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RIFT

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

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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.

Global Chat: Why we blog

World of Warcraft, Culture, Opinion, The Secret World, RIFT, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar

tsw
Why an MMO player decides that he or she needs to take up an additional hobby of writing about these games isn't much of a mystery. We may all blog about a huge variety of topics, but the impetus behind it tends to be very common: We have so many thoughts about and so much love for these games that we can't hold it in.

To blog is to open up and share experiences, observations, and hopes. It's to connect with others and to perhaps give another layer of meaning to the time that we spend in-game. We don't blog because we have to; we blog because we simply could not not blog.

So let's see a few examples of what MMO bloggers couldn't keep inside of them! From spooky stories to rapturous tales of exploration, it's a testament to the power of words and goofy rejoinders.

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One Shots: Snowblind

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Champions Online, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

Water comes in many forms: gas, liquid, squirt gun, and cheaper beverage option to Olive Garden's wine menu. It can also be frozen in a variety of ways, which makes it perfect for an aquatic-themed expansion as seen in our first screenshot for the week.

"Here's a picture from RIFT's expansion, Nightmare Tide," reader Bill sent in. "This is from the glacier area above the main city. The main city is deep underwater and is protected by a blue 'bubble' that extends just above the water line. To reach the upper areas, you use a bouncer (near portals) that shoots you up and into the water."

Caution: Do not look at this screenshot for too long, lest you be robbed of your sight by the blinding glare.

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Enter at Your Own Rift: Do my bidding, minions!

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

rift
RIFT: Nightmare Tide is here at last, and the one overriding thought that permeates my every gaming minute is this: I am going to get totally addicted to minions. Heck, I already am.

I'll be getting into other aspects of the expansion in coming weeks (spoiler: sidekicking is way tubular), but since this one feature is available to everyone right now and it's completely new to the game, I wanted to discuss minions today. There isn't a lot of information out there on the minion system thus far, which is surprising considering how much I've seen guildmates and general chat buzz on about it. Perhaps it's simple enough not to require detailed explanations, but there's still enough depth to elicit a few questions.

So what's the minion system like? How does it benefit players? How much money does it require of free players? What are some good strategies for it? I'm all over this today, so let's get into it!

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RIFT's Autumn Harvest returns

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

rift
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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