Rift Dimension building project: Tempest Island III

Rift Tempest Island DimensionI just realized that the last time I showed my Tempest Island dimension was almost one year ago.

I did not add too much to the main rooms on the lower floor of the house. The kitchen got a little kitten and some more bottles, mugs and the like. The stove got some control “knobs”. The backside of the stairs, which is supposed to be my storage area, hasn’t gotten anything new. I did add a table to the living-room corner, though. It should be a comfortable and cozy atmosphere where you can sit down and read a book after being outside trying to save the world all day. On the terrace, I changed the position of the chairs, so everybody eating out there can look at the ocean. Because really, if you had a house like that, would you really want to sit there and stare at the wooden walls of the house? I also added more food and more plates. It did take me a long time to get my hands on more plates, actually. They belong to a special kit which can only be bought during a special holiday (I think it was Rift’s anniversary holiday). I don’t think I will ever understand why such basic things such as dinner plates are so rare in this game.

I had thought about adding walls and more rooms upstairs but I wasn’t really sure what to do with those rooms then. I imagine my little dwarf lady living in that house and having friends over regularly. So maybe one guest room would be nice. Other than that, she still has the corner with her bed. Instead of several little rooms, I decided to give this part some functionality. My dwarf is rational enough for that. :p So, you now find target dummies up there which you can actually interact with to test new builds or just practice your skill rotation and/or new macros. There is also a target dummy that you can use to practice healing. I also like using the dummies to see whether my cooldown addon is tracking the correct spells. I also added several weapon racks. Hey, she is a dwarf, after all! You’ve got to live that stereotype to the fullest! And I placed some chairs, a little table, beer mugs etc., so my dwarf can have visitors and friends watch and give her feedback on her fighting skills or practice a bit themselves. Again, functionality paired with comfort. :p

The outside of the house has always scared me and still does scare me. It’s so huge and I still have no idea how to properly fill it! I decided to place a few trees and stones and leave the rest of the island blank. She is slowly expanding her realm, but it will grow over time whenever I get an idea. One big addition is the crafting corner. Again, I decided to combine functionality with looks. ;) Trion added crafting stations for dimensions, so I gathered my platinum and bought some of those. Since you can get into your (or your alts’, your friends’ or your guild mates’) dimension whenever you want, it is very convenient to have something like that.

Rift Bogling NPC
It talks!

I mentioned the kitten above. This is another thing that Trion added at some point: Stationary NPCs. They do move around a little bit with some animations as well, but only in a very limited area/circle. It makes sense, though. We can add basically anything to the dimensions and there would be a ton of clipping issues if the NPCs tried to wander along. The kitten on the beer keg would “walk” in the air if her area of movement would be any bigger than it is. But this way, she actually stays on the keg at all times. I decided to also add a “caretaker” kind of NPC for Meffanda, a little Bogling. He has his own fishing boat now and a little hut right next to the house with the crafting stations. We’ll see if maybe he will also get a little garden to grow some vegetables or something like that. He does look like the kind who would do that and who would enjoy having some vegetables together with the fish he caught.

What I always find fascinating is that you can hardly ever find bathrooms in MMOs. Where are the showers? The toilets? So I took a look at other people’s dimensions – at least those who also added homes like I did. Several had bathtubs added, but I only found two with added toilets. I have a little outhouse in one of my other dimensions, but nothing like that here yet. I added a little building and placed a closed door in front for now. You can only guess that this is supposed to be a toilet, though. I’ll have to think about this building a bit more and how to build the actual toilet. Of course, there are no premade toilets here (as a side note: There is a toilet in Wildstar which you can buy for your housing plot!), so I will have to build one myself combining other items. I do have a shower, though! I am just not too happy with its look yet, but I’ll work on that.

I have less than 500 items placed so far. 1000 is the current maximum, but I can upgrade it to 2000 (with platinum, thankfully! :p). So there is still a lot of room for improvement, quite literally. :)

Rift Housing: Stone Grove

My newest housing project is “Stone Grove”. I want to build a house up in the trees. I guess I’ll also have to plant a few more trees, as the ones existing in the dimension only look strong on the ground, but get too thin up there.

