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Dark portents abound in trailer for Rift: Storm Legion

Jun 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
The future of sci-fi MMO Rift is ominously teased in this new trailer for its first expansion, Storm Legion. A sinister female voice, referred to as "Dragon," talks about her plans for total domination through the use o...

Rift levels up with an updated launcher

May 11
// Chris Carter
In what is now becoming the new standard for MMO launchers/patch updaters, Rift has upgraded its client to include seamless patch integration. What that means is that when there's a large patch that usually precludes you from...

New Raid content on the way to the world of Rift

Apr 05
// Chris Carter
A new patch is on it's way for Rift, and in true subscription based MMO fashion, it has a ton of content. Headlining patch 1.8 is the twenty player Infernal Dawn raid, but there's a few extras coming as well, like leaderboar...

Rift Lite launches today, play the first 20 levels free

Feb 01
// Patrick Hancock
Trion Worlds has announced Rift Lite, allowing players to try the MMO Rift without any payments or time restrictions for the first 20 levels. The maximum level within the game is 50, so 20 free levels is more than g...

Eleven new publishers, RIFT, coming to Origin

Jan 24
// Jim Sterling
Origin has secured itself games from eleven more publishers. None of them are quite as huge as the last selection of companies, but the service has also scored a relatively popular MMO.  Games from CD Projekt RED, A...

Free month of RIFT with new multi-month subscriptions

Jan 12
// Joshua Derocher
RIFT is one of the few MMOs left around that hasn't gone free-to-play. If you are still playing RIFT, or if you are thinking about getting back into it, this would be a good time to do so. You can now pay for more than o...

A rift appears in Trion Worlds' account database

Dec 23
// Fraser Brown
The year isn't quite over yet, so there's always room for another hacking fiasco. This time, the victim is Trion Worlds, maker of Rift, and its customers. According to the developer, there was an unauthorized intrusion and th...

F.E.A.R., Kinect and Call of Duty deals on Amazon

Oct 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
Amazon has a new batch of promotions this week that they're using to sap the very last dollars out of our wallets. But what values! As if to point out the alternative to this week's release of Battlefield 3, we have a number ...

Trion Worlds to speak at NYCC

Oct 04
// Jason Cabral
It seems as though Trion Worlds will be pulling back the game development curtain a bit to shine light on the future of its games. On October 14, in Room 1A24 at New York Comic Con, various Trion Worlds team members will be d...

That's So MMO!: Freedom Rings

Oct 01
// David Moore
Hearty October greetings to you and yours and welcome to another scintillating collection of massively multiplayer news & views. Let’s reach deep down into our weekly Bag-of-Holding and pull out some especially sharp bits!

Preview: What's in store for Rift's 1.5 patch!

Sep 26 // Robert Fooks
Rift: Planes of Telara (PC)Developer: Trion WorldsPublisher: Trion WorldsReleased: March 1, 2011MSRP: 29.99 (STEAM) Recently, I trekked on down to Trion Worlds in Redwood Shores for a chance to experience what the creative minds behind Rift have in mind for the future of the game. After three trains, two buses and a one hour long self-guided tour of the biggest maze in the world (I got REALLY lost in Redwood Shores), I found myself in front of a building which could have only been architecturally inspired by a mix of the Parthenon and a Star Destroyer. With Rift being my current MMO of choice, I had to sheepishly suppress the urge to frolic through the rows of cubicles, needlessly pilfering “mementos” from every desk in view like a kleptomaniac as I walked through the doors. I might like Rift a little too much. Patch 1.5 Hopes to bring hundreds of hours of casual friendly content for players who have reached level 50 but are unable to experience the end-game; they aim to do it like this: Planar Attunement: Planar Attunement is Rift's response to the general feeling of not giving a damn once the experience bar stops moving. Essentially, it replaces one experience bar with another. Players will be given the ability to earn Planar Experience after they have reached max level which they will then be able to apply towards unlocking new and useful abilities. As the name suggests, all of the new abilities granted through Planar Attunement trees will correspond with one of the six planes -- Life, Death, Fire and so on. Planar Experience can be earned through more than just senseless killing though. The completion of daily quests, dungeons and rifts are among the extensive list of activities which will garner experience to spend on Planar Upgrades. Chronicles: For most, myself included, the addition of a new raid encounter can be blown off as little more than an unneeded use of hard drive space. Fear not the addition of new raid content from this day forth! Chronicles allows two casually geared players to experience the likes of Greenscale's Blight and Hammerknell without the hassle of adhering to strict schedules which occupy multiple hours of time that you just can't spare. Now the encounters will not be carbon copies of their bigger, beefier brethren. None the less, they are difficult and require understanding of complex mechanics. Library of the Runemasters: It's a new Warfront! That about explains everything, but for the sake of not sounding lazy I will elaborate. Library of the Runemasters takes place inside Hammerknell and will play similarly to The Black Gardens. Players must capture multiple "fang" like objects which will damage the holding player in a similar fashion as The Black Gardens. All I will say is I pity the pug which is given nothing more than a lone Chloromancer in this one. U/I Addons: For those of you currently playing Rift, I am confident in stating that you are probably familiar with a parser and what it does. I am equally confident in stating that you are most likely confused by it. Damage meters, swanky U/I mods and whatever Rift's version of Deadly Boss Mods will be are all on the horizon, folks.  Veteran's Rewards: Most MMORPGs have them, now, so does Rift. When players have reached such subscription milestones as 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, they will be rewarded with fabulous prizes in the mail. The items which will be rewarded to players were described to me as "cool ass shit." For those of you just beginning your journeys in Telara, you will most likely feel very little heat from this patch. This patch is in no way pretending to be made for everyone and it does address serious problems with the genre in general though. Only time will tell if all the above mentioned material will move Rift away from the problems of a general lack of content in MMO end game or if it will leave the game as yet another example of why theme park MMOs tend to have a short life span after level cap.

