|Subject: Of Infernal Dawn, Merge and other stuff
Well well... This set of news is certainly long overdue: RIFT 1.8 update has been out on the live servers for over a month already and it brought us a new raid tier in form of the raid instance "Infernal Dawn". Despite what the lack of news updates on the front page may have implied (after all, the front page has been stuck with the squid news for quite some months now) - we have been busy killing bosses (and wiping) at Infernal Dawn and in fact, our current raid roster is back to numbers we haven't seen since the launch of the game!
Which bosses we have killed? Why has the roster size grown so much? Read more to find out!
First of all, I'd like to take a moment to explain why the news updates have been on a little slow side and why they will likely continue to be so for at least some time (unless someone else takes over the news writing bit), for the past few months I've been having bit of a creative block when it comes to art or writing and each time I try to come up with something... Well, lets just say that it isn't going too well and I just end up doing something else instead.
That being said, to the actual news then! As everyone knows, recruiting for endgame raiding tends to become more and more difficult the further an MMO progresses in its lifespan, this is due to various reasons such as: Playerbase shrinking down due to people leaving, timesink based requirements for raiding (AA's, resist gear etc.) as well as a huge portion of people simply being gated out of the new raid content due to their gear, as the progressive nature of the raid content requires you to gear up from the previous tiers before progressing on to the next one. Of course, on a server such as Blightweald where you have multiple endgame raid guilds the competition for recruits is quite huge. With summer just around the corner and major game releases scattered throughout the year (such as Diablo 3 release recently), it isn't all that surprising that reruiting has been at an all time low for a number of guilds (including us)
Just recently, we were approached by the raiding core from Insanity with a proposition about a partial merger where their core raiders would merge in to Xanadu - thus resulting in a large raid roster which should be strong enough to raid through the upcoming summer time. After considering the offer for a while, we accepted and as such, we got a whole lot of new folks in the guild now: So once more, welcome!
Hopefully this partial merger will not only ensure that we won't be lacking numbers to raid anytime soon, but also bring that a bit of that competitive aspect we have been missing for quite some time now.
Rather than spending too much time trying to come with some form of a lore babble that makes sense, I figured that this time around it would simply be easier to resort to a copy & paste from the official website. As well as embedding the RIFT 1.8 trailer from youtube (one of their better trailers thus far), as it gives a nice overview of the bosses as well as briefly wraps up what it is all about.
|As the Age of Dragons wound to a close, Telara’s heroes overcame the flames of Maelforge. They bound the red dragon of ruin deep under Mount Carcera, at the heart of Ember Isle. Held fast by the calming power of Earth, he slipped into a long, sullen sleep.|
Then the rifts opened, and the Wanton surged forth across Telara. The great volcano bubbled over as Maelforge thrilled to the reborn cycle of destruction. He sent his thoughts of passion and violence out into the earth, and Laethys responded.
Her Golden Maw minions softened the stone around his prison, and smuggled her dormant form to Ember Isle. Now, with the aid of corrupted spirits like Caduceus, Laethys has joined Maelforge under Carcera, poised to reduce Telara to glittering ash…
…unless the Ascended can brave the volcano’s core, face the dragons’ fiercest lieutenants, and bring down not one, but two mighty gods of the Blood Storm in Infernal Dawn.
Infernal Dawn is a raid instance that takes place within ruins of a temple like structure that is built inside a volcano, there are total of 8 boss encounters as well as 3 mini-bosses. While several of the encounters are rather fun when looking at them as a whole (even if on invidual level you might get stuck on some crappy special duty), I have to say I've been a little disapointed in the difficulty/tuning of the encounters as they do not feel as challenging as some of the Hammerknell content did back when it was first introduced - but perhaps the goal here was to make a 20 man raid instance that is more accessible than HK.
First of the boss encounters is Warboss Drak and his endless horde of minions:
Warboss Drak could be best described as an encounter that checks whether your raid force has the needed coordination to perform in ID, as such the encounter is incredibly easy once you figure out how everything works. After disposing of the Warboss, you are presented with a choice of continuing to either Fire or the Earth wing of the instance: However, entrances to the both of the wings are guarded by mini-bosses, whose primary role, if I'm not mistaken is to act as loot pinata's that are even easier to kill than the average trash mob inside the instance - which is a shame in a way, since the mini-boss Vladmal Prime in Hammerknell was actually a properly designed encounter (even if it was an easy encounter it still had a lot more mechanics than the mini-bosses of ID).
Once you progress further in to the fire wing, kill some more trash mobs and yet another miniboss, you will bump in to Ituziel - the bodyguard of the ember conclave, who happens to be a rather badass looking fire demon (who, according to one of our warriors, apparently has finely sculpted buttocks... Suppose as a warrior you get to stare at them at close range ). Ituziel is one of those boss encounters that looks absolutely fantastic on the paper, however, reality it is far too easy to almost completely bypass one of the primary encounter mechanics (which, who knows, may have been the original design anyway) leaving it as more of a heavy DPS check with a lot of healing needed in the latter phase of the encounter.
Once Ituziel is beaten, you can progress up the gigantic set of ramps leading to an awesome looking area where the Ember Conclave awaits:
Upon arriving to the platform of the conclave, you can listen to the bad guys planning the cults’ campaign and plotting their their super mega awesome evil plot of fiery grand destruction of truly terrifying doomy stuff (tm): Which could be summed up along the lines of "Kill, Burn, Eat, Kill more, Burn more"... I suppose that's... original? Oh well, at least it wasnt about a stolen nuke or the destruction of high heavens for a change. Ember Conclave itself consists of 3 bosses (one of them - Emberlord Ereetu - is actually familiar from the 6 man dungeon Fall of the Lantern Hook, which takes place in an alternate timeline where Maelforge has already conquered Telara), each of the bosses have some unique mechanics and based on the kill order of the bosses, they also gain some new abilities which drastically change the way the encounter plays out. As an additional note, it is also the first encounter where Trion has implemented a "hard mode" which in this particular case is simply about killing the bosses in a specific order that results in better loot upon the completion of the encounter. Once the council has been defeated, you are done with the Fire Wing of the instance.
