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Rift: Planes of Telara: Scott Hartsman Interview

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Comments

  • ForceQuitForceQuit Member Posts: 350

    Originally posted by MikeB

    Originally posted by ForceQuit



    I really hope this game is going to be good.  I don't like some of the decisions Scott and team have made, but overall it still looks to have some very exciting concepts including the dynamic system and the soul system.


     

    Can you elaborate?

    Sure.

    Back when this game was HoT, the class card system was promised to be much more flexible than the ascended soul system.  There were no restrictions on callings, for example, which would have lead to a truly Alt-free game.  Additionally, there were no restrictions on the crafting professions- and as a heavy crafter- and someone who overall does not like playing Alts-  I am disappointed that these new restrictions are taking place.

    If I remember the development timeline correctly, HoT went dark shortly after the E3 reveal, John Van Caneghem and some other key personnel were let go, and Scott was brought on to bring the game new direction and focus.  After about a year of silence, we had the big RIFT reveal, and Trion has had excellent community relations since then.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I think Hartsman is a talented designer and a great guy.  But it is clear that he had to make some tough decisions on some basic fundamentals on the game.  I imagine that there was incredible potential in HoT but that something just wasn't clicking, and Scott came in and made it work.

    I believe Trion has assembled a very talented and passionate team and I think its possible that they are putting together something very special.  The dynamic system alone, I personally believe, is going to be a revolutionary feature for MMOs going forward, and the dynamic features  they have described so far sounds- delicious, for a lack of a better word :).  But in the end, it doesn't matter how polished, how good the lore is, how many revolutionary features, if the game isn't fun, if it doesn't have that fun x-factor, probably the hardest thing of all to achieve- then it is going to suffer.  So that's what I meant by I hope this game is going to be fun.

  • MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,562

    The system sounds plenty flexible to me, but I'm sure they appreciate your feedback, which is why I asked you to elaborate (they are undoubtedly reading our site for feedback on the coverage ;)).

    As for the game being fun, I can tell you right now I had a great deal of fun playing the game at the studio, but I'm sure you all will be able to get your hands on it soon enough to decide for yourselves.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332

    I clicked this article thinking..hmmm something new and interesting.Right away i see somethign that makes my cringe>>>2 factions !,right away that smells of CHEAP lazy design,they are giving us the VERY bare minimum,anything less and you only have 1 faction.I said this about Aion and many other games,you need at LEAST 5 factions,to show me you put some effort into your game.

    Then i see something else that basically makes think,i better be looking somewhere else for a better effort,that somethign was when asked about eventual builds,and the response was instead of an overpowered build,the guy calls it a FUN build,hmmm that is not FUIN in my books,sorry.

    Instead of stating how and why,the guy just explains that "it won't happen" players can always look to find a better build and trump that one,sounds to me like sloppy game design,where even the developer has no real idea of the outcomes.I can see some people liking this,but not me,only because i woudl rather trust a thoroughly tested design,than one of mystery.

    I hope by posting this,perhaps the dev might read it and realize ,we don't like lazy game design,give me a faction game,i want 5+ factions,preferable 6-8,give me a solid design that the developer knows EVERY outcome.I don't really care about balance ,as long as it has a paper/rock/scissors design,i get no indication from the develoepr here,that there is any direction to the design.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • ForceQuitForceQuit Member Posts: 350

    IIRC, faction design in HoT was not 2-sided, or exclusive to race (in fact there were at the time only 3 races I think).  I'm not sure I would call 2-faction design lazy; but it is certainly worrisome as it comes with loads of problems, and the market is saturated with design.

    Regarding the class system, I understand that a totally unrestricted system was probably unfeasible; I just hope that we will have plenty of perfectly viable custom builds at our disposal.  I don't care if 1 dps build has 2% more damage than the other, but of one dps build has 20% more dps then what's the point of so much customization? 

    Otherwise we will end up with a handful of optimized builds that are required for raids, guilds, dungeons, etc.  I'm sure Trion understands this, its just hard to know for sure what Scott means by his statements on class balance.

  • elbo666elbo666 Member Posts: 4

    And my hopes just started to die. Battlegrounds? no thanks.

    The sole reason i play mmorpgs is PvP. If it's not FFA PvP; there is no point playing it.

    "Oh this guy is KSing me - please come to the arena so i can kill you once.".

  • twruletwrule Member Posts: 1,251

    I've said it before, I'll say it again.  I really dislike the approach the devs are taking with RIFT.  They once again repeat that it'll be "the standard mmo" with a couple twists.  Those twists apparently being a lack of desire to balance the game, resulting in what can only be a 2- dimensional experience for both pvp and pve players - and some randomly generated mobs that bring some pallette changes with them.  Forgive me for not being as excited as so many seem to be over this game, but I'm just not seeing what is so amazing about it with the information we've been provided.

