Rift going free-to-play

Trion Worlds MMO adopting new business model beginning June 12; paid subscriptions will remain available.

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Fantasy massively multiplayer online game Rift will adopt a free-to-play business model beginning June 12, developer Trion Worlds announced today.

According to the developer, free-to-play gamers will be able to experience the entire game world of Telara, which includes every dungeon, every zone, and every level. Free-to-play users will also receive "full access" to all content future game updates.

Rift creative director Bill Fisher explained that business model switch came in response to fan feedback.

"We have been listening to feedback from our players and watching the continuously developing MMO community, and are now ready to launch Rift as a premium free-to-play experience," Fisher said in a statement. "After taking our time and planning a careful transition; we are very excited to bring an enhanced game experience to everyone, without barriers."

When Rift goes free-to-play next month, Trion Worlds will launch an expanded in-game store offering up various mounts, boosts, and wardrobe items for purchase. Gamers who continue to pay a subscription will receive a series of "Patron" benefits, including extra currency, increased mount speed, and bonus experience, among other perks.

Trion Worlds will mark the June 12 free-to-play Rift re-launch with content update 2.3, called Empyreal Assault. This update will open an new zone, world event, chronicle, and more. A detailed breakdown of the new free-to-play version of Rift is available at the game's website.

Rift launched in March 2011 and introduced the Storm Legion expansion the next year. A Rift Lite version was made available February 2012 that allows gamers to play for free until level 20. Blizzard Entertainment offers a similar service for World of Warcraft. Rift generated $100 million in revenue during its first year.

It is the latest MMO to adopt a free-to-play business model after launch, following Tera, Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, EverQuest II, Aion, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Bethesda has not said if its upcoming MMO game The Elder Scrolls Online will carry a subscription fee, though consultant Nicholas Lovell believes the game will launch with a subscription before going free-to-play.

Discussion

138 comments
dnguyen3
dnguyen3

Never played an online MMORPG before (yeah i know missing out) but from what I've read this might be nice to try out. The F2P tactic has attracted me. Must....resist.....wallet...

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

In other news: I farted.

Oh wait, everyone does that already? Well no shit (no pun intended).

MMO #2312 going F2P... Yaaay.

I honestly don't know if F2P is such a good idea anymore. I don't like alot of things about GW2, but it's payment model is superb. Pay once, all updates and in-game content are yours forever.

ON the other hand, Trion seems to be fairly lenient in their F2P model and allows players who play free a good amount of freedom. So that's nice.

NetBiosError
NetBiosError

Seriously, though? The game had an awesome run. Tons of hype at release, a seemingly strong community, and a good, solid period of a subscription-only pay model. In this day and age, that's damn healthy. Looking forward to what they do under F2P.

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

YAY let me play for free but charge be $60 bones for some T shirt in game 

skopas
skopas

That is sad to hear.  But I figured it would come soon.  To many MMO's out there. I played RIFT for about 3 months...and like WOW....I got super bored.  I havent had the suspense and exciting feeling since the origninal EQ.  I thought RIFT would be it....but randomness quests and same ole story line...blah.  These games lack innovation....they dont think outside the box.  MOst games are psychological ridden,,,if developers can toy with the effect of  how games will take a hold of one without overkill ....then you come back for more.  Its like the bait n snatch .....but not reel in.   I heard Trion bought rights to Archage..??   Im interested in that..  will see..

ggregd
ggregd

You guys need to make the distinction between Free to Play and Buy to Play.  Do you need to buy the game then you can play without a subscription, or is it all free?  The games you listed as going "Free to Play" work in different ways.

And this: "Gamers who continue to pay a subscription will receive a series of "Patron" benefits, including extra currency, increased mount speed, and bonus experience, among other perks"  - So if you group with a "Patron" and you're not one you won't be able to keep up when you travel and and he'll outlevel you.  That would annoy both players and detract from community.

MN121MN
MN121MN

"as a premium free-to-play experience"
"enchanced gameplay experience for everyone"

Yeah, unless the Rift's servers are not strong enough those not living in Europe/America will get lags and so on.....

Kjranu
Kjranu

Wow (no pun intended), the day of paid model subscriptions is coming to an end. F2P is the future it seems at least until Elder Scrolls comes out. :D 

Sudieken
Sudieken

Now I'm just waiting for SWTOR to actually go free-to-play, rather than the bullshit scam they have going right now. Some of the restrictions make it literally IMPOSSIBLE to play past a certain point. Calling the game free is fraudulent.

-Two character slots

-One race (human) and technically cyborgs, but they're really just humans with badly textured metal parts that only go on your face and clip really badly. 

-A third of the inventory space of a subscriber.

-Restricted chat

-No trading with players

-No mail

-Reduced crafting capabilities

-No storage of any kind

-Cap on credits (money/gold) 

-All vendors charge you extra credits for literally any item as well as repairing your gear.

