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rift

Here are some of the best in-game winter events running right now

Dec 21 // Joe Parlock
Neverwinter: The Winter Festival The Dungeons & Dragons MMO for PC and Xbox One has already launched its winter event on December 17. This year sees the return of the Winter Festival of Simril, a lovely little snowy fair full of mini-games and prizes. Claiming a present each day from the Giftmaster in Twilight Tor will nab you a whole load of free stuff, including new mounts and clothing, without having to do much work. While this event also ran last year, some new quests and areas have been added to celebrate the recent-ish release of the Underdark expansion, so there’s more to check out if you thought you’d done everything last year. The Winter Festival will run until January 7. World of Warcraft: Feast of Winter Veil Feast of the Winter Veil is a long-standing tradition in World of Warcraft, and once again the event brings with it new quests and loot up for grabs. If you’re Alliance head to Ironforge, and if you’re Horde head to Orgrimmar. There, you’ll find a whole load of characters needing help setting up the festivities. Greatfather Winter needs help doing his totally-not-Santa thing, and the Jinglepocket Goblins want you to go and save Metzen the Reindeer. But best of all is some dungeon bosses will be wearing little hats which you can take for yourself. Little. Freaking. Hats. Some of the others rewards you can get include new pets, such the Clockwork Rocket Bot and the Tiny Snowman, as well as new toys like the Train Set. The Feast of Winter Veil started on December 16, and will be running through to January 2. Hearthstone: Winter Veil World of Warcraft isn’t the only one who gets the Winter Veil festival, as it’s also come to everybody’s favourite collectible card time-sink, Hearthstone. The boards have been all decked up with snow, fireplaces and fancy lights, and even the heroes are getting a bit festive with their new holiday greetings emotes.  However, the big thing is the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl mode. Greatfather Winter drops presents and crates onto the board, and whichever player manages to destroy them will get a new 1-mana card that will grant them a card either for their own or for their opponents' class. Winning a game of Gift Exchange will net you a very festive Winter Veil Wreath card back. Unfortunately, you don’t have much longer left with the Gift Exchange, as it ends on December 21, which at the time of writing is tomorrow. If you’ve missed that though, don’t worry. The wintery boards and a holiday sale offering 50 classic packs for $50 will be running until January 6. Rift: Fae Yule Rift’s winter event is probably one of the longest ones this year. It started on December 10, and will be running all the way through to January 6. The Fae Yule event returns once again with everything players are used to from previous years, with quests being found in Sanctum, Meridian, Iron Pine Peak, and Draumheim. However, this year there’s some pretty big changes to the proceedings. There’s a new instant adventure in the Iron Pike Peaks, a new questline for the Minions, as well as a reworking of the Sparkle Quest. There’s also a sale running on the in-game store, featuring weapon and item skins, mounts, and backpacks. Depending on how much in-game credit you buy, you can also nab either a Jolly Hellbug Pet or an adorable Jolly Hellbug Mount. RiftGrate has a great (heh) guide on getting the most out of the event too, for those who don’t want to miss anything. Final Fantasy XIV: The Starlight Celebration If you head to the upper deck of Limsa Lominsa and talk to Collys before December 31, you’ll be roped into a fairly long questline to help her set right the celebration plans for the Starlight festival. If helping save Starlight out of the goodness of your heart wasn’t enough, you can also nab some goodies too: Christmas trees and glowing wall decorations, as well as costume pieces to make you look like Santa or his Reindeer. This isn’t the biggest or longest event running, but it’s definitely one of the most adorable that I’ve seen. Rocket League: Snow Day Probably one of the best multiplayer games to come out this year, Rocket League introduced a hockey mode to its roster. It comes as part of a mutator called Snow Day that replaces the usual ball with a huge puck, which changes the game almost completely. As well as the new mode, a variety of cosmetic drops are available until January 4, including the ‘Xmas’ rocket trail, various toppers, and two new antennae. Azure Striker GUNVOLT: Christmas in Gunvolt Land Indie platformer Azure Striker GUNVOLT went full-out this year and added in a whole new mode for its winter event. Christmas Mode gives the game a wintery makeover, and tasks players with collective as many presents as they can on the slippery ice. The mode also has its own leaderboards too, for those who want to prove they’re officially the best at Christmas. Christmas NiGHTS Okay, this isn’t technically an event in the same way the other games are because it’s been available for almost 20 years now, but it’s still totally worth checking out. If you have a copy of either the PC or PS2 rereleases of NiGHTS into Dreams, you’ll currently find the menus have taken a much more festive tone. NiGHTS is decked out in red, there’s an awesome version of Joy to the World blaring, and even Dream Dreams, the game’s main theme, has a lovely a capella cover. It’s all one big reference to one of the coolest demos ever released for a game, Christmas NiGHTS.  Christmas NiGHTS was a demo released NiGHTS back in 1996 on the Sega Saturn. If you played for nine months of the year, it was just a standard preview of the game, showing off Spring Valley and the boss Gillwing pretty much exactly how you’d find them in the full game. However, if you played it from November to January, the entire thing took on a festive vibe. Spring Valley is covered in snow, NiGHT’s podium turns into a giant cake, and the Ideya containers are transformed into Christmas trees. Even Gillwing changes, turning his lair into a glittery Santa’s grotto around a huge Christmas tree. The whole thing was really cool. I always play whatever version I can find at this time of year, and so should you. That should be more than enough gaming to tide you over the next couple of weeks. However, remember that this week sees the start of Christmas sales on Origin, Green Man Gaming and Steam, as well as basically every console’s digital store too! Neverwinter: The Winter Festival The Dungeons & Dragons MMO for PC and Xbox One has already launched their winter event on December 17. This year sees the return of the Winter Festival of Simril, a lovely little snowy fair full of minigames and prizes. Claiming a present each day from the Giftmaster in Twilight Tor will nab you a whole load of free stuff, including new mounts and clothing, without having to do much work. While this event also ran last year, some new quests and areas have been added to celebrate the recent-ish release of the Underdark expansion, so there’s more to check out if you thought you’d done everything last year. The Winter Festival will run until January 7. World of Warcraft: Feast of Winter Veil Feast of the Winter Veil is a long-standing tradition in World of Warcraft, and once again the event brings with it new quests and loot up for grabs. If you’re Alliance head to Ironforge, and if you’re Horde head to Orgrimmar. There, you’ll find a whole load of characters needing help setting up the festivities. Greatfather Winter needs help doing his totally-not-Santa thing, and the Jinglepocket Goblins want you to go and save Metzen the Reindeer. But best of all is some dungeon bosses will be wearing little hats which you can take for yourself. Little. Freaking. Hats. Some of the others rewards you can get include new pets, such the Clockwork Rocket Bot and the Tiny Snowman, as well as new toys like the Train Set. The Feast of Winter Veil started on December 16, and will be running through to January 2. Hearthstone: Winter Veil World of Warcraft isn’t the only one who gets the Winter Veil festival, as it’s also come to everybody’s favourite collectible card time-sink, Hearthstone. The boards have been all decked up with snow, fireplaces and fancy lights, and even the heroes are getting a bit festive with their new holiday greetings emotes.  