Finally got my Opie!

If you pre-purchased the expansion when Trion announced it and collected the Starfall Prophecy tokens by logging on every day (which fortunately, I was able to do), then you should have 50 of these tickets today and can get your Opie mount!

rift opie mount

I had seen pictures of the mount, but I never noticed that it shrinks you and that it’s actually tiny. Very cute! I haven’t tried out the other – functional – part of Opie yet. It’s not just a mount, it can help with collecting artifacts. It can jump very high making it easier to reach certain places. There was a concern that Trion would put in artifacts that are otherwise impossible to reach, but they promised they won’t do that. Additionally, Opie needs to be fed with pellets in order to be able to use these abilities and they will not drop too often.

In other words, I can just enjoy my new Opie mount and being tinier than usual (being a dwarven lady).

rift opie mount with sparkles

Revisiting World of Warcraft

WoW Death Knight starter areaWho isn’t back to World of Warcraft? This was the question I asked myself a lot lately when looking at blog posts or tweets. And once I mentioned it to bookahnerk, we were off on nostalgia lane. “Do you remember how…” and all that. We knew we would not go back to WoW ourselves. After all, my last expansion was Mists of Pandaria, which I had bought and levelled my mage a bit right before Rift announced going free to play at which point I immediately dropped WoW. But there was another expansion before Legion which I would have to get. Bookahnerk did not even have Mists of Pandaria. So, in order to only catch up, we would already have to buy three expansions plus the monthly fees.

Only that apparently, Blizzard gifted every account that owns the base game (so not the free trial accounts) every single expansion except for Legion! Once we saw that, we decided to gift ourselves three months of monthly fees and a long trip back to see what has happened, changed, been added to the game. There is one great thing about our WoW corner: It involves a guild. The guild that bookahnerk has been very active in back in Ultima Online. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s been with some of these guys since the early years of Ultima Online! And even though we’ve basically been away since Cataclysm, we are still members of the guild.

So, upon returning we decided to make new characters to get back into the game more easily and asked for invitations for these characters (WoW doesn’t have account-bound guild memberships). A few minutes later, he was on Teamspeak chatting with the guild members. We were welcomed back and I think this is a pretty big part of an MMO. You can leave easily and never look back when you know the people you played with are gone, too. But once you are part of a community, you never really leave, right?

I had chosen to give Death Knight a try. The last time I played, she had two blood, two death and two frost runes and I had to memorize which skill used which runes etc. Now she has six frost runes if she’s frost-specced and the skills do not require different types of runes anymore. Much easier, I have to say. Maybe too easy, but I have never been a fan of resource juggling when playing a character. I much prefer having to know which skills do what (like stuns, roots, damage over time effects and so on) over that.

WoW Death Knight on stolen mount

My main character was a frost mage and when I last played her, I got her to level 88. Mists of Pandaria had a maximum level of 90. Warlords of Draenor added 10 more levels. So I figured I should also level her a bit to see all the new content. The Death Knight is level 60 now, so she’s ready for Burning Crusade, which is the expansion that released back in 2007. :p I remembered most things about my mage, almost all hotkeys and even her macros were still working! It took me a while, however, to remember that frost mage actually has a water elemental. Whoops. All of a sudden, her damage got up a lot! ;) So I guess that was my really n00bish moment getting back into the game.

Now here is something that already annoys me a lot: I had played my Death Knight with a two-handed melee weapon. I love these weapons as long as the combat animations are quite fast. That was the case with the Death Knight. But now I got a message that the system changed and they are now required to fight with two one-handed weapons. No big deal, I thought. And then I remembered that I also started a pandaren monk who fights with a staff. Melee staff-wielders are my favourite when it comes to melee, but hardly any game ever offers you those. Most of the time, it’s casters with a staff in their hands. So I logged on with her and noticed I had mail… yep, Blizzard telling me that melee DPS monks no longer use a staff, but two one-handed weapons. Seriously… -.- That staff was the main reason I rolled a monk! I am not the only one who doesn’t like this change, but that doesn’t really help much. On the other hand, it makes me want to check out the thief in Guild Wars 2 again with her daredevil specialization!

