Updated Mon, Oct 08, 2012 by Shayalyn
At the beginning of a day spent with the Trion team talking about Rift (as Ten Ton Hammer and some other press folks did recently) you might be tempted to interpret their tangible enthusiasm as the result of drinking their own Kool-Aid. Stay a while, though, and see what they're presenting, and you begin to think, why not? After all, they’ve concocted a heady brew. Not only has Trion put out a dozen named free updates for Rift since launch, but their upcoming first expansion, Storm Legion, more than triples the size of the original game. That’s a production schedule that might leave any development team wondering where they can get some of Trion’s Kool-Aid for themselves.
Not only is the game larger with tons more land mass to explore, Trion has also added 7 new dungeons to Telara, 3 new raids, one new Chronicle, more instant adventures, four new souls (one for each calling), 10 more levels (increasing the level cap to 60), player housing, and a multitude of story-filled ways to work toward defeating the dragon Crucia and her minions, including facing off with Crucia herself.
Those gathered at Trion’s Rift: Storm Legion press day in San Francisco were treated to a preview of some of the new content coming to Rift. Gamers have become accustomed to MMORPG expansions including some new island or starting zone, if we’re lucky, but that wasn’t enough for Trion; they dropped in two huge new continents.
“Just one continent [in Storm Legion] is bigger than the entire land mass that’s in Rift at the moment,” said Simon Ffinch, Rift Senior Design Director, proudly displaying the expansion’s new map. “So the game is now three times larger.”
Seeming to prove the vastness of the new expansion, the developers frequently found themselves lost (even while navigating with dev tools) during the demo. And they reveled in it, as if to say, “See? We told you this xpack was huge!”
“Most of our playerbase are level 50,” said Ffinch, “so we thought, ‘Let’s give them lots of fun stuff to do.”
But, while Storm Legion does cater to level capped players, that doesn’t necessarily make it uninviting to new players. “We get new people entering Rift all the time,” said Hal Hanlin, Design Producer. “What we do, is have the mechanics in place to get new players quickly into the [expansion pack] content, if that’s what they want. We speed up the leveling experience, and then, when you figure in mentoring, you can move through the content quickly and get up to the new stuff where you can explore with your friends.”
Read on for information on Rift's new player housing and more.