Rift: Grim Harvest world event was AWESOME!

This is why I love world events. It’s not for the loot, it’s not for the lore, and it’s not for the gameplay.

No no.

It’s for the forum rage. And Rift delivered beyond anything short of League of Legends being unavailable for more than ten minutes in terms of pure, uncontrollable, fists-to-keyboard, rage-bucket-overflowing nerdrage. It’s like Trion went to every subscribers home and murdered their mothers/stole a hotpocket. It’s something akin to watching a preview for Bridalplasty, and thinking that this is now the new low for humanity.

The sheer amount of ‘me me me’ sentiment, the outrageous levels of entitlement, and the total hypocrisy of it all (We want truly dynamic content! No I missed the dynamic content, wtf is this /wrist!) just shows how truly sad a large section of any MMO community really is. If I was a dev, I’m not sure how I would handle it short of instancing everything on a repeating cycle… wait… nevermind.

That aside, let’s talk about the event itself. Simple put, phase 2 was good, phase 3 missed the mark, and overall expectations were WAY too high and the outcome either poorly communicated or simply underwhelming. Think WoW AQ40 gate event, only… actually think AQ40 event.

Phase 2 was good in that it spread the population out across all zones, was close enough to existing gameplay that it reduced confusion (it was basically a bigger invasion with more flavor), and on Sunrest it worked. MMO history has set some pretty damn low expectations for world events, but hey, it is what it is.

Phase 2 could have been better though. The whole thing was too quick, and should have contained more waves of attackers and perhaps some more ‘final’ bosses. Just something to give everyone enough time to make it over, and to perhaps give the whole thing a greater sense of actual danger. At least in Shimmersands, the invaders never even came close to winning. That said, whatever you do is going to get mega-zerged, so you are somewhat limited. If you make the bosses AoE people down, those playing on toasters are going to cry you a river that they died to lag and how that’s totally unfair and they feel like used cattle (or something along those lines, too many ridiculous forum posts floating around in my head to keep them all straight right now).

As for phase 3, I get what Trion was trying to do. It was a total fluff event, just some lore playing out in the world to set up the opening of the new raid instance. In that context what actually happened was pretty cool, as you got to see the two faction leaders face off with the big bad, and the ‘four pillar’ was all over the place. My lightsaber was quivering in excitement (btw, SW:sRPG is going to be amazing and everyone is going to love it, have I mentioned that?).

The problem was I think most people expected some epic boss showdown, followed by a massive loot-piñata explosion. Not so much on that front. Again, I think it was more of a communication issue than anything else; had people known phase 3 was just going to be some lore stuff, it probably would have worked out (the “I’m just here for the shiny” crowd would have stayed home).

Oh, and about that crowd. While Shimmersand in phase 2 was full of people in a good way, Stillmoor in phase 3 was a brilliant tech demo of the limitations of the Rift engine (not to mention the server crashing twice and the whole event having to be cycled in an odd, immersion-breaking fashion). With god knows how many people all in one area (literally 100s, if not over a thousand people in exactly one spot), the engine was only drawing 50 or so characters and limiting particles, which made walking around a ghost-show as people popped in/out on your screen. The worst part was my machine was happily chugging along at 30 FPS+, and could have easily handled more stuff on-screen (I was still at maxed out settings), but that option was not available to me. Add in being on a PvP server, and yea, not good. To Trion’s credit, at least the engine prioritized the special NPC characters, so even though I was not drawing the hundreds of players around them, I still got to see/hear the lore play out. Had THAT been cut due to player load, I might have a made a forum post myself (not really).

Without a doubt a lot of lessons learned here for Trion. They have already acknowledged that and tried to make amends with the nerdragers (btw, is it really an ‘achievement’ if the devs hand you the achievement?), and have stated that the next world event, which is coming shortly, will be better. If they can keep to a rapid pace, say one event every two months or so (more would be better, but every other months is pretty realistic IMO), people will get that if they miss something, it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime (AQ40) thing and they will get other opportunities to participate in an event.

