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

Massively Overthinking: Would you want to play a League of Legends or Diablo MMORPG?

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had some tantalizing rumors and teases that both Riot Games and Blizzard are building something new: Riot’s dangled some questions about maybe making an MMORPG – might it be a League of Legends MMO? – and Blizzard’s outright said it’s returning to the Diablo franchise for multiple projects (one of which is the Switch port announced this morning). Can we hope for an MMO from one of the big studios again – and should we?

That’s what we’re pondering in this week’s Massively Overthinking. Do you think either of these companies is actually working on a new MMORPG using an old IP, what might it look like if so, what are they working on if not, and what do you actually want to see happen? Read more

Black Desert revamps and shortens Savage Rift, implements offline leveling

Black Desert players are being treated to a big update this week featuring the revamp of Savage Rift that basically makes the PvE co-op content more accessible and interesting – though it also nerfs the rewards for playing through it.

“The most noteworthy change to the Savage Rift content is that the number of monster spawns has been reduced by around 40% which as a result makes each runthrough last about 20 minutes,” Kakao explains. “Cooldown times for siege weapons such as the Hwacha amd Lynch Cannon have been reduced by 50% so that adventurers can shoot these powerful weapons more often. As a result, the reward structure has been reworked as well. Although the rewards per playthrough have been reduced, the rewards vs playing time have actually increased, making it more interesting for adventurers to engage enemies in the Savage Rift.”

Don’t care about co-op play? How about offline leveling? Today’s update also allows players to nab a Book of Training and beat up a scarecrow to accrue combat and skill experience while AFK.

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Global Chat: Is it worth your time to alpha test MMOs?

Taugrim raises a very interesting question this week on his blog. Namely, is it really worth your time to alpha test MMOs these days? For him, at least, fickle players and unresponsive developers don’t make it a beneficial activity.

“A decade ago, I used to get super excited about upcoming MMORPGs,” he said. “And then I experienced those games losing their playerbase in droves while the developers/publishers failed to meaningfully address the concerns of the community.”

If you’ve been burned one too many times by alpha, beta, and early access testing, perhaps you can relate. Read on for more essays from the MMO blogosphere, and don’t forget to check out this month’s exciting Blaugust Reborn event that’s raging across blogs!

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RIFT datamining discovers a new companion system

A brand-new feature has been datamined on RIFT’s test server, with players trying to figure out what this system entails.

It’s called Planar Disciples, perhaps some sort of companion system that is included on your character UI panel. Presumably players will be able to collect and level up a follower. Might be kind of cool to have a combat pal around for those tricky fights? Also coming to the game is a brawl mode for the Black Garden warfront, the return of the Tempest Rising world event, and a Pandora’s Box dimension.

One thing we do know for sure is that Trion Worlds is bringing back the Spoils of War event on the Prime progression server on August 16th.

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Perfect Ten: 10 MMO features that deserve widespread adaptation

You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?

No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”

It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.

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Global Chat: The ‘We Don’t Play World of Warcraft’ Club

What do you do when you don’t play World of Warcraft but everyone else all around you does and won’t stop talking about it because there’s a new expansion coming out? You try to find like-minded souls and start up a club, that’s what!

“If you do not play WoW or at least have some sort of history with it, you can find yourself in some kind of quasi MMO community minority group. It’s an ‘odd’ phenomenon,” said Contains Moderate Peril.

“I really don’t even know what the story other than Alliance vs. Horde,” admitted I’m Not Squishy. “Sometimes it can feel like I’m there’s a big gap in my gaming vocabulary.”

Believe it or not, this whole column isn’t just about World of Warcraft today, so dive in to read some gamer essays on Wizard101, Dark Age of Camelot, Elder Scrolls Online, and more!

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Global Chat: Getting a handle on Legends of Aria

One of the great benefits of reading the wealth of MMO blogs out there is that you can touch base on a huge variety of games that you might not have time to play. Haven’t gotten around to checking in with the indie sandbox Legends of Aria? The blogosphere has you covered!

While Superior Realities thinks that there’s a “skeleton of a good game” in Aria, he wasn’t won over by the closed beta: “After about thirty minutes of dealing with bugs, spectacularly tedious and old school gameplay, and generally terrible design, I decided life was too short.”

Inventory Full felt that the game had featureless maps but probably deserved a longer look, and Levelcapped said that Aria is “so damn close to being an Ultima Online sequel that it’s both wonderful and blasphemous at the same time.”

