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  Click here to go to the first Rift Team post in this thread.   Thread: RIFT Behind the Scenes: Chris “Tacitus” Cates

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    Rift Team Ocho's Avatar
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    Default RIFT Behind the Scenes: Chris “Tacitus” Cates

    Continuing our series of behind-the-scenes interviews with the RIFT Team, Community Manager Eric “Ocho” Cleaver sat down with Senior Designer Chris “Tacitus” Cates to learn all about him and his work on Instant Adventures!

    Ocho : Could you please introduce yourself?

    CC: Hi, I’m Chris “Tacitus” Cates. I’m a Senior Content Designer on RIFT.

    Ocho: Can you tell us a little more about your handle “Tacitus”?

    CC: I’m a really big fan of Roman history, and Tacitus was one of the first historians who approached history with a more objective slant (rather than glorifying his patrons), but he also had a sarcastic sense of humor I like. I do try and keep my sense of humor constructive though....

    Ocho: How long have you been at Trion?

    CC: It’s been about 5 and a half years now.

    Ocho: Can you tell us a bit more about your job?

    CC: I do a bit of everything, although I'm the main Instant Adventure guy these days. I'm not the one who came up with the idea, but as soon as I saw it I fell in love with it. I just took the idea and ran with it.

    I also make a point of keeping an eye on older content, things like world events, and make sure they continue to work properly with all the other new content we introduce to the game. I like getting involved in a lot of different activities and working on lots of different kinds of things. RIFT is great that way, there’s always something different to work on.

    Ocho: What are some of the things you've worked on over the years that players might recognize, aside from the recent release of Hammerknell IAs?

    CC: I did the Iron Pine and Freemarch zone revamps and co-created the original Marshall Kane story arc with Morticus. I’ve done World Events, the Fae Yule Instant Adventure, the Goboro Reef Quest, and lots other of things here and there. Too many to count really!

    Ocho: So what was it like to adapt a raid to Instant Adventures?

    CC: Well the project came about from an idea someone mentioned three years ago. I instantly knew this was something I wanted to do, but there were a lot of under-the-hood revamps of how IA needed to work that had to be done before we could tackle it. Of course I kept championing it at every opportunity. Mentoring was a really important part of what was needed.

    I always really wanted to allow all players to visit and play in these amazing places. The raiders had seen it, but I wanted to be able to play there, too! And I wanted to do more in these places than what is normally done in a raid, where you kill some mobs and then a boss. Kill some mobs and then a boss.

    As soon as I got the time allotted, I jumped in and went.

    Ocho: Where do you see Instant Adventures go next?

    CC: I'm working on Tarken Glacier now, but in the future I'd definitely like to do more raids. I want to do Planebreaker Bastion. I want to do Infernal Dawn. I’d like to work on raid Instant Adventures side by side with the Raid Team as the raids themselves are being developed.

    Ocho: So you mentioned you like playing RIFT, what are your favorite things to do in game?

    CC: Open-world content and Warfronts. I do a lot of PvP; I've gotten 4 max-level characters playing on Seastone. I'm not much of a dungeons and raids kind of guy. Artifact hunting, achievement hunting, zone events, obviously Instant Adventure of course. I like a lot of the other features of the game, like Dimensions and Wardrobes. I’m really happy with the recent changes to the Wardrobe system!

    Ocho: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me! Do you have any final questions for the players?

    CC: Yes – where do you want to go in Instant Adventure next? What raids? What zones? Do you have any cool ideas you’d like to see us implement?

    Now it’s your turn, Ascended. Post your answers, the team can’t wait to hear from you!

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    Ascendant Samuraiko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocho View Post
    Ocho: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me! Do you have any final questions for the players?

    CC: Yes – where do you want to go in Instant Adventure next? What raids? What zones? Do you have any cool ideas you’d like to see us implement?

    Now it’s your turn, Ascended. Post your answers, the team can’t wait to hear from you!
    Two words, Tacitus.

    PORT SCION.

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    Loved the interview, btw, and now I know who co-created one of my favorite Old World arcs (I love the Marshall Kain arc! Guardians ftw!).

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    Champion of Telara Veldan's Avatar
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    Next instant adventure? Planebreaker Bastion! Or Infernal Dawn. It's pretty hard to choose to be honest. I think Hammerknell IA is awesome and we need more raids with great environment design turned into IAs.

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    Yay, my new favourite RIFT guy, I've really grown fond of Tacitus' transparent approach to the community and the content he works on, was really happy to read this!

    To answer the question... Now that Tarken Glacier (my favourite zone) is covered, and bearing in mind my parallel desire to see all raid zones (past and future) turned into IAs once the formula is perfected, I say keep it cold and go next to my previously favourite overworld zone without IAs: Iron Pine!
    Last edited by Omedon; 05-20-2015 at 01:59 PM.
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    Another awesome interview! Really appreciate the time you take to respond to players on forums and your music choices aren't too shabby either Tactius.

    Also love HK IA's and hope PBB jump puzzles with the artifacts will be available or a different set also cheering on artifacts in HK and any new raid zone IA (sorry to bring up again but shiny addict!)

    I never got to experience Primeval Feast because it was so much of a pain to begin players would rage so that raid would be great to see as well as a Edge of Infinity because Volan is the baws of bosses OR even better an Ashora version IA would be so amazing with the Plane of Life adding more objectives with him-Volan Ashora has the best environmental design (the way it busts up) that is mind blowing.

    Something I also loved was the River of Souls release the way it launched it would be amazing if these new IA's had an awesome release with them.

    #volanforlife
    Last edited by Kiwi; 05-20-2015 at 02:21 PM.

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    RIFT Fan Site Operator Jonus's Avatar
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    More Raid IAs will be fantastic. Allows players who don't raid to still see the entire raid and experience some form of the bosses without having to try to put together a raid (which can be painful for the old raids). This is definitely content I can get behind. When I don't feel like raiding but still want to do some stress-free group content with the chance of dying, HK IAs seem to satisfy my needs.

    I would love to see more Raid IAs in general. If you could somehow capture all the SL ones that would be great. Main problem I see is further down the line when there's 4-5 Raid IAs and we get a population problem where those interested in Raid IAs end up split up between them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonus View Post
    Main problem I see is further down the line when there's 4-5 Raid IAs and we get a population problem where those interested in Raid IAs end up split up between them.
    If there were more to choose from and all in the same category (Raid Adventures) I'm not sure why these wouldn't naturally progress to being random also with the latest one only being available on its own for a limited time.

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    Default Please make the Volan Event in Ashora Worthwhile Again

    Dear Tacitus,

    Thanks for all the information!
    Can you add the above to your plate, the Volan event was one of the most fun and epic encounters in the game?
    Thanks for your consideration.

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    Plane Walker Omedon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
    If there were more to choose from and all in the same category (Raid Adventures) I'm not sure why these wouldn't naturally progress to being random also with the latest one only being available on its own for a limited time.
    This is what I understood would be occurring. At the most, the vision seems to now have expanded to potentially three seperate queues: Random, Featured and a seperate one for non-featured raid IAs.

    So for the tarken glacier phase, maybe that will be the feature, with HK keeping its seperate queue, and then at the next raid IA, that would be the feature while tarken gets folded into random overworld IA, and HKIA kept seperate on its own button, and then at the next feature, the two previous raid IAs would be folded together into their own queue... and so on. Or we just fold tarken into "random" immediately. You get the idea.

    The point is, raid IAs will always be a seperate button from the random overworld IAs, and I am pretty certain that they do not want to spread the population thin by creating a zillion different queues ever again. Large groups are the intended experience for IA content, and that means as few queue options as possible.
    Last edited by Omedon; 05-20-2015 at 03:24 PM.
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    Ascendant July13th's Avatar
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    I would love to see a Port Scion Instant Adventure. More Raid IAs. An Instanced Meridian, Sanctum, and Tempest Bay would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omedon View Post
    This is what I understood would be occurring. At the most, the vision seems to now have expanded to potentially three seperate queues: Random, Featured and a seperate one for non-featured raid IAs.

