Rift: River of Souls Patch 1.1 Overview Part 1

Thirty days into one of the smoothest launches in MMOG history, the team at Trion ups the ante with the first major content patch of their new title.
Thirty days into one of the smoothest launches in MMOG history, the team at Trion ups the ante with the first major content patch of their new title. Rift launched with more content than any other new game ever had, and the content team flexed its collective muscle by introducing The River of Souls patch so quickly. With such an ambitious and robust amount of additions, tweaks and fixes we will spend the next few weeks looking at the major points of the patch. We start our overview of patch 1.1 with some of the biggest additions and fixes, next week we will continue with a look at the changes made to the souls of Rift.

WORLD EVENT


The most dynamic of the content unveiled in the patch, The River of Souls helps to flesh out the story of Alsbeth; a formerly highly revered Guardian Ascended who’s betrayal helped sow permanent discord between the factions and made her one of the most important players among those loyal to Regulos. Not content to rest on her laurels, Alsbeth is up to even more nefarious work with her group: the Endless Court.

  •  The Endless Court invades Telara! This worldwide event for all present-day Telara zones and level ranges culminates in the opening of the River of Souls raid zone.

The invasion is taking place in stages and revolves around Alsbeth’s desire to somehow corrupt or capture energies from the pipeline that carries the fallen souls of Telara. The first stage was unlocked the patch was released, with subsequent stages set to roll out over the next few weeks.
  •  Events and rewards are available for characters of all levels!

Even players as low as level seven can conceivably earn rewards and help to turn the tide against Alsbeth, with rift events and invasions occurring in every zone.
  •  The new World Event UI keeps you up-to-date on current and future event progress. Check it out to see where your server stands in the fight against the Plane of Death.

Appearing just above your quest tracker, and with a similar look and feel, this interface device works well to help sever as a visual guide to the current state of affairs. It would be nice to see a bit  more detail here, but given the nature of the invasions and the desire of most players to keep their interface uncluttered, it works pretty well.
  •  Quest starters in Meridian and Sanctum offer currency rewards for special vendors, including limited-time items only available during this event.

Rift Quest Hub
Quest Hub in Meridian

Located near the porticulum are several NPCs that give single and daily quests, as well as a vendor that offers some vanity pets and class specific rings. You will need a special currency known as Otherworldly Sourcestone to purchase these items. Completing the daily quests, in addition to participating in the world events will net you plenty over the course of the event.

VIDEO CAPTURE


The inclusion of in-game Twitter feeds and screenshots for achievements helped tie the game well to the social media aspect of MMOGs, but the addition of in-game YouTube functionality takes it to a whole new level. Spurred on mainly by meme creators, the number of game related videos on the popular video site has gone through the roof in recent years. Adding this aspect to the game really puts Trion on the cutting edge of community builders in the genre.

  •  You can record video through RIFT up to 3 minutes in length. If you add a YouTube account through the Settings menu, RIFT will automatically upload videos to that account!
  •  Type /record or press CTRL+Y to start recording. Use it again to stop!
  •  Small icons next to the minimap show when video is recording and encoding.
  •  Once encoding is complete, you will have the option to upload if you have attached a YouTube account.

Rift World Event Rift Dragon

The River of Souls is a dynamic event that touches many aspects of gameplay

GENERAL


  •  After merging your group with another public group, you can now un-merge it! Look for the menu option to Unmerge Group if you were the party leader of a group that has been merged.
  •  Fixed the loot bug where only the tank could get mob loot.
  •  All artifact nodes now have a consistent 1.5 second gathering time.
  •  You can now accept a quest on behalf of your guild even if your personal quest log is full.
  •  Guild members cannot be promoted while offline.
  •  If a group disbands after killing a mob with loot that would otherwise trigger a roll, that loot is now free-for-all.
  •  Fix for quickly opening a series of clickable loot (such as geodes for gems) with auto-loot that would occasionally result in lost items.
  •  Server Announcements now stay on-screen for twice as long.
  • There are now Raid Rift daily quests! See Abbess Katia in Sanctum or Raj Tahleed in Meridian. These award Inscribed Sourcestone which you can use to buy all sorts of cool things.
Having tons of content is a good thing, having tons of content with dangling carrots of tangible rewards is a *great* thing. While some players may decry any sort of currency based vendor loot as “welfare epics”, they allow goal oriented gamers the ability to prioritize their playtime and set attainable goals for themselves.
  •  Angelic Flight and Mighty Leap will not interrupt movement when used (auto-run or holding down a movement key).
 One of those trivial things that bothered me, and while I know minor issues shouldn’t be major complaints – the devil is in the details.
  •  Fixed multiple status updates going to Twitter during important discoveries.
Once again Trion fights spam at its source – oh the irony.

