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Rift goes free-to-play in two days, but you can start playing now


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.

June 12. That was the date we’d had etched into the PCGamesN Little Black Slab, but early birds have taken advantage of free trials to hop into Rift ahead of the free-to-play switch.

To do the same, you’ll want to download the Raptr desktop app. Play via that for 15 hours and you’ll unlock a free one-month subscription which, needless to say, will see you through to the official re-launch on Wednesday.

Unlike recent rivals The Secret World and Guild Wars 2, the new Rift won’t require an entry fee of any sort, and nor will its expansions. Instead, revenue will come via a new item store, which stocks experience and notoriety boosts, tokens, and other convenience items. Mounts and gear will be available to buy too, but Trion Worlds have been explicit in the opposition to ‘pay-to-win’.

“The best gear in the game must be earned,” creative director Bill Fisher told us a month ago, “and high level items on the store must also be available to be earned in the game if they have a high credit price.”

Most fascinating is the new virtual economy Trion will introduce in the coming weeks, which should see cannier players bypass the paid elements of the game entirely. Cash-rich players will buy REX items direct from Trion; others will then purchase it with in-game platinum in the Auction Hall, before converting it to Credits usable in the Rift Store.

Unconvinced? Check out Rift’s free-to-play restrictions compared to, well, everybody else’s.