Anyway, it is currently a mess and I don’t really know how exactly to make it look good and solid and believable. What you can see in the screenshot is not what I want it to look like in the end, of course. I just figured I’d start with a platform in the sky and work my way downwards. So I needed some structures that let me walk up there comfortably. But the platform doesn’t look good either, especially as there are no trees to support the platform anymore that high up. Come to think of it, maybe I should just build everything a bit lower. :p

So, since I felt a bit lost, I went out into the world to see how the Rift designers made structures similar to what I imagine. I could also go have a look at what other dimensioneers are doing, but I always feel a bit like “stealing” their ideas. When I look at what Trion does and how they design the world, I am just adjusting my dimension to the “Rift look”. It feels different. Either way, I did get a few ideas, but soon noticed that everything I like actually has water below or close to it. But for once, I do not want to build my little oasis by the ocean. I still like the look of those structures, though. Below you can see Kelari Refuge on the left and a part of Fort Zarnost on Ember Isle on the right. I actually really adore the look of Ember Isle. Sadly, it seems like a neglected zone since it was added as a sort of “end game” zone for level 50s, but max. level is 65 now.

Rift and Trove are giving me… SAB?

Us poor Guild Wars 2 players have been yearning to set foot into SAB (Super Adventure Box) again for months now and it doesn’t look as if we’d get it back any time soon. Now Rift and Trove (both developed by Trion) have one of their special cross-promotions again. If you play Rift, you can unlock the chloromancer, the newest class in Trove when you talk to an NPC in Rift and if you play Trove, you’re getting the dimension (housing area) “Peaceful Hills” in Rift for free. I set foot into the dimension and immediately felt like back in SAB. Of course, it’s the look of Trove, but the character is from Rift. The same effect happened in SAB with my Guild Wars 2 character in a blocky world. This is so weird… :p

GW2 Super Adventure Box April 2013
Guild Wars 2 – Super Adventure Box

The only problem here is that there are no fighting NPCs that you can place in this dimension and there are no Trove building blocks. So that dimension is a bit pointless, I guess. Still, I love having it. Every character receives the key for this dimension in their mail, so I can collect it with all my characters. An alt will get to keep it activated, just for fun. And maybe I can think of a theme or items that fit in there somehow.

Rift Dimension building project: Tempest Island II

Rift Tempest Island Dimension It has been one week since I showed you my newly acquired dimension “Tempest Island”. Don’t worry, this will not be a weekly column. I am sure building will slow down soon anyway. Right now, there are just so many parts of the island that I want and need to fill, that it’s growing so quickly. It was night when I took those screenshots. I tried to wait for morning to come, but then I got impatient. Yes, I know there are items which can change the dimension’s time, but I was too lazy to go buy one and place it in the dimension. ;)

My building procedure is generally “a bit here, then a bit there” with no real concept. The goal will be to have a corner of that island filled with a house, a small harbour and everything else she needs to live a comfortable life away from all those terrible rifts in Telara. The rest of the island will ideally be “hidden” by a lot of trees and mountains. I also decided not to “censor myself”. That is, I build and build and will reevaluate my choices at a later time, go back and clean up bits and pieces that I don’t like and so on. Because if I look at everything critically now, I know I will never fill that dimension. By the way, I solved my issue with the Shimmersand house which seemed too small for the dimension: I took it out and put in the Stonefield Tavern instead. I love that it stands on wooden poles as those fit perfectly into the water area. And the view from the terrace is amazing!

Below you can see the kitchen. What annoys me a bit is that tableware is a very scarce resource in Telara. Apparently, we just roast a pig on a fire and then chew pieces off. At least, the amount of cutlery available is exactly 0. I actually do own some dishes which are very hard to get, too (they are part of a kit that you can get during a festival). I do have some, but those are in another dimension and I had actually hoped I would I would not have to deconstruct that one in order to build in Tempest Island. :( But it seems that I won’t have another choice. Wooden bowls aren’t available either. I have no found anything yet that I could use to imitate those items either. So, the kitchen isn’t anything special, so far. Just a few shelves with some items on them. I am quite certain that the kitchen will be the best and prettiest place of the house once I’m done – just as in real life. :p

Tavern loungeThe “lounge” is on your left when you enter the house. The lounge is definitely a bit boring. Comfortable, but boring. Still a nice place to sit down and read a book. I am trying to figure out what else to do with that space. Maybe a hat rack or something like this would be nice to add. As far as I know, such an item doesn’t exist. And as far as I know, there are no clothes to place in dimensions either. Don’t mind that chest in the middle of the picture, by the way. That’s the item used to access your character’s bank. I store a lot of dimension items in my bank and it’s convenient to put the bank item near you, so you don’t have to run back and forth all the time to grab some items.

