Rapid Deployment - A Rift Patch 1.2 Q&A with Hal Hanlin, Adam Gershowtiz and Chris Schmidt

When Rift
was in its earliest beta stages the developers talked excitedly about
their design system that allowed them to quickly develop and deploy
content. While this sounded great, we took it with a grain of salt
knowing that we had heard this all before and our expectations of quick
rarely mesh with those of the people in charge of the games we play. In
just under two months however, Rift
has shattered previously held notions and brought a slew of new content
out in record time. Detractors may say that update 1.1 was merely full
of things that should have made the initial release; they can’t say the
same about 1.2 which is driven by the requests of the playerbase.
Including updates and upgrades to crafting, new planar abilities, a
looking for group tool and the return of 10 player raiding (yay!) among
other things, patch 1.2 looks to be the group’s most ambitious project
yet. We recently sat down with Hal Hanlin, Chris Schmidt and even
managed to detain Adam Gershowitz briefly to discuss some of the
exciting new additions.

Jason Bolton, Ten Ton Hammer: What can you tell
us about the crafting updates and upgrades coming in 1.2?

Hal Hanlin, Executive Producer: We
are doing some pretty amazing things and starting with a better
integration with the Auction House. You will be able to search for
augmentations, materials and goods in an easier and more powerful way.
We are also releasing new rifts that are aimed directly toward the
crafters. In addition to new recipes and materials, these rifts are
specifically tailored toward crafters and will be incredibly fun –
people who while away their hours staring at a forge will now be able
to stare at a forge that looks incredibly evil and wicked!

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Crafting will get elevated to
match other levels of emergent gameplay in 1.2

Ten Ton Hammer: : Will the rifts have something
for all crafting professions or will there be different types for
different specialties? 

Hal: They will be geared toward
the profession of the player that opened them, with the lure used to
open them being from a recipe that players will learn. 

Ten Ton Hammer: Will there be any benefit to
players who don’t share the same profession as the one who opened it?

Hal: Sure, but the
person who opened the rift, as long as they continue to participate,
will get the maximum benefit. We never want to create any open world
content that only certain players are allowed to play in while others
are banned from participating. 

Ten Ton Hammer: It’s nice to see crafting
becoming a more integral part of the game for sure.

Hal: Absolutely, when I
first heard the idea it sounded..well..interesting,  but the
more we developed it – it just made sense. It ties in well with the
core concept of the game and now crafters are doing something more
meaningful than simply creating items in a game with really pretty
graphics, they are participating in

Ten Ton Hammer:Tell us about the Looking For
Group tool.

Hal: This feature was born from
player requests first and foremost. They let us know that they weren’t
happy with having to spam “Paladin/Reaver LFG for…” and this tool
should help them form up groups much more quickly and

Ten Ton Hammer: Is it cross server?

Hal: Not currently,

Ten Ton Hammer: How many roles can we queue for?

Alan Gershowitz, Producer (after being roped in
by Hal): 
Let me give a little more background
on the tool in general first. It covers dungeons, rift content and
questing, so there are portions of it that players can use for all
three types of content. With that being said, we didn’t make it cross
server at initial launch since 2/3rds of the tool is server
specific.  This also allowed us to deploy it as quickly as
possible, so if we need to expand on that in the future we definitely
can.  While it was important for us to get the tool out as
quickly as possible, we will be watching the queue times closely and
always looking at ways to improve them. 

As for the roles, you will able to queue for as many roles as
your calling can perform. They will be separated by Tank, Healer, DPS
and Support – so mages for example can queue for heals, DPS or support,
clerics for all four. The system will be set up to look at the calling
and accept you as any role that calling is geared for.

Ten Ton Hammer: Tell us about the new appearance

Hal: Sure! Appearance armor
allows you to display one look while using hiding the appearance of
your statistical armor. Which is great for me as I like to have a
uniformed look with my trim dyed one way and my primary dyed another –
and since I am always crafting new items its nice not to have to re-dye
it all the time. 

Ten Ton Hammer: Awesome, how many different
appearance armor sets can we have?

Hal: Currently there are 5 slots,
the first one is free and then you can purchase additional slots as

Ten Ton Hammer: Rifts and invasions definitely
help give the world an epic and dynamic feel. So, overall, you’re happy
with the pacing of the game and the speed at which players are getting
to endgame?

Hal: Yea, and one of the exciting
things that we get to groove on when people are talking about the game
is that you can progress through rifts and invasions, through
warfronts, through quests, or through dungeons. The fact that players
have so many things to turn to has really been a positive for us.
People feel that there’s always so much to do, and that’s a great
feeling as a developer when players are clamoring for more, and it’s
right there waiting for them to consume.

Ten Ton Hammer: Tell us about the new planar
abilities coming with the patch?

Hal: These abilities will be
faction specific in name only and will be necessary to enter our new
Sliver content. 

Ten Ton Hammer: What are Slivers exactly?

Slivers, in game world terms, are newly discovered aspects of reality.
As we know Telara is being invaded by these intersections of other
realities and this expands on that in the form of these new slivers of
reality. In application they are our new 10 player raid content. 1.2
will launch with the first of these called The Gilded Prophecy that you
can find in Shimmersand by using your new planar sight

Ten Ton Hammer:: With your ability to develop
and deploy new content so quickly can we expect more Slivers in the
near future?

Hal: Yes, as long as
they meet the quality standards that we set. While we can turn things
out pretty fast, we don’t want to just churn them out for the sake of
blasting them out with some mad-libs type of process – but we do have
plans for more. 

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you want
to talk about with 1.2?

Hal: Were pretty excited
about the three new zone events that are coming with 1.2. When you see
that text on your screen and hear the gong we want to make sure it
keeps you excited so we really enjoy deploying new scenarios that
haven’t been seen before. These will be our flagship versions of new
play types, so not just a variation on old themes – but brand new
playstyles that we can begin varying on. 

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alt="Rift Patch 1.2">

style="font-style: italic;">Expect new forms of world
content with patch 1.2

Ten Ton Hammer: Sounds awesome, what can you
tell us about those three specifically?

Hal: Currently we have a tower
defense scenario that Scott (Hartsman) is really big on, then there is
one I refer to as “Clash of the Colossi”; where the factions race to
create a giant being to battle each other and then my personal favorite
which is a herd escort scenario which is crazy fun. 

also want to mention that we are introducing Facebook functionality in
similar to the Twitter functionality. You will be able to post status
achievements, screenshots and your YouTube videos you make in game.

We also want to remind folks that
they need to grab the
River of Souls reward packs and spend that currency before 1.2, which
will be
when that vendor disappears. 1.2 is slated for launch sometime near the
of May.

We want to thank the folks at
Trion for taking time out of their busy schedules to go over the
upcoming patch with us and we can’t wait for the next one, which at
their current pace should be in a few more weeks!. For more on
the game, be sure to check out href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/rift">Rift at Ten Ton
Hammer and the Rift
official site


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