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The Other Side of RIFT’s World Events

Much has been said over how often Trion updates RIFT. We all know that major updates are pretty much a monthly thing. Personally, I love it. It’s earned Trion a lot of my respect that they work on their game so much. (I was tempted to write that they “focus on their game so much” but what would that mean for other MMO companies?) These patches are usually ushered in by highly advertised world events with “great” thematic tie-ins to the world’s lore. A couple months ago I might have even wrote that without the quotation marks.

Here’s my problem with world events in RIFT: They’re all exactly the same. Every single world event has consisted of variously skinned versions of “kill these invaders, kill these rift creatures, buff this wardstone, and go to this spot and click on something” — except this time they took out the clicking part. How great can your lore tie-ins be when what you’re actually doing is no different that what you’ve done every other time the world has been threatened? These planar leaders better get together for some kind of think tank because they’re seriously lacking in the creativity department.

This really goes along with my general feeling for 1.5, they have some good ideas but don’t go anywhere near far enough. Planar attunement is nice but levels tend to take forever unless you’re grinding chronicles every day. I like having another bar to fill but it’s hard to see my motivation staying up for too long; I could grind 10 levels for 10 spell power or… not. The better answer right now is to upgrade. Get better runes, run more dungeons, roll on gear drops. Every one of those will do more for you than planar attunement will. Other “good starts” in 1.5 – Chronicles: 15 minute XP farms but wonderful premise with a lot of potential; Master Mode Dungeons: Only one, which means people got burned out on running it, when was launch day again?

For all of these things, Ferrel would probably tell me that I’m complaining about extra stuff to do. World events really are fluff, after all, so why nitpick at the extra stuff. Honestly, he’s right. The reason to speak up, though, is that there are really good ideas in there buried under piles of “the same.” Don’t get me wrong, having world events — or really just new quest series/rewards — happening every month is great. Truly, I love that. There needs to be more variety, is all. You can’t put out a bunch of copy-paste world events “just because you can” and expect people not to notice. And the little bits they have changed, like the Hammerknell story sequences or the speaking travel stones, have been great. Even the variety of the in-city quests (finding spies, burning plants) is nice. So when you load into the game to see two good ideas and five recycled ones, it’s a little disappointing. Planar attunement is nice system, too, but needs to be sped up and made more interesting. And Chronicles, here’s a system that makes you wonder “why haven’t we been doing this all along?” They just need to make them longer, into full-fledged two-mans instead of appetizers before the raid.

Lots of great stuff came with the last patch, a world event just a point on the list. Like most every big idea, though, its been treated with the trepidation of successful people in a high-risk environment. As RIFT gets larger and more well off, I truly hope that a “don’t mess it up” mentality doesn’t start to stifle the ideas that clearly trying to leap out.


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  1. Green Armadillo

    So far, I have ONLY been back to Rift for welcome back events, and each weekend has featured one of these nigh-identical events. While my perspective is probably skewed as a result, I definitely agree that it’s starting to look less original. Trion’s definitely doing an impressive job – because I’m in and out so much I definitely notice that the game is slowly but surely improving every few months. It just seems like the naysayers who argued that “dynamic” content was not so dynamic had it right.

    1. Chris "Syeric" Coke

      Agreed. The thing is, the stuff they’ve reached for has hinted at very cool possibilities for future events and dynamic content. I just want them to quit hinting and get on with it already.

  2. Doone

    Agreeing with Armadillo, I’m not seeing how this is actually surprising to anyone. They sold a game on “dynamic” events which promised to be not much different than PQs in Warhammer Online. While I appreciate their random (less dynamic) nature, this was supposed to be one of the most special things about Rift. And it ain’t so special afterall (big surprise).

    That said, I gave the game what I think a fair shot up to level 24 or so. It was as much as I could stomach. I *wanted* to keep playing but finding a reason to do so was pretty hard. It was every other MMO I ever played except it had none of my friends or characters of old.

  3. Starseeker

    I agree, the events are all the same. I actually look forward to the events cause I like the cool rewards…but after a day or two of doing the same dalies I did last month, and then the month before that…just with a different flavor of rift…I go meh I’ll get the stuff I want it by doing the easy “click 5 stones quests” on my 6 alts and calling it a a day.

    Over all I was disappointed in 1.5, I thought there was some good stuff but not enough at a critical time in the games life (6 month sub renewals). I love the game and I play it daily, but sometimes I get the feeling Trion isn’t going outside the boundaries anymore. They got their hands burned with River of Souls and now are playing it safe.

    What I would love to see, is epic battles. Ok Fire and Earth are invading? Why don’t they invade every zone at the same time. Make it a world event that no one can ignore. I’m sure you can just trigger all 10 or so events, without making it a big special thing…just do it randomly press the on button at prime time and see what happens.

    Even half the zones if not all of them. Or alternatively, have GM ran events…I know this weekend the extra life event was awesome…I think the community team and GMs could really change some of the “monotone” of the quests by showing up once and awhile and going “I’m going to take over your city bwahahah!” and spawn a few epics in sanctum and meridian which start killing out NPCs and people just standing around in their safe hub.

    The game just needs some spontanious game play, instead of “I’m logging in to do my 4 quests like I did the night before…oh theres rifts in different places woopdie do”.

    1. Chris "Syeric" Coke

      YES. I want to see more of the high impact content too. How cool would it be to see two planes coordinate and open a global attack? World quests!

  4. Doone

    The thing is, Trion needs more than just rifts to make Rift a long-term success. So far, rift events and new raids are the only thing they’re really celebrating …and that’s a really bad sign.

    I see they are taking half a page from the World of Warcraft book of 2005: frequent content updates. What they’re missing is variety in these updates. One quick look at the kinds of things implemented during WoW’s first 6-months versus what Rift is putting out shows they’re kinda on the wrong track if they’re hoping to keep things fresh and exciting. Instead, they’re taking half a page from WoW 2005 and half a page from WoW 2008, which is extremely raid-centric. This won’t do if they expect to survive.

    I’m waiting for Rift to offer more depth and context to the gameplay. At that time, I’ll resub and hopefully find more things to draw me to the game. PQs and raids simply won’t do.

    1. Chris "Syeric" Coke

      You’ve got it, right there. Rifts are great… but they’re only a feature. They need to fill in some of the thin areas in other game systems.

  5. Ferrel

    This Ferrel guy sure sounds smart.

    In all seriousness though you do have a point. Every “world event” is just a bunch of daily quests to do with slight theme variations. They’re just something extra to do for a new funny hat. I like them for that. There is a lot more potential there. You’re certainly correct.

  6. browolf

    There was an opportunity to incorporate rift events into a bigger picture. In a similar way to campaign battles in ffxi.

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