Rift: Storm Legion is Revealed

With the first Rift expansion, Trion Worlds sets out to prove that bigger really is better.

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Let’s say you are the developer of a massive online role-playing game, and you want to give the players everything they want, and even more. What do you do?

You make your world even more massive.

And so popular MMOG Rift is to soon become even broader: developer Trion Worlds is crafting a full expansion, called Rift: Storm Legion. Just how vast will the world of Telara become upon the expansion’s release? We chatted with Executive Producer Scott Hartsman, who told us that the team is going all out in terms of virtual real estate. Storm Legion comes with not just one, but two entire continents; all told, Rift will more than triple in size. And of course, with new space comes new content.

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Of these two continents, Dusken is the more fearsome. It’s a dark place, where death figures prominently in the world and the story; the themes are closer to horror than anything Rift has explored in the past. This is as it should be: it’s here that you follow the story of Regulos, the dragon god that hails from the plane of death. The other continent, Brevane, isn’t so obviously terrifying, though it’s no less vital. It’s on this continent, in The Eternal City, that Telaran civilization developed, though the warring factions that reside there aren’t necessarily always civilized.

Rift will more than triple in size.

Both continents are to feature epic story content, and Trion Worlds continues to move away from the exclamation point as the primary means of delivering quests. The instant adventures that began with patch 1.6.1 shall continue into the new lands, so at any moment, you can press a few keys and be instantly transported to an action-heavy zone where a number of objectives and tremendous battles await. Rift’s story shall be told through such adventures, as well as new world and zone events.

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Storm Legion also brings with it a new city to call home: Tempest Bay, a bastion for both Guardians and The Defiant. The expansion also brings with it a brand new soul for each calling, though Hartsman was frustratingly (and charmingly) mum on just what these souls may be. Of course, souls are the cornerstone of character advancement in Rift, and Hartsman was at least forthcoming about the the team’s philosophy regarding souls: make them fun and interesting, give players new mechanics to use, create enjoyable new combinations that didn’t exist before, and synergize with souls and callings that needed a bit of a boost.

Like so many expansions, Rift: Storm Legion is about more, more, and even more. There’s a new level cap (60, up 10 levels), new dungeons, new raids (2, to be exact), and a new Chronicle (that is, a challenging, story-driven instance). There are individual stories to be told in each of these content types, though they culminate in Storm Legion’s primary narrative arc, which involves Crucia, the Queen of Storms, and the legions she hopes to bring to Telara through the mysterious Infinity Gate.

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Of course, zone events continue to be a core element of Rift’s popularity. These will be leveled up to suit Storm Legion’s new areas and level cap. More importantly, a new creature--the colossus--will attempt to ravage the land. Facing such a beast will be an exciting prospect: it’s a hundred times more massive than an individual player. It climbs bridges, knocks down walls, and interacts with the world in ways Hartsman says no MMOG has yet accomplished. We haven’t seen any such legendary battle yet, but the wait is short: Trion Worlds will be showing off colossus battles next week at E3 2012.

Rift: Storm Legion is about more, more, and even more.

Other additions relate more to Rift’s social aspects than to its battles. Capes are coming, for instance, along with player areas called dimensions that function somewhat like player housing in other MMOGs. Let’s say you rested at a Telaran inn that overlooked a shimmering waterfall. How great would it be to claim that inn for you and your guildmates? What if there was a parallel universe, where you could decorate it and furnish your inn just as you wanted? That is precisely what dimensions will offer: a way to own your very own corner of a very big game.

More mounts. More tradeskills. More pets. Trion Worlds intends to give players what they wanted in an expansion and then some. The team has certainly proven that they know how to steal away dozens upon dozens of your precious hours. Should they have their way, Rift: Storm Legion will steal away many more. Expect to lose more sleep in fall of 2012.

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johnwck90

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Edited By johnwck90

I tried Rift, played the lite then picked up a new game with a month's subscription and levelled to 50. It bored me to tears but I was determined to play it to the level cap. It is excruciatingly reminiscent of early WoW and made me realise why they nerfed WoW so much since it was so tedious to play but at the time I was new to on-line gaming and persevered. Rift has the usual major flaw of on-line games: people won't interact very much, let alone cooperate. The culture of the game is far superior to WoW, a lot like Star Wars was, it seems the lower the player base the more civilised the people. I found myself just running past the Rifts (since combat took me forever and it was tedious for me to kill a lot of mobs) just as I skipped the video clips in Star Wars! Seems whatever major development designers implement after two hours I am skipping it just to look on my map and go to the next quest! I really think developers need to develop some kind of mechanism just for people to group for quests so you just group up a bit like left 4 dead 2. I found Rift and Star Wars solo experiences bereft of cooperative play. Am I the only gamer who wants to use on-line games as a source of conversation and companionship?

