Rift Beta 5 Preview Information Released

We’ve just had some mildly amazing information about the upcoming changes for Rift’s 5th Beta phase. They’ve obviously been extremely busy over the last couple of weeks since phase 4.

Public Grouping is the biggest change, but as a Rogue I’m also pretty excited about the changes to Rogue energy regeneration.

The changes detailed under “Invasion Improvements” sound like they may deal with many of the concerns I’ve had with invasions in my liveblog. Many times I found myself facing invasions many times more powerful than anyone in the vicinity had any hope of standing up to. Hopefully things will scale a little more sensibly from now on.

Current Beta players all received a 25 use key this week, so we can expect this next phase to be pretty packed. If anybody hasn’t already gotten their hands on one, drop me a comment and I’ll sort you out.

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Beta 5 Preview!

We’ve tried to take as much advantage of the relative calm between Beta 4 and Beta 5 as we possibly could. Here are some of the highlights to look forward to in Beta 5 tomorrow. We’d like to detail a number of them and also shed some light on a few things for Beta 6 and beyond.

New For Beta 5

We’re expecting Beta 5 to be at least twice as big as beta 4!
By the end of Beta 4, we were running a total of 18 servers. 8 in our Europe datacenter and 10 in the US. This time we’re opening up with 16 in each region, for a total of 32 servers, all with higher population caps, more than doubling the number of people who can be online at once.

If you get caught in too long of a queue during the middle of beta, know that we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if we need to open even more.

Public Grouping. This was a big one for us — just about the single most requested item — and we’re really happy to have it in game for you to try out already.

First, as you’re wandering around the world and target people, if they’re solo or ingroups/raids that are willing to accept new public members, you’ll see a new button in the target frame that lets you join their group or merge your group into theirs if it fits.
Rift Group Merge Button

Continue reading Rift Beta 5 Preview Information Released

Rift Scarlet Gorge Devchat Log – 21st January, 2011

Trion Developers Aaron Hooten and Gavin Irby, the designers behind the Scarlet Gorge zone, just got off RiftIRC where they shed light on some of the zone’s secrets. Scarlet Gorge is the first zone you encounter that is shared between the factions, so is likely to also be the first time many players encounter World PvP.

Below, I’ve done my best to organise the sometimes chaotic chat into individual questions and answers:

<Rifty> Motorboat asks: Can I ride on that cable-boat thing in the video?
<Gavin> Hell yeahz you can
<Aaron> Depending on your level of “scared of hieghtsyness,” yes.
<Gavin> I’m just going to ride and do knockbacks on other players all day
Continue reading Rift Scarlet Gorge Devchat Log – 21st January, 2011

The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 8

Continuing on from Part 7!

2:45 pm GMT, 8th of January

I’ve picked Outfitting, as it’ll allow Osgard to make armour for himself. He gave up the foraging skill to make room for it, as I’m hoping that herbs and wood won’t play too much of a part in it.

Right away, the trainer has three recipes to sell me. Cloth shoes, leather shoes, and the ability to turn burlap cloth, which I’ve been looting from fallen enemies, into “Bolts of Burlap” which will be a crafting ingredient.

Osgard also got a skill for salvaging cloth and leather armour, and the outfitting button itself, which brings up this window:

Rift Crafting Window Outfitter 550x572

Rift's Outfitting Window

The Outfitting trainer offers a couple of quests. One requires me to bring him 4 bolts of burlap and 4 soft leather. The leather flumoxes me briefly, as there is no tailor recipe for that, but I discover that it is a butchery recipe that I can bring up using my til now neglected butchery button.
Continue reading The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 8

The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 7

We’re back! Since the end of part 6 we’ve had out first look at Rift’s pricing scheme.

Beta 4 has come with a fairly beefy set of patch notes. I’ll try to mention any important changes I see as I play through in this phase.

The big changes for this round are an increase in the levelcap to 27, and the turning on of the PvP Warfronts. While I doubt I’ll be getting to 27 this weekend, I will try to check Warfronts out to cut through the chatter and get the skinny from the horse’s mouth, ideally before it tramples me into the ground!

