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Enter At Your Own Rift: What Scott Harsman's AMA Is For RIFT
The Trion group is nothing if not persistent. In an elaborate plot involving Dr. Pepper and a one-method locked workplace, the devs had been able to finally get Trion CCO and RIFT Govt Producer Scott Hartsman to take part in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. It was an interesting discussion that touched on a wide range of topics, from up and coming titles comparable to Finish of Nations to Hartsman's journey from GM of the MUD Scepter of Goth to his time with SOE and his current endeavors with Trion. We realized that he is a fairly hardcore raider, that he performs incognito, and that his raid drink of alternative is Grimbergen Blonde. But the main focus of the conversation was RIFT, and whereas he didn't shed an excessive amount of gentle on the upcoming enlargement, he did drop a number of hints about what we would see sooner or later. In this week's Enter at Your personal Rift, we'll have a look at some of the highlights!

Free-to-play and RIFT

We're within the age of free-to-play proper now, so it isn't a surprise that one recurring question was about whether we might eventually see RIFT be a part of the ranks of the free. Previously, the answer has at all times been that RIFT was comfortable with its subscription-based model, however in the course of the Reddit dialogue, Hartsman hinted that Trion would possibly certainly add in something resembling free-to-play. He explained:

One of many things that shocked me once we first launched RIFT and had been doing our personal analysis was the quantity of people that admitted they had been previous Sub-based players solely, who, in 2011 would now simply refuse to play any recreation that required a subscription. Obviously there have been plenty who were okay with sub still existing, but the swing in the final sentiment was definitely there, and really pronounced. We took that as our challenge to make damn certain we had been going to have the ability to go above and past in terms of what people were truly getting for that sub, which we specific through our updates and what they include. After we drilled down, the resistance to a sub in 2011 was in no small part due to the overall state of the economy. The quantity of people who simply would reply with: "Look, I'd love to play - This is exactly my kind of sport, but I simply plain can't afford the $15 a month I used to on leisure. It sucks, however I can't."
He went on to say that RIFT Lite was one resolution that makes the sport accessible to those that could be tight on cash. Later in the dialogue, he added that the main focus is on the expansion and the live game, so players should not anticipate to see a new payment model until after that. It is noteworthy that Trion is exploring ways to create a more versatile plan, however even more eye-opening is the revelation that gamers haven't solely accepted the free-to-play model however anticipate it from fashionable games.

Bards, sing and rejoice!

While we all know that Storm Legion could have new souls, one person requested about whether existing souls will see any major adjustments. Hartsman confirmed that souls shall be tweaked and that the Bard in particular might be given some consideration. He stated he is been playtesting it and his crew is looking at ways to make it a more fun class to play, particularly on raids.

PvPers are like snowflakes

Some players expressed dissatisfaction with the new three-faction Conquest occasion and imagine that Trion has neglected its PvP neighborhood. Hartsman gave a surprising reply, with a little bit pushback to the oft-heard complaint:
On segmentation.. One factor I've undoubtedly observed since we obtained Rift off the bottom - is that lots of people use "PvP Player" as if it was a single minded section that's easy to address, "if solely we'd hear!" I am going to use a completely unfair and exaggerated example just for illustration's sake - It is virtually like referring to "The Liquid Drinking Public" and making an attempt to come up with one answer that fits them all - whereas forgetting that even amongst themselves, there are various, many contradictory opinions.

At this level, there are not less than a dozen kinds of "PvP players" out there, who all tend to describe themselves as "The PvP Participant." People who think arenas are the tip all be all, however want gear development. People who need TF2 - No gear, just cosmetics, excellent balance. Carry your skill only. People who want Frontiers. Individuals who want Alterac Valley. Individuals who for some purpose Really enjoyed six hours of "beat up the keep door" in games previously (PvDoor? Did we just invent a brand new genre here?) ...and lots extra.

