Updated Mon, Oct 08, 2012 by Shayalyn
Storm Legion adds a new soul to each calling in Rift. Three have been revealed to date: The Tempest, a Warrior soul focused on ranged DPS via furious lightning-based attacks; the Harbinger, a Mage wielding summoned weapons and poised for melee damage (“Like Gandalf with a big sword,” said Hanlin); and the Tactician, the newly-announced Rogue soul that’s “a master of magitech” focused on gadgets that deal AoE-based damage, support and healing. The Cleric soul, the Defiler, is still under wraps, so we can’t reveal more.
In addition to the new souls, there have been plenty of tweaks to the existing mechanics. Purposes (pre-made templates) have been expanded to make things easier for those who prefer not to go the min-max route. Trion has also wisely added build-and-go auto-fill and “train all” functionality to make getting back into the game that much easier for those who want to spend less time customizing a character and more time slaughtering bad guys.
So much fine tuning has been going on recently that Trion told us that the latest class changes amounted to 56 pages of update notes.
Don’t worry, there are still quest hubs in Storm Legion just as there have always been in Rift. (If Guild Wars 2 has taught us one thing, it’s that some players still like quest hubs). But with Storm Legion, Trion has focused on giving their players a multitude of options, so they can play the game their way. The quest hubs in Storm Legion itself will feature more story-driven quests--Trion doesn’t want you quick-clicking through the quest dialog, so story quests are designed to capture your attention.Storm Legion also adds a new quest type called carnage. I encountered a carnage quest during a free-range hands-on session with the expansion. While wandering the Kingdom of Pelladane, I came across a mob that wanted to beat me up and take away my lunch money. I took the fight to it (quite handily, since the press were given level 55 toons dressed up in great gear with which to wander level 50 areas) and as soon as it hit the turf I was rewarded with a quest to kill 25 more. That’s what carnage is all about--getting quests while you’re out in the field that will reward you for what you’ll probably be killing anyhow.
In addition to the story and carnage quests, there are also plenty of new instant adventures as well as a new type of dynamic content called hunt rifts.
Two important elements seem to define Trion’s approach to Storm Legion:
If you’re ready for Storm Legion, you don’t have much longer to wait; the expansion will launch on November 13th, and it’s currently in beta.
Not only has Trion delivered a constant stream of significant free updates, but their first expansion will provide a staggering amount of new content as well as a multitude of ways to experience it. Honestly, we don’t know what more players could ask for in a MMOG expansion. Drink the Kool-Aid, folks--it’s laced with awesome.