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  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: 3.0 Behind the Scenes: Content

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    Rift Team MikeD's Avatar
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    Default 3.0 Behind the Scenes: Content

    When we launched 2.3 a year ago, we were proud of what we had accomplished, but also incredibly excited about where we were going next: the Plane of Water*.

    Going into the Planes has given all departments the opportunity to think about RIFT in new ways. One of the things I've most enjoyed during development is stretching our ideas and expectations of the environments in RIFT. Underwater environments are vertical and horizontal in equal measure, and we wanted to reflect this in both underwater and land areas while also challenging the expected behavior of water. Whole oceans of water hover above dry land, deep glacial crevasses scar an entire zone, walls of water allow horizontal diving, and the coral formations across the Plane of Water create bridges to unexpected areas. Explorers are going to have a blast, but I fear Simon is going to have an aneurysm placing all the artifacts.

    It has also been exciting designing Nightmare rifts. The goal from the start has been to add a new rift type to all zones that is not only an aesthetic addition (though the new visuals are amazing), but also offers new gameplay that will scale in difficulty as players level up, acquire new gear, and increase their skill. In testing so far, the timed stages are frenzied, the powerups are fun, the close calls have been numerous, and the randomly generated stages offer a wide variety of challenges to surpass. Players will need to perform well in order to go deeper into the nightmare. You may never get to the end, but how far can you go?

    One of the most important aspects we’ve been focusing on is unifying the direction of our Live and Expansion content. Once we established the arc of the expansion story, we began seeding our patches with hints about the Plane of Water. This was most apparent in the Song of Dreams content in Ember Isle, but even in seemingly disparate stories, like the Air Saga and the Bloodfire invasion, everything connects to the Plane of Water. It was a lot of fun watching everyone devour the clues and put the story together much faster than we predicted.

    This continues in 2.8 with Nightmare Coast, in which a brand new villain is revealed and access to the Plane of Water begins to become a possibility in the minds of the Ascended. We always knew we would come back to Mathosia to create the narrative bridge to 3.0, and Shimmersand is the perfect place to unleash a lot of water.

    You will also see this unified direction in the 3.0 zones, dungeons, raids, and other content. We wanted to make sure each zone offered a deep, unique, and consistent story arc that also contributed to a larger whole. Within these zones, the instances continue to develop these stories and characters. The friendly and not-so-friendly creatures you meet early in the story continue along with you, and some will make surprise appearances at the end. When you look at the expansion as a whole, everything should feel connected.

    We’re pretty happy with how the expansion is shaping up, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ll see you on the other side!


    * Disclaimer: most water is avoidable if you’re not into that kind of thing. Only 10% of quests require swimming.

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    Ascendant Maeloda's Avatar
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    Most of this stuff sounds great so far.

    But you'll have to impress. Water ranks in the bottom 2-3 (of 6) Planes/elements for me. ;)*

    Nightmare Rifts look like survival modes almost - last as long as you can. I hope there's good rewards every Phase or several Phases.

    The impression I got with Storm Legion was 'big'. The impression I'm getting with Nightmare Tide, ironically (given the themes of Water and the aesthetics of the 'depths') is 'focused'. Nightmare Tide looks 'focused' - like you guys are sure about what to do this time, your capabilities to deliver on it, the story you want to tell, and the game mechanics you want to introduce and evolve. Best of luck.


    *It is usually (with some variation):
    1. Air
    2. Fire
    3. Death
    4. Earth
    5. Life
    6. Water

    I really want to see Planes of Air and Fire :P
    Last edited by Maeloda; 06-26-2014 at 02:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
    When we launched 2.3 a year ago, we were proud of what we had accomplished, but also incredibly excited about where we were going next: the Plane of Water*.

    Going into the Planes has given all departments the opportunity to think about RIFT in new ways. One of the things I've most enjoyed during development is stretching our ideas and expectations of the environments in RIFT. Underwater environments are vertical and horizontal in equal measure, and we wanted to reflect this in both underwater and land areas while also challenging the expected behavior of water. Whole oceans of water hover above dry land, deep glacial crevasses scar an entire zone, walls of water allow horizontal diving, and the coral formations across the Plane of Water create bridges to unexpected areas. Explorers are going to have a blast, but I fear Simon is going to have an aneurysm placing all the artifacts.

    It has also been exciting designing Nightmare rifts. The goal from the start has been to add a new rift type to all zones that is not only an aesthetic addition (though the new visuals are amazing), but also offers new gameplay that will scale in difficulty as players level up, acquire new gear, and increase their skill. In testing so far, the timed stages are frenzied, the powerups are fun, the close calls have been numerous, and the randomly generated stages offer a wide variety of challenges to surpass. Players will need to perform well in order to go deeper into the nightmare. You may never get to the end, but how far can you go?

