MEAD: RIFT 1.9 Revealed
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
I am here to say those words every Rift fan has been waiting to hear: 1.9 is coming! The news from Rift just doesn’t seem to be ending. Two weeks ago the first expansion, Storm Legion was announced. Last week at E3 we got to see a small part of what Storm Legion would be bringing to the game during a live broadcast from E3. This week an email arrived in my inbox that made me do a bit of a dance. The announcement of 1.9. As always there are a ton of awesome features that we can expect in 1.9.
If the forums are anything to go by though there is one feature that is most anticipated, Barbershop. I have to admit I was surprised this feature would be the biggest of all those announced. Many of the people posting about being happy to see barbershop mention ugly characters or ugly faces. Why, if a character was so ugly, did you play them? I have one character who will make use of this new feature. She has a giant eye which I didn’t discover until after I got her out of the starting area. Sure, I could have gone back and remade her but it seemed like such a small thing that I just left it in the hopes that one day there would be the ability to change it. But it wasn’t such a big deal that I would hide the character behind a mask. So, what is the Barbershop feature? It looks absolutely identical to the character creation. Except for the addition of a cost section of course. The important things you cannot change, which everyone has been asking about are race or gender. There are no new features in the barbershop, but you know I think I’m ok with that. It gives them something to come out with later. Plus there is so much more in 1.9.
Another quality of life feature is the addition of cross shard chat. As someone who has played City of Heroes for years, when I started playing Rift the lack of a global chat system was one of my few complaints. There isn’t much information about how it will work just yet. But it is certainly exciting to see.
As far as PvP goes, 1.9 will be the introduction of Conquest, the three faction pvp which was teased on the forums with secret messages from a mysterious dev. I had the chance to take part in a Conquest match on the test shard a few weeks ago. It was one huge confusing battle that took place across all of an alternate Stillmoor. But it was still a ton of fun. I’m sure once people figure out what is going on things will calm down, become more organized and be pure awesome. As a nonpvper though I found it stretched on a bit too long for my taste and actually left before the match finished. Still, I’m looking forward to getting familiar with Conquest and standing as one of the Oathsworn. One of the three factions that both Guardians and Defiants get grouped into for the sake of this event. It isn’t really clear just yet if that division will carry over outside of the pvp event. And admittedly I’m a bit torn on if I want it to or not.
Another alternate reality is being opened in 1.9. This one is a sliver called Primeval Feast. Here Fae Lord Twyl has defeated Greenscale and is fighting to break into our reality. Its your job, with the help of nine friends, to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ve always enjoyed alternate reality stories, especially ones where I’ve experienced what happened in our reality. Which makes me look forward to this one perhaps more than others because I have gone up against Greenscale.
This brings me to a feature I am especially excited about. Mentoring. This gives you the ability to play lower level content while still getting rewards appropriate for your level. For me this is exciting because my only 50 missed a lot of the quests in the world due to leveling too fast. I had always planned on going back and doing them anyway but this feature makes me much more excited to do so since I’ll actually be getting something out of them, other than the satisfaction of having it done and knowing the whole story properly.
Speaking of low level content we’re going to get some new low level things. Specifically they’re bringing the hugely popular Instant Adventures to the two lowest level zones for each faction. And you will be able to do them on higher level characters through the mentoring system so the lower level zones aren’t going to be so empty anymore.
1.9 will of course have an event to go with it. This one is called Summerfest. There will be fishing, cook-outs and of course what camping trip is complete without the assault from swarms of bugs. In addition there will be scavenger hunts, riddles and other various challenges. As we get more details I will more officially announce an OnRPG hosted event in game which will feature around the event and be broadcast live. There will be more details on that as we get closer to the date.
And that brings us to the end of the 1.9 highlights for now. Over the next few weeks I’m sure more information will be released. And as soon as I know, you know. Just as a final reminder 1.9 will bring about the end of some of the older event currencies. They will be made completely useless as the items you can buy with them are being removed from the World Event Vendor. There are a few exceptions but generally speaking if it doesn’t seem like it is an event that will occur again then use those currencies. Don’t worry about the likes of the beads or snowflakes, those are part of events that will repeat themselves every year and therefore will always be useful.