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

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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Fortnite rolls out season 5 as Epic Games retroactively grants modders a bigger profit cut

Fortnite’s season 5 is live now with its all-new battle pass to turn your free-to-play experience into dress-up battle royale. We know that’s what you’re really all about. Epic is touting the new all-terrain go-kart, flintlock weapons, rift content for battle royale players, and the Challenge the Horde mode in on the PvE-oriented Save the World side of the game in today’s patch.

On the business side of things, Epic Games will be surprising contributors to the Unreal Engine Marketplace, as it’s changing up how much of a cut those player modders are receiving from their submissions. No, Epic isn’t taking money away; it’s actually increasing the player profit percentage from 70% to 88%, and it’s doing so retroactively, going back four years and paying modders the difference from those years. Now that’s a smart way to engender goodwill for one of the biggest games in the world.

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RIFT’s progression server moves on to Ember Isle, onslaughts, and planar attunement

It’s a big step forward for RIFT’s one and only progression server. Prime inhabitants can now move into the game’s 1.6 Update with all of its vanilla RIFT endgame glory.

There’s a lot of content for players to plunder with this update, starting with the (re)introduction of the Ember Isle. This tougher level 50 zone includes 30 additional quests and many other activities to keep players busy at the level cap.

Also arriving with yesterday’s patch are the defensive-themed onslaughts, the Caduceus Rise dungeon, and Planar Attunement. This last feature is an ongoing character progression system that converts post-level 50 XP into advancement through several enhancement fields. The full patch notes are up as well and mention some of the class tweaks and general fixes that went into the game.

Source: RIFT

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Perfect Ten: Best MMO debuts by year, 2007-2017

Continuing from my previous column, I’m going to be running through the second decade of graphical MMORPG launches and picking the best title to debut in any given year. From doing the first decade, I know that this thought exercise isn’t always fair; some years have several great contenders, while others see one mediocre one rise due to a lack of competition.

Still, it’s kind of fun to look back at MMO history and to see which game was really the best of that year. And if you ever felt sore that a particular title got overlooked, well, consider this a retroactive awards ceremony of some sort.

Let’s dive right in where we left off with 2007!

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Trion Worlds offers free MMO goodies for Marvel Heroes refugees

Ever since Trion Worlds announced that it had snapped up all of the remaining assets from Gazillion and Marvel Heroes, we have wondered what the studio was planning to do with them. Now we know at least in part, as Trion is handing out free MMO promotional packs to Marvel Heroes refugees as a way to welcome them to the fold.

This promotion is a “limited-time offer” and only applies to former Gazillion players who register to Trion Worlds with the same email address that they used for Marvel Heroes. If this applies to you, you can pick up a promo pack to one of the five games that Trion is running.

Pick Trove and you’ll get both a super starter pack and a square necessities pack. Go with ArcheAge, and you’ll enjoy 30 days of patron time, a mount, and other goodies. RIFT’s deal is pretty good, with a month of subscription time, all of the game’s souls, two more bag slots, and a mount. Alternatively, you may choose Atlas Reactor (and get all freelancers the game has and ever will make) or Defiance (which includes a legendary shield and chip).

Source: Trion Worlds

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Choose My Adventure: Final Fantasy XI in review and choosing our next MMO

Here’s the weird part about this week’s column: I’m going to tell you, in short, that Final Fantasy XI is still a good game once you get past the initial hurdles involved. I am also going to tell you that it is a game which has not aged well, in part because of those facts. Which no doubt is going to sound kind of weird, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in.

There are really two things you have to look at with this particular game. The first is whether or not the game is approachable by someone who hasn’t played the game in years or ever, whether or not you can make reasonable progress when you start playing. The other is whether or not the game gives you slightest idea about how to do so, or indeed about how to do anything in the game. Because all of the systems in the world don’t help if you don’t know what they are.

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Tamriel Infinium: All the lore you need to know for Elder Scrolls Online’s Wolfhunter DLC

Lycanthropy has been a part of the Elder Scrolls lore since Daggerfall, even if it did kind of skip Oblivion. Elder Scrolls Online introduces lycanthropy as its own skill line with both passive and active skills. It was this fun skill line that helped me want to jump back into the game a couple of years ago. It’s not the most useful skill tree in the game, and it certainly isn’t as good as Vampirism when it comes to PvP, but I found it to be a lot of fun and would recommend it to players looking to explore some of the lore and interesting mechanics of ESO.

In the next DLC for ESO, players take to opposite stance and actually hunt werewolves with the Order of the Silver Dawn. Although we don’t have many details about this next DLC, we know that one of the dungeons take place in the Order’s headquarters as its infested with werewolves, and the other takes place in Hircine’s Hunting Grounds.

This Friday at 6 p.m. EDT, Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan and Writer-Designer Tori Dougherty will give us a more in-depth look at these two dungeons, but before that, we should probably learn all we can about werewolves in ESO. That’s why I’ve broken down how to become a werewolf in ESO and where they come from according to the Elder Scrolls.

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Global Chat: A starting point for WoW Classic

The recent announcement of WoW Classic’s starting point — Patch 1.12 — started to make the prospect of this legacy server a lot more real to players, including many MMORPG bloggers.

