Rift Scarlet Gorge Devchat Log – 21st January, 2011

Trion Developers Aaron Hooten and Gavin Irby, the designers behind the Scarlet Gorge zone, just got off RiftIRC where they shed light on some of the zone’s secrets. Scarlet Gorge is the first zone you encounter that is shared between the factions, so is likely to also be the first time many players encounter World PvP.

Below, I’ve done my best to organise the sometimes chaotic chat into individual questions and answers:

<Rifty> Motorboat asks: Can I ride on that cable-boat thing in the video?
<Gavin> Hell yeahz you can
<Aaron> Depending on your level of “scared of hieghtsyness,” yes.
<Gavin> I’m just going to ride and do knockbacks on other players all day

<Rifty> KroBa asks: Are there any quests in Scarlet Gorge that involve sabotage or subterfuge of the opposing faction?
<Gavin> In a way, yes. You’re going to be seeing a lot of the other faction when you get to the “end” of the zone (which is the middle, geographically speaking)
<Gavin> I’m very excited to see how the two factions interact in that situation, and the shenanigans that will ensue
<bc> Going to extend this question a bit: will one faction have a sort of “high ground” giving an advantage?
<Gavin> Not in Rock Ridge (where the two factions meet). They both have a pretty even position

<Rifty> KroBa asks: What difficulties did you encounter while trying to balance the terrain and layout for two rival factions’ quest hubs?
<Gavin> Scarlet Gorge was a challenge from a design standpoint. It’s long and linear and we had to get enough content for both factions in there. In the end, we decided that we’d start the factions on each end
<Gavin> and make them meet up in the middle
<Gavin> that way, if players decide that factional competition isn’t their bag, they can move on to the next zone and continue their levelling
<Gavin> it was too narrow of a zone to have both factions quest hubs progressing the same direction down the zone in a single direction

<Rifty> Travy asks: Hello Rift, I have a question re: scarlet gorge. Given that SG is a shared faction zone, was any design placed into this zone to help facilitate PvP interactions? If so, is there specific and unique PvP content in the gorge that is not in other zones previously played? Also, if so, can you describe how this content helps facilitate PvP.
<Aaron> Hello, Travy! Yes there definitely is. I can’t go into the specifics of it obviously, but even now we are hatching devious plots to encourage that content.
<Aaron> We are of course mindful of players that don’t enjoy that type of content though, so we do our best to make it optional.
<Gavin> We actually put a lot of thought into pvp for this zone since it’s going to be the first time the two factions go head to head
<Gavin> rather than be coy about it, we decided to throw them both into the thunderdome at Rock Ridge.
<Gavin> by making that the end of the zone, players can engage in it to the level of their enjoyment, without feeling like it’s blocking their progression

<Rifty> Shezz asks: We’re told that Guardians and Defiants converge upon one another as players progress through this zone, but is there any actual overlap, such as a quest common to both sides, or is there a buffer between the two that stops players from meeting unless they venture out alone?
<Gavin> Yeah, I think we mostly covered this. They will overlap at the town of Rock Ridge – in the middle of a giant fire rift!
<Gavin> DANGER ZONE!<Aaron> And there is no buffer. Feel free to run right into the action if that’s how you roll.

<Rifty> Motorboat asks: Does Rift have guns? I remember an old screenshot somewhere (that I think is Scarlet Gorge) that had cowboys
<Gavin> the biggest guns in RIFT are on either side of Aaron’s shoulders
<Aaron> Heck yeah! They sound amazing too! Shkablammo. I think we capitalized on a somewhat western them here in the gorge, but the overall flavor is still very much Telaran. Mmmmm telara flavored.
<Aaron> them = theme

<Rifty> pv-opteron asks: are the rewards from the scarlet gorge pvp based ?
<Gavin> PvP rewards have their own advancement track and you earn them through pvp, not quests. The quest content in Scarlet Gorge (SG, if you’re feeling saucy) are geared towards PvE gameplay
<Aaron> I feel very saucy.

<Rifty> Seeten|Work asks: how will I get any questing done, when I spend all my time ganking Guardians?
<Aaron> I ask myself this question every morning.
<Gavin> um, i’m failing to see the problem ;)
<Gavin> let me answer that question wiht another question: how will you even find time to pee when you spend all your time ganking guardians?
<Gavin> in all seriousness, that’s up to you! PvP is opt-in
<Aaron> And fear not guys, we may have done a lot of defiant content, but I’m wearing a guardian shirt right now. I don’t think it’s wise for designers to pick sides.
<Gavin> well, not the “wrong” side

<Rifty> AndreasTheAwesome asks: If you say that content is optional let me ask this: Are there any higher level zones that are NOT contested?
<Gavin> Contested does not mean auto-flagged except on a PvP server
<Gavin> so, if i understand the question right — you don’t need to worry about contested zone pvp blocking you
<AndreasTheAwesome> Zones then in which you will not get auto-flagged even on a PvP server
<Gavin> you are not auto-flaged in your starter zones, even on a pvp server
<AndreasTheAwesome> Only “save” zones then, ok

<Rifty> Mira asks: Will you be able to go unflagged for PvP in SG and be able to do those PvE quests?
<Aaron> You can actually remain flagged and still complete all pve quests. That’s what I do.

<Rifty> Motorboat asks: does contested mean that towns or hunting areas will change hands?
<Gavin> nope, contested means that you will be auto-flagged on a pvp server
<Gavin> to answer Mira: you do not have to flag in SG
<Gavin> you can easily go through the zone and avoid all pvp if you desire (assuming you’re not on a pvp server)

<Rifty> Cheezer asks: Will SC play the same on a pvp server? – Can a rogue use invis to move to the enemy starting point (past the middle ground) on a pvp server?
<Gavin> On a pvp server, Scarlet Gorge will be a meat grinder that will run red with the blood of players.
<Gavin> in other words, it will play very differently.
<Aaron> Delicious player meat. And probably Dead Simon too.
<Gavin> I don’t think Simon’s gonna roll on a pvp server…

<Rifty> Domnall asks: On PvP servers, will there be any sort of NPC help to counter the faction imbalance?
<Gavin> That’s a good question — and the answer is yes
<Gavin> clever players have already figured out that augmenting the wardstones at their quest hubs is a very effective strategy
<Gavin> i’ve also seen players hide inside of guardian/defiant invasions, and then use flares to send in reinforcements to the wardstone that they’re attacking
<Aaron> plus you get to see asha, what’s not to like about upgrading?

<Rifty> Nindydar asks: Are there any air rifts in the Scarlet Gorge?
<Gavin> nope! fire, earth, and death

<Rifty> Guest4341 asks: will NPC guards be strong enough to fend off opposing factions or will we have to sit around to wait for our quest NPCs to respawn after a steamroll?
<Gavin> i actually tried this the other day against a single npc and a fully upgraded wardstone. i barely survived
<Gavin> if a single player had been there to defend, i would have gotten destroyed, which is about how I think it should be
<Gavin> the respawn on npcs at hubs is extremely fast, so killing quest-givers nets you very little
<Gavin> there isn’t much point to that kind of gameplay

<Rifty> Guest8397 asks: Will there be a zone wide event? If so will it be cooperative or who can do it first wins between the factions?
<Aaron> First off, there are more than one of these in the gorge. And in one example the answer would be cooperative, and another opposed.

<Rifty> bc asks: What sort of layout is Foul cascade?
<Aaron> The layout is outdoor. It’s bright and open and deadly, similar to the zone itself.

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