Choose your side. Fight the invasions.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (7,754 reviews) - 79% of the 7,754 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 24, 2013

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April 28

ZorbaTHut Talks Multicore!

Keep up with the amazing progress that we’ve made with Multicore Rendering in RIFT with this latest update from Lead Rendering Engineer Ben “ZorbaTHut” Rog-Wilhelm!

Hello Telarans!

As many of you know, we’ve been working hard on upgrading Multicore Rendering. Now that we’ve implemented improvements, let's talk more about multithreading as it pertains to Rendering in RIFT. Warning: a lot of this is technical talk and may not be suited to all readers – some may want to escape back into RIFT to experience the changes directly rather than read about them! For our fellow techno-geeks, let’s continue…

In terms of the code that runs on your computer, "rendering" can be roughly split into two parts; "deciding exactly how to render stuff" and "sending those render commands to the graphics card." Both of these tend to be expensive, and RIFT, as with most other games, used to do all of that work in a single thread. Note that while I'm dividing this into two parts, the actual rendering process isn’t a simple matter of doing one part followed by another - the "render" process consists of both interleaved in a very complicated matter.

With the exception of the newest rendering interfaces, all modern rendering APIs effectively require developers to send render commands to the graphics card on a single thread. There's not much we can do to affect this. "Multicore rendering" therefore involves mostly the first step, but with respect to the limitation of the second step.

When you're dealing with any project the size of Rift's multicore rendering system, you have to split up the job into manageable chunks. This feature took over a year to complete and so there was a lot of complex scheduling to split it into manageable chunks.

First, we had to deal with global state. What does this mean? Every time a graphics card renders something, it needs a destination, known as a “render target”. The screen is the most obvious destination, but we frequently render to textures, for use in later render steps. (In fact, if you’re using the high-quality renderer, virtually all of our rendering is done to intermediate textures!) Our rendering system assumed that the graphics system would have exactly one render target at a time. This is a perfectly reasonable assumption with a single-threaded renderer, but has to be fixed for multicore, where you might have five threads all generating commands for different render targets. That information was in our core rendering module, "Renderer", which represented the device itself, handled resource allocation, and provided information about the device's capabilities. We created a new module, "Context", intended to represent the rendering state of a single thread (including the render target and many other similar chunks of rendering state), then moved thousands of lines of code from Renderer into our new Context. Our rendering system was still single-threaded, so we still had exactly one Context, but it was a necessary organizational step.

An important concept in programming is “abstraction.” Take something like DirectX. It’s designed to give developers extensive control over graphics hardware, and it succeeds, but many of the features it provides are difficult to harness directly. When a programmer sees something like this they often build a system on top of it that is easier to use and less bug-prone. Unfortunately this always introduces limitations, and so high-performance areas are sometimes built “to the metal,” avoiding the abstractions and interacting directly with DirectX for the sake of sheer speed. Since all our multithreading work took place in our abstraction layer, these “fast” areas were, ironically, now standing in the way of performance.

Some areas could be easily changed, some had to be rewritten almost entirely; Rift’s lighting code is new as of several months ago, and for weeks before that, I was running around the world flipping between the new and old system just to be absolutely certain the new system worked exactly like the old.

Finally, we could extract that third rendering step, "send the render commands to the graphics card," from the other steps. As long as we were sending render commands directly to the graphics hardware we would never be able to multithread the rest of our rendering pipeline. We essentially inserted our own layer in between the rendering subsystem and DirectX; instead of sending commands to DirectX, it would store the commands in a carefully-coded memory-dense buffer so we could stream those commands out as quickly as possible later. This took a lot of work to get right. The process ended up being rolled into the above-mentioned “Context” module; we split it into ImmediateContext, which sent commands straight to DirectX, and BufferedContext, which stored up commands for future dispatching in a rapid burst.

At this point we could change the entire renderer into “buffered” mode - processing everything in a single thread, storing all the commands in a temporary buffer, and then sending them in a batch. This was much slower than our original single-threaded mode but useful for debugging the buffering system in isolation; we've preserved that option in our debug builds all the way up to today.

The next step was to actually use these tools to split our rendering into multiple threads. That should be easy, right? After all, we've dealt with our global state, we've set up a serialization system so all our actual commands can be sent to the graphics card in the right order – we should be able to just create a pile of Contexts, aim each one at a chunk of our game, and it should just work! Well, as anyone who's tried to multithread an existing massive system knows, it's never that easy. While we had a semi-functioning renderer working quite quickly, we spent months tracking down weird timing issues, thread contention bugs, and bits of global state that we were not aware were global. This was completely expected - there's no way to do this besides trying it and observing what happens - but it was still a very long and gradual process.

