Rift’s Conquest has me very excited. I’ll admit it. I’m a Trion fan and I’m not ashamed of it. I believe Trion served to raise the standard on how a Triple-A MMO should be released in this decade when it launched Rift. I’m not a Fanboi though and will acknowledge their short comings with Rift on launch. The account security issue was very frustrating on release. I did not personally have my account compromised but I knew a few people that did. Trion did manage to rise above though and their customer service came through. Because I had a ticket open with customer service and was not answered in less than 24 hours I was awarded a full set of resistance runes and a free month of game play. Bravo Trion. They also run a great veteran’s rewards program which I am a huge proponent of.
But enough of the past, let’s take a look at what is to come. There are a number of things to get excited about in patch 1.9: Conquest. Besides the numerous bug fixes that appear with every patch and hot fix there are five key items that will be introduced in 1.9:
First, let’s check out the low level Instant Adventures.
No longer will this system be restricted to players at level cap. This could be a great way to level alts depending on the amount of experience that Trion will award participants. This change will go great with the new Mentoring System that is slated for 1.9.
Currently on the PTS the Mentoring System will allow any player over level 11 to set their character to any level lower than their natural level. Players will not be able to raise, or bolster, a player’s level higher. When a player reduces their level their stats will also be reduced to what is considered appropriate for a character of that level. Trion has not specified if you will be a stronger mentor at lower levels based on the gear you have at your natural level. There will be a bonus for mentoring though. As long as the mentor is less than two levels higher than the level of the person they are grouped with and the mentor is more than five levels lower than their natural level, the group will receive bonus experience. This adds incentive to go out there and help your fellow ascended level up and you can use the low level instant adventures to do it.
This patch will also see two large changes to PvP. The prestige level cap will be raised to 50. With this increase their will be new titles to earn to go along with the new prestige ranks as well as new sets of PvP armor. The biggest change in 1.9; however, will be the addition of Conquest. Players across most MMOs constantly scream for 3-faction PvP and Trion has finally answered this call. Conquest will be a new 3 faction PvP system set in an alternate reality of Stillmoor.
These three factions, the Dominion, the Oathsworn, and the Nightfall are independent of whether or not you are a Guardian or Defiant and consist of both. Players will choose based upon their personal preference which group to join and will fight for this group in Conquest. A few months ago Trion introduced slivers into Telara. These slivers allow for pockets of alternate realities to exist. Conquest takes place inside one of these slivers and this is how Trion can get around the lore implications of Defiants and Guardians working together and against each other.
It will also allow for the addition of more Conquest areas in the future. There are two ways to win Conquest. The first is to capture and hold over 40% of the points of interest on the map. These points of interested are referred to as Conquest Extractors. The second way to win conquest is to hold the most points of interest when 5000 kills are reached in a match. Once either one of these objectives is achieved the match will go into lockdown mode and a 10 minute count down will start. This will allow for the two losing factions to make a last push to try and knock off the winning faction.
Crafting will also be involved in conquest. Players will be able to collect sourcestones on the battlefield and turn it in at their camps. This sourcestones will go into a pool from which anyone on your team in conquest can craft from. Players will be able to craft beneficial buffs that will help anyone on their side during conquest. Players can also earn conquest bonuses that will carry over with them into their home realm. Conquest, like the warfronts, will also be cross server. I was able to play Conquest on the PTS for about 2 hours during the last testing event.
I think that Trion is on to a winning idea. The capture and hold mechanic can make for a very dynamic battlefield, especially if there is a high population. There are more than enough points that you could end up chasing each other around for hours. You can see the footage from my play through in the video below. Most of the PvP can be found after the first hour mark, before that the population was pretty low and I was just node hoping and exploring the new systems interfaces.
The fifth and final key item to be added in 1.9 is a world event, and after all, it isn’t Rift without world events! This time Summerfest has arrived in Telara. Hordes of Corgis and Hedgerows have invaded Meridian and after wandering around the Hedgerows looking for the quest giving NPCs I have been sent on scavenger hunts around Telara as well as a fishing expedition. This screenshot also leads me to believe that we can expect patch 1.9 before June 27th.
Overall I’m pretty excited for patch 1.9. Not enough MMOs out there have three-faction PvP and I am glad to finally see Rift try and tackle this mechanic. I know there will be some lore fans out there that will not be able to get over the fact that Defiants will be fighting Defiants and Guardians will be fighting Guardians, but in Rift’s current state there is already a mechanic in warfronts that will have you fight for the opposing faction based on queues. Try to explain that one in the lore.
At least with Conquest and slivers Trion can make an attempt. I do believe that Trion will have to put a lot of effort into making sure they have the rewards balanced right for the system. Too much prestige and the warfronts could become ghost towns. If they offer too little prestige and experience in Conquest after the initial newness of it wears off it could become a slivered instance of Stillmoor that people only farm for materials for PvP enchants. Beyond 1.9 we could possibly have an expansion to look forward to as well. Over the last week media outlets and fan sites received kits from Trion leading us to speculate that Rift might see a new expansion soon. Scott Hartsman also hit the twitter-verse this weekend with, “This Trailer is going to kick ass.” This tweet could be in reference to another Trion property like Defiance, or Rise of Nations, but it is possible that Trion might have a reveal in store about Rift for E3 coming up next week.