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Blackcat2000

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Edited By Blackcat2000

This is kind of disappointing. I would have hoped RIFT would go back to the original design that they talked about in beta. Having a world that would be dynamically affected by the rift invasions. Like If the Plane of Death consistently succeeded in invading then the zone would start to take on a look and get quests to save it related to aspects of the plane.

They seem to be following typical MMO expansion and that will mean more dead areas as everyone moves to the new area. I would have hoped they would introduced mechanics that involved more running around the whole of the game world saving the day from rift attacks.

The world events are a step in the right direction, but if winning or losing them has a zero sum effect on the zone then it tragic missed opportunity to capture the spirit of what they said in the beta.

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jinseinoseikou

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Edited By jinseinoseikou

The game has been changing in many good ways, and unlike many other developers, they listen to their community and add what players want, on top of their own master design.

They've also added more killer patches compared to most other MMO's. Most game patches aren't as massive as theirs. World of Warcraft could have many months until one patch that only adds a few tweaks and additions and a raid. And it took Blizzard nearly 2 and 1/2 years to release one expansion. I use them as comparison, because they're still the heavyweight, unfortunately. Bioware has somewhat the right idea with Old Republic and they're already going onto patch 1.3 and it came out in December, but the Old Republic also had a rocky launch (I know, I was there on early access and in beta before it), so they have a lot to fix and add before it keeps players.

Rift lost a player base when Old Republic came out, but within a few months, people were pouring back. As many know, Old Republic has already lost nearly half a million subscribers. It's logical to assume an MMO will go down, but that fast? I bet though as soon as they have more end-game content options though there will be players flocking back. One reason Rift is so popular to MMO seekers is it's not the regular formula on only raids, heroic dungeons, and perhaps endless hours/pawnings in PvP Battlegrounds/Warzones. It has a lot to offer, especially with Planar Attunement which keeps the levels flowing.

If your noting most of the other free to plays on the market (seeing that's the bulk now), their games aren't exactly top notch. Their quality is just a cookie cutter of the one before it, making it feel stale and old. Not to mention "free" is a very variable word; to get anywhere in any good sense of time means you need to invest the money, and most people do invest money in some caliber, because if they didn't, the income of free-to-play MMO developers wouldn't be making triple or more times the amount of their subscription plans before it. Some free to plays are good, but the quality just doesn't seem really high. I'm not talking about originality. A game just has to be fun. I could care less about originality (unless it's done right), just give me innovation and fun gameplay in a familiar setting and I'll be all set for a long time.

Rift isn't perfect, but it's a great step in the right direction. It's added innovation through nearly half a dozen different ways to level, and rift events and rifts in general are more dynamic than most MMO's care to bother with. After it's first expansion, with a few more patches and tweaks, I can only imagine it being bigger and better.

Just keep an eye on it as I do, and you'll see it change into the game you want.

As for even more dynamic things, that permanately change an area, it's a good idea. But it has to be implemented right or it could be broken. Coast the forums on Rift's site and recommend it. Trust me, they listen!

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ChuffyChuff

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Edited By ChuffyChuff

@jinseinoseikou You must play a different Rift to the one I do, the game is dying, anyone that has followed the login stats on Riftstatus can confirm this. PvP is virtually dead already, people are struggling to recruit for PvE, the top guilds are disbanding (Maximation, Voodoo), others are having to merge (XLii, parabellum).

Rift has some good points, very polished for a new game, quick with patches, added lots of things to do end game (IA, chronicles, etc) in a relatively short time, but don;t kid yourself is pretty much a WOW clone, that does very little new, the grind is there (PA especiallY), there have always had problems with class balance and their supposedly upfront attitude is overstated by some (for instance they don't release sub numbers, actual info about what the devs plan is always secret other than the odd comment, etc)

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ChuffyChuff

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Edited By ChuffyChuff

@jinseinoseikou I'l take the reality of stats over your rose tinted inaccurate guess of what has happened to the Rift population.

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jinseinoseikou

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Edited By jinseinoseikou

@ChuffyChuff You keep your stats. I'll continue to enjoy a game with players all around me. That's all I need to know.

