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They Grow Up So Fast, Don't They?

Suzie Ford Posted:
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It’s hard to believe that it’s already been six months since the debut of Trion’s inaugural title, Rift. Not only did Rift start off with a bang, it continues to dazzle its fans with some of the most rewarding developer-community communication ever. Because of that and because it’s a game that the dev team actually plays and loves, Rift is still in its growing phase and doing quite well according to Scott Hartsman.  With all that good news on the table, devs felt that they had to do something to celebrate Rift’s success and, boy, are they doing it in a grand way.

Beginning August 25th and running through September 1st, players will be treated to a boatload of goodies to celebration Rift’s Half-Year Birthday. The plan came about as this year’s convention season got underway in June and, according to Hartsman, kept growing and growing.

“We asked ourselves, ‘What can we give back?’” said Hartsman during a recent phone conference. “We wanted everyone to know that no matter who you are on the Internet, you are going to get something from Trion that you didn’t have before.”

To that end, the team started brainstorming ways to thank the community for its support of Rift. Hartsman wanted his team to be bold and aggressive for the celebration. They have certainly done that when looking at the list of items and boosts that players will be given over the course of the event. Check out the inventory:

  • Special Surprise Birthday Gift – On September 1st all active subscribers will receive a special in-game birthday surprise!   
  • Extra Kill XP – Your blood lust is finally rewarded! Bonus XP will be doled out for all PvE and PvP kills  
  • Guild Bonus XP – Swiftly level up your guild with bonus XP granted for completing guild quests  
  • Big PvP Payouts – All warfronts and open-world PvP events will grant extra Favor and Prestige  
  • A Plethora of Planarite – Sealing Telara’s eponymous rifts will reward players with extra planarite  
  • Bonus Plaques & Marks – Increased drop rate for plaques and marks  

Not to leave out potential new players to Rift, the team also announced that folks purchasing a new subscription of any duration will be able to score the game client for only $4.99. According to Hartsman, the Rift marketing and sales teams are all about bringing new players into the game which serves the community in the long run. “More activity is good for everyone,” said Hartsman. Hartsman was emphatic in saying that everyone gets the celebratory week. New players taking advantage of  a trial account get an extended trial. Returning players are invited back to check out the game since their last log in and without any subscription commitment. Subscribers get bonuses. There is something for all.

During the Q&A, Hartsman was asked about the special birthday surprise that players will find in their inventories. Clearly grinning through the phone lines, he indicated that the prize package really breaks into two parts, one more mundane and one pretty awesome. The first part of the gift is a set of potions that will give folks an extra 150-200% XP and gold gains. These are additional consumables that grant the same bonuses from the Birthday Celebration itself. The second gift is a persistent Half Birthday Cake that players will be able to place on the ground that will buff all party members. According to Hartsman, it’s not fattening either.

But the celebration doesn’t end there. The team has several contests in store that will earn winners tangible prizes that include game time cards, gaming laptops and more. One really awesome sounding contest for the week-long event includes a real world “Bake a Rift Half Birthday Cake” photo event. There will also be contests for achievement gains and more. The team is keeping those details closely guarded for the time being.

When asked if the Rift team planned to continue anniversary events to the scope of this one, Hartsman answered by saying, “Maybe. It sort of depends how this one goes but we’re very excited!”

The bottom line is that the Rift team is not sitting back and resting on its laurels. Devs continue to look for ways to encourage and grow the game’s community. By giving back in such a big way, they just may have found the key to continuing growth.


Suzie Ford

Suzie is the former Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom