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 generous if you ask me. Rift Lite is launching alongside a new patch, Carnival of the Ascended, which you can read about here.
It's been almost a year since Rift launched and I think Rift Lite is the correct move. There are those of us who have always been interested in Rift's world, but not enough to actually shell out the initial investment. Rift Lite fixes this by creating what is, in essence, an extremely long demo. This is a great alternative to the free-to-play model since there aren't any restrictions on what you can do before level 20.
In fact, my experience has shown that the first 20 levels of an MMO are generally the best produced; they're so crucial to the game. If you don't hook the player in this phase, chances are they won't stick around and pay that monthly fee for very long.
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