MEAD: Rift’s Dead Simon on the Past, Future, and More
Questions by Shannon Doyle (Leliah)
Answers by Simon Ffinch, Senior Design Director
As Rift celebrates it’s second anniversary I had the opportunity to ask Simon “Dead Simon” Ffinch, the Senior Design Director about the past, the future, and get a little bit of insight into what it’s like working on Rift.
How did the second year compare to the first?
We learned a huge amount in our first year, about what we could do with our tools and technology, about what our players responded too best and about how fast our team could create content. But most important of all we really narrowed down what we felt was the heart of RIFT, and that is the flexibility of the Soul system and the dynamic content. This allowed us to really do some amazing things in our second year. While we were delivering huge patches to entertain our players (and ourselves), we were also working on Storm Legion our first big expansion. And so over the second year RIFT became much, much bigger, both in land mass to explore and variety of things to do. The list of stuff we added is truly huge as the team really hit its stride in what we could accomplish. The second year was even more fun than the first and I look forward to the third.
Can you tell us a bit about what you have planned for this year?
Well I don’t want to give away too much right now so I will keep this a little vague. We do have updates planned out for RIFT well into next year with some really exciting and much requested things for the players to experience. We will be expanding on all the features we have in the game right now and exploring a host of new ones. With the death of the dragons things will be changing around Telara. Players will discover that the denizens of the plane of life are not so bad after all with the corruption of Greenscale removed, although they can be a little mischievous. I will just say that nature abhors a vacuum and the Dragons have left a very large vacuum and of course the true meaning and power of the infinity gate is still to be revealed.
What can we look forward to in Dendrome when it comes out with 2.3?
In the immediate future players can look forward to the world event that will lead to the opening of The Dendrome. Small cracks in the barrier between Ashora and the Dendrome can be widened by players, the better they do the easier the access to the Dendrome will become. As well as a large amount of area to explore this zone will add a really radical new type of dynamic content called Strongholds, plus a whole lot more that will be revealed over the coming weeks. The players will also get to learn a lot more about the Architects and their history and place in Telara.
What is life like in Telara after the dragons?
Telara itself will actually enjoy a period of peace and tranquility but the Ascended will be needed more than ever… uh… elsewhere, to make sure it remains this way. I will just leave it at that.
If you could pick a plane to visit, in game or not, which one?
Everyone here has their favourites and I know our players are itching to take the fight into the planes. I am not ready to confirm or deny any plans to go, or which one first though.
What comes after Tier 3 of Planar Attunement?
Well I know that personally the unlocking of Tier 3 is going to keep me busy for a while and many of our players as well. Character development is one of our passions though, and the flexibility of our systems is something we are very proud of, so we have plans in the works but are not ready to talk about them yet.
How did you find three faction pvp internally? Is it something that is wanted to be expanded on?
It is certainly an interesting addition to RIFT. It fills a different niche than our warfronts do, and it can be really fun. We do plan to build on it in the future, but we won’t reveal just how or when that will be just yet. We have a lot of things to juggle right now and a list of thing we would like to add that will keep us busy for a very long time, the next iteration of Conquest is certainly on that list. It is just a matter of priorities.
Do you prefer to do releases slowly and in smaller sizes like Ember Isle or huge expansions like Storm Legion?
Both have their pros and cons and to be honest I don’t really have a preference. I just love working with a passionate group of developers and continuing to put out content and systems to make RIFT an ever changing and fun experience for us and our players. We have some ambitious plans for the future and we will decide on how it is best to deliver them as time goes on.
And so, there you have it! I would like to say an extra special thank you to Simon Ffinch for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. I can’t wait to see what year number three has in store for Rift.