Hey there, folks!
On RIFT’s fourth birthday, I want to first express the gratitude of the entire team to all of you who love and play RIFT. You are the reason we love working on the game; your passion for RIFT inspires us every day. Some of you have been with us since Beta, others have joined more recently. We appreciate all of you and are proud of the amazing community that you have formed.
I’ll never forget the excitement in the office on launch day – years of development finally coming to fruition, the entire team counting down for the launch of early access, and the cheers once we unlocked the live servers for the first time – and it’s very hard to believe it’s been four years already.
THE YEAR OF THE PLANES
The last year has been extraordinarily busy, seeing the release of our Nightmare Tide expansion and your first visit to the Plane of Water. We released new Souls that give every Calling has access to every role, fulfilling our mission of “bring the player, not the class,” and added a new Profession with Dream Weaving. The year didn’t go by without adding plenty for everyone to experience, whether it was new dungeons, soul quests, open-world content like Tyrant’s Throne, or a variety of new raiding challenges. We also expanded ways for you to challenge one another with a new Warfront, Conquest map, and the ability to create personal arenas in your Dimensions.
Some of my proudest memories from the last year are the way the RIFT community responded to our Doctors Without Borders event, your record-breaking Extra Life participation, and how you stepped up for the Ice Bucket Challenge. While we strive to save Telara from invaders in RIFT, it’s important to remember the world we all live in together. RIFT players went above and beyond each and every time, and your generosity and willingness to share your time and effort truly humbled us.
When planning for the future, we always like to look back at what you enjoy and what really makes RIFT stand out as the unique, special game that it is. Then we like to figure out how we can over-deliver.
Right now the RIFT team is busy working on the next major update for RIFT, Echoes of Madness. Targeted for release in April, Echoes of Madness has big upgrades for Instant Adventure, the Wardrobe, and the second tier of raids for Nightmare Tide. We’ll have more details on all these items moving forward, but rest assured they all are aimed at making the game more accessible, enjoyable, and giving you exciting challenges to experience with fellow players.
RETURN TO THE DELVE
One of the questions we face is how to give you opportunities and reasons to experience stories and encounters that are absolutely amazing but that a number of Telarans may have outgrown. Our latest answer – coming soon in Echoes of Madness – is to give everyone a chance to return to one of the most beloved and amazing raids in RIFT: Hammerknell.
Keeping the ancient halls of the Dwarves relevant and accessible means that those who didn’t get a chance to experience Hammerknell the first time around are in for an epic journey, while veterans can find renewed challenges – and rewards – in a timeless favorite.
This is all part of our larger strategy: making sure that you have a chance to experience the very best that RIFT has to offer while at the same time working on creating new challenges and encounters that everyone will grow to love, too. Our next set of raids is already in development for a future game update and will feature new environments along with an enemy whose nightmares you’ve just begun to face.
BEYOND THE ECHOES
Where else will 2015 take us? We can’t say just yet, although we have a lot of plans including the release of Planetouched Wilds and experimentation with a brand new Calling! Our focus, beyond developing new and exciting content, is on making sure more people can play together (and be rewarded!) regardless of what parts of the game they enjoy.
Thanks again for making RIFT an amazing community to be a part of and a fantastic journey that we get to take together. Happy fourth birthday – and here’s looking forward to what we’ll be discussing next year for the fifth!
Chris “Archonix” Junior RIFT Game Director
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