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RIFT

RIFT's Autumn Harvest returns

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

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Starting this afternoon, RIFT's annual Autumn Harvest will return, bringing back the special fall-themed realm and all of its related quests and activities. In addition to Halloween rifts and the monster mash, this year's Autumn Harvest will activate seasonal minion adventures and a trio of new followers to boss around.

RIFT is also hotfixing several small issues today, such as tweaking the minion system, increasing XP in Nightmare Tide dungeons, and making sure hit was added to various quest and crafting rewards for endgame activities.

The Autumn Harvest runs from today through November 13th. Both Junkies Nation and RiftGrate have excellent guides for those looking.

The Stream Team: Touring RIFT's Nightmare Tide with Trion's Daglar and devs

Fantasy, Video, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Livestream, The Stream Team

The Stream Team: Touring RIFT's Nightmare Tide with Producer Bill Fisher
RIFT's latest expansion Nightmare Tide just launched last week, so there are plenty of new things to do and new places to see. And who better to guide you though those than the folks who made them? Executive Producer Bill "Daglar" Fisher, Senior Development Director Simon "DeadSimon" Ffinch, Senior Systems Designer Chris "Archonix" Junior,and Senior Community Manager Eric "Ocho" Cleaver join Massively's MJ for a romp through the new content. Bring your questions for the team and join us live at 2:00 p.m. to ride through Nightmare Tide.

Game: RIFT: Nightmare Tide
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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RIFT performs extensive rollback following hardware outage

Fantasy, Bugs, Patches, Free-to-Play, RIFT

rift
Denizens of one of RIFT's more populated servers are experiencing the raw end of a 23-hour rollback following hardware issues. Trion Worlds Executive Producer Bill Fisher announced that a hardware outage hit three servers early this morning, with one of them -- Faeblight -- lacking a recent data save point and requiring a one-day rollback.

"This is a significant loss for players on this shard and we fully understand that," Fisher said. "We are currently in the process of identifying and refunding RIFT Store purchases for users from Faeblight, as well as tracking down any Instant Sixty potions that were granted on this shard. This process may take several hours but we will ensure that any credits spent during this time are returned."

Fisher said that the studio is giving bonuses to the affected servers and is contemplating more compensation. Trion also implemented a hotfix that is giving a false error to players, stating that the update requires a full re-download. The actual patch is much smaller than that.

RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion launches today

Fantasy, Business Models, Events (In-Game), Expansions, Launches, New Titles, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dungeons

RIFT
After a brief postponement, RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion will launch today. It opens up the Plane of Water, introduces a minion system, revamps endgame classes with masteries, ushers in endless nightmare rifts of all levels, and tweaks the mentor system to scale players' level upward, not just downward.

Earlier this month, Massively's Justin Olivetti explored the expansion's key features and weighed the pros and cons of the collectors editions. He noted that free players who don't pay for the expansion will be able to play most of it but will lose out on earring slots, Planeswalker: Water gear, and the Manguo League, though some of the restrictions can be removed with in-game effort.

West coast-based Trion Worlds says to expect the rollout this afternoon.

Enter at Your Own Rift: Which Nightmare Tide edition is right for you?

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

rift
I was fully expecting RIFT: Nightmare Tide to be out by the time I sat down to write this, but then the delay happened and I had a little unasked-for breathing room to figure out what I was going to discuss while we waited for the expansion to come out. The good news is that it should be releasing tomorrow, and we'll all be well on our way to enjoying both new high- and low-level content.

However, there's one big question that each RIFT player needs to answer for her or himself, which is, "Which edition of the expansion is right for me?" Unlike some other MMOs, RIFT is not charging for its expansion at all. Trion Worlds did announce a trio of collector's editions as optional purchases, and since each of these editions has an impact on how we experience the new content, I thought it well worth examining the qualities of each as well as the benefit of not paying for it at all.

