Last week Trion Worlds announced Rift Prime servers sparking a lot of curiosity and questions. We gathered some of your thoughts a long with ours and are very grateful Archonix took the time to respond.
As always, the usual caveat applies: details can change between now and when something goes live!
MMORPG: Is this RIFT team letter now classified as a Producers Letter so we shouldn’t expect a Producers letter as well?
ARCHONIX: Correct – it’s not fair to let me take all the blame glory when the contents of these letters are really the result of a team effort.
REGARDING RIFT PRIME
MMORPG: Will there be testing on these servers ahead of time?
ARCHONIX:Yes, we will be testing these servers in multiple internal test environments. As of right now, we don’t expect to have a large PTS for them. As the game itself and nearly everything releasing in Prime will have been battle-tested in Live for long periods of time, we’re currently erring toward the side of having the release being the exciting unveil for everyone, all at the same time – that’s half the fun! :)
MMORPG: If you currently have patron does this count as subscription?
ARCHONIX: We intend for Prime server access to be included in paid Rift Live Patron subscriptions. If you’re a subscriber on Prime, you would also have Patron status on the Live servers. The subscription prices will remain the same as they are right now. The handling of non-recurring Patron passes purchased with credits is still under technical discussion as the goal is for the Prime server access to only apply to subscriptions that an account has paid for itself.
MMORPG: Will EU and NA be together on RIFT Prime?
ARCHONIX: At this time, for the first Prime server, yes. This is an exciting new kind of release for us and should the participation work out, we would love to expand it to include additional servers such as EU-located ones.
MMORPG: Does my RIFT Prime character start at level one?
ARCHONIX: Yes! That too is part of the fun.
MMORPG: If we are leveling again is Primalist available and available to all?
ARCHONIX: Primalist is a current balance discussion on the team due to the extreme power it has in early level content. We’re looking at whether it makes sense to include for Prime particularly at launch, and if so, how best to do so. (Which leads to additional questions about whether or not to introduce a calling later than launch for this server, etc etc.).
Other “DLC Souls” will be available without additional purchase required, but stay tuned for details on if they’ll be available at day 1 character creation or unlocked through a gameplay milestone. We will not be charging an additional fee for Primalist/DLC souls on Prime.
MMORPG: Can you describe the fun in a progression server?
ARCHONIX: The appeal of progression servers for any MMO is to give people a way who are interested to relive “that first time through” experience at the same time as everyone else on that server. It’s a setting where everyone is starting out again together and progressing (or competing!) through each milestone they recognize from the past. And, for players who joined a game after its original launch, it gives them a chance to play through things that their friends may have just powered them through in a rush to the end.
It’s a very different feeling than starting a new character on an existing, established server – which many people do! – and by separating the Prime server it allows us to reduce the time gaps between content that the original game experienced – i.e. raid gearing needed to take weeks or months, to allow the dev team time to create the next tier of content. On a Prime server that next tier is already ready to go and the speed of the content releases can be faster.
For the lifecycle of these servers, think of them as extended Seasons from other types of games. As time goes on, and they progress closer to the state of the rest of the live servers, excitement winds down - sometimes they can persist as live communities, other times they can end and a brand new type of seasonal experience can be created. That gives people the opportunity to try it with a different calling, or play as a hardcore crafter or auction mogul, or some other style of play they may not have played on the previous run.
MMORPG: Will there be endgame raids on RIFT Prime servers?
ARCHONIX: Absolutely, as significant milestones of the content.
MMORPG: How long are RIFT Prime servers up for?
ARCHONIX: We are planning out the release of content progression to take place over 9-12 months.
MMORPG: Are guilds a thing on RIFT Prime servers?
MMORPG: Will the new PvP Warfront be on this server or current servers?
ARCHONIX: The new Warfront is designed for the Live servers, and may come over to Prime when it progresses to the appropriate time to release it.
MMORPG: Do Dimensions remain only on live?
ARCHONIX: Dimensions will be available day one on Prime.
MMORPG: Can you earn current live server achievements you don't have on RIFT Prime to then carry them back over to live?
