A handful of fans from the official Rift: Planes of Telara forums were recently invited to tour the Trion Worlds office and get their hands on the game. They also had their questions answered by the Trion team.
Last week, Trion Worlds hosted its Gamer Day event to give members of the press and some lucky fans the opportunity to get their hands on Rift: Planes of Telara. A handful of official forum members were given figurative golden tickets to tour Trion's office in Redwood City, CA and meet the the team behind the upcoming MMO.
After playing Rift's alpha client for hours, the community members got the chance to have many of their questions answered by some high-ranking Trion team members: Trion Worlds CCO and Rift Executive Producer Scott Hartsman, Vice President of Development Russ Brown and Guardian Lore Lead Nicholas Taylor McDowell. The discussion covered a wide variety of topics, and you can find them all after the jump.
Be sure to check back with ZAM throughout the week for more news from the event, including detailed information on the new Guardian and Defiant starting areas, the Deepstrike Mines instance, and PvP.
Q: How long is the day and night cycle in the game?
Hartsman: Seven hours. We intentionally don't have day and night quests. One of the things we're in the process of doing right now is deciding exactly how much of that seven hours is day and how much of it is night. Right now the way our world is set up, the day period and the night period are even. We're skewing it a little more toward daylight hours and more dawn and dusk hours and a little less pure night, because pure night in MMOs tends to be too dark to be fun.
Q: Will there be mini-games, like tossing around the Heavy Leather Ball in World of Warcraft?
Brown: We don't have any in the game yet.
Hartsman: We're going more for funny achievements right now. We had a prototype of an actual chess game playing out in our scripting system which was kind of fun, just as a proof of concept. You want to make sure they're polished enough before you put them out.
Q: How did Cyril come to lead the Guardians?
McDowell: Cyril was an adventurer in his younger days and was the one that exposed King Aedraxis of his necromancy. He convinced Zareph, Aedraxis' brother, to start the revolution. He became a general, even though he was at heart a solo adventurer and champion. During the battle he was the one who was very sure about this and became the spiritual leader of the Guardians. When the rifts came and everyone died, the gods brought him back to lead the fight against the machine-born and the dragons.
Q: What's your feeling on the role dragon cults play in the story of Telara?
McDowell: We wanted to theme their personalities so designers who wanted to tell various stories in the zones would have some way to attach it to the larger plot and a larger dragon. It was a way to tie together a lot of the stories we were doing with a greater plot and a greater evil and to make the themes almost color coded for people who want to go deep into the lore and get the backstory. And people who are just running through the content can at least see what the themes are and get a feeling for when the plot appears. They'll think, "Well it's an earth rift and I'm fighting guys that are dressed well, it must be the Golden Maw."
Q: Who worked on the neutral factions?
McDowell: The neutral factions are a creation of the pod leads of the various pods that do the zones. Each pod had an end-game zone, so they chose something from their story to become that faction and we tied them in. Some were done earlier and some were done later. The Dragonslayer Covenant in Shimmersand is something we placed in with the understanding that we needed a faction, whereas the Ice Watch was something that had existed for a long time as a story element that we kind of elevated up to make into their own faction.
Q: Is there reputation in the game? What does it give you?
McDowell: Yes. We're tying different reputations to many things. They don't all grant you the same thing.
Q: How will you balance the population in regards to PvP on PvP servers?
Hartsman: Here is why I love our designs. This is why we don't have things like an overt overworld territory control game between the two factions. As soon as you do that, you have the problem of having to guarantee that it's going to be 50/50 in order for the service to be fun. None of our PvP is based around the idea that you need that for PvP to be fun. We are designing around needing that.
Q: Can you get to a level where monsters don't aggro?
Hartsman: Not right now. The radius shrinks a lot. We're trying to make sure that we don't end up in this world where we end up with essentially bots running through zones never being touched by anything.