RIFT‘s upcoming patch– RIFT 2.6– is right around the corner and is due out sometime in February. Until then, we received another large update on the Player Test Shard last Friday that showcased a few awesome features headed our way in the update. For starters, we were able to preview a completely new Loyalty tier. Also available for preview are unstable artifacts and some of the reward mounts as well the new trophy goodies, the beginning hints of an Air saga world event, and the Bloodfire Stronghold and its corresponding zone events.
The next major RIFT update– RIFT 2.6– is headed to live shards in February 2014, but for now we have an early preview of some of the additions headed our way on the Public Test Shard. The most exciting addition is probably the new profession– Dream Weaving. Dream Weaving grants players the ability to salvage artifacts and create dimension items and other goodies with raw materials. Players can even create new dimension keys that are BoE using Dream Weaving.
Also arriving in 2.6 are a couple of new raid rifts, new raid weeklies, new dimensions (as a result of Dream Weaving), new achievements, bounties, and a new Instant Adventure added to the Goboro Reef area. For now, let’s focus on Dream Weaving. Let’s take a look at how the crafting profession will work and a few of the awesome things players can create with it.
Note:As always, all information taken from the PTS is completely subject to change at any time. With Dream Weaving, especially, many of the exact item requirements, etc., are merely placeholders. As such, this won’t be a guide for leveling Dream Weaving, but rather a preview for the time being.
Dream Weaving Basics
To get started with Dream Weaving when it goes live, you’ll need to head to Tempest Bay and talk to Reva Song who can be found in the Canals area next to the NPC who sells dimension keys. You’ll also need a free tradeskill slot. Dream Weaving, unfortunately, takes up one of our non-freebie tradeskill slots. Because of this, Trion will be upping the amount of total extensions players can purchase in the RIFT Store to up to 7, totaling 10.
After picking up Dream Weaving, you’ll gain the ability to salvage artifacts. Breaking them down results in Dream Ribbons. Dream Ribbons are the main raw material you’ll need to create the items Dream Weavers can make. Other raw materials that are used include wood, cloth, ore, plants, leather, and fish. As of right now, the only items that can be salvaged from artifacts are the Dream Ribbons. Dimension items cannot be salvaged, but Faratha did mention that the team is trying to think of a way for crafters to break down dimension items.
How many Dream Ribbons you get per artifact depends on both your skill level in Dream Weaving as well as the rarity of the artifact you are breaking down. When starting, you will recieve 1 Dream Ribbon for a white artifact, 2 for a green artifact, 5 for a blue artifact, 20 for an epic artifact, and 50 for a relic artifact. As your skill increases, this number roughly doubles. You don’t get skill points in Dream Weaving for breaking down artifacts.
There are a few restrcitions for salvaging artifacts. Artifacts that respawn very frequently in the game world such as the Meridian/Sanctum artifacts cannot be salvaged. Trion is also going to be adjusting some of the drop rates for especially common artifacts such as the critter tears. As of 2.6, the fishing artifacts will also be able to be salvaged.
To craft items using Dream Weaving, you’ll need to be near a Dream Focus. You can find one directly next to Reva Song. You also get a pretty cool item for completing her first crafting quest– a Dream Focus. This is a dimension item you can use inside a dimension to create a crafting station of your very own. As you gain levels in Dream Weaving, you’ll be able to learn new recipes including ones for tons of new dimension furnishings, new dimension keys, and new item enchants called Dream Orbs.
Among the coolest created items are the new dimension items. Everything from new, fancy pillows to animated environmental and weather effects such as quicksand, dust motes, fire and lightning effects, ground effects, spotlights, waterfalls, and smoke plumes can be made to add cool effects to your dimensions. Many of these effect-creating items are completely new and use a new type of technology that Faratha detailed in a recent Trion blog post.
There are roughly 15 new dimensions being added to the game with the arrival of 2.6 and the Dream Weaving tradeskill. The keys are crafted by Dream Weavers and they are tradeable. Among the new dimensions include locations such as Tower Meadow, Stone Grove, Faering Woods, Azcu’azg Oasis, Stillmoor Vale, Pus Swamp, Malluma Track, Anywhere (an open sandbox– the same place shown in Extra Life), Edgestone Ridge, Gloamwood Glen, Daazez Wastes, Fetid Plains, Bahralt’s Ascent, Karthan Ponds, and Scarlet Gorge Cliff.
