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The Celebration of the Ascended Begins Today

William Murphy Posted:
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Rift’s 3.6 update, Celebration of the Ascended, launches today on April 13th, and were fortunate enough to get an early look at all that’s being crammed into this patch: five new souls (one for each calling), tons of new Carnival of the Ascended events and rewards, new planar attunement unlocks, new mounts, and yes full multicore support!

Multicore support has been in the game for a while now, casually hiding in the settings in a beta status. While it’ll likely still be in “beta’ and act as a toggle when 3.6 comes out, Trion is reporting around a 25-50% increase in framerate for all users. That’s certainly nothing to shake a stick at, and folks running on older hardware will likely see the most improvement.

There will of course be new stuff with the Carnival of the Ascended, Rift’s 5th Anniversary Celebration. A brand new carnival game involving artifacts is in place, along with all the old favorites. There’s a new Instant Adventure chain, a new level 65 storyline set of quests, and new Rift Raids as well. There are tons of new costumes, new masks, the Maelforge backpack, Defiant and Guardian wings, and more. All of these are carnival rewards and not locked behind a paywall. There’s even a new mount – a wicked awesome racing snail reminiscent of The Never-ending Story, and a 5th anniversary variant with flames painted on the side. Yeah, it’s as silly and awesome as it sounds. There are even new emotes, new vanity weapon skins, and more.

But the big features coming to this update are no doubt the new souls for each calling. Though the soul pack costs around $35, it can be bought with in-game gold via the currency trade system as well.  And while other souls have had reworks (new pets for the ranger, for example), the main focus of this update is on the new ways to play callings.

The Rogue is getting the Shadeborn, a single target DPSer who deals well with two targets. Using Bond of Night, when you attack your primary target, a secondary target gets lesser but still heavy damage. It doesn’t even matter how far the targets are from each other, if you’re marked with the Bond of Night in PVP, you’ll want to help your friend take down the Shadeborn or you’ll find your health whittled down quickly.

The Warrior is getting the Warchanter, a single target healer that has some unique mechanics. Deep Breaths, for example lowers the global cooldown by half a second but also lowers power regeneration. However, it allows for a Stand Tall buff which can be cast on any two friendly targets – healing them 30-40% more effectively. There’s also the Battlesong buff, anytime you cast a heal you cause damage around yourself and your Stand Tall targets’ areas too. It’s a great way to increase group damage output.

The Cleric gets the Runeshaper, a single target DPS class with support abilities. It’s a somewhat standard nuke caster, but has these Greater Runes which act like massive area of effect buffs and debuffs. One such thing can slow down your enemies while speeding up allies. There’s a lot of utility in this caster, but I’ll admit it seemed like the least impressive of the bunch.

The Mages get Frostkeeper – a tank-like healer that can place three barriers on anyone at a time – frost, earth, and crystal. Earthen barrier heals the target when struck. Crystal gives a shield to the target whenever you cast a heal or a shield. Barriers also greatly buff your heals given to that garget. There’s one awesome channeled heal called Eternal Preservation – your target takes 40% less damage, and if he dies during that channel, he gets healed to 50% health without dying.

Finally, the Primalist gets the Maelstrom. With its new fiery cobalt thresher avatar, a sweet flaming shark head visage, he’s a ranged ranged heavy nuking caster. The Maelstom gets a DOT called excoriate, which does does exponential damage each subsequent dot… it doubles each time it ticks. While it’s cleanse-able in PVP, in PVE it’s insanely potent for longer fights. He also gets subsume, a DOT where if the target moves they take additional damage and get stunned.

That rounds out the new souls, but we’re not done. As a part of 3.6, there’s new planar attunement to chase after as well: cinder, nature, dust, storm, will add more power and more buffs during post 65. One new buff will allow players to fully resurrect themselves if they die in open world content. This is only active open world, not in PVP or Raids/Dungeons, but it’s a nice thing to work towards on your max level characters.

There’s also a new daily login rewards calendar. It saves progress so you don’t need to do it consecutively, and resets on the 1st of every month. There are 21 rewards each month from weapon upgrades, raid level currencies, to artifacts and a million planar attunement XP. Trion will be tweaking some rewards, changing them around a bit from month to month as they can easily be adjusted over time.

With that, our tour came to a close. The Carnival of the Ascended will last for about 3 weeks. Also in month of May, Trion will be releasing the Mind of Madness instant adventure version, and additionally a brand new challenging raid for T3 folks with different difficulty modes. Telara’s definitely getting some new stuff to play with so be sure to login and try out the new content today!


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.