    One of the most important aspects we’ve been focusing on is unifying the direction of our Live and Expansion content. Once we established the arc of the expansion story, we began seeding our patches with hints about the Plane of Water. This was most apparent in the Song of Dreams content in Ember Isle, but even in seemingly disparate stories, like the Air Saga and the Bloodfire invasion, everything connects to the Plane of Water. It was a lot of fun watching everyone devour the clues and put the story together much faster than we predicted.

    This continues in 2.8 with Nightmare Coast, in which a brand new villain is revealed and access to the Plane of Water begins to become a possibility in the minds of the Ascended. We always knew we would come back to Mathosia to create the narrative bridge to 3.0, and Shimmersand is the perfect place to unleash a lot of water.

    You will also see this unified direction in the 3.0 zones, dungeons, raids, and other content. We wanted to make sure each zone offered a deep, unique, and consistent story arc that also contributed to a larger whole. Within these zones, the instances continue to develop these stories and characters. The friendly and not-so-friendly creatures you meet early in the story continue along with you, and some will make surprise appearances at the end. When you look at the expansion as a whole, everything should feel connected.

    We’re pretty happy with how the expansion is shaping up, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ll see you on the other side!


    * Disclaimer: most water is avoidable if you’re not into that kind of thing. Only 10% of quests require swimming.
    Water Air and Death were the three I wanted to see the most.

    But one thing specifically for you Mike, since you deal with alot of the open world stuff, You've seen the threads about wanting to get back more of that vanilla feel to evasions, zone events and rifts, where zones are just completely overrun. Especially with all the options to level now aside from just quest hubs, have you gone back to some of that feel with the expansion or is it like it was in Storm Legion?

    Second thing. Volan. We loved him, are we going to see more zone event encounters like him in the expansion?

    If only 10% of quest content deals with the water, how does the water come in to play. Its the plane of water so its safe to assume there is lots of it and lots to explore. What is there in terms of content beneath the waves?
    Last edited by Khelendross; 06-26-2014 at 02:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khelendross View Post
    But one thing specifically for you Mike, since you deal with alot of the open world stuff, You've seen the threads about wanting to get back more of that vanilla feel to evasions, zone events and rifts, where zones are just completely overrun. Especially with all the options to level now aside from just quest hubs, have you gone back to some of that feel with the expansion or is it like it was in Storm Legion?
    Good question!

    I want to see the Plane of Life! (If you want a sample of the Plane of Death, I would think visiting Seratos would do the trick. Hated it.)
    Last edited by Shattered; 06-26-2014 at 02:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
    It has also been exciting designing Nightmare rifts. The goal from the start has been to add a new rift type to all zones that is not only an aesthetic addition (though the new visuals are amazing), but also offers new gameplay that will scale in difficulty as players level up, acquire new gear, and increase their skill. In testing so far, the timed stages are frenzied, the powerups are fun, the close calls have been numerous, and the randomly generated stages offer a wide variety of challenges to surpass. Players will need to perform well in order to go deeper into the nightmare. You may never get to the end, but how far can you go?
    This sounds good. Rifts being a challenge again would be very welcomed return to how rifts were back at release and up until they got severely nerfed.
    Dreezie

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    Rift Team MikeD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khelendross View Post
    But one thing specifically for you Mike, since you deal with alot of the open world stuff, You've seen the threads about wanting to get back more of that vanilla feel to evasions, zone events and rifts, where zones are just completely overrun. Especially with all the options to level now aside from just quest hubs, have you gone back to some of that feel with the expansion or is it like it was in Storm Legion?

    Second thing. Volan. We loved him, are we going to see more zone event encounters like him in the expansion?

    If only 10% of quest content deals with the water, how does the water come in to play. Its the plane of water so its safe to assume there is lots of it and lots to explore. What is there in terms of content beneath the waves?
    Yes, zone events will bring back some the danger to the open world. Each zone has three major, large hubs, which allows us to have one or even two wardstones in town without completely stomping on the questgivers. Hubs will be targeted by passive invasions as well as zone event invasions, and we're experimenting with different ways of using onslaught (similar to our Ember Isle zone events) outside of the hubs to draw people out into the world.

    I love Volan, too, and making him was a lot of fun, but encounters like those are quite expensive. We chose to spend those resources on a wider variety of boss characters this time around. That said, there's a particular colossus in development right now that has great promise, and I'm looking forward to what we can do with him.

    There is still plenty of water to explore (my profile pic is an example of what you might see from the ground in one zone, looking up). One of the earliest things we discussed was how the different layers of the Plane of Water would relate to each other, and how parts of the leveling zones would gain new relevance once you accessed them from higher-elevation, end-game zones. So there won't be tons of story quests that force you to swim, but if you're looking for some end-game activities or the occasional ice-berg/shipwreck hopscotching zone event, an entire ocean awaits you.

