Today marks the official launch of Rift’s third expansion – Starfall Prophecy. Bringing with it new zones set on a comet hurtling through space and time, new legendary abilities, a new level cap, the new Planar Fragments system, new dungeons, a new raid, Planar Assault Adventures, Fortress Sieges, and more. We spoke to Trion’s Simon Ffinch and Chris Junior one final time about the expansion as they toured us around some of the new stuff.
Players will start, either with their free level 65 boost, or with a quest in Alittu – the main hub for Starfall Prophecy, located smack dab in between the four main zones (the fifth, Tenebrian Schism, will be unlocked soon after launch). There’s no crafting or anything in Alittu, meaning you’ll still have to head back to Telara for some things, but the main spot between adventures will be Alittu.
You’ve probably seen it said before (like in my earlier previews), but the Comet of Ahnket is hurtling on a beeline towards Telara, tearing pieces of the planes of Life and Fire and assimilating them into its structure. So, half the comet is shrouded in flame, while the other half is a lush and verdant landscape. The Scatherran Forest is undergoing a siege by the Tuatha’de, and slowly being transformed into a nightmarish place. Meanwhile the Gedlo Badlands are filled with friendly and unfriendly Kobolds – it’s your job to help the good guys ascend to a higher plane.
Anyone who buys the new expansion, due to launch by the time you’re reading this, gets a free boost to 65 (the new level cap is 70). So if, like me, you just didn’t really get into Nightmare Tide’s content, you can skip that expansion with one character and get right into the new stuff. One of the cooler new features, though it’s probably not immediately apparent or flashy, is that you will now make certain skills across each soul “Legendary”.
You get one Legendary Point per level from 66 to 70, and they can do some pretty crazy and overpowered things. For instance, the Ranger can turn Animalism into a Legendary which increases the damage of the pet and the player by 40%, and adds 1 combo point every second for 15 seconds. Basically, giving you three extra free full-charge finishers… and it’s only on a 30 second cooldown. The Legendaries aren’t meant to be flash new skills, but rather to add a layer of choice and epic power to existing skills.
There’s also the new Active Upgrade system for armor and weapons, where you accomplish specific tasks to turn a rare into an epic, or so on. Planar Fragments are the big new item system though. They’re going to drop all over the place, all the time, like stones that you socket into items. You’ll upgrade them, kind of like Diablo 3 or other gem systems. Feed it currency, planarite, and eventually planar cores later in the game (found from breaking down other fragments) to unlock higher tier stats.
Your soul, calling, and role will all play a role in what fragments are good for you or usable at the time. It’s only a level 65 and up system, so it’s not thrown at new players. Every item that drops or is given as a reward in Starfall Prophecy will have basic stats – but with the Fragments you’ll choose secondary stats. Not worry so much about drops, especially in dungeons and raids, because fragments will tune your stats to your choice.
You can share Planar Fragments between characters, but they’re not sellable. You’ll be looting tons, and you can just recycle ones you don’t need. Can easily swap around between your stored builds too. There are even loadouts for your different roles.
What about puzzles, you Rift faithful might ask? Simon has them turned off at launch, but they’re coming. It’ll be something unique too, because he’s made a sort of Puzzle Dungeon. But for launch, he’s turned off the entrance, as he wants to polish it more before letting everyone in. Soon after launch, they’ll quietly switch it back on and the entrance will be found in Allittu, but still hidden. Cryptic enough?
There’s a load of new content to look forward to in Starfall Prophecy, not the least of which is the culmination of this Ahnket story and seeing where it all goes and what happens to Telara. It’s out now, and can be purchased at $39.99 for the regular digital, and $59.99 for digital deluxe edition. The Deluxe comes with a slew of cosmetic bonuses – the celestial drake, Asha Catari’s outfit (for men and women), the Tenebrean Portrait frame too and all copies get that instant level 65 boost.
I’m already diving into the expansion myself to do the review, and hope to see some of you there on Wolfsbane. Will you be picking up Starfall Prophecy?