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Elder Scrolls Off the Record 148: The Mod Debacle

April 29th, 2015 Posted by Elder Scrolls Off The Record - Elder Scrolls Off The Record An Elder Scrolls Online & Elder Scrolls Podcast, Podcasts 1 comment

Probably one of the most important discussions the Elder Scrolls community has had with itself in years, “Paying for Mods on Steam”. Over the weekend, Valve and Bethesda implemented and then quickly dumped the idea of paying for mods on the Steam Workshop. In our second hour, we chronicle the events that carried this story to its bitter end and how the community worked together to tell Bethesda and Valve that this is something we feel strongly about. Our first hour is spent in gameplay, as we discuss what we did this week in Skyrim, Elder Scrolls Online, Oblivion and event Daggerfall! We recommend two mods in our Crafting Table and read your emails and comments later on toward the end of the show. There’s so much more for you, do enjoy!
Elder Scrolls Off the Record 148: The Mod Debacle
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RIFT Is Using Your Data (in A Good way)

November 21st, 2013 Posted by News Archive No Comment yet

You may be aware that game companies (and many other companies actually) sometimes use data you provide them or they mine in order to figure out how to best make money off of you. Whether it’s placing banner ads on webpages that you are sure to like, or by offering micro-transactions in a game that just seem perfectly suited to you, this practice is nothing new.

But the folks at Trion Worlds say they use your data, not explicitly for money-making purposes, but to make the game better for you.

A post by Barish Orhon, who says he is “the head of a group of talented gurus of the data at Trion Worlds”, on the RIFT forums revealed some insight into how Trion uses that data, and what you can expect to see as a result. I have pulled some of the more interesting quotes for you below, but would encourage you to visit the site for the full post, as it is very lengthy, yet informative. The post even has a case study and a chart that shows a daily activity report for the act of harvesting artifacts.

At Trion, we use the raw power of data for a very different purpose: we want to build a better game experience.

At Trion, we have 3 different main sources of data for any of our games. We have the game databases that store everything that the game cares about, like your characters, our platform database that contains all details about your account and a log event system capable of capturing live in-game events as they occur.

The designers are the experts on why, and we don’t pretend that data has the answer to that – But we can answer key questions for them, likehow many, and how often, to help them in their decision making. We see something like x number of users played Rift yesterday and of this base, y% participated in a normal dungeon, whereas z% participated in PvP. Depending on the timeframe, this might tell us which is the prevailing activity in-game.

HOW DATA HELPED GIVE FREEMARCH & SILVERWOOD A FACE-LIFT

In late 2011, we did a deep dive to find out why players were leaving RIFT. We found a very interesting fact: there was a higher rate of players leaving between levels 7 and 14: players were getting through the tutorial and into the main world but not progressing much further. We took this information to the development team who went into the game and look a hard look at what was going on in areas we had highlighted. The team found that by spreading out our large groups of creatures, we could make running paths less congested and more manageable to a new players. We also modified the quest flow to minimize backtracking and improved the flow and difficultly of the early experience. While the design team did the heavy lifting to research and implement the gameplay decisions that improved the Freemarch and Silverwood experience, that work would have been far more difficult without being identified by the power of our data.

RIFT Making Some Changes, Are You Holding Your Breath?

November 21st, 2013 Posted by News Archive No Comment yet

Last week we learned that the Mage and Cleric classes had some big changes coming their way to RIFT, namely some major overhauls to the Warlock soul. The team at Trion wants to Warlock to be “a high sustained damage soul with low burst. You’ll do consistent damage, but without the spikes that souls such as Pyromancer have.” Clerics will see improvements to Renewal, Ripple, Glassy Reflection, and more.

So if you play these classes you are probably either excited or skeptical of what’s to come. When game developers make changes to your favorite classes there’s always the chance that they will be rendered useless, overpowered, or flat-out unplayable. While the proposed changes don’t appear to be anything major that might cause this to happen in this case, it begs the question: where’s the limit?

History is full of examples where classes were tweaked, or “nerfed” to the point of making them not nearly as fun to play as they once were. My favorite example is the Amazon class from Diablo 2. I forget now what the skill was called, but for the longest time she was awesome to play because of her quick, three-strike javelin attack. In quick succession, the Amazon could strike her opponents three times, and the results were often amazing. This single attack, once leveled up and maxed out, was enough to fend off most of the general enemies and even some of the tougher ones without needing a whole lot else in your arsenal. Eventually, Blizzard decided she was too overpowered, and slowed that attack drastically. In the end, my favorite attack was no longer useful as anything more than just another skill to choose from. It made not only the Amazon character, but the entire game of Diablo 2 (which I had put hundreds of hours into), entirely unplayable (for me).

