Since its release in March 2011 Trion Worlds hasn’t been shy in bringing out new content for its Rift player base. In just seven months five content patches have been released bringing in new raids, dungeons and various updates and bug fixes to the gameplay features. They have also given bonus items to players who have continued to ‘pay and play‘ gaining percentage increases on experience, personal vendors and vanity items for their characters to wear. But is this all a desperate attempt to keep people interested in Rift or are Trion Worlds really dishing out good content?
With each new patch released a new World Event or raid has appeared in the game, along with a shift in focus on the element type for the rifts that appear in Telara. The first three patches brought death, earth, fire and water rifts and three new raids. The fourth patch brought in a new warfront (PVP instance), the LFG tool allowing players to group together easier for dungeons, a new epic quest line, a new dungeon and a focus on life and water rifts. The newly released 1.5 patch has brought a whole lot more but I will get onto that in just a bit.
Trion Worlds choice to release little amounts of content every month or so instead of all at once every six months or so is a great idea as far as I’m concerned. Releasing large amounts of content can sometimes be overwhelming and this way it will continually give max level players something new to play and at the same time give levelling players all the more incentive to reach the top. It’s good to see the same approach is taken to the hotfixes for each patch and Trion Worlds are trying their best to keep everything running smooth with regular updates.
Although Rift relies a fair bit on existing concepts within MMO‘s it also has a fresh take on how these should be implemented. As you follow the quests and story line the areas around you are constantly changing with new rifts opening up and areas under attack by the opposing factions NPC’s. Often these events are impossible to ignore as they may obstruct your progression and (as I found out all too late) may even remove quest givers and other NPC’s until defeated. This can be all too frustrating if your enjoying your quest line, but in most cases it brings spontaneous and intuitive battle situations in public groups which can be a lot of fun.
The best of these are the world events that are announced in chat for everyone to see. These events are meant for the higher level players but are often joined by players of all levels and are basically open world raids that consist of massive rifts with various stages of encounters to deal with. The outcome of these world events are not just story based but actually shape the game and leave their mark on the landscape for players to see.
Some of my friends that have played Rift have been doing so off the back of other MMO’s such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars. They enjoy the game up to a certain point but eventually end up comparing Rift against their previous game. What you have to remember is that games like Warcraft have been around for years, they have had the time to find their footing, change the game in a way that suits the players and gain a big enough following to keep this process going. Rift was released in March of this year and although it has been a great game from release, they are still trying to optimise the content in the way the fan base really wants. This brings me onto the latest content patch that Trion Worlds have released.
The newest of these content releases, patch 1.5 Ashes of History, is in my opinion the biggest and best content update yet and has brought along many positive changes. No longer will your character stop evolving at level 50 as planar attunement allows you to continue improving your stats and abilities by spending attunement points to maximise your effectiveness against the elements. Spells can be improved, weapon effectiveness increased and even mount speed can be changed bringing much more to the table and making the development of your character a lot more interesting when you hit max level. Two player instances called Chronicles have been added in this patch, these story driven endeavours are a change from the normal five man dungeons even allowing for a well geared player to solo the instance if they are up for the challenge. Talking of challenges, Master Dungeons have also been introduced taking elite members of the Ascended to overcome epic instances for epic rewards. A full range of rewards are available for people who decide to subscribe to Rift further. Ranging from vanity clothing to personal vendors the full list of rewards are available to see here.
A new warfront, Library of the Runemasters, has also been added for the PVP gamers. This warfront is in an arena style setting and the aim of the game is to hold the dwarven rune from your allies for as long as possible. Points are given to the side that holds the rune and for kills, the first team to 1000 points wins. And of course the new world event for 1.5, Ashes of History for which a whole new island has been created. Travel stones are scattered about that need to be repaired in order to allow you to travel to Ember Isle to rid Telara of the dragon of the dragon cults that plan to ravage your land.
These are just a few of the many things that have been added for the 1.5 patch and for me this patch really shows how Trion Worlds are pushing Rift to not just be an MMO that copies from others but one that stands out and makes its own name. The great thing that I have noticed whilst playing is that the developers really do care about what the gamers want. The forums are very active and they have taken into account peoples views on the game from testing. Not many MMO’s would do this for their players, instead taking the route of trying to get more profit or a bigger player base. The coming months for Trion Worlds show great promise and compared to the well versed MMO’s they have made good progress for only being around for seven months. I can see myself playing Rift for a long time to come if they keep up this level of progress and development.
Having played at maximum level for around twelve hours myself, I am only just beginning to explore what Rift has on offer at end game. Getting to level fifty is not a quick task and can take around forty to fifty hours depending on your play style. I was lucky enough to get into a good high end guild straight away and along with some handy boosts, picked up tips and tricks on making this a much faster process and this is my tip to anyone who is starting new.