After my last post, I started to do more research into the Rifts in Rift: Heroes of Telara and, after much reading and video watching, many of my fears have been alleviated a bit. Here is short synopsis of what I have learned thus far. Those of you who have read more than I, please feel free to comment and correct me if I am wrong!
A Rift from the Plane of Life?
First of all, the entire Rift system seems to be much more dynamic than I had previously thought. They do appear randomly across the world but the consequences of a Rift going unchecked are much more dire than I had thought. In WAR Public Quests had little to no effect on the surrounding world. It did not matter if you completed them or not, they were static entities in the world at large. Nothing really happened if they were completed, nothing really happened if they were not.
This will not hold true for Rifts. If a Rift exists long enough, without being shut down by the players, it gains a foothold into the world. From there it spreads outward, causing massive changes to the world around it. It can, and will, encroach on other areas, including quest hubs. Killing NPCs, destroying entire villages and causing general mayhem. This is a lot more dynamic than anything that WAR did with the PQ system and can really change the way the game is played.
Imagine heading off to your favorite grinding spot, only to find it mutated and destroyed by the Plane of Death. Of course by now the Rift is too big for you to tackle alone and you must gather a party to put it down. How big a party? We don’t know but let me say that it would be awesome to have to get a raid together to destroy the giant Rifts that have been left to fester for an extended period.
Darkshire? We don't need no stinkin' Darkshire!
Apparently, Trion has stated that they have hundreds of different scripts that could potentially happen when a Rift enters the world. So, it will not just be kill quest after kill quest after kill quest, as I feared it was. Each Rift can behave differently than the last and you never know what is going to happen with a Rift until you try to shut it down.
Secondly, Rifts war with each other. Let’s say a Rift from the Plane of Fire has landed somewhere in the world and has started to grow, mutating the world around it. Eventually it grows enough that it encroaches on the territory that another Rift, this time from the Plane of Water, has claimed as its own. Now, what happens when the Plane of Fire and the Plane of Water meet?
Well, probably lots of steam but that is beside the point.
No, they fight, of course. War between the Planes, that just so happens is happening right on your planet.
Of course, now you have to shut both Rifts down but which one first? Well, it seems that you can align yourself, for a short period, with one of the Planes. Maybe you feel like fighting for Water today and you help it destroy the Fire Rift. Or maybe you side with Fire. Either way, you now have its help in destroying the opposing Rift.
This opens up a whole new myriad of possibilities. What if other player characters are helping Fire while you are helping Air? PvP? Who knows, as they have not clarified this yet but it does sound like a possibility and a very intriguing one at that.
Furthermore, just how big could a Rift possibly get? Could it grow until it consumes the entire zone? Are there limitations? What if the players decide to let one grow just to see how big it will get and how much damage it will do? This could, potentially, be crazier than when Kazzak did Stormwind! And that would be just too cool.
I see lots of possibilities within this system and, on the face of it, the Rift system seems a lot more dynamic than anything that WAR offered with its PQ system. Matter of fact, if the Rift system works as advertised, we are looking at something a bit more creative than anything we have seen with the last slew of MMOs. It could be something pretty special.
I am going to leave you with a link to a video I found today, that shows a bit of the world of Telara and a bit of an instance. The thing that jumps out at me about the instance is that it does not seem as linear as what I have come to expect from dungeons post-WoW. There looks like there may be some cause to actually explore the dungeon, instead of being pulled from point A to point B by the nose. I really like that.
In addition, the dungeon “grows” with your character. Meaning, as you level, you will unlock new content in old dungeons. New bosses, new events, new areas and, of course, new loot. It will be more than just a “Heroic” mode, as the dungeon actually changes instead of simply getting harder. This is I like a lot. I hate “dead” content in MMOs. You know, that old content that no one does anymore? Hopefully this will ease that a bit.
Edited to add another video.
This one is a really nice look at the class/skill system, one of the capital cities and a goblin 5-man instance, the Darkening Deep. Click here, folks!