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RIFT willing to ban players for toxic forum behavior

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

Breaking news: Actions have consequences.
Official game forums have a reputation for being hopelessly toxic. It makes a certain amount of sense, too; being an utter jerk in the forums usually means that at worst you'll be banned from those forums. So RIFT is taking things up to the next level. If you choose to be persistently awful in the forums, you can eventually have your ability to play the game suspended. Readers with a long memory will note that Sony Online Entertainment has discussed similar possibilities in the past, hoping to encourage a more positive and engaging atmosphere all around.

The Carnival of the Ascended is rolling back into the game and helping create a more positive atmosphere as well, giving players a plethora of minigames to enjoy. RIFT Junkies has a full guide to the event available now, walking players through the steps necessary to unlock mounts, pets, and fun cosmetic pieces. So enjoy the addition... assuming you haven't run afoul of the more aggressive behavior policies.

[Thanks to Cederhill for the tip!]

One Shots: Spelltastic!

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous

You guys are so awesome, did you know that? You totally are. I'm still getting cool screenshots of spell effects from a challenge I issued a while back -- and I'm loving them.

Our featured picture this week is from reader John, who hails from the Angels of Destiny in Guild Wars 2. Because there's never a bad time to take a selfie, not even in the middle of life-and-death combat, he captured this cool shot.

"This is my Sylvari Elementalist, Ayo Carina, preparing to strike down a minotaur with her conjured Fiery Greatsword while attuned to Fire," John wrote. "Not content with slinging spells from the rear ranks, Ayo loves to get up close and personal!"

Someone's going to need bactine, that's all I know. Let's check it out in living color along with the rest of this week's entries!

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RIFT announces account-wide premium mounts

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

Screenshot -- RIFT
Mount aficionados of Telara have reason to celebrate, as Trion Worlds has announced that RIFT's premium mounts are available account-wide. Now, all of a player's premium mounts will be available to every character on his account, regardless of which character acquired the mount in the first place.

Trion has also announced that all premium mounts will be 25 percent off in the game's shop from today, February 21st, until February 23rd. For the full list of account-wide mounts, plus some notes on other features introduced in the game's latest patch, check out the full post on RIFT's official site.

The Stream Team: Trolling for trolls in RIFT's Stonefield

Fantasy, PvE, RIFT, Livestream, The Stream Team

Nothing says "leveling up" more than a zone of trolls, golems, and alligator people, and you can bet RIFT's level 20-27 zone Stonefield has packed in the maximum number alligator people. Join Massively's Jasmine live at 3:00 p.m. as she takes her Cleric through Stonefield's higher-level quests!

Game: RIFT
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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RIFT suffers from chat and mail issues through the weekend

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

We could talk about this, but in another very real way, we couldn't.
it looks like RIFT's patch 2.6 is bringing some unintended features to the game. Assuming you consider the complete shutdown of the game's chat to be a feature, anyhow. Up through most of yesterday, the game did not feature working chat for groups, raids, or guilds. While a fix has been pushed through early this morning to address most of the remaining issues, conquest chat is still non-functional as of this writing, and there are still "issues" with positional chat modes.

Problems first emerged on Wednesday, but despite several hotfixes and updates the game has not yet been restored to full working order. Even the latest round of fixes still leave certain features disabled, although it looks like everyone logging on later today will be able to play normally for the most part. It remains to be seen when the remaining issues will be addressed.

[Thanks to nope for the tip!]

Trion's Elizabeth Tobey departs

MMO Industry, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Defiance

Elisabeth Tobey
Trion Worlds Director of Global Communications Elizabeth Tobey announced today that she's leaving the studio to work for Smule. She also firmly squashed any speculation that her departure signaled that Trion is conducting layoffs: "Firmly no to downsizing; in fact, I've been working with our amazing team for quite a while to get some great people on deck for you."

