Since I'm on a roll with making wish-lists this year, this week's Enter at Your Own Rift will give a rundown of what should be added to the game in 2012. Read on for the list, and then add your own below!
This has come up before, and it's rumored to be in the works, but it's worth mentioning again. Trion has done a nice job adding "quality of life" aspects, such as the wardrobe feature and fun little pets and mounts, and player-housing would fit nicely with that. My only hope is that it would be more than just a place to decorate and look pretty and that it would have some usefulness as well, like giving rested experience or allowing placeable items that give certain buffs. Star Wars Galaxies' passing meant the end of an impressive housing system, and it would be great to see the team borrow some of the successful housing features from SWG to put into RIFT.
Trion has tweaked the currency a bit, and that's helped make it a little less cumbersome, but I'd like to see that whittled down even more, especially with all of the different world event currencies. I understand that it makes sense lore-wise to create a unique currency to match each event, but often I end up with piles of tokens that go unspent. It would be nice to have the ability to convert currency. There could even be a rate of conversion; for example, five tokens from an old event would be worth only two tokens from the current one. That way players could still use up old tokens, but they wouldn't be able to stockpile to the point that they could buy everything in a new event without participating in it.
Meatier world events
Since we're on the subject of world events, I'd like to see them a little less often, and when there is one, it needs to have a little more teeth. The past few events have been fun, but they feel "safe." It's a foregone conclusion that I will be able to achieve the objectives of the dailies, and as a result, I don't feel that threatened by whatever is currently threatening Telara. It might not be popular with everyone, but I wouldn't mind a few quests that actually let me fail, with two different rewards based on whether I succeed or not. It would make the storyline a little more compelling, and it would definitely bring in a more heroic feeling when you actually do succeed.
I've said it before: The capital cities are the most fortified and protected cities, yet they're attacked by the wimpiest of mobs. In theory, the planar invaders would focus their efforts at Sanctum and Meridian and send in high-level creatures to attack. I'd love to see a real threat at some point, even if it's just for a few days. There are dozens of level 50 players just sitting around doing nothing but crafting, surfing the auction house, or snoozing on their mounts. It would be nice to shake things up a bit and create a real sense of danger, making players wonder whether the invaders will actually take over the cities, even if temporarily. Not only would it make sense from a lore standpoint, but it would even be an opportunity for low levels and high levels to band together for a common objective.
Cross faction auction house
Part of me always loves the whole notion of regional trade, and the divided auction houses are based on a similar notion. But I'd actually like to see a slight change to the system, similar to what EverQuest II did early on. Back when that game launched, EQII had two different auction houses as well as a black market option called the fence. Special NPCs tucked away in hard-to-reach spots in town would allow you to access and purchase items from the other faction -- for a price. The markup was pretty high, but it was fun to have the option to access goods from the other side, and it would be a simple way to spice up the economy in RIFT.
Take it to the planes
I'm tired of invaders raining down on us while we have no way to bring the fight to them. I'd like to finally have the chance to head to the planes and attack our enemies where they reside. This can be problematic, though, and I'm reminded of the situation that arose when players started killing the gods of EverQuest. It's hard to come up with something that's as exciting (and challenging) as killing a god, and the same would be true for claiming victory in one of the planes. But there's plenty of middle-ground; players could travel to the planes and disrupt, rather than defeat, the denizens there. Heck, even getting there could be a challenge in itself.
Overall, if 2012 is anything like this past year, we're bound to see many new additions to RIFT. There are already hints of what to look forward to, such as the increased division between Guardians and Defiants and the probable release of the Maelforge raid zone. Overall, I'd like to see a little more danger in the world of Telara, similar to the "blow-up-the-map" invasions of betas past. Fortunately, the rapid pace of updates shows no signs of slowing down, and for RIFT fans, that's plenty of reason to celebrate.
Whether she's keeping the vigil or defying the gods, Karen Bryan saves Telara on a biweekly basis. Covering all aspects of life in RIFT, from solo play to guild raids, the column is dedicated to backhanding multidimensional tears so hard that they go crying to their mommas. Email Karen for questions, comments, and adulation.