    In every aspect, this game seems like another take on the EQ2's and Vanguard's of mmo past rather than anything truly innovative.  Games like Guild Wars 2 coming out in which nearly every aspect is innovated upon, makes RIFT look like a cheap effort at best.  I suppose this will appeal to a certain crowd, but I for one am tired of the same recycled mmo mechanics.

  • ComafComaf Member UncommonPosts: 1,150

    They want to end the 2 faction imbalance? Add a third faction for God's sakes.  How many years do we have to wait for players to force developers to raise the pvp bar to what Dark Age of Camelot gave us?

    image
  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Member Posts: 3,138

    Originally posted by Scot


    The fact that the game throws balance to the wind is worrying. Certainly one template will not suit all the game play roles needed, but is that enough to maintain balance? The ability to change your template ad hoc has serious consequences; are there no time delay or location restrictions? I can see this being useful in grouping though.


     


    There was a suggestion that in pvp battlegrounds, disproportionate faction size would be balanced by the addition of npc’s. This is innovative idea, interesting to see how it pans out. You will have those who say it takes away the feeling of achievement if you can’t truly beat your opponents; on the other hand we have all been in pointless battles where we had no chance of winning.

    Unless something really drastic has changed in the last few weeks, no, you won't be able to change your 3 souls(classes) out nor realocate the overall 51 points you will have at level 50 amongst the soul trees "on the fly". You have to go to NPC "trainers" to achieve this. Now, from what I understand from the last time this was at the forefront of the Rift community's chatter (which includes the devs) was that, for example, you could go out with your "Solo PvE Spec" and play. Let's say you your friends call you to a raid. You then run into the trainer, switch to your "5 Man Raid Spec" and go game with them. Then another group wants you to go PvP so you go in and switch to your "PvP Spec" and go get stuck in.

     

    While we don't know how many "save" slots you get, you could theoretically have multiple variations for each of the 4 core playstyles (Solo PvE, PvP, Raid and Group PvE). It's one of the things that drew me to this game.

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 19,449

    Yes that was the part of it I liked, you can tailor your avatar to suit your group needs.


     


    Power set changes are not on the fly, that’s the main thing. The balance issue affect any MMO where there is genuine player choice in power sets. It’s a catch 22, if you allow no changes to the template players will get it wrong and be stuck with poor choices. If you allow too many changes, ‘perfect’ builds become the norm, which negates the whole point of player choice. But this is something they can easily tinker with, how often you can go to the npc’s and how much it costs. So I only see teething problems here, nothing long term.


     


    I rather liked the graphics too; the colour scheme was not garish cartoon and there was a wide range of graphical influences. In other words it did not shout WoW or Asian.


     


    But what’s with the designer policy at Rifts? It seems you have to be bald to get into a lead designer/producer position (check the video on the front page of their website). :D

  • smallshadowsmallshadow Member Posts: 8


  • smallshadowsmallshadow Member Posts: 8

    Sounds interesting, but i would like to hear more about quests en leveling. Please no kill this and kill that only quests. How interesting a game may look, if it's al about grinding like Aion it will be very boring after a while for those who don't like PvP.

  • RelGnRelGn Member Posts: 494

    if they dont have target for balance then this game will be a pisss off

    image
  • grimfallgrimfall Member UncommonPosts: 1,153

    Originally posted by smallshadow

    Sounds interesting, but i would like to hear more about quests en leveling. Please no kill this and kill that only quests. How interesting a game may look, if it's al about grinding like Aion it will be very boring after a while for those who don't like PvP.

     

    They talked about leveling in the article.  Read it again and look for the bit about "exploring".

  • eLdritchZeLdritchZ Member Posts: 83

    Originally posted by twrule

    I've said it before, I'll say it again.  I really dislike the approach the devs are taking with RIFT.  They once again repeat that it'll be "the standard mmo" with a couple twists.  Those twists apparently being a lack of desire to balance the game, resulting in what can only be a 2- dimensional experience for both pvp and pve players - and some randomly generated mobs that bring some pallette changes with them.  Forgive me for not being as excited as so many seem to be over this game, but I'm just not seeing what is so amazing about it with the information we've been provided.

    In every aspect, this game seems like another take on the EQ2's and Vanguard's of mmo past rather than anything truly innovative.  Games like Guild Wars 2 coming out in which nearly every aspect is innovated upon, makes RIFT look like a cheap effort at best.  I suppose this will appeal to a certain crowd, but I for one am tired of the same recycled mmo mechanics.