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uglyduck-uk

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Edited By uglyduck-uk

@jinseinoseikou

That would be Martinett (or something very similar. He wqas banned but still directs the Goonswarm in things like griefing.

I am one of the *aging fanbase" but dont like the way the game is going. I like making friends with new players but this griefing is going to put a lot of them off very quickly.

Have suspended my account for the moment and will keep in touch with the forums and see how things go - I aint holding my breath on CCP going against the Goons though.

Will probably go to Rift in a couple of weeks. Just getting into a new hobby at the moment though.

See you here and there :) - take care and above all, whatever you do - have Fun!

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uglyduck-uk

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Edited By uglyduck-uk

@jinseinoseikou

People who normally spend a lot of time mining are tending to unsub. There is now a permanent hulkageddon which is actively supported and encouraged by CCP.

See the forums for threads about all this.

There is a lot of bad feeling either way and many players say that the game isnt Fun anymore..

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jinseinoseikou

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Edited By jinseinoseikou

@uglyduck-uk CCP brought back Hulkageddon? Last I heard the main player who organized the whole annual slaughterfest was banned for a reason I don't know. With the latest inferno addition it did concern me with what they were saying about "carebearing" in high security space. I only did industrial style playing in high sec off a bunch of accounts, hoping to garner enough money to pay with in game money and not have to pay a real world dollar. I had a blast and spent a bit of cash, but deactivated it because there was just a lack of support for players like me. I love my mmo's, but if your just going to make an open world pvp game with no concern in the world for new players or players who want an alternate playstyle, then that just tells me CCP is trying to listen to their current and aging fanbase more than a potential new one...hence why they put walking-in-stations on hold. I've followed the game so closely and love the concept of it, the visuals, and the sheer mass and complexity of it all, but unless they make it more accessible for a wider audience, aside from countless tutorials and a streamlined interface, you won't find me in the world of EVE until they do so.

Until I can find a good permanant sci-fi MMO to call home, Old Republic will do just fine (off and on)

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jinseinoseikou

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Edited By jinseinoseikou

@uglyduck-uk Oh, and Rift too :) Been active on rift since the first month. Call me a carebear, but I like to play a game without the worry of having my valuable time diminished or lost. I get enough heartache in real life, I don't need it in my games!

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Shahnil

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Edited By Shahnil

I played Rift and now Star wars, I stopped because of latency issues that I could not get resolved but it was a great game and the ONLY MMO I have seen where developers listen to the community with such passion and interest no one came close to that so far.

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malachre

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Edited By malachre

@walidras Tera was fun aside from the lolipervs and lack of character customization. but every quest was a grind. The action mmo is fun for a bit but I'm an mmorpg player for a reason. if i want action I'll play skyrim.

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oflow

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Edited By oflow

looks good any eta on the xpac release?

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uglyduck-uk

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Edited By uglyduck-uk

Thats it then - will be returning to Rift now ... EVE Online is dying anyway!

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jinseinoseikou

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Edited By jinseinoseikou

@uglyduck-uk Share with me why EVE online is dying, because I thought it was growing. I was waiting for the right moment to return

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pqwoei

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Edited By pqwoei

In terms of gameplay what game is nearest to this?

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malachre

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Edited By malachre

@pqwoei WoW. Similar controls, open world environments, etc.

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wexorian

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Edited By wexorian

@malachre wow is better IN open world enviroments and IN EVERYTHING! thus it's Bcame booring between patches blizzard sucks at adding content :)

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Easyle

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Edited By Easyle

Interesting. I may have to come back with my friends in the fall.

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Xshinobi

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Edited By Xshinobi

Neat. Rift is only MMO that has kept my interest.

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Snaptrap

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Edited By Snaptrap

Too late. GW2 is coming for you.

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wexorian

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Edited By wexorian

@Snaptrap too much hopes for GW 2 funny there are lot games with better graphics and bette mmo style and even some F2 play MMO are Better, P2p Tera kicks out their combat system and from f2p Raiderz and continent 9 is coming

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Enundr

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Edited By Enundr

@wexorian @Snaptrap teras combat is great , thats ALL it generally has going for it tho. the quests are ALL the same with different skinned yet same mobs over and over. graphics are nice tho ill give it that. the real thing with GW2 , it gets rid of the holy trinity , where you see healers and tanks who get away with being complete d***s in their groups and generally only get tolerated cause it takes forever to even get a tank , with healers being in 2nd to how long it takes to find one. atleast with GW2 it gets rid of the people that think they can get away with that BS , and most ppl who try to bash GW2 are usually those people or just ppl who have only played GW1 and try to say its the same as GW2.

