With Rift gaining in popularity, it is no surprise that Trion has been hard at work putting together the newest batch of content. At E3 2011, we caught up with Will Cook, the dynamic content lead working on the MMO, to chat with him about what is coming down the pike. With the upcoming arrival of the 1.3 patch, players will get to experience the new Waves of Madness world event, in which both Guardians and the Defiant alike will work together to breach the doors of Hammerknell and uncover the layers of mysteries found within.
Trion's last foray into a world event for the game was with the River of Souls, which had some pretty well-known false starts and ultimately came out the gate as hobbled. The complaints have obviously reached the developers' ears, with Waves of Madness capitalizing on the opportunity to correct that falter. Though hard data on how many phases will be contained in the event or what they would entail weren't available for comment, what is known is that it will consist of at least four phases held over approximately six weeks culminating with a joint effort between Guardian and Defiant turrets breaching the doors of Hammerknell so that both factions can gain access.
The problem lies in how there were just as powerful forces inside that have been waiting to get out, chiefly being the demonic Murdantix. After fighting off his initial advance and sending him retreating back into the broken doorway, players will begin to have access to the game's newest chunk of endgame content. At the time of writing, the new instance contains around 10 bosses in a non-linear structure, including previous citizens of the city and their previous king and prince. Though the mystery of Hammerknell is a big one, it is only the tip of the iceberg, and as the planar forces of death and water also permeate the area, there are far more secrets to be uncovered.
Hammerknell is one of the more detailed dungeons found in the genre to date. The city is a vast and detailed expanse of corridors and caverns, grand halls and throne rooms. The new content certainly delivers its visuals on an epic scale, especially as you go deeper and see how the forces of death and water have twisted the place to their will. Murdantix is reportedly one of the final bosses, and he certainly looks the part as he burst through the shattered doors and began pouncing down the large stairwell.
Though that content is obviously designed for level 50 players, there will be content that lower-level players can complete to participate in the phases, and they'll even get the achievement for being there when the doors fall. Assuming players can dodge the mobs in the area, anyone can participate in that event, and the developers have stated that they are trying to relay more information about the completion of phases to players. It is the goal so that the Waves of Madness event has something to offer to all players and not just to those at the level cap.
In addition, there are some new features coming to the game in the form of guild banks and character server transfers. Guild banks are self-explanatory, and while character transfers are nothing new to the genre, Trion is not charging for that feature. It is the developers' stance that people pay for a service, and it is Trion's job to keep expanding upon it; it's certainly a school of thought that's in the minority in the genre.
As Rift continues to roll onward, Trion continues to put forth content with hefty patches, adding new content and features to expand the game in respectable ways. Prods for even more substantial content, such as new classes or souls, were met with diplomatically coy responses, with a "read between the lines" comment that all triple-A MMOs see their boxed expansions here and there. For now, Trion continues to put forth free content to bolster its product, and if the Waves of Madness world event goes smoothly, it will only continue to establish the game as the newest big player in the MMO market.
Greg Hale also contributed to this preview.
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