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RIFT

PAX Prime 2014: RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion launches October 8th; Trove's closed beta begins September 25th

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, News Items, RIFT, Sandbox, Defiance

Trion made a bunch of ArcheAge fans happy earlier this evening, so now it's time to do the same for followers of RIFT, Defiance, and Trove.

RIFT's Nightmare Tide expansion officially launches on October 8th, while Defiance will get "a massive end-of-September" update called Aftermath that includes new missions and events.

Last but not least, Trove will enter closed beta on September 25th. Massively's Justin Olivetti learned today on the show floor that this phase of beta will not be wiped prior to launch. Players who have purchased currency will receive half again as much back.

Massively's on the ground in Seattle during the weekend of August 29th to September 1st, bringing you all the best news from PAX Prime 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about Warlords of Draenor, The Elder Scrolls Online, Landmark, or any MMO in between, you can bet we'll have it covered!

RIFT adds experimental support for the Oculus Rift

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

It's the next best thing to actually lighting yourself on fire!
RIFT heard you liked rifts, so it's added some rift support to your RIFT. Specifically, it's added in support for the Oculus Rift development kits. Yes, that means that players who have headsets and want to really feel as if they're right there staring into the game world can play around with doing exactly that. What's not to love?

The official posting notes that support at this time is highly experimental and may be discontinued at any time on the whims of the developers. UI support is also very primitive, which could lead to issues with the game experience beyond just looking at stuff. Despite that fact, the support is available for testing now on the public test server and is expected to go live this Wednesday, giving players a chance to play around with the support and see how they like it. Assuming they have Rifts, of course.

[Thanks to Rick from Santa Cruz for the tip!]

One Shots: Falling through the world

Screenshots, Culture, Vanguard, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar, Destiny

Did you get a chance to say goodbye to Vanguard and perhaps take a screenshot or two in its memory before it shut down? Reader Agemyth did, submitting the following odd image and fascinating tale.

"The Vanguard shot that looks like I'm in a cave is actually because I flew my griffon straight into the peak of a mountain. Thanks to Vanguard's being the lovely lump of lovable bugs it is, I fell off my mount and right through the mountain," Agemyth writes. "Silly Vanguard, I thought, but instead of falling to the bottom of the virtual world as typically happens, I fell on top of a dungeon of some kind! I never got to explore Vanguard as much as I had hoped, but what started as an annoying bug ended up being a shortcut to an ancient forgotten underground structure soon to be forgotten for good by the end of Telon itself.

"In Vanguard's final hours, it showed me the beauty of its true open-world design. You never know what mysteries lie below the dirt when your world is designed to be lived in rather than 'progressed' through."

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RIFT addresses player auction house concerns

Fantasy, Economy, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT

Look, I appreciate your irritation at the rates, but I am relatively certain we have bigger concerns right at the moment.
RIFT brought some major changes to its live servers yesterday, but one change wasn't mentioned in the patch notes and produced more than a little player irritation. Along with all of the other auction house changes, helpfully compiled by RIFTJunkies, the transaction cost was changed from a flat fee to a 5% scaling tax. That's kind of a big change if you're used to only having a minor hit whether the auction sells or not.

According to the development team, this change will not be reversed, but modifications will be made to help make the shift feel less punishing to players. The goal is to both recover some money from the economy and cut down on unnecessary auctions for trivial sums. Players can expect to see a hotfix next week to make the taxes both lower and dependent upon the length of the auction; read the full auction house breakdown for more details as well as an in-depth look at the other changes.

RIFT launches patch 2.8, Madness Wakes

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Patches, Endgame, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Dungeons

And Madness is really cranky from its nap, let us tell you that much.
It's not quite time for the next RIFT expansion, but it is time to prep for it. Patch 2.8: Madness Wakes adds a new series of quests to lead into the story of the next major version update, with players heading to Tempest Bay to confront some dark dreams. That pairs up with the addition of a new five-person level 60 dungeon, Nightmare Coast, with new items and quests to send players after a mysterious cult.

Players also have access to a revamped auction house (which has caused some player consternation regarding its fees), major updates to the Pyromancer soul, and the ability to see the source of an item when inspecting another player. There are also various bugfixes, balance changes, and the like. Check out the full patch notes here, and if you're ready to start gearing up for the game's second expansion, log in and start getting crazy.

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RIFT's 2.8 update coming August 6

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

Trion is teasing RIFT's 2.8 update which is currently scheduled to release on August 6th. It's called Madness Wakes, and it's got something to do with "a dream-born invasion rippling through the Plane of Water."

More info is coming next week, according to Trion's news blurb.

RIFT's Unicornalia returns through July 30

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, RIFT

Did you miss out on RIFT's Unicornalia event last May? Well, it's back, according to a post on the fantasy MMO's website. Refugee unicorns from the Plane of Life require your assistance, and you'll need to "find the PRI representatives in your capital city to discover how you can help."

Onyx Unicorn mounts are obtainable via rare drops from the Hooves and Horns event in Moonshade Highlands, as a reward for completing the Rainbow in the Dark achievement, or from the game's cash shop. Opal Unicorn mounts can be had from daily quests or the store.

