As you may know by now, 2.2 introduced 'hardmodes' for the first two bosses of both Frozen Tempest (Gelidra and Zaviel) and Endless Eclipse (Progenitor and Kain), within an hour and a half of the servers coming up the EU guild known as <Favouritism> managed to bag world first on all of them, judging by the time differences on the kills below, most of the bosses appear to of either been downed on the first or second pull and also judging by the time that the bosses were killed at a lot of members of Favouritism are going to turn upto work today looking like the cast of the walking dead, I am of course joking, I'm sure you don't need to be to presentable when washing your mums car.
Now I imagine some of you are thinking "So, what happened, are they really all that easy?" well this time around the dungeons and raids team decided to handle testing a bit differently in the hopes of getting more bug free and balanced encounters by opening up testing for all, so that all guilds had the equal oppurtunity to go in anytime and test the new hardmode encounters, the previous testing method for 20 man raids has usually been scheduled testing where X guild tests Y boss on one night of the week, their was a lot of criticism about this method being 'fair', as two issues occurred, normally EU guilds were seen to be testing more due to the fact that EU raiding times are in the Trion Office working times, the second issue was that certain guilds who were tight on numbers occasionally cancelled resulting in other guilds who were on standby filling their spot, which in Storm Legion happened so frequently that one guild in particular knew every single boss weeks before Storm Legion was due to be live, which did spark a lot of Drama on the forums when they claimed all the world firsts in FrozenTempests. Regardless of which the German guild known as <Game Over> managed to kill the final boss in Endless Eclipse thus claiming the world first without having done any testing at all!
There has been a lot of debate over the testing for the next tier of raiding and you can read all about it and join in the debate on the thread of the official forums entitled Dungeons/Raid Testing and You!
I think there are two 'main factors' that led to these hardmodes being cleared so quickly:
Firstly is the fact that the hardmodes have been open to test for around 5 weeks, this meant guilds who had already cleared the content were spending around 3 hours a night, 3 nights a week testing these encounters, so by the time they hit live, they already had a fairly refined strategy.
Second is the timing and gearing, if these had been released at the start of Storm Legion along with the initial release of both of the raids, in my opinion they would of not of gone down for at least a month and a bit, the main problem here lies that guilds such as Favouritism have had 3 months to farm all the content and the majority of the raid is kitted out in almost full best is slot gear, which made the fights damage and healing checks slightly trivial and allowed them to be blitzed over.
Favouritism released a 'teaser video' for their upcoming Hardmode kill video's, as per usual at the end of half the boss kills, pawnish is reciding on the floor.
The teaser video can be found here~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C78w6GVzjvE
I've never been a great fan of hardmodes, so my personal opinion of them is that they should be released with initial raid or don't bother releasing them at all or it will just be a constant repeat of the above and they will get blitzed over in a couple of hours, I'd much prefer if they instead allocated resources into making the next 20 man raid bigger, better, bugfree and better tuned. I'd love to hear your views and opinions regarding hardmodes and this whole fiasco in the comments below however!
More good news with 2.2 just around the corner, a variety of new zone event achievements have appeared on the public test shard with the latest update, the first of which hints at a new 'Volan' type zone event known currently as Champions of the Fire Storms, from the little we can tell about this zone event it will include bombarding the presumable end boss known as Rabrongar with 'Blast Cannons' and also nuking down exploding Energy Cyst to bring this beast of a Colussus down. As well as nuking the colussus it seems like they are various other sub-objectives such as collecting weapon components and killing Planar Rejuvenator before it begins to heal certain targets, either way just from reading the achievements this zone event has got me jumping off my seat with excitment and it looks like its not going to disappoint!
The second of which zone events goes by the name of 'The Craft of Conflict', while this one has only a couple of achievements from reading the description of them it appears its going to be very unique, alas they is not much more information available in regards to this, but the mystery behind it all has got me in high-anticiptaion for the release of both of these awesome souding new zone events! In the state of the game message Daglar did mention we would be see'ing new zone events coming in 2.2, so my guess is we are going to find a lot more about both of these events in the upcoming weeks!
Anyways that's all for now, if your lurking about the PTS and spot some awesome new additions to the game feel free to give us a poke in the Contact us section of the Websit
It’s been a long road since an intrepid band of developers introduced the world to RIFT in 2010 by opening the original Alpha shard. Being able to share the game with external testers for the first time was a transformative experience. RIFT was no longer just a product, RIFT became a service, a living breathing game world. That idea was central to the team early on, but it really came to fruition the moment we threw the switch and let people in.
How can we make the game better for our players? This is the same question we've continued to ask ourselves and the community since that first day of Alpha. Every week of pre-release we added new content, new features, updated balance and pressed onward. That same spirit guides the RIFT team today. We strive to provide meaningful game updates and push the game forward just like we've done since that fateful day in August of 2010. We push to provide hotfixes every week that address issues brought to our attention.
