ZAM Gets Update 1.2 Details from Scott Hartsman

Editor-in-Chief Darryl "Togikagi" Gangloff sat down with Rift's executive producer to get some details on the game's next major update, which includes a Looking for Group tool and much more.

UPDATE: Trion Worlds just let us know that the launch date for Update 1.2 has been pushed back to May 10.

Rift's Update 1.2 is scheduled to launch on May 4 May 10, and we had the chance to sit down with Trion Worlds CCO and Rift Executive Producer Scott Hartsman to get details on a wide variety of features that will soon be added to the game.

We seriously cover a lot of ground in this interview. Hartsman talks with us at length about the upcoming Looking for Group tool, the wardrobe feature and some new zone events. He also explains that the new slivers system allows Trion to introduce 10-player raids that are focused on alternate realities or timelines. Lore fans should definitely keep an eye on the intriguing stories that can be told through slivers.

In addition, Hartsman told us that players can likely expect to see Facebook integration in Update 1.2, continuing Trion's push to connect Rift to all sorts of social networking sites. He even gave us some details on the new Refer-a-Friend program, and you may be surprised how long it will tie you to your friend in-game.

Hartsman also asked us to remind all players to log in and grab their River of Souls Event Reward Pack from their mailbox as soon as possible. You need to spend your Otherworldly Sourcestone before the vendor items disappear with the launch of Update 1.2, so buy some epic gear or other rewards before it's too late.

Keep reading after the jump for in-depth details on all of these topics and more!


ZAM: What can you tell me about the new Looking for Group tool that's coming in Update 1.2?

Scott Hartsman: I've been saying for a long time that we've always wanted to do one of these things, and it was just a matter of how do we do it so people look at it and go, “hey, I've played with these before and I like this one better.” It took us awhile to come up with some things that we liked and make it all work. The way ours works right now is you're able to queue up for dungeons and do random dungeons, help out players, all that stuff. And then obviously there's a pool that lets you play every day or just be a weekend warrior. There's basically a rolling pool that can fill up to seven bonuses, at least that's the way we have it tuned right now. We're tweaking it on the test server. Right now it lets you bank up to seven, and then you can go do your seven bonus dungeons a week any time you want.

One of the cool things that I like about ours specifically is you can be out in the wild, and let's say you're level 17 and get your first group quest. It's just a “group 2” quest, so we recommend you take another person. We let you queue up to find a partner just to do that quest right there in the same area. People love grouping together, they just don't like shouting and having to assemble it themselves. With seeing the way dungeon assembly stuff and group assembly stuff has worked in other games, that obviously is a big thing. You'd see people getting frustrated because they have these cooler quests and they're big zone finales, and you want to be able to do them because they're fun and you get a cool reward. We're trying to reduce the frustration level.

ZAM: So once you queue up and get a group, will you be ported to the dungeon?

Hartsman: We have rewards built in for finishing the dungeon. In order for us to be able to give you a reward, we have to port you in. These groups are different than a free-form group. You can't have a group going to get this bonus together, and then some players kick the strangers out and invite their friends in. Because of the pick-up nature, we wanted to make sure it was a little bit more tightly controlled. It's all to be fair more than anything else.

ZAM: What types of rewards will players get for completing the dungeons?

Hartsman: The initial reward for leveling up is bonus exp and cash, which is always nice to do. As you level up and do the Tier 1 experts, you start getting expert achievement plaques, which let you buy gear. For our Tier 2 dungeons, you get more expert achievements plaques. One of the directions we're looking to take it in the future is to also for the higher end ones give out an even better reward on top of that. We didn't want to hold back the feature long enough to look at that. We wanted to get it to a place where we're proud of it, launch it, check feedback, and make iterative improvements over the next month.

ZAM: Will there be a cap per day to earn the rewards?

Hartsman: There is a cap, and that's what we're tuning right now. You can keep using the feature over and over again. The only thing there's a cap on is how often the rewards kick in. If you want to dungeon your entire career, go nuts. Have fun! I imagine that will actually be a way I play an alt since I'm a huge dungeon guy.

