PvPvP: Rift Adding Three-Faction Open World Battles

Oh, the weather outside is whatever that purple thing is.
Goodness. Rift‘s PvP may not have managed to set the world on fire straight out of the box, but now it seems to be upgrading from a wet match to a full-sized flamethrower. In short, Conquest pits three new cross-dimensional factions against each other in open world battles where “everyone can contribute.” Even crafters “play a vital role,” apparently. So basically, pick a side, venture over to Stillmoor, and join the impressively multifaceted three-way fray. Somewhere along the way, points get captured and everyone dies. Yeah, it sounds kind of Guild-Wars-y, but it’s still quite a sizable shift in philosophy for a free update to an MMO that’s been around for more than a year.

Here’s the gist, from Rift’s official blog:

“This is a game about domination. Set in the windworn foothills of Stillmoor, the familiar landscape has been transformed with control points and sourcestone powered fortifications as Ascended banners billow under the blood-red sun… Pitted against two additional competing teams you must wrest control of as many Sourcestone Extractors as possible while preventing your opponents from doing the same. The match ends when a single team has claimed 40% of the control points or 5,000 players are killed – once this happens a 10 minute timer will start, this is your chance to make a last grab for control – after which you’ll earn your rewards!”

But what about the crafters? Oh god, what about them? Apparently, they’ll exercise Poseidon-like power over the choppy seas of war “by refining the battlefield resources into upgrades and even more perks.” Which feeds into my concerns about this mode. It sounds big and thrilling and swords and glorious battlesongs, but will it end up being a full realization of that scope – or merely a series of comparatively mundane activities (see: crafting) stacked on top of each other to look big?

Similarly, controlling points is hardly uncharted territory as far as these things go, and Stillmoor’s not uncharted territory at all. And while those potential issues stand to put cracks in Conquest’s foundation, smaller issues – at least – look to be ironed out on the test servers. The unwashed masses will get their first taste of the mode on Thursday, and Trion notes that “details and specifics will likely change based on [player] feedback and play tests.” So that’s encouraging. Only time will tell, however, if all the puzzle pieces will click nicely into place.


  1. Breadline says:

    I don’t get it… players loved open world three faction PvP a decade ago when Dark Age of Camelot and Planetside did it… How has it taken so damn long for developers to finally say “Oh gee good idea guyz”

    • jrodman says:

      FWIW, this isn’t exactly DAOC style. This is much more in a theme park mode. Not that I’m complaining.

  2. Snakejuice says:

    “The match ends when a single team has claimed 40% of the control points or 5,000 players are killed”
    So just just real wars then!

  3. Vorphalack says:

    ”Yeah, it sounds kind of Guild-Wars-y, but it’s still quite a sizable shift in philosophy for a free update to an MMO that’s been around for more than a year.”

    There are no free updates in subscription based games.

    • f1x says:

      Considering the amount of content Trion has added to Rift since launch, its not free but definitely worth the subscription

    • Ringwraith says:

      A non-free update would be an expansion pack you had to buy separately.
      Mostly, the subscription is primarily there to pay for the servers, what’s left over from that is what they use to make stuff with.

      • Vorphalack says:

        ”what’s left over from that is what they use to make stuff with.”

        You mean the money that payed for this content……

        So not free then.

        • Ringwraith says:

          Just like free updates for any other game are paid with the money people bought the original game with.
          If you’re using that definition, nothing is a ‘free’ update.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Cannot take seriously man who puts ‘free updates” and ”that are paid for” in same sentence.

          • Ringwraith says:

            They’re put out at their cost, as they aren’t charging you for it, they’re taking the money to pay the people to make it out of their own profits.

          • Vorphalack says:

            It should be obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that the more content you get, the better value your subscription becomes. Claiming that the update is in any way free is simply wrong.

          • mentor07825 says:

            Are they charging you for the update? If no then it’s free. If yes then it’s not. Eve Online does updates like this for years, and each one is free. You pay a subscription for server access. You pay to play. The update itself is free.

            I’m with Ringwraith on this one.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Then you are also an idiot. Subscription fees fund content updates. You pay for content updates.This is not open to argument, it is fact.

          • mentor07825 says:

            It funds content updates but we’re not paying a full price tag on them, much like the expansions that World of Warcraft and Everquest has been known to pump out. Those expansions are also content updates, but with a price tag.

          • Vorphalack says:

            There is no fixed price on content of any kind and never has been, but that is largely irrelevant anyway. You still fund content with the money that you pay every month, It’s not free.