Take a look at Kiwi’s latest video where she shows off some of the cool environmental/weather effects as well as a few favorite new dimensions. The dimensions are also currently available for our previewing pleasure on the PTS (thanks to Kiwi and her awesome team!). Care for a preview? Here is a gallery of my favorite screenshots of each of the dimensions I previewed (click each image to bring up the full-size versions):
Each screenshot is tagged by the origin dimension’s name. I’ll list the names here as well:
First row: Tower Meadow, Stone Grove, Stillmoor Vale, Scarlet Gorge Cliff, Pus Swamp Second row: Malluma Track, Karthan Ponds, Gloamwood Glen, Fetid Plains, Faering Woods Third row: Edgestone Ridge, Daazez Wastes, Bahralt’s Ascent, Azcu’azg Oasis, Anywhere
Other Crafted Items and Recipes
Dream Weavers will also be able to create Dream Orbs, which are essentially extra enchantments that can be placed on gear and are specific to your calling. Theses stack with runes. There are three tiers of Dream Orbs that you learn as you level the craft. Gear must be level 40 or higher in order to have a Dream Orb placed on it.
All of the recipes for Dream Weavers can be learned from the NPC trainer of bought off the RIFT Store so far. There are no crafting dailies for Dream Weaving nor does Trion intend for there to be. There are only a few recipes purchasable off the RIFT Store at the moment:
Leveling Dream Weaving is going to take a lot of artifacts, but it seems like the tradeskill will add some pretty cool items to the economy as well as give dimensioneers plenty to love about 2.6. It’s awesome to see Trion giving dimension lovers some new toys and goodies to play with. I just mentioned this in an editorial the other day, but RIFT‘s dimension system is one of the best examples of housing done extraordinarily well in an MMORPG. Creativity, unlimited potential, availability, accessibility, and new goodies and locales to constantly look forward to? It really doesn’t get any better than that.
Just in case you ever get a teensy bit bored while browsing the internet and find yourself thinking about your video game collection, we’ve got few questions for you to ponder over. Well, one a week in particular. Possibly more. The others will come in the later editions of Gamer Think Tank. By the way, we’re not totally sold on this column’s name yet, so if a cool idea strikes you, feel free to shout it out in the comments section. For now, let’s talk about what gets you to buy items in “free” games.
Last week, Laura wrote an article on Trion using a “world event” as an excuse to get people to essentially buy stuff from the cash shop in Rift. Well, that’s kind of simplifying a lot, but stay with me here. It got me thinking about how companies try to get me to buy stuff for their free to play game, and what tricks at least work on me. While I love mechs, I could guess from the e-mail I was sent that the “world event” was an excuse to sell things in the cash shop, and my research pointed to playing the random chest game. Sorry, but that’s what I play everytime I kill a mob. I refuse to pay for that, especially since it tends to come with my monthly subscription. To limit items to paid, one time use only slot machines really kills the genre for me. I especially hate it when companies give me boxes but not keys. I don’t really care about the boxes, but if I keys without the box, I’d probably be a bit more tempted. Small change, but it’s just something I noticed about myself.
No, stupidly, I’m one of those people that sometimes pays for beta access (not alpha if I can help it, since I actually test). If pre-ordering comes with mounts that I normally have to level to unlock, or will save me a lot of in game money at the start of the game, that gets me to open my wallet too. I need to feel like I know what I’m buying, and I prefer things that save me in game time, rather than look cool. I think it’s one of the reasons why I’ve enjoyed SOE’s free to play games. If I want to unlock a gun for my PlanetSide 2 bus of doom, I just buy it. If I had to pay slots for it, I would have already uninstalled the game. Oddly enough though, I don’t buy xp boosts. I don’t like sitting around for an hour straight playing games, as odd as that may sound. I like the idea that I can go to the bathroom whenever I want, or go out to dinner if a friend suddenly suggests it. While skins are nice, I rarely buy them. In fact, if a game only has cool skins that I have to pay for, that I cannot earn any other way, I tend to avoid them. I’d rather pay a sub or buy the game as a buy to play option than have to essentially clothes shop for my avatar with my real life money.
What about you, junkies? What’s acceptable for companies to sell you in their cash shops? Are you hooked on boosters? Love random chests? Toss out money for mounts? Or are you one of those people that plays free to play games absolutely free?
The second DLC pack– Arkbreaker– for Defiance finally has a release date–it will be going live on December 10th for both PC and console systems. The DLC pack itself will feature a new mission line, the ability to summon arkfalls, new cold fire weapons, and new interior arkfall instances including a 20-player Volge Warmaster boss. This is the content that players who choose to purchase the DLC will have access to. Additionally, all players will get new content that’s completely free including new stims, spikes, co-op missions, and more.