ZAM: And you can queue up for any role you want?

Hartsman: Yup! Tank, heal, support and DPS. We do have support as a formal role because we've spent a lot of time balancing our support classes such that they add enough to a group to where they can occupy a slot while just making everyone else really awesome. We're officially supporting support as a role in the tool itself.

ZAM: Will the LFG tool be single shard?

Hartsman: Yes. We're going to keep it on the same server right now and see how it works. We could go cross shard with it, but there is definitely enough community concern about building server communities and we absolutely respect that. We'll give it a shot. If it does its job by letting more people do more dungeons and get more cool prizes for it, then we're good!

ZAM: What's your personal opinion about single shard vs. cross shard?

Hartsman: That's the thing, right? At the end of the day, it comes down mostly to opinions. It's very hard to back it up either way. There is definitely some amount of viewing people from other servers almost as disposable people. “I'm never going to see him again. Whatever!” But I think the people who truly act that way are just as likely to act that way around people from their own server. Some people play these games just to play and not to be social at all, and that's OK. It takes different kinds of folks.

Continued on Page 2.

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GB
# May 03 2011 at 7:59 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
Weeks ago, didn't they say a guild bank was coming in 1.2?
GB
# May 04 2011 at 9:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kruncher21 wrote:
Weeks ago, didn't they say a guild bank was coming in 1.2?


Scott Hartsman said in March that guild banks could possibly be coming in Update 1.2. The feature isn't ready yet, but he's confirmed that they're currently being developed.
Recruit-a-Friend BFF
# May 01 2011 at 12:55 PM Rating: Decent
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17 posts
I play with my wife and I would love to connect our accounts with the BFF tool. However, she already has an account. What are the chances of getting keys to link two, three or five accounts together without using the Recruit-a-Friend?
LFG system will fail
# Apr 28 2011 at 11:06 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
honestly it takes me 1 hour ( at least ) to make grp on my server and am using the lvl 1-9 channel since it global channel and all lvls can see it and also the lvl 50 channel, and since am using those 2 channels to make 1 and dosent work i dont see how the LFG system gonna help, basically its fail befor even using it and for those who say its nice maybe you should go look again on how long it takes to make a grp while you are spaming, so befor trying to make it live i think Trion need to have ppl from the company itself to login on each server and actualy see how long does it take the ppl to form 1 single grp then think of a real way to solve it, and i do agree with the guy who said they should have cross-server LFG coz thats the only way to solve it else i say you should delete the system you made and leave the LFG as it is right now no need to put something that will fail

edit : been lvl 50 since like 7 days now and did only 1 expert dungeon since i can hardly find members and always end up going pvp

Edited, Apr 29th 2011 1:19am by Kurogane77
LFG system will fail
# May 04 2011 at 6:23 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
and you will not find a group like that. and if you do you ill prob fail. THats why there are guilds for expert runs. thats why spamming 1-9 lvls wont help you. i always go with guild. ask in 50 channel only if we are short 1 or 2 ppl.
LFG system will fail
# May 01 2011 at 10:49 AM Rating: Decent
3 posts
doesnt take more more than 10 minutes to form a grp on my server and its an rp server. This feature just automates the LFG by putting you in a quee.
LFG system will fail
# May 02 2011 at 10:53 AM Rating: Decent
3 posts
That all depends on your server and faction bro. Some servers are very high Guardian population and others are the opposite. Groups tend to form relatively slowly on my server (High Guardian pop) as there are INFINITE dps'ers available and a very limited number of tanks/heals. My prediction on release of the LFG tool (for my server) is DPS @ 70+ min wait times. Healers @ 10ish min wait times and Tanks insta queue.
i have to agree with cross servering
# Apr 28 2011 at 8:02 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
there is pretty much a very high defiant population so i think that side would be quick to pop with a que but guardians do not have a high enough population on most servers (or all) to have quick que times. pvp on my server is sometimes a very long que and most times they are not full warfronts leaving them disadvantaged to either side.
Would have loved to have heard that they were fixing the apoc quests since i have loads and loads of outfitter drops.... been wondering why they and mining seem to be the only ones to drop special quests since during beta i think all of them spawned a quest occasionally.
yoo
# Apr 28 2011 at 10:38 AM Rating: Decent
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CANT wait for LFG system.. (this reminds me of the FFXI LFG & FFXI was a very social game compare to wow) im so tired of playing solo =/
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looks great
# Apr 28 2011 at 9:49 AM Rating: Decent
12 posts
Dungeon Finder = awesome (no cross server please)
Wardobe = awesome... make cloaks! And for cryin' out loud, stop making our weapons disappear when we mount. Where does a staff larger than my body actually go, and why can't I see it go there? It looks tacky.
Sliver = Secret Cow Level. Go Trion!
Oh, and for the 6th Role onward... if you are going to give us so many Role choices (thank you), please allow us at some point to Name our own Roles.


