For many of us, it was around this time one year ago that we first heard about RIFT, eagerly dived into beta, then started our adventures across Telara. For others, their adventures would begin later, but would be no less exciting than ours. We’ve all had some pretty crazy adventures by now, and it’s hard to believe that RIFT has been out an entire year. But yet, here we are, celebrating alongside the folks at Trion– who, might I add, have some reasons to celebrate.
RIFT started off the show with a smooth launch and a flood of players who hungered for that MMO experience with more to offer. Do you remember the first few days spent leveling in Silverwood and Freemarch? The roar of an epic zone event taking place, the rush of people as they made their way across the map to slay a huge beast, and the cheers sounding out across every chat channel as it was defeated? I think most of us do, and it’s safe to say that for many of us, that memory will always be among our favorite MMO moments.
After the leveling rush, players began gearing up to experience the game’s first raiding content, Greenscale’s Blight. Expert dungeons back then were challenging, but extremely fun with the right group of players. Shortly after release, we saw our first major content addition with the River of Souls raid and world event.
This introduced one of the fun, unique features in RIFT– its world events. Events in-game don’t just surround real life holidays and feel tacked on. They surround content additions and actual storyline advancements. They provide a dose of fun for players to enjoy at any level. Since RIFT’s launch, they have been a constant source of goodies, collectibles, and lots and lots of currency.
A few months later, we saw the next major content addition– the Gilded Prophecy 10-man sliver. This gave smaller guilds the ability to raid on days unexpected attendance issues came up. RIFT’s raiding content has since stood a bar above most other MMOs because of the ways in which full-size raids, raid rifts, and sliver raids complement the many playstyles that guilds often encompass. Guilds aren’t forced to run the same raid instance on multiple difficulty levels just to have something to keep them busy. Instead, Trion gives us actual new content.
Around this time, we also saw many quality-of-life advancements in RIFT. We gained the ability to seek out dungeon groups using a looking-for-group tool. We received the ability to create wardrobe outfits. We gained the ability to utilize guild banks, summon new types of rifts, hunt for additional artifacts, and craft new items that are useful for endgame.
Hammerknell, our next major 20-man raid was then added, along with an exciting world event, Waves of Madness. Hammerknell stepped up the difficulty of the current raiding tier, and many raiding guilds made RIFT their game of choice after its release. We then saw the addition of another new 10-man sliver, Drowned Halls.
We also received the planar attunement system and the chronicles feature. Chronicles gave endgame solo and small group players more activities to choose from, and tossed in a unique way to see the lore behind some of RIFT’s raids instances.
There’s also, of course, no forgetting about the huge addition of Ember Isle, which not only gave us a whole slew of endgame questing material, but new factions, items, collectables, lore, and dynamic events to discover and experience. Along with it, we also received a new warzone, a new 5-man expert dungeon, and master modes, which let players experience a higher difficulty tier of existing expert dungeons.
More quality-of-life advancements occurred after the 1.6 content push, and we saw the addition of the Fae Yule event, some major PvP changes, a dose of itemization and expert dungeon tweaking, RIFT Lite, RIFT Mobile, a new feature to assist players in experimenting with character builds, some revamps to the low-level areas, and the ability to marry in-game. Somewhere in there, we also received our first 2nd tier 10-man sliver, Rise of the Phoenix.
Whew. That pretty much brings us up to speed. Now we’re enjoying the Carnival of the Ascended world event, and the anticipation of our next major 20-man raid addition– Infernal Dawn. It’s been one hell of a year as far as content additions go, and I’m sure I forgot to mention at least a couple of things.
In looking back, we also can’t forget about all of the internal class balancing, ability balancing, server population adjustments, and itemization balancing that occurs during every patch and in between patches. Trion’s certainly had their hands full this year, and really, I think that’s one of the largest reasons why RIFT is doing so well. Trion doesn’t hesitant to tell us what their plans are, where they intend on taking us, and do so in a timely manner. They let their game speak for itself.
RIFT does a pretty damn good job of speaking for itself. The vast amount of content available after a year of being released assures us of that fact. Content is good stuff. It’s where we, as gamers, obtain our best MMO moments from. Those difficult, new pulls, the cool items to plan for, and the new areas to explore– that’s what gaming is all about.
We can’t help but love that first terrifying pull of a new raid boss, where we expect our raid to blow up within the first two minutes. That first victory kill, and the cheers over voice chat, always make up for the repair bill. The rush of players making their way toward a new event boss make us realize, once again, why we love RIFT.
The game isn’t without its faults, but looking back on this past year, the overall experience has been an awesome ride. Trion has their work cut out for them in the years to come, especially given the extreme amount of competition in the MMO field right now, but I have nothing but confidence in their ability to keep up the good work.
Enjoy RIFT’s birthday, Trion! And to the folks of Telara– enjoy the celebration, and look forward to the adventures yet to come.