Saturday, May 21, 2016

MINIONEERING!




Minions have been one of the most popular additions to RIFT since it launched. Who doesn’t want a collection of obedient servants who run around gathering goods for us? I had the chance to chat with Dan “Snedhepl” Hollinger, Lead Engineer, about this terrific game system.

Snedhepl has been involved with Minions from the start, working on the original design doc alongside other systems folks. One of their main goals was to come up with a process that incorporated engaging design and gameplay with the absolute bare minimum in processing power so that it would not bog down the game at all. To that end, the Minion system calculates processes on the fly as you call upon them, rather than running all the time.

Minions first appeared in RIFT at the time of the Nightmare Tide expansion, and have been expanding their ranks ever since. According to Snedhepl, managing minions is now the second most popular activity in RIFT, right behind adventuring… why? It’s fast, easy, fun and rewarding!

I was curious how many Minions we actually have in RIFT, but apparently there isn’t an accurate count, because some minions come and go, particularly with events, be they holiday promotions or fundraisers such as Extra-Life or Hotfix Earth. Snedhepl stated that there are “at least” 200 in game, but probably more, but not all of them are always available. There is certainly a very large core that is always available through various means.

MINIONEERING IS AS EASY AS PIE…

The default key to access your Minions is “V.” If you want to reset the hotkey to something else, click on ESC, go to Keybindings > UI Toggles > Minions. Pick your new key and hit “APPLY.”

To send your minions on a mission, click on the Adventure Card of choice. It will go into the middle slot. Next, choose a minion that has appropriate attributes (at least one matching the Adventure card), and enough stamina to go on the mission. The “Send Now” button will now light up – just click on it and your Minion is off!

The minion will then appear at bottom right as being on an adventure, with a timer showing how long they will be gone. You can “Hurry Up” your minion for Aventurine or Credits, if you don’t want to wait. Aventurine is earned over time as you complete Adventures, and Credits are available from the RIFT store.

One of the most convenient features of the Minion system is that they are shared across your entire account. Any character can access the minions to send them on adventures and to collect loot. It is important to note that your higher level characters will claim higher level rewards in crafting and gathering missions!







A LITTLE ABOUT THE MINIONS:
  • All Minions can level up to 25.
  • They do have different levels of rarity based on how hard they are to acquire, but these do not have any effect on their attributes, stamina or rate of experience gain.
  • You can only have one of each type of minion, but you can sell, trade or give away extras!
  • Minions start their life in your service with 10 or 12 stamina, and as they level up, they will increase to 20 or 30, respectively, at level 25. Hidden Minions are an exception and are explained further down.
  • Stamina is required to run Adventures, and it regenerates fully over 24 hours while the minion is not out on an adventure.



WHERE DO MINIONS COME FROM?

Rumors of the Minion Stork and Minion Fairy are not founded in fact, but they are almost magically easy to acquire:



Quests and Achievements!

Stophie the mantis shrimp is probably everyone’s first minion, and is obtained at no cost through a very simple quest in Meridian, Sanctum or Tempest Bay. Additional minions are awarded from other quests and achievements as you progress through RIFT, and the minions themselves will also result in achievements!



Artifact Collections!

Some collections result in minions!



In game: Achievements, Mob Drops, Rifts, Instant Adventures, Puzzles, Warfronts and Raids!

Some minions are dropped from various in-game events. As you may imagine, some are easier to obtain than others!



RIFT Store!

A solid selection of minions can be found on offer in the RIFT store. Free players can save up plat in game to trade for Rex that will give them credits.



Holiday/World Events!

Many holidays feature Minion questlines. Typically a starter minion is offered on the RIFT marketplace and will lead to a chain of minion adventures, several of which will result in more minions. It’s like magic!



Crafted!

Yes indeed, master craftsmen can create some rare and valuable Minions, such as Runald, which can only be made by Runecrafters – all crafting professions can purchase their own special Minion recipe from the RIFT store, under Pets > Minions.



Charity Fundraisers!

Occasionally, RIFT will sponsor a fundraiser that includes a minion card. Roughraptors is indeliably associated with our annual Extra-Life efforts, and for Earth Day this year, we offered a Treant minion card. These ones can be expected to appear around Telara from time to time, but don’t miss out when you see them appear!



Auction House!

Even the most peacable, non-raiding, non-Rifting Ascended can purchase minions on the Auction House from other players. I personally make a run through the Auction House once a week juuuuust in case a minion is on offer that I do not already have. Some of the rare ones run into the hundreds of plat… TOTALLY worth it for a completionist like me!



ALL MINIONS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL

There, we’ve said it. Some minions are just more skilled than others. The rest will just have to deal with it!

