UPDATE: From RIFT’s Community Blog:
And for those asking “What’s in it for me?” We have that covered too: – more ways to earn Inscribed Sourcestone, awesome Planar Attunement XP, mounts, and a new way to get yourself a full suit of the Stillmoor and Shimmersand costume sets await – Update 1.6.1 has arrived, what are you waiting for?
So it looks like there will be another way to earn Inscribed Sourcestone for those waiting for Major Zone Events to trigger. Excellent!
One of RIFT’s biggest positives is it’s upward mobility when it comes to end game progression. When a new player hits level 50 they have plenty of options on how to progress their character equipment. RIFT has continued to grow, they have added additional solo content, additional 10 man content and even additional 5 man zones. So now that Hammerknell has been out some time, players that have no interest in 20 man progression, can now attempt to get similarly powerful gear via 10 man progression. As RIFT grows, they will continue to expand the tent that progression is under.
However there is an issue for existing players that are on top of that tent. The major problem is that there is zero incentive to return or participate in older content if you no longer need the gear for it. As a player progresses higher in the gear food chain, there is increasingly less content for them to consume. There are no mechanisms to keep higher end players active in lower end content.
A player with some of the best gear doesn’t need to participate in GSB/ROS, let alone the 10 man dungeons. RIFT just released a gorgeous new five man dungeon with expert and master modes but there is no incentive for higher end players to play through them more than once. RIFT’s biggest draw are some of their very cool major zone events. Ember Isles debuted some really excellent zone events that are fun and bring players great rewards. The problem is that they don’t happen often enough. Logging into Briarcliff at 6:30EST on any weekday will find you waiting 30-40 minutes just for a zone event to spawn at the appropriate level.
As a player who has most of the Hammerknell gear they need, there are two things, outside of raiding, that I can do to progress my character. The first is to farm Inscribed Sourcestone to fill out multiple new source engines and the second is to earn Planar Attunement experience. The most entertaining way to gain these is from doing Zone Events but there is too much waiting involved waiting for something to spawn in any of the max level zones. It’s also increasingly frustrating to see them spawning in Scarwood Reach.
The first solution to the Downward Mobility Problem comes in the form of power scaling. Essentially, as a player enters a new world zone they are automatically scaled downward in power to something appropriate for that zone’s range. This way, players can roam the landscape of Telara taking part in every single event in the game. If this were to take effect, not only are you giving players access to more content that actually rewards their gameplay, you are opening up the world again giving players a reason to visit some of the old zones that have turned into Ghost Towns.
How many of you out there forget what Gloamwood actually looks like?
The objective here is to allow players to participate in content that rewards them for their time by also keeping the participants somewhat on an even playing field. This would benefit new and old players tremendously.
The second solution to the Downward Mobility Problem is to incentivize older content with increased experience gain and inscribed sourcestone. In terms of experience, clearing out older Raid Content and Dungeons should provide a large amount of experience, much more than is gained now. In regards to Inscribed Sourcestone, you should be able to perchance them via marks and plaques.
This solution gives elder-game players a reason to farm dungeons and also increases the population of players in the LFD tool. Newer players benefit from this by having more people to group with and also have experienced players play alongside them. It creates a better community for everyone.
Ultimately, RIFT is a very good game for new players moving up, but older players find themselves not having much to do in between raid times. By offering existing players incentive to do older content, not only creates a richer game, it also bring different spheres of players together in the same space.