PC Gamer
Rift - Undead Dragon
Welcome to the PC Gamer Ultimate Christmas Giveaway! This is the biggest competition we've ever done: packed with peripherals, games, and exclusive items signed by some very important people. Why are we doing this? Because it's Christmas! And we love you.

The Ultimate Christmas giveaway will run until Christmas Eve. Every day we'll be posting about a new prize that's up for grabs, and you'll have 24 hours after the time of publishing to enter. Sadly, we're only able to open this competition to UK residents.

Our stockings are stuffed full of prizes today readers, because we have an astonishing 150 copies of Rift to give away. No, that is not a typo, one hundred and fifty lucky readers will win a boxed copy of Rift, complete with 30 days playtime. We gave Rift 86% back in PC Gamer UK 226, and you can read the US team's Rift review online. If you're planning to join in, why not check out the PC Gamer Rift Guild to find someone to play with?

Check inside for details of how to enter.

To enter, just answer this question:

In the game are portals to other planes that spew out monsters. Currently there are Air, Fire, Water, Earth, Life, and Death, but I want you to make up a new kind of Rift! What dimension does it connect to? What comes out?

The best, funniest and most creative answers will win a copy of Rift. If you win, you'll get a private message via the forums. Let us know your address and we'll send you your prizes shortly after Christmas. Remember, this competition is open to UK readers only. Also, if you don't claim your prize within three weeks of being notified we'll offer it to someone else. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Good luck everyone!
PC Gamer


Rift's new Instant Action feature lets high level players form a group and embark on dynamically generated quests. Each task will scale in difficulty depending on the size and strength of the group. Form one large enough and you'll be staving off hordes of enemies and wading through oceans of shiny new loot. It's an interesting way to use the tech behind Rift's dynamically generated portal invasions, and is just the latest in a huge rush of new monsters and zones that the devs have recently added.

Starting an Instant Action campaign will immediately teleport your party to Stillmoor or Shimmersand where the fighting begins. It's a feature that Trion have been planning to add for a while, but they wanted to let the dust settle after the launch of the huge 1.6 update recently that added the Ember Isle zone. The developers seem determined to keep on throwing out massive updates and continual improvements on a regular basis, which is why Rift is one of the few MMOs left still charging a monthly subscription fee.
PC Gamer
Total War totally on sale
What's this, every Total War title except Shogun and Shogun 2, with all accompanying DLC for just £8.74 / $12.49? What are you doing to us, Steam sale? I was planning to eat, and perhaps sleep this weekend but NO, you have to throw hundreds of hours of world class strategy gaming at me for a price that my buying finger can't not click on.

Wait, there's more? Gravity mangling platformer VVVVVV, for just 99p / $1.24? That's less than I paid for my cup of coffee this morning. The slick shouting-at-people-until-they-crack simulator LA Noire, which has only been out for two minutes, is half price. And Fallout: New Vegas and all its DLC packs are available at prices that make the upcoming Ultimate Edition seem a little redundant.

Also on sale today:

Red Orchestra series
Operation Flashpoint franchise
Sniper: Ghost Warrior
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Platinum
Two Worlds franchise

The deals will change around again in six hours time, so keep an eye on the Steam front page. The Autumn sale will wrap up on Sunday, giving us some time to play everything we've bought before the big Christmas sale kicks off.
PC Gamer
The holidays are a perfect time for family, food, and ignoring both while you experience the exciting events in your favorite MMOs. For Telarans, Rift is launching their six week event, Fae Yule, today. As an Ascended, you will have to fight off Crucia, the Dragon of Air, as she tries to enslave the Fae and bring an end all the festivities. Dragons are cool, but no one messes with Telaran holiday cheer!

The event boasts some sweet prizes like Yule-themed gear and a new jolly-corgi companion. Not enough for you gift-hungry savages? Well we hear there is also a new mount and other festive items to be earned during the celebration.

The cheer begins with three days of subscriber bonuses, including increased experience, Plaques of Achievement, PvP Favor and Prestige, and Planarite. All in all, it's shaping up to be a excellent time to warm your feet by your cpu's and beat the tar out of some holiday scrooges.

PC Gamer

Rift has launched it's 1.6 update, described as 'the biggest patch to hit Rift since launch'. The update is called 'From the Embers' and adds an enormous new zone called the Ember Isle, twice the zone of the the game's previous biggest zone and packed full of new content.