Snedhepl notes that most minions can skill up to a total of 25 across their two abilities. “HIdden Minions” are uncommon and differ from normal minions, often having more than two attributes that can total more than 25, more stamina and stat growth.

Many hidden minions can be obtained through world event quest chains, but some have a very convoluted path to obtain, such as the infamous Drekenoth of Fate and Ra’Aran of Fate. At least one hidden minion is in game but has yet to be discovered, and all manner of theories abound as to how to trigger their appearance. Snedhepl was extremely cagey on the topic when I pressed for details, but we’ll all keep trying!

Some minions are “Attractors” and display a little horseshoe magnet at the top right corner on their card. When sent on an adventure, these minions increase the chance of the same type of adventure appearing in the decks. For instance, sending a diplomatic attractor out will increase the chance of diplomacy adventures showing up in the deck. The number of extra attracted missions at maximum level is listed in their card text.







WHAT IS AVENTURINE?

Aventurine is a currency exclusive to the Minions System. It has collected automatically when you complete adventures, and has several uses:
  • Use it to reshuffle the deck if you are searching for specific mission types
  • Pay for the high level adventures to save yourself credits
  • Use it to “hurry up” missions to finish sooner







HOW DO THE ADVENTURE REWARDS WORK?
Reward Types:

  • Experience – all adventures will result in Minion experience, and Patrons gain a 5% bonus!
  • Notoriety – these rewards are automatically consumed upon claiming, so make sure you decide in advance which character is to claim them! If your character has reached the maximum faction status, you will gain coins instead.
  • Artifacts – high star-ratings upon claiming will result in more chance of Unstable or Bounty Artifacts.
  • Dimension Items – this includes dimension keys! Items come either singly or bundled as stashes that you can open.
  • Cloth, Salvage, Runecrafting – Ore, Plants, Wood – Hides, Fish, Meat

All of the gathering Adventures are pretty self-explanatory, but remember that the level of reward for these is based on the level of the character you use to claim the reward!

If you want to fish for adventures of a specific type in any deck, you can click on “reshuffle” – this ability costs Aventurine.



HOW CAN I BOOST MY CHANCES AT RARE REWARDS?
There are six reward tiers, marked by the stars that you earn when you claim your adventure. This is where the random reward roll comes in. Snedhpl likens it to a dice roll, which is affected by the level of the attributes of the minion.

For this reason, it is ideal to send the minions with the highest level of matchingattributes. The level is determined by the total of all attributes listed, as long as ONE of them matches. For instance, a 5 water/5 fire Minion = 10 when sent on a water or fire mission. A 10 water minion is just as good when sent on a water mission, but not on a fire mission.

Remember that you can Auto-match your minions based on attributes, either in ascending or descending level!

Premium Adventures: These can appear in decks 2 or 3, and are identified with a diamond symbol. These adventures offer the best possible rewards, and cost credits to participate in. Not feeling flush? No problem, you can reshuffle the deck at NO cost.



HOW MANY ADVENTURES CAN I RUN AT A TIME?

Everyone starts with one free Adventure slot at the right side of the minion screen.

You can purchase up to 5 additional slots with credits in game (Patrons get these for 10% off). Each Adventure slot costs a little more than the last, but over time, the benefits of running multiple Adventures really pays off.



WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FOUR DECKS AT THE TOP?

They decks are all differ in time expenditure and potential rewards.
  • First deck: experience only! These do not result in Aventurine rewards.
  • Second deck: 5 and 15 minute adventures, low returns on experience and loot, and, on average, 2 Aventurine.
  • Third deck: 8 hour adventures, medium returns on experience and loot, and a minumum of 10 Aventurine.
  • Fourth deck: 4 and 10 hour adventures, highest returns on experience and loot, as well as a minimum of 10 aventurine. All adventures in the fourth deck require an entry fee is Aventurine or credits.



WHEW, IS THAT IT?

Oh heck no… this is just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to Minions. For an extremely comprehensive look at the Minion System, we invite you to head over to RIFTgrate and check out their extensive guide, including a Minion Card Database! https://riftgrate.com/2014/10/27/guide-minions-system/

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Razorback Roundup Returns Now Through May 25!




Rebellious Razorbacks are out of control, and we need your help to round them up!


A new breed of raging Razorbacks are boar-ing and goring their way through Moonshade, and terrorized Telarans are squealing for help.

Now through May 25 you can pitch in by capturing boars, completing Instant Adventures, and battling the spawn of Nightmare Rifts. You’ll earn Succulent Truffles along the way, plus a chance of finding a (hog) wild new mount!

Do you have what it takes to bring home the bacon? And don’t miss our newest porcine protector – the Celestial Razorback– available now as a rare drop from Limited Edition: Celestial Razorback Troves!

