Trion have broken from the mould of other free-to-play MMOs by choosing to avoid paygates and pay-to-win items. Instead, all the content is available to free players, with only elements like extra character slots and cosmetic items coming with a price tag attached.
It’s a progressive approach, one outlined in a new free-to-play features trailer.
For a while there, Rift was the post-WoW subscription success story to beat. No longer. As of this week, it’s simply one of the more exceptional fantasy MMOs you can potter about in for free, or something close to it.
Trion Worlds are introducing something quite curious to the new, free-to-play Rift: Rift Exchange items, or REX. They’ll form the basis of a new in-game stock exchange that Trion say will provide an avenue for free players to obtain items and services from the Rift store without the use of real money.
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Rift has been the great (read: only) new subscription MMO success story of the decade, launching in 2011 to applause and a flood of direct debit details. But by mid-2012 subscriber numbers had begun to wane. In October Trion Worlds launched a new initiative with gaming social network Raptr to draw in fresh meat. In essence, the initiative saw players bribed with in-game items to keep playing. The result? The planes of Telara ran red with metaphorical new blood, and players began to play for longer too.
Starting on Thursday, Rift's land of Telara has been taken over by the Carnival of the Ascended, bringing with it pets for your pets, carnival games and class changes.
The full list of changes is copied in below but the biggest alterations which 2.2 brings is the new Planar Attunement Tier 3, Planar Attunement of War Tier 2, and the Planar Attunement level cap lift, increasing it to 1079.
Rift's Carnival of the Ascended won't just be hitting the Tempest Bay this year but will spread across all of Telara, bringing with it hats that can be worn at a jaunty angle and colourful mounts of all shapes and sizes (that's a lie, we don't know what shape or size they'll be, they could be exceedingly similar shapes and sizes).
There's also a somewhat threatening world event planned, called Steppes of Infinity zone. Ooh-er, more below.
Rift developers Trion have signed a deal with XL Games to publish ArcheAge, the MMO follow-up to Lineage currently in beta in South Korea. ArcheAge will be released in North America, Europe, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand.