This weekend at PAX Prime 2012, Trion Worlds put on quite a show with all of the goodies they had to offer. The company showcased RIFT a great deal, naturally, diving into areas of Storm Legion that we haven’t seen before. We were also shown some of the new Bard skills in action. On top of all that, we also found out some new details about the expansion! It was a good weekend, and thanks to Trion’s TwitchTV page, it’s possible to view the footage at any time.
There’s a lot of footage to cover, however, thanks to three days of live streams. That’s why we’re here to offer up some of the best highlights of the three-day event, show off some screenshots, videos, and all the juicy details that were new information reveals. As a warning, all of the footage below was originally captured from Trion’s live streams, so graphical/sound quality may not be the best. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Note: There were more locations than these showcased during PAX Prime.
Endless Eclipse is a level 60 mid-tier raid instance that was showcased during PAX. Russ Brown, VP of Development at RIFT, is giving us the voiceover here. No enemies have been implemented yet, but this will be where we will defeat Regulos. Yep, it’s a death-themed raid, complete with some pretty awesome interior and exterior designs. Rotting flesh, bones, and creepy angular features galore! Check the above image for a preview.
Golem Foundry is a level 58-60 5-man dungeon. Two boss fights are showcased, as well as more footage of the Harbinger soul in action. Russ Brown is providing the voiceover. Oh, this video’s also good for checking out some flappy cape motion!
Dusken: Fetid Plains
This is some gameplay footage captured in a leveling area of Dusken called Fetid Plains. Russ Brown is providing the voiceover. More Harbinger combat is seen. Apparently, Crucia flies around this area, but unfortunately we never caught a glimpse of her in the segment.
RIFT’s Executive Producer, Scott Hartsman ran us through Core City, a level 52-ish area. He showcased the new Bard soul, which has been through some considerable changes. He also previewed the new Hunt Rift and told us a bit about the new and improved Planar Attunement system. More details below!
Dungeons in Storm Legion
We were briefly shown a couple screenshots of a Dungeon Master menu screen, which is probably something used for Alpha testing, showing all of the new dungeons in development. Here they are, along with their levels:
- Exodus of the Storm Queen (50-52
- Storm Breaker Protocol (52-54)
- Unhallowed Boneforge (56-58)
- Golem Foundry (58-60)
- Archive of Flesh (58-60)
- Empyrean Core (60)
- Tower of the Shattered (60)
New Rogue Information
In Hartsman’s Core City segment, players found out some pretty exciting info for Bard fans. Here’s a list of some of the changes:
- There will only be three Motifs to juggle.
- Motifs refresh when finishers are used.
- Cadence can be used while moving.
- Combo points remain on the Rogue and not on the mobs, making target switching simple. This might be just for Bards, or might be for all Rogues as well.
- Bards aren’t getting a battle resurrection. The goal, apparently, is to change encounters so battle resses aren’t as essential.
- Cadence can be shifted from single target to multiple target. This includes the damage portion.
We also saw some new information about the new Rogue soul, Tactician. Yep, Harstman confirmed it– Rogues are getting the Tactician soul. He was using this spec that included 15 points in Tactician (click for larger version– it’s still pretty blurry):
Tactician seems to be a healing/damage hybrid soul, at least in its first couple tiers. Here are some new abilities we saw from it:
- A stacking buff that stacks to five charges. There are two sets of charges– one set increases healing done, the other increases damage done. These charges can be used to heal the Rogue. It’s possible that this is a new Bard ability, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually related to Tactician, and used for synergy.
- Curative Engine: Self-buff that heals the Rogue when they’re hit.
- Necrotic Core: New AoE finisher that disperses a poison-like cloud, dealing Water damage over time. It sounds like Tacticians will have a few different “Core” abilities, and they can only use one at a time.
More About Storm Legion
We’re going to be seeing some big changes to Planar Attunement in Storm Legion. First off, the big news– PA is going to be account-bound. We don’t know the specifics quite yet, but players are speculating that the system might allow players to shift PA experience from their highest PA-leveled character to their lower PA-leveled characters, yet not the reverse. This would allow players to easily switch main characters.
