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This week I’ve got an extra special Gift of the Fae Chronicle for you: the brand-new Planebreaker Bastion – Aftermath.
Ascended raided the Architects’ hive … but forgot to finish the job. Head back to the bastion, vanquish its bugs, and smash up ALL of their toys!
xoxo Grandfather Frost
P.S. Join us at 11:00am Friday, Dec 13 at www.twitch.tv/TrionWorlds as we return to the Plane of Earth.]]>
Across Telara the fires have been stoked, the wreathes have been hung, and the presents are piling high. The Fae hide (and steal, and re-hide) gifts under Yuletide trees, while mead-fueled merriment sweeps up Guardians and Defiant alike. It must be time for Fae Yule! Join us this holiday season and embrace your inner werewolf in a Very Merry Warfront, tour Telara’s holiday Dimensions, and celebrate with festive zone events, Instant Adventures, rifts, footholds, special gifts, and more.
Gifts stolen from by the fae from the dragon cults will become scattered across that zone. These gifts can be collected to complete 6 artifact sets.
Dive into a series of Fae Yule adventures from Freemarch, Silverwood, and Scarwood Reach to Cape Jule, Pelladane, and Ashora. Each zone features a village to build and decorate in the spirit of the season. Completing each village will unlock a special vendor and reveal gifts that the Fae have stolen and strewn about the zone. Collect the Fae’s treasures to complete six new artifact sets!
Battle in an extra-wintery Whitefall Steppes where one person is “gifted” with a special Yuletide form. Stock your base with presents to win, but don’t be caught holding the Fae Yule Cake.
During Fae Yule, raid bosses have a chance to drop an extra chest. Whoever opens it will receive loot (from the raid boss’s regular table) tailored specifically to their Calling!
Generosity is rewarded by the Fae! Grandfather Frost is spreading cheer across Telara with gifts for those who’ve been giving.
In RIFT, we create player-owned instances from the game world that we call Dimensions. They share the terrain, art, music, and most importantly for this post, the weather of the zones they mirror. Previously, the weather in Dimensions reigned supreme no matter what structure you erected.While this sometimes allowed for the creation of an amazing-looking show, on other occasions it resulted in a soggy living room. Today, I’m excited to talk about improvements coming in RIFT 2.6: players will now have excellent control over the weather in their Dimensions.
Dardin Smithhammer sat inches away from the hearth hoping that the snowflakes would melt with the fire’s heat. He’d tried everything to keep out the snow. He’d built a seamless wood plank house, but his workmanship must have been shoddy – the snow poured through. He’d bought a fancy pre-made roof, but no luck with that, either. Now he sat in his windowless Dwarven-style castle. He’d gone over every inch of stone to make sure it was impenetrable. And yet, the snow fell through as though the walls weren’t even there.
RIFT generates weather in a way that works well for the game, but has some interesting quirks that present challenges when applied to Dimensions.
In RIFT, weather doesn’t come from the sky; it’s determined by where your character is standing. You can test this any time you walk out of a building. Sometimes, when you’re at the doorway, you’ll see the indoor weather in the outdoor sky. Step outside, and sky will transition to the outdoor weather. In addition, RIFT’s raindrops and snowflakes neither have nor respond to collision; we keep their visual effects simple to keep the game running smoothly. Unfortunately, until 2.6 hits, this means that if it’s raining in your dimension, no matter how many dimension objects there are between you and the sky, you’ll still be in the rain.
After a crash course in RIFT’s weather generation, you can see why we choose to release only precipitation-free dimensions with Storm Legion. We wanted to wait until we had a solution for our indoor weather conundrum before going further. However, players pleaded for snow with such verve that we created Kestrel’s Cry Ravine – a dimension where it snows – anyway. I made sure that no buildings with interiors ended up in the base dimension; they would have made the unstoppable snow even more blatant. (It wound up being pretty obvious anyway!)
The Kestrel’s Cry Ravine dimension in its natural state.
And so begins our quest to create a snow-free abode within Kestrel’s Cry Ravine. In order to do this, we need to learn more about how we keep it from snowing indoors in the main game world: we make each building with a special interior called a scene volume. These volumes can have all sorts of traits tied to them, like weather, lighting, sounds, rest experience, and text that pops up when you walk in.
