Rifts are events that occur in the world of Telara and are one of the ways in which Trion has implemented their dynamic layered content system. Rifts can occur at random locations and at random moments in time. Usually they start out as tears in the fabric of reality and show up on the player’s map.
A player can activate a tear and in that way force a rift to open before the invading forces are ready to attack in full force. When left untouched tears will transform into Rifts by themselves and invading forces will attempt to establish a foothold in the world of Telara. Footholds can be used by the invading forces to expand their invasion and create new footholds. When invading forces are not stopped they will kill the inhabitants of Telara including questgivers. Rift invasions also change the landscape of Telara to resemble the plane from which the invaders launched their attack.
The invading forces come from the elemental planes that serve as prisons for the dragons of the Bloodstorm. Since there are six dragons imprisoned in six different planes, there are also six type of rifts that can open:
- Death rifts – A Death Rift forms dark tentacles in the air and corrupts the surrounding area with death. It gives surrounding monsters a purple aura. It spawns skeletons and other type of dark monsters
- Life rifts – A Life Rift manifests as a mass of vines and roots spilling into Telara, and is surrounded by a “lush oasis” of thickly-growing alien plants and new species of creatures.
- Fire rifts – A fire rift causes small volcanoes to emerge from the ground and burns grass and soil to leave ashen bedrock in the areas around the rift. Known monsters include Flamewrought Invaders, Fiery Invaders, and Unmerciful Embers
- Water rifts – A Water Rift floods the area around the rift, and effects the surrounding monsters with a blue aura. It spawns fish type humanoids and water elemental monsters
- Air rifts
- Earth rifts – An earth rift turns the surround lands arid and barren, and the monsters in the area are transformed, for example to golems. Known monsters include Crumblers and Shambling Zoisites
Denizens of different planes will also fight the invading forces from the other planes when they meet each other on Telara. Players can exploit different invasions by helping one side and then turning upon them when the other faction is annihilated. In this way the players reap the reward for closing two rifts.
Rifts will exist in different types of difficulty. So far a distinction between normal rifts and rifts designed for raids has been mentioned, but probably more types of rifts may be in the game at launch. Entering the elemental planes by players through the rifts is not part of the game for now.
The Rifts of Telara
Mysterious rifts are tearing the world of Telara apart. A powerful magic explosion during the final days of the Shade War has left the veil between Telara and other planar dimensions fractured and torn.
Treacherous and powerful, these rifts occur when another plane of reality intersects with the magical Ward protecting Telara. Rifts create doorways for planar invasion, destroying the lands and people of Telara, but they may also grant otherworldly power to those brave enough to seize it.
Now no part of Telara is truly safe. Invasions can occur anywhere and at any time, and the danger to the world is growing. Two major factions have emerged to save the world of Telara from the rifts: the Guardian and the Defiant. Each faction works in different ways to preserve Telara’s future, and both seek to undermine the other.
While little is known about the exact nature of the rifts, Telaran scholars, priests, and historians strive to unlock the mysteries of these massive portals. It is believed that the rifts are being caused by direct attacks on the magical Ward surrounding Telara. Regulos, the dragon god of extinction, seeks to free his imprisoned minions of the Blood Storm trapped deep inside Telara. These attacks weaken the veil and cause planar disruptions that open the destructive rifts across the world.
Often, rifts appear in the world as a tear in the fabric of reality. Powerful magic has been used to study these anomalies, and sometimes they have been opened inadvertently, resulting in great tragedy. But there is still much to learn from these destructive forces. Can riftic power be harnessed by sorcery? Can powerful beings enter the rifts to venture into the deadly planes beyond? How many planes really exist?
With rifts, only one thing is certain — if they are not stopped, the world of Telara will surely end.
Formation and Evolution
Rift events begin with tears, which can open to form rifts, which can spawn invasions. The invasion can then set up a foothold. The locations of tears, rifts, footholds and invasions are indicated on the player’s map.
Rift events begin from tears, areas where the ward between Telara and the planes is weakening. If left alone, tears will open into rifts on their own,
but they can be opened by players using a Planar Lure, and players will not know which plane will invade until the rift is opened.
Once the tear is opened, the energies from the otherworldly plane begin to transform the area around the rift, including both flora and fauna. Bizarre effects begin swirling around, the color of the air and earth change, the area sounds different, and new objects (or changed existing ones),such as alien flora, appear scattered about.
Rifts spawn creatures which players have to combat in order to seal the rift. The creatures come out in waves, growing stronger and stronger, and sometimes appearing with certain conditions like requiring players to meet a certain quota of kills or doing it under a time limit. Upon completing the challenges (see: Heroic Quests), players are rewarded for their participation. The more you participate, the better your reward, and some rewards may be rift-specific.
Rifts spawn invasions, where the monsters from the rift venture into the world to create footholds “from which more invasions can spawn”. The invaders may attack other rifts or mount an attack on a target such as a town; if a town is taken over by an invasion, the NPCs of that town will not be present until players take the town back. Invasions from different plane types will also attack each other if they meet, and rifts of the same type will assist each other if they are in the same area.
If the invasion is not stopped, it will create a foothold, which can be seen as a base set up by the plane itself, which will expand further.
In the future, players may be able to invade rifts and go into them.
Players receive rewards directly for combating rifts, so there will be no “random rolling” for rewards. Players earn contribution via effort for “doing stuff to help win the rift”, including healing, buffing, holding aggro, and dealing damage; effort will be adjusted by a player’s level so a higher level player will not always contribute more than a lower-level player.
The more contribution a player has, the better his rewards will be; the level of rewards are scaled to the level of the rift. The best rewards are obtained from the unstable stages of a rift, which get players “into higher contribution categories”; more players are needed to “finish all the unstable stages”. Major rifts, which spawn naturally as opposed to being opened by players, offer better rewards. Rewards obtained from rift events include equipment so a player who only plays rift content “won’t fall behind”; some equipment are unique to rift events.
Group effort is encouraged in dealing with rifts, for example not completing stages fast enough can decrease the rewards obtained from the rift. However, while there is no limit to the number of players taking part in a rift event, there is a limit to the number of high-quality rewards players can obtain from the event. It also appears that contributing to sealing a rift gives players faction reputation: Guardians earn reputation with the Mendicant Order.