As we squashed bugs, it became clear that this was also not providing the performance gains we'd hoped to see at this stage. I'm going to make up some numbers here; bear with me. Pretend that, before this change, the entire rendering system from beginning to end took 10ms, including generating the rendering commands on a single thread and sending those commands to the graphics card. After all this work, we found that we were spending about 4ms on generating the render commands across multiple threads and storing them in buffers, but then another 4ms sending those render commands out to the graphics card. This gives us a gain of 2ms, but that's not really much of a gain; perhaps a 10% framerate increase at best. We started our Multicore Closed Beta around this time to help us squash the remaining bugs, but we knew we had a lot more work to do for the Multicore update to achieve the goals we’d set.

Up until this point, we'd simply replaced our single-threaded rendering with a chunk of multicore rendering that internally ran in parallel, but returned to the main thread only when all of that processing was complete. (That's an oversimplification, but it's basically accurate.) In order to gain the performance we wanted, we'd have to start processing the next frame while still sending the rendering commands from the previous frame.

This was a pretty significant challenge. Like most games, we rendered our UI last, overlaying it on top of a finished 3d scene. However, our UI system is done within a third-party package; we have source code for it, but converting it to use our rendering abstraction would be an enormous job. Instead, we re-organized our render pathways so we rendered our UI first, onto a separate temporary buffer. Then we'd render our 3d scene, and as a final step, we'd composite our UI onto that 3d scene.

This let us continue sending render commands to the graphics card until the next frame is about halfway done, overlapping all the network communication and game state update that has to be done before rendering the next frame. In most cases, this segment takes more than 4ms, so sending our render commands to the graphics card is effectively “free” – it happens simultaneously with something else we need to do anyway. This led to the next and one of the most key changes that really started to deliver the improvements we wanted.

Rift has a step called the "scene update”.. This is where we update the positions of all objects, along with bounding boxes, animations, level-of-detail mesh states, fades in progress, and a small mountain of other tasks. RIFT has always had some elements that utilized multiple cores, and this is one of them, but it's always been limited to a single thread. Up until this point, the rest of the game was paced such that our serial scene update always finished on time, but the multicore rendering optimizations meant that aspect of RIFT needed to speed up to avoid being the bottleneck. The final improvement we made (so far!) is to do a better job of threading that scene update process. This could in theory be done in single-threadedwithout the multicore renderer mode as well, and we'll probably enable it by default for everyone once we're satisfied it works, but right now it's tied to the multicore checkbox.

Multicore is officially in “open beta” now, and is available for use by everyone. We’ve been watching stability and crash reports, and while we still see a few very uncommon issues, we’re at the point where multicore is just as stable as the old single-threaded renderer. We’re seeing performance gains ranging up to 50% (sometimes higher). We strongly recommend giving it a try1!
Note that there are issues in the low-quality renderer that currently prevent us from offering a multicore low-quality renderer; however, if you’re using the low-quality renderer, you may find the high-quality multicore renderer is actually faster - give it a shot!

At Trion, we’re always looking for ways to improve gaming experience for everyone, and this Multicore been a really productive effort. It’s exciting to see the very positive feedback from players, and hope that you’ll log in soon to try it out too!

Many thanks to all of the players who helped us Alpha test the Multicore Update – without their contribution, this wouldn’t have gone nearly as smoothly.

Ben Rog-Wilhelm, RIFT Lead Rendering Engineer

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April 27

Preview: Mind of Madness Intrepid Adventure

Learn all about the brand new Mind of Madness Intrepid Adventure launching May 11!

Pursue Lord Arak from the edges of the Plane of Water into the depths of madness beyond the cosmos! Battle your way through evil deities whose insane nightmares empower Lord Arak and learn undiscovered secrets behind this most mysterious of foes.

Face Pagura the Destroyer of Dreams, the ever-hungry Fauxmire, the Tenebrean goddess Lady Envy, and many more. Each boss is more fearsome than the last, culminating with the Arisen Lord Arak himself! In between each deity, experience all-new adventures and complete quests to help further your goal of defeating the dark lord.

The fortunate Ascended who prevail in these new challenges will be rewarded with mighty equipment featuring the same iconic appearances as those found within the Mind of Madness raid. All who behold your awesome visage will know you have bested enemies of untold power to achieve such grandeur.

Want to know more? Join us for a playtest session on Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 PM Pacific, or come watch our Mind of Madness livestream on Friday, April 29 at 3:30 PM Pacific.

We can’t wait to see you there!

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RIFT 3.6: Celebration of the Ascended

Rejoice, heroes! The Celebration of the Ascended is here, and bringing some legendary changes with it.

With the arrival of 5 new Souls (1 for each Calling), the return of the Carnival of the Ascended with new mounts, minions, and more, and the introduction of true multicore support, there has never been a better time to be one of the Ascended!

