Oh yeah, Defiance! For all its cross-media promises, neither the TV show nor its related MMO shooter made a compelling case to visit the future Earth it depicted. We've danced the dance of MMO indifference before, and so at this point know the steps: Trion Worlds have announced that the game will relaunch as a free-to-play title next month.
Rift - or 'RIFT', if we really must - is one of the few MMOs that still has a place on my hard-drive, even if I'm not actively playing it right now. It's a strange lesson in competently assembling a bunch of well-trodden systems, to create something that's both derivative, but likeable. Part of that good-will is the generosity of its updates and expansions, making it one of the few MMOs that could justify a subscription, back when it had one. In a recent post to the community, RIFT game director Bill “Daglar” Fisher talks about what's coming up next for players as they move towards the game's second expansion.
I had a whole intro planned around the combination of RIFT's fire and water elementals. It would have been like a nature documentary, the end result of which was a little Steam baby. To be honest, though, who wants to be forced into considering the technical difficulties of magmic rutting? And wouldn't creatures from the other planes just feel left out? Instead, we'll try this: RIFT's free-to-play incarnation is on Steam now, should that be the distribution platform that you favour. For existing players, the more significant news is a recent livestream held by the developers, in which they revealed the content roadmap leading up to the next expansion, RIFT 3.0.
Chaos is coming to the elemental planes. Rift's next update, version 2.4 Beyond Infinity, will bring new conflicts, strange environments, and yes, new hairstyles to the free-to-play MMORPG, according to a press release from developer Trion Worlds.
A source tells PC Gamer that Trion Worlds has shuttered its San Diego studio, which was responsible for developing sci-fi MMO Defiance. Former COO Scott Hartsman, who departed the company in January, returned this morning as CEO—our source couldn't confirm whether or not the closure was decided before the management change.
The third person MMO based on the Syfy TV show is inching a little closer to “free to play” territory today by offering a free, 72 hour demo to those who are curious what the Bay Area looks like after the San Francisco Giants win a World Series.
I'm sighing the weary sigh of a man staring into the future and seeing naught but DoTA clones. You may remember End of Nations as the Petroglyph developed free-to-play MMORTS that ran into trouble after its open beta was postponed and members of staff were laid off. Subsequently taken in-house by publisher Trion Worlds, it's now resurfaced as - you guessed it - a lane pushing game.
Rift is currently enjoying a resurgence, thanks its free-to-play switch. But having hordes of players bouncing between dynamic quests and rift encounters is one thing, keeping them there is another. In an effort to keep their newly bolstered community engaged, developer Trion held a recent livestream in which they teased upcoming updates and features, and gave the first info on the 3.0 expansion.
Here's a cheeky shot at certain other MMOs; ones that perhaps haven't been as generous with their free to play content. Rift is going free to play, and to make the switch Trion Worlds have released this trailer, explaining the features that free-to-players will have access to. It stops just short of going "BOOM! It's the whole game", then dropping the mic and strutting off the stage. Actually, looking at it again, that's pretty much exactly what it does.
Clearly I'm not the person you want to count on in a future world of aliens, Arc Hunters and cross-media synergy. The new TV tie-in update for Defiance challenges players to eradicate an infection and develop a cure to send to the titular town of the TV series. To which my response would be, "nope". Surely it'd make for better telly?
There’s some consternation over Rift, the much-loved MMO from Trion Worlds, switching to free-to-play. While moving to a F2P business model can add life into drowning games, developers abusing the microtransaction system can quickly destroy the balance of the game in exchange for cold, hard cash.
Rift is one of the few, rather excellent subscription MMOs still remaining, so its conversion to free-to-play is a little scarier than the usual case. But you can relax, okay? Things will be just fine. Trion Worlds has released an FAQ detailing the three different payment levels, and they ensure us that "free-to-play" is not a euphemism for pay-to-win—"the best items in the game will always have to be earned in Telara."
And strike another one off the rapidly diminishing list of surviving subscription MMOs. If there was any sub-based game not called "EVE" or "World of Warcraft" that had a possible, maybe, oh-so-slim chance of surviving with a monthly payment model, I'd have argued for Rift. If nothing else, it had a history of providing generous new content to validate its regular toll. Alas, no, Trion have now announced that, as of June 12th, Rift will be entirely free-to-play.
Actually, scratch that - this is great news. The prettyexcellent Rift will be entirely free to play!
Alright, yes—our Defiance review rated the MMO shooter as middling, bringing nothing spectacularly new to the table. But hey, maybe that's something for the DLC to patch up? Trion's just revealed they've planned five installments of DLC for release in Defiance's first year of existence, and content aside, the planned payment scheme has got an interesting twist.
Around a dozen hours into my time with Defiance, I realised that I was having fun. Not the kind of fun that warrants an unreserved recommendation, but I had acclimated to the vagaries of Trion’s sci-fi MMO shooter in such a way that I was getting something out of it. My early impressions, however, were not good. When I started playing, I scooted around on a quadbike and blasted mutants and noticed all of the game’s faults.
Defiance has made the trailer rounds here for a number of months, showing a San Francisco Bay Area shuddering beneath an alien invasion as a narrative tie-in to the upcoming SyFy channel TV series. Today, Trion announced that the MMO third-person shooter is out now on Steam—for a steep $60, you'll join the rest of humanity's defenders in recovering alien tech while squashing exploding bugs.
What's the best way to introduce more footage of Warface, Crytek's upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter? It's definitely not a combination of carefully choreographed combat interspersed with way too many camera cuts to a coin, a coin flipping through the air, a coin rolling over fingers, or a coin just sitting there. Nope, what we need is—oh, fine, Crytek, I guess you can somehow show us both more of the game and the symbolic importance of disc-shaped currency. It's not like your competing in the lens-flare-blasted theatrics market or anything, sheesh.
There are aliens in the ruins of future San Fran. Fight them. FIGHT THEM. TO THE BITTER END. If you like. Defiance is having another beta weekend. It's the new sci-fi MMO from the creators of Rift, Trion Worlds. It's set to run alongside the SyFy sci-fi series of the same name. Events in the show will apparently influence the game world, but these fancy multimedia cross-over features won't mean much if the game isn't much cop. Fire all your judgement lasers at this weekend's beta with the aid of one of our many, many keys. They're stacked floor-to-ceiling in front of the toilets, so please grab them fast, we're bursting.