Rift Instant Adventures: The Next Big Thing or Another Near Miss?

Posted Wed, Dec 07, 2011 by Medawky

Instant Adventure


Today’s Update 1.6.1 introduces yet another form of emergent gameplay to Rift, as if it didn’t have enough already. Instant Adventure finally makes its anticipated debut and delivers on the promise of non-stop load and go goodness.  Bringing together a group of random adventurers for a scaleable romp through multiple objectives means no worries about role composition, afk-ers or any of the usual trappings that bog down group content.  But did Instant Adventure miss its mark? Read on to find out

Instant Adventure

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Instant Adventures is the newest gameplay type from Rift that take level 45+ players on an objective based timed series of challenges. Instant Adventure is for 1-20 players and scales in difficulty/rewards based on how many people join up. Instant Adventures are a sort of paradox as they are non-linear in terms of joining and leaving, you can come in at any point and continue on, but the objectives are linear in that they progress through areas and goals. Rewards are given in the form of planar currency and as Hal Halin told us during an interview last month in San Francisco the payout is the highest in the game in terms of risk vs. reward.

Currently Instant Adventures are set in Rift’s first two level 50 zones; Stillmoor and Shimmersand and are non-instanced.  Each Instant Adventure group will have their own adventure, meaning their own set of unique objectives, but there may be several different groups of adventurers in the same areas.  Players will be able to complete other concurrent quests they have in those areas as well, including world events as well.

Instant Adventure


There is zero down time in these adventures, you are ported directly to the action and once your groups content in that area is all cleared it will teleport the lot of you to the next major area – even to another zone if needed.

Instant Adventures can also be soloed, but you can’t lock the group to force it to be a solo adventure. The real beauty of Instant Adventures is the strong potential for community building as players from very divergent paths will find common ground here as there are no artificial barriers such as focus caps or PvP rank requirements separating them.

Instant Adventure

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Sadly, Instant Adventures has one very major flaw. A system that could easily revolutionize all of gaming has missed the mark by limiting itself to only one segment of the population. Instant Adventures are restricted to players near the current level cap (level 45 to 50) and are unavailable to most of the leveling population. I know that Rift is on rails and reaching 45 is ridiculously easy, but think of the upside of having this system at earlier levels. You wouldn’t need to worry about having missed a quest hub, or not having a healer for a dungeon. You could easily explore Telara as you are ported around by Instant Adventures, stopping to grab new portal locations, picking up area quests and making a ton of new friends in the process. It would be the best of all worlds and something that could make the process of leveling as compelling as reaching the level cap.

Hopefully Trion will continue to develop and add to Instant Adventure and that someday it will be a system afforded to players of all levels – then it will reach its true potential and take its place among the most significant advancements in MMOGs to date.


My guess is they are going to expand it, but need to figure out if it is actually going to work. The Instant Adventure screen alone allows for addition of other zones.

If it was exclusively a 50 think..why not include IPP or Ember Isle? I think Stillmoor and Shimmersand are probably considered their most stables zones and a perfect Beta test.

I can truly agree with this.

its a amazing start. and i as a community player enjoy it.

Its raiding for those.. who want to raid SOMETHING right now. go do it. grow as a guild. anything of the sort

Way too early to judge based on the current criteria. Its a nice start and will probably be propagated to other zones for other level appropriate players. This is what Trion has been doing all along ... demoing an idea to see how the community receives it and expanding it when successful.

Now, the real critique would be whether or not its worthwhile for the range it is open to. I would say that players level 45 to 49 probably stand the most to gain in terms of XP and drops. A seasoned 50 right now certainly won't find any gear that's useful. But if it expands to Ember Isle, that will likely change.

From a mechanics standpoint, it works great. I have no complaints.

I think if you have items you need from Inscribed Sourcestones it's a pretty decent payout for a 50. I do agree that in it's current iteration it is definitely most advantageous to 45-49 players. The real power here though is the community building - you don't need to wait through long queue times to form a group due to a lack of a particular role, you don't group with faceless members of another shard. I would love for this to be the primary vehicle for leveling for a new character - it would be amazing.

It would be better if there was a 45-49 level for one thing. The mounts. 50's move fast and easily leave the lower levels behind. Would love it see it on Ember Isle.

Nuuli of Sanctum
Faeblight

And yes, Hal has said as much about most of the systems they have deployed, they see what the usage and interest is and spend time enhancing it accordingly. I hope for the sake of MMOGs that they stick with this system and enhance the livin' bejesus out of it.

Rift's instant adventures sound a lot like Lotro's Skirmish system with the big difference that Lotro's skirmishes are all instanced.

The advantage of instancing is that it is easy to scale the level of the adventure. Almost all skirmishes can be take solo or in various group sizes and are available at multiple levels.

The disadvantage of instancing is that the encounter is identical every time you run it. I like the sound of Rifts open world instant adventures. I imagine it makes for a more dynamic and varied encounter especially with people joining and leaving.

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