We’ll be rooting for you to find your own porcine protector.
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RIFT Livestream – 5/20/16 – 3:30 PM PDT



MINIONS! Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em (wait a minute, how can anyone hate these hard working helpers?), they’re coming to the RIFT livestream this Friday!

Brasse will review the Minion System with expert Minioneers Dan “Snedhepl” Hollinger and Chris “Tacitus” Cates, and then we’ll move into our Preset Soul Builds contest with Chris Meyer!



RIFT Livestream
Twitch Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/trionworlds
Start Time: Friday, May 20 at 3:30 PM PDT (GMT-7)
Duration: 45 minutes

See you all there!
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Monday, May 16, 2016

A Look at Rift's F2P Nature



While I wouldn't say that being free to play is one of the main draws of Rift, because it obviously isn't, it is in fact quite a major factor for the vast category of players out there who cannot afford to, or simply do not want to pay for the experience Rift specifically, and other games like Rift, bring to the table. As you all know, Rift started out on a subscription-based model and it later made the transition to F2P, looking to earn its revenues through a different business-model. The bottom line remains though that the game has to generate revenues, so such F2P setups always aim to pull off a delicate balancing act which is indeed not an easy feat.

At first, Rift left everything open for players, but as the revenues obviously suffered, they began tightening things up here and there, and these days, there are some rather frustrating barriers in the game for F2P players, aimed at making them cough up some cash. Make no mistake, the vast majority of the game is still accessible for everyone cost-free, and that means the above said pay-barriers won't really make much of a difference for recreational players and those who do not aim to dominate the ranks. The highest level currently (65) can be reached, and the Planar Attunement tiers can also be filled up all the way. When the end-game is reached however, that's when some of these barriers come into play.

One of  the limitations that many have complained about is the fact that while one can indeed play random dungeons, one cannot pick a specific one. That's quite an issue when it comes to looking for a specific drop and farming for a specific item. Possibly more importantly though, it has an effect on the quest-line too, which sometimes requires players to play specific dungeons in order to move on.

The very same issue is present with warfronts as well: random ones can be played, but not specific ones, and this impacts  PvP quests, both daily and weekly ones, as well as the weekend warfronts which hand out extra rewards. In this case, there is no way around the problem either.

The answer to all these problems is obviously the Patron system, which makes everything much easier to accomplish in the game, leading to a much smoother and satisfying Rift experience. The benefits of the Patron system permeate the very fabric of the game, covering everything from platinum drop rates, to experience gained, the number of daily quests, to prestige and favor and even mount speed. While it's definitely NOT necessary for a wholesome Rift experience, the Patron system is a massive plus, especially for those who play competitively or in a hardcore manner, so much so that it is in fact quite indispensible for such players. Those who just play for the story, or with the aim of reaching end-game, won't really need it much, so for such players, the game is indeed a genuine F2P one.

Philip Talberg has covered the TI 2015 at the world's best eSports destination: Gosugamers.net.
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

CONTEST: Build a Better Preset Redux





Get YOUR build in the game!

Our RIFT Soul Preset System is a fantastic way to introduce newer adventurers to our complex soul system. The current offerings are now two years old and we have NEW souls to take into account – we are desperately in need of an update!

To ensure that our preset guides are the very best that they can be, we need the help of experienced veterans. We want to put your builds in the game, credit them to you, and offer you prizes to boot! We are especially interested in builds that feature our newest Souls, but we have 51 to choose from, so your options are almost endless!

How do you enter?

We’ve prepared a form on the forums with all the required information. We also have a Google spreadsheet here for those who prefer a template in that format: Enter by responding to this thread with your information. You may continue to edit your entry until the contest deadline!

Dates:

Contest Opens: Friday, May 13, 2016, 12:00 noon PDT

Contest Ends: Friday, May 20, 2016, 10:00 AM PDT

Summary of Rules:
  • You may enter as many preset builds as you want. You can win multiple times, and all those builds will be placed into the game!
  • Please be sure you include a detailed gameplay guide in addition to your preset build. That guide can be hosted on the site of your choosing.
  • Builds will be evaluated for detail, quality and insights. The player community will vote on the preset builds for two weeks, and their input will be taken into consideration during the selection process. Trion Worlds reserves the right to refrain from choosing any submission if our quality standards are not met.
  • All preset build submissions and online guides must be original and created by the entrant. Creators of previous builds already in game may update and resubmit those builds.