Edited, Apr 28th 2011 11:50am by Azidonis
looks great
# Apr 28 2011 at 12:22 PM Rating: Decent
It's worthless to all the low pop servers since it is not cross-server.
looks great
# Apr 28 2011 at 10:41 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
You can already name your own roles. If you just click on the name, it lets you name the role.
don't schmack me, Togi!
# Apr 27 2011 at 11:57 PM Rating: Decent
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You look like a young Hannibal Lecter >.> please don't eat my brain

awesome article.
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don't schmack me, Togi!
# Apr 28 2011 at 10:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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niobia wrote:
You look like a young Hannibal Lecter >.> please don't eat my brain

awesome article.


That's a headshot of Scott Hartsman. Your brain is safe!
Worthless Tool
# Apr 27 2011 at 8:19 PM Rating: Default
The LFG tool is 100% absolutely WORTHLESS for running dungeons if it's not cross-server. I will not be re-subscribing until it is made cross-server. This does nothing at all to fix the population problems on the launch day servers that Trion effed up.

I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant Scott and the others are being about this. A little work and some cross-server specific tools to allow community building across the servers and it would solve a majority of the problems.

1. Cross-server friends lists.
2. Cross-server chat channels.
3. Cross-server groups for dungeons and instanced raids, created/formed through the cross-server friends list.
4. Use the /ignore list to determine who not to group with.

Those would allow you to build a commuinity that spans servers and it wouldn't matter what server you got stuck with and wouldn't have to transfer to be with friends for the most part and wouldn't have to worry about timezone issues either.
Worthless Tool
# Apr 28 2011 at 9:57 AM Rating: Decent
12 posts
JonathanTheBlack wrote:
The LFG tool is 100% absolutely WORTHLESS for running dungeons if it's not cross-server. I will not be re-subscribing until it is made cross-server. This does nothing at all to fix the population problems on the launch day servers that Trion effed up.


Good. We don't want you to re-subscribe anyway.

Quote:

I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant Scott and the others are being about this. A little work and some cross-server specific tools to allow community building across the servers and it would solve a majority of the problems.


I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant you are about bashing something you haven't even tried yet.

Quote:

1. Cross-server friends lists.
2. Cross-server chat channels.
3. Cross-server groups for dungeons and instanced raids, created/formed through the cross-server friends list.
4. Use the /ignore list to determine who not to group with.


Do you really want to have the entire BattleGroup in one chat channel? Do you have any idea how terribly bad that channel would be? You would have to make a macro to leave the channel when you left the instance. You thought Barrens chat was bad...

Quote:

Those would allow you to build a commuinity that spans servers and it wouldn't matter what server you got stuck with and wouldn't have to transfer to be with friends for the most part and wouldn't have to worry about timezone issues either.


The biggest problem with cross-server anything is that there is no consequence for bad behavior. Unless and until they find a way to solve that problem, they should not implement cross-server, in my opinion.

