rift

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Official Site: RIFT
Studio: Trion Worlds
Launch Date: March 1, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Optional Sub, Cash Shop)
Platform: PC

This RIFT fan trailer will elevate you to startling emotional heights

Here at Massively OP, we are not above indulging in our geek tooth with a fan-made trailer every now and then. Sometimes you just need to get pumped up about a game and can’t wait for the devs to take time out of their schedule to sell you on an MMO you’re already playing.

RIFT player Matt put together a rather well-done trailer for the fantasy game, pairing epic music to some of his in-game footage. It’s the kind of thing that you watch and then, without even realizing it, find yourself installing the game once more.

Check it out below!

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Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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RIFT, Trove, and ArcheAge start accepting Razer zGold

There’s a new way to pay in Trion Worlds’ games, and that way is Razer zGold.

Trion announced this week that all of its games, including RIFT, ArcheAge, Trove, and Defiance, now accept Razer zGold as a payment option. Razer zGold is a virtual payment and rewards currency that can be used in several games while helping players earn special gifts on the side.

Trion is encouraging players to try out zGold with a pair of gifts of its own. Players who buy the RIFT Ascended Essentials Pack with zGold will get the Intermediate Pack for free. Additionally, a free month of patron status will be handed out to anyone who purchases a 3,250 credit pack with zGold. These can only be claimed once each per account.

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EVE Fanfest 2017: Hands-on with competitive VR sports game Sparc

At the end of February, CCP Games announced a new game that has nothing to do with EVE Online or even the EVE IP. Named Sparc, the new VR game is being pitched as a virtual sport environment with competitive online gameplay and an online social space. It has the aesthetic of the Tron-style cyberspace world that movies promised us throughout the 80s, and uses motion controls to deliver full-body VR gameplay. Even the social space will have a bit of an 80s arcade vibe, with players able to gather around and watch others compete and challenge the reigning champion to a match.

Anyone who’s been to EVE Fanfest in recent years will recognise Sparc immediately. The game made its public debut as Disc Arena in Fanfest 2015’s VR Labs demo section alongside three other VR experiments, and made a re-appearance the following year with motion controls as Project Arena. Just as Project Nemesis became the release title Gunjack, this game has now graduated into a full production title with its own development team and budget. Sparc is due for release at some point in 2017 on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, and we managed to get some hands-on time with an early version at this year’s Fanfest.

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One Shots: Eight-bit vista

One of my favorite MMO April Fools of all time is Guild Wars 2’s playable Super Adventure Box. It’s so brilliantly designed and executed that it goes far beyond mere joke territory and became an institution. A fun game-within-a-game.

Reader Little Bugbear took advantage of an initial foray into SAB to take what I consider to be a very arresting picture. It’s almost a silhouette of a character lounging against an 8-bit skybox. “Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy a nice day of gaming,” Little Bugbear said.

Before we get into the rest of this week’s lineup, I want to share the news that we’ve made some further improvements to our comment system that should allow you to share your screenshots in bigger and bolder glory, especially when you post one at a time!

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EVE Fanfest 2017: EVE Valkyrie adds atmospheric flight in Groundrush, coming April 11th

Virtual reality dogfighter EVE: Valkyrie has taken centre stage in the emerging VR landscape, growing from a tech demo developed by some devs at CCP Games in their spare time to become a bundled launch title on the Oculus Rift and launch on several other VR platforms. The game has received several major updates since its launch just over a year ago, adding a new Carrier Assault game mode, weekend Wormhole events, a competitive league system, and more.

Today at EVE Fanfest 2017 and as just announced by the official PlayStation blog, CCP Games revealed the next step for Valkyrie — and it’s a pretty big one! The Groundrush update will add a radically different way of playing the game with the first ever ground-based map, “Solitude,” which will see you dogfighting within the atmosphere of a planet and dodging through pirate structures. The update also expands co-op play to the Control and Carrier Assault game modes, adds some new Wormhole events, and adds official support for the Steam Controller. The Groundrush update officially launches on April 11th, and you can check out the trailer below.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 111: Secret World’s Destiny

Justin goes away to Disney for a week and the MMO world explodes with news, which is to be expected. From a controversial reboot to a controversial superhero return to a controversial patch, there’s no shortage of ruffled feathers and quirked eyebrows at this past week’s news roundup!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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April Fools’ Day 2017: Hijinks across the MMOverse

If you don’t like tricks and jokes, just stop reading right now, turn the lights off, and go climb back into bed. Nothing on the internet is going to bring you joy today, so just sit this one out. Trust us.

