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)

Personal highlights of Heart of Thorns

Heart of Thorns has been released for several weeks now and the shiny “newness” is wearing off. Instead of writing a full review – which I know I would start and never finish – I will just list a few of my personal highlights of this expansion.

First of all, it managed to suck me back into the game and even got to pull me away from Wildstar for a week. I also switched mains as my mesmer in combination with the chronomancer skills is so much fun again! The engineer finally got a hammer, so my charr advanced to “second main” which was previously covered by my asura warrior. The highlight here is that the elite specializations made some professions more fun for me.

Other than that, the guilds finally got some features that were sorely needed. I can read both my guilds’ chats simultaneously now which means that I can follow my German guild much better. Additionally, the message of the day is broadcast right into your chat tab when you log in which makes notifying your guild members of whatever is happening in the guild so much easier. Last but not least, the guild halls seem to be a great addition to the game as well.

GW2 Gilded Hollow Dragon Season

My favourite map so far is Verdant Brink. This may be because I have spent the most time there as for me, the meta event is much more intuitive than the other maps and their events are. I do not like the confusing levels of the map, though, with just some parts that are further up and some other areas down below that can be accessed with other areas that let your character die because you left the “playable area”. But overall, I enjoy playing on that map. The one thing I love about all the new maps – just as I do with the rest of the game – is once again the way the world looks! If only I could stop and take screenshots more often without being attacked by veterans or even champions. But other than that, it’s simply gorgeous to look at!

A smaller thing I like is the addition of the jumping pads from the bank to the Trading Post in Lion’s Arch. My huge charr looks a bit weird being a furry ball swirling through the air, but the asura are adorable! Asura-ball comes to my mind there. Anyway, it saves a few seconds of having to move your character, so it’s a fun thing that supports being lazy. Perfect. :)

GW2 Charr Furball

Being able to see the crafting professions on the login screen is another small feature that got added, but that makes my life so much easier! No longer do I have to try to memorize which character has which profession. Of course, I will memorize it automatically sooner or later, but eh, I still won’t complain about added convenience (same as with the jumping pads above).

And as the last point, one of the things that I expected to be a highlight but that turned out to be a disappointment, is Rata Novus. Once I heard that we can go there, I got so ridiculously excited and was imagining this great ancient asuran city (in ruins, of course, as I never even for a second imagined it to be filled with living asura) through which I could stroll for hours that may even look a bit like Rata Sum was supposed to look originally before they redesigned it.


You can see a few images of the original Rata Sum in the video.

Now, the way Rata Novus looks makes sense given the lore around it, but that still doesn’t help much. I am not going to write more about Rata Novus at this point, though, as I know there are still people out there who haven’t played that much yet and I don’t want to accidentally spoil anybody here (except for mentioning Rata Novus itself, of course ^^).

GW2 Rata Novus Fighting

This isn’t a complete list and it surely is very subjective. It’s just some of the bigger and smaller things that I have been enjoying in the last few weeks. :)

Excited for “Fall 2015” – Blaugust Day 28

I was just listening to the latest Rift livestream on Twitch and it seems that “Fall 2015” will be a very busy season for me this year. Rift, Wildstar, Cities: Skylines, Van Helsing: Final Cut and maybe/probably Guild Wars 2 will come with new content.

Trion will release another content update for Rift introducing the new calling (= class), the Primalist. This calling has to be bought. There is a rather expensive pack that includes the class for 99 €, but I’m not that rich, unfortunately. Ocho revealed the separate credits price now, which is 5250. If you buy the 50 € credits pack (giving you 11050 credits), this equals about 24 €. Almost the price of a full expansion. So, I don’t think I will get that calling, because I’m not sure I would have the time to even play it. On top of that, those 24 € are only for 6 skill trees. The remaining 4 (all callings have 10 skill trees by now) will have to be bought separately. Still, the patch will come with new content and that part is free as always. So even if I may not even want to get the Primalist, I will at least be able to poke around in the Planetouched Wilds.

Wildstar is changing its business model to “free to play”. This one is what excites me the most currently, as it means I will be able to stop paying a monthly fee without having to say goodbye to my dear Medic (yes, Medic. Who said I would be playing a Spellslinger? Certainly not me. Oh no). Free to play is not the only thing coming. There will be an apparently rather big patch accompanying it. New housing items, bigger housing plots – that’s all I needed to see to get excited. I haven’t gotten far enough into the game yet anyway, so understand exactly what all the upcoming changes mean or how certain things work at the moment (except for the AMP unlocks… I finally understood those, mostly, and I think it’s a good idea to have them all unlocked automatically).

Wildstar Gechi Medic

Cities: Skylines will receive its first expansion “After Dark” at the end of September. The developers announced the release date (September 24) and the price (14.99 €) a few days ago. For such a low price, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist. ;)

Van Helsing: Final Cut is being a bit vague. I couldn’t find anything more specific than “September 2015”. This could be as early as next week (on another note: *squeals like a little girl* – My birthday is coming closer which means our short vacation is coming closer!), but this post from August 24 saying “one month left” suggests that it’ll be later in September. And late September means: “fall”.

GW2 HoT Chronomancer

And then there is XCOM 2 which will release in “November 2015”. Unfortunately, we also do not have a more concrete release date than this. We saw a short video presentation about the game at gamescom and since then, bookahnerk has been quite excited about it. Hopefully, the game will be as great as it seemed and he’ll enjoy playing it. :) I am not sure yet whether I want this game or not, so I’ll wait for his “review”.

Last but not least, there is Guild Wars 2. The game that has gotten its expansion announced in January 2015. We still don’t know a release date other than “this year”. So I hope it’ll be this fall, but there’s no guarantee… although, considering how autumn ends shortly before Christmas and I doubt they’re going to release the expansion on Christmas, it’s quite safe to say it will launch this fall. Either way, when I look at the list here, I don’t think I would mind waiting for “Heart of Thorns” until late this year. There is plenty of stuff coming this fall either way and I’m very excited about it.

 This post is part of Blaugust 2015.