Will this happen in this patch or some future patch down the road for RIFT? Hopefully not, but even if it does, the folks at Trion seem to be a little more attentive and responsive to the thoughts and requests of the fans. So if something gets changed you’re not happy about, be sure to let them know on the forums. State your opinions in a clear and level-headed way, give reasonings and examples to back them up, and you just might get things changed. Never yell or call the developers names, because then you can certainly expect to be ignored.

We all love RIFT for a wide variety of reasons, but most of us fall in love with certain characters. It’s these characters, and the unique way we build them throughout the game, that makes games like RIFT playable for so long. Let’s give Trion the benefit of the doubt that they are working hard to make the game better for you, and look forward to what the future holds.

Rift OTR Episode 12: Corgi

November 3rd, 2013 Posted by Podcasts, Rift Off The Record No Comment yet

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In this Episode we talk a little more about patch 2.5, Landon’s weird fear of water and spiders, Corgi! and much more.

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Episode 12: Corgi
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Rift OTR Episode 11: SQUIRREL!

October 27th, 2013 Posted by Podcasts, Rift Off The Record No Comment yet

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This week we talk about Squirrel mounts and go over some of the recent news topics from the live Q&A with Scott Hartsman and also this week’s livestream extravaganza. Later on we talk a bit about our week in game and break down some of those MMO terms that may have newcomers baffled in chat!

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Episode 11: SQUIRREL!
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Get Your Squirrel Mount in RIFT Today!

October 25th, 2013 Posted by News Archive 1 comment

If you’ve ever dreamed of picking up one of those adorable little squirrels you see scurrying around your yard and throwing a saddle on it so you can ride it around town to prove to the world how epic you are (and let’s face it, who HASN’T dreamed of that?), then Trion has good news for you!

A fan on Twitter (@RIFTDream) sent out a picture showing off a couple varieties of the two new squirrel mounts, and Trion’s Director of Community Elizabeth (AKA @dahanese on Twitter) Tobey followed suit. Based on the cute and fuzzy pictures, it’s pretty clear what your new favorite mount is going to be.

photo 3 photo 1

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The brown squirrel is available on the RIFT in-game store for 2,700 credits, but the black one can only be acquired through the purchase of a Regulos’s Trove lockbox between now and November 1. The box costs 630 credits and contains a chance at Tier 1 raid accessories or the black squirrel mount.

Have you purchased the brown squirrel mount or had any luck finding the black version? Let us know in the comments below, and share your screenshots with us on Twitter @RiftOTR.

Rift OTR Episode 10: Snowmen Suck

October 20th, 2013 Posted by Podcasts, Rift Off The Record No Comment yet

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This week we say goodbye to Dave (for now) but welcome our news reporter, Landon on as guest. We cover the Autumn Harvest and give you our opinions as how Trion is doing so far with one of their year’s biggest events. Also part 2 of our “How to be the worst player in Rift” and we giveaway another Toxic Hellbug to our live chat room

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Episode 10: Snowmen Suck
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Rift OTR Episode 9: Warrior

October 13th, 2013 Posted by Podcasts, Rift Off The Record No Comment yet

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The crew presents this week’s major headlines, including potential changes to melee pvp souls and the annoucement of Autumn Harvest! We have your patch notes for this week, our week in game, we give away a toxic hellbug mount and we explain to newcomers what they can expect from seasonal world events such as the upcoming Autumn Harvest

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Episode 9: Warrior
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Rift OTR Episode 8: Mathosia Mayhem

October 6th, 2013 Posted by Podcasts, Rift Off The Record No Comment yet

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In this epiosde we have a special guest: Lou from Elder Scrolls off the record who joins us for our talk about the new event Mayhem in Mathosia as well as the Dress the Night Away contest! We talk about our play in rift for the week and go over the Cleric souls!

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Episode 8: Methosia Mayhem
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Rift OTR Episode 7: Kicken it with Cates

September 29th, 2013 Posted by Podcasts, Rift Off The Record No Comment yet

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This week we interview Snr Designer, Chris Cates on 2.4 and beyond. We also feature the Auction House in our guide section plus this week’s news in rift and our gameplay!

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Episode 7: Kicken it with Cates
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