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Preview: We Tour Starfall Prophecy, Rift’s Expansion Launching Today

Rift’s Starfall Prophecy expansion is expected to launch today, bringing a level cap increase (to 70), new zones, new dungeons, the new legendary abilities, planar fragments, and so much more into the free-to-play MMORPG. It’s a lot to take in and, arguably, a few more complex systems are being added to a game that can already be pretty daunting to new players.

To get the scoop, I sat down with Senior Design Director Simon Ffinch and Executive Producer Chris Junior from Trion Worlds to get not only a tour, but to some of my own questions (and probably some of yours, as well) answered. Our tour started with a run through of some of the new zones the Comet of Ahnket offers. We kicked it off in Alittu, a “city” serves as the main hub for players as they embark on the story portion of the expansion. It’s got the typical Rift “futuristic, but primitive” vibe going on. The 64-bit version of the client continues to perform well, and you can tell the art department is really well-versed in what their engine can do after so many years. The visuals are nice most of the time, but occasionally they can actually be quite stunning, for an older title.

Moving out of our safe haven, we headed into Scatherran Forest. Full of new creatures and models, the zone appears deadly, as Chris has to use dev commands in a number of places to avoid dying to keep the tour moving along. We then moved to Gedlo Badlands, a desert wasteland where players will actually be working together with kobolds. Simon reminded me that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and in this case, it’s 100% true. Going from a forest directly to a desert and on through some of the other zones appears to make little topographical sense until you consider the lore behind the Comet of Ahnket.