Trion Worlds is improving Rift, provided you’re a paying member. If not, you might log in to find your game experience is actually worse off than when you left it. Trion Worlds has been making a few controversial decisions regarding how they monetize their games over the past week, each time noting the need to enhance revenues and support their titles with the conclusion that “it’s just business.” Today, the company announced new enhancements to Rift’s patron subscription. Subscribers will enjoy immunity to soul vitality loss, a 50% discount on auction house fees and commissions, stacking charges, rest experience, and queues for specific warfronts and dungeons.
In addition to enhancing Patron status, these changes are designed to enhance the development revenues of the game as a whole, supporting the game we all love. We are fully committed to the long-term health of RIFT, and exploring options such as these that will keep Telara evolving over time
If many of the things listed above sound like features that Rift already has, that’s because they are. In enhancing Patron, Trion Worlds is actively revoking features from free players that have been present since the game went free to play. Trion Worlds waved away criticism over removing access by free players by describing the features as “not necessary in order to play.” The changes to queues, for the unaware, means free players will only be able to queue for random dungeons.
These are of course beneficial and convenient, but not necessary in order to play RIFT. Therefore, they are the sort of thing we believe should be reserved for Patrons. When we reviewed RIFT as a whole this year, we identified this as an area we had overlooked previously. On a side note, any non-patron can group with a Patron friend, who can then select specific queues for the group. In this way, a Patron provides benefits to those around them.