Please Trion, tell us your upcoming plans for future content or an expansion and you will make a lot of people happy
    Quote Originally Posted by Daglar View Post
    As for folks calling me a carebear, I've got 99 problems and being a carebear ain't one son. I've done far more than my share of virtual murder over the years. I've been part of alliances that have so heavily destabilized server balance in games that the other sides ceased to log in due to being so massively dominated.

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    Live Stream Team Ferrel's Avatar
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    Scott

    It is great to see a post from you, your voice has been sorely missed.

    Glad to hear about a focus on playing together. That has always been something I enjoyed about Rift. Mentoring is an awesome idea.

    I'm really looking forward to another year of Rift and the exciting things you'll release.
    Last edited by Ferrel; 02-03-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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    Ascendant Europe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartsman View Post
    Farther down the line, we expect that our plans for Leaderboards of all kinds will provide a new type of interaction and social discovery.
    I hope this will eventually take over the riftlogs type functionality in the community. Even your own developers struggle when they don't have easy access to data like what kind of damage players are doing.
    <a href=http://www.trinityguild.org target=_blank>http://www.trinityguild.org/images/signatures/rift/sig_final.png</a>
    I mean, I guess it would just be a guy who you know, grabs bananas and runs. Or, um, a banana that grabs things. I don’t know.
    Why would a banana grab another banana? I mean, those are the kind of questions I don’t want to answer.

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    Plane Walker Raen's Avatar
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    It's been a blast so far!

    I hope the gameplay designers are going to step back and examine what they can really do to make RIFT more RIFT-like. There's awesome potential to be more innovative and involved, with more intertwined systems and refinements.

    Taking what others have done well and making it better is a great way to ensure fun gameplay, but it's only amazing if you can expand on it or make original gameplay (I.E., PvP rifts and invasions). We need more of that, but with more things too do other than zerging!
    Zev & Manafont of Seastone
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    RIFT Community Ambassador the_real_seebs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffinmans View Post
    we really need to get something to be excited for.
    Having played an MMO with a "mentoring" system...

    I am excited for that. VERY excited for that. It is AMAZING how much fun it is to go back to old zones or dungeons with lowbie friends and have them be actual challenges again.
    You can play WoW in any MMO. You don't have to play WoW in RIFT. Oh, and no, RIFT is not a WoW clone. Not having fun any more? Learn to play, noob! I don't speak for Riftui, but I moderate stuff there. Just came back? Welcome back! Here's what's changed. (Updated for 2.5!)

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