Forget zones and races and dynamic events -- today at Ten Ton Hammer, the crowd finally got the Rift: Planes of Telara dev team to open up about the outfits that constitute a bulk of the rewards of the game. In this reader Q&A, Game System Designer Drew Clowery tackled numerous questions about Rift's gear. Rift will launch with 48 armor set models -- each boasting a number of variants and texture options -- but will not initially offer armor set bonuses.
Veteran MMO gamers will feel at home with Rift's armor system, which is restricted by class (warriors will be able to wear heavier armor than rogues, for example) and can be bound on pickup or equip. Loot comes in one of four levels of rarity -- common, uncommon, rare and epic -- based on its utility and difficulty to attain. Crafted gear will be competitive (and apparently customizable) to dropped gear. And finally, Rift will not launch with an appearance system that replaces the look of worn gear with cosmetic items.
Clowery feels that the team has struck a good balance between loot being useful and being a barrier: "Loot is an important part of our game, and so it has to have an important impact upon the characters. That said, it's not completely overwhelming... We don't design encounters to be gear checks. We design them to see if you can get together and do this."