When we author these scene volumes, we adjust their settings to prevent outdoor weather from occurring within. That can be tricky, since other devs can still override the settings anyway. (Some of you will remember times when it rained indoors in Meridian, or when it snowed inside the Chancel of Labors. Let me assure you that those situations weren’t intentional!)
Scene volumes work differently when they’re added to a dimension, as opposed to how they operate in the main game world. For example, when we first introduced the Mossy Tavern, it crashed some people’s games. (Oops!) This crash happened because the tavern had a scene volume that didn’t appreciate being treated like a dimension item. We had to remove the volume to get the tavern to work.
As fickle as they are, scene volumes had always held the most promise to solve the dimensional weather problem. Yet, whenever I tried creating a house with a dimension-friendly weather-blocking scene volume, I had no luck getting it to work. After a few futile attempts, I turned to the art team.
They had some amazing ideas! First, they found a way to turn scene volumes themselves into dimension items. No visible dimension object turned out to be needed. This is really cool because invisible dimension objects can be used whenever you want a visual effect instead of an object. But how do you manipulate something you can’t see?
Fortunately, the artists had already developed some (also really cool) tech: the power to make a dimension item visible only once you’ve turned on Edit Mode in your dimension. They applied this trait to the objectless scene volumes. So, instead of having to guess where they are, you can see the scene volumes as translucent orange shapes. You can rotate, translate, and resize them with confidence. Once they’re in place, leave and return to your dimension to make them all invisible, and there you go! Weather is blocked exactly where you want it blocked, and there’s no pesky visible dimension item marking the location of the effect. Not only does this solution allow Dardin Smithhammer to have a snow-free castle, it will still allow him to have an open-air gazebo within that castle, chock-full of snow.
Here’s what a weather-blocking scene volume looks like by itself while you’re in Edit Mode.
When you step inside, the snow stops for you.
Leave and return to your dimension for the volume to become invisible to you. (It’s always invisible to visitors who haven’t turned on Edit Mode.)
Since human beings are going to be using these new items, I renamed the “dimension-friendly weather-blocking scene volumes” as simply, “weather-blockers.”
If you’re weatherproofing a house, make sure the entire interior is filled with weather-blocker(s). They can overlap without harm. For example -
Here’s a Weather-blocking Cube placed inside a Snowy House with Deck.
You can step inside to make final rotation, translation,]]>
Join us tomorrow for another Friday Livestream Extravaganza with Trion Worlds! The show will start at 10:30 AM PST (in a different time zone? Use our handy world clock!)
Here’s the full schedule of events:
10:30 AM PST: Greg and Elizabeth will be exploring this week’s Gift of the Fae: Intrepid: Drowned Halls.
11:15 AM PST: We’ll be joined by Doug and Jon, two of the Trove devs, to talk about the recently-implemented crafting system as well as something we’re all waiting for: pets!
12:45 PM PST: Come play with us on the Defiance Public Test Server, where we’ll be calling down arkfalls and trying our hands against the Volge Warmaster!
Heads-up! Next week’s Friday stream (12/13) will also start at 10:30am PST. The following week will return to our regular 1:30pm PST time, and will be our final livestream of the year.]]>
Another week means another gift means another chance to save Telara – this time from the lord of madness in our new level-60 Sliver: Intrepid Drowned Halls.
Pack a sword with your swimsuit and sink the Abyssal before they can ruin Fae Yule!
xoxo Grandfather Frost
P.S. Join us for more 2.5 live stream action at 11:00am Friday, Dec. 6 at www.twitch.tv/TrionWorlds]]>
Our motto in CS is to “put the team on your back” and to “say it with your chest!” We take pride in making ourselves the best support department in the video games industry and welcome any feedback you may have that can help us obtain that goal. The purpose of this blog is to give you all a little insight into what we do on a day-to-day basis in order to help enhance your gaming experience.
