But if you're wondering whether the team took the holidays off and left behind its work, fear not! Just a few days ago, Trion Worlds revealed a new iPhone app called RIFT Mobile and held its first developer Q&A with the community, during which it provided lots of new tidbits of information for RIFT fans to look forward to. In this week's Enter at Your Own Rift, we'll look at the highlights.
There's an app for that
I tend to be fairly minimalist when it comes to apps on my phone, but this one is actually pretty cool. I like the fact that it has purpose but doesn't try to cram tons of little bells and whistles in just for the sake of doing so. Guild communication is a pretty obvious use, and it seems to work smoothly overall. What I particularly liked is being able to see the guild wall, a feature that is in the guild window in game but tends to get overlooked a lot. It allows guildmates to post notes for the guild to see, such as what craftables particular characters can make or that Bobby's Guardian smells like elderberries. The app will make the guild wall a great way for members to keep abreast of planned guild events and let everyone know if a member is running late or can't make it. In addition, members can coordinate groups and evening activities together while eating lunch at work, and it's nice to know that when you get home and log in, you'll have something already set and ready to go.
I also like the feature that lets you keep track of zone events. You can set it to alert you if there's one that starts up, but you probably want to keep that turned off if you're heading to a board meeting. I sometimes actually miss the announcements in general chat, so for me this is a nice way of having a backup notification.
Lastly, I peeked at the minigames. I started out with six credits, and you accrue one credit per hour afterwards. I played Planar Invasion, which resembles a scratch-off lottery ticket. If you rub three matching icons, you win the prize that you reveal. I ended up winning some planarite, planar dust, and an augment. The minigames are quick and easy, and the items are sent to you through the in-game mail system.
Right now, RIFT Mobile only appears to be available for the iPhone, though an Android version is rumored to be in the works. It's a free and fast download, and once you enter your information, you can see a listing of all your characters as well as the different features.
We don't have too many specifics about 1.7, but there are some exciting bits of news from the recent Developer Q&A. For those who do crafting rifts but sometimes miss out on contribution because those rifts are closed too quickly, take heart. The rifts will soon scale based not only on the number of players participating in the rift but also on the type of gear everyone is wearing. For those who have great gear, the mobs will be more challenging, allowing for longer fights and hopefully a better opportunity to gain contribution. Guilds that have had a hard time breaking into Hammerknell will be happy to hear that gear will get a little boost in strength, which will reduce the gap between Hammerknell and Rank 8 gear and the rest of the level 50 gear available. Nothing's being nerfed, but the tweak should make it a little easier for raiding guilds to avoid hitting the dreaded wall of progression.
One of the more amusing answers was about the recent interview during which Design Director Hal Hanlin discussed driving a wedge between the Guardians and the Defiants. As Community Manager James Nichols put it, "Ever read a news article that took one tiny bit of information and blew it up out of context for a catchy title? Happens to RIFT too!" He explained that the "wedge" was part of the upcoming First anniversary World Event and that Guardians and Defiants would be able to opt into a big, sloppy, drunken, PvP brawl. He added that the event will close with a massive planar invasion that will bring both sides together for a common challenge.
Even roleplayers have something to look forward to, and it's pretty cool stuff. In mid-December, the RIFT community team held a RP Town Hall with players on the Faeblight server, which is the largest roleplaying server. The team wanted to enable roleplayers to do more, and it got a list of feedback on all sorts of things that players hoped to see. Coming soon, roleplayers will have the opportunity to arrange in-game weddings, complete with tuxes, gowns, rings, and even a special instance with a ceremony to allow for an uninterrupted event. It's nice to see Trion looking out for all types of players, and hopefully more of the player wish-list will come to fruition in the future.
Even though the holidays have been relatively quiet in game, there's still a lot going on behind the scenes, and there's every indication that we'll have some nice additions to the game with update 1.7. While we wait for more news, place your bets on when the update goes live (that would make a great minigame for the app)! I'm personally going with an update at the end of January, with 1.8 arriving in March, in time for the big birthday. In the meantime, I'll be happily doing Telaran scratch-tickets on the moble app. I can never have too much loot.
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.