June 22nd marks the release of yet another huge patch for Rift. The Waves of Madness events kicks off leading to the eventual opening of the new 20-man raid zone Hammerknell, the dwarven city in the hills of Moonshade Highlands.

   Trion released a nice teaser trailer:

   Russ Brown takes us on a walk through of Hammerknell:

Along with the new raid comes the implementation of free character transfers, which hopefully should take care of having way too many servers to accommodate launch. A very smart way of handling server merges without using that dreaded term and scaring people away. Everyone should hop over to Keenblade obviously!

The other huge nugget of info for 1.3 is of course the addition of an addon tab. Whether or not this makes it into 1.3. i'm not sure about, but it definitely is exciting to say the least. While i'm not really a fan of some of the crazy healing and threat addons out there for other games, i absolutely love UI customization.
Rift Addons

Lets nitpick a little and talk about esthetics. I'm going to be honest, i'm so disappointed in the look of the new leather set compared to the current set. Chain sets always look amazing and makes me wish i could equip them, even if it's just in my wardrobe slot. Leather, on the other hand, looks like some low level junk you'd find on the street. Lets compare!

   Tier 1 leather raid set. Dyed to my personal color scheme of purple/light green.
Rift Tier 1 Raid Leather

   Tier 2 leather set, also dyed.
Rift Tier 2 Raid Leather

Not only is the set hideous but there's no fucking bow!!! I acnnot state enough my distaste for guns. I'm going to have a fucking headache listening to that shit go boom boom boom. I'm too sound dependent in game to ever turn the audio off so i'll have to manage and curse out Trion for this.

Let's get to the good part though. The stat increases are ridiculous. On average after a few parses, i'd say the minimum is a dps increase of about 300. Keep in mind also that there's 2 version of the new t2 sets; an epic and a relic version. The 300 difference was a jump from t1 to t2 relic.

Breakdown of my stats self buffed on ranger in t1, t2 epic and t2 relic.

Lesser Essences also received a minor boost in stats, probably to make up for the fact that you'll no longer be able to equip them in greater slots. What really annoys me is that we started working on water resist source machines in preparation for Hammerknell, only to find out that there's also a new source machine with 20 water resist already on it! That really wouldn't be so bad if i hadn't already put my 50 stone greater in my machine already -_-.

Updated essences.