-Reduced experience compared to subscribers (yes, they gave free-to-play players reduced experience rather than giving subscribers extra experience, so you almost always come up short a level or two when trying to do quests, forcing you to grind mobs and/or dailies)

-Inability to gain rested experience

-You have to pay to hide your headgear (LOL)

-Restricted quest rewards. Generally decent items are greyed out.

-You have to pay to make your armor colors match

-You get mounts 10 levels later than subscribers (if you seriously have the patience to run around Tatooine on foot you should get a lifetime subscription for free)

-You can't equip purple or higher items. Good luck surviving at high levels.

-Daily limit on flashpoints (dungeons/instances) and PVP as well as space missions (rail shooter mini-game) as well as limited loot rolls on items in the flashpoints.

-YOU HAVE TO PAY TO GET MORE THAN TWO SKILL BARS. This effectively makes it impossible to play past a certain level. Not a single class in the game will be capable of functioning with two skill bars. One full skill bar will be taken by stances/lightsaber forms/buffs anyway.

-Only subscribers can post on the forums, a convenient little way of censoring the players. Despite this subscribers who have free-to-play friends will sometimes make a topic about the restrictions being too harsh but they're almost instantly attacked for doing so.

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

Rift was fun to play.  I quit it for the same reason I quit WoW, the endgame.  I hate grinding for gear to do Raids and most espeically I hate raids.  Raids suck because there's too much downtime.  People never show up at raid time and it takes too long to get a group, when you actually raid people take forever to regroup after a wipe, and a simple mistake by one of 10 to 25 people means you have to do it all over again.   Seriously, my idea of group fun is the 5 man instances.

As for F2P, I hate the idea.  I think subscription MMOs are better.  I don't know why companies insist on $15/month subs.  If you have a good game and provide a $5/month sub, you'll get alot of subs.  Whether P2P or not, you can still sell a number of fluff items at a cash shop to get more money. 

Daian
Daian

Too many damn MMOs, just make more regular RPGs for heaven's sake.

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Yet another MMO I've always wanted to try but couldn't see myself paying monthly for it. Now I'll be able to. 

RoachRush
RoachRush

WoW claims another victim.

If I were to compare MMOs to boxing, WoW would be the undisputed champ Muhammad Ali. Regardless of whether or not people will acknowledge it, by revenue and cultural impact, WoW is the greatest MMO of all time. If it didn't knock out its competition right off the bat, it would win by decision.

WoW's greatest challenger was Star Wars: The Old Republic. I would compare SWTOR to George Foreman: younger, stronger and had such momentum that nobody gave WoW a chance of defeating it. SWTOR swung hard and hurt WoW, but in the end, it wore itself out from overreaching, and WoW against all odds, rode it out and knocks SWTOR out cold.

Guild Wars 2 was another strong contender whom I would related to Joe Frazier. He lost to Ali before, then came back stronger and more determined than ever to finish what he started. GW2 was relentless and pushed WoW to its breaking point, but by sheer willpower, WoW stood its ground and punished GW2.

The next great contender is Elder Scrolls Online, which I'll compare to Larry Holmes. At this point in the game, WoW best years are behind them and the wars it had finally takes its toll on its aging body. I actually believe ESO will be the game to dethrone WoW, but it will be a hollow victory.

fredwv
fredwv

Guess I'll have to reinstall Rift.  It wasn't a horrible game, it just wasn't good enough to justify a monthly fee imo.

sirdukefillion
sirdukefillion

sweet and I just got storm legion for free on raptr

kerrman
kerrman

I played Rift for nearly a year when it came out, it was actually a really good MMO.

Congratulations Trion, I will be coming back when this flip happens.

erMonezza
erMonezza

Humm... maybe I will give this a try. Tried once WoW at a friends house, years ago, not interested. 

Never tried any of the free MMO, maybe this one.

servb0ts
servb0ts

I expect Final Fantasy XIV to be FTP one day.

Kickable
Kickable

i'd tell Bioware to get with the times but I lost interest in SWTOR waiting

BlazeODU
BlazeODU

Wait... a subscription game going Free to Play... with no limitations?!


WOOOOOOOOOO!!! THANK YOU TRION WORLDS!!! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!!

BigDawgSteve420
BigDawgSteve420

Been debating giving this MMO a try, looks like I got my reason to.

superbuuman
superbuuman

Yay! time to try it out. :) Tried out Age of Wushu, Dragon Nest, Raganarok 2, DCU online..didn't like them..only one I stuck with was Tera.

gokuofheaven
gokuofheaven

I enjoyed RIFT for some time. Just not enough to keep paying for it.  Glad i'll be able to try it out again.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

As long as the "other perks" aren't stats boosts or any kind crap that could completely unbalance the game, this could be a good thing afterall

eyeball2452
eyeball2452

I played through all the original content.  It was well worth the box price, but the endgame fizzled out and wasn't worth the sub-cost.  