One of the best we can do on this world is to make the perfect PvP that we can, that actually fits in our gameplay system, and hope an viewers is there to enjoy it. May we pick a kind of pre-current sorts of PvP and do a more targeted and trendy updated model of it? Completely. But we're making an attempt to make our personal means. That will yield some enjoyable issues, and there will even be missteps along the best way. So - Brief answer. Can we value our PvP gamers? Damn right. Do we plan on persevering with to making an attempt to create and refine our personal PvP? Hell sure. Is All we do going to make everyone who identifies themself as "a PvP participant" comfortable? Not an opportunity. Possibly half if we're tremendous fortunate.
This reply really highlights something that always gets neglected, which is that we easily determine the wide selection of PvE playstyles however do not all the time acknowledge the identical to be true of PvP players. It's refreshing to listen to a game designer talk about some of those totally different playstyles, but it also helps clarify the challenges of constructing a sport that features each PvE and PvP content material. He went on to say that Conquest took months of labor from the group so as to create 1,000 participant matches on live servers and make it work. It might not be everybody's cup of tea, but Trion continues to tweak PvP and plan new PvP content material to fulfill a larger variety of PvP playstyles.

Alternate-ruleset servers

One query about permadeath and expertise loss led to a curious trace about whether RIFT followers would possibly see some servers with extra hardcore rulesets sooner or later in the future. Hartsman posted:
Humorous factor. Now we have an internal playtest list that also accumulates random concepts. An analogous thought has come up there now and again. Most lately, final month! By no means know what the longer term will convey. I do agree, though, that particular ruleset/short lifetime servers could be a extremely fun thing.
I'm intrigued by the idea of a brief lifetime server because it's so contrary to the by no means-ending persistance of MMOs. Players are used to some type of closure in single-participant video games, but that's not likely the case in MMOs, except when a recreation has to shut down from monetary difficulties. If there have been servers with a special ruleset and a pre-ordained, restricted lifetime, we might change our strategy to MMOs and the way we play.

The state of gaming

Several questions got here up about MMOs on the whole and the way they've changed through the years. Hartsman offered his view on not only the evolution of gaming however the place we may be headed down the road:
Competition has gone by means of the roof, clearly. 10 years ago, just attending to launch meant that a pretty big number of people would at least verify you out. Not so anymore. Following on to that, production costs of what it takes to get to launch with one thing performed "the classic means," that can stir up enough curiosity to get sufficient individuals to verify you out, have gotten insane and are at the point of being unsustainable. I feel that, in concert with the very fact that people use other on-line companies (like fb) for social connections, which did not used to exist -- when previously many players used MMOs as their outlet for "being social, at home, on a pc" -- has led to the new types of online games that are focused far more on gameplay -- LoL, Minecraft, and so forth. Tighter focused video games which can be clearly all about the gameplay. I feel we'll continue seeing more of "online, more focus" and less "MMO world that costs virtually a quarter billion dollars."
He went on to discover the topic in a later reply, and i added it right here because I feel it's an interesting level of discussion about whether or not the hardcore gameplay of early games like Ultima Online would have been as common if there had been a lot of MMO decisions back then. He explained:
Though no less than contained in the industry is the open query: Did it ever even work for UO in any respect as soon as competitors existed? Dropping everything was often a loss of life sentence for the shopper - they'd stroll. Some would stay. Many would bail. Provided that, I do not know that it is as black and white of a subject. Is it "the group who performs games now could be That much more danger averse" or is it "that it did not really work even among a big crowd again then; and it solely labored as lengthy as it did as a result of it was the one sport in town at that time?" Or something in between? Like I stated, I am undoubtedly not the professional there - Just repeating what I've heard others opine on. Some good people have mentioned some smart issues on the topic.
I'm solely ready to spotlight a couple of quotes here due to column length, but the full Reddit AMA is effectively worth studying because Scott Hartsman has rather a lot to say in regards to the MMO landscape over time and the state of the business at the moment (together with an incredible comparability between Star Wars Galaxies' NGE and EverQuest II's drastic revamp proper after launch). And if you're a budding sport designer, he offers up some precious advice as well. So break out minecraft servers . Pepper and check it out!

Whether or not they're conserving the vigil or defying the gods, Karen Bryan and Justin Olivetti save Telara on a weekly foundation. Protecting all features of life in RIFT, from solo play to guild raids, their column is devoted to backhanding multidimensional tears so onerous that they go crying to their mommas. E mail Karen and Justin for questions, comments, and adulation.

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