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RIFT: Starfall Prophecy – the FAIL continues – the dire state of Trion World’s MMORPG – broken guilds, content [OPINION]

January 22, 2017
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UPDATES: UP TO 25 FEB 2017
Just when you think Trion can’t be any worse? They delay patch 4.1 (you know, the RAID that was touted as an expansion feature) for ANOTHER MONTH. #epicfail

UPDATES: UP TO 24 FEB 2017
The writer visits the forums less and less – some things people are complaining about as the game declines further.

– LFR still not working properly – Junior Dev team? must be – they seem to have just given up on it.
– You can now PAY REAL CASH FOR MORE LOOT ROLES IN CRAFTING RIFTS as well as “RAIDS” – Dev shuts thread down – CLICK HERE
– Fortress Siege Event – seems the only time to finish it is on RAID RESET day – Wednesday and then, when only 100 people (that’s from a pool of every person from every server in one zone on one server) – it’s too laggy – with people complaining of up to 10 second ability lag. CLICK HERE
– Plat Farming nerfed further – more trash mobs had loot disabled – no incentive to kill trash mobs. New LFR “raid” apparently has had ALL trash mobs removed. CLICK HERE

– More progression guilds quit – because there’s nothing in the game any more to progress too? CLICK HERE 
– Had to add this: Amused some die-hard members (like 5 or so) of the writers old guild went to another Trion Game, Archeage while waiting for content – in this writers opinion that’s akin to sticking your fingers across the earth and live in a plug socket, almost getting electrocuted and then sticking them in earth and neutral thinking “it’ll all be okay”

18 Jan 2017 – There is sometimes a need to warn consumers from making a bad purchase of an incomplete product by a company that appears to have bitten off more than it can chew – after happily taken pre-orders, delivering (according to many) way below expectations and then refusing refunds. This is one of those times. This writer will continue reporting and critiquing on the failings of this product, their dev team, their CM, PR and ethics of their business model, their refund policies until such time as he and others are offered and have received full, unconditional refunds for being misled into purchasing not only the DLC, but also additional products to supposedly “enhance” play experience, subscriptions in anticipation of a polished, quality product which many now perceive released as buggy, incomplete and misrepresented.

So, the writer went on to a surprisingly empty guild RIFT Team Speak server last night finding out the last stalwart members of a 6 year old guild had quit. It’s been a while since he looked at the forums as he deleted all the characters on his account on a live stream (both regions) and called it a day with RIFT. It is, however, tragic, laughable comedic gold to see just how bad this game has become in terms of product quality assurance as well as lack of content compared to it being the bold, fresh blue-eyed favourite MMORPG underdog on launch in 2011.

It seems only one TWITCH streamer, Seshatar is really playing RIFT and appears HEAVILY sponsored if the 167,000 (almost US$2000 worth of credits) are something to go by – so be wary of an “unbiased” opinion when watching his or other “positive reviews of RIFT” streams. The writer was there recently and he pretty much fully recommends people to play the game in its current state and we don’t believe we see an easily visible disclaimer that he is sponsored anywhere. The writer is by no means saying he is being paid to be positive and promote, recommend the game, but with that number of credits, makes you wonder, right – all that Trion Worlds TWITCH “hosted channel time”, must be out of the goodness of their hearts, we’re sure? Also, what’s the motive for promoting a game that is NOT making your channel grow? Why put in the effort? Click the thumbnail image on the left for a larger image.

Considering most of the positive reviews on this expansion appear to be “sponsored” on YouTube (at least some of the guys post it’s sponsored under their videos and mention it at the front of each video), I really liked Seatin’s approach. One comment summed it up – to paraphrase: “You look like you’re holding back bursting out in laughter” and he did re-iterate a lot more than the other YouTubers: “Guys, this is sponsored! Remember that!”

Grim RIFT Gaming – not seen any mention of sponsorships under his videos, but this?

someone needs to bring this to the MMORPG communities attention until Trion relent and give refunds for their DLC, for what he feels, and others, is a grossly misrepresented, incomplete, buggy product.

Today – and part of the motivation for this post / update – a promised feature of the RIFT:Starfall Prophecy DLC, the Fortress sieges were FINALLY released with a one-boss “raid” that unlocks “if” you manage to overcome the lag, bugs and complete the Zone Event. Yes, the much hyped, feature, “Fortress Sieges” turned out to be nothing more than a zone event with what now appears to be a rapidly slapped together 10 man raid with ONE boss that doesn’t even have animations OR mechanics that work correctly.

Released today. Disabled today. Not working. No Quality Assurance???