As Rift approaches its second anniversary this March it could be all too easy rest on our laurels and focus on the past – but that’s not what the RIFT team is about. We’re about looking forward and finding ways to improve upon what we have built. The team is busy actively working on our next two major game updates, 2.2 and 2.3 – and the game updates beyond those are starting to solidify more with each day.
With 2.2 the Carnival of the Ascended – a celebration of the first appearance of the Ascended - will return to Telara. Along with it, new carnival games as well as some old favorites will be available, a slew of new Zone Events will appear in the Storm Legion zones, the Planar Attunement system will expand to tier 3, and we hope to add our first activated Hard Mode encounters to Endless Eclipse and Frozen Tempest. Of course, you can also expect more bug fixes, and updates to classes as we always provide. There are also some updates to PvP that have been sneaking out to the live servers before 2.2 hits.
What secrets are hidden behind the walls surrounding the Dendrome? As we approach game update 2.3 we'll start to peel back the layers of mystery – but that is a story for another day, Ascended.
We look forward to sharing those secrets, and the continuing saga of RIFT as we boldly step into 2013.
Bill "Daglar" Fisher
Lead Game Designer: RIFT
From my perspective I viewed this more as a 'What's coming in the future' rather than a 'State of the game message', but never the less this actually got me quite excited, Although it may seem a bit odd to some the thing that I enjoyed reading the most was that "A Slew of New Zone Events' will appear in the Storm Legion Zones", which literally I cannot describe how much I'm looking foward to this.
In the Storm Legion expansion at the moment pretty much every zone has 1-3 possible zone events that can occur, which is vastly underwhelming in comparison to chocolate RIFT, where every zone had at absolute minimum 4 unique zone events, add on the zone events that occurred and were added with various holidays (Waves of Madness, Spoils of War, Carnival of the Ascended, War of the Wanton Maw, Fae Yule) and by the end of chocolate RIFT some zones had around 15 zone events that could occur! Although most of them were similar in the terms of Close X Rifts, Kill Y Invasions and then all go beat up the big colossi, I enjoyed the variety of never knowing for certain what you get and also the fact that there was an Achievement for killing every colossi, which made Colossi hunting and Invasion hunting quite enjoyable for myself.
Moving on to other things announced, with the addition to four hardmodes, in my opinion, I'm not terribly fond of 'hardmodes' done in this manner. From what I've been told from various raiders on the PTS, the hardmodes are not drastically different from the normal fights, only a tighter enrage and an added mechanic or two, Personally from years of raiding, I'd prefer if there was a reason to do Hardmodes, I think the only raid in the history of MMO's that has done Hardmodes right has to be Ulduar, personally I love the idea that doing the Hardmodes would unlock an additional 'bit' of the raid, for anyone that didn't do Ulduar, there were 4 keepers and when all defeated on Hardmode dropped a part of a Key, you had to defeat all of them on Hardmode to unlock the ultra hard boss in the raid known as Algalon, which is still one of the most epic MMO raiding experiences I've ever had. This in itself felt like something you had to progress for and gave you a proper incentive to do hardmodes instead of a orange item with 2 or 3 stat difference. In all honesty I'd rather Trion did something similar to this, or just focus their resources on making the next raid absolutely awesome, instead of faffing about with these somewhat unrewarding in terms of satisfaction, loot and incentive to do hardmodes that appear to be in place at the moment. I must admit I may see a somewhat decent incentive to doing them if there was a Tzul mount for killing all 4 bosses on hardmode.
Well anyways my personal rants and thoughts aside, it looks like we are in for a hell of a treat in 2.2 and 2.3, what mysteries lie within the walls of the denodrome are soon to be discovered and with upcoming class changes, increased PA cap, Carnival of the Ascended and rumours of Grim Awakening, I'm sure even the most hardcore of players will be still quite occupied with RIFT, bring on RIFT 2013 and onwards!
Recently patch 2.2 came up on the public test shard and under the raids category of achievements a new raid appeared known as 'Grim Awakening'. At the moment there are only 3 achievements in the tab and if your thinking the criteria for this achievement linked in the picture below sounds familiar its because the criteria for killing all the other bosses in the exisiting 10 man Triumph of the Dragon Queen, these achievements are most likely a place holder.
Speculation leads us to believe that this new raid will most likely be a 10 man and be the last of the Tier 1 raids in Storm Legion. What the back story behind this raid and what we are going to do in it still remains a mystery at large, personally I have two theorys.
The first is that this 10 man utilizing the idea of slivers has been set in an alternate relatility where in Endless Eclipse the ascended fail and Regulos wins and takes over Telera, which I believe would bring quite a fun and interesting concept.
The second is that now that Regulos has fallen, we have awoken something much more darker and powerful than we could ever imagine and this new raid will be a starting point for the lore on how this 'Creature' awakes.
Either way I have high hopes for this new raid and although I doubt we will see it release along with 2.2, I look foward to hearing more about it and hopefully it will release in synch with the Denodrome for an absolutely massive patch for 2.3, either way I'd love the hear your idea's and speculation for this mysterious raid in the comments below.
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