Trion Worlds announced today that RIFT is finally moving to the free to play (or more precisely hybrid) business model, including a cash shop. Starting on June the 12th, the game won’t require a monthly subscription anymore, even if players will still be able to pay a monthly fee to access the status of “Patron”, gaining a series of benefits that go from an extra 10% speed for their mounts to daily buffs that increase earning of experience, currency and prestige.
Free players will have access to a limited number of character slots and inventory bags (which is not a small limit, considering that inventory space is a rare commodity in RIFT), and won’t be able to use the souls from the Storm Legion expansion, but they will have no further restriction in the game.
Previous subscribers will retain their full number of slots and bags, and those that already purchased Storm Legion will keep their access to the specific souls that came with the expansion.
Luckily Trion Worlds seems to be adopting the “good” way of implementing free to play, and isn’t taking anything away from existing subscribers even if they chose to move to the free model. Instead they’re giving a few more advantages to those that will chose to keep paying the monthly fee. You can see the full list of perks here.
The developer is also adding a new parameter named “Loyalty” to further reward those that will support the game (either by paying the monthly fee, by using the cash shop or by taking part in community events) with a variety of unlockable gifts that will work across their whole account.
As an interesting addition the game will also see the implementation of the REX, an item somehow similar to EVE Online‘s PLEX and TERA‘s Chronoscrolls that people will be able to purchase from Trion Worlds for real money and sell in the game for in-game currency. Players will be able to convert REX into cash shop credits, allowing those that don’t want to spend their hard earned real-world dollars in the game to still use the cash shop.
Trion specified that no “Pay to Win” items will be available in the cash shop, and while equipment up to dungeon level will be sold in it, the top tier will be available only by playing the game, as usual.
You can see a trailer further explaining the new business model below, and if you want to access the advantages of a subscriber without paying a buck, remember that Raptr is still giving out the game, the expansion and 30 days of gameplay for free. If you want to try RIFT now that it’s going to be free to play, you may as well take advantage of it while you wait for June the 12th.