Click through for full details:

The update includes:

The Ember Isle was once the home of Rift's Kelari Elves, and has only recently been rediscovered. A volcanic Island full of ruined, ancient cities. It's designed for level 50 players and features new monsters, colossi and zone events.
New Raid - The ten player raid 'Rise of the Phoenix can be found in Stonefield
New Warfront Mode - Black Garden now includes the 'Stockpile' mode.
A second tier of 'Planar Attunement', Rift's post level cap advancement system.

More details can be found at the Rift site.
PC Gamer
There's no such thing as too much content in your favorite MMO. Rift just turned eight months old and the people at Trion Worlds have been pumping out more post-launch content than other MMOs produce in years, and aren't showing any signs of slowing. Their next major patch (1.6) will include the gigantic mass of land known as Ember Isle. Rift's Design Producer, Hal Hanlin, walked us through the zone to get a view of some of the new stuff coming to Rift fans mid November.

The Island and Invasions
Rift players have been asking for more explorable content for some time and Ember Isle is the developer's answer to their call. In the lore, Ember Isle was originally the home of the Kelari elves and served as the home for dwarf castaways stranded by the power of Akylios, a giant sea beast that serves as the major raid boss in Hammerknell. Hal Hanlin told us that it would be roughly "twice the size of Shimmersand for playable space." Considering that Shimmersand is the largest current zone, that means a heck of a lot more area to explore. Thankfully there are multiple Porticulum locations allowing the player to move around easily. On this new island you will find biomes ranging from beachfront property, jungles and even a massive volcano which embodies the chaotic nature of Ember Isle.

The five planes will be present on the island, each trying to utilize the abundance or source stone, the basis for Defiant technology and Guardian worship, towards their own motives. Hanlin explained to us that Ember Isle was designed with invasions in mind and the new sourcewells would allow players to define wear they make their stand. Gathering around sourcewells, players create their own defensive positions by building up turrets and healing beacons, all while drawing the invasions in with Nexus Infusion, a new planar ability. Some of these sourcewells will have very clear paths for incoming planar forces, but some will be in the open making defense a bit more difficult. The invasions also include a new Onslaught system, increasing the difficulty and number of enemies that attack depending on the level of fortification around sourcewells.

New Instances and Instant Adventures

The biggest addition for instanced group content will be the new dungeon, Caduceus Rise. The dungeon will have multiple paths and is a "non-linear experience," according to Hal. With a normal mode and two different expert versions, players are encouraged to take their own route through the dungeon. When asked if there would be a Master mode added at some point, Hal said it was a possibility but not something included in this patch. Raid content is planned in the future but it will also not be included in Rift patch 1.6. "We want to give players the chance to experience the new zone and finish Hammerknell before we rush them into a new raid," Hanlin explained. Die hard raiders don't fret, there will be a new sliver coming to Shimmersand and in the future Hanlin hinted at being able to take on Maelforge, the red dragon imprisoned within Ember Isle.

Other group content will include the new Instant Adventures. Instant Adventures will pull together large groups of players to overcome challenges in Stillmoor and Shimmersand. Players will be able to drop in and drop out anytime they want, making it easy for the casual and hardcore to participate. The adventures are in open zones and many groups of players can work together accomplish goals. Hanlin seemed to be most excited about these adventures of any of the new content, saying that he often lost track of time because he was so into the fun. PvP isn't a large focus of Instant Adventures (unless you are on a pvp server), but Trion still managed to add a new version of Black Garden to satiate our blood lust.

Overall patch 1.6 is looking like one of the biggest yet, adding more territory to explore and improving Rift's ever growing versatility. Check out the rest of the released screenshots showcasing some new enemies you'll be fighting below.







PC Gamer
For a lot of gamers, MMOs have grown stale. Old hat. Granted, if those same gamers were being honest with you, they'd probably admit that - for them - "MMOs" is essentially a singular term. When they use it, they really mean "World of Warcraft."

The undisputed king of the MMO hill has evolved and changed over the years, sure, but tweaks and landmasses do not a new game make. That, however, is why Trion Worlds boss Lars Buttler is so thrilled that his game and others are finally shaking things up - even if only a bit.

"I think nobody can ever predict that there’s another WoW because WoW basically had, for seven years, no competition," Buttler told IndustryGamers. "There was nobody launching that created an experience that was even remotely comparable - never as deep, never as polished. Now that has changed, obviously. Rift is out there as the most serious competitor they ever had, and now with Rift updating and evolving in the most dramatic way, that is changing everyday. But our goal is not necessarily to create one giant product that everybody has to play, but to give people choice."

Trion Worlds is hedging its bets on that large degree of choice with its newly announced development platform, Red Door. Essentially, it'll allow developers to use Rift's backend tech to power their games while also functioning as a sort of social network for players. To Buttler, then, there's no MW3 vs BF3-style struggle to sell the most and trash-talk the loudest. Bring 'em on, he says. The more, the merrier.

