Date: Jul 1, 2013  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 14 comments

pride writeup title

This past weekend was RIFT‘s first player-run, in-game Pride event. It was hosted by the awesome folks of The Last Prophecy on Greybriar and thanks to solid player organization (thanks Danitsia and crew!) and RIFT‘s nifty cross-shard grouping feature, the event was a pretty damn fine (and fun) success. There were over four raid groups of parade participants and a bunch more of us who showed up fashionably late (yep– I might be talking about myself) and just kinda hopped in on a Greybriar alt and had a blast.

Contrary to what some players on the forums anticipated, the event went off without a hitch for the most part. While there were a handful of players participating in various global channels that had a few negative comments and whispers for those organizing the event, for the most part the atmosphere was entirely positive. There were quite a few players who were genuinely confused about the event and what it stood for exactly, but I’m a firm believer in the fact that Pride parades and events exist to spread awareness and community– but also knowledge. Knowledge, even in a video game, equals power. The fact that players were curious was an excellent sign.

Date: May 15, 2013  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 29 comments

free to play editorial title

In lieu of hearing a simple announcement regarding an arrival date for Patch 2.3, we received some other big news yesterday along with that patch date announcement. Yep, RIFT’s going free-to-play on June 12th, which is also when 2.3 will be opening its doors (and Dendrome). Most of us saw the hints of this move coming months ago in between the layoffs at Trion, the addition of the in-game shop, and Scott Hartsman’s departure. Yesterday’s news still came as a surprise to many of us, however, especially given the timing of the news.

Bill “Daglar” Fisher mentioned yesterday that the team had been planning this move for more than a year, but despite the fact that the team pushed one-year subscription plans during the launch of Storm Legion, veteran players were only given one month to absorb the F2P news. Many one-year subscribers are understandably feeling a little let down by this move, especially considering the fact that some are paid up with over 300 days remaining on their accounts.

Date: May 13, 2013  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 8 comments

hellbugs rng title

RIFT’s Hellbugs– they come in pretty colors, look awesome when they jump, and are currently helping fire rifts see a lot of action. One problem, however. The drop rates on these little and not-so-little guys are very random and a little low for many players’ tastes. The combination of the two makes completing a Hellbug mount/pet collection fairly time consuming. Unless, of course, the RNG gods are on your side so to speak.

RNG, which stands for ‘random number generation’, is the acronym us gamers like to use when our odds of obtaining goodies are purely left to the virtual dice. By now, most of us are familiar with the concept of RNG mount drops in RIFT and remember it from past world events where players were either lucky or, well, weren’t. Trion took a hint from players after Waves of Madness and promptly started offering mount rewards during world events that didn’t require a whole lot of luck. The past few world events mounts have been really easy to nab, in fact.

Date: Mar 11, 2013  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 12 comments

carnival editorial title

Despite the fact that we’re right in the middle of RIFT’s second anniversary and Sanctum, Meridian, and the dock area of Tempest Bay are full of cheerful NPCs, colorful balloons, and carnival games galore, there’s one thing missing among the festivities on many shards. One group of things, rather. Well, okay, not things exactly. People. Despite the popularity of last year’s Carnival of the Ascended, this year our carnival grounds seem a little sparse.

Not all shards are experiencing this sparseness, of course, but even on high and medium population shards, folks are noticing the lack of carnival goers. I know I have. It was hard to miss the giant raids of balloon stompers last year even on low population shards. This year, the first day had a few smaller raids forming up on the two PvE shards I frequent, but now even during peak hours there are rarely more than three people wandering through any of the carnival attractions. So, what gives? Why aren’t the carnival games as popular as they were last year?

Date: Feb 18, 2013  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 6 comments

crossing the pve and pvp divide

When Trion added Conquest to RIFT, one of the team’s stated goals was that they wanted to help build a bridge between dedicated PvP players and dedicated PvE players. Conquest was planned as the perfect large-scale playground for players who enjoyed slaying other players, of course, but it was also designed with PvE players in mind. The roles of crafting and objective taking were going to be brought to the forefront, and the developer team hoped that small, organized groups would play a vital part. The plan was to make Conquest’s rewards worthwhile to both PvE players and PvP players.

During the first months of Conquest, this plan went fairly well. Without taking the early catastrophes of Conquest into consideration, everyone at least tried out the new feature, even players who weren’t known to PvP. Despite Trion’s hopes, Conquest quickly delved into a large-scale zerg fest where small groups generally weren’t formed and Conquest became a battle between which side had the most players clumped up. A large portion of PvE players still took part despite the lack of PvE gameplay for two reasons– Conquest Point perks and the stat trinket– both of which were great for PvE purposes.