For everyone else, there’s April Fools’ Day! Follow along as we rattle off all the great MMORPG pranks and events we’ve found so far this morning.

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RIFT’s Forged in Flame update today will treat endgamers to new content, LFR tools

MMORPG players can use some happy news today, yeah? How about this: RIFT’s Forged in Flame patch is officially live.

The core of the update is Tartaric Depths, a 10-man raid, as well as the new Life Fortress Siege dubbed Xarth’s Skull and level 70 reworks for Rise of the Phoenix and Gyel Fortress. How will you access the raid if you don’t have a giant mass of friends? Why, with the brand-new looking-for-raid tool, of course.

“Similar to Looking for Group in dungeons, the Looking for Raid (LFR) system gives players the opportunity to quickly and easily join up with others and take down epic bosses where they are rewarded with gear that will help them progress into normal raids. Players are rewarded individually through the Individual Reward System.”

Trion’s promised to talk more about the update in its weekly Stream on Friday; in the meantime, the patch launch trailer and new screenies are tucked down below. Anybody giving it a go?

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The Daily Grind: What anticipated MMO expansion turned out to be a disappointment?

It’s with a heavy heart that I have to admit that RIFT: Starfall Prophecy kind of let me down. I was really, genuinely looking forward to playing this expansion last fall, especially since I would get in on the ground floor at release. And while there were some great aspects of the release, such as the concept and some of the quest lines, the overall product felt half-baked and the combat became such a slog that I gave up three zones into it.

I’m sure this has happened to all of us at some point. We get really hyped and excited for an MMO expansion, drinking in all of the promise that the devs feed us… and then that anticipation is deflated by the actual release. It just doesn’t live up to our standards or it has some major issues. You look at it and say, “Son, I am disappoint.”

When you look back at your MMO gaming career, what expansion turned out to be a disappointment to you? What could have been done better by the dev team?

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RIFT acknowledges expansion issues, talks about new zone and challenge servers

If you felt let down by the execution of RIFT: Starfall Prophecy, you’re not alone. In this week’s producer’s letter, Trion Worlds admits that the expansion had “shortcomings” that need addressing. To wit, the studio said that it is “pouring heart and soul into improvements” to shore up the content as it moves forward.

Speaking of moving forward, there’s certainly a lot of exciting things on deck for RIFT, starting with the imminent Patch 4.1. This update will add eternal weapons, a planar crafting revamp, a 10-player raid, and new weekly quests. Following that is the return of Carnival and the release of Patch 4.2 with its brand-new level 70 zone, Vostigar Peaks.

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Massively Overthinking: When social play in MMOs is predatory by design

Blogger Tobold recently wrote a provocative piece on social play in MMOs, as pointed out to us by our dear tipster Sally. In a piece cheekily titled “Why I can live without other players in my games,” he writes that far from being the foundation or glue of MMOs, guilds are actually one of the worst bits of the genre, being platforms for selfishness and drama.

“Guilds were never designed for positive social interaction, they were always a means to an end of individual character progress. You needed those other people to get the most powerful gear in the game. And the way there wasn’t exactly a constant stream of friendship and happiness. Look at what MMORPG blog posts have been mostly about when talking about their guilds: First people complain if others aren’t investing as much as they do and become a hindrance to killing raid bosses, and then when the raid boss is finally dead they complain that somebody else got the loot.”

“The people most loudly complaining about the lack of other players being forced to play with them,” he finishes with a zinger that resonated most for me, “are the kind of people with the most predatory play styles.”

I’ve presented Tobold’s piece to our writers for this week’s Overthinking. Do they — and you — agree with his thesis? Let’s Overthink it.

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