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RIFT

Sail to Tyrant's Throne with RIFT 3.1

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
RIFT's Patch 3.1: Storm at Sea came out yesterday, building upon the water-based madness that came with last fall's Nightmare Tide expansion.

The biggest addition to the Plane of Water is the Tyrant's Throne zone (which is so very fun to say six times fast), which includes five new story quests that cover the tale of Crucia's horrible experiments. The patch also adds three zone events, more planar attunement levels, a new nightmare rift type, a new chronicle, and improvements to the minion, dimension, and crafting UI systems.

RIFT's 3.1 Storm at Sea arrives next week -- with capes

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, PvE, RIFT

There's a preview of RIFT's new Tyrant's Throne content on the game's official website. On January 28th, Trion says, players will see some "titanic zone events" as well as a new 20-player raid, a 2-player chronicle, and more.
The journey into RIFT 3.1 Storm at Sea is nearly at hand. On January 28, players will make landfall at the harbor of Tyrant's Throne – just in time for titanic zone events that bring ancient akvan lumbering out of the abyss! Ascended will have one week to wipe them from the island before the opening of Tyrant's Forge, a new 20-player raid pitting the strongest Guardians and Defiant against the Dragon Queen of Air.
The most important bit, of course, is capes. Yes, capes. "New capes debut for all," says the studio.

RIFT spurns hoverboards and brings out hoverbikes for 2015

Fantasy, Video, Culture, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

It's like Star Wars except for all of the many ways it's not like Star Wars.
Do you all like your current MMOs? More than you like RIFT? That's fair. But do you like your current MMO more than you like... hover bikes? Faced with the choice, the team behind RIFT is hoping that when it comes down to the wire, your answer of what game you love the most will be answered with a resounding chorus of "hover bikes!"

Hey, it's close enough.

Yes, bikes that do not roll but instead hover slightly above the ground are being floated out to RIFT for a limited time. If you want to not-actually-roll through Telara with these stylish mounts, you'd best log on and grab them promptly; they're available for only a limited time. And who doesn't love hover bikes, after all? Especially when they have a video showing off just past the break.

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RIFT plans improvements to dimensions and minions

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dev Diaries, Housing

Two of RIFT's more popular systems, dimensions and minions, will be getting some major dev love when Patch 3.1 arrives.

In a new dev diary that went out yesterday, the team lays out a list of improvements for these systems. Dimensions will be getting a free-fly camera to allow for even more building precision, permissions options for visitors, ban lists, and -- prepare for this to blow your mind -- a bigger +1 button.

As for minions, players will have even more options in how they deploy these hard-working followers. The team is adding minion stamina potions, the ability to shuffle adventures, and the option to link to minions in the chat window.

One Shots: Shadow play

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, The Elder Scrolls Online

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Welcome to a new year -- and the best year of One Shots you'll ever see. I know this because I've been to the future (December 31st, 2015) and spent those precious time-bending moments flipping through all of the One Shots column this year. Amazing stuff, people. Really well done.

Well, we might as well get started with your glorious photo journeys! Our very first pic of the year is from reader Becca, who sends us this groovy bit of shadow play in Elder Scrolls Online: "While waiting for a boss to spawn in a public dungeon, my friend Arkslan and my character Rozyn had some fun with lighting."

Great. Now I know what will be lurking under my bed tonight: a sing-songy bard. Terror knows no name, but it does sing harmony.

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RIFT beefs up the minion system

Fantasy, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
RIFT's new minion system is arguably one of the more popular additions to the game in some time, with players sending out their loyal subjects to bring them back treasures and fame. However, Trion Worlds says it still has work to do, and in a new "State of the Minunion" post, the studio lists a few areas that it's improving with the game's next hotfix.

The new Fae Yule minion mission pack, with a series of quests that tell a story, will have some of its minion rewards buffed up with better stats. The hotfix will also tackle a few bugs and add minion-releated achievements. Finally, adventure rewards are being fine-tuned and improved, although it has been difficult for the team to handle this as it has been "an extremely extensive change touching dozens upon dozens of loot tables."

RIFT brings Fae Yule back with new mounts and sweaters

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Nice marmot.
What could be better than riding around on a festive squirrel while wearing awful holiday sweaters? Why, doing so on your way to fight a boss, of course. You'll get your chance to do just that in the latest incarnation of RIFT's Fae Yule event, running until January 7th. Players can send their minions out to find the missing Grandfather Frost, take on the new Golden Devourer boss, and take part in several new quests and special events during the event period.

And what do you get out of it? Aside from a new mount to carry you into battle, you can earn new pets, minions, holiday-themed weapons, cloaks, decorations for your home Dimension... lots of stuff, in other words. So get in-game and get moving because if you have an urgent need to deck yourself in all the holiday gear available, you've got only a little time to pick it all up. And who wants to miss out on horrible sweaters? No one, that's who.

Enter at Your Own Rift: Five advantages RIFT has over WoW

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Enter at Your Own Rift

rift
From its inception, RIFT has taken the position of being both a World of Warcraft clone and a direct competitor for its playerbase. It's not as if Trion Worlds has been subtle about it: The early campaign slogan of "You're not in Azeroth anymore" all but reached over and tweaked Blizzard's nose. While some didn't like the direct comparison, I thought it was a wise move for RIFT to acknowledge its obvious ancestry and its position as a cocky upstart.

