As we approach 5 years of RIFT, I look back on the amazing journey we’ve all taken together. RIFT has grown from the shiny new MMO on the block into a game that influences the industry and continues to lead in new and exciting directions with Instant Adventure and Dynamic Content. Not only is it a time to look back, but it’s also time to look forward to some of the exciting new features coming to RIFT in 2016. We’ve got some amazing changes planned throughout RIFT’s 5th anniversary, both in terms of in-game content and the underlying technology, and we’re happy to talk about them today. It’s going to be an incredible year!
Before we get into all that, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all. RIFT is more than just planar invaders and battling Ascended: it’s each and every one of you who have been part of the journey. Over the last year we’ve had the opportunity to meet players from around the world at live events, like our parties in Boston and Seattle for PAX and in Cologne for Gamescom. Getting the chance to meet those of you who share our passion for RIFT is something that truly makes this job an experience unlike any other. I’ve also continued to be amazed by the generosity of the RIFT community during the Extra Life marathon this year, and you should be proud of your willingness to lend help to some of those who need it most. You are our inspiration, and I can’t imagine a better group of people to share Telara with.
We’ve been busy since our last anniversary, releasing 4 major updates, 3 new tiers of raiding, Intrepid Instant Adventures, a new Dungeon, and the long anticipated release of Planetouched Wilds. Our focus has been on releasing innovative new content, while, at the same time, reinvigorating some of our best existing content and keeping it relevant to RIFT today. Intrepid IA’s are one of our favorite features in the game, as they open up some of our most exciting and challenging raid content for every RIFT player to experience. Now every RIFT player can experience the most menacing encounters and work together to defeat the greatest evils threatening Telara!
2015 didn’t just include new things to do, but also new ways to do them! We introduced a massive revamp to the Wardrobe System, even more amazing rewards for Patrons with the introduction of Affinity, and the first new Calling since the launch of RIFT: the Primalist! While the adventures you experience playing RIFT are truly epic, doing so in new and interesting ways – and looking oh-so-fabulous in the process – is just as important as the dragons you slay.
Over the last year we’ve also learned a lot more about how you want to play RIFT and the kinds of things you want us to offer. Learning from you and improving the RIFT business model is what keeps the game advancing and us crafting amazing story lines. We’re making a few changes to ensure that RIFT’s next five years are as full of amazing developments and breathtaking content as the first five. We’ll continue to evolve and change in this area, finding exciting and fair ways to reward those who support RIFT for all of us to enjoy. It’s a tough balance, but it’s a task we never take lightly. We’ll continue to listen to feedback and find ways to address your concerns when we do make changes, so that together we make RIFT as healthy and successful as it deserves.
Let’s talk about the 5th anniversary celebrations. Our first major update of the year will be RIFT 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended, coming in early April. Part one of the update will be this year’s Carnival of the Ascended, complete with all new quests, rewards and more! Moving beyond the anniversary we have news of additional souls for all callings, a new daily login reward system, as well as continued PVP improvements. The second half of the update is due to drop late in May and contains our second Intrepid Instant Adventure, featuring the best of The Mind of Madness. Now every Ascended will be able to journey beyond the Cosmos and do battle with the Tenebrean deities powering Lord Arak’s evil plans!
2016 is also the year of tech for RIFT, and a place we’ve actually ramped up hiring over the past year. We’re incredibly excited to reveal that the first of our planned updates is the addition of true multicore support to the RIFT client. Our engineers have been making heroic strides in transforming what was once thought of as an impossibility for the RIFT engine into a reality! For those less technically savvy, this will allow RIFT to take advantage of more of the capacity of processors released since RIFT’s launch. Our goal is to improve both the performance and stability of the RIFT client. Early stages of alpha testing are already underway, and have been going extremely well. Over time we’ll be expanding the test to include more and more of you. Faster performance and more stability for RIFT, that’s something that benefits everyone!
Because this is such a huge change, we can’t give exact estimates of when it will be ready, but we’re pushing hard to make it happen as quickly as possible. Once this is ready, we can move on to the next big technical update, which has been going on in parallel – We’re happy to share that we have been converting RIFT to a 64-bit client. It’s another massive amount of work that’s been going on for a long time now. It’ll multiply the benefits provided by true multicore support and allow RIFT to fully utilize your computer’s memory to provide even more performance and stability gains!
So join us in this celebration of the first five years of RIFT, all of you who have been a part of RIFT, and looking towards what the next 5 years of RIFT brings!