    So for the tarken glacier phase, maybe that will be the feature, with HK keeping its seperate queue, and then at the next raid IA, that would be the feature while tarken gets folded into random overworld IA, and HKIA kept seperate on its own button, and then at the next feature, the two previous raid IAs would be folded together into their own queue... and so on. Or we just fold tarken into "random" immediately. You get the idea.

    The point is, raid IAs will always be a seperate button from the random overworld IAs, and I am pretty certain that they do not want to spread the population thin by creating a zillion different queues ever again. Large groups are the intended experience for IA content, and that means as few queue options as possible.
    Yeah I think Tarken will get thrown into the randoms, but with a higher initial chance of being chosen. HKIA was completely different, so I think that's why it was separated. I think it will eventually become "Zone IAs" and "Raid IAs" to choose from. I think the majority now select HK (personally I find them more enjoyable) and even as new zone IAs are added, I think we may see a decline in the population running those in favor of the raid based IAs.

    And I'm really looking forward to the Tarken IAs. I really like that zone, but one of the biggest pains leveling was how spread out objectives were, so it will be nice to do quests there without having to run halfway across the zone. I think IAs for Tyrant's Throne would be good as well. I think the zone was too short-lived. It's small, only had 14 quests, and I think once people finished the quests and did the zone event once, they left.
    Last edited by Artewig; 05-20-2015 at 09:04 PM.
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    Love the fact I can get gear in IA's, love the fact new IA's are new..better than open world. Instance based IA's is definitely the way to go --

    Can level 60+ people stop playing with level 20-59 players. Sidekicking is great but when you are being forced to play with others who have 3 abilities and are inexperienced -- you're chance of dying go way up and chance of completing the IA go way down.

    Separate the IA's by level brackets -- Sidekicking was implented under the pretense that other characters consented to carrying you. Kind of taking that away from people who want to experience "end game" by doing weeklies.


    I'd love to see another T1 10 man.. Mount sharax is the only way into T2 -- and as of now, such a small % of the playerbase is able to see that.
    Last edited by Blakehavok; 05-21-2015 at 12:19 AM.

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    Yes, please make the Volan event worthwhile again. Was a great zone event, and usually the event, because of the amount of firepower needed, it was sometimes necessary to mobilize my entire guild (by "mobilize", I mean almost the entire guild goes after Volan while an officer sends out a mobile guild alert to offline guildies.)

    It requires teamwork, paying attention, and a good heart (trust me, I can count several times where doing the Volan event made my heart beat faster).

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    I agree on level bracketing IAs. I hate them now, too often you get one or two actual 60-65 players trying to carry 18-19 level 10-15 players that are sidekicked and, that frankly sucks. The don't have the abilities to actually be useful in their role at the level of the IA, they don't know the zone so get lost constantly and, don't know diddly about fighting bosses at that level (most don't even know to move out of the marker cones and circles.

    They can't heal enough to be worth having, even if they are speced healer, tanks lack the skill and/or abilities to actually be able to tank at 40-50 levels above their actual level. Just makes the IA miserable for the few real high level players in there.

    I have yet to finish even 30 IAs because of this, 2-3 is all I can tolerate before I get sick of incopetence due to lack of abilities and leave. It isn't the players' fault, they are level 10-15 and get dumped in a level 60-65 IA, they don;'t get a choice but, there are more of them doing IA than there are high levels.

    At least bracket it at 10-30 and 31-65, still a bit of carrying to do but, it would be a great improvement.
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    I've said this a couple of times already, but I'd really love to see a "Tier 2" version of Hammerknell IA. Basically, raise boss HP and damage a little and then add a few more of the raid mechanics to each boss. It would basically be another step closer to the raid and will give those of us craving a "Raid light" another level of challenge.

    Also, more Raid IAs. I've never been a fan of IAs, but I'm really enjoying Hammerknell. I'd especially like to see "Mount Sharax" at this point, since I'd like to see the conclusion to the Tarkan Glacier story.

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