Also, there is a server community, something we should actually pay attention to. These are the thousands of people on your own shard and faction who play in the same "arena" as you do. Shouldn't you get to know them first, before traveling out into the cross-realm-pug wilderness?
Worthless Tool
# Apr 28 2011 at 12:11 PM Rating: Decent
Azidonis wrote:

Quote:

I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant Scott and the others are being about this. A little work and some cross-server specific tools to allow community building across the servers and it would solve a majority of the problems.


I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant you are about bashing something you haven't even tried yet.

WoW started with an LFD tool that was NOT cross-server. It failed. Hence, they now have a cross-server tool. Trion shouldn't make the same **** mistakes that Blizzard made.

Quote:

Do you really want to have the entire BattleGroup in one chat channel? Do you have any idea how terribly bad that channel would be? You would have to make a macro to leave the channel when you left the instance. You thought Barrens chat was bad...

Player created cross-server channels. Not official ones that everyone joines. Player created cross-server chat channels with full ownership and moderation abilities like an irc chat channel has. EverQuest2 has had cross-server communication for ages. Even cross-game between EQ1, EQ2, SWG, and more.

Quote:

The biggest problem with cross-server anything is that there is no consequence for bad behavior. Unless and until they find a way to solve that problem, they should not implement cross-server, in my opinion.

There's no consequences right now. I made a warrior, specced him heavily for tanking and I still get groups even though I acted like an ass, called people names, and ridiculed them for stupid **** both in zone chat, server level chat, and in groups. I STILL GET GROUPS DESPITE THAT. There are no consequences. People are just happy to have a tank and a healer and will accept any kind of punishment just to be in a group for a dungeon.

Quote:
Also, there is a server community, something we should actually pay attention to. These are the thousands of people on your own shard and faction who play in the same "arena" as you do. Shouldn't you get to know them first, before traveling out into the cross-realm-pug wilderness?

Try hundreds, not thousands. My server is a ghost town. Same server LFG tool will not do anything to fix this problem.
Worthless Tool
# May 01 2011 at 11:21 AM Rating: Decent
3 posts
JonathanTheBlack wrote:
Azidonis wrote:

Quote:

I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant Scott and the others are being about this. A little work and some cross-server specific tools to allow community building across the servers and it would solve a majority of the problems.


I can't believe how short-sighted and ignorant you are about bashing something you haven't even tried yet.

Quote:
WoW started with an LFD tool that was NOT cross-server. It failed. Hence, they now have a cross-server tool. Trion shouldn't make the same @#%^ing mistakes that Blizzard made.


actually this is why many people left wow with many more leaving and complaining on how wow has become a worthless casual game hub with no social interaction. The cross server LFG became a farm for badges I don't care who is in grp kinda deal with a bunch of asses making fun of other players who dont have as much time as they to to have gear. Even worse had ppl asking why is a fully geared paladin tank doing Heroics when you dont need gear. And answering to have fun would leave them confused. Basically cross server LFG makes ppl forget anything besides the " Oh we can repeat dungeons over and over to get badge gear for raids" wich isnt the purpose of the heroics, if you feel the purpose for endgame 5 man content is to gear up for 10 mans then please unsub from RIFT and go play wow.

Quote:

Do you really want to have the entire BattleGroup in one chat channel? Do you have any idea how terribly bad that channel would be? You would have to make a macro to leave the channel when you left the instance. You thought Barrens chat was bad...

Quote:

Player created cross-server channels. Not official ones that everyone joines. Player created cross-server chat channels with full ownership and moderation abilities like an irc chat channel has. EverQuest2 has had cross-server communication for ages. Even cross-game between EQ1, EQ2, SWG, and more.