UPDATE: 21 Jan 2017 – It has been down, then up, then down. LFR appears so badly broken that it appears to now have been completely disabled. Crashed servers 4 times in a row. They tried disabling the event and just enable the one-man event boss raid and first LFR was working erratically. Then the servers started crashing. So, everything is now disabled. We guess putting 7 servers on ONE and calling it “Load Balancing” just wasn’t such a bright idea, ay? Even funnier? They used the wrong type of integer in the boss health and it looped over from a few billion HP to “1 HP”. It appears to an outsider that the RIFT “A” team are gone and some novices are working on trying to hold it all together – and failing – often and badly.
THREAD: LFR is bust
THREAD: SHARDS DOWN?


All images and forum quotes used are clipped from public forums available on the internet.

The irony of all this is that this EXACT same thing caused issues when they attempted it in the last expansion as one customer points out on the forums when the Trion world’s CM tries to make excuses:

From this writers experience, Trion servers have never been able to handle more than a few dozen people on the screen at once without excessive lag, now with their so-called (and incorrectly termed) “load balancing” – where EVERYONE is put on one server, the issue is compounded. Even with the limited number of players in the game, putting ALL the shards on one server is a cataclysmically dumb idea.

The absurdity doesn’t end there – it extends to the forums. About 1/2 a dozen die-hard RIFT White Knights make their appearance on the forums, but there is so little activity, it’s laughable. Who do these White Knights blame? The players – for not going on the Public Test Shard. Even CM, TrionBrasse intimated the same thing “if we had more players on the PTS…” – that the player’s lack of participation on the PTS were at fault.

Yes, customers – you pay for the the most grindy, dull, lack-lustre RIFT expansion (in the opinion of this writer and others who’ve left) ever released by Trion Worlds and “you”, the customer must pay for the game AND test it. Honestly, with comments like this, do these people expect us to believe with this rationale that there aren’t paid shills working for this game company? With the game in the state it is in, defending this game is just plain absurd at this point.

Players were complaining of incredible lag. People are completely confused because it apparently wasn’t so laggy on the Public Test Shard. NEWSFLASH! RIFT appears to work best when there are not really many people playing it.  It appears (once again) no Quality Assurance was done and content was rushed out as a “live beta” test. THREAD: Obligatory Fortress Siege complaint thread (official thread has now been, you guessed it, CLOSED)

This DLC was sold for pre-order. It was claimed to be EIGHTEEN months in development prior to release. Exactly how much does any rational person think is going to get fixed in a month, or two or four?

Thread: Fortress Seige and LFR released…. guess what’s broken?!?

To top it off, they brought in a stupendously dumb system that is open to horrendous abuse called “RAID KARMA” where your fellow raiders can downvote or upvote you based on how they feel about your performance in a raid and this affects your queuing time. Anonymous PuG person in a raid group? Nothing can go wrong. Sure. As usual, the DEV’s / Trion knows best, the players… are not so happy THREAD: Raid Karma – the idiocy of this decision is probably only surpassed by whatever dev moron decided to include Planar Fragments in the game and expected to balance classes around an RNG element. Top men working the game, no doubt. Top…men.

Not only this, Trion consistently fail at realizing that programmers / devs are not good at building relationships and talking to customers or developing social systems (or apparently having any decent quality assurance).

They just don’t learn. They’re like young toddlers sticking a finger into an electrical plug socket and then going back to try a different finger. Besides the abuse that the system is probably open to, this writer would be terrified to see if the code that does the upvoting/downvoting actually works? It’s not like the RIFT devs have a good track record for releasing non bugged content lately.

What the writer would love to know is what simpleton decided to waste resources on this feature when the 10 man raid that was promised isn’t even in the game yet? We can only assume probably the same guy that decided to fix content in the previous expansion in the latest patch notes? Yes, they decided to fix spawning of some bosses in RIFT 3.0 – only two years late. This poor guy may be in for a “heckuva wait” – he’s been bumping his request for over three months now – at least it’s not like the rogue animation/weapon delay – what is it? two years now?

Damage control appears to be reaching epic desperation levels on the forums. The most recent thing touted as being worked on? A rehash of a 5 man dungeon from the previous expansion. Not vanilla. Not Storm Legion. The last expansion 3.0 – you know, a dungeon that people had been running for TWO YEARS prior to this new 4.0 expansion? These are the sort of game design decisions going on in RIFT at the moment. Comedic gold, like this writer said. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad that people forked over hard-earned cash for this expansion.

THREAD: Really, This is the idea of new content?

