Writing for two blogs (and holding down one of them fulltime jobs too) is turning out to be tricky! Bear with me for the next couple of weeks while I get the hang of time maintenance. It doesn’t help my case any that this has been an insanely busy week for RIFT, what with the official Storm Legion release announcement, the fact that Trion broadcast live from their PAX booth every hour the convention floor was open, and news that patch 1.10 will be hitting us next week.
Storm Legion: November 13!
I think this was a smart release date, given that Trion wanted to come out in one of the most crowded launch quarters in recent memory. GW2 will be two and a half months old, Mists of Pandaria will have been live for about a month and a half, and LOTRO’s Riders of Rohan expansion will have been out for a month. That’s plenty of time for current players to dabble in the new titles and new players to be ready to try something different.
The trailer isn’t as impressive as, say, Blizzard’s always are, and honestly I think it borrows a bit too much from Inception with the giant floating words and ominous musical tone. I did like the splash of humor with the capes, or as a guildie commented based on the juxtoposition one could assume that capes are pure evil.
However, despite not being entirely sold on some of the ad design decisions the trailer still gave me the teeeensiest goosebumps while watching it. Soon. SOON.
Removing Factions: the way of the future?
This coming Wednesday will see the release of patch 1.10, which doesn’t have a whole ton of new playable content but does dismantle most of the faction system. After the patch, players on PvE servers from both the Defiant and Guardian faction can play together in any automated grouping environment (such as the LFG finder), can join the game guilds, use the same Auction House, send mail, get married (yeah you read that) and so on. The only limits will be that the two current faction capitals will remain seperated.
Upon reflection, I think factions are a pretty outdated feature in MMOs now and arguably on their way out. Why break your player base into discrete groups when so many elements of the game rely on having a critical mass of users? A lot of servers in every game are heavier on one faction than the other, and for existing players this change is about to vastly reduce queue times, make recruiting easier for raid guilds, and perk up the economy. Plus specifically for RIFT, Defiant get dwarves now which is amazing. RELEASE THE DWARVES!
I can see factions still being valid when they’re critically important to your intellectual property — try to imagine a Star Wars MMO where Sith and Jedi are best buds — but if nothing else Guild Wars 2 has shown that not even PvP-oriented games need factions baked in at every level.
Trion at PAX
It was, like, good and stuff. I wrote a more detailed article about dimension housing over at RiftJunkies so if you’re interested, go read about it there!
Have a great weekend, folks.