So in the life of Rift so far, we've released two new 20-man raid dungeons, two 10-man dungeons and tons of features, looking for group and dungeon. Guildbanks, character transfers. Also coming up we're releasing our add-on system so people can make their own User Interface and mods.
One of the things we're really trying to do with RIFT is to cater to multiple type of players. [Trion goes ahead and show us the final boss in Hammerknell Keep, currently the hardest raid dungeon in the game]. Ok, so this is great for the hardcore players, but then we'll have our more casual players say, 'hey that's great, but I'm never going to see that'. So due to this, I'm going to be showing another dungeon after this, which is catered towards the more casual players. [They're now showing how they move from place to place, since a monster (the final boss of the dungeon) is destroying areas of the map where you stand], it looks really cool and seems to play well. It's interesting to see how fast if it, if not too fast, once raids start getting there.
Now we're showing a casual player dungeon which will come out in 1.5. It's a dungeon made for solo play or about two players. It's based around the Hammerknell lore and has its own story and great content and could be completed within 30 to 40 minutes. The pressure of having an optimal class setup is out the window here. You can have two clerics or two rogues, any class will do! It's pretty easy content.
What item level do you need for this dungeon?
It's pretty much doable right as you turn level 50. If you want to do it solo however, you need to have slightly higher item levels. But it's not crazy. If two or three players want to hit the dungeon right as they turn level 50, it's possible.
What are the rewards in this new casual dungeon?
The rewards range. The big difference with this is that the initial reward is around the same stuff that you get from the earlier expert dungeons. So if you've done some of the early expert dungeons, things that drop may not necessarily be good for you. You will get expert tokens as well though, e.g the plaques of achievement. Also, there's a lot of stuff for raiders and high-end players to come back to get such as unique mounts.
Also, this dungeon is made for a small amount of players, so if you're very strong or too many, the dungeon will be very easy. It does not scale.
In 1.5 we're introducing something we call master modes. Master modes are for those players that have smaller groups of people but have mastered the current expert dungeons and are fairly pimped out gear-wise from them. And who want to do really, really hard content. it require very organized players. It could be seen as 'ultra hard mode' with much nicer rewards, brand new items, brand new encounters, etc. To note though is that if you're in the top of in raiding, there will be some items you want from here, but it's mainly catered towards players in smaller groups that have outgrown the current expert dungeons, open world stuff, maybe they've done some 10 and 20-man raiding, but not a lot. It's also a way to gear up faster for the higher tiered 20man raids.
In 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 patches we'll introduce a new zone and a lot of more content in the actual world, non-instanced. So we're making the world bigger, so there's more people out in the world, and with the new instance, we have this new instance system called 'the instance action system'.
What are your thoughts on the trash mobs in the expert dungeons? Will this reappear in the master dungeons, or have you decided to not have us clear so many monsters to get somewhere?
We're constantly revising this. When we say the master dungeons are doing to be difficult, it's more on the bosses, but of course the trash will provide an exceptional different challenge than before, so it's going to be a challenge to defeat them too, not just feel like a grind.
Our philosophy at Trion is that we constantly need to push out content.
We also have a big feature coming in 1.5 called planar achievement. Which I wish I could show you right now--but I can't. This is our new alternative advancement system, like the AA system in EverQuest.
Will there be new raid Rifts?
Yes! With our new zone Ember Isle there will be a couple of new raid rifts in there, that will be harder than all previous ones with better gear to be acquired. This is for patch 1.6 or 1.7.
Tell us something exciting that players will see in a future update in RIFT!
Well, I've already touched base on the planar advancement / achievement system. We've pretty much announced the new zone which is on its way as well.
Where do you see RIFT in a couple of years from now?
So, I think the biggest thing you can see with RIFT in about three years from now is how we listen to the players. The type of content they want is what we add. So in three years from now, it's going to be even more of the content players want in the game! Really short-term we're looking in ways to make for better instance experience for players and how to make the world even more dynamic. For instance, Ember Isle is going to introduce some new gameplay that is up and beyond what we're currently doing with invasions.
Will we see Epic weapon quests like in EverQuest?
We did some of that with the life and death saga. We may continue to do it. One of the things with epic weapon quests is that they're very difficult to pull off and there's a lot of work involved with them. What you will see though is a lot of epic storyline quests, like the water saga, life and death saga and what we're trying to do is not necessarily trying to make them for weapons per say, but make them for cool unique things. The life and death saga had the really cool weapons. The water saga went a different route, which has one of the coolest mounts we've released to date. We still got three or four more to go, earth, air, fire, so there's plenty of things we're thinking of doing.
When will we be able to enter the actual planes (water, fire, earth, air)?
Honestly, we're still playing around with that. Whether or not you actually set your foot in those planes before we release an expansion is still up in the air. There's going to be more and more planar themed things leading up to this, for instance we still got all the stories about all of our dragons to tell.
We're working on an expansion and that's all we're saying right now. It will probably include stuff like increasing the level cap and stuff like that, but as you can see, we're putting in the advancement system now, so it's pretty far away.