One of the things that make Trion a great company to work for is the involvement of so many hard-working people with the end goal of putting out a truly great product. In some companies CS can get made to feel like the redheaded step child (apologies to any redheaded step-children I may have just offended!), however at Trion CS is frequently asked for thoughts and opinions on things that some larger gaming companies I’ve worked with would never consider. Other times we get unexpected visitors to our offices here in Austin who hang out in CS and chip in by answering tickets submitted from players like you. Or, as we’ll see in some examples below, maybe some players NOT quite like you. Recently, the Game Director for RIFT, our very own Daglar, was in CS living a day (or multiple days in this case) in the life and answering player support requests. If you spoke to or received a response from a GM recently then that may have just been our very own Daglar in disguise. Don’t believe us? We have proof! I filmed Daglar for an uncensored look at his CS boot camp training.
Unfortunately we didn’t get any of the equally entertaining footage of him picking up the phone and calling people to fix some issues after reading some of these requests.
Additionally, our CEO used VPN via his cell phone (ain’t technology grand!) , while out of town, to get to our account tools in order to personally unblock the account of a person who had contacted him via Reddit. How awesome is that?!?
The decision was recently made to allow Russian players to transfer to our European servers. The last couple of weeks have been quite busy trying to get all the Russian accounts set up on our shards so that the Russian players could continue playing on their same characters. They told us “I must break you” but just like Rocky we yelled something unintelligible and were able to get pretty much all of them transferred over. Please welcome these players with open arms and Vodka ☺. Any Russian players who have not yet been transferred and would like to be, please submit a support request to us including both your character name(s) and your playpass username within the ticket.
It seems that once again we receive information from our Great Leader Daglar that some people decided to participate in an exploit in the new raid Planebreaker Bastion. Although slamming the banhammer down on accounts and removing ill-gotten gains brings glory to RIFT it is not something we want to do often. Always remember the Mallard. While we are always appreciative of efforts to help us improve the game, “testing” over and over and over again is generally not necessary. If you find an exploit then please report it to us and allow our fabulous QA team to test it. You’ll never be actionned for a single test and reporting something to us – To the contrary, you might even be rewarded!
People often ask what it’s like being a GM. Aside from the glamorous life of dating models and ordering bottle service in the VIP section of the club, it’s very much like other jobs within the Customer Support industry. We’re also asked if we ever receive requests that we find humorous, and the answer to that is definitely yes. We do laugh at some of the tickets we see. Each blog entry we’ll share some of these with you guys with the names removed to protect the innocent ☺
Picking one completely at random, here’s one of our recent favorites: “WTF ! IS THE BIG IDEA MAKIN DEFIANTS STUPID FREAKIN SKELLYS IN THE NEW BG AND GUARDS WEREWOLFS ITS NOT FUNNY ITS BS DOGS VS BONES? CMON MAKE IT BE RANDOM CUZ THIS BLOWS I LEAVE PRITTY MUCH ARY TIME IT QS “
Clint Eastwood understands
And now for something completely different:
“I am not a smart man. I purchased a large number of Freelancer’s Windstones (15 to be exact) along with a Warlord’s Empowered Large Cell and Myrmidon’s Empowered Large Cell. Can I get these removed and refunded? If that is not possible can I get my account rolled back to before I purchased them? I really screwed up here. Thank you!”
We love people who are pleasant!
The smile at end is the most frightening here: “I have a weird question, please contact me ”
No chance this is going to be simple.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post, which can also be titled “scenes from the Trion CS Department”. We’re working on a future behind-the-scenes post that includes footage of the team at work. In the meantime, enjoy this photo that includes much of the Customer Service team. As you can see, not everybody was available for the picture, so we used our master photoshop skills to add in some who couldn’t make it for the picture.]]>
With the launch of RIFT’s 2.5 update, we were proud to unveil the new and much improved Iron Pine Peak. Since the launch of Storm Legon, many zones have been revised and upgraded, but Iron Pine went above and beyond: we completely rebuilt the zone, changing it from a 40-48 level zone and recreating it as a new mid-level experience for levels 27-35, introducing gamers to a new, snowy landscape far earlier in the game than ever before. Change of scenery is just the tip of the iceberg with the new Iron Pine Peak: we overhauled the storyline flow, quest continuity, and revamped the look and feel of the zone so that gamers again play an integral part in the tale of Crucia and the Storm Legion.