Prizes:
  • All winners will have their build(s) added to the game as a preset!
  • Winners will be able to suggest a descriptive name for the preset, subject to approval by the RIFT Development team. Winners will have their character’s name and shard credited in the description.
  • Winners will earn a Community Snail mount, to be awarded to a single character on the account. If an entrant wins for multiple submissions, each will be awarded one snail mount!
  • Each winning submission will earn a 30 Day Patron Pass
  • Winners will receive the prefix title “Guide Writer.”
  • Prizes must be accepted as awarded, and have no cash value.
  • Full prize rules can be found here. In case of disagreement between this rule summary and the official prize rules linked here, the latter shall govern.
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

RIFT Livestream – 5/13/16 – 3:30 PM PDT





The Comet of Ahnket brings forth some mighty (and not so mighty) Ascended scholars to the Livestream this week.
Join Brasse, CaptainCursor, Icarus and Epsiry for an introduction to a tower like no other… Ahnket awaits!



RIFT Livestream
Twitch Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/trionworlds
Start Time: Friday, May 13 at 3:30 PM PDT (GMT-7)
Duration: 45 minutes

See you all there!
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mind of Madness Intrepid Adventure Now Live!



Return to the Nightmare!

There’s safety in numbers, they say. Let’s put it to the test! Challenge Lord Arak and explore theMind of Madness in the company of an Intrepid Adventure party.



Featuring nine original raid bosses and a host of new challenges, the fortunate Ascended who prevail in these new challenges will be rewarded with mighty equipment bearing the same iconic appearances as those found within the Mind of Madness raid.

You’ll pursue Lord Arak from the Plane of Water to the depths of madness, through evil deities of nightmare. Face Pagura, the Destroyer of Dreams, the ever-hungry Fauxmire, the mysterious Tenebrean goddess Lady Envy, and more!

To join this new intrepid adventure, log into RIFT, build up your courage and select “Featured: Mind of Madness” in the Instant Adventure window.

Face your fears!

Catch up on our Mind of Madness IA Preview livestream video with Ocho and the crew:https://www.twitch.tv/trionworlds/v/65733060
(Originally aired live on April 29th.)
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Friday, May 06, 2016

Budgies are Back! Catch them through May 12!





There’s only one thing that the Planar Research Institute loves more than precise analysis of temporal anomalies: Budgies. Lucky for everyone, they’re back! Log in through May 12 for a week of races with your favorite feathered friends!

PRI Representatives stand ready to help you saddle up for daily races in Silverwood, Freemarch, Cape Jule, and Pelladane. A few tips for all the jockies who hope to be in the winner’s circle:
  • Stay within the marked path. This is no time for sightseeing.
  • Pass over all the glowing white checkpoints.
  • Avoid those nasty orange traps! Who’s idea was that, anyway?
  • Keep an eye out for glowing green boosts to achieve Terminal Velocity in crucial moments in the race!

Now that you’re a professional racer, start saving up your Bird Seed to earn your very own riding bird.

If races aren’t your cup of tea, you can try your luck with our Limited Edition Nightmare Budgie Trove – they have a chance to contain this highly sought-after Spooky the Nightmare Budgie. This adorable little creature will carry you around Telara and the Planes in style!

Don’t miss your chance to catch a ride astride one of these remarkable birds!
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Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Introducing the RIFT Essentials Edition!







Unleash the full potential of the Ascended! We want to make sure that new players joining RIFT are given a chance to catch up fast. We’ve put together a special pack, the Essentials Edition, to help out.
For only $49.99/€49.99/£38.49 you get all of the following:

  • All of the Souls from the Nightmare Tide and Storm Legion DLC packs
  • Primalist Calling with 6 Souls
  • Planewalker: Water ability (gear unlock)*
  • 2 bag slots*
  • 2 Earring slots*



*Note: The Planeswalker: Water Ability, 2 Bag slots and 2 Earring slots are applied to ALL characters on your account.

For a very limited time (until 8:00am, Wednesday, May 11, 2016), we are making this deal available to ALL players of RIFT. After that, it will be offered to new accounts only!

Log in today and claim your destiny from the RIFT Store!
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Friday, April 29, 2016

Preview: Mind of Madness Intrepid Adventure





Learn all about the brand new Mind of Madness Intrepid Adventure launching May 11!


Pursue Lord Arak from the edges of the Plane of Water into the depths of madness beyond the cosmos! Battle your way through evil deities whose insane nightmares empower Lord Arak and learn undiscovered secrets behind this most mysterious of foes.

Face Pagura the Destroyer of Dreams, the ever-hungry Fauxmire, the Tenebrean goddess Lady Envy, and many more. Each boss is more fearsome than the last, culminating with the Arisen Lord Arak himself! In between each deity, experience all-new adventures and complete quests to help further your goal of defeating the dark lord.

The fortunate Ascended who prevail in these new challenges will be rewarded with mighty equipment featuring the same iconic appearances as those found within the Mind of Madness raid. All who behold your awesome visage will know you have bested enemies of untold power to achieve such grandeur.

Want to know more? Join us for a playtest session on Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 PM Pacific, or come watch our Mind of Madness livestream on Friday, April 29 at 3:30 PM Pacific.

We can’t wait to see you there!
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