F2PMeter: Is Rift Truly Free to Play?
The next title that will face our F2Pmeter is Rift. This fantasy-themed free to play MMORPG from Trion Worlds was originally released back in 2011 with a subscription-based business model, but it became free to play in June 2013, so it's time to see how truly free to play it is.
By the way, first of all you might want to check out the article we published last week and contribute with your own ideas: What would you change about Rift?
Let's start. Remember that games start with a 100% of free-to-play-ness, and that % will vary depending on the answers to the questions.
No. Since adopting a free-to-play business model, RIFT allows players to create an account for free to download the game client and start playing without having to pay anything.
Yes (optional) – -15%. Besides offering the opportunity to play for free, the game still maintains a subscription-based system with different options, such as non-recurring Patron Passes or automatically recurring monthly, three-monthly, six-monthly or yearly subscription plans. Subscribers benefit from improved daily log-in rewards and exclusive weekly log-in chests, boosts on currency, XP and reputation gains, store discount, and much more.
No (but…) – -5%. All game content, which also includes content updates and expansions, is available for free to everyone. However, some of the newer addition to the selection of Souls (subclasses), are only available as part of purchasable bundles.
Yes – -5%. Rift features an in-game store that offers a wide variety of items such as gear, companion pets, mounts, consumables, expansion Souls, boosts and services such as additional character slots in exchange for regular in-game currency as well as RIFT Store Credits available for real-world money.
No (but…) – -5%. Most of the items exclusively available for paying players obviously only offer time-serving, aesthetical customisation or convenience purposes without providing customers with any gameplay advantages. However, making a credit pack purchase or spending credits purchased through REX will lift the restrictions imposed on free-to-play accounts concerning the currency cap and the use of the auction house.
Yes (but…) – -5%. RIFT provides everyone with free access to all six available races as well as the four main character classes and the majority of their Souls which act like subclasses. However, some of these Souls are obviously only available for purchase.
Yes – -10%. The character’s inventory is initially limited to 20 common slots. Players are able to expand their inventory by purchasing additional bags that are available for both regular in-game currency as well credits in the in-game store, meaning that player aren’t forced to spend real cash in order to slightly expand their initial inventory. Bank slots are limited as well, with additional ones available for purchase.
Yes – +10%. Despite the option of making purchases with real-world money or even benefiting from bonuses and perks when subscribing to the game, RIFT ultimately appears to be pretty fair and absolutely playable without paying anything at all. Players who choose to pay will no doubt have an easier in-game life with time-savers, convenience items and boosters, all of which apparently don’t convey any direct advantage over non-paying users.
Rift scores an average 55% of free-to-play-ness in our F2PMeter.