Rift Starfall Prophecy - The Upcoming Population Split
ByDate: Oct 16 2016 Views:
With Rift’s upcoming expansion, Starfall Prophecy, imminent, it’s time to take a look at the population issues surrounding the game, as well as what is going to happen when the population essentially splits. I really don’t think there’s any surprise that not everyone is going to be upgrading, but the effect it’s going to have on the game could be massive.
The Upcoming Split of Content
With the upcoming expansion comes a new pay wall, essentially requiring players to either fork out the money or deal with having limited access to content. While we could argue that Rift still offers a lot of content even for free players, the focus here is going to be on those that have hit the level cap and those who have bought the expansion.
Starfall is bringing with it a ton of new additions: raids, dungeons, new game systems, zones, a higher level cap, new gear, etc., but what is important to keep in mind about this is that while Rift goes through somewhat frequent content updates (designated by the x.x patch number, such as 3.1), they are undoubtedly going to be focused mostly on, if not entirely on, the Starfall players. This is evidenced by the higher level cap, access to a personal loot system, and the raid queue, which could all be open to everyone but aren’t, and this is likely going to be how the game continues going forward. In other words, if you are playing on the completely free version and do not have the expansion, you’re likely already experiencing the most you will be able to (unless something changes down the road). It’s entirely possible that new systems or content will come out that is accessible for everyone, but the simple fact is that if you want everything, the expansion is needed.
Effects On Guilds
This is having a rough effect on a lot of guilds. Some players are upgrading, while others aren’t, and this creates a clear separation: those who upgraded can start going through the new content together, while those who didn’t are stuck with the old stuff. For larger guilds, this effect might not be as noticeable, as there are many more players in the pool and should help even things out a bit, but for others, it can be fairly detrimental. The simple fact is that most players within a guild are going to want to focus on moving forward, rather than running the same old content over and over and not even getting a reward (since the Starfall content will completely dominate anything that already exists when it comes to gear and drops). While it is true that there are still going to be some players that do the old raids for things like achievements, like the mount from River of Souls, the simple fact is that these runs are going to be just like the old ones are now – few and far between. Finding others to do the end-game content for non-expansion players is more than likely going to be rough, taking out the ability to fully experience even everything that is already available.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that for the most part, Rift has a smaller community than in a lot of games, or at least appears that way based on chatter, guilds, and everything else we can publicly see. While there are none focusing on this at the moment, one thing that can be done is create guilds specifically for the free players to join, such that it helps build up that community (which would then allow for completing all of the content, most likely, as well as create a common bond there). It’s not a perfect solution, but not everyone is going to be upgrading, so it would still help.
A Borderline Necessity
When it comes down to it, the expansion is going to be a borderline necessity for most players. Aside from content that you can do on your own, if you plan to play with others, being able to join in on the end-game is going to be extremely beneficial, both in public groups and in guilds. And both of these are going to be gravitating more towards the latest and greatest changes and additions to the game, so being able to keep up is paramount. While there is in no doubt going to be chances to knock out the old end-game content without upgrading, the simple fact is that it is going to be so much more rare that more time will be spent trying to form up and/or waiting on groups than it is even worth. And even then, it will not have the same feel as it used to, being that there are going to be overgeared players taking part, making most of it a simple clear. Due to the focus Trion has put on the expansion, it is a simple choice: experience everything the game has to offer or mostly treat it as a somewhat social single player game. And for most of us out there, the latter isn’t why we’re playing to begin with.