The Curse team was lucky enough to be invited to the first Rift "State of the Game" press conference today and it was full of information! The game's Executive Producer, Scott Hartsman, was on hand to answer questions about all aspects of the game from cross-server instancing to possible, future end-game changes.
Check out some choice questions and answers from the conference below!
Q: Are you planning to add cross server instances for PvE dungeons?
Scott Hartsman: Yes, absolutely! There's a pretty long stretching plan around that whole thing and I want to explain the entirety of it so it makes sense. Warfronts are already cross-shard and the queue times are reasonable. We have been evaluating cross-shard instancing for instances themselves. Ever since we upgraded dungeon loot and made the dungeons a lot more fun and available, we saw a massive boost in the number of people doing instances.
Up at the level 50 range, it tends to be the best experience for tanks and support folks. Even though we still have large numbers of people we don't necessarily have them all queuing up at the same times especially as they're leveling. It's really fun to experience the lower level dungeons at the right level, so cross-server is something we've been looking at to improve that and it'll work the same way that warfronts work.
The larger plan goes something like this: We started out by optimizing the servers like crazy through early launch and up to today. The next step was to buy a whole lot of server upgrades so we could up the wargroup capacity themselves. About two months ago we boosted the wargroups themselves from four shards to eight shards. The next step was to offer free transfers to take advantage of all the extra capacity. And the step we're on right now is us doing a lot of prep and rehearsal behind the scenes of swapping shard hardware itself around to get everyone into as large of Wargroups as possible. Once we have all of that done we'll end up with a greater concentration of cross server pools for everyone.
It's all this larger plan around getting more players more concentrated into larger wargroups. That is the method behind all of the madness. So we're on step 5 of 6 in terms of this right now!
Q: When you say that an alternative use for experiencing the end-game is coming, could you be a little more specific?
Scott Hartsman: The goal for us is to find a sweet spot between creating a system that ends up accidentally creating a required continued progression versus a system that creates an ongoing feeling of reward just for taking part in the game. We're trying to ere on the side of a feeling of reward just for taking part of the game. When we make systems like that people enjoy the game more.
Think of it like this; to tie it to the story, you're an ascended being. You become a level 50 ascended, fighting against the planes for so long. After so much time you kind of unlock the ability to draw power from the planes themselves, basically to take the power of the planes and turn it against your enemies. Experience will continue to be earned. Filling the bar after 50 will end up granting points to spend in new Planar Attunment trees, and what you'll find these is everything from more simple bonuses, weapon specializations, spell type specializations. We're also looking at potential ability mods, depending on how it affects balance.