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.
Rift: Planes of Telara
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.
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.
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!
Blimey, it's big. Rift wasn't exactly slight to begin with. Set in the fantasy world of Telara, its vast continent was more than just a world to fill with quests. The titular rifts - tears in reality brought forth by the six elemental dragon-deities - were constantly haranguing the beleaguered player-faction, the Ascended. The result was a world that would dramatically shift around the efforts of the community. Left unchecked, these rifts spawned raiding parties of monsters, who'd assault strategic outposts to establish deadly footholds. It then provided regular and expansive post-launch updates, making it one of the few subscription MMOs that justified its monthly toll.
Storm Legion increases Rift's size dramatically. It isn't an expansion so much as it's a second Rift bolted onto the back of the game.
Rift developers Trion Worlds and hardware manufacturer Razer have teamed up to offer a competition to European PCG readers. The winner will get a digital copy of Rift (giftable if you already have one), a Razer Anansi keyboard, a Razer Naga SE Molten MMO gaming mouse, a Razer Goliathus mousemat and a Razer Carcharias headset.
The details, and pictures of all this lovely hardware, lurk within.
When it comes to what role you want to play in Rift, you've definitely got options. Thanks to the game's Soul system, classes get much more complex past the initial Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage. Now that's it's been seven days since our Rift giveaway started, it's time to say congratulations to our 25 lucky (and randomly chosen) winners. Read on to see which class combinations they prefer, and if your name is among the chosen few.
It's not always easy convincing your friends to jump into an MMO with you. It got a bit easier this week, when Rift launched its Ascend-a-Friend referral program and a 7-day trial, but maybe a few of your fellows are still holding out. Maybe you're that stubborn friend dragging their feet. First, shame on you. Secondly, PC Gamer's here to help. We're celebrating the spirit of playing MMOs with friends by giving 25 lucky winners two copies of Rift each—as in, you and a friend get to explore Telara as a dynamic duo. Want to know how to enter? I know you do. Read on.
Trion Worlds have just sent over a new Rift: Planes of Telara trailer that gives the first look at the endgame content. A short-skirt-wearing, pale-skinned lady called Alsbeth appears to be in charge. I'm going on first impressions here, but she doesn't seem to be very friendly.
We recently interviewed Scott Hartsman, Chief Operating Officer of Trion Worlds about the new content. Tom Senior (our resident Rift player) was so intrigued he managed to land an exclusive interview with design producer Hal Hamlin too.
If you're playing RIFT and are not already a member of the PC Gamer guild, what the hell are you up to? Join up here, silly.
"Defend the Wardstones!" the warrior beside me bellowed, seconds before being overrun by Breathless Banshees. Undead hordes were invading Telara, spewing out of a dozen swirling, inter-dimensional rifts in the canyons of the Scarlet Gorge. The army of the Plane of Death—banshees, ghosts, ghouls, and drake—marched forth, cutting down any players, NPCs, and wildlife in its path. We, the ragtag group of players who happened to be there when the assault began, were all that stood in the way. From atop a tower in the last remaining city in Scarlet Gorge, I frantically fired off healing spells, but things weren't looking good. If the Wardstone fell, the event would be lost, and the undead would occupy the land.
Just in time, an uneasy alliance of players from both the Defiants and the Guardians (Rift’s rival factions) finished sealing the last of the Death rifts. While they'd normally have slain each other on sight, they stood together against the common threat, and managed to turn the tide. This truce was short lived, however. Closing the final rift triggered a boss stage: a huge wave of zombies (which, like a group of crows, is known as a “murder”). Once the horde showed their decaying faces the factions once again crossed blades, each hoping to defeat the zombies and claim the best quest rewards for themselves. In the end my faction, the Defiants, emerged victorious, and all who contributed were rewarded with fabulous items.
These frequent, zone-wide events aren’t a distraction from Rift—they are Rift, and they’re some of the most epic, fantastic experiences available in MMOs today.
In Rift: Planes of Telara, your world is under invasion by dimensional invaders who are systematically ripping holes in the space-time fabric around your planet. Not good, but it gets worse. If you and the other players don’t push in and close the rift (via a slick and co-op-able party quest), the interlopers will establish a foothold in the region, erect structures, terraform the land to resemble their plane, and send war parties at nearby towns that battle with local guards. If left to their own devices, the invaders will bring in a huge monster boss that marches toward the town, crushing everything in its wake (but offering incredible rewards for players that band together to defeat it).
Contest: Fifty beta keys are up for grabs; details at the end of the post.