The tavern actually does not come with a second floor. I built it – just like every other person I have seen who’s working with one of the taverns. The ceilings are too high and the way the wooden planks are placed up there it just invites you to place a second floor. I tried to hide the stairs with the book shelves, but figured it would look too repetitive to only have the shelves, so I put some chests of drawers as well. Since there aren’t many tablecloths in Rift either, I scaled two rugs down and placed them on top of the small chests of drawers. The place “behind” the stairs is the storage area. It’s not filled yet, because Meffanda is just moving in. Give her a few weeks and it will be crowded in here. ;) But if that is boring already, upstairs definitely is: There is almost nothing but her bed there yet. I am also not certain yet what I want to do with the rest of the space upstairs. She’ll probably have a study room there, too. Or a crafts area or something like that.

Tavern dining areaThe dining area is outside. Have you seen the view from the terrace? There is no good reason to eat inside if you ask me. But, with the lack of tableware, building outside has come to a halt for now. There are two dishes on the table, but that’s because this table is a “Table with Plates”. It comes with them on it already. Altogether, as you can see, it’s just a few items placed on there. I am not even sure I like the chairs… I will have to re-do this area and, of course, add a lot more items there. My personal favourite part of my dimension at the moment is the harbour. However, I am not certain about the change of wooden platforms at the end of the landing stage. I also know that the wooden planks are usually placed in a different direction than how I placed them. But eh, this is Telara, not earth. ;) Still, I am not sure about the end of it. I may change that part later. But that’s what I meant with editing: This will all come later.

Those are 311 items out of the current maximum of 1000. It doesn’t look that much, does it? :( I fear I will have to upgrade to the total maximum sooner or later. Tempest Island has a maximum of 2000 when fully upgraded. The last step will take me from 1000 to 2000, but it costs 3875 platinum. In case you are wondering: That’s a lot! I have close to 7000 platinum, but I also hardly ever buy anything and sell everything I can (except for dimension items, but those aren’t worth much anyway in most cases).

Rift Dimension building project: Tempest Island

Tempest Island Key CraftingFor weeks, I’d been waiting for patch 3.3 to arrive in Rift. With it came new dimensions and I had set my eyes on “Tempest Island”. I used to build in “Faen’s Retreat” but some things in there annoyed me a bit. While I do like the “oasis feeling” that it gives, I would have loved to have the actual sea nearby and not just a tiny little lake. Additionally, I really did not like the giant raptor bones in there and even tried to hide them under some huge rocks. Tempest Island is just one flat island in the middle of lots of water. No bones in sight. It’s perfect! I even did crafting dailies which I hardly ever do. You see, the dimension is crafted by the Dreamweaving profession and you buy the crafting recipe with three different marks that you get for doing crafting dailies. The recipe itself (seen on the left) isn’t too demanding. So, once the patch had hit the live servers, I owned the dimension within a few minutes.

In Faen’s Retreat, I only have the small Shimmersand house (it’s in there by default and cannot be removed). I’d been looking forward to “upgrading” in this new dimension by placing a medium-sized Shimmersand house in there. But as soon as I had done so, I realized how much work I have ahead of me now. It was so daunting, that I left the dimension without doing anything. It’s huge and so very, very empty right now waiting to be filled with life by me. It really does look like a personal oasis. A place for eternal solitude without a living soul anywhere close.

The gallery below shows three “before” pictures. The poles you can see where placed by me, so that I can see where the dimension ends. At one point, when you were in building mode, some grid appeared that showed that this is where the dimension ends. It is no longer visible, and instead, you just run into invisible walls. Of course, it’s nicer to look at, but at the same time, it’s also harder to build when you want to judge how much space you have left in any given direction.

After I had gathered all my courage, I went back in there and placed the spawn point in front of my medium house, because where it is by default is very far away from where I want to start building. In fact, even after I had placed the house in there, it could not be seen from the spawn point because the building isn’t loading in until you walk a bit closer. And that medium-sized house that did not fit in Faen’s Retreat because it’s too big? It turns out, it really doesn’t look medium at all in this dimension, even after upscaling its size!

Then I went and built a harbor, placed a few palms and rocks and… well, still feel overwhelmed. I am far from being a good or at least, experienced builder. I don’t even know half of the items that exist in Rift. But, I guess it will just grow over time. Slowly, very slowly. It’s just a tiny bit frustrating when I realize how much I already built in the other dimension and how empty this one is now. Then again, having a filled dimension is actually the “end” of the journey. But what I like about dimension building is the journey itself. I just wonder if I can finish it before they turn off the servers one day… :p