Unicornalia runs through July 30th.

Trion Worlds grows to over 12 million players

Business Models, Interviews, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, RIFT, ArcheAge, Defiance, Trove

Trion
In an interview with Forbes, Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman revealed that his studio's game portfolio and distribution has resulted in populations that number in the millions. "A year ago we were a company with two games," he said. "This year we are a company with three of our own MMOs, plus our first published MMO, plus 10 other distributed games [through the Glyph digital storefront]. So, we're seeing user numbers in the 12 to 13 million range."

For most of the interview, however, Hartsman discussed the positioning of business models in a changing market. If you've ever wondered why MMOs keep launching with a subscription model in this F2P era, Hartsman has a notion: "There are two reasons why companies can't do it from the outset. Number one is that the larger the company, the more public, the more they have to aim for predictable revenue, and there's not a lot of information sharing on free-to-play on the PC and console markets. The other big challenge is the technology it takes to do sales effectively in a free-to-play game -– there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes than a lot of people would think, where an initial purchase plus subscription model doesn't take nearly so complex a model to drive sales."

One Shots: Life isn't fair

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

ff14
Today, this boss mob woke up to the harsh realization that life just is not fair. Even with his impressive stature and the rather expensive sword that his grandma gave him for Christmas, he's unable to hold down any full-time job. What's worse is that every would-be "hero" in the world keeps ganging up on him. Even if he emerges victorious, everyone sneers and jeers at him. He just can't win.

So let's meet our first antagonist, reader William, who documented this shameful moment from Final Fantasy XIV. "The new hunts are incredibly fun and have added a lot of variety to the game!" he chirped. "My friends and I recently tackled this S-Rank Hunt, Agrippa the Mighty, along with some additional help from people in the zone. Don't worry; I healed that poor Black Mage lalafell after taking this screenshot."

But did you heal Agrippa and try to make friends with him? That's what would lead to a true storybook ending!

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Trion boosts RIFT's subscriber benefits

Fantasy, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT

RIFT subscribers are getting some benefit boosts, according to a new Trion website blurb. Patrons already enjoy extra currency, summons, mount speed, artifact tracking, daily quests, bonus loot, and store discounts. Now, though, they'll also receive 40 percent experience, favor, notoriety, prestige, and token boosts.

New benefits also include faster planar ability cooldowns, a fast pass teleport, and more!

In other RIFT news, Trion adjusted the Stormcaller soul in yesterday's hotfix.

RIFT producer's letter reveals Nightmare Tide expansion

Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT

RIFT's latest expansion is called Nightmare Tide, and Trion producer Bill Fisher says that it will release before the end of the year. The new content will take players into the Plane of Water and will feature new open-world zones, new story quest lines, a new rift type, an increased level cap, and more.

Fisher also mentions RIFT's ongoing Summerfest as well as the new Blighted Antechamber Warfront. Finally, there's a blurb about auction house changes coming in the pre-expansion 2.8 update. Click through the links below to read all about it!

RIFT to unify Euro region on a single cluster

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

July 3rd is reunification day for European RIFT players, according to a news blurb posted yesterday on the fantasy MMO's web site. All Euro Ascended will play on a single cluster and will be able to transfer "between European shards to participate in activities on whichever shard they choose."

Trion has also increased its player capacity and is merging several shards as a result. Check out the firm's FAQ for full details.

One Shots: Child's play

Screenshots, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, One Shots, The Secret World, RIFT, Miscellaneous

TSW
Today, my friends, you are going to be disturbed by this column -- disturbed and delighted, puzzled and tantalized. But I'm afraid that we're going to have to begin with a sight that is quite unsettling, so if there are any small children in the room, get them to hold your hand because there's no way you are brave enough to witness this.

"I recently returned to The Secret World and have been having a blast, but I think this is the scariest scene I have come across whilst playing," reader Balsbigbrother. "OK, so it's a little gory with the meat cleaver in the head but those dolls and the shadows they make on the walls, eeek! The game atmosphere kind of builds up to a point where your own imagination takes over. So while I was in that room, I kept thinking if all those dolls suddenly turned around to face me, I would seriously lose it and maybe need psychiatric counseling for several months afterwards."

You're not alone, man. The Nursery was one of the most terrifying places I've ever visited in a video game. Let's see who dares to see the whole tableau after the break!

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Hellbugs invade RIFT once again

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

RIFT
To celebrate the second season of Defiance on TV, Trion Worlds has triggered a new invasion of Hellbugs... in RIFT. Hey, even Telarites watch Syfy when they're not out battling planar forces.

These aren't your old Hellbugs, but a different strain that will appear in various rifts, footholds, and new zone events. Players have a shot at earning a Hellbug mount or pet for killing their brethren en masse, so good luck if you're aiming to get one!

RIFT's Temporal Flux returns through June 18

Fantasy, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, RIFT

RIFT's Temporal Flux event has returned, and it's brought with it a new quest, vault, and mechanized mount. Players level 30 and up can speak to Planar Research Institute reps in Sanctum, Meridian, and Tempest Bay to pick up daily quests, while players of all levels can scour the game world for Temporal Flux rifts.

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