Trion has delivered an unprecedented amount of content to Rift since its launch last year – a fact that made us especially curious as to what it had planned for the game’s first expansion, Storm Legion. If it had pushed out an expansion’s worth of updates for free, what could it possibly justify charging more for? Well, a lot, as we saw at E3.
The typical assortment of obligatory expansion updates were shown off, including an increased level cap, four new souls to augment the game’s classes, seven new dungeons (of which we saw two of, and they looked awesome), and three raids, but even more interesting than the boilerplate content is the increase in playable land. Whereas typical expansions usually throw in a few new zones, Storm Legion will be literally tripling the playable world by adding two new, massive continents. Part of the reason for this was so that that the developers could continue to create new, free content, since… well, they’d already run out of space.
“Our designers kept coming up with new ideas and we had nowhere to put them,” one of the developers explained to us at E3. They literally ran out of new areas for zone events – one of Rift’s biggest features – so creating new zones became obligatory. Fighting through these new zones will bring players through the ten new levels, We were run through one of these new zones and shown off the conclusion of the event that would take place there, and we were floored by what we saw.
In one of the desert towns, a giant beast named Volan awakened from a massive chamber in a mountainside – and when we say massive, we mean massive. Volan was, by far, the biggest enemy we’d seen in the game. Actually, it’s one of the biggest enemies we’d seen in any game this side of Shadow of the Colossus. Fighting such a beast in a traditional MMO would mean standing at its feet and smacking its toes, but Trion is attempting to allow the mechanics to adapt to fight such a monster. There were a number of different attack points, allowing players to bash its armor off to weaken different parts of its body.
If players don’t defeat him quickly enough, the best can lumber over to a massive, impassible wall – and pass it. With a swing and a dash, Volan broke a hole in the wall, bringing the battle to an area that players couldn’t normally access. While this might sound like a negative, it’s actually beneficial to the players – beyond this gateway lies new content that’s only accessible if Volan punches a hole in it. It's eventually reset, though, giving players a limited window to explore this new area.
The boss’s unique elements don’t end there, however. Players could even use jump pads to reach different points of his body to attack, something that, again, reminded us of Shadow of the Colossus. When we asked if the battle would allow us to actually climb or jump onto the giant to fight, the developers let out a loud, hearty laugh before explaining that they weren’t saying yet. Their smiles, though, were telling, and have us really excited to fight Volan for ourselves.
Oh, and Storm Legion is going to add capes. Apparently people want capes. We don’t get it, the developers don't get it, but people want it, so yeah, the expansion will have capes.
Rift: Storm Legion is set to release in the fourth quarter of 2012, so be sure to stay tuned for more information as we get it.