Now we find ourselves three months into Storm Legion. Our Conquest map hasn’t changed. We’ve seen some quality-of-life updates to Conquest including a better queue system, but for the most part, the three-faction system plays similar to how it played at level 50. It’s a PvP zerg fest, essentially, which is great for players who enjoy that type of PvP action. For other players, those two desirable rewards still stand out. The problem with the perks and trinket this time around, however, is far more pronounced and is beginning to leave a sour taste is many PvE players’ mouths.

Date: Nov 9, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 10 comments

Storm Legion is almost upon us, and thanks to the fun-filled beta weekends, Patch 1.11, and Trion’s media coverage and live streams, the last few weeks have literally been a storm of new information for fans to digest. There’s no denying the fact that there are some cool, new features headed our way in Storm Legion, but what about what’s already changed in 1.11? We’ve just seen some major changes to our favorite callings, and some of the new Storm Legion souls are quite impressive. At times like this it’s almost inevitable that many players will rethink their main classes.

There’s also the fact that many of our current souls have seen complete playstyle shifts. One of most challenging aspects about RIFT’s intricate soul system is the fact that Trion has to almost keep constant watch on balance, and be ready to tweak certain callings if necessary (and they certainly aren’t afraid to do so!). The tweaks aren’t always to everyone’s liking, naturally, but perfect balance between every single calling is something we may never see, unfortunately, which is part of the reason why we see constant tweaks.

The good news? RIFT’s complex soul system does have some obvious perks, and one of those is the fact that since we have so many options available to us, if we’re unhappy with a particular role, spec, or soul, it’s fairly simple to change things up and try our hands at a new playstyle. And if that doesn’t work? With Storm Legion upon our doorstep, now’s the perfect time to consider changing mains.

Date: Jul 13, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 5 comments

Remember back in October of last year, when Trion announced that Spindrel, the spider mount originally included in the RIFT Canadian Collector’s Edition, was available for all players to purchase? The mount was offered in a package that included the other Canadian CE perks, and players all over eagerly shelled out ten bucks to ride around on a unique spider mount (well, until the mechanical spider was introduced in Carnival of the Ascended). Now it seems Spindrel has a buddy– the Armored White War Tiger Mount.

This white tiger mount, first made available yesterday, was originally part of the Korean Collector’s Edition. It’s very close to the 36-month veteran reward mount, which was previewed on the PTS in March 2012. The only difference? This one’s equipped with cool armor. Oh, and carries a “special limited time” price tag of $15. And isn’t bundled with extra goodies like Spindrel and the CE Tartagon are.

Date: Jul 9, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 4 comments

RIFT’s 1.9 patch came at an interesting time. With the announcement of Storm Legion flying through the MMO community, many gamers who had previously played RIFT or just kept an eye on Trion’s successes were well-aware of the patch. Many even resubbed. Conquest was the huge draw in 1.9, and has caused quite a ruckus– both positively and negatively– in the RIFT community. But what about the patch as a whole? Is it building up on the exciting expansion momentum, or was it, as the saying goes, “a swing… and a miss”?

Date: Apr 12, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 3 comments

RIFT is preparing to launch their eighth major content update, bringing to us a new raid, new trade-skills and the ever-expanding role of Instant Adventures. This week, we sat in on a conference call with Hal Hanlin, Scott Hartsman and Adam Gershowitz, and discussed everything that is coming with this latest patch. We even got a taste of what is coming on down the road.

There were plenty of questions regarding Fishing and Survival. We learned that these new skills don’t just bring reasons to roleplay and play around, they bring actual benefits to your character, from a power and convenience perspective. For example, the tents and bedrolls for survival are not just for roleplaying purposes; they do have effects. According to Adam Gershowitz, from a gameplay perspective, they are there to give you a little bit of rest experience as well! The developers main focus is to allow players to pitch a tent, so that they can attend to things happening in real life, like kids or making dinner, and not force the player to head back to town to log off safely.

Date: Apr 2, 2012  |  Written by Serrain  |  Posted Under: Article, Editorial, SideBarArticleList  |  DISQUS With Us: 8 comments

For a while now, Trion has been trying to make crafting more useful for endgame. Crafting in RIFT is currently useful while leveling, very useful upon immediately hitting level cap, and useful when new content and item expansions cause players to hit the ground running. What’s missing? Yeah, all that time in between. During these large expanses of time when players are happily making the gear ladder climb during raids, PvP, or instances, crafting tends to take the backseat.

There are a couple reasons behind the issue. While raiding and PvPing, vendor-bought gear and drops quickly become better than crafted alternatives until new recipes are added. Leveling crafting is also simple. Tradeskills are easy to max, so during the periods when recipes are easy to obtain, crafted items become commonplace. Crafted items like runes and consumables are needed at all times during endgame, but when crafting is both commonplace and simple, these items become easily obtainable through alts and the auction house.

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