The holidays have ended, the calendar has turned over to 2018, and we’re heading toward RIFT’s 7-year anniversary!
Last year saw the team rounding out content for Prophecy of Ahnket, carrying this epic story through the drop-dead gorgeous peaks of the Tenebrean Schism, right to the tail of the comet itself! Untold numbers of Ascended took part in the deadly battles between the simulacrums of power-mad Ahnket and the vengeful troops of Crucia, both hell-bent on conquering the cosmos.
We also brought in a new soul: Mystic Archer, a dynamic and unique take on the AOE Mage Path, which has earned many adherents since its introduction! This soul showed us how much you like action combat: moving around while fighting with magic, and, just like the Tactician, not worrying too much about who you had targeted but rather relying on which way you are facing, for more organic and authentic feeling battles.
Along the way, we addressed important quality of life issues that you requested: the supply crate system was completely revamped to reward better items, including the prize ticket system to allow you to save up for the cool things YOU wanted. Our work here is never done, and we look forward to being able to make things better and better for you.
We also added seemingly minor but much-requested features such as a “relist all” button in the mailbox for expired auction sales – sometimes it’s the small details that make a game day more fun!
But hey, what are we planning for 2018, you ask?
In a previous Producer’s letter, we talked about ‘challenge servers’ and we got a lot of good feedback on that from you all. Overwhelmingly, you had your own ideas on what would really get you and your fellow playing friends, past and present, the most excited. And those responses led us in a direction we weren’t expecting!
While the idea of challenge servers was received well, the two themes that really dominated the feedback were: first, tons of people want to play fresh, and second, scores of suggestions on how to make the business model more appealing.
With that in mind, we are still keeping our ideas for challenges alive for the future, but we’re going to take our strongest cues from you as we progress in development. Without further ado…
Introducing RIFT Prime
In the Spring of 2018, we will launch a new server, RIFT Prime. We’ve paid a lot of attention in discussions with all of you and within the broader gaming community regarding business models in the MMO and games industry as a whole.
We have the opportunity to experiment with this fresh RIFT server using an oft-requested subscription model and progressively unlocked content. Our goal for RIFT Prime is to provide the experience that many of you have requested: no lockboxes, a significantly reduced store with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay (or removed entirely) – plus the excitement of sequential progression through RIFT’s content with monthly milestones and achievements.
We’re excited and we hope you are too!
We plan to present RIFT at its roots as much as is possible to do, and look forward to sharing details over the coming weeks. The PRIME server will progress at a faster pace than the original launch and will eventually come to an end in spectacular fashion.
As a small teaser of what’s to come, dynamically matching characters to their current zone’s level, dungeons dropping loot specific to your character’s true level, caps on the number of professions available to a single character, and participation awards that carry over to your characters on existing servers.
Many upcoming live content changes that apply to existing servers will also apply to the new PRIME server, assuming they’re not restricted by progression locks. We look forward to exploring all of these features and more with you in blogs and livestreams to come.
New life for PvP!
Another area that we have heard a lot of feedback on is PvP. We are happy to say that some time after RIFT Prime is released, we’ll start talking about our next warfront! This will include a new game mode taking place in a completely new area with a new look.
We are also currently testing new gameplay tech that would allow us to make some radical changes, such as servers that are in wide-open PvP status, meaning anyone and everyone is fair game, with the exception of guild members (sorry, extreme griefers!).
(We promise not to do this on existing PvE servers. 😛 )
Hey, is there more PvE content coming?
You bet! We are finalizing a revamp of one of our most classic raids, featuring an ever-hungry dragon, where you may well become part of the buffet! More to follow later in the year..
PvE has always been, and continues to be an important focus for the RIFT team – it was high time PvP crowd had a turn, so we are putting some focus there this year. As we have from the very beginning of RIFT we try to do something for each of our main playing groups and we will certainly be cycling back to cover as many play-styles as possible.
RIFT’s 7th Anniversary is fast approaching – plans are afoot to launch new Instant Adventures set in the Droughtlands and Moonshade Highlands. Right along with the Anniversary, the Carnival of The Ascended also returns to Telara, which includes some spectacular new mounts.
The RIFT Team, old and new!
We are also incredibly happy to welcome Amary back to the team as a Producer! People who have been with RIFT a long time will remember her from the very early days of Telara. She has never really been that far away here at Trion, but she is officially back on RIFT full time. Amary will help us drive and set our direction as well as executing many of the exciting plans we have in store for you.
We change and experiment with many things here on the RIFT team, trying out new things in the game or even trying changes to our business model. One of the other areas we often change and evolve is the way the team is actually organized, and who is responsible for what. In that vein we are changing the way we do class balance and changes. We have many exceptional designers on the team who will work collaboratively on classes and balance rather than placing it on a single individual – spreading around the ideation, and responsibility will be better for the whole team, and for all of you!
Naturally, throughout the year, we will continue to read and address your feedback, run seasonal events and introduce new items.
We are stoked to see what the new year brings, and we’ll roll up new characters on RIFT Prime to relive some of the amazing adventures we had seven years ago.
~The RIFT Team
[EDIT: Brasse here, totally forgot to add a line for “discuss all this stuff over here on the forums.” Please do keep all comments to that thread, so that it’s easier for me to collect the truckloads of feedback, ideas and concerns! Thankee kindly.]