The notion of Iron Pine Peak being a mid-level zone is one that dates all the way back to the game’s pre-launch. This was a change that we had wanted to implement before the game went live but the overhaul was frankly too risky so close to our launch date. We wanted to do the zone justice, and that required time and concentration to pull off.
The desire to re-level Iron Pine was twofold: first, we wanted more choice for mid-level players, both in terms of scenery and quest lines. We wanted to introduce the environment to new players sooner gives them more visual diversity and a more compelling gameplay experience: who doesn’t love that awe-inspiring moment when you step into a new zone and everything looks completely new and different? With the new leveling experience, Telarans have multiple zones to choose from as they level (from snow to desert to lush tropical forests) right up to 60.
Our final reason for making this change is a fairly straightforward one: as Crucia and the Storm Legion are prominent fixtures in the first expansion, it is fun to introduce that story thread sooner in the game experience.
Naturally, the process began with converting the questing content to the same style we have been using for zones like Stonefield and Gloamwood, which entailed the following:
From there, we tackled improving the story experience and questing flow. We revised the storyline to give clear introduction to the Icewatch and the town of Whitefall and make a compelling and logical progression as you go from being an outsider to a hero to the people of Iron Pine. After we tackled the improved story flow, I then adapting this new flow to the desired leveling progression.
Most of this was pretty straight forward, but there were a couple of knots to be sorted out. The biggest one was Steampike Pit. This area was originally built to be dynamically changing daily quest content for level 50 players, a neat idea that often ended in frustration with many players. After our revamp, this area has now been converted so that the best daily quests are now integrated into the organic story flow, making the entire experience much more fun.
There was also a lot of content from the 1.11 world event, Tempest Rising, in this zone. With the advent of 2.5, this event also was remade and integrated in with zone content. Trickier were some of the art changes made when Storm Legion was introduced: the hole in the Chancel roof, the broken temple top out on the ice, and the porticulum to Dusken and Brevane.
The holes in the temple and Chancel roof existing from the moment you stepped foot into the zone also presented challenges: they prevented the story where the Icewatch are custodians of Crucia’s imprisonment from being as compelling as it could be (since there were gaping holes from her escape already in the building!) Since Crucia’s tale is so important to our world, it was imperative to us to restore the temple in the ice and the roof of the Chancel: they are now intact when you first encounter them. The holes now return as the story progresses, creating the broken version of the environment now only after Crucia escapes.
The story of Iron Pine Peak is beloved by many, so it was important to all of us to tread carefull and make sure it stayed in tact with all the revisions we made. Some quest arcs, like forging a weapon of the Icewatch and chasing Chekaroth across the world, are being improved currently and will be returning to the world in the near future. I’ll be eager to hear your thoughts when they do return!
So roll an alt and give the zone a new spin (if you haven’t already!) and please let us know what you think. Our work on the original classic zones is ongoing, but this is the only one we are going to be all out re-leveling. It was a complicated project with a lot of moving parts, but as fresh new players enter the zone in the upcoming weeks, I think it will have been worth the effort.
This week we unwrap the sights, sounds, and smells of another new level-60 Chronicle: Intrepid Greenscale’s Blight!
You see, the Dragon of Fumes feeds once again — on the mightiest of all Ascended. The good news? He’s bloated with new treasures. The bad?
His bite’s as bad as his gas ….
xoxo Grandfather Frost
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!]]>
Mech Week blasts its way into RIFT today, November 26th, through December 3. Get new pets and weapons plus raid tokens, essences and – for the lucky – an all-new mechanical-means-of-conveyance!
Yeah, that’s right. You can now use a mech as a mount.
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE VAULT.
Earn your pilot’s license by completing the Mech Week daily quest for a Mechanized Temporal Vault: a time-locked treasure chest stuffed with loot from the (near) future.
Each Vault will unlock after 24 hours, offering you the chance at following items:
Each day you complete the Mech Week quest you’ll earn one or more Temporal Aligner(s) that reduce the timer on your Temporal Vault.
