by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
By the time you read this, the latest update for RIFT: Prophecy of Ahnket will be here. It’s called “Celestial Storm” and comes packed with quite a lot of content, from hundreds of hours of quests to incredibly gorgeous mounts! A favorite Raid is returning with a pumped-up difficulty for the hardcore crowd, there’s a new UI for the chests, and so much more! This is a very aesthetically pleasing update, and I spoke to Simon Finch [Development Director] and Christopher Junior [Game Director] to get the scoop on what’s to come in this expansion!
I haven’t seen much on RIFT in a little while, I believe the last time I spoke about it was when Prophecy of Ahnket was on its way out. So we’re still doing battle on the comet, but now we’re coming close to the southern tip of the comet and one of the really cool things about it is that two forces are doing battle for control of this new area that you find yourself in. The downside? If either of those forces wins, it’s bad news for you and the other heroes! So you have to make sure none of them win by taking both warring factions on! That’s such a cool concept to me. Typically you have to fight one force and make sure good triumphs. But both sides must lose here!
The Tenebrian Deity Ahnket is looking to annihilate Telara and anything in its path. It’s an “Everything Must Go Sale” and you’re on the docket. As the comet has traveled, it’s absorbed some of the planes of Light and Fire, which has changed the comet’s the appearance and ecology. That’s how big this thing is: it has zones and an ecology. It has creatures that roam it that wish to destroy you, and raid dungeons ready to explore! So 4.2 takes place on the back-end of the comet, a level 70 zone that contains over 80 new quests, and that’s not even counting the repeatable ones. Raid Rifts, a new adventure, puzzle quests that will make you pull your hair out [but OH MAN THE MOUNTS ARE WORTH IT. DO THESE PUZZLES.] And oh lord is this zone gorgeous. Part of it feels more bestial and serene, with gorgeous flora and fauna. The other parts are a shattered hellscape, with more technological foes and massive robots to do battle with. Crucia has decided that Ahnket clearly has a pretty good thing going here, and flew her mothership to the comet to take it for herself. So you have two immensely evil forces at play, and you can’t pick a side.
There are so many cool abilities and items that are coming in 4.2. I think my favorite is the Jetpack, that has abilities that can only be used in Rostigar Peaks. But it’s a Jetpack! That was one of the reasons I thought Boba Fett was so cool. That’s not even the fanciest mount I’ve seen in this update [the floating chariot was pretty sweet as well]. You can use the mount anywhere though. Anyone can get it if they endure a pretty lengthy side-quest chain. It might take some hard work, but it’s worth it! There are some crazy rewards aside from that if you’re willing to explore, do some jump puzzles, and put some elbow grease in, but I promise that they’re worth it. I’d do the jetpack first since it will make some of the jumping puzzles a lot less heartbreaking. There’s still a lot to do on this comet, despite coming close to the physical end of it. The Great Rifts will be found on the tail of it, which is harrowing if you ask me. I’m already nervous being thrown around in space on a comet, but raiding on the tail of one? That chills my bones.
The southern part of this new area is mostly controlled by Ahnket, and the more northern parts seem to be controlled by Crucia. You’ll definitely see a change [plenty of robots and Storm Legion forces up north]. Even the enemies that roam the area are tougher than normal. They have more mechanics to be aware of, and unless you’re incredibly well geared [cutting edge gear], you would be better served doing these encounters with a party. For some reason, the dev’s character just couldn’t seem to take any damage. Can’t place my finger on quite why that was though … In addition to this, there are four new Primalist Souls coming in this expansion. For the folks that purchased the original ones way back when this is just an update to that. If you already had them, you’ll get these straight away. They’ll be on par with the others as well, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. One of the cool things about this game is the ability to play literally any way you see fit. I also got to see the “Shiny Levitation” mount which is a series of serene sparkles that float around you and lift you in the air. Originally you were going to be granted this for acquiring 1600 artifact sets. I can only imagine it’s a tiny amount of people. So instead, they decided if you can solve a puzzle, you can have it! Sounds fair, right? But you’re gonna have to work for it.
The game keeps getting prettier and prettier too, with the upgrades to the game client. The newest area will have truly phenomenal features visually, and as the game progresses, you can expect the textures of older areas to take advantage of this new technology. RIFT was already pretty and now it will just grow more and more alive. I loved the new area on a visual level. I also heard that the Wilds Pack is coming back, and for those of you that don’t have it, or didn’t get it will have another chance to do so! So you have another chance to get the Primalist, lots and lots of cosmetics, and it will be at a significant discount [and will be available for a month]! In the last update [4.1] they introduced for the first time “LFR” [Looking for Raid] and it’s been pretty damn popular. This also introduced Tartaric Depths, but it was designed for pickup groups and a sort of intro raid. It helps you wrap up some storylines and get closure. But the more hardcore crowd are not satisfied! They want something a bit harder. So in 4.2 they are going to get a “normal” difficulty version. Not quite heroic, but it’s going to be harder than what you experienced in 4.1. That’s more like it for me! New rewards, new difficulty, it’ll be worth it!
There are lots of other new things coming in the new update from artifacts, achievements, et cetera. It’s probably the biggest zone they’ve done in a while and it certainly is worth exploring. The other really big thing to look at is the new “Lockbox UI.” Now it’s not boring! They also added some new visual effects for your weapons, so now if you say, have the Marshmallow on a Stick transmog, you can set it on fire! The Lockbox Update isn’t a huge one, but it makes it look less bland and more majestic. Not to mention they did an itemization shuffle of the lockbox loot, so now it will give some new stuff, in addition to some of it being PVP based, some of it being PVE based. The new UI reminds me of cracking open a pack of cards for something like Magic. If your box doesn’t have a Chase Item [a rare mount, etc], you’ll get a prize ticket. You can store them up and take them to a new vendor, which you can exchange them for some old, lockbox-only mounts, some really worthwhile collectibles will be on offer for them. So it’s worth it to collect them over time! There are so many things happening in this update! They’re also doing a crossover with Atlas Reactor! There’s a skin you can unlock in Atlas Reactor if you finish the zone for 4.2’s storyline! You can also unlock a gorgeous weapon skin for RIFT itself. I hope all you fans get in there and check out this amazing new zone! Like I said, it’s going to be available by the time this goes out, and it’s up to you to stop Ahnket and Crucia!