It would seem that all massively multiplayer online games, in one way or another, suffer from a flaw common among the games of the genre. While it is true that no MMO truly has an ending, it is also painfully obvious that onc...


'Ashes of History' update coming to Rift next week

Sep 21
// Patrick Hancock
Rift players are in for a treat, as next week will see the release of Rift 1.5 which comes with a lot of big features. Some of these additions are things you might expect from a paid expansion instead of a simple client updat...

That's So MMO!: Birth of a Star

Aug 20
// David Moore
Hello MMO connoisseurs and fellow cheese enthusiasts. How goes the raiding and invading? Gamescom 2011 is underway in Germany and exciting details are streaming out of the land of the Beer Garden. Let’s drink it up!  

That's So MMO!: San Diego Surprise

Jul 30 // David Moore
“Death of a Galaxy. Birth of a Republic.” The big MMO story out of the past week and a half has to be Star Wars: The Old Republic and BioWare’s info overload stemming from their appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2011. Not only did we get Pre-Order and Collector’s Edition details, we were provided with a narrowed release window of “Holiday 2011.” If that wasn’t enough, we also learned of Beta Weekends coming this September with a promise to invite “thousands” of fresh testers. We were also shown new Flashpoints, sexy new speeder bikes, Companion Character customization options and much more. Barring any disasters - The Old Republic is launching this November. That’s my highly-educated guess. Thank me or laugh at me later.   “PvP promises” ArenaNet, makers of the hotly-anticipated Guild Wars 2, are promising big reveals for their upcoming appearance at Germany’s gamescom (August 17-21.) In addition to all seven professions, the Sylvari and Asura character races and the Charr starter experience being playable - the devs will be unveiling PvP for the first time. Whew. If you are anywhere near Cologne you need to get to gamescom and make war on some guilds. If SWTOR has a prime competitor it’s certainly GW2. It’s going to be an interesting Holiday 2011 sales battle for fans to watch unfold.   “Clan slam!” Jagex has launched the Clan Citadel system for their long-running, immensely successful MMO Runescape. Clan members now have access to customizable, floating Clan Castles and new Clan Battlefields which can be used “to generate their own gameplay.” Clan Citadels can be upgraded a full seven tiers with unlocks such as travel portals and a dragon perch for your very own Clan Dragon available. Jagex are certified masters at shoving a whole mess of Java programming into our little overworked browsers.   “The fires of Isengard will spread” The next big expansion for Lord of the Rings Online, “Rise of Isengard,” is fast approaching its late September launch. Players will be soon be able to advance to level 75, visit three new regions including the Gap of Rohan and stumble their furry Hobbit feet into the 24-player Draigoch raid. Those keen enough to Pre-Order will be showered in fancy extras including XP Boosts, a Rohirrim Style Mount and preferred Beta access (which began on Wednesday.) Isengard isn’t just for naughty old wizards anymore.   “Myth Information” HanbitSoft’s revamp of free-to-play hack ‘n’ slash MMO Mythos is cutting a path toward fun with the addition of a new PvP arena system. The latest patch has also raised the level cap from 50 to…wait for it…51! Now, that is Myth management!   “Nest Test” Open Beta is underway for Nexon’s cute and surprisingly-compelling free MMO Dragon Nest. Developed by Eyedentity Games, this fast-paced, third person action’er offers up warm and friendly graphics spiced with foxy females and goofy monsters. Battles involve skill-shots and combos and rely on the user’s targeting skills rather than behind-the-scenes dice rolls. PvP matches (with a ranking ladder system included) are said to feel more like online shooters than traditional MMO click-fests. I’m somewhat egg-cited to learn more.    “Wet ‘n’ Wild” Rift’s Update 1.4 “Legacy of the Fallen” will be diving in soon and features an “epic” Water Saga quest series wherein players lock tridents with the Abyssal for a chance at fresh loot drops which may include a Crocnard Mount (a dinosaur/crocodile half-breed.) Players will also visit the Drowned Halls, another liquid lair, where you’ll face off with the faceless sorceress Hydriss. In related news, Rift’s head honcho Scott Hartsman has been complaining to industry mag Gamasutra about unscrupulous gold farmers and their evil, credit card-stealing ways. Harstman says CC theft is more common than many might believe. To the depths with them!   “Earth Abides” Raise your hand if you remember the cute, anthropomorphic MMO Earth Eternal -- a free-to-play title that died before leaving Closed Beta. Damnit, am I the only one with my hand up again? This little-known title featuring a veritable zoo of animal races, such as fox and bear, is back (under the new ownership of TurnOut Ventures.) If you like your playable races covered in fur and sporting claws you’ll want to investigate the new Beta.   “The spirit of Ensemble compels you!” Microsoft is set to launch Age of Empires Online in just a few short weeks (August 17th.) This fine, free-to-play RTS will remind you more of Age of Mythology (minus the insane God powers) than AoE III. My time spent in the Closed Beta was very enjoyable and this new, persistent version is shaping up to be fun and polished. Opinions vary on the cartoon-like visuals but I absolutely adore them. The words “Disney and “Blizzard” come to mind. Best of all - the game plays well. Highly-recommended.    OK, MMO masters and mistresses, that’s going to do it for this time around. I’ll see you back here next week with more MMO news than a +4 Bag of Holding can hold. Keep it logged-in.   ----- David Moore has run the site for the past ten years and co-runs, a site focused on all things Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Hello persistent friends! I’m back in action after a week away working at Comic-Con. It was fun and exhausting geeking out in San Diego, snapping pictures of Mark Hamill signing $100 autographs and trying not to be crushed by sweaty cosplayers dressed up as the cast of Glee. So, what did we miss? Let’s investigate. Without further ado -- there’s games to pursue!