Want to know more? Here’s some additional info from Trion’s developer blog that goes over all the details about what’s included:
ARKBREAKER DLC EXCLUSIVES
NEW STORY LINE
Race against Dark Matter to secure an ark-brain interface with the power to call down arkfalls. In the wrong hands, it could be used against ark hunters across the New Frontier. In your hands, it will yield incredible new technologies from arkfalls you bring to Earth.
Call down all-new arkfalls and battle your way inside. Explore interior environments holding new and advanced weapons (and Volge enemies ready to defend them!).
WIELD NEW WEAPONS
Discover cold fire sniper rifles, pistols, and assault rifles in player-summoned arkfalls, plus 20 new advanced-tech weapons that put a spin on your current favorites.
BATTLE THE WARMASTER
The world-conquering Volge Warmaster is serious business – for 20 players – for 7 minutes. After that, this final boss of our new major arkfall will teleport back to the Volge. Defeat the Warmaster before he vanishes to earn some of the best loot in Defiance!
VOLGE OUTFIT AND MORE
Everyone who gets the Arkbreaker DLC pack also receives the Volge Engineer outfit and increased daily and weekly log in bonuses.
FREE FOR ALL PLAYERS WHEN ARKBREAKER GOES LIVE
Team up to play through all of the missions in Defiance and dive into co-op versions of single-player instances!
Grant ammo, increased damage, and shield power to allies with hi-tech ground Spikes. Once planted, Spikes radiate benefits to nearby players for a set duration or until destroyed.
Get juiced with special hypospray Stims that provide healing, speed and strength boosts, or an EGO power refresh. Like double Overcharge? Inject away!
Mark items as favorites to have them jump to the top of your inventory, and sell or break down all non-favorite items at the press of a button.
We’re rolling out daily and weekly log in rewards plus Contract revamps, continued combat refinements, and more. Stay tuned to the Community blog for the latest DLC and Defiance info.
Trion Worlds has been pretty quiet about the western localization of XL Games’ ArcheAge for a while now. We finally heard some news tonight in a recent Q&A session ArcheAge Source held with Scott Hartsman. The fantasy sandbox MMORPG is going through a major overhaul by XL Games as they try and fix many of the current issues in the original Korean release. Everything from the game’s economy to the leveling journey, possible endgame progression routes, and class balance is going to be receiving major overhauls. As such, Trion feels that they should wait until these changes are implemented before bringing ArcheAge over to our shores.
In the meantime, XL Games has been working to localize the game in Russia. There’s a lot of work in localizing an MMO for an international release, and since international releases are done serially, this all means that, well– it could be a while before we see ArcheAge release in the west.
For now, Trion is hoping to sate our appetites for all things ArcheAge by supplying the community with more in the way of news updates, lore updates, and additional Q&A sessions such as this one. The localization team is meanwhile working hard to ensure we get the best English version of the game and story as possible. Translations, lore, and cultural impact all have a significant effect on how well international games do in a different part of the world, so the more time Trion gets to perfect everything, the better release we should see.
I know, I know. Trove isn’t RIFT. Still, Trove is looking pretty cool, especially if you’re a big fan of dungeon adventuring and dimension-building (or both!). What is Trove, you say? Trove is Trion’s just-announced-yesterday adventure MMO stylized with cubes and a whole lot of player creativity. During yesterday’s Trion live stream, the team designated a solid chunk of time to announcing Trove, showing off Trove gameplay, and answering a bunch of questions from the community regarding the game. Oh, yeah, and did we mention Trove is also going to be free-to-play with a public Alpha? You can even sign up for Alpha now.
We put together a pretty extensive writeup of all things Trove and all things we know about Trove over on Junkies Nation. Head on over to check it out. As a note, we’ll be moving all future Trove coverage over to Junkies Nation (as that’s our multi-MMO/game site) from now on, so make sure to give the site a bookmark if you’d like to keep tabs on it.
Trion teased all things Trove for a couple days, but after yesterday, the veil was finally lifted and we found out exactly what Trove is, what Trove hopes to become, and how players, most importantly, can impact the future of Trove.
During yesterday’s Trion live stream, Andrew Krausnick, Creative Lead of Trove, talked about the development of Trove, the philosophy the Trove team is embracing, and answered a whole bunch of questions from the community about the game. Trove started out as a small project created by a small group of RIFT developers (the team size was 2 people originally, but is now up to 11) who wanted to branch out and see what they could accomplish within a year. So far, the results seem pretty impressive. Let’s go over what we found out yesterday and what we know about Trove thus far.
