Hello people. How’s it going? Today I was hoping to talk about a group raid that I joined, where we descended into the Fae Lands to steal the crown from Prince Hylas, battling bogles and fairies and satyrs and all kinds of mythical beasties along the way. Unfortunately, living in South Africa, no one was around when I wanted to play, all the American folk on the server tucked up in their beds fast asleep. I tried to complete the mission myself, but I got killed by the first Fae creature I came across. Not a good start.
So instead I’ll be talking a bit about the new Rift Mobile app for your phone. What’s that, I hear you say? Rift on my phone? That’s madness. Crazy. How is that possible?
Well, to be fair, my trusty iPhone 3g, now about 3 and a half years old, still amazes me. When I was a kid all I had was a ZX Spectrum 48k, where you had to load up games from tapes. Half the time they wouldn’t work at all, so you had to use a tiny screwdriver to adjust the heads on the tape recorder until the damn game would actually load up, (usually about five minutes later). There was always that moment of fear and terror when the screeching of the game loading stopped at the end of the process and you waited to see if the game would actually work or whether your were booted back to the start screen of the computer.
Ah, those were the days… actually they weren’t. Not really. It was the 80's. People dressed weirdly. Although it was the decade that gave us Ghostbusters and Highlander, so I'll forgive it.
(If I still feel amazed when I use my iPhone, imagine what I’m going to be like when I finally get an iPad? I’ll be running around screaming “The future is here! I’m holding the future in my hand, people!”)
Back to the Rift app. Apparently it allows you to “Keep your finger on the pulse of the living, breathing world of Telara with the new RIFT Mobile App. Coordinate with allies and guildmates, keep up with Zone Events, and even earn in-game loot on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.”
Huh. Sounds interesting. Let’s crank up the creaky 3g and see what’s it all about, shall we?
First thing to do is log into my account. Then we have a welcome screen with various options. The options are:
Lootables: ‘Win real loot on-the-go with Lootables. Artifacts, crafting items, and planar treasure shoot straight to your character’s mailbox!’
Right now you can win things like planarite and similar small items. You then pick them up from your mail drop and do what you will with them. That’s cool, but there’s a lot of potential here. I hope they run competitions through the app in the future, with unique prizes like one-of-a-kind weapons or unique items of clothing. It would be a good way to get players to download the app and keep them coming back.
Contacts: Chat with friends and guildmates - Send messages from your phone into the game, or plan your adventures mobile-to-mobile. Push notifications help your friends call you back to Telara.
Er… yeah, no one on my contact list. So… <sniff>. I’ll just skip to the next one. Still, for the dedicated Rift player, an interesting option to play around with.
Guild Chat: Guild chat support - Guild and officer chat run smoothly on your mobile device, so you never miss a big decision.
Um. See above. I’m not a member of a guild yet, so no one wants to talk to me.
Guild Info: Guild MOTD and Guild Wall - View your Guild Wall and Message of the Day at home, on the bus, or (stealthily) at school or work.
For shame Trion! Trying to get youngsters playing with their cell phones at school. Shows what you know about the youth of today. No one takes cell phones into school! They are all too dedicated to learning, to feeding their brains, to basking in the knowledge and guidance of a Robin-Williams-type teacher. Carpe Diem and all that.
Playing with cell phones at school. Honestly. What next? I suppose you’ll be saying teenagers go clubbing? Or engage in underage drinking? Silly people.
Zone Event Notifications: Zone Event notification - Hear the call when Zone Events erupt on your shard, and pick your battles with flexible alert settings.
Hey, one I can actually use. This is pretty nifty. This one informs you as soon as a Zone Event takes place, a call to arms, if you will. Your phone will send you a push notification so that no matter where you are or what you are doing, you can drop everything and race back to the computer to help save Telara. I check my app and it says there is currently a zone event in Shimmsersand called Prince of the Earth.
Right. Those are the options. Let’s have a look at these lootable games. They’re basically lottery cards where you scratch off the top layer. If you get three pictures in a row, you’re rewarded with items that you can pick up from your in-game mail drop.
The games themselves are really just to get the rewards, but I hope there will be some new ones in the future. Something bit challenging, with gameplay involved. A side-scrolling fighting game set in Telara? Each level completed could bring rewards to your character in the main game. Or each level completed brings a boost to your leveling bar in the main game. There are so many options for expansion here. The app is cool, and hopefully Trion will carry on with the development and add more layers to it.
Oh, and I just noticed this in the newsletter:
Jan. 19-22: Ready to return to Telara or Ascend for the first time? Log in for free during Jan. 19-22 to experience Chronicles, Ember Isle, Instant Adventure, and so much more—courtesy of the most aggressive update schedule in MMO gaming!
So any of you that let their subs drop might want to check it out again, see if the updates are enough to lure you back.