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One Shots: Hello, autumn

Culture, Opinion, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Landmark

rift
House Stark once told me that "pumpkin spice is coming," and lo and behold, it is here. Autumn is in full swing, at least in the northern hemisphere, and with it come colorful leaves, scary decorations, and trips to the apple orchard.

Today we have several great fall-themed pictures from players to share, starting with this seasonal shot from reader Becca. "Here my character Tendryl in RIFT gets in the spooky spirit. Falling orange leaves, a storm on the horizon, creepy mask... oh, and a FREAKING SCYTHE! I think she nailed it," she writes.

Do you agree? Join us as we go crunching through the leaves in the rest of this week's player-submitted screenshots!

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RIFT's newest dungeon is called the Citadel of Insanity

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, RIFT, Dungeons

Citadel of Insanity has a nice ring to it, don't you think? It'd probably make a swell guild name or at the very least, a subforum title on a particularly crotchety MMORPG message board.

Alas, Trion has already put it to work as the name of a new RIFT dungeon. It includes a giant armored crustacean called Glacieus, a "massive nightmare worm," and a couple of other bosses who may cause your party to break a sweat.

You can read all about the new dungeon on RIFT's official website.

One Shots: Hitchhorsing

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

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I'm learning new things about ArcheAge every day. For example, did you know that you can hitch a ride on a mount in that game? Jef even informs me that you can do so uninvited, although the driver may shove you off along the way. That's pretty cool, even if it lends itself to a very specific new form of griefing.

Reader Sean demonstrates how one poor horse can handle two riders in our lead screenshot: "The picture is of my main, Kadrassius, and my wife's main, Keziah, as they take a ride through Marianople. I really liked this scene with the way the characters react when the horse rears up. Now I just need to get barding for my horse."

Now if we can only get a college fraternity to all pile on the same beast of burden, then we'd be making progress in this industry!

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Trion's games DDoSed again

Fantasy, Bugs, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

RIFT
E-thugs are at it again: Trion's MMO services are once again under attack. Last night, the official RIFT twitter account announced, "Ascended, our servers are experiencing a DDoS at the moment. We're working to restore network stability as quickly as possible." On the official forums, RIFT Executive Producer Bill "Daglar" Fisher confirmed that ongoing RIFT lag problems are compounded by the attacks: "Adding on top of the oddities that people are reporting, we've also been under DDOS attacks and our network team has been working to minimize the impacts of these."

Overnight, even the first few pages (five, as of the time of this writing) of the RIFT general forums were flooded with spam from attackers. Several low-traffic forums on the ArcheAge boards have also been spammed early this morning.

[With thanks to Omedon for the tip and apologies to Daglar for the temporary demotion!]

RIFT brings back a trio of fan favorite events

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

rift
Trion Worlds is hosting a reprise of three popular RIFT events that are running from now through October 15th.

Currently running is the Temporal Flux event through the 11th, followed by Budgie Madness from the 11th through the 13th; the events conclude with Unicornalia from the 13th through the 15th. Players can earn special rewards during these events, in particular bizarre and fun mounts.

RIFT is also running a 25% bonus to XP and various goodies from now through the release of the expansion on October 22nd.

RIFT previews the Glacial Maw dungeon

Fantasy, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dungeons

Someone has apparently not been sleeping well of late.
It's nice that RIFT's upcoming expansion is named Nightmare Tide because it really gives you a clear idea of what you're walking into. So when you read about the upcoming level 65 dungeon, Glacial Maw, it doesn't really surprise you. A dungeon that takes place burrowed inside of the carcass of the powerful Izbithu, wherein you fight off an infestation of parasites hoping to make the dread creature rise once more? Nightmarish, sure, but that's what you were promised on the tin.