          • mentor07825 says:

            Then what do you pay to get your hands on the Everquest expansions, or the expansions on World of Warcraft? What funds these? How do you get them?

          • Baresark says:

            Then I guess a notable difference is that there is a whole lot of content added without the cost of an expansion pack, while other games charge you a monthly subscription fee and then charge you for additional content. Is it free? No. Do other pay MMO’s add this amount of content without charging you for an expansion? No. Do other pay MMO’s take your monthly subscription fee and invest it into copious amounts of content without charging you for an expansion? No. So, it’s still a much better deal than you get with other pay MMO’s.

            Arguing semantics doesn’t get you anywhere, and it gets you there fast.

  4. BooleanBob says:

    The alt-text for this one get me pretty hard.

  5. wodin says:

    Quick question, the first time I tried an MMO was Secret World Beta and hated the combat, I always thought combat in MMO’s was the same as say in an FPS or Skyrim or something. I just didn’t understand why anyone would like the combat at all.

    Are all MMO’s like that with regards to combat?

    • mentor07825 says:

      Not all. I had a fantastic discussion with Ringwraith and another person here on RPS yesterday about the combat on an MMO game called TERA. It’s more action focused with no aiming. They told me it’s more akin to a fighting game than spamming number keys.

      There’s also Eve Online, but combat in that is a different sort of kettle entirely.

    • Ateius says:

      Most MMOs unfortunately have the same sort of combat, but there are some exceptions. In addition to mentor07825’s examples, I’d add that Guild Wars 2 breaks the mold a bit, being a lot more movement-focused than the typical fare.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Wodin –

      Pretty much, yes. There are several speculations as to why this is so, and they aren’t necessarily contradictory. One line is current technical limitations, IE latency and the amount of data that has to be processed involving the whole server. Instances are used to help with this, but we are still likely to be several generations of server architecture/network speed away from those limitations. Another is incumbency/conservatism. As an example, people I know who were in GW2 BETA have told me there was much complaining in general chat from professed WoW players that the combat in GW2 is too different from WoW, and the myriad of WoW-clones. While both possible reasons will change, at this point, expecting FPS/Action combat in most current and near future MMOs is a bit like expecting intelligent/well-written plot/dialog in pr0n vids.

      • Booch says:

        Well Planetside managed FPS combat pretty well and it was released in ’03 (lord was it really so long ago?), I’ve heard Tera has pretty good action combat as well but I haven’t played it myself. I think you’re right on with your conservatism statement, certain successful MMO’s (Everquest, WoW) set the mold and developers are just following it instead of trying something new.

        I’m sure once a new game with engaging combat takes away WoW’s king of the playground seat, MMO’s with unresponsive combat will fade.

  6. squareking says:

    I don’t know what that vertical-toothy-mouth thing is, but I really want to smack it with a sword.

  7. pazmacats says:

    wait … rift … wasn’t that the game that I couldn’t play because PvP crashed my internet connection? Or was it the game that had passwords stolen on a regular basis? Or was it the game that had 50 pages of tech support threads within the first week? Or was it the game that has monthly fees for semi-robotic customer support …?

    • Evil Betty says:

      You seem confused.

    • Baresark says:

      You have applied all MMO problems to Rift, that is a neat trick. If I had to guess though, the one where your password was stolen 50 times had to be WoW. My account was constantly hicjacked till I put an authenticator on my account… Incidentally, Rift has had an Authenticator since day one.

  8. Howl says:

    They should have released a retail expansion with a third faction and then added a DAOC frontier for all three of them bash each other about in till kingdom come. The combat in Rift was actually quite satisfying, it was just had very linear PvE and it ran out of ‘interesting’ things to do at maximum level.

    GW2 is the opposite. It has DAOC style PvP but the character movement and the combat is just utter rubbish.

    • Baresark says:

      I don’t know how the Character movement in GW2 is rubbish, but I don’t think the combat is rubbish at all. To the contrary, I find it a very refreshing change from other MMO’s (though I have only played TERA a little bit at my buddies house, as I understand it, the combat is very good).

  9. aircool says:

    I’ve never got on with pvp in MMO’s (except proper combat like Planetside), but have recently been enjoying the warfronts in Rift.

    The first I heard about this expansion was an announcement in game that it would be up on the PTS. I like Rift, so I’m hoping the Conquest mode will be good. Rift is a polished game, so my expectations are high.

    I’m still going to give GW2 a try, after all, the original is one of my favourite games.