9:12 am GMT, 8th of January

Off we go, somewhat later than intended. I managed to lose all desire to play any MMO at all last night, in between some bad news coming from EQ2, and reading some Rift posts which are so gushing with hyperbole that they are indistinguishable from a press-release. Watching the Rift-specific websites compete to see which of them is going to be Trion’s very special favourite is getting to be a bit embarrassing to watch. This always happens before any new MMO release, but it always leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth about MMO-blogging.

A good snooze fixed me right up though, and we’ve had a hotfix while I napped!:


  • Soul Acquisition quests that were not progressing have been fixed.
  • Fixed a bug with Soul Points when changing roles while an ability is queued.


  • Warfront experience is ‘more better’.

Continue reading The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 7

In which I am a Guest on Claims of the Normal!

Mr Breki and Mr Petter were kind enough to invite me on as the special guest for the relaunch of their Claims of the Normal Podcast.

It was the first time I’d done anything quite like it, and there’s probably several minutes of me just going “Ummm”. I also say “Basically”, “actually”, and “pretty much” vastly too often. Valuable lessons were learned, and I had a whole lot of fun. My thanks to my fine hosts for making me feel so welcome and at ease.

We discussed Rift, EQ2, WoW’s Cataclysm expansion, DCUO, and a whole lot more. If you fancy checking the show out, you can find it here!

Rift Pricing and Launchdate Thoughts

It’ll be launching on the 1st of March, with a headstart for pre-orders beginning February 24th.
That’s all pretty standard, though a little sooner than many were expecting. The pricing is a little more peculiar though:

Founder’s Subscription: For a limited time, Trion Worlds is pleased to offer Founder’s Subscription pricing. If you choose a subscription plan by 3/15/2011, you’ll be able to pick one of the special pricing plans listed below. You’ll get to keep this special pricing as long as you retain an active subscription to RIFT.*

*Your payment method will be charged (on a recurring basis at your selected subscription rate) until you cancel your subscription. If you choose to cancel your Founder’s Pricing subscription and later re-subscribe to RIFT, the Founder’s Subscription plan will no longer be available.

Monthly 3-Month 6-Month
$14.95/month $11.99/month $9.99/month
$14.95 $35.97 $59.94

This is a little weird, as what we’re seeing is not the normal pricing rates. These are the special Founder rates that you’ll be able to get if you play from launch, up until the time you decide you want a break, whereupon you’ll end up on the, yet to be announced, normal subscription rate.

It’s an interesting way of locking people in to subscribing continuously, for fear of losing that special rate. Unsurprisingly, I don’t much like it, as while it is certainly “interesting”, it’s a bit heavy-handed for my liking, and feels a little like a punishment.

$14.95 a month seems to be the special Founder’s pricing. We’ve not seen the regular pricing yet, and so I am wondering if we are about to see a new price-point set for a subscription MMO.

One good sign is the lack of a lifetime subscription. Lifetimes have become a big red flag for me that says that a developer does not have faith in the longevity of its product, and wants to cash in as soon as possible. Not having one means that Trion believes in Rift.

Update: Starseeker’s comment below suggests that the Founder pricing only means the 3 and 6 month bundles. I’ll be looking about for some clarification on that.

The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 6

Continuing on from Part 5.

I need to get my dancing feet on if we’re going to check out any new features, as this phase of the beta is due to end today.

5:00 pm GMT, 31st of December

That being the case, I’ve just been bashing my way through the Divine Landing quests, harvesting resources when I can. I expect if I keep on going I’ll either find a crafting trainer, or one or more dynamic rifts.

The server has just gone down again, before I could even take a nice screenshot!! Hopefully just for an update. I *think* beta phase 3 is going for a few more hours yet.

5:27 pm GMT, 31st of December

Back in, and here’s something new!

While the books I collected back in the tutorial seemed to be static, I’m now finding sparklies in the world which do seem to give random artifact collectables. In this screen, I have a choice of which of two different collections I want to add the Principia Conflagera to.

Rift Artifact Collections 550x478

Rift's Collection Window

Continue reading The Rift Beta Bonanza – Part 6