Rift: Looking to the Future After Beta 2

The second beta event for Rift is finished and lots was learned from it. I was lucky enough to take part and, well, I’m excited for the NDA to drop. By the way, I checked and since Trion was asking people to status-update their being in-game, I think it’s okay to say that much (I haven’t actually seen anything to the contrary, source me if you have it).

Surprisingly, I missed out on one of the big events that Scott Hartsman details in his wrap-up post. The event is a story chunk from Prince Hylas Aelfwar, and the Battle for Silverwood. In effect, lots of rifts and invasions occurred, and over 500 people crammed into one small region to fight them back. As Scott mentions, all this in a modern day, graphically intense, MMORPG and the servers didn’t crash. And Blizzard said it was “impossible.” Mmm-hmm.

An outline of the rifts/invasions from the Beta 2 event

I find this most interesting because it presents new opportunities for the rift system I’d never even thought of before. I knew they could spawn them on cue and had plans for bigger and better things, but aiding narration wasn’t something I’d thought of. Now, I’ll be interested to see how this plays out in practice – I don’t see GMs randomly running these events all that often – but it could certainly mean neat, unexpected, and unquestionably epic encounters in our future.

Another point I thought was worth mentioning is that, even though the event was made for levels 8-20, it featured full-on raid rifts. That all but confirms that there will possibilities for raid content below the level cap. As someone who doesn’t like the “the real game begins at level cap” philosophy, that prospect is very alluring. What’s more satisfying that leveling up in a raid?

Overall, I’m very happy with everything in Scott’s note. This sounds like another bang-up job by Trion and it leaves me all the more excited for the final game.

On a couple unrelated notes from the last couple episodes of The Rift podcast, I’d just like to point out a couple of lines that stood out to me:

  • Scott mentioning that the patch notes from Beta 1 to Beta 2 are over 8000 words. Tell me again how this is “just a promotional beta?”
  • Adam mentioning that “in a few months when we’re released or on Beta 7.” Speculate as you will but it perked my ears up.

Can we also give it up to the ladies who run that podcast? They do a wonderful job of supporting the community and giving us the information we want to hear. As a podcaster myself, I know doing a weekly show requires a lot of planning and – gah! – editing. So, keep it up, Ari and Desi!

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