Next up is the earth wing...
After taking out some trash (no pun intended!) you arrive at a pretty looking crystalline chamber where Maklamos the Scryer is busy scrying all the possibilities that the future may lead out to - which makes me wonder though, if he can see the future, then he would know that there are 20 loot hungry people coming to gank him and he shouldn't be there in the first place! Oh well, classic bad guy logic there I suppose. Maklamos could be considered as a prime example of what happens when everything goes wrong with an encounter, don't take it the wrong way though, when looking at the way the encounter is supposed to work, it is a really nicely designed fight with various different tasks on top of a DPS check. So what's the issue? Well, there are so many bugs & issues with the encounter that pretty much the only way it could be more buggy was that if the boss was a bug himself (okay, that was an exaggeration)... But the point being, despite the multiple hotfixes that attempted to fix Maklamos encounter, it still remains as quite a mess, which is a shame.
After clearing out some more trash and progressing bit further on at the earth wing, you will arrive at a gigantic lake of lava where the Golden Maw (dragon cult of earth) is building up the lava ship Dread Fortune (which looks pretty damn awesome btw)... Aboard the vessel there is a stolen nuk... Oh sorry, my mistake, this isn't Call of Ascended: Black Ops... Okay, so aboard the vessel, there are zombie... Nah, not that either. Oh how the heck should I know! All you need to know is that lava ships are bad mmkay!? So you need to blow it up.
This leads to a rather cool part of the instance, where you fight your way up a series of ramps which are filled with pirate goblins, snipers with laser sights and also gigantic fiery turrets. After annihilating everything blocking your path, you finally reach the deck of Dread Fortune.
Aboard the Dread Fortune, Pirate Queen Rusila Dreadblade welcomes the ascended and informs them of their upcoming horrible deaths. Not only that, but she has apparently infused her very soul with Dread Fortune, so the ship is now totally evil too and is trying to kill you! Oh dear... Rusila fight itself is a rather funnily designed multi phase fight, where you first fight against the ship itself in a way (it tries you kill you with chains, buzz saws and stuff) and you need to find a way to destroy it while fighting off a horde of smaller minions. Of course, employing the good old bad guy logic, someone has built gigantic cannons capable of sinking the ship and conveniently placed them so that you can fire them towards its deck (and even generously provided barrels of ammunition).
After blasting the ship to oblivion, Rusila gets a little ticked off and rushes to kill you - unfortunately for her, the fight mechanics themselves are rather simple and it doesn't take all that long to figure out how to beat the encounter. Only downsides to the Rusila encounter are that you are more likely to die out of boredom if you are stuck on the ammunition carrying duty in the first phase of the fight or if you have ingame sounds enabled, you might be simply tempted to jump off the deck and down in to the lava pool to "MAKE IT STOP!!!!" in order to get away from Rusila and her terribly delivered voice overs. But other than, that it is one of the better encounters thus far at the Infernal Dawn.
So, that's our progress at ID thus far: 5/8 bosses - for the exact dates of our raid boss kills check out our progress page: Rift raiding progress
Aside from that, I have to say that the art team is definitely continuing their excellent work with environment design and even some of the mob designs as well (Laethys for example), although Infernal Dawn is not quite as grand / epic in scale as Hammerknelll was - I think the place definitely has some really cool looking things.
Plans for the future
As far as our plans on the raid department go: It is pretty much what you would expect, gearing up the raid force so that we can have some serious attempts at the Laethys encounter sometime in the close future. Now what comes to the upcoming stuff in RIFT: Update 1.9 shouldn't be too far away, as it is already partially on the PTS and at least judging from the initial information available, it should contain a new form of PVP gameplay called "Conquest" and possibly even a new life themed 10 man raid instance called "Primeval Feast", although the latter has not been confirmed officially yet.
Now what is considerably much more exciting news, is that Trion just announced the first expansion pack:
And its feature list certainly contains a lot of things that the RIFT community has been asking for:
- Adventure across two huge new continents that more than triple the size of the existing world
- Experience epic stories that reveal the true power in Telara ... and the gateway to the planes
- Make your move to the island city of Tempest Bay, a new stronghold for both Guardians and Defiant
- A new Soul for each Calling expands the Ascended Class System - build the hero you want!
- Rise to new heights of power through 10 challenging levels, increasing the level cap to 60
- Play your way! Choose how you level with questing and Instant Adventure everywhere, onslaughts, rifts, events, and more
- Achieve greatness with 7 new dungeons, 3 raids, a Chronicle, and more!
- Join the Hunt: New rift gameplay propels you into battling increasingly-challenging planar bosses
- Fight legions of fantastic creatures, including a Colossus that interacts with - and ravages - the world like you've never seen
- Dimensions: Customizable spaces allow players and guilds to own a sliver of Telara
- Take your professions to new heights with Grandmaster crafting
- Become the talk of the town and boost your stats with stylish new capes
- New puzzles, artifacts and collectibles, achievements, mounts, pets, titles, and much more
More information can be found at: http://stormlegion.riftgame.com/en/
Last but not least... Time for some quotes!
Bet you also hoped this didn't end up in the news!
So you're trying to say they aren't delivered by birds?
Ewww... That's just gross...
Ever get the feeling you stepped inside a room in middle of some really awkward conversation?
... ... I really don't know what to say...
[ Last modified by Ayame 2012-05-31 21:54 (Full Log)]
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