Thursday, November 17, 2016

Producer’s Letter

What a busy year! We have just launched Starfall Prophecy, taking Telara to new lands in a very unexpected way, but that’s just the largest of our many, many projects for RIFT players. Let’s take a look into the past, and into the future!

We had a blast with all of you in Beta testing Starfall Prophecy. You really helped make the expansion better, and we are proud to share it with you now that it is live!

Starfall Prophecy ended up being WAY bigger than we had originally planned, because the entire RIFT team was so excited to add both new content and new features. This ensured great value for your gaming dollar, and if we ended up with sleepless nights and too much caffeine, well, we only have our own ambitions to blame! We are very proud of how the team pulled together to go above and beyond, and we hope you love it too.

We think we hit the right note of alien and sentient construct with Ankhet’s design!

One of the questions we’ve been asked a lot is, “Whose idea was it to teleport up to a freaking COMET?” Like most RIFT projects, it was a collective decision, driven by a bunch of crazy and creative folks. When we looked back at Nightmare Tide, we recalled that players complained about being too waterlogged, so we needed a reason to bring together two new planes in a unique way – so a Comet inhabited by a powerful, sentient being, driven through the planes of Fire and Life… hey, it was obvious, right? The concept of Ahnket certainly resulted in some incredibly novel storylines and struggles for Ascended to tackle. We hope you enjoy the ride!

Our art team created over 50 brand new models for the expansion, including bosses, heroes, Life and Fire creatures, the Tuath’de race, as well as an assortment of new beasts (bears!) and miscellaneous critters. We’ve been thrilled to see the response from players to the style and design of the new zones as well!

Have a look at all of the Starfall Prophecy features we’ve covered, via links in our Launch blog.

All of this came in at the same time as some very careful soul revamps and rolling out our 64-bit technical upgrade. The entire team is committed to evolving RIFT at every opportunity, to bring us all the best play experience for years to come. We love Telara as much as you all do, and we continue to read your feedback daily, on forums, social media and stream chats. While we can’t always make everyone happy, we constantly strive to do our level best to keep RIFT fun, healthy and thriving.

I want to offer a special shout-out to the many fan sites, videographers and streamers who have really come into their own this year. Thank you for joining our Trion Creator Program, and know that we deeply appreciate your support!

Now, on to Starfall Prophecy logistics! We wanted to make sure we got the expansion out to you well before the holiday season, so we decided to hold a few of the SFP features for more polish, while you explore the new lands of the Comet of Ankhet.

Fortress Sieges are a brand new game feature, and we want to take the extra time to make sure that it is working perfectly before we send it out – it’s a really cool and progressive gameplay feature covered in this blog. We will have a livestream devoted to sieges in the near future as well!

Dead Simon’s wicked puzzles have been one of Telara’s best kept secrets, but since we have started talking about them on streams, more and more players are starting down the path of the puzzler. With Starfall Prophecy, Simon has really outdone himself, and we will soon be able to give you all access to the seven new puzzles and a whole ton of new artifacts – best of all, they’re inter-related! These are all solo/duo activities and while they will take a LOT of time, they can result in some of the coolest cosmetic armor we’ve ever put out there. We’ve already shown the work in progress on a livestream, and we’ll have an in-depth article on it for you in the next week or so.

We’re also working on an all-new 10-man SFP raid, as well as the new Looking for Raid (LFR) system. Of course, we’re already hard at work for our traditional Fae Yule celebration. Whew!

Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s new Fae Yule costume!

Here’s to 2017 – it’s coming faster than you think!

We leave you with an image of an adorable Hedgehog pet from SFP, as a reminder that we pay a lot of attention to even small things in RIFT!

~Christopher “Archonix” Junior


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