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Enundr

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Edited By Enundr

@wexorian @Snaptrap add to that the travel system in GW2 is so much better , instant travel to places youve already explored versus how long of a flight that most games have you take? yea....

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malachre

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Edited By malachre

@Snaptrap Sounds like gw2 is after a totally different kind of player. If you enjoy dungeons and raid, dynamic content and zone wide events play rift. If you hate dungeons and want a more balanced pvp play the game that hasn't been truly tested yet.

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Enundr

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Edited By Enundr

@malachre lets not forget how rift balanced mages BASED ON PVP ALONE and totally boned the whole archetype over as far as DPS went. last time i played the best mages we had were struggling to even do as good as the weak/fresh lvl capped rogues and warriors. yea such a great design for dungeons and raiding ;-)

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Incandessa

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Edited By Incandessa

Amazing! This expansion is going to set up Rift as being a competitive MMO for many, many years to come.

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grnionio

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Edited By grnionio

That's pretty awesome and something i anticipated for some time. It's also a way for Rift to face the competition to come and reminding its past subscribers that "Hey, I'm still here!". Although some current players are complaining about the new level cap (because the can't move their butt), i can't for its release!

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uglypinkmoose

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Edited By uglypinkmoose

interestingggggg :o

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funkchild75

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Edited By funkchild75

Cool Beans. Thanks KVO. :0)

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I_Am_Furious

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Edited By I_Am_Furious

Holy crap I am excited!!!! I agree with Roadstar, I'd like to see non-cinematic trailers (which Trion has done numerous times in the past, so it's not like there's no precedent with the company) but just the information alone has me FLOORED!!!! The free content that Rift has given players is enormous, the fact that this expansion is going to be everything we have times 2 just boggles the mind. I'm so excited.

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RoadStar1602

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Edited By RoadStar1602

When are these publishers going to learn that I don't want to see the freaking cinematics in game trailers. I want to see the GAMEPLAY. Cinematics are completely irrelevant.

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PopeZaphod

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Edited By PopeZaphod

RIghteous! The best MMO is about to get supersized!

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Cogzwell

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Edited By Cogzwell

I gotta say, I'd love to see Rift go f2p, because they have tons of great end game content, but not enough people to play it with.

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Suaron_x

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Edited By Suaron_x

I played Rift for 7 months after quitting WoW. Running through the original story was fun and the random Rift encounters were a blast of freshness to the same old MMORPG formula. But getting to level cap kinda ended the fun for me. I love 5 man groups, especially when group generators were established, but raiding to me is just not fun. With 10 or 25 man groups, it seems like you are always waiting on somebody. I want to play a game to lose myself in a fantasy world, not to sit around waiting to get enough people to work on an encounter. The rift aspect was far more dynamic than the raid aspect. Why aren't raids more dynamic? Why do you have to raid to get the best gear? Why aren't random 5 man instances in MMORPGs. I'm holding out hope that Guild Wars 2 will not be shackled to the old "waiting game" perpetuated in end game raids of all MMOs I've played so far.

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dronka

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Edited By dronka

@Suaron_x You can run 5 man master modes. It is fun and it is as hard as raid.

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Suaron_x

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Edited By Suaron_x

Yes but after you run a dungeon so many times it gets to be old hat. I did all the dungeons, nearly every quest line at end game, collected lots of artifacts (not all as the lower level zones didn't hold much interest for me) and built up reputations. I wasn't interested in PvP as it was too gear dependent and frankly WoWs PvP zones were far, far better. I completed all the upper end rifts but as I said before I had no interest in returning to the lower end zone to complete achievements for lower level rift events.

After 3-4 months the only thing I had left to do was run daily quests, daily rifts and raid. I tried raiding again, but I just hate waiting around for groups. Someone is always late, or skips or has to smoke/walk the dog. The single/dual player instances were just rehashed/spoon feed raids that really didn't grab my interest.

Crafting in Rift was for the most part a waste of time. You could barely make money from the AH, because everything was junk and players had too many professions. I tried playing some other classes, but they just weren't as fun as my first profession. The character classes in WoW were more deverse. There was more than one starting location per faction, so you could experience different things in WoW when you started a new character.

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malachre

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Edited By malachre

@Suaron_x One thing I will agree with. We do need more then 1 starting zone. 1-30 is boring after the first time. Can't wait for the new instant adventures.

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