Of course, all of that is assuming that you make it to Izbithu's corpse first, since first you'll have to fight your way past an ice drake that tends to eat anyone investigating the decaying monstrosity and a golem fused with tentacles and sharks. And even once you fight off the insidious parasitic infection, there's something even worse in the depths of the body. Which... just the fact that you're fighting inside of a giant corpse is pretty bad, yes? Take a look at the official preview, but you know it's not going to be pretty.

Previewing RIFT's new masteries system

Betas, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dev Diaries

RIFT
Trion Worlds has today previewed the new "masteries" system coming in RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion later this month. Masteries take the place of the soul points normally earned as players level up. Instead of spending soul points to take new powers in your soul trees (which would have created class imbalances), players will essentially buy powers from a new set of skills open to all characters within the same base class. Trion outlines the types of powers available:
Most Masteries provide a general primary bonus and a secondary bonus that focuses on individual abilities and Souls. These secondary bonuses have several types of effects ranging from increasing the functionality of a given ability (or type of ability) to improving utility and hybridization options for others. Masteries from level 61 to level 64 focus on passive bonuses. The primary bonus on these Masteries will generally fit a theme for all Masteries at the same level:

Level 61: Survivability
Level 62: Healing
Level 63: Utility
Level 64: Damage

When you hit level 65, you'll unlock the final tier of Masteries along with an array of active abilities. These are aimed at supplementing multiple builds, allowing you to add damage to a healing build, or even give some healing to a pure DPS build.
Masteries are saved per role and can be swapped out of combat.

Trion delays RIFT: Nightmare Tide's launch [Updated]

Fantasy, Expansions, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Livestream

rift
RIFT: Nightmare Tide's October 8th release date is no longer set in stone -- if it ever was. In a livestream yesterday, Trion Worlds devs said that there is a possibility of a release delay based on feedback and that the team will decide soon if that delay will happen. Whatever date Nightmare Tide ends up releasing, it will go live in both Europe and North America at the same time.

Many smaller details about the expansion launch were discussed during the livestream. The devs said that players will have a way to buy Planewalker: Water Attunement using in-game experience as well as purchasing it through the expansion bundle. Nightmare Tide will release with three new armor sets, new aquatic pets, additional housing dimenasions, four new dungeons, two "return to" dungeons, and the 10-person Rhen of Fate raid. The 20-person Mount Sharax raid will launch at a later date.

Trion also admitted to already discussing RIFT 4.0 and 5.0 (i.e., the next two expansions) but declined to give specifics apart from a mention of "an over-arching plan" with them.

Update: Trion announced tonight that the expansion will be delayed until October 22nd.

Enter at Your Own Rift: How Nightmare Tide brought me back to RIFT

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

rift
Wow -- it's been a year and a half since I last sat down to pen this column. Obviously, around that time I had left the game and focused on other writing projects here at Massively. It wasn't a bad break-up with my former stomping grounds in Telara; it was a "goodbye for now" type of situation. There were other vistas to be viewed and other worlds to conquer.

Yet RIFT has this power to eventually pull me back in. I'll admit that I hadn't even thought of the game for the most part in 2014 until one fateful morning at PAX Prime in September when I sat down with Trion's devs to get an overview of the new expansion. The more I watched, listened, and asked questions, the more I groaned inwardly because I knew that my carefully tuned play schedule was about to witness another upheaval. I knew I'd have to go back to RIFT to experience Nightmare Tide.

In less than a week, Nightmare Tide will roll into this game, bringing with it several new features, zones, and most likely fellow lookie-loos who will be equally curious how the game's improved with its second expansion. For this returning edition of Enter at Your Own Rift, I want to highlight four factors that were instrumental in grabbing my attention and convincing me to come back for another go in this fantasy world.

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Leaderboard: Nightmare Tide vs. Warlords of Draenor

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, RIFT, Leaderboard

There are a couple of big fantasy MMO expansions coming out in short order. RIFT's Nightmare Tide drops on October 8th, while World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor releases on November 13th.

Given those facts, I bet you can guess the content of today's Leaderboard, can't ya? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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