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.