However, the big thing is the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl mode. Greatfather Winter drops presents and crates onto the board, and whichever player manages to destroy them will get a new 1-mana card to work with. Winning a game of Gift Exchange will net you a very festive Winter Veil Wreath card back. Unfortunately, you don’t have much longer left with the Gift Exchange, as it ends on December 21, which at the time of writing is tomorrow. If you’ve missed that though, don’t worry. The wintery boards and a holiday sale offering 50 classic packs for $50 will be running until January 6. Rift: Fae Yule Rift’s winter event is probably one of the longest ones this year. It started on December 10, and will be running all the way through to January 6. The Fae Yule event returns once again with everything players are used to from previous years, with quests being found in Sanctum, Meridian, Iron Pine Peak and Draumheim. However, this year there’s some pretty big changes to the proceedings. There’s a new instant adventure in the Iron Pike Peaks, a new questline for the Minions, as well as a reworking of the Sparkle Quest. There’s also a sale running on the in-game store, featuring weapon and item skins, mounts, and backpacks. Depending on how much in-game credit you buy, you can also nab either a Jolly Hellbug Pet or an adorable Jolly Hellbug Mount. RiftGrate has a great (heh) guide on getting the most out of the event too, for those who don’t want to miss anything. Final Fantasy XIV: The Starlight Celebration If you head to the upper deck of Limsa Lominsa and talk to Collys before December 31, you’ll be roped into a fairly long questline to help her set right the celebration plans for the Starlight festival. If helping save Starlight out of the goodness of your heart wasn’t enough, you can also nab some goodies too: Christmas trees and glowing wall decorations, as well as costume pieces to make you look like Santa or his Reindeer. This isn’t the biggest or longest event running, but it’s definitely one of the most adorable that I’ve seen. Rocket League: Snow Day Probably one of the best multiplayer games to come out this year, Rocket Leagueintroduced a hockey mode to its roster. It comes as part of a mutator called Snow Day that replaces the usual ball with a huge puck, which changes the game almost completely. As well as the new mode, a variety of cosmetic drops are available until January 4, including the ‘Xmas’ rocket trail, various toppers, and two new antennae. Azure Striker GUNVOLT: Christmas Mode Indie platformer Azure Striker GUNVOLT went full-out this year and added in a whole new mode for their winter event. Christmas Mode gives the game a wintery makeover, and tasks players with collective as many presents as they can on the slippery ice. The mode also has its own leaderboards too, for those who want to prove they’re officially the best at Christmas. Christmas NiGHTS Okay, this isn’t technically an event in the same way the other games are because it’s been available for almost 20 years now, but it’s still totally worth checking out. If you have a copy of either the PC or PS2 rereleases of NiGHTS into Dreams, you’ll currently find the menus have taken a much more festive tone. NiGHTS is decked out in red, there’s an awesome version of Joy to the World blaring, and even Dream Dreams, the game’s main theme, has a lovely a capella cover. It’s all one big reference to one of the coolest demos ever released for a game, Christmas NiGHTS.  Christmas NiGHTS was a demo released NiGHTS back in 1996 on the Sega Saturn. If you played for nine months of the year, it was just a standard preview of the game, showing off Spring Valley and the boss Gillwing pretty much exactly how you’d find them in the full game. However, if you played it from November to January, the entire thing took on a festive vibe. Spring Valley is covered in snow, NiGHT’s podium turns into a giant cake, and the Ideyacontainers are transformed into Christmas trees. Even Gillwing changes, turning his lair into a glittery Santa’s grotto around a huge Christmas tree. The whole thing was really cool. I always play whatever version I can find at this time of year, and so should you. -- That should be more than enough gaming to tide you over the next couple of weeks. However, remember that this week sees the start of Christmas sales on Origin, Green Man Gaming and Steam, as well as basically every console’s digital store too!   What other events do you think are worth checking out? 
Winter Events photo
No Scrooges are allowed to take part
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Mince pies, gingerbread men, last-minute panic buying of presents, and, of course, shutting yourself away from your family for the entire time to take part in some of the many i...

