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Rift: Planes of Telara – A Look at Rifts

Introduction

The main selling point of Rift: Planes of Telara is its dynamic world. The biggest part of this is the rift system, dealing with rifts, invasions and footholds. Through this article we are going to be looking at these different parts of Rift's dynamics, as well as the good and the bad for each, and possible fixes for them.

The Idea Behind Rifts

The idea behind rifts is to give some dynamic content. When we say this, we do not mean quests that change or things like that, but rather the world itself goes through changes. As an example, you can be out hunting mobs for one of your quests and have a rift spawn just above you, unleashing a lot of enemies on to your position. You can also be traveling down paths and end up running in to invasions or footholds of enemies as well. It is these things that help keep the world fresh and exciting, although they can also leave a bit of danger lurking about; especially if you are not careful with where you go!

The Dangers Introduced

Because the world is dynamic, it can be a very dangerous place. If you are not paying attention to all directions while you are out and about, you can easily run in to groups of enemy mobs or be standing around when they run in to you. As a result, it is very important to keep up with everything that is going on around you, as well as making the proper decisions in regards to placement. Mobs can spawn and travel pretty much anywhere.

Sometimes players will attempt to use NPC's to guard them from enemy invasions, but this does not always work. Often times, the invasions, especially if they are Elite mobs, can take down all of the NPC's in an area and set up a camp. When this happens, the only way to get the area clear again is to take down all of the mobs, and most of the time the NPC's will be very limited in their capabilities to help you (especially if they are spawning one by one and are running right in to a group of invasion mobs). Depending on how you look at it, this can be a cool thing or a bad one. On one hand, it gives a little bit of a challenge in that you have to get the mobs down before you can pick up or turn in your quests. On the other, though, it can be annoying if you are in a rush to finish up something and are being held back due to invasions that you are not capable of taking down on your own.

The Rift Process

There are multiple steps within the rifting process. We will be looking at these separately, as well as what all they include.

Rifts

There are multiple types of rifts: hunt, crafting, minor, major, raid and expert. Each of these has its own things you have to do, and each of them also have multiple types so you can get fresh content even while doing the same classes. When breaking them all down, though, they work as follows.

The first few phases of a rift are pretty easy. Usually it will be around two easy parts (which anyone should be able to solo with no problems, aside from with expert and raid rifts), and then the third one will usually come with a timer. This timer is what starts up the fourth phase, considered as a bonus one, so you want to ensure you can take down all of the mobs before the timer goes off. The fourth phase, if you get to it, will usually be like the third but will almost always be a little bit harder. If you can get through this phase in time, you will unlock the final, strongest phase, which does not come with a timer.

It is important to note that not all rifts have five phases. Some have more and some have less, although the vast majority are right on the mark. In any case, you can view it as being easy, timed, hard, all in that order. Some of us argue that the timed parts are the hardest, solely because you can not move slowly and safely, and you are racing the clock instead. Regardless, to get the best rewards you need to make it through each stage of a rift, including all of the timed ones before the timers go off. Not doing so will end the rift a little early and will reduce the ending rewards accordingly.

Invasions

Invasions are small groups of mobs that spawn from rifts. These can appear seldom or quite often (the fastest I have seen groups spawn is every ten or so seconds). When they spawn in a rift, they will start moving off along a certain path (all other invasions spawned from the same rift will take the exact same path as well). Until the group is away from the rift a bit, they will be invulnerable; as soon as they get far enough away they will become attackable and they will also go aggressive.

For the most part, these are pretty easy to handle. The only time they get overwhelming is if you are not paying attention and end up pulling more mobs in with you, or if you are fighting off more than one invasion at once. Past this, since the invasions are pretty small groups they should not be too much of an issue.

It is worth noting that you get reputation with the faction of the invasion for each kill you do (for example air), and as long as you kill at least one mob in an invasion's group, you will also get bonus credit when the entire invasion is taken down. This makes it important to kill at least one mob per invasion group if you are wanting to maximize your benefits and there are a lot of invasions around.