Oh well, I have enough to do with my mage, after all – who yes, is holding a staff in her hands. ;) I am also already looking forward to checking out garrisons and what they are all about. Certainly not housing, though, so Rift won’t lose me any time soon. :p

Rift livestream: Information about the expansion (Blaugust Post 6)

Rift_Starfall Prophecy_5 new zonesI fell asleep yesterday trying to follow the Rift livestream with information about their expansion “Starfall Prophecy”. So I decided to read up on what was said, but I couldn’t find anything online (if there is, please point me to it!). I’m listening to it now and figured I could also just write down what I hear and share it with you here in this blog. This may not be a complete list as I may have missed something. Additionally, I had trouble understanding them sometimes (not a native speaker, so please keep that in mind – if I got anything wrong, feel free to correct it in the comments! :) ). Basic information about the expansion can be found on the official expansion’s website.

Dungeons and Raids

  • 2 dungeons at launch: One for life and one for fire
  • They said “very very polished dungeons”
  • They do have plans for more future dungeons, but only two at launch
  • Dungeons will be shown on Gamescom and PAX (possibly the fire one?). Personal note: No show booth at Gamescom. They’ll be in the press hall only!
  • Raid: Will probably launch with 4.1, to give the raid team more time to polish. Along with the raid, they will release the “looking for raid” feature.
  • It’s going to be a 10 man raid. Focus will be on 10 man raids from here on. No 20 mans on the schedule
  • Some invite-only alpha tests for players

Maps

  • Alittu as starting point for expansion. First quests will be from here.
  • Not going to replace Tempest Bay. Tempest Bay will remain the city for players where you can find everything you need.
  • Size of the new zones: Will be shown at Gamescom. Personal note: No show booth at Gamescom. They’ll be in the press hall only!

Legendary Abilities

  • One point per character from 66 to 70 (5 points in total per character)
  • How deep you’ve gone into a soul determines how many points you can spend in that soul. 61 points = Unlock up to 3 legendary abilities in that soul
  • Modified upgraded versions of abilities, not completely new ones.
  • Website only shows a couple of examples – All examples are still subject to change!
  • Rogue: 61 points in Bladedancer allows you to have two rhythmic actions going at once with a legendary ability
  • Warrior’s Bull Rush (Champion Soul): Teleports and roots the enemy for 1.5 seconds. The new version can only be cast within 3 metres, but it will knock the enemies back and then you charge to them
  • Not every ability has a legendary ability, but they’re targetting for 5 to 7 per soul.

Rift_Starfall Prophecy Legendary Abilities

Fortress Sieges

  • New zone event mechanic
  • Purely PvE, no PvP. Chat asked a few times whether it could be made into a PvP feature – no reply to that question as far as I could hear
  • For a lot of players at once
  • Event starts with a lot of solo content (“do some stuff with walls, fight some stuff back”). Further through the siege the content becomes group-based, then raid-based (for public groups) with a boss at the end

Planar Assault Mode

  • “Basically rifts 4.0” (Archonix got that wrong and called the Fortress Sieges “rifts 4.0” at first, then Julia came into the room to correct that a few minutes later)
  • You’re not directly going to the other planes in the expansion until you do Planar Assault adventures.
  • Similar to instant adventures: you queue up and you’re dropped into the planes to fight a rift or many rifts. We’re basically doing some invading back
  • There will be a whole livestream dedicated to the Planar Assault Adventures later on

Prepurchasing the expansion

  • If you purchased the expansion, starting on Wednesday you will get 5 extra Starfall Prophecy tickets to make up for the 1 or 2 missed ones on August 4/5
  • 40 slot bag for Starfall Prophecy Tokens is unique
  • Opie is one per character. Opie’s jump ability helps you in reaching artifacts, but there won’t be artifacts that require Opie to reach them!

PvP

  • New bracket for levels 65-70
  • I don’t think anything else was said about PvP at this point.

Items/Gear

  • Planar Fragments: customize your gear, tweak the stats.
  • New way to upgrade equipment: Activities out in the world, similar to a quest. E.g., for a helmet to upgrade you’d need to close 10 rifts or do 10 warfronts.
  • New item rarity: Eternal items. Special but rare items as in there won’t be that many in the world. Colour will be Aqua-blue, new tooltip frame just for this rarity. Not much information what exactly this will be or where/how you can get it.
  • How big is the gear jump? Should players still try to get T3 raid gear? It’ll give you a leg up. Maybe you’ll be able to upgrade these items to get even more of a leg up.
  • Crafted 70s replacing 65 transcended gear? – too early to talk about that yet

Monetization

  • Why the change to “buy to play”? – They need to earn the money, of course, but did not want to monetize on things like earring slots as they did with Nightmare Tide, or charge for pieces of the expansion. Vladd added in the chat: “To be clear, some planar fragment slots will need to be unlocked but it will be through in-game means, not paywalls.”
  • Lockboxes and other monetization will stay.
  • Expansion will not be sold for credits
  • Earring slots unlocked with buying this expansion? – Currently no, but they are discussing it internally!