“Fans of Captain Placeholder are no doubt disappointed, but it seems like a reasonable place to call Vanilla to me,” said The Ancient Gaming Noob.

“I do wonder whether Blizzard will ever take this idea to the logical next step, as other studios have already (both EverQuests and now RIFT), and make it into a progression server so that players can relive the highs of each new content release, patches, and expansions in turn,” mused GamingSF.

Inventory Full concurs: “A server that simply locks at a specific snapshot of the game risks stagnation. There is a market for an unchanging experience as can be seen by the number of ‘maintenance mode’ MMOs that still hold some kind of population but it’s easy to see why a company as large and successful as Blizzard might not consider that audience sufficiently large or profitable to encourage.”

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RIFT hands out free progression server vault space

Have you ever gotten excited about a game issue or MMO extended downtime because you know that there’s a good chance that you will be able to reap some compensation for your troubles? It’s happening today with RIFT’s progression server crowd that’s had to deal with a buggy bank feature. The upshot? Free storage space for all!

“Fixed an issue allowing you to use extended bank vaults even though they were invisible,” the patch notes said. “In accordance with this, YOU GET A VAULT. AND YOU GET A VAULT. AND YOU GET A VAULT! (Vault 1’s extended storage is now available for everybody).”

Today’s hotfix also addressed some wardrobe, LFR, and dimension issues on the live servers and greatly increased the token drop rate for Prime’s expert dungeons and raids.

Summerfest is on the way for RIFT, and dataminers have discovered some of the new goodies that you’ll be able to earn with this year’s festival.

Source: Patch notes

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RIFT datamining uncovers the gear and pets of Summerfest

It’s summertime, and that means seasonal events will flow like wine in MMOs. Why go out into the heat and sun when you can make your character do it? So it goes for RIFT, but you needn’t wonder what this year’s celebration will bring thanks to the latest round of datamining from The Ghar Station. Mounts, outfits, face gear, even new backpacks have all been uncovered for the event.

Players will be picking up a new grass skirt along with masks for the summer celebration, parrots as a seasonal pet, and a new surfboard for mount purposes. There’s also a new seal and a new pair of backpacks available, and even some non-summerfest items uncovered in the latest roundup of datamining. Check out the whole thing right now if you don’t mind being spoiled about these items when they’re officially revealed; the important thing is that you get to celebrate the weather while staying inside and surrounded by air conditioning.

Source: The Ghar Station; thanks to Potato Pancake for the tip!

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Trion just bought up Gazillion’s assets to beef up its MMO publishing arm

Did you see this one coming? VentureBeat has a piece out this morning interviewing Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman, who’s apparently just revealed that Trion’s bought up all of Gazillion Entertainment, or what’s left of its assets, anyway.

Gazillion, of course, infamously shuttered along with its core MMORPG, Marvel Heroes, last autumn following weeks of missed content, an apparent failed contract renogotiation, a sexual harassment scandal, and ultimately Disney’s rescinding of the Marvel license, driving the studio into bankruptcy. At the time, we called it the worst-managed MMORPG sunset of all time.

It looks like the goal for Trion here isn’t necessarily to save or remake Marvel Heroes (although that would be fun, and VB notes Trion has picked up an isometric game engine as part of the package) but to bolster its publishing for MMOs specifically, something MMO players will recall Trion’s been working on for the last few years with Glyph, where Trion’s existing games – including RIFT, Trove, ArcheAge, and Defiance – currently dwell.

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RIFT issues another progression server challenge, loses lead raid developer

It’s time to play the catch-up game with RIFT, starting with this week’s new challenge by the devs to progression server players. For the next month, players are tasked with sealing 120 rifts of various types as well as completing 20 zone events to secure a “Planar Protector” title. There are new PvP and crafting challenges as well.

Moving on to team news, players discovered the Raid Lead Designer Richard “Icarus” Byon has left Trion Worlds for another opportunity. Trion confirmed the departure: “We are extremely proud and grateful of the work he accomplished for RIFT; he is a talented designer and hard worker who brought a lot to the team and Trion as a whole. We have made gains to shift resources and continue to avidly work on instance and raid content. The RIFT team has some great content that we are working on while re-positioning our cadence and development focus.”

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Get your dapper on with Warframe’s new Limbo Prime, the game’s 57th ‘frame

High fashion arrived in Warframe with the golden gentleman, Limbo Prime. Of course you can look snazzy while skewering enemies; this 57th playable Warframe is all about bending the power of the void to his will while dressed to the nines. Just check out that hat! That formal jacket! Who cares if it is made out of metal; that just means a little polish and you’ll outshine all your groupmates at any event — at least fashion-wise. And your battle performance will be just as flashy with with the help of Limbo’s special puncturing-perfect Destreza Prime rapier and blast-happy Pryana Prime shotgun.

Limbo Prime can be obtained either in-game through the relic-hunting system or by purchasing Limbo Prime access. If you opt to purchase the Limbo Prime Access, on top of the Warframe you get his merciless weapons, Limbo Prime glyphs, Oblivia Prime Syandana, Rift Walker Prime sigil, a 90 day credit booster, and a 90-day affinity booster. Admire the outfit and accessories in the gallery below.

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