"I’m actually extremely excited about what’s happening in our space. When we started five years ago, there was only WoW. Now there’s Rift as an absolute serious contender, with the most dynamic gameplay ever. Then there’s Star Wars, then there’s End of Nations coming. Then there’s Defiance coming ahead of Star Wars. So we’re not afraid at all. We actually look forward to it with great excitement. It makes our point."

Which sounds fantastic. Now I just need to set aside, oh, roughly my entire mortal life to play all of them.
PC Gamer

Rift just received a major update and expansion today. The new 1.5 update, Ashes of History, lets players develop their characters beyond level 50 using the new Planar Attunement system, and provides a number of bonuses for veteran subscribers, a new PvP Warfront, and new world events. The trailer above sketches out some of the new additions, and appears to be aimed squarely at high-level players.

You can find the full patch notes here.
PC Gamer
Who's big and gray and purple and about to eat Telarans? You are! That's right!
For the past few weeks, Rift players have been beating back the Waves of Madness with new daily quests, loot, and unique zone invasions. Now, as the event comes to a close, the doors of the ancient city of Hammerknell are opening, revealing the way to the most difficult raid instance yet. But with great responsibility, come great rewards. As huge fans of great rewards, we want to help you deck your character out in those new armor sets, so we put together this exclusive guide filled with info and strategies to help your give your group a heads-up on the bosses you'll be encountering, and how you can take 'em down with ease.

Part 1: Boss: Murdantix (8.5 million hitpoints)

Before you even get into the halls of Hammerknell proper, you’ll need to get past its guard dog. Murdantix blocks the stairway inside, eager to bite at the faces of the soft and squishy Telarans pouring through its doors. Scared? Don't be. Check out some of the exclusive details we have on this big, bad dog.


Spirit Capture: When an attacker dies he grows more powerful.
Demonic Blast: A multiple-projectile attack with area-of-effect impacts.
Demonic Tar: A projectile attack that leaves long lasting damage zones on the ground.
Ferocious Pound: A large-radius knockback.
Mangling Crush: A ferocious attack that leaves the target with an armor debuff.
Summon Tormenters: Murdantix summons minions to fight with him.

Make sure to keep ranged DPS and healers spread apart so they aren't destroyed by Demonic Blast, or else, well, they'll be destroyed by Demonic Blast.
Demonic Tar will aim for, and land on a player, but it should be easy to deal with as long as players are quick to move out of it. Hey. HEY! Are you Alt-tabbed or just blind? Come on, man! MOVE!
Ferocious Pound is unavoidable so be sure to have all players topped off before it hits. Though we're pretty sure you're going to try to jump anyway.
The longer the battle lasts, the more Mangled Crush will hurt you, so prepare to have at least two tanks switching between off-tanking duties.
The Tormentors should just be off-tanked and ignored if you have the healing to support it. You can clean them up when the big bad dog is dead.



Mace: Destroyer of Legends
Ring: Survivor's Hope
Ring: Drowned Diamond
1h Sword: Savage Beastcarver
Chain Boots: Treads of Stinking Tar
Chain Gloves: Salvation's Grip
Chain Helmet: Gore-Spattered Helm
Chain Belt: Gore-Drenched Waist
Cloth Shoulders: Mantle of Ravaged Souls
Leather Gloves: Cold Dead Handguards
Leather Waist: Barbed Tongue of the Beast
Plate Boots: Death's Advance
Plate Helmet: Slaughter-Forged Faceplate
Plate Shoulder: Reaper's Heavy Shoulders
Totem: Rune Vessel Remnant
Part 2: The Three Halls
When you first enter into Hammerknell, there are three sections that need to be cleared: the Halls of Knowledge, Shaping, and Command are all filled with enemies to fight and capped off with bosses to destroy. Here’s what you should expect to find.
Halls of Knowledge

Library of the Runemasters

Boss: Matron Zamira
Waiting in the middle of the large, circular room is Matron Zimera. She's described by the devs as being "pregnant with a brood of dark spirits", which is not only gross and kind of disturbing, but it tells us that the fight is probably going to be based heavily around waves of minions spawns that need to be controlled/contained while you take her down. The developers also mentioned that she has consumed the souls of many dwarves, though we feel like that might have less gameplay implications.

Boss: Sicaron
Before Hammerknell fell, Sicaron was sealed away to ensure that he didn't escape. But like all attempts to protect oneself from corruption in these sorts of situations, the runebindings containing him fell and the demon of torment broke. Now he spends his time relaxing in the Catacombs, absorbing the corpses of fallen dwarves and growing larger and more powerful as their remains joined with his own. I guess we all need our hobbies.