RIFTS AND INVASIONS


  •  A large number of new Essences have been added to merchants in Meridian and Sanctum for purchase with Inscribed Sourcestones.
  •  Tweaked cooldown times between zone events.
  •  Fixed some instability with Wardstones disappearing when a large mob population is nearby.
  •  Rift events no longer track player contribution against other players. You are checked for participation in the event and given rewards appropriately. It’s still important to participate in as many stages of a Rift or event as possible to receive the best rewards.
One of the best changes of the patch, and it’s one that isn’t getting much notoriety. One of the key parts of Rift so far has been the emergence of cooperative gameplay (in an MMOG, go figure right?), but to undermine that at the very heart of the game by creating a sense of competition for rewards was counterproductive at best. Hopefully the combat meters/epeen crowds won’t be too upset by this.

ASCENDED POWERS


  •  Planar Charges are no longer consumed immediately when starting to cast an ability. They are consumed when the effect actually takes place — no more wasted charges on an interrupted cast.
If I were a Guardian I would thank the gods for this change, but since I’m not I will simply thank the folks at Trion for saving me tons of frustration. Nothing is worse than multiple well-meaning individuals triggering a mass resurrection spell at the same time and then watching your charges go up in smoke as you bounce like bunny on crack trying to cancel the spell cast.

GUILD PERKS


There are some solid fixes here, but mostly cosmetic in nature with Guild Perks still coming into their own at this stage in the game. I am glad they explained the Journeyman fix however; I was going mad trying to figure out which buff I was missing.

  •  Killing Spree and Blood Thirsty use the proper perk tokens now.
  •  The following perks will now properly show the description/tooltip values associated with them: Lucky Penny, Call of the Ascended, Journeyman, Foe Hunter, Cache Finder, and Rift Extraction.
  •  Journeyman no longer always shows in the buff bar.

CULT SAGA


One of the biggest knocks on the game so far has been that the questing is a bit anemic, and while I agree with that sentiment to a point, epic quests have been a great way to immerse oneself in the story of Telara. Don’t let these quest lines die on the vine or get removed from your quest log to make way for more solo-friendly fare, grab a friend or two and get em done!

  •  Epic quests now award Achievements and titles at key advancement points. These are granted retroactively so if you already completed portions (or all!) of the epic questline, you will receive these on login.
  •  The conclusion to the Saga of the Aelfwar is now obtainable.
  •  The epic questline updates for Greenscale’s Heart and Death Corruption Sample are now granted for only one raid member per Greenscale kill.
  •  The Saga of the Endless: Darkblade’s Terror will now properly update.
  •  The Peacemaker: Disguise step no longer required. Defiants can still get to hide in the bushes!
  •  The Peacemaker: Disguise items for this quest have been removed following the quest re-work to no longer require them.

Rift Invasion

Even the shouts of the enemies are epic in Rift


COMBAT


  •  Updated the tooltip description text for Attack Power and Spell Power in the character sheet.
  •  Effects subject to diminishing returns will now also use diminished durations on player pets.
  •  ‘Immune’ scrolling combat text no longer appears on characters in stealth.
  •  Player tracking abilities no longer proc trinket effects.
  •  PvP Combat: Abilities now only check for caster facing their target at the start of a cast – they will still land if a target moves behind you while casting is in progress
  •  Fixed a bug causing some Soul abilities to be inappropriately blocked when respawning after a death.
I don’t have any hard data to support this claim – but I bet this was one of the most reported bugs in the game recently. Logging out and back in cleared the bug, but with the new mobile authenticator app and increased security measures in place it would have been a serious pain in the ass to do so.

  • Occasionally NPCs would be unable to attack stealthed players. Not anymore!
Rogues, my heart weeps for you. Ok, that last part was a lie, welcome to our world.

  • Increased the amount of Armor on Cloth items.
 Coming soon: the Mage tanking soul. Why not? They can do everything else in the game practically better than any other soul, why leave out tanking? If I sound bitter, it’s because I am – I know they needed some love but come on. More on this rant in next week’s article for sure.

Overall reaction to the patch thus far has been positive with most players enjoying both the content and the fixes. Next week we get into the more controversial aspects of the patch, those relating to class balance. Keep closing those rifts and battling back the forces of the Endless Court in the meantime.

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