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    Can't wait to try out those Nightmare Rifts!

    As for the different types of water content - it's good to hear that only 10% of quests will involve swimming. Also liking the "whole oceans of water hover above dry land" - I'm thinking that has to do with Draum Heim - guessing that might be 'dry land' territory.

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    A moving land mass would be good too. kinda like that Massive turtle from Naruto .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maeloda View Post
    Most of this stuff sounds great so far.

    But you'll have to impress. Water ranks in the bottom 2-3 (of 6) Planes/elements for me. ;)*

    Nightmare Rifts look like survival modes almost - last as long as you can. I hope there's good rewards every Phase or several Phases.

    The impression I got with Storm Legion was 'big'. The impression I'm getting with Nightmare Tide, ironically (given the themes of Water and the aesthetics of the 'depths') is 'focused'. Nightmare Tide looks 'focused' - like you guys are sure about what to do this time, your capabilities to deliver on it, the story you want to tell, and the game mechanics you want to introduce and evolve. Best of luck.


    *It is usually (with some variation):
    1. Air
    2. Fire
    3. Death
    4. Earth
    5. Life
    6. Water

    I really want to see Planes of Air and Fire :P
    Ive actually been hoping they surprise everyone by adding a new plane, like the Plane of Chaos, or something unusual that has a big boss far worse than anything that comes out of the traditional planes.

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    Champion of Telara Sargonnas_KoA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeD View Post

    I love Volan, too, and making him was a lot of fun, but encounters like those are quite expensive. We chose to spend those resources on a wider variety of boss characters this time around. That said, there's a particular colossus in development right now that has great promise, and I'm looking forward to what we can do with him.
    I think Volan was one of the best parts of Storm Legion so I truly hope resources are put into making more encounters like that. Its really a huge differentiator when compared to other games out there. I would rather have one bad ***** encounter than 10 cookie cutter events that are the same thing we've always seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sargonnas_KoA View Post
    Ive actually been hoping they surprise everyone by adding a new plane, like the Plane of Chaos, or something unusual that has a big boss far worse than anything that comes out of the traditional planes.
    I want a Dark Telara. Reuse assets/areas, but in a VERY devious and amazing way (far beyond stuff like Terminus, but more like a mirror universe with Ascended just as strong - lore wise - as us).

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    Default the Plane of Water

    MikeD
    3.0 Behind the Scenes: Content
    When we launched 2.3 a year ago, we were proud of what we had accomplished, but also incredibly excited about where we were going next: the Plane of Water*.

    Going into the Planes has given all departments the opportunity to think about RIFT in new ways. One of the things I've most enjoyed during development is stretching our ideas and expectations of the environments in RIFT. Underwater environments are vertical and horizontal in equal measure, and we wanted to reflect this in both underwater and land areas while also challenging the expected behavior of water. Whole oceans of water hover above dry land, deep glacial crevasses scar an entire zone, walls of water allow horizontal diving, and the coral formations across the Plane of Water create bridges to unexpected areas. Explorers are going to have a blast, but I fear Simon is going to have an aneurysm placing all the artifacts.

    It has also been exciting designing Nightmare rifts. The goal from the start has been to add a new rift type to all zones that is not only an aesthetic addition (though the new visuals are amazing), but also offers new gameplay that will scale in difficulty as players level up, acquire new gear, and increase their skill. In testing so far, the timed stages are frenzied, the powerups are fun, the close calls have been numerous, and the randomly generated stages offer a wide variety of challenges to surpass. Players will need to perform well in order to go deeper into the nightmare. You may never get to the end, but how far can you go?

    One of the most important aspects we’ve been focusing on is unifying the direction of our Live and Expansion content. Once we established the arc of the expansion story, we began seeding our patches with hints about the Plane of Water. This was most apparent in the Song of Dreams content in Ember Isle, but even in seemingly disparate stories, like the Air Saga and the Bloodfire invasion, everything connects to the Plane of Water. It was a lot of fun watching everyone devour the clues and put the story together much faster than we predicted.

    This continues in 2.8 with Nightmare Coast, in which a brand new villain is revealed and access to the Plane of Water begins to become a possibility in the minds of the Ascended. We always knew we would come back to Mathosia to create the narrative bridge to 3.0, and Shimmersand is the perfect place to unleash a lot of water.

    You will also see this unified direction in the 3.0 zones, dungeons, raids, and other content. We wanted to make sure each zone offered a deep, unique, and consistent story arc that also contributed to a larger whole. Within these zones, the instances continue to develop these stories and characters. The friendly and not-so-friendly creatures you meet early in the story continue along with you, and some will make surprise appearances at the end. When you look at the expansion as a whole, everything should feel connected.

