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Rift (Rift)
Gamigo | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 03/01/11)  | Pub:Gamigo
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Patch 1.3 Interview with Hal Hanlin

By Garrett Fuller on June 21, 2011 | Interviews | Comments

Patch 1.3 Interview with Hal Hanlin

RIFT has come a long way in a few short months after launch. Can you give us the history behind Patch 1.3? Was this something that has been in the planning stages for a while?

Hal Hanlin:

We have always known that we had to do more than the entrenched competition. We did not want to just “put out a bunch of content.” We had the goal of re-shaping what players expect from an MMO, so we evolved processes, tools and skillsets which let us create design content at an incredible pace.

We have multiple teams at work constantly on various bodies of content. All of these teams are listening to the players, playing the game themselves, and are intimately aware of what the game needs to keep improving. There is a huge amount of content in development right now.

Hammerknell sounds like quite an accomplishment. What type of work went into building the epic raid dungeon?

Hal Hanlin:

As with most of the content in the game, Hammerknell evolved a few times before finding its true shape. The Instance team consists of dedicated raiders. A more important characteristic of that group, though, is their desire to push boundaries and experiment with new ways to play. Sometimes that means we have to rework an area to fit. Other times it means we add or remove encounters to get the play they want. We’d rather throw away work than ship something inferior.

There are so many boss fights for players, of all ten bosses which is your favorite and why?

Hal Hanlin:

I enjoy Estrode’s animations a lot. So I almost chose her. But I love the entire end scenario. So many elements come together to make a great encounter. I really like the beefed up version of Jornaru; that guy is sick. I love the stages of the battle and the coordination challenges that will present to raid groups. And of course Akylios himself is amazing. You look at that thing and have to laugh because… how do you top that? I’m sure we will, but for now, that area is just stunning.

What is the impact that Hammerknell will have on the game world? Can you give us some of the background story?

Hal Hanlin:

The emerging story of Telara’s war against the planes revolves around the 6 dragon gods known as the Blood Storm. There is a deep story involved with the relationships between the various planes and it’s exciting to see it evolve through game-play.

At launch, we allowed players to fight and defeat the first of the dragons: Greenscale. We then learned about the horrible things Alsbeth has been doing on behalf of the plane of Death (Regulos) in River of Souls. Now, in Hammerknell, players get to face off against Akylios – the Water dragon.

Tell us about the Waves of Madness event. How can players get involved?

Hal Hanlin:

The events leading up to the opening of the raid go into greater detail for all players, not just those who will be raiding. We learn that there is an internecine war raging and a portion of it – involving fierce battles between the planes of Water and Death – crashes upon Telara.

Everyone in Telara will have a chance to participate. The unfolding events touch every corner of our world and all Ascended are called to battle.

What impact will Waves of Madness have on the game world for players?

Hal Hanlin:

In addition to the world-spanning events, the zone invasions, swarms of Water- and Death-themed colossi, the weather will be changing. Make sure to upgrade every beacon you see because when the flood comes, you will want as much help as you can get.

How easy is the character transfer system? Will players be able to join their friends on a different server quickly?

Hal Hanlin:

Moving as a solo person or as a guild is very easy. If your guild moves, you will be given the choice to join them or not. If you do decide to move, transfers are immediate.

What types of items are being added to the game? Will there be changes to top level gear for all the classes?

Hal Hanlin:

There is a huge number of new items and equipment. Here are just a few of the new items for 1.3:

From the event:

  • Unique Vanity Armor:
    • Big Dwarf Hat
    • Abyssal & Endless themed armor
  • Murdantix Spawn Mount
  • Summonable mini-Rain storm
  • Death & Water Banners

From HK itself:

  • ‘Uber’ Murdantix mount
  • New armor appearances
  • “Relic” (Oranged) quality armor upgrades
  • New Relic weapons

RIFT continues to grow, what are your plans after Patch 1.3 ?

Hal Hanlin:

As I mentioned, we have the team broken into several smaller groups, each of which are working on new content. We have 4 more dragons to kill! As we lead up to those confrontations, we will continue to add new dynamic content to the world, as well as iterate on some of the more core features of the game.

At every turn, we will continue to listen to our players. We have the most nimble development team in MMOs and plan to take full advantage of that. We can adapt and shift in ways other companies cannot, so keep watching!

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