Halls of Shaping

Mason's Corridor
Boss: Soulrender Zilas
It sounds like Soulrender Zilas is going to be one of those fun bosses that throws nonstop minions at the raid party. Why do we think that? Well, we know he's in the middle of releasing bound demons and building an army of Death inside Hammerknell to launch an invasion on the outside world. It’s probably safe to assume that when he's under attack, he's not going to ask them to sit on the sidelines while he takes you on solo. Also expect your souls to be rended. Painfully.

Boundless Quarry
Boss: Grugonim
Grugonim is a fatty. He didn’t even wait for the runebindings to break, he just broke them free himself and started killing dwarves and eating other demons. His non-stop buffet's got him so full of dark, demonic power he's about ready to burst. His hunger may be "insatiable," but we’re fairly confident that enough of your mage's fireballs is going to satiate it just fine.

Halls of Command

Throne of the Rune King
Boss: Rune King Molinar and Price Dollin
Determined to go down with the ship, the King of Hammerknell and his Crown Prince stayed when the doors were sealed shut. But instead of being devoured by the other bosses like good little dwarves, they were twisted and warped by the evil and have become the very demonic creatures they swore to protect their people from. How poetic. Kill them. We imagine a lot of the fight will revolve around requiring two tanks to position the two demonic buddies away from each other to keep them from aiding one another. Divide and conquer and all that.


Chamber of Runebinding Quarry
Boss: Estrode
Estrode is piiiiiiiiissed. At one point, the former rulers of Hammerknell bound her to the great wheel that opened and closed the lair's massive doors. But now that wheel's destroyed (and demons are running willy-nilly all over the place) she’s out for revenge, and who could blame her? Who wants to be bound to a wheel? That's gotta give you vertigo and totally screw up your back. Expect some crazy attacks from those spiky wings of her.

After clearing these three halls, a fourth will open up for you to explore. Go ahead and do that, we're sure it's not filled with more horrific monsters. Just kidding, it totally is.
Part 3:Halls of Ingenuity

Construct Foundry
Boss: Inquisitor Garau
Inquisitor Garau is the Robin to Jonaru's Batman. A technical mastermind, Garau has broken his way into the construct foundry of Hammerknell in order to steal the secrets of their runebinding technology. (And no doubt use it for some nefarius plot that ironically encases the inventors in their own trap.) We don't know for sure that he was successful in understanding the technology, but you have to believe he's going to be using this powerful tech on the players that attempt to kill him. Prepare to be runebound and controlled. Remember the golden rule on fights like this: break out your allies as soon as they're trapped. Especially if they're a healer!

After everything is dead, the last hall will open up to reveal the final boss(es).
Part 4: Halls of Commerce

Stoneborn Harbor
Boss: Jornaru
As you might expect from someone who's lifetime career has been as a bodyguard for a massive floating monster, Jonaru is powerful. The devs tell us that he “stands ready to receive the power of his master as Akylios is unleashed on Telara,” though we’re going to guess the raid parties entering Hammerknell are going to do their best to make sure that doesn’t happen. It's probably safe to expect some AoE swings from that weapon and a couple debilitating clamps from his massive claw hand, along with some magic granted by his master.

Boss: Akylios
Here he is, the reason you’ve been delving the devious dungeon for hours: Akylios the gross space octopus starfish of death. There aren’t many situations where we can legitimately say that a raid boss’ main strengths are “secrets and knowledge,” but this is one such time. Akylios knows things about things that you don’t have never even heard of, and if you’ve seen what he’s seen your brain would melt right out of your ears. We’re talking H.P. Lovecraft-scary, here. Gameplay-wise that'll likely manifest itself in some mind-control powers and fear effects. Or he's feeling old-school, he may just slap you around with his tentacles—that works, too.

And that about does it for Hammerknell! So, I'm sure your gorup had no problem clearing the whole place on their first attempt with lag spikes and only two clerics, right? Be sure to let us know how you did, and what you think of Rift's newest raid instance.
PC Gamer
Hammerknell Event - Armor_Group_wBackground
Later this week, Rift's Hammerknell raid will open, letting Telarians enter the game's hardest instance yet. But what awaits adventurers willing to risk their lives for the good of their people? Shiny new epic armor sets, of course! We have exclusive glamour shots of all of the class sets, to help encourage you to plan your weekend of raiding accordingly. If you haven't heard how armor sets will work in Rift, check out our full run-down and get excited.

Click the images for full-res shots!


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