Im ok with cross server chat channels in the form or a social MSN just like Real ID is in wow. Even more if there was an external method that confirmed friends can send messages from a MSN to the in game and vice versa. But frankly id be happy with MSN in game integration with filters that alow me to choose wich of my social lists are alowed to contact me while in game. Its been done before in some asian games and it works simply blocks all lists not acepted during game and auto replies them with im in xxxxxxx i will get back to you when i get out of the game. and saves a copy on the original Messenger service.
Quote:

The biggest problem with cross-server anything is that there is no consequence for bad behavior. Unless and until they find a way to solve that problem, they should not implement cross-server, in my opinion.

Quote:

There's no consequences right now. I made a warrior, specced him heavily for tanking and I still get groups even though I acted like an ass, called people names, and ridiculed them for stupid sh*t both in zone chat, server level chat, and in groups. I STILL GET GROUPS DESPITE THAT. There are no consequences. People are just happy to have a tank and a healer and will accept any kind of punishment just to be in a group for a dungeon.

certainly you aren't in my server, in mine they get blacklisted and there's a guild channel for all guild masters to file complaints and manage the community, its a guild wide effort to filter bad apples out and offer guilds to the non bad apples. Server wide we have had guilds who opposed to the system and basically they just vanished once their members couldn't get into grps they started quitting the guilds and joining others who gave better experiences or winging it solo. But you can say the 50 chat there's not 1 person who we don't know and we know who's an alt of who (for those of us with multiple 50's). Its called communication and im happy my server doesn't suffer from low population (although the wait times to get in on special occasions are bad >.<)
Quote:
Also, there is a server community, something we should actually pay attention to. These are the thousands of people on your own shard and faction who play in the same "arena" as you do. Shouldn't you get to know them first, before traveling out into the cross-realm-pug wilderness?

Quote:

Try hundreds, not thousands. My server is a ghost town. Same server LFG tool will not do anything to fix this problem.



Maybe is because of how the people act in the server I know mines in the thousands specially many new players trying out the server and staying. If your 1~9 is silent then id really suggest switching servers.
Worthless Tool
# Apr 28 2011 at 12:00 AM Rating: Decent
4 posts
Bye..and cross server friends are worthless..just like in wow. Its not cross server because they don't want to kill the communication between players. AKA end up with wow servers. ..I just say that because your obviously a wow player. Ta-ta
Worthless Tool
# Apr 27 2011 at 11:50 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
bye
Worthless Tool
# Apr 27 2011 at 8:31 PM Rating: Decent
1 post
Can you say that again but in a Yosimite Sam accent? Woooooooooooorthththtthththlesssthththtth.

HAHAHAHAHAH Too funny.
Awesome
# Apr 27 2011 at 7:34 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
The Rift team, even through a stumble like the last big event, are just incredible attuned to what we, the player base, want.

Amazing stuff, guys. Keep it up!
Optize your graphics Engine Now!
# Apr 27 2011 at 6:05 PM Rating: Decent
15 posts
Yeah Zam tell them to fix and optimize the graphics cause in some areas i get 45 fps with gtx 580 sli.Rediculous optimization.I cant even set x16 anisotropic.
If they dont do sth on this soon they will be lost.
Optize your graphics Engine Now!
# Apr 28 2011 at 8:34 AM Rating: Decent
4 posts
....idiots* They have one of the most stable engine's ever used in a mmo... Maybe realize a pc these days doesn't just get fps from Cards...(45fps; that's just awful o.0 *lays out the sarcasm~)

Edited, Apr 28th 2011 10:35am by Yorazzy
:)
# Apr 27 2011 at 4:50 PM Rating: Decent
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I am really looking forward to patch 1.2 as well. I love the idea of the Slivers and what alternative realities can bring to the game. I also like the idea of a wardrobe :)

In general, great stuff is coming in an already superb game. Thanks Scott for the answers and zam for the article :)
great!
# Apr 27 2011 at 2:28 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
I am really, really looking forward to patch 1.2 and all the features it will bring...

I was scared how LFG will work, but now I am satisfied, great, even be able to find teammate for group quest will be very usable, I am sure.

Thanks Scott and all RIFT team for super work and good luck for making RIFT even better game (altough its great now too) :))
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