While I've never been of the opinion that only one MMO can "win" or that we should always disparage games other than the ones we play, I won't deny that comparisons get made. Listen, World of Warcraft is a fun, slick game, one I spent many years playing. But just because it's one of the most popular MMOs in the world and stuffed full of 10 years of content doesn't mean it holds all of the cards (nor is it the MMO that currently grabs most of my gaming time).

In fact, RIFT has several distinct advantages that it's used and continues to use against Big Blizz, and it's those advantages that I want to praise today.

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One Shots: Cult worship

Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

tsw
Have you ever been running along in an MMO and come screeching to a halt because other players are doing something inexplicably weird? Then perhaps you'd sympathize with reader Tyler in this situation.

"There are times in games -- especially games like The Secret World -- when one stumbles across something they simply can't explain," he submitted. "But nothing I have seen is as surreal as the sight that greeted me when I stepped into Agartha during the recent Halloween event: a circle of Atenists worshipping a girl in a bikini whilst chanting "ATEN! ATEN! ATEN!' I asked around in general. No one had any explanation for what in God's name was happening. It is a mystery for the ages."

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RIFT announces Christopher Junior as game director

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Please stop playing The Who, guys.  These days the riffs from that song usually just indicate to listeners that someone just made a pun.
The release of RIFT's latest expansion has led to a minor changing of the guard over at Trion Worlds. It's still the same guard, though, just in different positions. A shuffling of the guard, if you will. The game's new executive producer Bill Fisher announced in a letter to the community that Christopher "Archonix" Junior is getting brought up to the director position following the release of Nightmare Tide.

Junior, by his own words, has been working with RIFT focusing chiefly on the systems end of design. The game's holiday event is scheduled to live next week, followed by the first major patch since the launch of the expansion. The patch, tentatively titled Storm at Sea, will include a new open-world area, extensions to the existing raiding area, and updates to the Minion systems that were introduced with the expansion. Check out the full letter to the community for another few details and a bit more introduction to the game's new director.

Perfect Ten: Mobile apps to enhance your MMO lifestyle

World of Warcraft, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Opinion, RuneScape, Mobile, Wizard101, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, Guides, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Landmark

We're living in the age of smart phones, when there are more cell phones than there are people on this planet. I can't go anywhere without seeing people constantly whipping out their little rectangular companions for the constant stream of information, social connection, and Candy Crush interludes.

While MMOs aren't making great headway on these devices, in part due to the limited input scheme, several wise studios have made good use of the mobile market to give players a way to keep in touch with their games even while AFK. Today we're going to count down, count up, and count sideways 10 official mobile apps that will enhance your MMO lifestyle.

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One Shots: Nowhere to hide

Screenshots, Age of Conan, Culture, Ultima Online, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

uo
Generally, I don't like to be pessimistic, but I have to say that things don't look good for reader Brad here. Sooner or later his childish game will fall apart, and when that happens, it will be all teeth and claws and slavering fangs. But at least it's for a good cause, right Brad? Oh, it's just to level up his skills.

"To get your skills up in Ultima Online, you had to use them over and over," Brad explains. "As they got higher, you had to do more difficult things with some skills. This was me trying to up my hiding skill. Lets just say, trying to hide in front of this many Ophidians, was not easy... but I was gaining skill! They could not get to me up here."

Who here feels bad for the Ophidians? Raise your hands please. I thought as much.

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RIFT brings back Unicornalia

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Subscription

Every one you meet will be the last of its kind.
As the holiday season swiftly approaches, RIFT reminds us all of an important issue that doesn't get much discussion over the year: Unicorns. Oh, sure, the plight of these noble creatures can easily be dismissed with a waved hand and a claim that "these are fictional animals that do not actually exist," but RIFT's Unicornalia returning is a chance for everyone to adopt a unicorn in peril.

During the event, which runs until November 26th, you can provide a home for an Onyx Unicorn or an Opal Unicorn. Both can potentially be received from the limited edition Sparkle Troves in the RIFT store. You can also obtain the Onyx Unicorn as a rare drop from an event in Moonshade Highlands or by completing the "A Rainbow in the Dark" achievement, while the Opal Unicorn can be received via Unicornalia dailies. Please, take time out of your day to consider the unicorns. They're not just for virgins any more.

Enter at Your Own Rift: How to tell a great story in an MMO

Fantasy, Lore, Opinion, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Enter at Your Own Rift

rift
My character still hasn't (ahem) ascended to Nightmare Tide levels yet, so today's RIFT story will instead be about Storm Legion. I had been working my way through the Eastern Holdings in Brevane when I encountered a quest chain that floored me with brilliant storytelling that showed exactly how MMOs can utilize this platform to tell tales in ways that other mediums cannot. It is audacious, bold, and incredibly dark, especially for RIFT. And I cannot praise it enough, especially in light of long-held claims that RIFT is often weak on story.

I have two caveats before we go through what made this quest chain so great. First, I'm going to spoil it from start to finish, so if you haven't played it and want to remain innocent, just bookmark this column to read later on. Second, there are some truly edgy themes in this recap. Got it? Let's go!

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RIFT adds extra days to its Autumn Harvest

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
Grumpy that Christmas music is already blaring in the stores? Then take solace in the fact that at least one MMO isn't prepared to let go of Halloween just yet.

RIFT announced yesterday that it will be adding a few extra days to the ongoing Autumn Harvest event. Previously, it was scheduled to end on November 13th, but after "listening to feedback from [its] players," Trion Worlds said that the event will now go on through the end of Wednesday, November 19th.

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