Hartsman also said that the PA system is going to encompass the idea of “one ding, one click”. Instead of players saving up multiple PA points to unlock particular nodes, players will be able to spend their point every time they gain a PA level. The goal here seems to be to make PA-spending a little more fun. The PA experience curve is also changing in Storm Legion. Instead of the experience requirements being normalized, they will vary, requiring more experience at higher levels. This will make it easier for newer players to obtain levels when first hitting the level cap.
We will be seeing two speed increases on mounts. Go speed kitty, go?
We’ll be getting our first cape upon completing the first quest chain of the expansion. They will be hide-able in the UI, similar to the helmet slot.
The Resist-All Stat
We’ll be seeing a new Resist-all stat that will offer resistance to all of the elements. The idea here is to get rid of some of the annoyance of having to need specific resist pieces and essence cores for every raid instance. Jewelery and capes, so far, have been listed as the items that will feature Resist-all.
We’ve seen quite a bit about player Dimensions already, but we learned a couple new things. Players can build their own little jumping puzzles out of planks of wood and boulders inside their Dimensions, since it’s possible to build things up in the air. It’s possible to die inside a dimension due to falling damage, but luckily players can resurrect anywhere inside a Dimension. We won’t be seeing any special crafting nodes, fishing nodes, or artifacts inside a Dimension. The guild level cap is going up, which will include some guild Dimension goodies.
Players can own a Dimension even if they don’t buy the expansion. There’s a basic version obtainable for early-level players, designed to showcase a portion of what’s to come. Upgradeable, cooler versions of Dimensions, of course, will be part of Storm Legion.
The leveling power curve for Storm Legion seems to be made with both geared players and players newer to the game in mind. ID gear, or any epic items, will be very helpful for the first few levels at least. Gear doesn’t become obsolete right away. We’ll be seeing new currencies and new tiers for pretty much everything. The new currency items are still under development.
Hartsman showed us one of the easier Hunt Rifts. A Hunt Rift is basically a more complicated Rift that requires killing a special named mob. To get to that last stage with the named mob, the players must defeat strong waves of enemies and perform special tasks during the earlier phases. Some of these tasks, for instance, require players to prevent mobs from running off and spawning footholds, and upgrade turret-like nexuses with Planar Charges. Hunt Rifts seem to be a little rarer than normal Rifts, and reward players with special achievements.
The Threat of Microtransactions
See that in-game menu bar? That was viewable on the screens of the early live streams, which caused a pretty large stir in the RIFT community. Yes, it looks like a cash shop shopping cart. It was later confirmed multiple times that the icon, in fact, was simply added to give players a way to preorder/purchase Storm Legion. It can also be used to purchase CE packs and mounts like the tiger mount.
Hartsman confirmed Trion’s intentions for microtransactions during a PAX interview with MMORPG.com’s Hillary “Pokket” Nicole. He said that the team is currently only looking to sell the expansion set, CE sets, and other items of that nature. This all may change in the future, however, and Hartsman definitely seems to have an open mind about RIFT exploring other alternatives down the road.
Goodies to Come
Storm Legion’s spouting some cool, new lighting technology that affects everything from sunsets, to roaming clouds, fog, and other weather effects. In Patch 1.10, this lighting tech will actually be added to our current version of RIFT, giving us an eye candy treat.
On the forums, it was also revealed that we will be seeing a Patch 1.11 in between 1.10 and 2.0, which is the launch of Storm Legion. According to Daglar, 1.11 will contain “Major changes like, soul tree changes, combat formula tweaks, and a variety of other things go live. It will give people a chance to adjust to the changes, and get set up for the release of Storm Legion, which will not be far behind.” We were also told the patch will feature a new area. Most players are speculating that the new area is related to Storm Rising, the precursor expansion event.
The Storm Legion beta will be an open beta. We were told that we’d be hearing details about beta “very soon”.
Release date info! On Sunday, Dahanese told us that we’d be finding out Storm Legion’s release date this week!
Oh, yeah, and we were also told that the next Storm Legion soul reveal will be the Warrior unveil. This was originally scheduled for about a week after PAX, which means we might be hearing details soon. The Warrior reveal will be followed by Rogue, then Cleric.
Special thanks to the folks who helped with video segments and screenshots, including Slipmat and Sonoko on the official RIFT forums.