The first Rift live event kicked off yesterday (along with the 1.1 patch), and for day-one of a major patch things were very smooth. Patching was quick, the servers stayed up, and no major bugs were introduced.
The event itself, as of right now, consists of a few new quests in the capital city and random death rifts opening up across all zones. I also saw one new invasion in Stillmoor, and I’m guessing other zones also have new event-based invasions. The death rifts themselves are also new in terms of content, and feature what I’m assuming are guest appearances by the soon-to-be-added bosses from the new 20 man raid zone. The mobs look very impressive.
As with most things in Rift, it’s not one thing that stands out and screams “I’m awesome, look at me”, but rather all the little things that come together to make this addition just that much better than what came before.
First off is the integration of the event into the UI; all players now see a new listing in their quest tracker, and if you click on it, you get a nice-looking event overview window with some flavor text and the schedule for the event. That this is already built-in shows some good planning by Trion, and hints at what else they might already have planned. Is it too much to ask for Asheron’s Call-style monthly storyline updates?
As mentioned, the death rifts are slightly different from pre-event death rifts, and toss in a new mechanic or two along with a more story-driven presentation. It’s a good change of pace, especially this early in the games life, and again points to what could be done later on. I’m fairly confident that Trion is saving up the more complex rift mechanics for later (or for raid rifts, I’ve yet to see one of those), allowing the majority to get comfortable with what is there now, similar to how the first zone’s invasions are simplified versions of the system. One-off rifts for quests already have more complex mechanics, so the tech is there.
On a personal note my warrior is at 49.5 right now, and some of our members have already hit 50, meaning we will be running tier one dungeons shortly, which I’m really looking forward to. We have also picked up a few new members, and assuming everyone makes it to 50, we should have the numbers to do 10-man raid rifts. We will have to add some people if/when we aim for 20 man raiding, but that’s something we can address when we get closer to that possibility.