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Rift Loyalty System: What You Need to Know

Introduction

When Rift went free to play earlier this year, they introduced a new system to the game that employs the usage of its in game store. This is the “loyalty” system, which determines what benefits you are able to get, leading to yet another way to play the game just the way you want. This system has its great points, but it also has some flaws, which we are going to look at through this article. This should hopefully help with clearing up the mass confusion around how things work now that the game has gone free to play!

Earning Loyalty Points

Loyalty points are earned by purchasing and using the game's virtual currency, gems. These can be either bought directly from the Rift shop or they can be purchased from other players in the form of REX: Rift Exchange coupons. These coupons grant 1250 gems and 2500 loyalty. Each tier that can be obtained in the loyalty rank is separated from the prior ones, and they each require more points than the previous. The highest tier is red, requiring a whopping 1.2 million loyalty! Of course getting to that point is not cheap and will require extensive funds.

Using the Auction House

While the majority of the game is open to all players, there is one aspect that is not (but should be): the auction house. This requires either purchasing the game or spending five dollars in the Rift shop in order to use it for selling, but anyone is able to buy from it. Regardless, this is a base part of the game and I strongly believe that free players should be able to utilize it as well. After all, more items for us to purchase means prices on a lot of things should become much easier to manage. As it is, only a small sub group of players is able to use the shop, while everyone is able to buy from it; this leads to there being far less items (and things becoming more rare) than there should be.

If anything, I think that the auction house should just be limited in how many items they can list; even being able to list just five items would go a long way towards filling up the auctions for us to peruse, which boosts the market of the game up considerably! It also goes a step further, as the people most likely to purchase the Rift Exchange coupons are the same ones that are less likely to spend real money on the game. So by not allowing these players to sell their wares so they can afford the coupons, they are decreasing the number of potential buyers. This seems like the opposite of what should be happening.

Combating Gold Sellers

The Rift Exchange coupons are sold in the game as a way to combat gold sellers. If you look at the pricing for these coupons, they are slightly above what it would cost for the same benefits if you bought them for yourself directly. The reason that these are more expensive is because they can be traded to other players, which allows a safe, legal way for players to essentially sell gold for real life cash (in this sense you are trading gold for the gems to purchase items off the in game store). The theory is that systems like this cut back on the number of gold sellers and the chances that players will purchase gold using illegitimate methods, and based on what I have seen so far in this game and others it does appear to work pretty well! Trion also benefits more in these cases because more money is being spent for the same benefits, so they earn more money in the process.

Racking Up Rewards

As you progress through each of the loyalty tiers, you earn new rewards. Each of the tiers has its own little checkpoints that once you reach will unlock new things. Along with this, there is another set of items that is unlocked once you fill in an entire tier. So you keep gaining more and more bonuses while you progress through the loyalty, and then get a burst of new things when you get to the break points. This pushes players to keep working on leveling up loyalty (as it is kind of like an experience system), purchasing more gems and buying more exchange coupons. It is a great idea and it is working well!

The big confusion here comes with how the rewards work. Based on looking at the list, it is almost as if you have to choose which items you want while you work your way through it. This is simply not true; instead, you are able to obtain every one of the rewards, which always starts out with the ones along the top of the screen.

Picking Up Rewards

Most of the rewards have to be manually picked up by you. This can be done by going to the Rift shop and looking at the top right corner. Here you will be able to see all of the rewards you have unlocked, and you can spam the “Claim” button to pick them up. Some of these will end up going in to your inventory, though some of them are automatically utilized once they are picked up. You will need to keep watch to see which ones are which.

Popularity of the Loyalty System

It appears, based on playing through a lot of PvP and dungeons with other players, that Rift's loyalty system has been kicking off pretty well. There are a lot of rewards, like the elite icon for player tags or raid icons, that I am seeing pretty often. While these are somewhat expensive to get a hold of and you would expect that they would be pretty rare, they are actually somewhat common. This goes to show that the system is working as intended, and that people are definitely playing in to it and buying currency to use in Rift and are spending it as well.

This is an awesome sign for the game, being that it is free to play and it has to rely on people spending money in the cash shop in order to continue running. If we did not see that people were making these purchases, it would be a sign that one of two things was going to happen: the items would start to get more and more “pay to win” friendly or the game would shut down due to going out of business. Luckily, neither of these appear to be in the cards at this point, and I am really hopeful that it stays this way. While most games that move from a subscription based model to a completely free one end up going through problems, it looks like Rift has truly done something out of the ordinary: created a system where people can actually play the entire game free of charge, and still earn enough money to keep the game going and keep updates and expansions flowing at the same time.

Conclusion

Trion has done away with Rift's “veteran” system for subscribers and replaced it with a loyalty system. This one works a lot different, in that you do not need to keep an active subscription in order to utilize it. At the same time, you can obtain all of the rewards without even spending a cent of real life cash; you can just purchase the Rift Exchange coupons from other players either directly or via the auction house. This grants players the ability to buy and sell gold to one another in a way that is safe and allowed, diminishing the chances of being banned for doing it or being scammed in the process.

One thing I am hoping ends up added to the Rift store is the next expansion, Rift 3.0, if they end up charging for it. Because the new Storm Legion souls can be bought on the Rift store, my hope is that this will continue with whatever new additions are only available if you purchase the next expansion. This would allow players to continue their free play, experiencing all that the game has to offer and still be supporting Trion in the process. It is a win for everyone!

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