EXPERT DUNGEON REWARDS
All week, you’ll earn a Temporal Cell from Level 60 Expert Dungeon runs. Open it up for a variety of rewards, ranging from additional Temporal Aligners all the way to Greenscale’s Lock Boxes– including relic ones!]]>
Tomorrow’s Friday – and that means another Friday Livestream Extravaganza! Please join us starting at 1:30 PM PST (in a different time zone? Use our handy world clock!) Here’s the full schedule of events:
1:30 AM PST: Greg and Elizabeth will be traversing the new level-60 Hammerknell Chronicle in RIFT. You can read more about it here.
2:15 PM PST: We’ll be showing off Trove again and answering more questions with Courtland Idstrom from the dev team.
2:45 PM PST: Trick joins us to answer questions about Defiance’s latest DLC, Arkbreaker, coming out December 10th. We’ll be showing off Arkbreaker’s Volge Warmaster boss fight! You can read more about him here.]]>
Feeling intrepid, are we? This week’s Gift of the Fae takes you to the new level-60 Hammerknell Chronicle and haunted home of the Dwarves … or what’s left of them.
The wibbly little miners have vanished without a trace. No hammers. No goblets. Not a smidgen of beard.
Find them you must! Without the Dwarves, where would we get our gold?
xoxo Grandfather Frost
P.S. Join us for more 2.5 live stream action at 1:30pm Friday, Nov. 22 at www.twitch.tv/TrionWorlds]]>
To celebrate the conclusion of RIFT Scene’s “Dress the Night Away” Contest, we’re selling ALL costumes and dyes for 25% off through next Wednesday, 11/26!
Want to see what the winning costume, by Exrou@Faeblight, looks like? Check it out below (alongside Boase@Greybriar and Daemonus@Wolfsbane, the contest runner-ups!) All three costumes are up on the RIFT Store for a limited time, exactly as they were designed by your fellow Telarans.
In addition to decking out your character in spiffy new duds for a great price, you can also pick up brand new Exceptional dyes to wear the latest and greatest colors of the season in the Wardrobe>Dyes section. The new colours include pink, mint green, sapphire and more. Make yourself the most dapper citizen of Tempest Bay!
Fashion Week additions aren’t the only new things on the RIFT Store. Newly available rare essences for players between level 10 and 50 under Equipment>Essences!
We’re also introducing a new Greenscale’ Supply Crate lockbox: try your luck at getting the Ember Nebula or the Brown Riding Squirrel.
And finally, the ever elusive Black Dire Riding Squirrel returns in a special Limited Edition: Greenscale’s Supply Crate. It’s only available between 12:01 AM Friday through 11:59 PM Sunday server time!
Need Credits? Fill up at the Trion Worlds account center!]]>
Over the past decade, data has been increasingly important in making game design decisions. Social games are among the catalysts for this change in thinking, primarily to hone in on the best ways to monetize their titles. Among core gamers, that’s created a perception that using game data = evil.
At Trion, we use the raw power of data for a very different purpose: we want to build a better game experience.
By understanding our populations and play-trends, by coupling the immersion of our development teams in-depth knowledge of our games with the analytical power of our in-game data, we have more information to use in making better, more fun online games.
By making a better experience, everyone wins.
I’m the head of a group of talented gurus of the data at Trion Worlds and today I’m writing about how we extract and use it to help our development team make our games bigger, better, and more fun with each update.
Let’s get into how the sausage is made in this data factory. To do that, I want to lay out the basics of the tools we use to crunch the numbers.
At Trion, we have 3 different main sources of data for any of our games. We have the game databases that store everything that the game cares about, like your characters, our platform database that contains all details about your account and a log event system capable of capturing live in-game events as they occur.
For the purposes of our analytics, the persistent character record is often as deep as we need to go into the game databases. The character record is shredded out of the game database and placed in a replica that is at most up to 5 minutes delayed. Some of the things within that record are: character id, user id, server, character name, current level, total coin on character, profession, last active date, total seconds played to date, and so on.
This is the source that we’ll generally go to in order to answer questions like “how many Rogues have played in the last 2 weeks” or “of the players playing in the last 2 weeks, what’s the plot of their level ranges?” Other interesting things can be done with this, like getting the longest played duration of all characters across an account to help us understand class preferences across the world.
This is the repository where all of the account level data is stored. This is the master record of all things that relate to the status of the account (such as knowing if people have opted in to receive update emails and whether or not an account is banned).
