Rift: Define ‘dynamic’

I’ve yet to really look into Rift because, well, it’s an MMO in pre-beta, so right now the devs are telling you it’s gods gift to gaming, and they have the feature-list and staged videos to prove it! I did however watch a video over at Massively, and aside from watching yet another game with ‘stand and mash’ combat (the fight with the giant), odd/poor collision (the dagger pvp part near the end), and a general sense that the animations look a little off, I do have one question about the rifts themselves.

The concept of a rift opening to take over a village sounds very cool, especially with the landscape actually changing to reflect the attack. Bonus points for having various rift factions who can (hopefully truly at random) fight each other if they cross paths. For some reason NPC vs NPC battles have always been interesting in my book.

My question is what actually happens to that occupied village? I get that it looks different and has enemy mobs in it, but what else? Are all friendly NPCs killed or driven off? Is the village ‘disabled’ in terms of NPC functionality (quests, shops, etc)? When the rift is defeated/closed, does the village reset back to normal? Is there any lasting effect, based on how hard the village was hit and how long it was under occupation? Do its inhabitants remember the invasion, and react at all to it? Is there a lasting impact for being the guild or individual who did the clearing?

I ask because if the answers above are ‘not really’, then how are rifts any different from WAR’s PQs, if said PQs were all kill-the-mob based and spawned randomly? (Granted, spawned randomly itself is a nice step forward, but is that it?) What exactly is ‘dynamic’ about Rift? Or are we talking dynamic by themepark standards, in how WAR is ‘dynamic’ in terms of capital city conquest: you can burn the city, but a day later it’s all back to square one, with no real change a day/week/month/year later?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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17 Responses to Rift: Define ‘dynamic’

  1. Kyir says:

    I find it pretty amusing that the article starts off talking about how this is going to be the next big thing that everyone’s talking about, and this is the first time I’ve heard about it.

  2. Bhagpuss says:

    We’ll soon see, won’t we?

    Much of the hype is coming from people who loved what Scott Hartsman did for EQ2, which includes me, and EQ players hoping for another iteration of EQ under a different name, a la Vanguard (me again).

    I can’t imagine there will be much in Rifts of interest to people that actively dislike “theme park” MMOs, but with luck it will be one of the better iterations of the genre. And if the rifts themselves just turn out to be PQs that’s fine with me. I thought PQs were about the only feature WAR had that deserved to be emulated.

  3. brannagar says:

    To answer your questions Syncaine.

    The occupied quest hub becomes a “foothold” which can then spawn additional invasions and send them out. All NPCs at the quest hub are “killed” and the functionality (quest givers, vendors etc.) are disabled.

    Once the foothold is defeated, the village (or quest hub) resets back to normal. They do not “remember” the invasion per se but they do react to the attacks and such with differing speech.

    The Rift system is a lot different from a PQ. At its core it is similar but the invasions and footholds separate it from the PQ. Also, the fact that it is random and dynamic separate it from the PQ. In WAR the PQs were always there and in the same spot. They never changed. In Rift this is not the case. They spawn in differing places, with differing strengths and sequences.

    One thing that I do like about the system is that they have a lot of room to grow it. There is a lot of things they can add or are adding to make it more dynamic than it already is. Rift RAIDS are coming and they have talked about the using the Rift system for things like Goblin encampments and the like, making the Goblins attack like the Rifts do.

    There are a lot of ways they can go with the system and, assuming that Rift is at least semi-successful, I believe you will see them evolve it a whole lot over the next few years.

    • SynCaine says:

      So 50/50. The rift does impact the town, but only temporarily. Some form of permanence would be nice, if only something like a monument or such of the invasion and those killed by it. The more it happens, the bigger the monument (or graveyard perhaps).

      Still, 50/50 is not bad, and from the videos the whole class system looks interesting, assuming the balance avoids heavy FOTM rotations.

      • brannagar says:

        I can say, without a doubt, the class system is truly awesome. There are tons of options and you can build some truly unique characters from the look of it. Even better, they have laid a solid foundation to allow them to grow the Soul system even further. PvP souls have been mentioned and so have unique “fluff” souls.

        There will be some FotM builds, that can not be avoided in any game that allows for customization. But with the amount of options that you have available, I believe there will be many more viable options than what you see in WoW and the like. The game truly rewards “thinking outside the box” in terms of the class customization aspect.

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  5. Malcolm says:

    Pretty much what brannagar said.
    -Malcolm/Maeloda from the video


  6. Maggnus says:

    I would like to hear more on their battleground (forgot what he called it) area. Is it styled like DAOC frontiers (win) or like WAR/AoC PvP areas (fail)?

    • brannagar says:

      Not sure yet Maggnus. There are “battlegrounds” called Warfronts that are just like WoW’s battlegrounds. Those are fun but are identical to a WoW battleground or WAR scenario.

      There is also a PvP “zone” called Port Scion but no other information about that has been forthcoming. Scott Hartsman said that it was the center of the Defiant/Guardian war and would be one massive warzone but we haven’t heard or seen anything else about it.

      I think PvP on PvP servers will play out similarly to “vanilla” WoW. Lots of ganking and small group PvP in the open world. I actually miss that so it will be nice for me but it may not be for everyone.

      • Kyir says:

        Are PvP servers everyone flagged and always killable? Or are there certain “safe” zones even in them.

        • brannagar says:

          Nothing final on that front, though I imagine it will be a lot like WoW servers when WoW first came out. No safe zones except the very early leveling experience and maybe the capital cities and PvP flagged everywhere else.

        • Maggnus says:

          I actually liked the early days of WoW PvP. Lots of roaming pvp, then after the battlegrounds came out that ended and the game turned to shit.

  7. Mala says:

    This game has been known as Heroes of Telara before it was Rift: Heroes of Telara, and finally just Rift now. So, if you haven’t heard of this, you may have heard of it under the previous name. It made a little splash when it was announced, and this dynamic events sound promising if they are legit, as you say. In the long run, the entire MMO rests on how dynamic the game actually is. If its just another fantasy MMO quest grinder, I’ll pass faster than you can say….something you can say fast.

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  9. Bronte says:

    You know, about 5 seconds ago I posted on Player vs. Developer, responding to a comment by good ol’ Spinks, about how Rift has some interesting new retooled features. But I never really asked these questions about the Rifts themselves. And you are right, if the answer is “not really”, peace, uh, studio-that-is-designing-Rift-because-I-can’t-quite-remember-it’s-name-and-I-am-too-lazy-to-search-for-it.

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