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Massively Overthinking: Random acts of MMORPG kindness

Last week, down in the comments of an innocuous post about gamers being nice in Fortnite, a couple of MOP commenters requested a column where MMO gamers could essentially submit “stories about random good interactions [they’ve] had with other players.” Skeptical me is doubting the viability of a column like that; after all, we already do a lot of positive coverage of charities, events, good deeds, and even obituaries for devs, and that’s just not the stuff most people click on. (Patches are the big ones, although controversies are big too for obvious reasons. And One Shots and WRUP are still great!)

But I’d certainly like to be wrong. “Positive news” websites do indeed exist in the real world and can be truly inspiring, so maybe “Massively Overjoyed” would have some traction too. We thought we’d put it to the test here in Overthinking: I’ve asked the writers to share one story about a great random interaction they’ve had with another player. And then I’ll invite you all to do the same thing down in the comments. How much do you really want to hear about the positive stuff?

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RIFT opens the River of Souls raid for progression players

Another day, another step forward for RIFT’s progression server. Players on the Prime shard have another challenge to fill their current endgame time, as the River of Souls raid has opened up for exploration and conquest.

“The 20-man raid, River of Souls is now open!” Trion Worlds announced. “Prevent Alsbeth the Discordant’s plans to reanimate the most powerful souls to fight in the army of Regulos.”

River of Souls originally was introduced to the game as part of a world event in March 2011’s Update 1.1. Players might recall that this first world event didn’t go as great as anyone had hoped, generating no small amount of controversy at the time.

Source: RIFT. Thanks Anon!

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The Daily Grind: Rank the top three housing MMOs ever made

WildStar. RIFT. EverQuest II.

If I had to choose three MMORPGs that contained the best housing systems and then rank them, that list up there is probably the titles and order in which I would arrange it. All three of these games have hugely robust systems that offer a lot of flexibility and personal creativity. Of course, that list is heavily weighted toward my experience and personal observation in games, so I’m much less familiar with other touted housing systems found in, say, Star Wars Galaxies or Elder Scrolls Online.

For fun, come up with your own ranked top three and explain in the comments why you picked those titles and ordered them the way you did!

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RIFT hangs ten with this year’s Summerfest

When we have a winged, masked figure riding a surfboard through the air in an MMO, we are firmly through the looking glass without any opportunity to go back. That’s probably not an issue with RIFT’s audience, since they’re used to a little… oddness in their fantasy MMO.

The air surfer is courtesy of this year’s Summerfest, which has returned through August 2nd and is sporting a “fantastic new tropical Tiki theme.” Yes, it’s all island living for this year’s event, even if you happen to be on the Prime progression server.

RIFT’s Summerfest includes scavenger hunts, seasonal quests, artifact piñatas, and a special minion questline, among other activities. There are plenty of items to chase, such as the aforementioned island surfboard, an Island Cove dimension, tiki decor, parrot pets, island cosmetics, and — naturally — hammocks.

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ArcheAge, Trove producers address Trion layoffs, tell players not to worry

Last week’s Trion Worlds layoffs appeared to have hit ArcheAge particularly hard, with the loss of a well-known producer to the eliminated positions, on top of the unrelated loss of a public-facing community manager week before. Merv “Khrolan” Lee Kwai, the Senior Producer on the game, addressed players on the forums yesterday to try to assuage some of the playerbase’s concerns about the safety of the game.

“I realize that some of you have concerns about the state of ArcheAge and that news of any departures only serves to compound them,” he writes. “I would ask you pause for a moment and know that many people at Trion pour their hearts into supporting the game, even though you only see a few of us in public. Other members of the ArcheAge team you might know like Tinen, Socke, BigDataDude, and I are still very much involved and care deeply about the game. Another 60+ people at Trion and the entirety of XLGames remain committed to delivering and improving the game and world you love.”

As for the future of the game? Kwai promises a big update on the next milestone after a planned meeting with XLGames.

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Choose My Adventure: Starting fresh in RIFT

When RIFT first came out, I had very low hopes for it. The game already was launching into a crowded field, and it was doing so while basically just taunting Blizzard to invite comparisons to World of Warcraft. Seriously, the game had that remarkably ill-advised “We’re not in Azeroth any more” ad campaign, that looked like a bad idea then and looks even worse now. I didn’t play it before launch, but at a glance I had thought, “this looks like a good free-to-play title but it can’t go up against WoW convincingly.”

To put this in street fight terms, this is the 98-pound weakling kicking the head of a motorcycle gang in the shins, then asking him what he’s going to do about it.

Fortunately for everyone, that story did not end the way you might expect. Sure, RIFT did not in fact take the entire world by storm, but it has been running successfully for several years now, pumping out expansions and big updates and generally managing to keep its head above water. And it no longer looks, at a glance, like WoW with a lick of paint despite that being its initial design.

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