Rift photo
Rift

Rift's latest update is the biggest one since launch


That launch that happened four years ago
Oct 09
// Joe Parlock
Remember Trion’s Rift? I really liked it; it had a lot of excitement behind it before release, and then when it came out people seemed to forget all about it. The jump to free-to-play seemed to help a bit with getting ...
Rift free-to-play photo
Rift free-to-play

Rift is now fully free-to-play this week


Creative Director of Rift ensures players it's 'not pay-to-win'
Jun 13
// Chris Carter
In case you haven't heard during the madness that is E3, Trion World's MMO Rift is now fully free-to-play as of yesterday, having previously employed a "lite" version of the game that limited players to level 20. Th...
MMO retention rates photo
MMO retention rates

Rift developer increases MMO retention through rewards


In-game trinkets increase playtime, says Trion Worlds
Mar 12
// Chris Carter
Retention rates for subscription based MMOs are a really hard thing to regulate. After all, why do you think so many of them drop their fee to go free-to-play? Trion Worlds has somehow managed to survive the switch, and is st...

Rift two year anniversary photo
Rift two year anniversary

Rift celebrates two years with carnival and free weekend


More mounts!
Feb 27
// Joshua Derocher
Rift is celebrating its two-year anniversary in style with an in-game carnival. Players will get to attend the "Carnival of the Ascended" and participate in events to unlock new mounts and masks to wear. This carnival i...
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Rift Extra Life marathon event to feature corgis


Suddenly, corgis.
Oct 17
// Dale North
I don't know a lot about Rift, but I do know a lot about corgis. The world's most perfect animal will be making an appearance in one of the scheduled events for the Rift Extra Life marathon for the Children's Hospital Network...
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Rift: Storm Legion dated, pre-order bonuses detailed


Includes early dungeon access and a cape
Sep 05
// Jordan Devore
Trion Worlds has announced that Rift's first expansion, Storm Legion, will be launching on the same day in North America and Europe: November 13, 2012. I'm not playing the game, and frankly, I don't know how many of you are ...
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Trion Worlds shed more light on Rift: Storm Legion


Aug 11
// Jason Cabral
Ever since Rift made a splash on the MMO scene in 2011, Trion Worlds have been hard at work consistantly creating new content for it's devoted fan base. With it's first expansion, Rift: Storm Legion, Trion Worlds is loo...
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Trion Worlds announces Gamescom plans


Aug 07
// Fraser Brown
It looks like Trion Worlds' has a fair amount to show off at Gamescom, which is impending. During the conference, which takes place in Cologne between the 16th and 19th, Trion will be showing "Storm Legion" for Rift to consum...
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Get clued up on Rift's Storm Legion


Aug 01
// Fraser Brown
Trion Worlds has released a bunch of new lore for their upcoming Rift expansion, "Storm Legion". Infinity Gates, God Engines, Blood Storms, it all sounds like nonsense to me. I suppose there are only so many things you can ca...
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Trion wants you to come back to Rift for a few days


Jul 26
// Fraser Brown
MMOs are like needy ex-lovers. Not content to fondly remember the good times and simply move on, they always want you to come back. In this case the ex is Rift. Trion are inviting old players, who have at least one level 20 c...

E3: Storm Legion gives Rift more land, more adventures

Jun 06 // Allistair Pinsof
The demo took place in a new dungeon with an eye-catching Steampunk aesthetic. The walls were lined with cogs and pendulums, surrounded by elegant, detailed texture work. There is a lot of depth in these environments that make the game stand out amongst other games in the genre. This new focus on discovering lost, ancient technology is a nice twist for those who feel a bit tired of Rift's established world. Another impressive addition is a new set of boss encounters with colossuses, which sound exactly like you imagine. In an effort to have more 80+ player raids outdoors, Storm Legion offers a couple instances with these towering juggernauts that are as tall as a 20-story building. These things are absolutely massive. Seeing them approach you, having their foot take up your entire screen is really something I haven't seen in an MMORPG before. The way these battles play out are also unique to the genre. There is a lot of timing-based attacks in these fights. If you time a hit against the colossus correctly, you'll gain speed and damage boosts. As their armor gets destroyed, more boosts fall to the ground that can be picked up for further bonuses. After dealing a couple serious blows to this beast, he takes off and smashes through a wall, unveiling a new area for players in the instance to explore. Storm Legion seems to be doing a lot of unique things not only in the world of Rift but in the larger genre it is a part of. With ten additional levels to gain, new mounts, and a whole lot of interesting, new content, this appears to be the perfect shot in the arm for Rift's player base. Come and get your MMO heroin in Q4 2012
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15 months and nine major patches later, Trion Worlds is looking to expand the real estate of Rift. With the addition of two new continents, Dusken and Brevane, the player space of the popular MMORPG has been tripled. Trion Wo...

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Rift expansion Storm Legion adds two continents and more


Jun 01
// Jordan Devore
To accompany this morning's trailer for Rift: Storm Legion, we've got more details on this next major step for Trion World's MMO. Due out later this fall, Storm Legion will add two new continents, an expansion of the Ascended...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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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...
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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.
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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...

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


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