When Trion added Conquest to RIFT, one of the team’s stated goals was that they wanted to help build a bridge between dedicated PvP players and dedicated PvE players. Conquest was planned as the perfect large-scale playground for players who enjoyed slaying other players, of course, but it was also designed with PvE players in mind. The roles of crafting and objective taking were going to be brought to the forefront, and the developer team hoped that small, organized groups would play a vital part. The plan was to make Conquest’s rewards worthwhile to both PvE players and PvP players.
During the first months of Conquest, this plan went fairly well. Without taking the early catastrophes of Conquest into consideration, everyone at least tried out the new feature, even players who weren’t known to PvP. Despite Trion’s hopes, Conquest quickly delved into a large-scale zerg fest where small groups generally weren’t formed and Conquest became a battle between which side had the most players clumped up. A large portion of PvE players still took part despite the lack of PvE gameplay for two reasons– Conquest Point perks and the stat trinket– both of which were great for PvE purposes.
Now we find ourselves three months into Storm Legion. Our Conquest map hasn’t changed. We’ve seen some quality-of-life updates to Conquest including a better queue system, but for the most part, the three-faction system plays similar to how it played at level 50. It’s a PvP zerg fest, essentially, which is great for players who enjoy that type of PvP action. For other players, those two desirable rewards still stand out. The problem with the perks and trinket this time around, however, is far more pronounced and is beginning to leave a sour taste is many PvE players’ mouths.
The first few months of an expansion are crucial for most raiders. After leveling comes the hard part of balancing raiding, farming out the currency for planar essences, earning the trust of notoriety factions for runes, and catching up on crafting, achievements, and alts. It’s a difficult balance for some, and as most of us know, Storm Legion packed on a decent amount of faction grinding and currency farming. This is good in most ways because it encourages us to play more often. It’s also a lot to keep in mind when there’s also the prospect of best in slot trinkets and Conquest Point perks to grab and keep active.
In this period of post-expansion raid progression and looking ahead to the new Hard Mode raids coming in RIFT 2.2, many raiding guilds out there are pushing their raiders to better their characters in any way possible. Let’s take a look at those Conquest trinkets. For most callings and souls, they’re best-in-slot by more than a slight margin for any type of PvP or PvE content. They also feature Endurance, which should be very handy for pushing Hard Mode content.
The only other real stat-adding alternatives are the blue, non-upgraded Ridgerunner trinkets that also require PvP. Besides those two options, getting a pre-raid trinket depends on dungeon RNG, and dungeon trinkets aren’t ideal for everyone. The level 50 Conquest trinket is also still decent, which is much easier to get now, but is still, well, level 50.
With as little options as there are at level 60, quite a few raiding guilds have started requiring their raiders to seek out the Conquest trinkets. In other guilds, the Conquest trinkets may not be required per say, but due to the simple fact that there aren’t many options, there’s a kind of pressure for raiders to spend a considerable amount of time in Conquest in order to compete with the rest of their guildmates. Is Trion forcing players to play Conquest in order to raid? Of course not. But due to the lack of alternative trinket options, grinding out the Conquest trinket makes a whole lot of sense right now. Almost too much sense.
The Conquest Point perks are another issue altogether. Raiders have to regularly take part in Conquest in order to keep these active. These generally aren’t required by most guilds, but for players who are used to focusing entirely on raiding and other PvE gameplay options, the idea of playing a Conquest match every day or so is one that takes away from their overall enjoyment of the game.
As far as the other side of the spectrum, PvP players now find themselves feeling as though they need to run PvE content frequently in order to obtain best-in-slot PvP planar essences. Infinity Stones can be obtained in Conquest, but not nearly in the amount that they can be collected while participating in PvE content.
In response to player complaints over this clear, looming bridge that seems to have plopped itself in between raiding and PvP, Daglar look some time a couple of weeks ago to issue the following statement:
“There are going to be portions of the game where content crosses over and it grants benefits. You are not absolutely required by the game to take part in this activity. You feel that you must as you are a high end raider. We absolutely give you an incentive to engage in this content – I will not argue that point.
I have seen these requests before – I will see them again. We will not be removing the PvE benefits from Conquest. We will not be removing the trinkets from working in PvE.
The same holds true of requiring infinity stones for essences from PvP. There are other aspects of the game that we want you to engage in. This is why we create a variety of reward paths.”
Trion’s stance seems clear on the matter, which makes sense when thinking about the team’s goals when Conquest was originally added. However, it seems like the rewards offered post-Storm Legion are greater than the rewards offered right after Conquest came out. There were quite a few more trinkets to choose from before Storm Legion launched. There’s also the fact that we’re currently in a very progression-influenced period of a new expansion. Expansions cause guilds to reform, recruit new players, and often go all-out when it comes to clearing content.
This is the most exciting time to be a raider. Players shouldn’t feel like they need to log on and queue up for something that they might as well just go AFK for (and yes, AFKing in Conquest is becoming an issue). They don’t need to, of course, but the fact that they feel like they need to is a warning sign, in my opinion. Players should be having a blast in RIFT right now.
If there were more trinkets with stats on them to choose from, I think players would be a lot more happy with Conquest being one possible option for grabbing a trinket at level 60. The Conquest trinket can still be best-in-slot, but it should be so by a small margin, not a huge one like it currently is. RIFT is a game with a ton of options. Many players choose to keep playing RIFT because of those options. Why don’t we see those options when it comes to trinkets?
Another option, of course, is for Trion to rework Conquest majorly, bringing in more PvE elements and ensuring there’s more to do than simply follow the herd of mounts and red name tags. Either way, the PvE and PvP crossover bridge needs to be looked at. Something needs to give, before it risks falling apart altogether.