MMORPG are meant to be enjoyed with friends (that’s why they put the second “M” in the acronym). It can be hard when you’re starting out a new game all alone. No matter how hard the game is, no matter how many new friends you meet in-game, you’ll always find yourself longing for the company of your old guildmates or real life friends.
Many of today’s modern MMOs offer a way to earn in-game rewards for introducing your friends to a new addiction, and newcomer Rift is no different. There are those who accuse the developers at Trion of borrowing too heavily from Blizzard’s successful formula, but I for one am thankful they decided to bring their recruit a friend program on line so early into the game’s short history.
The Rift version of the friend is known as “Ascend a Friend” (a clever rhyme based on the fact that player characters in the world of Telara are known as “Ascended’). Current Rift players who convince their friends to not only try out the game, but also to purchase it, can earn an exclusive pet, hat, and mount to use during their in-game adventures.
Ascend a Friend Rewards
The rewards program is pretty simple. For every friend you convert into a player of Rift (up to three total), you will receive a new reward. Each is unique to the program, so the only way to get them is to have at least three friends or spend the money to purchase yourself three accounts.
When the first of your friends purchases the game after receiving your referral, you’ll earn the Courage Companion Pet. This Telaran version of a Corgi will follow you around faithfully through thick and thin. Courage is an apt name for a tiny dog that is willing to follow you as you battle rift invasions and enter the game’s most frightening dungeons.
Convince a second friend to join you in Telara and you’ll earn the Trailblazer’s Hat. This item may sound like something you’d find NBA fans wearing in Portland, but it’s actually a snazzy-looking feathered cap that does nothing but enhance your personal in-game attractiveness. Log in, don this chapeau, and everyone you meet will know that you’re perfectly willing to sell out your friends in order to earn purely cosmetic virtual items.
On your third referral, you can earn the Swift Ember Steed. More than just a clever name, this mount is actually a very fast (as fast as your fastest mount, anyway), flaming horse. Hop on and ride with pride, knowing that your persuasive skills have earned Trion approximately $150 and $45 a month for as long as you can convince your friends to keep playing the game.
How to Recruit Friends
To start the referral process, log in to your account management page on the official Rift site. On the right side of the page, just beneath the giant green “Download Client” button, is a purple banner urging you to “Ascend a Friend.” Click on it and you’ll open up the Ascend a Friend Dashboard.
There are four different (and, actually, quite convenient) ways to solicit referrals from your friends.
First, there’s the old standby: emailing them. Click the “Invite by Email” link to open up the email invitation page. Type in the email address of your intended victim and press the “submit” button to immediately fire off an email inviting your friend to try out the Rift Free Trial and link their account to yours.
You can also send your recruitment message directly to your Facebook wall or Twitter feed, right from the dashboard. This is an incredibly intuitive method of recruiting friends and I hope other games take notice and follow suit. This way, any friend you have on either service will see your invitation. You never know who is likely to be looking for a new game, and this shotgun approach will help you maximize your potential pool of recruits.
The fourth option is a link you can distribute to your friends that will take them directly to a page explaining the 7 day free trial and the benefits of linking their account to yours.
Benefits for the Recruit
Those you recruit get more than the enjoyment that comes with discovering a new gaming addiction. They’ll also receive the exclusive in-game title “The Chosen.” In addition, their account will be linked to yours, allowing each of you to teleport to the other’s location, anywhere in Telara, once every thirty minutes. Each character you create will also be automatically added to one another’s friends lists.
Recruiting your friends to join the fight in Telara will earn you more than just a new loyal companion for your adventurers. Both recruiter and recruitee can earn exclusive benefits. What more incentive does a Telaran need to share their love of Rift?