In light of how he was treated by Trion World’s CM, he confesses that he look back on this increasing failure by Trion Worlds to get anything “right” with a smug sense of “I told you so” towards his die-hard guildies as he told them before he left that this is what would happen even partly shouting at a guy in TeamSpeak: “Rift raiding is dead. It’s dead, man! It’s a farmville social dimension building type game in its future! RAIDING is dead. RAIDING GUILDS ARE DEAD!”

While he feels vindicated with his assumptions, it’s a bitter-sweet sensation, though, because whole guilds, communities are being ripped apart (THREAD: Raiders Anyone ?) by an apparent apathy, dismissive, deflective downplaying of the failure of the “new” Starfall Prophecy DLC on the part of RIFT Trion Worlds Community team and dev’s.

The comedy / satire / memes on the forums are pure gold:

TrionBrasse’s Community “Disconnect”

Not only that, recently she thought it would be a good idea to not take “Private Messages” from the community – like ALL her predecessors used to. Note the LIKEs on his post. There were many more people that expressed disbelief at her trying to PUNT sales in a thread complaining about the state of the game. Many just perceived her as blatantly shameless and dismissive of their concerns!

THREAD: Raiders Anyone ? <- it will probably be censored/deleted eventually

THREAD: Have We Been Set Adrift? <- ditto

THREAD: DEVS – Are you listening? <- ditto

THREAD: Can Rift be saved? <- ditto

THREAD: Just cant do it anymore. <- ditto – in this thread people are complaining, so what does the Community Director TrionBrasse do? Tries to plug a “special sale”. Yes, people are expressing dissatisfaction and she is trying to sell more of a product people feel upset about. Disconnect, much?

THREAD: Can I Have My Money Back? <- ditto

Some people on the forums have suggested calling it Nightmare Tide 2, Some people have coined the word, RIFT: StarFAIL prophecy, and recently “Starfail Profiting”, but this writer thinks “starfall” is an adequate name – except it’s a star plummeting into a friggin’ black hole.

According to RIFT steam charts, there are currently less people logging on now than BEFORE the expansion was released – in the “dull drum” quiet period that any MMORPG experiences leading up to an expansion. Yes, there are LESS people playing now than when everyone was taking a break in anticipation of new content!

Even die-hard RIFT fans are saying: “this is it, endgame for Trion World’s RIFT”

People expected more from the B2P expansion. They were promised less, but “polished” content. They certainly got less, considerably less, but we’re still waiting for Mr Miyagi to explain to the RIFT devs what “polish” means.

Not only that, one Dev promised players would be “swimming” in plat, yet they continue to nerf drop rates of materials, nerf earlier ways to earn plat in-game and there seems to be a desperate attempt to make everything and anything use RNG to maximize plat sink. Even items you purchase from reputation vendors are not a guaranteed item, but a “chance” at an item. RNG is everywhere and you have a cap on in-game currency to buy these rep vendor items – unless you have a large wallet – then you can buy as much as you want. P2W? Many think so. Crafting is pretty much just a plat sink with no logical reasoning really behind the stats needed to enter dungeons. You can craft gear that makes you “hit capped” or from world drops to get gear that doesn’t advance you beyond hit cap.

The RIFT:Starfall Prophecy DLC was released unfinished, unpolished on release with about 1/2 the DLC content disabled, or buggy. Judging by this thread, masses of people are leaving the game. Guilds that have been the stalwarts of the community since 2011 are crumbling and folding.

The Community Manager appears to have just “given up” actually encouraging people to make memes – with a not-so-subtle threat and warning. Make memes, BUT… make them nice memes?

If there was more of a community left, I think meme’s would be more rife, but there is just only so much you can say when faced when buggy content appears to be the new “norm”. Player dissatisfaction is everywhere. Most players appear to have just given up, accepted their loss and moved on.

Game Guild Masters are basically begging, pleading to Trion to save their guilds. The thing that drew many World of Warcraft players to RIFT in 2011 is now the thing most lacking in the game. If you’re content making pretty dimensions (RIFT’s versions of player housing), sure there’s stuff to do. Beyond that? Not much. Two dungeons were basically in at release. They crashed. They are still so easy that some bosses don’t even require a healer. Class balance is so bad that dev’s have, in one thread asked players to let them know “which class feels OverPowered” – this is months after the expansion was released. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s pure comedy.

Minions, a mini-card game which actually had nothing to really do with the expansion was disabled on release day. Two months later, some crafting recipes are still not all working. Some item procs didn’t – and probably still don’t work. An item that was reported by “yours truly” in the first week of the DLC release (November 2016) is STILL not apparently fixed.

In an obvious attempt to make the game APPEAR busier, devs released a feature called “load balancing”, but it is load balancing like no other ever seen in a game. Instead of spreading multiple people across servers? It lumps EVERYONE on one server. The other servers? Almost no-one there.