This is also how we know which language to talk to people in, which games the account has access to, and so on.. We can blend this data with the others to compile e-mail campaigns, or when we want to determine what products and services players have purchased, and so on.
The event system is a truly massive beast. It’s where we record the majority of in-game activities. Logins, logouts, experience gained, player killed, monster killed, etc. There’re a lot of very detailed things that can be gleaned from the event logs. More than just for analysis, this is also where GMs look when they need to answer petitions from the game.
Using elements of all of these, one of the most useful things we’ve created is something that’s simply called the “Daily Activity Report.” It’s a monster that belies the simplicity of that name.
This blends data from all of those sources above, to not only tell us how a game is doing day-to-day, week-to-week, but it also breaks down the every in-game activity by user.
That’s really powerful. This report rapidly became an important guide for designers in letting them know how much their parts of the game were being played.
The designers are the experts on why, and we don’t pretend that data has the answer to that – But we can answer key questions for them, like how many, and how often, to help them in their decision making. We see something like x number of users played Rift yesterday and of this base, y% participated in a normal dungeon, whereas z% participated in PvP. Depending on the timeframe, this might tell us which is the prevailing activity in-game.
In late 2011, we did a deep dive to find out why players were leaving RIFT. We found a very interesting fact: there was a higher rate of players leaving between levels 7 and 14: players were getting through the tutorial and into the main world but not progressing much further. We took this information to the development team who went into the game and look a hard look at what was going on in areas we had highlighted. The team found that by spreading out our large groups of creatures, we could make running paths less congested and more manageable to a new players. We also modified the quest flow to minimize backtracking and improved the flow and difficultly of the early experience. While the design team did the heavy lifting to research and implement the gameplay decisions that improved the Freemarch and Silverwood experience, that work would have been far more difficult without being identified by the power of our data.
Shortly after Defiance released, the data team went to work crunching the numbers on what was and wasn’t working in the game. After some digging, we found that “We’re on the air”, a mission in Defiance where you protect the local radio station, was the most abandoned mission in the game. We sent this and other data points to our development team and set them to work. This resulted in making a far less frustrating and more fun mission: we changed the structure and flow and]]>
Fae Yule is on the horizon, and with that festive season comes celebrations! Rift Dream Dimensions is hosting an amazing dimensions contest with fabulous prizes: titles, tons of Credits, and the chance to win a dimension item named after your character!
What do you have to do?
Make a dimension that embodies the spirit of celebration — a place to host a party to end all parties!
The contest begins TODAY at Rift Dream Dimensions, and runs till January 3rd. Visit their site to view the details on how to enter!
Rift Dream Dimensions will select the finalists after the contest ends on January 3rd. The top 10 finalists will be featured in a video on her site on January 12th, and the top 3 finalists will be released on January 15th!
On January 17th, we’ll feature the top 3 on a livestream at www.twitch.tv/TrionWorlds where players will be able to pick their favourite party themed dimension.
Prizes for RIFT Dream Dimension’s “Dream Destination Celebration” contest are:
Good luck, Ascended! May you create the biggest party haven in all of Telara!]]>
We have a super special livestream extravaganza planned this Friday. Please join us starting at 11:30 AM PST (in a different time zone? Use our handy world clock!)
We will not only be awarding the finalists of RIFTScene’s “Dress the Night Away” costume contest, we will also be showing off our brand new project for the first time ever. Here’s the full schedule of events:
11:30 AM PST: Join Greg as he shows off the ten finalists of the RIFT Scene Costume Contest. Chat participants will be able to vote on the grand prize winner whose costume will be sold for a limited time in the RIFT Store! 12:15 PM PST: What is Trove? You’ll find out with Greg and Creative Lead on the project, Andrew Krausnick. 12:45 PM PST: Greg’s back on The Defiance EU PC servers! He’s going to start at The Crater and lead an impromptu Death March south and west as he chats with players.]]>
Return to Deepstrike has been a several month long journey from conception to today, when I’m excited for it to go live for everyone to play. The idea began a few months ago, when Daglar and I were talking about pre-Storm Legion expert dungeons as we lamented that most of them were sitting dormant. We had a ton of new players entering the world with the free-to-play conversion but most of those players were passing these dungeons by as they moved on to Cape Jule or Pelladane in Storm Legion. These players were missing the spike room in King’s Breach, the cavern in Iron Tombs and the titan area of Deepstrike Mines – and that simply would not do. The solution was obvious: revamp a classic expert for level 60. That left only one final question: which dungeon to pick? The team chose Iron Tombs: it’s a classic dungeon crawl with great encounter spaces. The next morning as I was driving into the office, I questioned our choice. Would you guys pick Iron Tombs if given the chance? When I got in, I pinged Daglar. I asked if we could put the vote to you, the players. This post was the result.
