In this sixth exclusive interview with Trion Worlds, Ten Ton Hammer
asks about gamers’ favorite things, loot and gear! To learn
more about the fabulous items that you can get in Rift: Planes of Telara
we sat down with Drew Clowery, Game System Designer. Many equipment
related topics were discussed such as loot drops, armor sets, looting
systems, rarity of loot, and many others. If you have any questions you
wish answered in a future interview, please post them in our official
Ton Hammer: Are there armor sets and bonuses?
This is something
that I, personally, really want. But that doesn't mean it will get in
right away. We're not planning on having armor set bonuses at launch,
but we will be paying close attention to the community feedback during
beta and beyond.
Ton Hammer: Do you have an idea of how many armor sets are available?
I have a pretty good
idea! I work with those guys regularly. (laughs) We have 48 different
models, and then each model has a number of texture variants. Those
texture variants can dramatically alter the way the model looks. There
are 48 underlying models where the physical geometry looks like this,
and then a large of texture variants which changes the look of the
whole item. We have quite a few.
Ton Hammer: Do all armor pieces have a visual component? Say
you’re wearing an earring; will you be able to see that
earring on your avatar?
"Loot is a really big
element in these games. Getting new and exciting gear is really
We decided not to do
that. There’s really a really low rate of return for the
workload on a lot of those. It’s hard to see rings, earrings,
or belts. When you’re looking at characters in a MMOG, you
tend to be looking at them from a distance away, and you
don’t get that really close up view that lets you see little
details like that. As a result of that, we decided not to put the work,
and it’s a substantial amount of work, into modeling each and
every one of those items. That said, you have 6 different visual
appearance armor slots, plus weapons, which appear visually on your
character. So there is a good deal of visual character customization,
and we really tried to focus in on the areas where we would get the
biggest bang for our buck.
Ton Hammer: Will dungeons have better gear drops than rifts?
In general, rifts
are theoretically easier than dungeons because there’s no
population gap. You can keep brining in more people until your video
card melts. Because of that, rifts are considered easier and we try to
distribute items based upon the difficulty of the content. If a 5 man
dungeon can only be done by 5 people and there’s a certain
level of difficulty, it’s going to have loot of that
difficulty. If there’s a rift that’s a 5 man rift
of comparable difficulty in terms of completing it, we’re
going to grade it as being slightly less difficult because you can
bring it 6, 8, or 20 people in. At the same time, if you’re
doing a 10 to 20 man rift event, which is harder than a 5 man dungeon,
we’re going to grade that harder, but not as hard as a 10 to
20 man raid event, where you can only bring in that specific number of
Ton Hammer: Are the classic restrictions of cloth, leather, chain and
plate in place?
Yes. It may be
beneficial at times for a warrior, let's say, to equip leather with
high stats to do more DPS if that's the role they want to play, but
generally speaking, they'll want to stick to the armor type of their
calling. Your tanking breastplate won’t be too desirable to
you DPS warrior.
Ton Hammer: So, is there world loot, which is random drops off of
There absolutely is.
We have the noun-of-adjective items, like the Sword of Awesomeness, and
those can drop anywhere in the world. Those are really good for
leveling characters and filling in gear gaps where you might have
missed a particular quest and don’t have a cool set of boots,
which this type of loot will cover up. Perhaps you did dungeons, but
you didn’t get the loot you wanted. These drops are gap
We also a good number of handcrafted items which drop randomly in the
world. Generally, the handcrafted items are specific to one monster,
one set of monsters, or one region of the world. We do that to
reinforce the flavor of those areas. It’s not as exciting to
kill an earth elemental and get the goblin king’s sword. We
want to keep those things in a more localized, flavorful place.
Obviously, the exception there is if the earth elemental is in the
goblin king’s fortress. We try to keep things in a specific,
flavorful area and those items are handcrafted, which means that
they’re generally a little bit better and a lot cooler.
Ton Hammer: Are their tiers of loot, such as white, green, blue, and
Yes. We call it
rarity. The common loot is the normal things that you can’t
equip, such as vendor loot, consumables, and trade skill items. Then we
have uncommon loot, which is most of your wearable armor that gives you
stat bonuses as well as rarer consumables. Then we have rare and epic
loot, with rare being I worked really hard to get this and epic being
that I worked really, really, really hard to get this. It’s a
pretty standard thing. We didn’t want to fix what