When It’s Okay to Go Home Again… Or How to Learn to Love Maintenance Mode

With no end to the pandemic in sight, I’ve found myself delving into MMORPGs in my spare time. Whether it’s Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft Vanilla, I always compared them to my time spent in Telera. Eventually, I decided to play my favorite MMO rather than playing games that offer similar experiences with different dressing.

The question inevitably becomes: “Is the game dead?”

As much as I loathe the concept of games dying, it’s easy shorthand to describe a game being abandoned by it’s developer and either shutdown or, at best, put into maintenance mode. Rift still has a community of devoted players, making major cities less barren than I expected. Instant adventures are equally as populated, giving players easy access to grouped content. In all other ways, however, Rift can be considered being in maintenance mode.

Although I wasn’t privy to the events as they occured, it looks like Trion Worlds went under recently and sold the rights of Rift to Gamigo. The new owners seem content in keeping the servers updated and using their limited resources to address community issues, such as recently patching their player report feature.

If you believe the rumors, I also hear good news about world boss content being experimented with on the PTR. This, combined with the already existing seasonal content, is enough to keep me logging in and checking out the game every once in a while.

Can an MMO designed to bring players together quickly and easily ever be truly dead? Sure, LFG queues don’t pop as quickly as they used to (or at all) but you can get folks to join you in chat if you’re patient. Instant adventure solves most murder hobo needs, while PVP, crafting, raids, slivers, and chronicles are all still accessible.

It’s hard to recommend an MMO in maintenance mode without adding a million caveats, so I’ll try to keep this simple. Rift is easily one of my favorite MMOs, if not games, and has a lot of great story and fun gameplay to explore for those looking to find it. If you also want flexible and interesting class choices and build opportunities, plenty of group PVE content, and a unique story/aesthetic, Telera may still have something to offer.

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