The results were pretty tight between Abyssal Precipice and Deepstrike Mines. As I watched all of the votes pour in for AP, I couldn’t help but think “Didn’t you guys farm that to death at 50? Why would you want to ever set foot in that again?” In the end, DSM pulled away with 112 more votes. The surprising factoid out of the poll is that Iron Tomb was #3. A very distant #3 as AP and DSM constituted a collective 61% of the votes. Polls closed after a week and DSM was declared the winner.
And so began my Return to Deepstrike. My first concern with the dungeon is that it was too long to meet the current standards of Storm Legion experts. If we kept the map as is, it would be a 2 hour dungeon crawl. In the revamp, I started the dungeon at the Dig Site. This gives us the ability to show players parts of the map they may have never seen with a new twist. Deepstrike Halls has always been the most interesting part of this dungeon for me – I mean… titans sprawled out on their huge beds snoozing away the centuries while their automations watch over them. It’s a classic dungeon crawl as well. Distinct rooms. Interesting encounter spaces. What more could you ask for?
With that decision made, the next step was to determine what is the story that we want to tell with this dungeon. Why are players coming back to this area? What has changed? Who or what will they encounter while exploring this place? I was fairly confident that the story should be about the titans awakening from their slumber. Titans are just really cool enemies with a deep backstory. I pulled Captain Cursor into a room and we started to bounce ideas off of each other. He suggested that our bad guy be Ionraic from Dendrome since he’s a jerk. You go through all of that trouble for him to get the trinket that he wants in exchange for the dragon eggs and he just pounds them into dust after making the trade. Class A jerk. From there, the rest of the pieces kinda fell into place. What his motivation is for being there in Deepstrike Halls, why he has awoken his titan brothers, and most importantly, why the players are there.
Return to Deepstrike has been an amazing journey. I hope you enjoy exploring the dungeon as much as I did while revamping it. Andy Kirton Senior Game Designer]]>
Welcome to Gifts of the Fae, Ascended!
Our first present is a new Level 60 dungeon chosen by YOU. The Naughty voted for Deepstrike – the Nice voted for Realm of the Fae. Can you guess who won?
Now the mines’ Titans are awake, stealing the treasures of Telara and teleporting them into the ENDLESS VOID. Stop them before they take all our shinies, blow up the world, and … take all our shinies!
I promise it’ll be a BOOMING good time.
xoxo Grandfather Frost
P.S. Join us for a live streamin’ Return to Deepstrike at 1:30pm Friday, Nov. 15 at www.twitch.tv/TrionWorlds]]>
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.
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:
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.
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]]>
In the early days of RIFT, each time we, as a dev team, visited the idea of player housing, we had to ask, “Do we have what it takes to make this feature fun?” As much as we wanted to work on housing, and as often as players made the request, the answer was always, “not now.”
The situation started to change on Valentine’s Day 2012, when we released the wedding and marriage systems I’d been working on. The wedding ceremony instances are short, two-person dungeons where instead of fighting monsters, you proceed through a marriage ritual together. They hold up to 200 people, and the reception includes drinks, food, gifts, fireworks, and confetti.
Players loved them. We even made a Guinness world record for the most in-game marriages in one day. Most importantly, people didn’t just show up; we saw a genuine spike in subscriptions. It was clear that we’d provided a needed dose of RPG in our MMORPG.
Suddenly, there was a spark in the team and magic started happening: if Rift players liked weddings, what other non-combat activites might they enjoy?