     

    guess what Mr. "my word is truth", not everybody likes the systems and "innovations" that ANet is so proud of... there are people who like games with healers and tanks, there's people who like games with healing in general, there's people who like games where you are dead when your life bar reaches 0.... I'm one of them... if I wanted all this healerless "downed state when you're dead and everybody is a DPS" stuff I'd go play L4D...

    not saying you're stupid for liking that sort of thing...

    also that "the standard MMO" line got me thinking... do you really think GW2 is going to be awesome and innovative in every aspect? f.e. I have not read ANYTHING about a combat system... might that be because it's the standard tab targeting stuff that's been around since forever? or maybe it's a bit more like Diablo or AoC... it's probably not something that's never been around before... and that's fine... not everything has to be completely new... some things are tried and true for a reason...

     

    just pisses me off that all GW2 fanbois think "their" game is something so incredibly special and innovative while it's really just a PR spin on a handful of things that are different from other titles... kinda like Trion is doing it but with less "our game will be the salvation! now kneel peasants"

    and what's up with that attitude anyway?? what's so awesome about innovation inside a genre... ever stop to think that a lot of people like it the way it is? I can only point towards FPS games again... they haven't really changed since quake1... they only expanded (some more, some less) on that basis... and guess what? there's millions of people still liking that genre... so if you don't like the direction MMOs are going (pretty much nowhere) then why not just move on?

     

    back to topic:

    it's great to see them being honest about their stuff... and not delusional about achieving perfect balance or building the world's best product (like Mythic with War *shudder*)... which is pretty much impossible anyway... as long as they fix really broken stuff I'm happy ;)  as long as I can play a combo with a purifier or a champion that doesn't suck, I'm happy ^^

    <S.T.E.A.L.T.H>
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  • TheMaelstromTheMaelstrom Member UncommonPosts: 393

    Originally posted by Scot



    The fact that the game throws balance to the wind is worrying. Certainly one template will not suit all the game play roles needed, but is that enough to maintain balance? The ability to change your template ad hoc has serious consequences; are there no time delay or location restrictions? I can see this being useful in grouping though.


     


    There was a suggestion that in pvp battlegrounds, disproportionate faction size would be balanced by the addition of npc’s. This is innovative idea, interesting to see how it pans out. You will have those who say it takes away the feeling of achievement if you can’t truly beat your opponents; on the other hand we have all been in pointless battles where we had no chance of winning.


     

    I think you're misinterpreting the interview a bit, Scot. The way Hartsman addressed balance didn't sound to me like he was saying they're "throwing balance to the wind". To me it sounds more like they're recognizing that mix/maxers will always find a build that's more "optimal", and some people will change their build to mimic the optimal build, and they're okay with that.

    I've already been looking forward to this game (since it was known as Heroes of Telara), and the fact that they said outright they're not going to try for overall balance is encouraging to me. Why? Because I believe when there are imbalanced builds/classes that you get people who play their character because that's what they ENJOY playing, not because it's the most uber. And the people who enjoy playing are the ones I want to group with / be guilded with.

    I played EQ1 for 6 years. I played a warrior. Without a healer I was worthless, essentially. I also had an alt enchanter (strictly crowd control class). The warrior was completely gimped when it came to doing anything at all solo, but I filled a role for groups that I really enjoyed. It made the game so much more immersive and I enjoyed my time playing it immensely. People on my server knew me by name, knew I was a good tank, and I got regular invites any time I was LFG.

    Did it bug me that a druid could quad-kite a bunch of mobs and soak up XP like crazy - while solo? Nope. Good for them. They figured out a way to play solo. I prefer to play in groups of people who all enjoy their class and play it well. I think the whole idea of "balance" is ridiculous. It's a pipe dream.

    In my opinion, here's what you gotta do if you're gonna say "We're not gonna balance everything."..... make EVERY class fun to play. If every class is fun to play, then balance won't be as big of an issue because people will enjoy playing their character regardless of how awesome someone else's character / build is.

    No godless person can comprehend those minute distinctions
    in doctrine that provide true believers excuse for mayhem.
    -Glen Cook

  • MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,562

    Originally posted by Khalathwyr



    Originally posted by Scot



    The fact that the game throws balance to the wind is worrying. Certainly one template will not suit all the game play roles needed, but is that enough to maintain balance? The ability to change your template ad hoc has serious consequences; are there no time delay or location restrictions? I can see this being useful in grouping though.


