Some cryptic Trion staff member posts have surfaced on the official RIFT forums this past week. A staff member by the forum name 3 3228466 787 is the main culprit, with posts that are intentionally cryptic, containing poetry, numerical codes, random pictures, and phrases. Fans of the game and forums have banded together in an attempt to muddle through the confusing posts, and figure out what the heck the folks at Trion are up to.
What do we know so far? Here is a summary of the posts, findings, possible theories, and reactions so far. I’ll try and keep this post updated with the latest information, so if you know of any new details, feel free to drop me a line. Special thanks to the awesome people on the official forums who helped come up with this information. It’s all interesting stuff!
Here’s the thread where it all started, on Thursday, May 10th. Telara-style poetry! Staff member 3 3228466 787 then went on to post little hints in other parts of the forums that directed players back to the original thread. These were found in the PvP and Warfront forum, Public Test Shard forum, and Dungeons and Raids forum.
The first cryptic aspect of this post was, of course, the poster’s name. By using a simple phone keypad code, players deduced the name translates to “3 FACTION PVP.” Interestingly enough, “3 FACTION RVR” also works. Either way, big hint.
Here’s the poem:
Nemo surdior est quam is qui non audiet
The voices echoed in chamber halls,
Through valleys wide and darkened den
The time has come for all to heed
For the flesh of Telara shall be rend
As an answer comes with great resound
The drums of war fill the bitter air
Three points the blade, but two edges bleed
Not merely one thrust for the bloody fare
The fog of war, blood bridle deep
The time is now, a chance to decide
Which song you sing, which promise you keep
To bear upon Death’s dear sweet bride
Growing seeds of domination born
All opposition shall give way
To an empire spanning from sea to sea
The iron Ram the only way
A promise given forever more
To conquer and to shed all fear
Never to rule, but born of war
The Lion’s vigil to protect those held dear.
The Raven’s consequence of a latter day,
Our destruction will meet no end
Telara is doomed by our ill born fate
Unless we continue to ascend.
The title, which is in Latin, translates to “No one is more deaf than he who will not listen.” The poem itself alludes to a war, two forms that shift into three, a trio of animals, and a decision that must be made in order to end the war. Later on, 3 3228466 787 went on to post a series of posts that contained pictures depicting various images in the poem: here, here, and here.
The first contained an image of a ram, lion, and raven, the second a blue lion’s paw, and the third a combination of the word “machine” (with an image of a machine) added to the word “born” (with an image of a newborn baby). The images depicted seem to emphasis the animals, and the concept of being “machine-born”, which is one of RIFT’s themes, mainly originating from the Defiant faction.
3 3228466 787 posted an amendment of sorts later in the thread, with this:
“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”
…. To Protect
……. To Save
……… To Rule
What is your choice, Ascended?
This seems to emphasize the need to make a choice between three goals. Just by using the knowledge we already know about the factions, we can deduce that “to protect” probably means Guardians, “to save” means Defiant, and “to rule” represents this new third faction. This seems to make sense with the three animal symbols. Ravens have been seen as the Defiant symbol in early beta, and Guardians seem to fit under the lion by the wording of the poem (“The Lion’s vigil”), which would leave the ram to represent this new faction. All of this is pure speculation at this point, of course.
Players went on to theorize that the war described in the poem could allude to the coming of Crucia, which was then shot down by 3 3228466 787, who posted here, with the paw, using the same numerical code. The code, when translated, says, “Wrong guess” and “No Crucia”. Players then went back to the drawing board.
Coincidentally enough, on the very next day, last Friday, Trion announced a huge, new PvP feature being tested during a PTS event this coming week. The actual feature being tested hasn’t been announced, which is unusual for Trion. It’s as if they’re being intentionally cryptic here, too. Coincidence? Probably not.
As to why they’re being cryptic? It’s hard to say, but honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is partially an attempt to get a little public notice. Let’s face it– There’s a lot of soon-to-be-released buzz and beta buzz flying around the MMO scene these days. Is Trion using this little adventure as a way to get attention a bad thing? Not necessarily. While many of us are more comfortable with Trion’s usual upfront manner when it comes to announcing new features and additions, there’s nothing wrong in a little creativity and fun every once in a while.
So what does Trion have up its sleeve? The facts seem to open doors to few different scenarios.
Here’s what is safe to say we know at this point:
Three factions are coming to RIFT
Players will have to choose between their current faction and this new one
The factions will be used in PvP in some fashion
Latest update (5/14): Another post cropped up, with another avatar change for our buddy, 3 3228466 787. This one, when translated, means, “PREPARE YOURSELF.” The avatar changes seem fairly random, but so far we’ve seen a couple of different letters appear, starting with “D” and now we see an “O” in a block.
Mystery solved! (5/15): Trion announced what they’re really up to. Conquest– three-faction world PvP! Check out all the details here.
Let’s think about possibilities for a minute. Players have now began to theorize that the faction “split” will happen with Orphiel Farwind splitting away from Asha Catari, and thus the Defiant faction. The lore seems to fit here, as well as the allusion to “machine born” and the fact that this new faction seems to be more aggressive than the two we currently have. If we see this situation or one similar, it’s likely that we’ll be given a choice as to whether to stick to our current faction or join the new one. We may also get the opportunity to change factions altogether, similar to World of Warcraft’s system.
There has been evidence of a new city in development, which seems to fit the theory well. At around 2:38 in the following RIFT anniversary video, some new architectural designs are seen that may fit with this new faction:
Some of those designs were also dataminned in late 2011 by a few sources around the internet. Some of these models were seen under the name “Estrian”, which may allude to the actual name of this third faction.
It’s also possible that instead of seeing a game-wide faction split/switch feature, we’ll see one that’s limited to a particular PvP map, warzone, or environment. I really hope this isn’t the case, but it’s a possibility, given the PvP-centered nature of the evidence at hand. Upon joining the new PvP map/zone for instance, we could be forced to choose a temporary alliance. We could also see something similar to Lord of the Rings Online’s Monster system, where players are able to roll as an enemy faction under certain PvP conditions.
There’s also the possibility that instead of splitting off into three main factions, players will be able to choose a new subfaction, and each animal symbol represents something new entirely. Trion has a lot of options here, and it’ll definitely be interesting to see what they come up with. It’s also interesting to speculate about what type of PvP addition we’re receiving. Will we see a new warzone, or possibly a new open-world PvP map? What about the possibility of RvR? That would make a lot of people happy. RIFT would do very well with some open-world PvP. PvP needs some kind of boost.