Summertime does seem to be ripe territory for MMORPGs to release sizable content updates in the hopes of keeping players occupied and luring back in the bored and nomadic in the larger community.
Making a pitch for your attention today is RIFT, which has just released the latest segment of its Prophecy of Ahnket expansion cycle with Patch 4.2: Celestial Storm. As players head into the newest endgame zone of the MMO, what will they discover?
A few words on that: Beauty. Challenge. Epic feuds. Rewards. And a crapton to do.
experiment this past spring with making RIFT’s
newest expansion free for a limited time is now becoming a permanent fixture. The studio announced today that Prophecy of Ahnket
(formerly Starfall Prophecy
) is free “for good, forever.”
That’s just the tip of the good news iceberg for players of this game. The studio also revealed that Patch 4.2: Celestial Storm is scheduled to go live on July 19th, bringing a metric ton of new content for players this summer.
Celestial Storm will add a new zone (Vostigar Peaks) to the expansion’s comet, more quests, more raid rifts, more instant adventures, and normal mode for Tartaric Depths. Primalists have a particular reason to rejoice, as the archetype is getting four new souls for free: Farseer (AOE healer), Primal Lord (beast summoner), Predator (stealthy ninja), and Mystic (weather support).
A day after the patch lands, Summerfest will return to the game just because Trion wants to see if anyone’s head will explode from having too much to do all at once.
A slightly ambiguous Facebook post had some RIFT
players worried that the game was finished with its current expansion cycle altogether.
In a discussion about RIFT’s proposed challenge servers, CM Brasse commented that “the final expansion update comes this summer. This includes the remaining Primalist souls for those who bought the calling. We think it’s worth waiting for.”
She later clarified on the forums that this wasn’t saying that RIFT was done with the Prophecy of Ahnket cycle but that the update fulfilled the remainder of formerly announced content for the expansion.
If you were a little bit puzzled by Trion’s announcement this week that it was changing the name of RIFT’s latest expansion from Starfall Prophecy to Prophecy of Ahnket because it had “recently become acquainted” with a children’s charity called Starfall, welp, get in line behind us. It turns out that there’s more to the story.
Massively OP tipster Clowd dug up a lawsuit that sheds light on what happened behind the scenes. A trademark lawsuit – Starfall Education Foundation v. Trion Worlds, Inc. (CN 1:2017cv00650) – was filed in a Colorado district court back in March but was apparently settled out of court at the tail end of April. Connecting the dots, one might assume Trion had been sued over the name and decided to change it as part of the settlement agreement, in a decision that wasn’t quite as amicable as the producer’s letter implied.
We reached out to Trion’s PR yesterday to ask whether it wished to amend its statement about the motivation behind the decision; in particular, we asked whether the trademark was checked prior to Starfall Prophecy’s launch, whether Trion believed it might have prevailed had it not settled, whether the free giveaway of the expansion was part of the settlement or merely a marketing move, and why, if Trion was prepared to change the name, an agreement wasn’t reached prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
RIFT’s latest expansion is getting a name change from Starfall Prophecy to Prophecy of Ahnket. No, it’s not some veiled NGE; it’s just an attempt to reduce confusion with the Starfall Education Foundation charity, which seems a noble cause to us.
Perhaps the more important bit for would-be RIFT players is that the expansion is being offered for free to players who log in this weekend. Free stuff!
If you’ve already purchased the expansion, you’re not out of luck either; you’re getting a claimable Prophecy of Ahnket Cache with 2 Tenebrean Engines, 100 Phenomenal Sparkles, 10 Individual Reward Charges, 1 White Deer Companion Pet, and 1 Random Puzzle Box Dimension Item — that is, if you remember to log in and grab it before the timer runs down on May 14th. After the promo ends, the expansion will be $19.99.
Trion further notes it’s hard at work on the 4.2 update right now; it’ll include a normal mode for Tartaric Depths, big changes for the planar fragment system, and new Primalist souls.
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.
Next week marks RIFT’s
first big update of the Starfall Prophecy
expansion cycle, Patch 4.1: Forged in Flames
. When the patch drops on March 1st, it will not only bring a new raid and eternal weapons but also a semi truck’s worth of additional dimensions and housing items.
