Epic MMO Recap: The week of undead rising and lethal jokes

Death in all its ghastly forms visited RIFT this week as the popular new game launched Patch 1.1: River of Souls, while in the jolly old realms of EverQuest II, players almost died of laughter—or at least roleplayed the part—in the full spirit of April Fools’.

Trial Key Frenzy

We don’t know if it was the sight of zombies or the promise of a rare undead horse mount, but everybody scrambled for free RIFT trial key codes over the weekend.

Trion Worlds released the trial key codes via e-mail and also seeded them across forums, blogs and game store websites. Each key code could be used five times to let friends into RIFT for free, just in time to see Alsbeth spread death and destruction in Patch 1.1.

If you weren’t able to secure free access for your friends, no worries! You can always join the guild contest, which rewards you with a 25-use trial key for a special preview event in the future. From our experience, having a great backstory and raiding achievements will make your guild stand out so gear up with RIFT Platinum and go clear the new 20-man River of Souls raid.

Bristlebane’s Day

In the merry lands of EverQuest II, pranks and laughs abound with the celebration of Bristlebane’s Day, the Norrathian version of April Fools’ Day. The annual joke-a-thon saw a few upgrades including a new quest and tradeskill recipes for purchase with your EQII Plat.

Aion in my WoW?

Speaking of jokes, popular datamining site MMO-Champion pulled a photoshopping prank to show us the evolution of WoW, should it decide to take a page from Aion’s winged fantasy designs.

Not too shabby at all. 100% guaranteed these wings would sell like hotcakes on the Blizzard store or command insane WoW Gold prices at the auction house—too bad they’re totally bogus.

Final Fantasy, Back on Track

Servers went back online in Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV almost two weeks ago due to the Japan quake, and both MMOs have used the time to quickly catch up to schedule.

FFXIV producer and director Naoki Yoshida confirmed that after a few compromises, Patch 1.17 will push through this month and will contain the Easter seasonal event. The follow-up Patch 1.17a will subsequently roll out with changes related to new mid-to-high level PvE content.

FFXI is also planning to upgrade fellows by raising their level cap from 70 to 85, with new limit break quests serving as a roadblock for level progression. Their duration as fellows has also been doubled to 90 minutes while their fighting capacity was also upped from 15 to 50 foes, making them more useful than ever in battle.

The Foundry, Now Live

Over on the other side of sector space, Star Trek Online activated their much-anticipated mission creator called The Foundry.

The Foundry provides tools for players to create missions, which can then be played by the entire Trekker community. Fans of the TV shows can also use The Foundry to recreate their favorite boob tube moments, although not all characters and planet locations are available.

Still, the customization options—from map and dialogue options to NPC selection—are all robust enough to keep budding mission designers busy for months to come.