Miscellaneous

  • Everything you need to know about the lore will be in the expansion. You’re not missing out if you didn’t do the raid “Comet of Ankhet”.
  • Some of the old world heroes will be accompanying you: Shyla, for example
  • They don’t know if the level 65 boost will be tradeable
  • Crafting, dimensions, stuff for guild – not talked about, but they will talk about these later
  • Players without the expansion: If it’s e.g., a new crafting recipe to craft a dimension key, then they will be able to get that dimension (and the recipe, too, if it’s tradeable)
  • New Sparkle quest for 70s, but not directly at launch. You need to be level 70 to be using the rewards from the 70 sparkle quest.
  • Fishing: New 70 version of a fishing pole – no promise, but it’d be cool
  • They internally have a launch date and they are on track
  • 64 bit alpha delayed, they gave a reason, but to be honest, I didn’t understand it, so I won’t write it down here (something with double build size and double build time)
  • Primalist souls: 4 still missing. They’ll be coming out next year

Rift: Starfall Prophecy’s Launch Date speculation (Blaugust Post 5)

While the next expansion for Rift “Starfall Prophecy” has been announced yesterday and pre-purchases are live, we do not know a launch day yet. But we did get some kind of estimation. Since bookahnerk and I just did some counting, I figured I would share it here, so others can save that time. :p

Rift_Starfall Prophecy Token rewards

Here is what we know so far:

In order to get all three rewards, you will need 85 tokens and thus, it takes 85 days to get those tokens. Counting 85 days into the future puts us at October 27, but that is without the “little cushion” they mentioned. This is pure guessing, of course, but I would say 5 days as cushion. Mostly because “90” is a nice number to remember. :p This would move the possible launch date to November 1. And we know it won’t be close to Christmas and definitely before December 20.

In other words, we know it will be between October 27 and December 19. But my guess is that the expansion will launch in November, maybe in the first week of December, even though I don’t think they want to get into December as people’s minds are halfway in Christmas holidays already. At the same time, planning for November means that they do have a little bit of time left to “postpone” the launch in case something goes wrong and they need more development time than anticipated.

 

Rift’s “Starfall Prophecy” revealing (Blaugust Post 2)

While I was having guests over, the Rift universe got expanded – well, not yet. But apparently, there was a sneak peek or leak or a bug revealing the next expansion.

Since the screenshots are still available and public in the official forums, I’ll just assume that writing about what the players found is fine with Trion. At this time, a lot of things are still unclear: From the sound of it, it may be that this expansion will end the “all of the content for free”-phase of Rift and Starfall Prophecy will be “buy to play”. I actually would not mind this at all. We all know that a company has to earn money to survive and keep on developing and paying their employees. If making the expansion “buy to play” leads to a) a good quality expansion and b) less changes that seem shady to the players, then I’m happy. There is a Standard Edition for $39.99 and a Deluxe Edition for $59.99. The Deluxe Edition will include an Ethereal Drake mount. Since this information was leaked early, all of this is probably still subject to change! That level 65 boost would be really nice, though. I am not sure which of my characters would get it, but eh, doesn’t really matter. I just like having more characters at max level in case I ever decide to switch my main character again. ;)

Either way, I am excited about getting a new expansion. I haven’t even played through the latest new map yet – which I guess isn’t even so new anymore at this point. For the time being, I’ll just try to remain calm and hopeful that we will not get to spend any more time underwater! I’m also not a big fan of their lore – or parts of their lore, at least. So, as long as the scenery is nice, I’ll be happy (which was the case with the underwater areas, but I really dislike being underwater, so that expansion wasn’t for me at all).

They may reveal everything on their Friday stream on Twitch and with the heads-up, I know I’ll have to put some money aside, so I can get the expansion and I’m hoping for the best: That I’ll be positively surprised and very excited about getting another expansion! – Update 5.15 pm: Never mind. Massively has reported about the expansion now, so we are getting a lot more information already. I expect to see something from the expansion in Friday’s livestream instead as well as getting even more details on what the new features will include. My favourite so far is the “planar assault mode” which sounds like it will be instant adventures with rifts instead of running around in an area and doing quests there. I really enjoy the rifts in the game, so I am curious to see this feature!

(This is post 2 for Blaugust)