Tobey chronicled her history with RIFT and Defiance on her personal blog. "Trion's taught me a ton," she wrote. "I learned what it meant to run an MMO community (which, in comparison, makes anything I'd ever done before look like child's play). I also not only launched RIFT's first expansion but also helped it transition into (in my completely unbiased opinion) the best free-to-play MMO on the market."

She also testified to the addictiveness of ArcheAge: "ArcheAge, you are going to blow people's minds. I could write an entire swan song on the awesomeness of raising livestock, charting the open seas, and hijacking my fellow coworkers as they try to complete trade routes, but I want everyone to experience that for themselves. Trust me, it's better than any blog post."

[Thanks to Sanguinesun for the tip!]

RIFT Update 2.6 goes live

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

RIFT players, get home from work and school and get patching: Update 2.6 is now live in the game!

The update contains a hefty assortment of features, the most notable of which is the new Dream Weaver crafting profession. With 2.6 also comes unstable artifact sets, over two dozen new dimensions, pet skins, a bounty system, and the first part of the new Air Saga storyline.

The patch coincides with the start of the love-themed Festival of Mariel-Taun.

RIFT announces Dream Weaver patch date, introduces new Budgie mounts

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

Screenshot -- RIFT
Telarans anxiously awaiting the next RIFT update won't have to wait much longer because Trion Worlds has announced that patch 2.6, Dream Weaver, will go live on February 12th. The update brings with it a slew of new features, perhaps the most notable of which is an entirely new crafting class: the titular Dream Weaver. The Dream Weaver tradeskill allows players to craft keys for 15 new dimensions and create a number of lighting and particle effects that can be used to add a little pizzaz to your dimension. The update will also kick off a new Air Saga storyline that takes players back in time to relive the story of Crucia, the dragon goddess of air, and will see the addition of the new bounty system, new combat pet skins, and unstable artifact sets.

But if you just can't wait one week to get your RIFT fix, perhaps you could pass the time trying to acquire an adorable new mount, the Frosty Budgie. Until February 11th, players can compete in daily Budgie races in Silverwood (for Guardians), Freemarch (for Defiant), Pelladane, and Cape Jule. Completing all three races will earn an achievement and a Budgie Trove, which has a chance to contain the rare Frosty Budgie. Players can also complete new daily quests in the aforementioned zones to earn bird seed, which can be used to purchase the new Ashen Budgie mount. For players who absolutely must have these new mounts can purchase additional bird seed and Budgie Troves via the in-game cash shop.

RIFT's Dream Weaver is a homeowner's best friend

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Crafting

Dream Weaving is not just one of many reasons to be excited about RIFT's 2.6 update, but perhaps the most exciting reason of all. Trion Worlds has a new post up about what this crafting profession entails and how it will benefit homeowners across Telara.

Dream Weavers are primarily focused on creating items and effects for player dimensions, literally dreaming them into existence. To fuel their craft, Dream Weavers will need to collect and break down artifacts to draw out dream ribbons, the new crafting material that's coming with the patch.

Trion says that these crafters will be able to whip up visual effects, including elements, lighting, and partical effects. Dream Weavers can also create keys to brand-new dimensions and craft Dream Orb armor enhancements that stack with runes.

For more on the Dream Weaver, check out our 2.6 preview!

The Stream Team: Instant Stonefield adventures in RIFT

Fantasy, Video, PvE, RIFT, Livestream, The Stream Team

Sure you could go through all of Stonefield's quests one by one or if you're short for time you can queue up for one of RIFT's instant adventures! Join Massively's Jasmine at 3:00 p.m. EST and experience everything Stonefield has to offer, only more, you know, instantaneously.

Game: RIFT
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Thursday, January 23th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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A look at RIFT's 2.6 update additions

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

A rare day in which it's not just pictures of squirrels.
If you're a loyal subscriber to RIFT, you probably can't wait to see what's around the bend for patch 2.6. And you'll be rewarded for that loyalty with a variety of new features... and a brand-new loyalty tier. RIFT Junkies has put together an extensive preview of new features, achievements, and rewards currently available on the game's test server, as well as a look at what players can get for the new "black" loyalty tier.