New DLC Available

Unleash the incredible power of these ancient and powerful Souls. Includes a runic damage dealer, a frigid healer, a shadowy killer, a boisterous fighter, and a sorcerer with complete mastery over fire and water! BUY NOW!

About This Game

Join thousands in the award-winning free-to-play MMORPG RIFT® and enter the world of Telara as an immortal Ascended. Go to war against the primal armies of the elemental planes in an ever-changing landscape full of massive dynamic battles and countless dungeons and raids. Build your own class using the Ascended Soul system and embark on epic conflicts that bring you into the story, taking your RPG experience to new heights of achievement and excitement!

Build Your Class

No other game lets you build your class the way Rift does. Specialize in a single class or pick and choose abilities from many to create a character uniquely suited to your play style – and have fun while you experiment!

Choose Your Role

Each character can have more than a dozen saved roles, so you can build different classes for every situation. You might have one for PvP and another for raids; or perhaps you want a high-damage or high-defense build. The choice is yours to mix and match as you see fit – and switch at the press of a button!

Massive Dynamic Battles

Invasions unfold zone-wide, creating epic conflicts that bring you into the story! Save the world alongside hundreds of other players, and fight to reclaim lands from invading hordes.

Dungeons & Raids

The world of Telara is rich with strife and danger – there’s over 30 dungeons and raids! No matter what size party or what challenge you seek, there are plenty of options including 2-, 5-, 10-, and 20-player instances plus hard-mode dungeons and more.

PvP Combat

Battle others in exhilarating Player vs. Player combat! Earn PvP ranks, titles, and loot to further enhance your character. Head to cross-server Warfronts or 3-faction Conquest, and fight others in open-world PvP.


Customizable housing spaces allow players and guilds to own slivers of Telara. Use countless building blocks and items you acquire throughout your adventures to build anything you can dream!

Free and Full-Featured

Instant Adventure, Onslaught, World Events, Guilds, Artifacts, Wardrobe, and more! RIFT is the ultimate MMORPG with a best-in-class Free-to-Play model letting you play the entire game at no charge.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista or 7
    • Processor: Dual Core 2.0 GHz or better
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce FX 5900, ATI/AMD Radeon X300, Intel GMA X4500 or better.
    • DirectX®: 9.0c, June 2010 update
    • Hard Drive: 15.0 GB available
    • Sound: DirectX 8.1 compliant card
    • Other: Broadband internet connection (DSL, cable modem or other high speed connection)
Helpful customer reviews
1,332 of 1,479 people (90%) found this review helpful
352 people found this review funny
10,225.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
What have I done with my life?

Once upon a time, Rift was a wonderful game, a great 'classic' MMO that had meaningful content, good raids and dungeons and was really worth investing the time into. Then Trion Worlds started bleeding money on failed project after failed project and Rifts Dev team got axed down hard. To try and compensate things went F2P and things were fine at first. Hey we get nifty new costumes and I don't need to pay a sub fee anymore (I still did, even if the original patron perks were pretty bad by recent standards.)

The shift was subtle at first, gear became purchasable, either directly or in directly through lotto style loot crates that you can buy for special mounts and get decent gear on the side (A great deal till you realize the currency you get for the mounts is character bound, and the gear you get from the chest is based on your characters class. Meaning that before you'll ever have the currency saved to get that special super shiney mount, you'll have wasted more cash then you will want to think about on what is basically worthless chests and gears as opening them on a different character who could use the gear, means your currency is split. Well played Trion.) Tangent aside. What this gear purchasing did was create a stigma in the "PuG" raiding community, as you had to have the achievements to even be able to join the raids, and if you didn't have a guild that did them? You were SoL.

Things like that continued to spiral out of control, when you realized how long it would take to grind out the dungeon and raid tokens to get gear, but feel free to buy Patron status and token boosters to cut down on that time by several hundred percent. Turning what used to be a fairly smooth and natural gear progression into something akin to an Asian MMO's level of grinding. Oh and because of course it is, the pvp is entirely based around who out gears who.

Throw in the usual batch of awful awful people that come with the F2P crowd, and it's hard to even argue if just playing it for the social aspect is worth it. From an Role Play standpoint it does a few things right and many things wrong. The lore is built out of wet tissue paper, and few people even follow that, open world role play is almost impossible to find and when you do? You're going to wish you hadn't. One of the good and bad things it has, are Dimensions, or just player housing. Easily costumizable zones and area's you can do a great deal of things with. Probably the most positive thing about this game these days, minus the obvious cash shop tie in's to building materials. Of course, player housing is always a double edged sword for role play as it becomes cliquish and impossible for new people to really get involved.