Some guy on the forums even tried to explain load balancing to the devs – even drew pictures to help them understand what it is THREAD: Let’s talk: ‘Load Balancing’ – the writer doubts anyone who thought Planar Fragments were a good idea would even understand a picture – maybe dolls and other visual aids?

It ended up probably being the cause that Planar Assault Adventures had to be shut down. PvE players were put on PvP shards and vice versa. They should just call the shards “clusters” because this was a CLUSTERF**KED idea.

Over two months later, the 10 man raid that was promised is not in the game. Instead, an apparent slap-dash effort was rapidly put together. 5 Zones were promised. Only 4 in the game.

The writer quit the game a month or so ago. Most of his guild and ex buddies from RIFT, however, are pretty content with the new content (NOT! – see caveat below).

UPDATE 24 Jan 2017 – Meteorblade, one of my favourite people in-game, on chat, a guy who this writer liked because he stated his opinion (loudly) and made him see both sides of an argument quit today as well and followed the same route – DELETED EVERYTHING. Rift is shaping up to be an average dimension / player housing game – and not much else.

Oh, yeah… one caveat –  did he mention most (EU & NA) are playing and enjoying content in World of Warcraft: Legion, Guild Wars 2, Planet Side 2, Final Fantasy XIV – basically anything else but RIFT.  Click the thumbnail pic on the left for the full screen display of an example of a “really” active RIFT guild discord server.

UPDATE: 08 FEB 2017 – one  GM of NA RIFT guild asked to censor his guildies names – I didn’t have too as they don’t reveal personal info (just gamer names), but I obliged. I assume this is due to his closeness with the Trion Dev Discord. Ironically, he seems to be the only GM playing RIFT – the other GM seems to have lost interest. I was intending on posting the doomsday letter he posted for all guildies on 31 Jan 2017 – of a guild in despair as well, but I’ll hold back on that for now as my interest in updating this, like many others, is waning. I reserve all rights to re-post.

It is now 18 days into 2017. RIFT’s producer, Chris “Archonix” Junior has yet to release a “Producers Letter” – You know why? According the the Rift Community Director, Linda “Brasse” Carlson (who I doubt could actually even direct traffic, let alone a community), there is no plan for 2017 yet.

“when Archanix has the 2017 plan in place” – we hope that this plan includes the content PAID FOR in the RIFT:Starfall Prophecy expansion that still hasn’t been delivered. That’s correct – it’s 22nd of January 2017 and NO PLAN for 2017 appears to have been formulated, yet. RIFT currently appears to not only be a badly patched, termite infested boat filling up fast with water, but it appears rudderless and the captain has been left on the shore on vacation leave.

Oh, and don’t try to be critical – threads just get shut down, heavy moderation, and if you are a “naughty boy” and say stuff TrionBrasse doesn’t like? Threats that she is “she is sending mods, has reported people to a thread” to bring it under control.

The fact that this game was released in such a shoddy state, that the company changed their policy on refunds – in spite of an obviously unfinished, unpolished product is just plain despicable.

In this writer’s opinion, if you actually bought Starfall Prophecy, you’re not a customer. You’re a victim. That’s certainly how he and many others that he knew in-game feel – NO REFUNDS!

One last thing: The writer confesses to a profound confusion that the site MMORPG.com has regularly awarded Trion World’s RIFT awards – the most recent? RIFT: Starfall Prophecy. He would love to know the basis for their recent “award” based on the state of the game at present and perhaps would urge readers not to maybe put too much value on their awards in future. He will certainly disregard them and take them with a pinch of salt – not to mention, a healthy dose of suspicion – especially in light of the fact that most of the positive YouTube videos on RIFT:Starfall Prophecy appear to all be sponsored. Perhaps they were sold marketing hype? Who knows?

Personally, the writer and many others rate this game the worst MMORPG of 2017.

This writers advise to anyone reading or watching any positive reviews or gameplay videos on RIFT:Starfall Prophecy? Look for the “this is a sponsored video/review” disclaimer.

He seriously questions the credibility of reviewers of this game on metacritic – the backlash of this game has been extreme – see if you agree here: METACRITIC REVIEW

 

 

A few sites are at least were initially reporting issues with RIFT:Starfall Prophecy

Massively OverPowered: RIFT RESPONDS TO PLAYERS WHO SAY STARFALL PROPHECY’S LAUNCH WAS A ‘MESS’ – it must be noted that almost no significant content was added or changes since this article despite promises from RIFT’s community ambassador – two months later!

MMOSITE: Rift Starfall Prophecy Gets Off to Rocky Start

 

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