Trion Worlds – Behind the Scenes

While traveling through the Bay area on vacation, we had the wonderful opportunity of meeting up with some of the crew at Trion Worlds, Inc. Rift has been one of my favorite MMOs to date (though I rotate through several). I like the

Lord Rcane and gamer spawn at Trion Worlds, Inc.

Lord Rcane and gamer spawn at Trion Worlds, Inc.

customization of class and the possibility of shifting from an offensive build to a heal build with a few moments notice. Getting a chance to meet with several of the minds behind Rift and the other Trion games was an unforgettable experience.


We talked briefly about the status of three titles, and they showed me where new “confidential” work was being done on other projects. I didn’t get names, nor did I ask, but I am eager to see these new products as well.


The community relations people were working hard on the latest update notes. We interrupted their meeting, but Elizabeth was kind enough to answer our questions, show us the dev team hard at work, and the area where they were working on localization (converting to various languages so that the products more universal). The art team was also hard at work, their computers buried under big black “tents” to remove the glare on their work. The projects that Trion Worlds, Inc., is involved in are massive, international, and very interesting. Some of them are discussed below.




Rift is now over 2 years old, having been released in March of 2011. The fantasy MMO RPG had stiff competition, such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest. It also had several unique features, such as customizing your character as a blend of three different “souls”, a spontaneous system of invasion from other worlds, and events related to these rifts (hence the name).


For those who may have missed my previous posts, let me reiterate some of these key features. First, you can customize your character the way you want to by using different souls available within your selected class. For example, take a bit of Pyromancer for offense, a lot of Elementalist for some serious pet capability, and some Chloromancer to heal the party. Rift also has several pre-built options for those who like to get in and play quickly.


Trion Worlds, inc., conference room Sanctum

Conference rooms at Trion Worlds, Inc., are named for zones in their games. Here is the Sanctum room.

The dynamic nature of the game is what gives Rift its name. Tears open between the players’ world and those of the various elemental planes. Sometimes these just spawn small invasion forces which run amok in the world. Other times, they are the start of massive events. These huge events feature boss monsters, waves of enemies, and a serious threat to the safety of oblivious players (translation, a lot of fun). These rifts are also the source of currencies used to buy gear from some merchants.

There are several posts on this site about my favorite builds and about Rift itself. One thing that struck me as we toured Trion was the amount of work going into Rift, even as it approaches its third birthday. I didn’t actually count, but there a ton of developers still hard at work and a battle plan in place that stretches into late 2014.

Although Rift was originally a subscription only model, it recently changed to a subscription/free-to-play combo. Meaning that the game is fully free-to-play, but that there is a subscription available that offers additional features. (full details are available at the website:




Defiance is a futuristic game rather than a fantasy one, such as Rift. I have not personally played it, but what I saw about it intrigued me. Translation: It is officially on my “gotta check this out” list. Here are a few reasons why:


One of the things I did know about Defiance was that the show and game are related. Events in one have an impact on the other. Although there have been movies and shows based on video games, and games based on shows, this is the first I can remember of the two being simultaneous and related.


Second, Defiance is a multi-platform game. Although this is not necessarily a unique idea, it is cool being able to play the game and advance on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC. I have friends, for example, that lack the PC capability to play serious MMOs, this may help them.


Also, Trion is currently cross-promoting Rift and Defiance, details are available on the website (


For more information about the State of the Game, check out this post from Trick Dempsey, the Creative Lead (



For more information on Defiance, check the website! (




ArcheAge is a new game coming out from Trion. It is rare in that it is an import from Korea. It was released in Korea in January of 2013, and Trion Worlds, Inc., is working with the developer on the technical aspects of bringing it to North

Trion Worlds, Inc., decorations look right out of a Rift

Trion Worlds, Inc., decorations look right out of a Rift

America and Europe, hopefully by the end of the year. Currently, Trion has a beta and news sign up available on the ArcheAge web site. (


Thanks Trion for the tour and information. As a long time fan, it was great to get an inside look at the artists, developers, community relations, and media departments. I especially want to thank some of the staff for taking breaks from their hectic day to show us their work, answer questions, even wave to me and my kidlets. Your work is very much appreciated and I hope to see those new “classified” projects soon.


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