Trove features voxel/cube graphics and is heavily inspired by games like Minecraft and Cube World, of course, but Trion wanted to take the highly modifiable voxel system and give it the feeling of an adventure game and an MMO– all contained within a world that’s open, encourages multiplayer activities, and remains true to the three pillars of Trove that the development team aims to build the game on: Adventure, exploration, and creation. Trove is kind of hard to classify. It’s essentially a free-to-play adventure MMO with cubes and some serious potential for player creation.
Like most adventure games, Trove will feature combat, loot, levels, and plenty of running and jumping. There will lots of new things to discover and find. Treasure chests are aplenty, thus the name Trove (interestingly enough, the name was only decided upon last week). Monsters also drop loot. The adventuring style of Trove looks pretty similar to Guild Wars 2‘s Super Adventure Box world event. You can whack treasure chests with a sword to open them as well as hit random grass and flowers to do a bit of weeding.
As a core mechanic, the worlds of Trove will be periodically reset and cycled. Certain player-built structures (such as Cornerstones– more on these later) will be able to be carried over to other worlds, but this cycling nature of Trove will encourage players to think on their feet and always be ready for something new. This is similar to how dungeons and caves will work in the game. Dungeons and caves will reset and will feature randomly generated interiors while retaining the same objectives every time they are entered. So far, it sounds pretty similar to how maps in action RPGs often work, but with one main difference– dungeons are not instanced.
Trove will also be a completely open sandbox for players to build, create, and destroy items and structures. It may even be possible for players to build structures out of the game and important them into Trove. The development team plans on having the community help create a great deal of new items, features, and structures for the game. So far, Trion plans on utilizing Reddit quite a bit to help them stay close to the community and make community engagement a high priority. Trion even hopes the community will help them further develop Trove, which is why they decided to unveil the game at this time. Once Trove is released, the team plans on making weekly updates.
Trove Gameplay and Core Features
The team showed off some gameplay of Trove during the live stream. The UI is extremely simple and features health/resource bars as well as a few action buttons. You can see the UI below (ignore the live stream frame to the right):
Players can throw bombs that can be used to destroy parts of the world and structures (even other players’ structures) within the open world. They can even throw bombs inside dungeons to break down walls and damage monsters. The graphics are cube-based, of course, but the game also features a number of particle effects such as weapon/bomb trails that improve the graphical quality somewhat. The game also features a day/night system.
Loot and gear-based character progression will be important in Trove, and there are a number of different item rarities to help achieve this. Non-instanced dungeons will be a large part of where combat and adventuring will take place, but combat can happen in the open world as well. There will be bosses to defeat. Combat in Trove is highly action-based. Some of the stats mentioned so far are: Health, Armor, Knockback, and Stability. Mobs have quite a few attacks that do knockback effects. Characters can raise their Stability stat to negate this. Monsters will generally attack the closest target.
Trove will have character classes. The class they’ve showed off so far is the Knight, which is, of course, a melee tank-y type of character. The Knight also has a sort of leap attack and charge attack. Trion wants to have a lot of fun with the class system, so they plan on adding classes such as Ninja, Cyborg, and some type of cybernetic cowboy with laser pistols. The world’s zones and areas will mimic this sort of not-quite-so-serious fantasy feel that’s a little more lighthearted. The zones themselves will differ between one another considerably, as Trion wants to show off a number of different environments.
Gear is placed in a character’s inventory and equipped much like in any MMORPG. There are a number of cosmetic items that can be equipped to customize appearance. Since the game will be free-to-play, a large portion of these cosmetic options will be available in a cash shop-type interface. So far, the team only plans to have cosmetic items available for purchase, but this will most likely expand in some fashion. Mounts are something the team wants to do at some point. The game will definitely have pets. Everyone loves pets.
Building structures in Trove is very simple (see the header image for this section as an example). There is only one size of building cube. Cubes look seamless next to other cubes in order to make larger structures. There are different elemental types of cubes that influence how they look in the world as far as light reflection, etc. Players can also place torches and other items. Building resources will be limited and there will be different ways for players to obtain more building resources.
Trion is also going to add in a crafting system that will presumably be one way to collect materials and resources for new structures. Digging underground won’t be a main focus for crafting (although you may be able to find cubes underground!). Instead, gathering above ground materials and collecting goodies hidden within dungeons may be.
Asking the Big Questions
Since the entire game is non-instanced, there will be a large number of separate worlds in Trove. Each world can hold up to around 40 players. To prevent player griefing, players will start out with an area called a Cornerstone that is essentially a home base. They can build crafting stations, structures, etc. on that home base and everything will stay safe and cannot be destroyed by other players.