    We’re pretty happy with how the expansion is shaping up, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ll see you on the other side!


    * Disclaimer: most water is avoidable if you’re not into that kind of thing. Only 10% of quests require swimming.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi MikeD, This looks amazing, thank you very much for your update! Your narrative reads like a great story and leaves me on the edge of my seat, anxious to jump right in!


    Couple of thoughts-

    1. Simon needs an assistant, I can't imagine how much ground he has to cover.
    2. Nightmare Coast - Nightmare Rifts - a fantastic homage to the game and the implied difficulty - maybe never get to the end? - Can't wait to see them!
    3. Brand new Villan- chomping at the bit.
    4. Storyline - No one does it like Trion. Period.
    5. 3.0- Cliffhanger. Can't wait to hear more.
    6. Thanks to all for your hard work!
    Last edited by Dizbo; 06-26-2014 at 04:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
    Yes, zone events will bring back some the danger to the open world. Each zone has three major, large hubs, which allows us to have one or even two wardstones in town without completely stomping on the questgivers. Hubs will be targeted by passive invasions as well as zone event invasions, and we're experimenting with different ways of using onslaught (similar to our Ember Isle zone events) outside of the hubs to draw people out into the world.

    I love Volan, too, and making him was a lot of fun, but encounters like those are quite expensive. We chose to spend those resources on a wider variety of boss characters this time around. That said, there's a particular colossus in development right now that has great promise, and I'm looking forward to what we can do with him.

    There is still plenty of water to explore (my profile pic is an example of what you might see from the ground in one zone, looking up). One of the earliest things we discussed was how the different layers of the Plane of Water would relate to each other, and how parts of the leveling zones would gain new relevance once you accessed them from higher-elevation, end-game zones. So there won't be tons of story quests that force you to swim, but if you're looking for some end-game activities or the occasional ice-berg/shipwreck hopscotching zone event, an entire ocean awaits you.
    Cool I'm very happy about the attempt to make invasions a bit more meaningful and not something you can just avoid. I also love the idea of ocean exploration holding content for max level players. Thats very exciting. Things like open world bosses (like the ones in Dendrome) would be very cool.

    As for Volan.. You were the guy responsible for designing that encounter iirc for the original SL presentations. I imagine that the thing that made him very time consuming to create was how highly scripted that encounter is. And while that was extremely cool the things I likes best about Volan was his overall design. He felt like a threat, He was huge, he was intimidating, and he wasn't easy. Thats more what I am looking for when I say "volan like" encounter. The crazy scripting is amazing but I get that its probably very time consuming both to create and to test. Also I think with the way Rift's player base is now, it makes sense in patches post launch to do alot of things with the world and less with a focus on raiding. There are just so few raiders, and I think alot more people participate in 5 man dungeons and open world content in the current rift world. And also 10 man raids.

    Also I hope you guys don't abandon the good concepts you came up with. I personally love Strongholds. I really for example, wish they would show up in earlier zones (and the new ones!). I think new players oftentimes miss what makes this game special at later levels cause they never get to see hunt rifts or strongholds or chronicles.
    Last edited by Khelendross; 06-26-2014 at 05:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khelendross View Post
    Also I think with the way Rift's player base is now, it makes sense in patches post launch to do alot of things with the world and less with a focus on raiding. There are just so few raiders, and I think alot more people participate in 5 man dungeons and open world content in the current rift world. And also 10 man raids.
    You need to have statistical data to make that assumption because otherwise it's sounds like biased opinion. There shouldn't be any trade offs between open world content and end game raiding.
    Last edited by Vexil; 06-26-2014 at 05:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexil View Post
    You need to have statistical data to make that assumption because otherwise it's sounds like biased opinion. There shouldn't be any trade offs between open world content and end game raiding.
    There's no bias. I've raided since launch. I like raiding (I don't have time to do it much anymore but the fact remains, I love raiding). But the amount of time and effort put into raiding is disproportionate to the number of people doing hardcore raiding. How many guilds have downed Laethys? Two. Thats right two. And the more pertinent question is how many guilds are actively working on Laethys and Maelforge? While I wish Rift had a team large enough to do raiding and other types of content, that doesn't appear to be the case.

    One thing I can say but I have no real way of being sure about is that many more guilds do 10 man raiding than 20. And thats one area where I suspect more effort could be put in terms of raiding. Its mainly just a matter of numbers, it has nothing to do with the content or what type of content it is. I don't mess with dimensions but I don't begrudge the amount of work that is always being put into it. It also makes alot of money for Trion.
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