Epic MMO Recap: The week of long-awaited launches

Unless you’ve been sucked into the plane of no-internet, the big news this week is the worldwide release of RIFT. After we take a look at what went down in Telara, we’ll visit Vana’diel to witness the birth of the new Final Fantasy XI forums, which according to some has been seven years overdue.

RIFT almost at 100 servers

Throughout the week, Trion Worlds kept adding servers to distribute player populations to more manageable levels and minimize log-in queues. A total of 99 shards—58 for NA and 41 for EU—have been activated, according to the official shard status page.

For those invested in the rivalry between RIFT and World of Warcraft, the upstart MMO has a long way to go before usurping the 200+ realms of the popular Blizzard game. Can RIFT keep up the momentum? Two test points are in the near horizon: First is the end of the initial free month of play, which usually signals a steep drop in subscribers, and second is the rumored summer launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic whose IP alone can convince players to switch camps.

RvR in RIFT?

What started as a casual interview response from Executive Scott Hartsman that “we will add RvR [realm vs. realm] if the players want it,” became the seed for an epic thread discussing the inclusion of such a feature in RIFT. Other games, most notably Warhammer Online, implemented RvR zones where rival factions could fight each other and claim buildings for perks, buffs and other benefits. With Trion Worlds still busy stabilizing the game, serious RvR development might not happen anytime soon.

Be sure to sign up for the EpicToon RIFT newsletter to get updates on the RvR and other breaking news in Telara. You’ll also be first in line for our RIFT Platinum contests and promos.

FFXI activated forums

Speaking of anticipated launches, Final Fantasy XI players will only have to wait two more days before their seven-years-in-the-making official forums are launched in beta form. Square Enix said only those with an active content ID will be able to post on the forums, while those with inactive accounts can read the announcements and suggestions soon to appear in its pages. Many FFXI fans think the game would have never gotten the official forums if it wasn’t for an identical forum roll-out in newer Final Fantasy XIV.

FFXIV also gets forums

FFXIV also plans to launch the beta version of its official forums on March 8, and it will house critical announcements like patch information, game updates and Letters from Yoshi-P. Server maintenance notices and other customer service posts will also eventually moved to the forums but for now these will still appear on the official website. Among the popular topics we expect to see are threads on class armor and comments about how much Yoshi-P looks like a cat.

Aion Winners

Did you buy Aion Kinah for new Daeva costumes and then enter the Impossible Love!? Contest? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t win, well unless you feel you did far better than the top winners for both NA and UK communities. Let the critiquing begin!

NA first place – Kassie Chittaphong

(“I’ll fight this battle until  the end. Don’t you worry my love. / I’ll break this curse that has plagued us from being together. / Together again… Forever.”)

UK first place – Paul Furdi

Are you playing RIFT right now or waiting to see if it sticks around first? Did you ever think you’d live to see the FFXI forums? Share your thoughts on the MMO news this week below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!