Put away your sword: pacifist-friendly content en route to Rift
We just talked about the brand new raid coming to Rift, and the hundreds of people trapped inside that you'd be murdering. But it's not all blood and guts in Rift's next patch: a major focus of the update is adding "non-stabby" content to the game, including competitive leaderboards and Fishing, Trapping, and Survival skills.
But the big addition, at least for competitive people like me, is the score of leaderboards being added, which will track almost everything in the game. The devs estimated there are 60-80 of them, and they tracks anything from items crafted or sold to the fastest dungeon runs to the most rare monsters killed. These leaderboards will be broken up into different divisions and ranks, much like StarCraft II's PvP ranking system. And don't worry—each of the leaderboard rankings are tracked separately, so just because you're a pro at fishing doesn't mean your PvP stats be compared against the best brawlers around.
"Best at PvP you say? Explain yourself!" Yep, Fishing is finally coming to Rift in patch 1.8, due out early April. The developers want the experience to land somewhere between WoW's simple fishing experience (click a bobber when it moves) and complex fishing sims (lean the pole left, now right, now hook!). The goal of this "auxiliary activity" is to create a casual minigame that's relaxing and rewards better playing with better rewards. In a clever change from WoW's fishing, you'll be able to purchase specific bait to catch specific types of fish/other things that you're looking for.
The other big gathering skill being added is Trapping. In a kind of bizarre twist, you'll set your traps in an area of the world that you want to collect animals from and leave them there, only checking on them from time to time to see if you've caught anything. One example given was setting traps in a forest to catch a fire squirrel. Thankfully, your traps will only be visible to you, so no one can steal your captured critters, and you won't see a forest overflowing with nothing but traps.
The final skill being added is Survival, which lets you cook those crispy critters your caught with Trapping and build tents and other utility items to "help people on adventures." I love secondary activities like this in my MMOs, so I'll definitely be trying it out, even though it's not entirely clear what exact benefits these tools will provide players on the go.
Patch 1.8 is due out in April, although the devs warned that they'll likely delay Trapping to a following update. They also teased some of their ideas for future additions to their "non-stabby" content, including more social gatherings like their recent wedding system. In particular they mentioned wanting to add birthday parties, guild taverns, and other places for celebrations and training.