Out in the open world, however, everything’s kind of at risk. It will be possible to hop between worlds while carrying a portion of a character’s power/items as well as their Cornerstone. Worlds will have quests associated with them that will reward players with goodies but also open up new worlds upon completion. Trove is a completely PvE game so far. PvP might be an option in the future.
When asked about what will set Trove apart from games like Minecraft and Cube World, Krausnick said that Trove‘s cycling worlds, character progression, and the fact that it will be permanently online all make Trove different from other games in the same style. The fact that there will be quests and random dungeon generation in Trove also helps. Dungeons may be a part of games like Cube World, but Trion feels that there’s a lot more exploration to be had when it comes to dungeon development and creation in a cube-based game. They’re hoping to fully explore those options and come up with a system that players can enjoy for years.
Trove is currently PC-only, but the team hopes to expand to next-gen consoles and Steam Box. Mac will most likely be an option in the future as well. As far as system requirements go, the team said that if a computer can run RIFT, it should handle Trove just fine.
Trion is planning to open the Trove Alpha servers to the public. The team is taking a very relaxed, “let’s see what’s fun” approach to developing Trove. They want to see what players enjoy in these early stages of Alpha and take it from there. There will be no NDA during Alpha. You can sign up here. Invites should start going out within a couple of weeks.
Finally, check out this video if you haven’t already:
If you’re a RIFT veteran, you might remember back when Trion had some fun with odd teases and cryptic hints regarding the introduction of Conquest more than a year ago. Game developers teasing new games/content can be kind of fun, especially when smart gamers put on their super sleuth goggles and begin to unravel the mystery before it’s fully revealed. It seems Trion’s up to their old tricks again, this time with a completely new game. Yep, we’re talking Trove.
Yesterday, more pieces plopped into the puzzle. Trove definitely seems to be its own game. Trion made a new Twitter account and new Facebook page with a shiny new icon (pictured to the right). This image doesn’t give away too much, but as you can see, it’s a trove/treasure box in the shape of a cube. The single Tweet on the account thus far is “Where will you go?” This seems to be eluding to a game that’s promising to be extremely open-ended.
The account’s description simply reads, “Something new from Trion Worlds.” A simple graphical cube and an open-ended world. Hm. Seems like Trove might stylistically be similar to Minecraft, wouldn’t you say?
The hints continued later in the day as one of RIFT‘s super forum sleuths discovered a datamined image. Here is the logo/image TehFrank uncovered:
Hello, 8-bit graphics and a pretty awesome-looking sword!
Later, Trion also changed the company’s Twitter account image to the image in the header image above. This pretty much confirmed the game’s graphical style.
Interesting stuff. These new images sparked some thoughtful speculation over the day on both the RIFT forums and on sites like Massively. Most fans think that Trove will most likely be a completely new 8-bit/voxel style game that might be similar to Minecraft or Cube World, but will ultimately try and be something a little cooler. With EverQuest Next Landmark around the corner, there’s a high chance that MMO developers will be tempted to do something similarly sandbox-y to give gamers more playgrounds for 100% player-made content. Still, with a name like Trove, one would think this game would have to be at least somewhat loot-based. Maybe an adventure game in the style of Minecraft?
There are many possibilities here, and Trove looks like it may be pretty interesting. We still have no idea what platforms Trove will be for, but with any luck, Trion will begin to tell us the real details soon. Possibly. After the team, you know, releases all the teases and has their fun.
I almost don’t know what to say about ArcheAge‘s latest release. While MMOCulture has some good pictures, they can’t compete with the video. This may be the first time players can truly be a furry, donning giant teddy bear costumes which seem to include their own dance, since I don’t recall seeing those moves while I played any of the betas. The sloth, on the other hand, does look fairly interesting. It’s well animated, and it’s easier for me to believe in flying sloth back packs than furries in a fantasy/steam-punk setting. Whether or not these additions will make to over during Trion’s localization is unknown but… man, it’s not something I’d personally want to announce.
Trion finally announced an approximate release date for the second DLC pack of Defiance yesterday. The DLC pack is named Arkbreaker and will be released in December for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. This DLC will add instanced arkfalls to Defiance as well as the ability to replay through all of the game’s story missions alongside other players co-op style. While we haven’t heard about all the new features included in Arkbreaker, the community team published a developer post where they stated more details would be revealed soon.
If you’ll remember back from when Defiance was released, the development team promised 5 DLC packs within the game’s first year. This number is beginning to look fairly unlikely for Trion to meet, unfortunately, but new content is new content– and definitely welcome.