It’s always good to welcome a new dev to the RIFT team, but it’s especially fun when it’s someone you feel like you already know. Long-time player RoughRaptors (now to be known as SupermanSocks), a very vocal member of the Community, was a familiar face for us here on the team. When his resume slid across our desks, we were very excited to bring him into the fold.
Now that RoughRaptors has settled in, Community Manager Ocho sat down to grill him ask him a few questions about what it’s like to have his dream job!
Ocho: How long have you been playing RIFT?
RR: I tried RIFT in one of the beta events, although I can’t remember which. I started playing seriously day one of Head Start, which was February 24th, 2011 I think? So about three and a half years and still going strong!
Ocho: How did you find out about RIFT? What made you want to start playing?
RR: I found out about RIFT through another MMO actually. My guild at the time was going to switch to RIFT, and I decided to join them. I didn’t know much about the game to start, but soon became interested in the versatility of the Soul system, which is something I had never seen before in an MMO. It didn’t take long to learn more about aspects (both PvP and PvE) within the game I thought sounded like fun. I decided to follow my guild and give it a try … and fell in love.
Ocho: What’s your history with RIFT, what are some of your favorite moments in game?
RR: I can definitely say I have a very long and rich history within the game of RIFT. I started in a very small, unknown guild before being recruited into a larger progression raiding guild around June of 2011, <Breaking Bads> (BB). That’s when my hardcore raiding history for RIFT started. This was a very tight-knit, friendly group of people. It was easy to get hooked on the content because we were such close friends and had so much fun together (even while progressing on new content).
After BB disbanded, I was still hooked on raiding. I moved up into a larger guild <No Quarter>, and despite much controversy, we became the top guild in the world at the end of Chocolate RIFT. Along the way, I realized that being a not-so-nice person in RIFT was, well … not so nice. I had a major attitude adjustment both in-game and in real life (and have become a nicer and more helpful person for it).
I left the guild shortly after Storm Legion was released due to some internal political disagreements for another raiding guild, <Addiction>. Recently, the RIFT section of <Addiction> was disbanded, and I moved on to my current guild, <Vendetta>.
Needless to say, I’ve had my ups and downs being in so many guilds over the years, especially with how guild politics can sometimes be near the top-end, but I’m still here and doing my best when it comes to new content coming out. Back to BB, though: we joked around a ton, we sang songs after important boss kills, we even had a musician in the guild and he would sing songs during raids and play the guitar, and it was absolutely hilarious to listen to and raid at the same time. I guess I could go with the typical “My favorite moment was when we world first-ed X boss”, but in reality, it was when I was with my friends. That’s all anyone should need in an MMO to keep them going – a strong set of friends.
Of course I’ve done more than raid with my time in RIFT. I helped test new content before it was released to the public, wrote a lot of Warrior guides, streamed via Twitch, and created YouTube videos (including a new series that just concluded Tier 2 boss guides, RawRR: Raiding along with RoughRaptors). I also spent a lot of time talking to the developers, giving constructive criticism regarding aspects of the game that they wanted to be tested.
Ocho: How have you changed over the course of playing RIFT?
RR: I’ve changed a lot. If you knew me at the launch of RIFT, you might have noticed I was a little rough around the edges. I was a bit of a troll. Over time, I sort of mellowed out and realized that I should focus more on being constructive and helping others, as trolling kept people from taking what I said seriously. This transition happened around the release of Free-to-Play, so you can say that I went from “RR#1TrollWorld” to the person I am now in the span of about two years.
Now I try to give as much constructive feedback as possible, I write guides to help new players, I answer PMs in-game and on the forums, and post video guides to help out players progressing in raid content. I mean, sure, some troll still exists in me, but really who doesn’t have a little bit of troll living inside?
Ocho: What made you want to become part of the RIFT team?
When I was a kid, my dad and I would play games together, and by kid, I mean child – about three or four years old. He started me off on the good stuff: Doom, Wolfenstein, Duke Nukem … what 4-year-old could pass up on those kinds of games?
I’ve been a gamer ever since, and straight out of high school I went off and got an Associate’s Degree in Game Development. With that experience, I decided to continue my education toward a degree in Computer Science. During college, I played many, many MMOs, and RIFT was what really stuck with me. This was only enhanced by the RIFT team and Trion in general, though. After playing so much and getting to know the developers through testing, podcasts, and streams, I learned a bit about the culture here and what it’s like. Everyone was nice, everyone was willing to listen to feedback, and everyone seemed interested in getting to know us players on a personal level, which was very nice compared to other games where developer contact with players is non-existent. It was really that combination of my love for RIFT, games, and this new level of developer-community interaction that drove me to apply for a position at Trion.
Ocho: What about working at Trion surprised you? How has it changed your perspective on RIFT?
RR: I was surprised about how nice people were here. I mean, I knew that they were nice, but I never expected the reception I received, and this also goes for all other employees in general. We are treated with a lot of respect and it really means a lot and feels good to be part of a close team like this. And while I already respected the Trion team, after seeing how much effort goes into all the small details, I’ve been really blown away. I give tons of props to the people here who work extremely hard on things that go unnoticed every day.
Ocho: What are some of the current projects you are working on?
RR: The majority of my responsibilities so far have been a lot of bug fixes and some new feature implementations. I’ve also created some additions to tools for designers to use to make things easier for them or give them additional utility when creating content. Examples would include some pretty cool transcendent Dream Orbs that always provide the maximum-possible item stat gain and automatically change based on class and item level. It’s super helpful for testing things. I’ve also made an internal command for developers, mostly raid designers, to teleport entire raids to you. From now on, they can just use one ability instead of manually summoning 20 people one by one (it also resurrects and full-heals you on cast). I’m evil, though, and created a second one that instakills the entire raid and summons them to you as well – a handy way to quickly reset a fight.
I look over the build systems as well, meaning that I basically check if something has failed internal checks because there are errors with it. I then find out what exactly is wrong, why it’s not working, who submitted it, and then inform them of it so it can be fixed and we can successfully push new data to test or live servers. Along with this, without being too specific, I’ve been tasked to refactor some things to make engineering life a bit easier for everyone. Finally, I’ve been working very hard on creating some new and very exciting 3.0 features that I’m unable to currently talk about but will be revealed soon!
Ocho: Anything you’d like to say to other folks who might be interested in working at Trion?
RR: DON’T DO IT, IT’S A TRAP! No, really though, if you feel like you have the passion to work on top-quality games along with the skillset to do so, I highly recommend applying. I was hesitant at first but then I realized that the worst thing they can say is no. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to get a job here. I was just a kid fresh out of college and looking for any job I could get my hands on, yet I managed to land my dream job. If it would be yours, too, give it a shot and apply to an open position. Regardless of where you’ve worked in the past, if you have the passion and skills, we could see you here soon!