And with that kernel of an idea, Dimensions were born. As an overview: dimensions are “slices of Telara” – player-owned instances that allow freeform object placement. While you can use these spaces as player housing, you’re free to build whatever you want (and boy, does our community do that! We’ve seen mazes, jumping puzzles, and small communes built into dimensions, just to name a few examples). We have about two dozen dimensions and nearly 1500 dimension items available in game, and we add more with every content update.
But I’m getting off track here. This is about the first Dimension and how the notion of Dimensions went from an idea to the creative canvas they are today.
After our extremely successful wedding event, we launched Fishing and Survival systems. They were a total win; players especially loved fishing. While a significant percentage of our players were out catching fish, our then Chief Creative Officer (now CEO) Scott Hartsman asked me if I’d like to be the point designer on our new player housing system. YES!
Our strike team was small but enthusiastic. We chose the name “Dimensions” for our system because we wanted people to know it was more than just housing. For example, we wanted to let players place items anywhere, not just in a grid – the world was theirs to mold as they saw fit, as well as every item we put into their hands. We also wanted to give players actual game-world terrain, not claustrophobic building interiors, and provide them with as much creative space as possible to build unique structures, events, and more.
It took us a while to figure out how big the base dimension maps should be. Too small, and you were always looking over the edge of the world. Too big, and our tools couldn’t handle them. Even after our engineers improved the tools, large dimension maps remained problematic. It’s a delicate balance, even today, to make sure a dimension has a decent view without making the base map too large.
One of the most fun features of dimension building started out as a bug. While you are manipulating a dimension item, you can move it through other objects, terrain, and your character. When you let go of the mouse button, the object’s collision resets to its new location and orientation. This means that if you place an item at your feet, move it upwards, jump while still holding the mouse button, then let go of the mouse button (fixing the dimension item in place) while you are in the air, you’ll land on top of the item in its new spot. This lets you climb and move anywhere in your dimension with just a single object… and for me, brings back fond memories of using the bricks in Solstice, one of my favorite old NES games. Anyway, we immediately recognized how awesome this was, and refined the tools so that it worked smoothly rather than removing it.
Dimensions are tall! As soon as we had functional item placement tools, we found ourselves driven to build upwards. Naturally, we kept falling, dying, and having to climb back up to continue building. We hated losing soul vitality just for slipping while our minds were focused on being creative, so we removed falling damage from dimensions. It was still annoying to have to climb back up again, so one of our engineers created an add-on to keep you in the air: the Magic Carpet.
On a whim, the main engineer working on dimensions tried something a little insane. He found a way to attach scripted game content to a dimension item. It was janky. It had issues. But it worked. That morning, half the office showed up at his desk to see his example creation: a campfire that shot fireworks whenever anyone walked up to it. Inspired, I had to see what I could do with this new tech. So I dug around in my scripting for the wedding instances, copied out the pieces that controlled the NPC serving drinks, and reorganized it so that it would work correctly in a dimension. Then, I attached the scripting to a dimension item that had previously been an ordinary table. Thus, Nico the Dimensional Bartender was born.
While the dimensions project already had a good amount of enthusiasm behind it, introducing Nico brought the team’s excitement to another level. We’d proved that dimensions could do something.
We limited our first dimension maps to Freemarch and Silverwood. At the time, our goal was to give players a slice of Telara they’d be sure to recognize. Unfortunately, neither of those zones turned out to be ideal for dimension maps. Warden’s Point and Sanguine Shores, the dimensions that came of those requirements, needed enormous maps or else iconic landmarks could not be seen. Conversely, the interior]]>
Join us this Friday for another afternoon of livestreaming! We’ll be livestreaming on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/trionworlds starting at 1:30 PM PT. (In another time zone? Use this handy world clock to find your local start time!)
Here’s the full schedule for this week’s stream:
1:30 PM - Join Elizabeth and Greg along with Nick “CaptainCursor” McDowell as they explore the updates in RIFT 2.5 and quest on Ember Isle. We’ll be playing on the Greybriar shard and would love for you to join us in-game!
2:30 PM - Greg will be leading a Death March starting at The Crater on the North American PC platform. We’ll be deviating to fight Plague Sieges as they appear. Trick will also be in attendance to answer questions about Defiance!
Want to know when we go live? Be sure to follow our Twitch channel to get an email as soon as we’re on air.]]>