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Rift: Planes of Telara Gear Prior to Storm Legion Expansion is Worthless

Introduction

When the first expansion to Rift, known as Storm Legion was set to be released, we already knew about it expanding upon the levels. Instead of being capped out at level fifty, it added ten more levels to set us up at sixty. This lead to some concerns about what would happen to the older gear people spent months to farm (especially those that farmed dungeons like Hammerknell and Rise of the Phoenix until they finally finished off their sets). The assumption was that the newer levels and gear would not be too far off from what we already had, and that the time spent farming was not going to have been wasted. Boy were we all wrong on that one! Storm Legion completely destroyed the value of anything prior to the new level cap of sixty, leading to some problems along the way.

Gearing As You Level

There is really no reason to worry about gear anymore before hitting level sixty. The top gear obtained from the level fifty raid instances are now less powerful than even the greens earned by level fifty four. This means there is really no reason to farm prior content, unless you either want to go for achievements or you are knocking out weeklies for the Planar Attunement boosts. Other than that, this content is all worthless now. It did still have some value at one point, back before Rift went free to play, but that was solely because many players had not upgraded to the expansion and so for them the prior content was still relevant. Now that the game is free and everyone has access to all of the content (other than the new Storm Legion souls), we are to the point where nobody needs any of that stuff at all. This, in effect, negates the reason for even doing any of the old raids past the achievements, as there is really no other benefit (maybe the fun of it?) that will last you more than a short period of time.

Along with this, gearing up while leveling is not too much of a priority because while you could get better gear at each level, it will be worthless by the time you get the next level's gear. This process continues all the way up to level sixty as well. Because of this, you can just go with what you find off drops or quests and spend more time focusing on leveling than you do trying to get new stuff.

Dungeon Tokens

I really do not know what these are used for anymore. By the time you get to a high enough level to farm them (fifty) and you get enough to buy some items that would normally be an upgrade, you will have already gotten even better items. This makes them pretty much worthless. The same goes for the raid tokens as well. The only ones I can see having any value at all are those that come from the new Storm Legion content, but you can not get any of those until sixty. Other than that, the other tokens seem to just be a waste of space and “rewards” (if you want to call them that; I consider rewards as being things you can actually put to use). As a direct example of this, I am sitting on over twenty thousand Plaques of Achievement and there is really nothing to use them for. They used to be trade-able for Planar Attunement experience, but that appears to have been removed as a reward option.

The Way it Should Have Worked

Really, no gear that people spend weeks or months on should lose its value. Some of the people who farmed it did so just prior to Storm Legion's release, and that puts a bad taste in people's mouths. Essentially any work that was done prior to the expansion in terms of progression was wasted. With hardcore players this was bad enough, but I can not even imagine what the more casual players (that still went for progression) felt like when this change hit.

Instead, the gear that was farmed prior to Storm Legion should have been in some way upgradable to the later and greater items. There is already an “upgrade” system in use for things like PvP gear and raid gear, so this would not be too much of an issue to adapt for the new items. Even if there were multiple steps required in order to get the old gear upgraded to the new gear, any type of transition process would be helpful. As it is right now, you basically have to throw away any of your older items because none of them hold any value in the game.

With Rift going through another major patch and bringing out at least five new levels, my hope is that some type of transition will be in use this time. Going through the same process of farming gear prior to the latest patch and then it becoming worthless within hours after the update is not going to go too well for the majority of players. I think the reason why people did not make such a big fuss about this after the Storm Legion update was solely because the population was pretty small at the time, and therefore less people were affected; those who were are the same people that were more interested in getting to play more new content than anything else.

Possible Upgrade Scenario

Adapting the upgrade system to the raid and dungeon gear may be a bit tough, but there are some ideas that could make it a bit easier. This idea actually stems from when a new tier of PvP gear was released and the bottom one was removed, although this would work in a somewhat reverse situation. More or less the way I see it working is like this:

  • You have your set of top gear, whether it be from dungeons or raids
  • When the next tier is released and more levels are (which would normally kill the point of having any of the items you have at that time), the upgrade system would allow you to take the top items from before and convert them to the lowest tier of the new gear at a reduced cost

The problem I can see happening with this system would be that players could simply level up to become more powerful than the previous raids so that they can farm them to get the next raid level's gear faster or easier, but I think that is a pretty good trade off. While some would benefit from taking advantage of this, as long as the system were to require players to continue farming the old marks at the same rate as prior to the patch I do not see it affecting too much. This would, however, benefit the players who took the time and effort to stay on top of each new gear set as it was released (as well as every new dungeon and raid) by allowing them to jump in to the next set of gear faster and not have wasted their time on all the previous content.

The Argument Against This

The only real argument I can see against doing this would be that the players who were doing the top tiered content before the update should have enough happiness in knowing that they were taking part in content that nobody else was able to do. While I am not necessarily against the fact that there should be some sense of accomplishment there, I personally feel like it would be somewhat washed away by the fact that all of the work would be pretty much washed away. Sure, you get to keep things like achievements and world firsts, but once all of the rest of the players catch up they could knock out the same achievements much easier since they would be much stronger than the old content. This is something we are already seeing right now with Expert dungeons, where a single level sixty can clear them out within a couple minutes solo, and raid instances where a group of only a few people can clear them without any problems. This removes the bragging rights there were prior to the patch, as now you have no idea who actually earned their progress and who did not. You could look at the date, but the majority of players do not know when the various patches were released, nor do they care.

Conclusion

New updates to Rift bring about a lot of new content, and new gear and levels are a good part of this. The problem happens when you do not handle the situation correctly, and that is what Trion has done with Storm Legion. Pretty much any progression done prior to the major update is now meaningless, and everyone (even the fresh level 50's) is on the same page again. It is almost like doing a server wipe in how it works.

My hope is that Trion learns from this mistake and works on some better method of handling progression so that when the next patch, Rift 3.0 is released, we do not go through another progression wipe. If things continue along the same path they are on now, they are going to lose a lot of customers and players, because the vast majority of us are not in to spending weeks or months progressing just so that it can become worthless after it is all done. Through some careful planning and evaluation, I have no doubt that Trion can come up with a fair and efficient way to handle the transition between old content and new content. The only question is whether they will or not.

Games


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