In the end the final nail in the coffin that made me write this review, was when they released the new single zone, not an expansion pack, not a new continent. But one area. They wanted to charge one hundred dollars, for the new class that came with it, as well as some relatively worthless in game items. This harkens back to the Ember isle map they added years ago, it was free, it was an amazing area and I still consider it their best zone. And while you can still reach this new zone for free, and the new class can be picked up for the low low cost of about 30 bucks (Without the cyber swag). I can only stop to realize, Rift really isn't the same. And it's just not worth the time anymore.

Oh and there's easily another 1-2k hours missing from that playtime. So there goes that entire year of my life! Shoulda put that time into something I could have gone professional instead. Like Solitaire.
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184 of 206 people (89%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
8,800.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
I have loved playing Rift, but I think their concern over money has finally up-ended this free-to-play game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
141 of 165 people (85%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
689.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 30
Free to Play: No Trials. No Tricks. No Traps.

That sentence is a complete lie nowadays, playing as f2p became basically a trial, once you get to level cap, surprise, you need to buy Earring Slots and Planewalker to be strong enough for raids. Want to PVP instead? Prepare to get one-shot by wallet warriors with BIS gear that you can't even damage below 10%.
If you want to be competitive in either PVP or PVE you simply wont be even close without paying, I bought the planewalker cheapest (20$) package just so I can raid and pvp on “even” ground (earrings and gear which makes huge diffrence, earrings by itself is like 10-15%% of your stats), but even with that purchase it’s impossible to keep up with the people buying monthly sub, as they earn more currency, have higher caps etc. You might think it’s not really pay2win since you can get same stuff for free with time, well technically yes, BUT it takes so long by the time lets say you get tier one set for your class, the game is already in t3, once you are halfway in t2 gear its already t4 out, etc etc. Basically paying players have huge advantage all the time, both pve/pvp they will simply have more stats than someone playing for free. I used to recommend this game as best f2p mmo out, but since last expansion it went completely pay2win, buying rex isnt really viable anymore to keep up, due to rex prices inflating so much it’s close to impossible to farm plat for it to sustain montly sub like that (price tripled on EU during few months i was playing, I assume now it’s way more especially latest move by trion, making earring and planewarlker cash only)
Tl;dr Newest Endgame Raids are not possible without spending money, being competitive in pvp either. As f2p you will only be able to do older content tier’s (most likely 2 tier’s behind the current newest), and pvp is not even worth trying without mid-end gear. F2p is only viable if you play super casually, since its basically trial, but then you might as well go play GW2 which does it better for casual play, or Blade and Soul for pvp, Tera etc.
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119 of 138 people (86%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
41.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
"Patron Rewards Get Even Better"
So yes,that sentence basically summarizes it all. If this is Trion's way of saying , "Non-patrons experience with playing Rift gets even worse", you could not have done a better job. A better job alienating new potential players that is,along with causing people that supported your game to quit. choices (for the lack of a more polite and diplomatic term) that you implemented on the latest patch , have already been commented extensively on the forums and ingame,so I 'm not gonna state something that's not already being stated.
What I am going to say is this : If you expect people to financially support an MMO that advertises itself as free to play,while all it does is sneak more and more subscriber privileges under the radar, forcing more and more restrictions to free players one "choice" at a time,you will be in for a big surprise. Why? The answer is simple.
Because people already have a subscription based MMO out there that they can play and get value for money,and won't waste their time and hard earned cash on an unoptimised product that uses an archaic graphics engine and won't run properly unless you have a 2 thousand euros worth of gaming rig. People want to make the most of the time they invest on anything ,and the most of the money they spend,and that applies to video games entertainment too.And with the "choices" you keep making, Trion,your game will seize to entertain anyone very very soon.
So long story short,game is "free-to-sample",or at least that's what it has become.I have no hours played on steam cause I only use the glyph client.Thus,I can state ,fully confidently,that you should stay away from it,at least til Trion make amends for the increasing amount of cash-grabbing changes that they keep implementing into this game. Don't waste your money on it,don't play it.

Edited on the 20th of February , 2016
So,there you go ladies and gentlemen,another idea Trion's Rift team will want to charge you money for. And the funniest thing is they present it in a way they think is subtle. In a time where games like Black Desert are about to be released,Trion's Rift development team have the balls to post "tell us what's the next thing you wanna be charged for" polls in their forums. Well done gentlemen,well done!
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469 of 670 people (70%) found this review helpful
1,009 people found this review funny
1,086.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
>Decide to try Rift
>Join German Server on accident
>Make boss looking character, log in
>Spawn in starting zone, start walking towards first quest marker
>Game mod spawns, starts screaming at me in german.
>GM Adolf is still screaming SIE KÖNNEN NICHT HIER
>Ignore him, go to quest marker pick up quest
>Game client instantly closes.
>Banned for 3 days.
>10/10 would play again
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