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RIFT producer explains upcoming LFG changes, balancing PvP

Thursday, 17th February 2011 15:41 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Trion Worlds’ Scott Hartsman, the executive producer of RIFT, has said that post launch, the team plans to implement a better group-forming mechanic into the MMO.

Speaking with Games.On.Net, Hartsman believe that the more traditional ways of forming a group, like chat channels and “form a group,” aren’t really utilized by the player after a few weeks of play.

“I’ve personally launched LFG systems in two major MMO’s already – original EverQuest, and EverQuest 2,” he said. “If you look at the spectrum of group-finding utilities, on one end you have ‘just use chat channels’ and on the other end of the spectrum you have the fully automated ‘form a group for you’ thing.

“In between those two extremes you end up with what are really just different kinds of search helpers. And the thing with those search helpers is that nobody really uses them after the first week or two, actually (laughs). So we would like to get better group-forming into the game, but not until we can do the full, souped-up Ferrari version of it. We don’t want do it half-assed. You do it really well, and you wait until you CAN do it really well. It’s one of our highest priority items for post-launch.”

Later in the interview, Hartsman talks about character buffing for Warfronts, which are instanced cross-realm PvP areas in the game, and said buffing was implemented in the last beta.

“The way it works is that it doesn’t fully buff your character such that there is no incentive to continue leveling up, but it does make it so you are contributing much more and surviving much longer,” he explained. “You are in fact boosted a pretty significant amount. That said, it’s still going to slightly more advantageous to level up. I am not a big fan of the systems that do the ‘one hundred percent everybody is set to level nineteen and everybody has the exact same everything and okay go’.

“That is not a big help. But at the same time, you don’t want level tens getting one-shotted by level nineteens on their first day. So we were going for the middle ground that gave you a significant boost, such that it was more fun, without removing all the incentive for leveling up.”

You can read the full interview through the link.

RIFT is slated for launch next month.

Thanks, Blue.

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