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There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the latest patch, Rift 1.6.1 Hotfix #5, and whereas I do see where people are coming from, I feel it's being blown out of proportion.

The strongest argument against this patch is in regards to the addition of Greater Marks of Ascension from Tier 2 random dungeon bonuses. This appears to stem from players who want things to stay the way they are, but Rift is an ever evolving game and the main thing to consider is that it has to cater to the masses. Being that a majority of players have never even stepped into Hammerknell before and we are soon to have a new raid instance, it makes sense that Trion is working towards accessibility.

I completely understand that people like to have their self accomplished feeling, but this change in no way detracts from that. How others progress through content is up to them: Rift is not a competitive game and shouldn't be treated as such. Attempting to put a very small minority of players in what is the biggest part of the game (raiding) is not the solution to keeping a growing community. Instead, there has to be a balance. In Rift's case, this is making earlier raids more accessible as new ones are released. As a result, those who have the desire to be more hardcore players and keep at the top can continue to do so, while the others can stay just a little bit behind.

Along with this, the notion that players will be able to get fully Tier 2 raid geared off of Tier 2 dungeons is a bit off. While it's definitely possible, it would take quite a while. Here's a rundown:

  • 1 Greater Mark per day = 7 per week + 6 (for the reset) = 13 per week
  • Assuming that your guild has the Cache Finder perk (+45% chance of bonus reward) gives ~20 per week total
  • The cost of a full set is 510 Greater Marks so 510/20=25.5 weeks

As you can see, this puts the set at almost half a year! Looking at Trion's rate of new content, in 9 months we have had: 2 new 20 man raids and 3 new 10 man raids. This means that players who do end up gearing off nothing but running the Tier 2 dungeons will still be far behind the curve when it comes to new content. This new system does not allow people to go from casual to raiding the end-game material with no work; it simply allows players to have some form of progression.

While I definitely understand the thought behind being against it, I don't feel that it's warranted. This is in no way unbalancing the game, and for players who are hardcore raiders (I put myself into that category) it shouldn't be a concern anyways since there's no loss due to this. If it helps retain members and get more players into end-game content (for guild and/or PUG raids), I'm all for it!

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