Posted Thu, Jun 07, 2012 by Sardu
This year’s E3 is yet another major event for the folks at Trion Worlds. While the big push is on Defiance, which is playable for the first time, you can see a ton of influence in its gameplay ala Trion’s flagship title, RIFT. Fellow Team Hammer member, Ben, will be whipping up his impressions of Defiance, but at first glance it would be easy to dub that title “RIFT with guns.” There’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but I don’t consider that surface level assessment a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.
Comparisons to RIFT are a good thing because it’s one of the most polished and complete MMO experiences we’ve seen launch in recent years. And to build upon that success, Trion also announced this week that the game will be seeing its first true expansion later this year, Storm Legion.
Design director Simon Ffinch was awesome enough to give us an overview of what the expansion will entail. While the beans on that particular chili were spilled as a standard press announcement earlier this week, we’ll still go through each one here to expand on what’s already been highlighted as bullet point features, as well as interject some thoughts on why this has the potential to be one of the biggest and best MMO expansions we’ve seen in a very long time.
If you think about it, true MMO expansions are a dying art form, and one that relatively few developers have done any real justice to for half a decade. Why do I feel RIFT will pull off something cooler than your typical tacked on endgame extension?
First off, there’s the sheer volume of content being added. The original game consists of a fairly enormous land mass. The expansion will literally triple the playable real estate of Telara, which is a great thing. Most of the time, MMO e-packs consist of maybe a smaller continent, island, or random moon that’s due to explode in the future. The fact that Trion is going in the exact opposite, bigger-is-better direction hints at some great things for Storm Legion.
One aspect would be the scale of world events. One we were shown during our presentation this week makes King Kong look like a LEGO minifig by comparison. What I loved about how honking huge the boss was is that the fight didn’t devolve into the lame God of War formula of some giant dude / creature / hair monster that leans over the side of a building and forces you to smack its fingers or something equally lame.
Instead, players will be able to move freely around the boss at all times. One awesome spoiler I managed to squeeze out of Simon is that players will be able to earn a special achievement at the very start of the event.
As it kicks off, the boss jumps down into from atop a massive platform, squashing anyone or anything standing on the ground below. Positioning your character there and getting squashed will award you the “Wrong place, wrong time” achievement.
I’ll admit that I’m a massive sucker for that kind of thing, but I also think it’s a good thing when game developers remember that games are supposed to be entertaining. Watching progress bars slowly move and smacking giant loot piñatas is all fine and good, but it’s often that type of little touch for pure entertainment value’s sake that becomes the more memorable part of the overall experience for me.