Beyond RIFT 1.3: Planar Attunement points, solo instances and other new features

After Trion Worlds delivered three patches in the span of four months, many expected RIFT to take a well-deserved breather.

But the hyperactive new MMO is not letting up its barrage of new features and content, as it plans to release its own version of the EverQuest II Alternate Advancement system; Chronicles of Telara instances for soloers; and an Instant Adventure option that makes it easier to join rift invasion groups.

Alternate Advancement, RIFT-style

Ascended will continue to earn experience points even after reaching the current xp cap of level 50. These will be converted to points that can be spent on so-called planar attunement trees which enhance the power of RIFT characters, executive producer Scott Hartsman told ZAM in an interview over the weekend.

Sample bonuses range from small stat increases, weapon and spell specializations, and ability modifications – with reassurances that balance will be kept in check.

The way it’s described, the system will work like the EverQuest Alternate Advancement system, giving players an incentive to continue playing their maxed out characters to score new powers.

Chronicles of Telara instances

Grinding these planar attunement points on end-game raids can become repetitive, so Mr. Hartsman said level 50 content will be bulked up with Chronicles of Telara instances that should be as challenging as they are amusing.

“We’re targeting epic settings and unique aspects of stories that will only exist in these chronicles, as well as fighting alongside key characters you normally don’t get to see. We want people to walk away saying ‘that was cool!’” said Mr. Hartsman.

The first Chronicles of Telara has been confirmed for Hammerknell, which is the current raiding location for Patch 1.3, and will cater to soloers and small groups. RIFT Platinum and other unique rewards will be given out for successful completion of these solo instances.

Instant Adventure option

For those who like to get in on mass action mayhem, the Instant Adventure option offers a faster way to participate in dynamic events.

Mr. Hartsman said players can click on a button and will be added to a group that will be presented a rift or invasion challenge. “The number of people in a group together will be presented with challenges that the system knows matches their group size,” said Mr. Hartsman.

From our experience, the best rift invasions involve those that evenly match up the Ascended with planar mobs. When the numbers are too imbalanced, then it becomes either a cakewalk or hard labor.

Other features that are being developed are world PVP rifts and cross-shard PUGs via the Looking for Group system. You can absorb all these great, big plans in this lengthy forum post.

Do you like these flashy new additions or did they completely miss the mark? Chime in on the comments section below!