Dimension Gallery has rounded up all of the details and images for professional and novice interior designers. At least five new dimensions will be added to the fantasy MMO: Volcanic Playground (sounds safe), Wyrd Hut, Alittu, Saint Taranis, and the wonderfully named Fortress of the Apocalypse.
Hundreds of additional housing items are coming as well, including banners, candles, building blocks, music blocks, and at least 35 buildings. If you primarily get your housing decor through minion missions, you’ll be happy to hear that 4.1 will increase the number and types of dimension rewards that your followers bring back from associated quests.
When it comes to character development, perhaps the biggest additions in RIFT: Starfall Prophecy
were legendary abilities. Instead of adding new skills, RIFT
gave high-level players the option to super-charge select existing skills to embue them with extra stats or abilities.
Since legendary abilities can have a large impact on your build and even change how you play your character, knowing how they work and which ones to choose is pretty important. There’s a new video guide up to walk you through how this system works and some of the ins and outs of selecting your skill power-ups.
Without further ado, bone up on legendary abilities after the jump!
is stepping up its game — its raid game, that is.
Yesterday, Trion Worlds released a “hotfix” that in actuality contained two major pieces of content to flesh out the Starfall Prophecy expansion. The first is the long-promised fortress siege system, with the debut siege being Cracking Xarth’s Skull. Players can participate in any formation from solo to raid to assault a fortress and open it up into a full-blown raid. Fortress sieges will take place every four hours.
To assist in the raid portion of the fortress siege as well as other large-scale group content, RIFT has also launched its looking for raid feature: “LFR ties in with our new individual loot system, so that you no longer have to compete with others for coveted drops for your build. This game feature, at its core, is a priority-based queue system based on raid karma.”
With the arrival of SWTOR: Knights of the Eternal Throne
, the MMO blogosphere lit up in lively discussion about the expansion, its story, and its design. As expected, opinions were all over the place.
Xam Xam was glowing in praise for what it called a “wonderfully paced, intense, heartbreaking masterpiece.” Superior Realities was a bit more mixed but ultimately positive about the expansion: “Despite pursuing several plot threads at once, KotET is a very tight, very focused experience, and for the most part it’s an epic thrill-ride from beginning to end.”
As for the controversial galactic command system, Galactic Antics didn’t know what to think: “I don’t think I’ve come across a system such as this which has a direct negative counter to virtually every positive aspect about it before […] SWTOR has gone from a game which benefits both casuals and hardcore players to being a game which largely only benefits those who are willing and able to just grind.”
From RIFT to Elder Scrolls Online to disliked archetypes, we’ve got an interesting assortment of articles for you to peruse after the jump!
Over a week after Starfall Prophecy’s
is still trying to get on top of the many issues and bugs that have plagued the expansion launch. Today’s huge hotfix
should address a wide range of these problems and perhaps make the game a little bit better overall.
Some of the more notable patch notes in today’s hotfix include a notice that the Temple of Ananke has re-opened for adventurers, a buff to the power level of craftable gear, an improvement to the Opie minion card (he now attracts artifact missions!), and a new optional expanded combat log for those who need all of the details.
Read through all of the changes to see if any of them, particularly the quest and class adjustments, will impact your play.
As we start to come to grips with the fact that we will be turning over the calendar into 2017 in one short month, it might just be for the best. In the real world, 2016 was a rocky, unpredictable year, and even among our collective favorite hobby, it featured some highs and lows that very few saw coming.
This will go down as the year that Daybreak broke our hearts, a mobile game erupted into a global phenomenon, drama over an illegal emulator sparked multiple stories, and some of the biggest MMORPG launches came from eastern imports.
So while there might be a few more huge stories left in 2016, let’s spend some time revisiting the major headlines to get a better feel for the shape of the year that we are about to leave behind.
Not all is rainbows, unicorns, and talking dragons over in the land of RIFT
these days. Serious concerns have arisen about the MMO following the release of Starfall Prophecy
, and in a well-organized thread on the forums
, players have taken Trion Worlds
to task for what they are calling a rushed, half-finished expansion.
“It shouldn’t have been launched, it clearly wasn’t ready,” the original poster said. “Minions and IAs, previously implemented systems, broke when the game launched, but on top of the countless bugs and being unable to finish story quests, half of the features announced with expansion were not ready for the live client as in they were disabled at launch. Yes, there are always bugs at launch of a new game. That’s nothing new, but there is a vast difference between bugs and launching with half the features of the expansion disabled.”