That, or every other month will be a massive burst of entertainment on the forums. Something tells me it’s going to be a little (lot) of both.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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26 Responses to Rift: Grim Harvest world event was AWESOME!

  1. Stabs says:

    I missed it but tbh I don’t feel furious. It’s like missing the Cup Final or something, you can’t exactly phone up irately and demand they send you a personal reminder and compensation for you forgetting.

    I suppose this is why we can’t have nice things. Because someone doesn’t get the nice thing and that’s not fair. It’s not fair even in cases like mine when I knew it was happening soon but just didn’t get myself organised. Better if everyone gets nothing. Apparently.

  2. Remastered says:

    This was one of my personal favorites…

    “They are milking us like money cows without even bothering to warm their hands up ahead of time.
    And we are going to fall for it because we want this game to be as good as they promise it will be. They will get us docile with some patch or another until the next world event failure hits us like a bolt between the eyes – but by then it will be too late and we will be too invested in the game to actually leave.

    We are nothing but tender, tender digital beef to Trion.”

  3. Jim says:

    Great post, everything considered I thought it achieved what it set out to achieve, i.e. the players got a taste of things to come and Trion got a better handle on demands placed on their software/hardware/networks. Positive signs for the future for me.

    • Mojeaux says:

      “I thought it achieved what it set out to achieve, i.e. the players got a taste of things to come..”

      Really? Seems to me quite a few folks didn’t get even a nibble, much less a taste… just saying. You can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Or are they offering consolation prizes because it was such a great success?

      • Jim says:

        It was Trion’s FIRST attempt at a world event. Did you honestly expect everything to run smoothly or would it be more realistic to assume a percentage of the playerbase would miss the event? I think expectations (and as Syncaine correctly points out, entitlement) are running wild here. As for the ‘consolation prizes’, if it reduces the forum rage then that can’t be a bad thing can it?

        • Mojeaux says:

          Come on Jim. The content could have been designed (and most likely will be after this last snafu) with a little more attention to making sure everyone can experience the event is all I’m saying. Someone threw out instancing somewhere – not a big fan of it, but I can see where it might come in handy.

          As for the entitlement that Syn talks about, to me that would be the fan base demanding that they get to experience end game raiding without putting in the time to gear up etc. ala WoW.

          Expecting to be able to complete a world event, two weeks in the making… and not being able to because the last part of said event took all of 15 minutes to start and end? Not so much. I think there is a legitimate beef there.

        • Jim says:

          OK, to clarify… you think it failed from a player point of view due to poor execution, leaving many players frustrated at either not experiencing it or failing to meet their expectations. Fair enough. I, however, think it succeeded from a technical point of view because the event ultimately completed (note: not executed) as planned and allowed Trion to gather invaluable performance and stability metrics to allow them to further improve their infrastructure and gaming experience for all. Now, the question is, *at this stage*, what’s more important, giving the players a new unique experience as and when it’s ready, which could be many, many months if not years away, or testing the waters to open up the potential to delivery that unique experience on a regular basis one month into release? I’d vote for the latter every time.

      • SynCaine says:

        The event was overall not great (I thought phase 1 was decent-enough content for a themepark tbh, in addition to my thoughts on phase 2), but what event in themepark history can you point to and say “more of this please”?

        Themeparks have not figured out world events just yet (I don’t really count AC as a themepark, mostly due to AC-DT), so Trion is in somewhat untested territory here. Not an excuse, just throwing it out there.

  4. Bhagpuss says:

    Pretty much agree with most of that.

    Mrs Bhagpuss and I logged in without too much hassle, and again when they bounced the server. We got to die a lot of times before we killed one boss. We got to the watch the opening ceremony. On balance it was enjoyable and I’ve seen worse events.

    I knew well in advance that Phase 2 wouldn’t last more than a couple of hours and would only happen once. I knew Phase 3 was shorter than Phase 2. Not sure how people managed to be playing regularly and not become aware of that – I learned it in public channels in game. Nevertheless, it seemed to be a complete surprise to many, who thought it would go on for days and/or happen multiple times.

