It was Storm Legion’s second beta test last weekend, and RiftJunkies was there to get the inside scoop! We joined Community Manager James Nichols, better known to us as Elrar, for a tour of some of the new zones, raids, dungeons, and Dimensions.
When you enter the new Frozen Tempest raid there is no doubt that you’re stepping into the home of the Storm Legion. Where Regulos’ lair in Eternal Eclipse is dark and organic, Frozen Tempest is bright, cold, and heavily influenced by magitech. The centerpiece of the raid zone is a huge clockwork wrought metal tower called the Tempest Engine, which leads up to a platform where players will finally get to meet (and shoot at) the infamous Crucia.
In fact, Frozen Tempest tells the story of how Crucia finds her human form. That’s an ominous plot summary for those who like their homicidal dragons to be really very dead, and it seems fair to wonder if Trion had a trick up their sleeve when they put the expansion’s main villain in the very first raid zone.
Some of the creature models in Frozen Tempest will look familiar to anyone doing the current city invasion Instant Adventures, but some, like first boss Gelidra (who has a large cleave radius, I learned as she hit me in the face), are unique for Storm Legion. Both Gelidra and one of the later bosses, Artifex Zaviel, resemble giant harpies and stand waiting for players in huge frozen atriums. Also new to raids are traps along the hallways that have to be disabled before they set your team on fire.
Many of the mobs were removed from Frozen Tempest for the purpose of the tour but Elrar warned us not to be fooled by the relative peace of the place. Each of the boss fights are heavily scripted, with whole series of events. RIFT’s encounter design team, Elrar said, had been learning new techniques with every raid they released and for Storm Legion they’re getting pretty technically advanced with what challenges they can give to players.
One gets the feeling that the Crucia fight itself will be an excellent example of these new tools in action. Near the end of the zone players will take a large ornate elevator (yes! elevators in RIFT!) up to an open air platform. It would be poor sport to give away too many details of this final fight, particularly based on beta information, but Elrar couldn’t resist one tantalizing hint while talking about the intricate encounter design: “Yeah, at one point you go into outer space.” Outer space?! Fighting a dragon goddess of air while in space sounds like a dangerous proposition.
Actually, fighting a dragon goddess anywhere sounds like a dangerous proposition. How much of one, players will have to find out for themselves in a few more weeks.