RIFT State of the Game Address

Posted by on 12 November 2013

Greetings, Ascended!

First, I’d like to thank all of you for supporting RIFT! Your contributions come in many forms and the team wouldn’t be able to do what it does without your continued support. Everything we do centers around making a better overall experience for you.

Without you, RIFT simply wouldn’t be what it is today.

Keep Listening, Keep Adjusting, Keep Delivering

Working on RIFT is an adventure. We receive feedback from so many sources, we see the results of our decisions play out every day, both good and bad. Seeing feedback and adjusting course has always been a critical element of our success and will continue to be. This is exactly the reason why we hot fix nearly every week. It gives us a chance to tweak, improve, balance, fix and address issues that are of concern to you and your friends.

We are always looking at quality of life improvements and finding ways to add or streamline content. There is a lot in store, and I’m sure we’ll adjust our priorities along the way as needed. Some of the things you can expect to see over the coming weeks and months include:

  • Continued Graphical Optimizations – We know this is a big deal. This is one of the top feedback items we receive and it continues to be actively worked on. We’ve delivered some optimizations on this front that have primarily been focused on low end systems. As we move forward we will continue to work on ways to make RIFT run faster and better for even more users. These sorts of changes are some of the most risky that you can make to a live game – but also the most rewarding. Because of that risk, we need to be measured in how we roll these out over time, but delivering on them is important to us too.
  • Cross Shard Functionality and Internationalization – What started as an unintended feature has become a core part of many people’s game play experience! We recently expanded Instant Adventure to span across shards, and we are working to identify and implement other streamlined changes – such as not requiring an “anchor” on another shard. With the release of 2.5 our servers are more friendly to players playing in our supported languages. Item links, auctions, and all sorts of other messages are now based on your client language instead of the language of the server. We want to make sure that more people can play as they want and where they want!
  • Dimension Enhancements – A number of Dimension quality of life improvements are being worked on too. These include more ways to search your dimension and moving crate, adjustments to the item manipulation interface, and more. We’ve seen how creative dimensioneers are and will keep trying to find ways to let you go wilder.
  • Streamlined Zones and Tutorials – We’ve made updates to classic zones to make them a more pleasant and modern experience, and we have added additional tutorials to help inform new users how to play. We will continue to adjust zones and address pain points in the leveling experience to make sure that it’s more fun to get into RIFT and understand how to play.
  • Content Additions – As always you can expect us to add new content to the game! While we’re creating brand new content, we’re also revisiting some of the places you know and love, such as chronicles, dungeons, and raids to give them a place that is relevant within current progression. With 2.5 we are testing how we deliver content – instead of overwhelming you with too many things to do on one day, where we often see great things get lost in all the cacophony, we are going to roll out select content week over week where appropriate. Your reactions and feedback to this experiment are important, so let us know what you think about this!
  • PvP Improvements and Adjustments – PvP is an important part of RIFT and also one of the most contentious. A new system of matchmaking is being introduced with the goal of creating more balanced pickup battles. We are working towards having an outlet for people that want competitive ranked PvP – this system will come out as a limited live test like many of our other features have in the past. We are also lining up additional alternate warfronts and a new type of Conquest game play. PvP dimensions are still in the works and will be unleashed for your usage when they are ready. While doing this, we’re also keeping an eye on class balance for PvP and will continue to make adjustments as you have come to expect.

Dealing with feedback and making appropriate adjustments is tricky in a live game. Feedback is often conflicting, some people only care about certain issues and ignore all others. As developers it is our mission to find the best solution we can for issues brought forth by the entire community. At times it may feel like we are not listening, and not changing based on what you say, but I assure you we are listening, we are evaluating, and we are changing, every day.

Keep Moving Forward: The Road to 3.0

You may have heard us talk about RIFT 3.0 during live streams, or in a few cryptic posts on the forums. It’s not a giant secret – we are actively working on expanding RIFT, and continuing our journey to the planes! We’ve given small previews of the planes in both Endless Eclipse, and the Plane Breaker Bastion – and RIFT 3.0 goes beyond a section of an instance.

Since as long as I can remember people have been asking when they’d get to take the fight to the planes, and we aim to deliver that. We want players to dive deeper into the worlds beyond Telara, and explore entirely new otherworldly areas as we move forward.

Expansions are always exciting! New places to play, new things to do, expanding mechanics, and adding entirely new systems are all the hallmark of a traditional expansion pack.

We here are Trion are anything but traditional when it comes to development. We want to shake things up and keep things fresh for you. We want to provide the best experience possible, and we want to add new things every step of the way.

That’s why the team is viewing 3.0 not only as the destination and final product, but as a continuing journey that leads to something magnificent.

Why wait for an expansion pack to release a new crafting profession? Why wait to introduce new souls for each of the callings? Why wait to start introducing the story of 3.0?

In the world of “No Tricks, No Traps,” is there a better way to do these things? How can we create the best experience along the road, while preserving the excitement we’ve all come to love the day that expansions finally release?

We looked at those questions and decided that the old model might just be outdated, and wanted to try something different!

Expect more details around this as time goes on. We hope to bring you the most interesting year of RIFT’s life so far, and hope you’re as excited as we are for the road ahead!

Bill “Daglar” Fisher
Game Director

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