In our continuing series of exclusive interviews with Trion Worlds, Ten
Ton Hammer gathers more details on the upcoming Rift: Planes of Telara
this session, we talk to William Cook, Dynamic Content Lead and probe
deeper into the nature of the rifts that are a hallmark of the game. If
you have any questions that you wish to be asked in a future interview,
please post them in our official
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there a way to stop rifts from appearing for a specific period of time?
William Cook: Since rifts are more of a form of content, we’re more focused on how players can harness rifts the way they choose and how the player’s ability to do so develops over time. You start out in the game as a fresh ascended with no control over them at all and your attunement to Telara is weak. Over time, it strengthens and you learn how to lure opponents to fight on your own terms. Even later in the game, you can learn how to lure out specific opponents from specific planes, all the way up to luring out specific group bosses and raids. In terms of development, it lets us provide exciting, rewarding things to do for all types of players, whether you prefer to solo or raid. There’s always content available, and that’s always the key.
Ten Ton Hammer: How massive can the rifts become then? Will we ever see an onslaught of hundreds, or even thousands, of soldiers coming through them that will take a lot of server effort to push back? (Submitted by Khalathwyr)
William Cook: Absolutely. As far as invasions go, massive battles between invaders, players, and friendly NPCs are already taking place on our alpha servers. When multiple invasions from several rifts are crashing down on a single hub at the same time, it’s been truly chaotic, but a lot of fun.
Ten Ton Hammer: Let’s skip ahead a little bit. How does that affect PvP then, if all all? (Submitted by ModernDayDruid)
William Cook: So, PvP is consensual unless you’re on a PvP server, so we use a flag system. Invasions and PvP are just like any other content and PvP. It’s fun to use. Right now, we have alpha servers up with a PvP server and a PvE one that uses flagging. I can tell you that we’ve seen some awesome behavior between players of opposite factions during rift events and invasions. Everyone wants the rewards for taking down the player baddies, but not everybody can get along long enough to get the job done. PvP isn’t a focus of the rifts themselves, but there are some that happen in PvP areas. In any case, PvP is consensual on PvE servers. On PvP servers, it gets truly wicked.
Ten Ton Hammer: When it comes to dungeons and other instances, can rifts open up in there as well? (Submitted by Khalathwyr)
William Cook: We’ve got rifts in several dungeons and in one warfront already.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can any rifts be soloed?
William Cook: Absolutely. The key is to make sure that rifts are a satisfying experience. So, minor rifts are designed for a solo player to defeat. However, if you’re out to defeat as many as the bonus stages as possible, which grant even better loot, you’re going to want a few other adventurers to jump in the mix, because of the increased difficulty of unstable stages, which are the bonus stages.
Ten Ton Hammer: What happens to a rift if it is left untouched? How long can it stay up?
William Cook: Right now, we can keep rifts up for virtually forever. They act as one way doorways pumping out invaders until our intrepid adventurers work up enough courage to take them out. During off-hours, our dynamic coordinator slows down this behavior and makes sure that it doesn’t become irritating.
Ten Ton Hammer: Since you have a lot of control from a development standpoint on the appearance of rifts, are low population times entered into these equations, such as the wee hours of the morning?
William Cook: It’s probably the primary consideration of a lot of the activity coordinators. But yes, we are measuring player activity. We have our dynamic coordinators to modify the frequency of dynamic content accordingly.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can a player play through the game without ever encountering a rift or joining a rift battle?
William Cook: I say that they would have a pretty hard time getting through the game without encountering a rift or an invasion. Whether or not they join in a battle is completely up to them. Rifts are such compelling story targets and they offer their own sorts of rewards, so every player is going to have a serious reason to jump in and help in the fight.
Ten Ton Hammer: I guess that there’ll be a quest that will involve rifts too, I imagine?
William Cook: We do have hooks for the static and dynamic content to interact. In fact, we just got done implementing a bunch of rift quests. They’ll come in several different forms, but yes, you can interact with rifts through quests. You can interact with them on just their own merit as well. They also have their own sorts of rewards which will make them incentivized in their own way.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will the rifts ever interfere with questing or other things that players might be doing to a degree that they won’t be able to complete the mission that they’re on? (Submitted by Khalathwyr)
William Cook: Rifts produce invaders, which are keen to take over the world. If these invaders aren’t stopped, they will take over quest hubs and other locations important to players. Players will need to rid these areas of invaders in order to restore the functionality of these locations, something which has been given a sense of real consequences to our dynamic content.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you wish to tell our readers about rifts in general?
William Cook: Just to give them a try. They’re heck of a lot more fun than we ever expected them to be.
Our thanks to William Cook. If you have any questions about Rift: Planes of Telara that you want to be asked in a future interview, please post them in our official Rift forum.