Footholds

When an invasion gets to their destination (which is at a camp most of the time) they will stop and the main invasion mob will start building up a foothold. If it is not stopped in time (which requires killing the main mob) it will be completed. At this point the invasion mobs have to be killed before the foothold can be killed, and mobs will be re-spawning from the foothold as they die off. They do have a normal mob timer, though, so as long as they are not being killed at a very slow rate it should be easy enough to take down.

The best plan here is to let the mobs form footholds if you are going for the reputation or experience, and not let them complete it if you are just trying to get some of your quests done or clear the area. In both cases you will end up getting rewards, but if you destroy a foothold you will get some extra, not to mention the achievement progression.

Zone Events

From time to time, depending on a zone's population, some zone events can spawn. These work along the same principle as the rifts do, with two versions: minor and major. As you might expect, the major events are a lot harder to complete, and they often end up flooding the zone with a lot of elite mobs. The minor events are much faster and easier to complete, but they do not have nearly the same rewards. If you are working on farming up some sourcestones or just looking for fun, it is best to try and catch the major events. If you are only going for reputation, the minor events are the best.

The zone events are a great way to get players to work together to take down objectives, and they almost always end up with fighting some big boss (or multiple bosses) at the end. It not only gives good rewards by taking part, but you also get to take a break from the normal quest grind and have some fun with others! It is worth noting, however, that if you happen to be on a lower population server or are on at a very bad time of the day (each server is different in when they are “dead,” and some never are) the events can be near impossible to finish. In these cases, you can do what you can or just skip them altogether, as they will always have a failure mechanism that is tripped if not enough players are taking part or if people are flat out ignoring the objectives.

When it comes to finding out what zone events are going on, there are a few ways to go about it. First off, you can use the Rift mobile app, which allows you to get pinged on your cell phone when an event starts in a zone you have “watched.” This allows you to keep up with what events are going even if you are not on the game, or if you are on a different character or server. The other method is to watch the chat, as it will always get announcements as soon as a zone event starts up. The final method is to check out the map, where you will always be able to see which events are going on and their current status by scrolling over them near the zone's name. Through these methods, you can always keep up to date with what is going on, allowing you to pick and choose what events you want to do and when you want to do them.

The Planes

There are a total of six different planes: fire, water, earth, air, death and life. As you can probably see by looking at them, they come in pairs. At one point, back when Rift was still in an infant state, each zone had two different types of rifts, invasions and zone events that could spawn. For example, Freemarch was for water and death. As time went on and new updates were released to the game, however, new special zone events were released as well. These were originally just part of the patches themselves, there to help tell a story or otherwise fit in line with the new content, but they ended up being left in the game even past the updates. As a result, we now face all six planes in every zone, as opposed to just those two. Along with this, there are now some planar lure skills that allow players to open up any type of rift in any zone, whereas it used to be random.

The reason it is important to know about all six planes is because each of them has their own rewards. In order to gear up, gain all of the achievements and get the best essences for planar foci, it is important to work on all planes, rather than just one or two.

The Future of Rifts

As of right now there is not a lot known about the future of rifts. So far we have had some alterations of them come in to the game with the various patches, in the form of raid dungeons and slivers (each of which is based on a certain plane). With the next expansion to the game, however, it has been stated that we will be able to go in to water's plane, rather than just fight the planes on our own land. What exactly this all entails we will see as the time grows near, but it is definitely something to look forward to!

Conclusion

Rifts are an awesome part of the game Rift (which is probably where it got its name from…) that help contribute to a dynamic world. While they can sometimes become a hassle, especially when you are just trying to knock out some other quests or turn in some quests or travel, they help by giving some variation to the world, where you never know what is going to be around the corner. Along with this, they play in to Rift's lore, and based on what we know about the next massive patch, we will be able to go to their home world, rather than just fighting them in Telara. In any case, Rift does an excellent job with their dynamic content, and I hope that other game developers will learn from their success!

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