    I was surprised that the “2 hour” Phase 2 actually took less than 15 minutes, but then Faeblight is the second-busiest server, with a lot of level 50s. I did expect a fight in Phase 3, and there should have been one too. They took it out because they hadn’t been able to stabilise for it, I believe.

    Nevertheless, I thought it boded reasonably well for the future, and I thought Scott Hartsman’s handling of the potential bad publicity afterwards was exemplary. Just waiting on my goodie bag and free achievements now…

  5. bonedead says:

    Was Phase 3 Profit?

  6. Rammstein says:

    I thought the event didn’t live up to the hype, and wasn’t worth the 2 hour wait for it to start. I was on a fast rig and still was lagging substantially, and even if I hadn’t been it wouldn’t have been worth the wait.

    I feel like Trion is spending all their time trying to make their hardware run these massive boss events, when they should be asking themselves what they could do that would be more interesting than these mindless zergfests. As in, pretty much anything else.

    I like Rift’s crafting system, though it’s a bit skeletal at the moment. I like the rifts/invasions, although mainly their ability to affect the world for a small amount of time by taking over bases. I really like the ancient wardstone capturing system…yes, I’m someone who’d rather be playing your Pve-Sandbox but is instead playing Rift with his gf. I’m afraid that I’ll hit 50 and that at max level that feeling of capturing territory will no longer be there, as nothing will impact my character except for doing raids/experts, and I’ll just be playing a less polished form of WoW. More emphasis on raids cata-era WoW, and more emphasis on these world-bosses more like vanilla-era WoW, but either way, something I’ve already done.

  7. Saucelah says:

    I wish people would post MOAR examples of forum rage. I’m not playing Rift and am too lazy to explore the forums for myself.

    C’mon, fill these comments with whinging and whining for my entertainment.

    • SynCaine says:

      General forum moves fast. Last night the whole front page was gold just from titles alone. Today it’s back to Dungeon Finder ‘serious discussion’ and whatever else is the current hot topic meme.

      Wish I had a screen shot from last night though…

  8. Nils says:

    Let’s hope Trion works on this and improves it.

    Generally it’s good to see a non-instanced one-time event take place in a popular AAA-MMORPG.

  9. Supplanter says:

    Well I had no idea that the event was even on till I tried to log in and saw 3hr queue. Then did a quick google and found that the event was on. Then decided to have a couple matches of LoL which I lost both.

  10. Angry Gamer says:

    Angry’s thoughts meh…

    I love rift and all but I don’t have a 50 yet. I will have one by the next big event tho.

    It was a bit disappointing I can’t deny. But what stuck me is the build up to the event. They announced about 1 hour before the event in yellow text.. “hey neat stuff coming!”.

    Granted it was a bit of a let down… BUT I REALLY REALLY LIKE the showmanship. I have always found that WOW was an epic fail on the showy side. They could have built up so much for the pre-wrath stuff.

    But they didn’t
    and then pre-cata was all about strange floating hourglasses and building sandbag dikes or some such. Eh I think Rift is on to something though I think we WANT some circus master introducing the 3 rings.

  11. Zapod says:

    Rift would be a much better game if all the ex-WoW players would simply piss off and go elsewhere.

  12. Sleepysam says:

    Loved the opening paragraphs to this blog entry. Especially – “We want truly dynamic content! No I missed the dynamic content, wtf is this /wrist!”

    No time to play the games, but these blog entries are just as entertaining at times.

  13. Max says:

    Well Trion bragged so much about their “tech” while at the end of the day its really just a crappier version than wow. Even wow emus can handle around 100-200 people at same time in same area no problem. WoW proper could probably do over 500 (there was player made events close to over 300) .

    And dont get me started on real tech -such as planetside. I dont play rift anymore so dont really care, but the bragging about superior tech is just that – empty words.

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