You can't really call it free-to-play, but it's not quite a demo either. Call it an extended trial that doesn't feature playtime restrictions or a monthly fee, allowing gamers to play the first twenty levels worry-free for as long as they want. That's what Rift Lite now offers, following the footsteps of Blizzard's World of Warcraft which introduced a similar feature-limited "trial" called the Starter Edition back in June 2011.
"In the past ten months, Rift has evolved at a breakneck pace, through seven massive updates that set new expectations for live MMOs, in features, in content, and in service," said Scott Hartsman, Executive Producer of Rift and Trion’s CCO. "We think a Lite edition with no time limit is the best way for players to see what an amazing experience Rift continues to be."
Developer Trion Worlds reports that Rift Lite is accessible across all servers to anyone with a Trion account. Players can create a character and experience the first 20 levels in the plane-besieged world of Telara, working their way through the zones of Terminus, Mathosia, Freemarch, Silverwood, and visiting their faction’s capital cities.
Rift Lite arrives along with Trion's latest patch for its "World of Warcraft killer," updating the MMORPG to v1.7. The patch includes improvements to the PvP system, Ascended weddings (!), an Undead adventure for two called River of Souls Chronicle, an Expert Dungeon overhaul and more.
"Today’s update marks the initial stage of the Carnival of the Ascended. In a few weeks, the largest and most spectacular World Event Telara has ever witnessed will kick off, celebrating the heroic feats of the Ascended," Trion said on Wednesday. "Amazing in-game events, special loot, and prizes will make the Carnival World Event something that won’t be soon forgotten."
For those looking for a new fantasy-based MMORPG to experience, this is a good way to sample Rift. Now through Feb. 5, both the Standard and Ashes of History Editions of Rift are 50-percent off on Amazon, so here's your chance to get started on the cheap. Head here to learn more (opens in new tab).