Among the major additions is the new Bloodfire event marking a major invasion from the Fire plane directly into Telara. The event also appears to tie into the new Air Saga achievements. There are also new squirrel mounts gained from Unstable Artifacts, allowing players to summon a variety of new elemental critters to serve as transportation. So you'd best head on over to the preview for all the details you can get about these new events before they go live.

One Shots: Over the moon and back

World of Warcraft, Screenshots, Warhammer Online, One Shots, Humor, Mabinogi, RIFT, Miscellaneous

Welcome back to One Shots! I've missed you! I've missed you so much! It's been so long -- how long has it been, really? A week? That's far too long. Let's catch up: What have you been up to? Me? Well, I've been collecting the very best player-submitted screenshots for all to enjoy. But I guess binging on Breaking Bad is a valid use for your time too.

Reader Derrick sent in our first picture of the day from Mabinogi, and this might well be one of my favorites. Just looking at it makes me want to live a better life so that one day I might be invited to sit up there with them. "Here I am sitting in my personal homestead on Ladeca, one of the two moons of Erinn," Derrick explains.

It only gets more whimsical from here, folks! Join us as we swing on a star and see what our fellow gamers are up to in MMOs.

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The Stream Team: Instantly adventuring in RIFT

Fantasy, PvE, Free-to-Play, RIFT, Livestream, The Stream Team

Does this ever happen to you? You're in the mood for an adventure, but you just don't have the time to sit around and wait for one to happen? Wait no more with RIFT's Instant Adventure! Pop this queue in your microwave on high for 45 seconds and you'll have a piping hot adventure ready in no time. Just watch how Massively's Jasmine instantly adventures her way through Telara live at 3:00 p.m. EST! Results may vary, void where prohibited, see store for details.

Game: RIFT
Host: Jasmine Hruschak
Date: Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Time: 3:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Field Journal: Seeking instant gratification in RIFT

Fantasy, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, RIFT, MMORPG, Field Journal

Let's go away, you and I, to a strange and distant land.
I've always been pretty open about my feelings on RIFT: I have an immense admiration for the mechanical ideas and the sheer effort Trion makes, but the world-building and aesthetic choices put me to sleep. The game firmly belongs in the category of those games I wish I liked but don't.

While I played the game's first 20-something levels (not to mention trying out several alts into their teens) early in its existence, it just could not hold me. Further attempts, such as during free weekends, in the unlimited free trial, and after the conversion to free-to-play, uniformly resulted in my milling about for a couple of hours before getting bored and uninstalling yet again. Maybe if I ignored the world entirely and focused purely on constant activity, I could get into it. Fortunately, RIFT's Instant Adventure system offers just what I need to test that theory.

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MMO Mechanics: Lowering the barriers to entry

Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest II, Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Endgame, Opinion, RuneScape, Guild Wars 2, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Subscription, MMORPG, MMO Mechanics

MMO Mechanics title image
In the increasingly competitive MMO genre, games have to do all they can to keep you as a customer. MMOs have traditionally been quite difficult games to really get into since they typically require a considerable time and money investment and we tend to play them for stretches of several months to years at a time. The gameplay in MMOs is inherently social by nature, forcing you to relate to others, and there are some even more fundamental barriers that get in the way of new players signing up. I'm sure we've all enthused and rambled to our friends in the hope that they might check out our most recent gaming crush, only to see a repulsed look on their faces when they realise it's an MMO.

The classic subscription model is a substantial paywall for the average gamer, and this is what has traditionally kept MMOs niche. The early game can be daunting to those who aren't familiar with the genre, and developers pour a lot of effort into easing newcomers into that gameplay. In this week's MMO Mechanics, I'm going to look at how some MMOs manage to break down these barriers through the use of clever mechanics in order to open up MMO gaming to more people than ever before.

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Featured Stories

Global Chat: Doom and WAAAGH!

Posted on Jul 22nd 2014 8:00PM





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