ARCHONIX: There is no crossover of character or account-wide data between Prime and Live.
MMORPG: Do all our characters receive the carry over progression of RIFT Prime servers or just one?
ARCHONIX: Prime progression will not carry over to Live servers. What we’re discussing for Prime players who also play on Live is to provide a cosmetic trophy/participation reward for their accomplishments on Prime – such as a title, a cape, something like that.
MMORPG: Is it like PTS currently where you can only be logged RIFT Prime or Live not both?
ARCHONIX: Current answer is “Most likely.” We’ll be talking more about this once we have the live network and platform set up and ready to go. It’ll depend on a number of particulars of that setup.
MMORPG: Is the RIFT Prime server on the same engine as the current servers?
ARCHONIX: Yes, and as improvements or fixes are made to the Live server engine/ client/ backend, they will carry over to Prime.
MMORPG: Will updates on the current servers continue as per normal, will the long asked for class balances and gear upgrade concerns be addressed?
ARCHONIX:We continue to support and develop new content for our Live servers, and new content is created for Live first with the potential to be included on Prime, at the appropriate time in its progression.
MMORPG: Is the new game mode anything like PUBG?
MMORPG: Open World PvP seems to only be suggested on the new server, is this the case?
ARCHONIX:Open-World PvP is a completely separate feature from Prime! We know we won’t convert an existing Live PvE server to open world PvP. How it eventually gets used, we’ve not yet decided.
MMORPG: Will this new game mode come with new gear for PvP?
ARCHONIX: Unknown at this point, it’s further out on our roadmap.
MMORPG: What does this mean for the Rift team and players?
ARCHONIX: It means there’s one more person who loves RIFT and has a long history with it, who’s extremely happy to be working with the team and for the RIFT audience. This type of producer role means additional brainpower in planning both immediate-term and longer term (multiple months ahead) content, and resolving things that might be slowing down the team as they come up. For the players, I’d hope that’s a positive thing! :)
MMORPG: Will we see more activity on forums and will we see be seeing you alot on RIFT streams like I am use to on ArcheAge livestreams Amary?
ARCHONIX: Amary won’t be a stranger, though her primary focus is on the team, what’s getting made, when, and by whom, and how everything gets done.
MMORPG READERS’ QUESTIONS
ALBATROES: How reduced is the store on a sub only server?
ARCHONIX:Very reduced. We went over a list on the 1/19 livestream and will eventually post a more comprehensive guide, but here’s the summary:
(some) Mounts, (some) costumes, (some) weapon skins, (some) companion pets, dyes, hairstyles, combat pet skins, warfront voiceovers, dimension items: Yes. A restricted list of consumable service items: rally scrolls, guild/character renames, planar essence removal device.
Not available: equipment, drinks, bags, bag/bank slot unlocks for credits, crafting recipes, rift lures,lockbox keys, minon cards. Experience/token currency/favor/prestige boosts for current milestone content (example: when the level cap goes up to 65, we are considering whether an experience boost potion that can only be used by level 1-49 is something to add as a catchup boost).
If you look around at the stores (some web, others in-game) in other AAA, B2P + Subscription MMOs, we’re aiming for that similar level of “cosmetic and service” type of options, with the bonus of not having a B2P price! Far different from the F2P world.
SUNANDSHADOW: Why are you making characters limited to a few professions?
ARCHONIX: To encourage the exchange of crafted items and resources between players. Limiting the count of professions allows for specialist crafters to play a role in the server’s economy.
MADFRENCHIE: Will there be classes still locked behind an additional paywall?
TORVAL: Will I be able to play my vanilla chloro leech healer?
ARCHONIX: Importantly, the Prime server is not running on a launch 1.0 build when it comes to code and gameplay data and the like. It uses the existing Live build with modifications to disable/remove major content introduced through patches and expansions. That means current Live classes and abilities will remain. The Rift builds have had seven years of fixes, improvements, technical changes behind the scenes (streaming patcher, 64-bit client, etc) that nobody should want to remove. ;)
Cheers Archonix! So much information and thank you for the great questions everyone! So, who is in for Rift Prime?