A touch of Lovecraftian horror is coming to the world of RIFT. Locked deep in the cursed halls of Hammerknell fortress, a twisted high priest of an ancient water god teeters on the edge of awakening his sleeping master. The only thing that can stop him is you and 19 of your highest-level buddies in one of the most challenging raids in RIFT to date. During this year's E3, we got to tour this upcoming area and see some of the deadly enemies players will face.
Our tour began outside of Hammerknell fortress during stage four of this global, five-stage event. By this point, the planes of death and water were at each other's elemental throats. Their supernatural scuffle had produced disastrous effects on the world of Telara, culminating in a permanent rainstorm against a cloudy, purple sky. The raid itself started off with a bang as our character bombarded the doors of the fortress with magically infused cannonballs. Provisioning these cannonballs will be one of the many ways players can take part in this event outside of the Hammerknell fortress raid.
What followed next was a gauntlet of 10 deadly boss encounters, each with its own special tricks and traps to confound players expecting a more traditional raid. One of these encounters was against Estrode, a massive, winged humanoid enemy that looked not unlike a certain queen from StarCraft lore. It was explained that her fight involves a lot of devastating area-of-effect attacks that will be tricky to avoid given her arena's small size. Group coordination will be key to overcoming this encounter.
Another tricky fight we saw occurred toward the end of the raid. This time, we faced off against Jornaru, the high priest of the water god mentioned earlier. After beating this 10-foot-tall half-man, half-crustacean back into the water, we needed to give chase onto some crumbling stone platforms. These platforms will collapse into the deep after a certain amount of time, and any players caught flatfooted will be out of the fight for the rest of the raid. After fending off Jornaru a second time, we faced off against both him and his slumbering master.
Based on what we saw, this new raid looks down right brutal. Players who come out the victor will receive the best gear in the game, as well as plenty of secondary items. These include numerous vanity items, including a mount for one of the raid's early bosses. Players can sink their teeth into this challenging new content once the 1.3 is released on June 22.