The Rift System - Rift: Planes of Telara Reader Submitted Q&A #2

In our continuing series of exclusive interviews with Trion Worlds, Ten Ton Hammer gathers more details on the upcoming Rift: Planes of Telara MMOG.

In our continuing series of exclusive interviews with Trion Worlds, Ten
Ton Hammer gathers more details on the upcoming style="font-style: italic;">Rift: Planes of Telara
MMOG. In
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 href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53660">official
Rift
forum.





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.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/90552"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 359px;"
alt="rift: planes of telara screenshot"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/90552">

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.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/90550"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 363px;"
alt="rift: planes of telara screenshot"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/90550">

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.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/90476"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 580px; height: 363px;"
alt="rift: planes of telara screenshot"
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/90476">

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)
style="font-weight: bold;">


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 style="font-style: italic;">Rift: Planes of Telara
that you
want to be asked in a future interview, please post them in our href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=53660">official
Rift
forum.



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