For a little bit now there have been rumors about the impending announcement of Rift 4.0, namely due to some data-mined zone names floating around. Nightmare Tide and I had a bit of a rocky start and it was only recently that I managed to level through the content and hit the level cap. Originally I thought that this expansion might be based on the Plane of Fire, given a few of the leaked zone names. However it seems like this expansion ties directly into the last raid of Nightmare Tides the Comet of Ahnket. Based on the teaser information on the Starfall Prophecy promotion page, it seems as though the Comet Ahnket has been picking up bits and pieces of the planes as it hurdles towards Telara, and as a result this inhabitable world has been created that we now need to go to in order to find a way to stop it. This combined with some of the artwork shown on the site makes it seem like this expansion will be an amalgam of elements, or at least Life and Fire.
I have to say some of the new assets that are seen on the site are really damned cool. Prime example is that I have zero clue what sort of machine this thing is, other than it seems to be themed with a similar face to the Comet of Ahnket content. It looks amazing and I will be more than happy to fight it, and I am hoping that this is some sort of zone event boss. Mostly it seems like this expansion is going to be a huge world with lots and places to explore. I think one of my big issues with Nightmare Tide is that in the grand scheme of things… the color palette was extremely difficult to get used to. It isn’t nature to see a landscape of violent purples and oranges everywhere, and trying to read that as something to roam around in. While places like Goboro Reef eventually grew on me with time, it was a long adjustment period. This on the other hand seems more familiar, like the same sort of zone treatment we saw in Storm Legion, but this time instead for a much more fire influenced setting rather than death. Between now and launch however I either need to actually find a group to do Comet of Ahnket raid, or watch a play-through so I can soak up some of the information about what is happening there. One of the things I love about Rift raids is that they are so full of story, that plays out around you as you move through it. Unfortunately there is not a “Chronicle of Ahnket” or Intrepid Adventure for it… so that means I will actually have to try and find a pick up group to see the story-line.
On the promotion website it lists a whole slew of stuff under the title of “Claim the Power of Ahnket”, and some of them are pretty interesting sounding.
Increased Level Cap: 70
Planar Assault Adventures
Looking For Raid
Individual Reward System
Eternal Item Rarity
These all sound interesting, but we don’t really have a ton of information to go on yet. It is my hope that between now and the expansion release, they start showing off various features of the expansion during the Friday streams. Unfortunately I have other plans today, and the time shift means that it is happening while I will be in the middle of a family dinner. However I am fully expecting this weeks stream to be epic, showcasing a lot of new features but in limited detail. Of the above list the two that stand out the most are “Looking For Raid” and “Individual Reward System”. Now these have caused drama in games that implemented them, but I have to say after having lived with them for awhile… I’ve become a fan. There was a time when I was strictly against the whole content of LFR, and probably said some things against it. That was also a version of me that had a dedicated raid team, and access to the best gear said raiding could provide. The current version of me however just wants to experience the content and play all of these various games that I want to play. For example in Rift I don’t really have a large group of friends who happen to be playing the game, or at the very least not in the density that I have elsewhere. As a result it is extremely hard for me to figure out how to get anything started, and I would absolutely lean on LFR like a crutch the same way I do currently on the Intrepid Adventure system. Because of this.. the Individual Reward system only makes sense, that way you are not trying to roll against other players but are instead getting your own personalized loot.
The other things on that list that really interest me are Planar Assault Adventures and Fortress Sieges. The Planar Assault Adventures sounds like absolutely something that would be down my alley, and I am hoping these are somewhat like chronicles in that they can be completed solo or with a group either one. I mean I know nothing about it other than the name, but they give me ideas about leading a strike team of NPCs into various planar tears to complete objectives and get back out. Hopefully the reality is even half as cool as my imagined version sounds. Fortress Sieges on the other hand seem like they might be able to go one of two ways. If they are a PVE siege of a fortified position held by Planar forces, essentially a Planar Stronghold taken to the next level… then they sound completely amazing. The other direction I could see something named like that going is some sort of open world pvp objective, and that is the point where they would lose me. I have enjoyed world objective pvp in the past, but generally speaking when a game does this… it almost always degrades into deathmatching and ganking rather than focusing on objectives. Essentially right now I know next to nothing other than a bunch of names, but regardless I am extremely excited about the prospects of what this expansion might bring. As you can see from the above image.. I have already proudly put in my pre-order and am now riding around on my very awesome drake mount.