Introducing That's So MMO!, a weekly MMO news column

Jul 09 // David Moore
  “Battle of the planets” - SOE has been busy shuffling its deck. After killing off one eight-year-old game, Star Wars Galaxies, they’re pumping new life into another eight-year-old game with the confirmation of a long-rumored sequel to PlanetSide. PlanetSide 2 doesn’t yet sport a release date, but Sony is promising that “technology” has now caught up with their original “vision.” Those looking for a space age Call of Duty, with customizable players and weapons, may want to enlist.   “Let the blood flow freely” - Funcom’s barbaric MMO Age of Conan has gone free-to-play. If you have any desire to quaff mead with brazen wenches, ride exotic beasts and behead your sworn enemies, now would be a good time. Check into AoC’s “Unchained” offering and commence with the slurping and slaying.   “Raid Aid” – You may have heard about World of Warcraft’s new “Starter Edition”, which allows prospective players to fire up a character and reach level 20 without time constraints. What’s new and fabulous for the subscribed faithful? Patch 4.2 introduced a Dungeon Journal containing locations, loot tables and boss abilities for all instances in the game. Your need to Alt-Tab out of WoW for tips & tricks has just decreased.   “Origin Story” – EA’s recently announced Origin digital download service will be the only way to obtain a digital client for Star Wars: The Old Republic when it launches later this year. No Steam for you! If you are worried about lack of content in SWTOR, simmer down. EA Games President Frank Gibeau has stated that each character class in SWTOR offers 200 hours of fresh gameplay. Let’s see: 8 classes x 200 hours = like … a bazillion hours! Not bad.   “Trails and tribulations” – With the new "Waves of Madness" Update 1.3 certain shards (servers) in Rift have been re-designated as “Trial” servers. These Trial shards will be destinations for the waves of incoming newbies sampling the game with trial accounts and promotional offers. What does this mean for paying players with characters already living on these shards? Eviction notices!   “Macro not micro?” The just introduced “Incarna” patch for EVE Online brought with it the Noble Exchange (NeX), or “Item Shop.” Many players are up in arms at the high prices and possible future introduction of non-vanity items, such as ships and powerful guns, which could unbalance gameplay, favoring those with thick wallets. Player protests are ongoing. Stay tuned.   “Opening the gates of Hell” – T3 Entertainment has remade Hellgate: London and are inviting interested adventurers to jump into the fire with the debut of the Hellgate Global Open Beta. Is this formerly derided and failed game now worthy of your time? Hey, it’s free-to-play. You’ve got nothing to lose by burning your shoes with a download.   That’s going to do it for this time around worldly ones. I’ll see you next week with the latest and greatest in Massively Multiplayer. Keep it logged-in.

[Editor's Note: Hey, everyone! I would like to introduce David Moore. He has run the site for the past ten years and co-runs, a site focused on all things Star Wars: The Old Republic. Basically, he i...

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