Rift was a good solid MMO with really responsive devs.  The class system and world design were exceptional.  The gameplay was very standard hotbar MMO though.

blueboxdoctor
blueboxdoctor

With all these games going F2P I only hope my not so new computer is up to the task of running them at even low settings.  Regardless, I've been wanting to give this game a try, hopefully it will provide a decent amount of entertainment (well, it's free so I shouldn't complain if it doesn't).

idlemickey
idlemickey

On my birthday. Makes for a nice present from Trion :p.

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

It's a good game. worth playing for free. Never got past level 30 tho lol.

andrescapo_
andrescapo_

And another one falls into the great F2P bussiness. Who will be next?

RedEyedMonster8
RedEyedMonster8

@k2theswiss It's not like that at all, why don't you try reading the article instead of making some sort of failed attempt to be a smart ass?

RedEyedMonster8
RedEyedMonster8

@ggregd I doubt it would be that big of a deal, considering it's only 15%. I get what your saying about B2P though, more games should do that but this is one of the best f2p models I've seen so far.

diabolik_023
diabolik_023

@Sudieken if you spen even 1 dollar most of the restrictions give more room ( 4 character slots and other things) , you should do better research.

ArcherRO
ArcherRO

@Sudieken"Gamers who continue to pay a subscription will receive a series of "Patron" benefits, including extra currency, increased mount speed, and bonus experience, among other perks." Sounds familiar.

arc_salvo
arc_salvo

@RoachRush 

I found your examples good until you mentioned Elder Scrolls Online and said that it'll dethrone WoW.  I doubt that highly.  ESO will probably be decent and then turn free to play, just like every other competitor in the increasingly oversaturated, same-y fantasy MMO space.

Probably will do well at launch, then see a sharp dropoff in subscribers/user and then turn free to play, unless its buy to play or free to play from the beginning.  ESO's not even out, and I'm not sure we've seen enough to know about its quality, but I doubt it'll be good enough to seriously threaten WoW.

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

@RoachRush ESO will be the overhyphed guy who's supposed to be the one to take down the champion, but will fail miserably like those before it.

GW2 doesn't even give a shit.

SW:TOR... you'll probably find that one down a dark alley giving BJs for monehh.

Coldpain
Coldpain

@RoachRush GW2 does what it does quite well. It runs great on lower-end pcs and is a great solo experience. SWTOR wasn't even competing with WOW, it was simply ripping it off. Almost every aspect of the game was a derivation of WOW gameplay and UI.

erMonezza
erMonezza

@RoachRush So, what about those who are not interested in the history of boxing... what kind of analogy would you use for us? :)

puukusa
puukusa

@Kickable you do know that swotro became free to play a long ago. right?

BlazeODU
BlazeODU

@superbuuman Ragnarok 2, yeah, that's a horrible game, but I think you should keep at Age of Wushu, it has a slow start, but once you get over the hump, the experience is very gratifying.

jinseinoseikou
jinseinoseikou

@idlemickey Happy birthday!

Mine is Sunday =D (30 years old).... >.>


I've also been a "patron" (title for subscribers to Rift now that it's going F2P), since the month of launch,March 2011, and I still have half a year of bonuses to enjoy before I decide as to whether I should renew or play it for free. 


Either way, it's very exciting, but I'm approaching this new model in Rift with a level of caution and no new expectations, aside from still getting quality entertainment. It truly has been a premium MMO up till now. One worthy of attention. 


To anyone who hasn't played Rift before, I implore you to give it a shot and play past the beginning stages.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@andrescapo_ Is there anyone left with a subscription-only model, other than WoW and EVE Online?

Sudieken
Sudieken

@diabolik_023 @Sudieken Except NOTHING in the cash shop costs a dollar. Besides that, the restrictions are still there even after spending money. 

-Still capped in credits, the amount increases to 350k (which is literally nothing once you get past level 30)

-Chat still restricted, but you can send messages in General chat every once in a while

-You can access storage, but never expand it

-You can only mail one item, and it can't be credits

-4 character slots instead of two with the same exact species as a free player

-You get two additional skill bars, which still isn't even enough to do end-game content

Literally every thing else I listed says exactly the same. Experience rates, item restrictions, quest restrictions, flashpoint and PVP caps, loot rolls, inventory space, mount requirements, etc. which still make it impossible to play. You should do better research.

RoachRush
RoachRush

@erMonezza How about UFC?

WoW = Anderson Silva
GW2 = Chael Sonnen
SWTOR = Chris Weidman (although they haven't fought yet, I know how this fight will play out lol)

Kickable
Kickable

@puukusa @Kickable yea with a ridiculous amount of restrictions.  it may not be the main reason I lost interest but I've heard enough bad things about the game I get the feeling they're counting on impulse purchases based on as little as possible.

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

@RoachRush @erMonezza Or just forget the analogies altogether and just say WoW overall is simply a better MMO to the majority of people. And to be fair, GW2 wasn't trying to compete against WoW.