Next Expansion, The Starfall Prophecy, Announced
Rift is set to get a brand new full expansion. Called The Starfall Prophecy, the expansion comes with a level cap increase to 70, five new zones, new dungeons, a new raid (post launch), new Legendary abilities that fundamentally alter how souls play, the Planar Fragment system, Planar Assault instances, Fortress Sieges, and loads more.
We spoke with Scott Hartsman and Simon Ffinch about the Starfall Prophecy, and the first thing Simon said was that when the team on Rift is asked for something small – they always get something much bigger. And that’s how the idea for this expansion began. Starfall Prophecy takes place on a literal massive comet, zooming through the skies above Telara.
I joked that this was likely MMORPGs’ largest flying mount, and Simon said they should probably market it as such (PR Lead Garth was not as amused…). The comet is comprised of five new zones, though one (Tenebrian Schism) will be only partially open at launch as it’s the subject of the expansion’s free content updates (along with the aforementioned raid). Two of the zones will be based on the Plane of Life, and two will be based on the Plane of Fire. My personal favorite from the description is the goblin infested Gedlo Badlands.
Throughout each zone, you can quest and follow the story as you’re accustomed to in MMOs like Rift, or you can simply use IA to level through the content as well. New puzzles, dailies, onslaughts, rifts, zone events – all of it will be included. And while there’s a central hub called Alittu, it’s not a fully-featured city with auction houses and the like. There are portals back to Telaran soil, though, to do what can only be done on terrestrial land.
One of the big new systems coming with the Starfall Prophecy is Legendary Abilities. From level 65 to 70, one point for each level will be awarded to the player to spend on their existing abilities to turn them into legendary versions of them. Now, it’s not every skill on every soul – Simon said it’s more about the iconic abilities for each one from 0 points spent to 61 points spent in a tree. Some examples?
A 0-Point Druid can turn Fervent Strike into a Legendary, allowing it to not only sap the enemy’s strength but also increase damage across all non-Druid abilities. This means you can simply slot Druid into your build, spend one legendary point, and every single other ability from your other souls get the buff from the new legendary Fervent Strike. A Blade Dancer, as its 61 point Legenday can allow players to turn on two Rhytmic Actions at once. Yes, that means they become whirling dealers of death. Finding that kind of synergy in the trees is what will make picking your legendary abilities a work of art.
Planar Fragments is another big new addition. This is essentially a way for players to take control of the kind of items they want. These act sort of like gems in Diablo 2 and will allow you to assign the stats you want to your gear. Earth fragments, for example will be for blocking, and defense. You can break down fragments you don’t like, and then use those pieces to level up existing fragments and increase their effectiveness. As you level up the items, basically feeding it these fragments, you’ll reveal up to four properties that you can adjust and combine with fragments. There’s also a brand new level of rarity in items to hunt down – ETERNAL items now overcome Transcendent for the ultimate in bragging rights.
There are several other features that Simon and Scott want to save details on until a later date. But we did get a few details. Active Upgrades, in a nutshell will be like quests for your items. You’ll do things in the game, complete challenges to upgrade an item’s stats. Fortress Sieges are a new form of massive scale battles, and Planar Assaults are basically the Instant Adventures for people who love rifts – like an endless chain of progressively difficult rifts to close.
And yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – the whole expansion comes for just one price of $39.99. No piecemeal offerings, just “buy it and get all the content”. There is a deluxe digital edition for $59.99 that comes with the Aetherial Drake Mount, an Asha Catari outfit (for males too!) and a Ring of Ankhet character portrait decoration. Plus everyone who purchases the expansion gets Opie the artifact harvesting squirrel mount, essentially the best and cutest damn mount you could want.
Pre-orders for Starfall Prophecy are available now, but there’s yet to be a release date or window announced for the expansion. Expect more coverage on all of the above as we march closer to the launch.