With RIFT patch 3.6 “Celebration of the Ascended”, we’ve been getting information bit by bit of the new shiny coming to the adventurers of Telara. As a former player from launch, it was awesome to see the game’s continued growth and I was looking forward to finding out more about this coming update. As luck would have it, I was recently invited by Senior Design Director Simon Ffinch and Game Director Chris Junior to take a sneak peek at the Ascended Souls in action, as well as a few other goodies.
The Ascended Souls
Of course, the big new hotness with 3.6 is the addition of a new soul for each of the five base callings in the game. Each one, as usual, has a distinct flair and style to go along with their unique gameplay mechanics. It was explained that each soul would have a very clear identity and core mechanic that made them stand out among each other, and when I was cycled through a brief demo of each, it was pretty obvious that the dev team at RIFT had hit their goal.
Mages will be granted the Frostkeeper, an ice-based healing soul that focuses on creating marks on friendly targets, shields to help absorb damage and charged heal skills to help pull teammates back from the brink. The class offered a very obvious back-line style of play and looked to have solid support skills.
Primalists will have access to the Maelstrom, a Fury-centric “turret caster” that combines water and fire damage to apply fierce DoT’s on enemies, all while donning an amazing shark head. From what I was able to witness, it reminded me a great deal of the Pyromancer soul, which was focused on planting your feet and unleashing hell on your opponents.
Warriors will be given the Warchanter, a single target healing soul that was described as a Chloromancer in reverse that utilizes shouts and chants to embolden allies. It was jokingly referred to as a drill sergeant in terms of its flavor, and a great deal of what I saw wasn’t too far off of that mark.
Clerics will receive the Runeshaper, a burst damage-focused DPS soul that also provides groups with a variety of control spells in the form of Runes that can be cast on the ground. When asked about whether this soul was going to change the dynamic for team makeups as a result of the combination of skills, it was explained that rune effects won’t stack and that they found that pure DPS souls were still finding their place in group content, even with the Runeshaper’s utility.
Finally, Rogues will be able to play as the Shadeborn, a DPS soul that excels at wiping out single or dual targets, thanks to the ability to mark an enemy and make them receive a portion of their primary target’s damage. In testing, it was noted that the Nightblade and Bladedancer souls seemed to pair the best with this new addition.
Carnival’s Return and Other Additions
One of the bigger parts of the coming patch is the return of Carnival, along with all of the games and gear that comes with the event. Not only are there myriad capes, wings, masks, backpacks, fan weapons and other cosmetic goodies to obtain, this Carnival will also allow players to get their hands on the much-vaunted Racing Snail mount. After having witnessed the thing in action, I instantly wanted one of my own as well. Nothing says “serious mode of transportation” quite like some sweet flames.
Carnival be making a return for three weeks, but there is also a host of other things that I wasn’t able to be shown in the short time I was with the team. There was mention of new Raid Rifts, new minions, a beta of multicore processor settings, a daily login calendar and adjustments to existing souls. Beyond that, there were hints at a 64-bit client in the works and several major content drops that couldn’t quite be expanded upon yet.
Overall, this new patch looks to be one of the best ways for RIFT to raise a glass to five years of operation. It definitely made this launch day player want to jump back in and see what’s changed. Plus, the lure of all of those Carnival cosmetics and new souls piqued my interest. The excitement from the stream was certainly infectious as the team mentioned how much they enjoyed seeing players combine souls into unique combinations and how eager they were to show off as much as they could to me. RIFT Patch 3.6 looks to be a celebration indeed.Related: Article, F2P, MMORPG, Preview, Rift, Trion Worlds