     


    There was a suggestion that in pvp battlegrounds, disproportionate faction size would be balanced by the addition of npc’s. This is innovative idea, interesting to see how it pans out. You will have those who say it takes away the feeling of achievement if you can’t truly beat your opponents; on the other hand we have all been in pointless battles where we had no chance of winning.

    Unless something really drastic has changed in the last few weeks, no, you won't be able to change your 3 souls(classes) out nor realocate the overall 51 points you will have at level 50 amongst the soul trees "on the fly". You have to go to NPC "trainers" to achieve this. Now, from what I understand from the last time this was at the forefront of the Rift community's chatter (which includes the devs) was that, for example, you could go out with your "Solo PvE Spec" and play. Let's say you your friends call you to a raid. You then run into the trainer, switch to your "5 Man Raid Spec" and go game with them. Then another group wants you to go PvP so you go in and switch to your "PvP Spec" and go get stuck in.

     

    While we don't know how many "save" slots you get, you could theoretically have multiple variations for each of the 4 core playstyles (Solo PvE, PvP, Raid and Group PvE). It's one of the things that drew me to this game.


     

    This isn't accurate. You can change your souls out ANYWHERE as long as you are not in combat. You can have a total of four loadouts to switch between.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • Cirn0Cirn0 Member Posts: 162

    I wish devs would start making games with 3 factions, so 2 can unite when the 3rd one gets overpowered >_<

    IZI MODO?! Ha-ha-ha!

  • FreedomBladeFreedomBlade Member UncommonPosts: 281

    Does this game feature real combat or more EQ / WOW style snore shit?

    If it is real combat then sign me up.

    image

  • ForceQuitForceQuit Member Posts: 350

    Originally posted by FreedomBlade

    Does this game feature real combat or more EQ / WOW style snore shit?

    If it is real combat then sign me up.

    Please elaborate what 'real combat' is.

  • kevnonkevnon Member Posts: 20

    Originally posted by ForceQuit

    Originally posted by FreedomBlade

    Does this game feature real combat or more EQ / WOW style snore shit?

    If it is real combat then sign me up.

    Please elaborate what 'real combat' is.


     

     where you have to go to each persons house and fight them for real, that is how there doing pvp.  :)

    kevin ripka

  • IrengardIrengard Member Posts: 8

     


    Originally posted by banshe13

    We need more in for on the PVP BG PVP has alot of us worried on them turning it arena type PVP with a system like WoW pvp that is horrable.     I a diffrent interveiw Open zone PVP was talked about now this kind of getting a bad feeling it will be a bad PVP system leaning toward's WoW's not  DAoC type that alot want.


     

    You know..  school might be good for you.  I really appreciate the freedom of speech, but goodness, learn how to write before you share your thoughts!

  • bcrankshawbcrankshaw Member Posts: 547

    Interesting article ...nice one

    Rift seems to be an MMO that will have something  for everyone

    I hope that they develop that component that encourages people to explore the world and find artifacts ....thats the thing I  would particularly enjoy

    If I think of  Vanguard ,there was this beautiful and immersive world with all these dungeons and I use to really enjoy just traveling around .Now if I had an incentive to explore Vanguard the experience would have been even better :)

    "after the time of dice came the day of mice "

  • smallshadowsmallshadow Member Posts: 8

    With all do respect, but what does exploring have to do with leveling? I just hope that there will be balance. No fast leveling for example, same with the monsters you will encounter (solo and group friendly). And also that exploring thing they mention. It sounds really nice, but why not thinking of quests which gives you at the same time the possibility to explore. Just like Guild Wars.

  • smallshadowsmallshadow Member Posts: 8

    Originally posted by grimfall



    Originally posted by smallshadow

    Sounds interesting, but i would like to hear more about quests en leveling. Please no kill this and kill that only quests. How interesting a game may look, if it's al about grinding like Aion it will be very boring after a while for those who don't like PvP.

     

    They talked about leveling in the article.  Read it again and look for the bit about "exploring".


     

    With all do respect, but what does exploring have to do with leveling? I just hope that there will be balance. No fast leveling for example, same with the monsters you will encounter (solo and group friendly). And also that exploring thing they mention. It sounds really nice, but why not thinking of quests which gives you at the same time the possibility to explore. Just like Guild Wars.

    Sorry about the double post.

  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 19,449

    This leaves the question about character template switching open then as posters have said both that you need an npc and that you do not. In beta I think people will be able to get an idea of how much of a problem this will be.

    You can never truly get balance, it is just a matter of not having any glaring problems, mirrored classes like in WAR address faction balance. But within a faction classes lead to a role, roles create unbalance. In a classless system optimisation creates a few proven templates, effectively the players create their own unbalanced classes.

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