Rift gets free trial, Ascend-a-Friend program

Trion Worlds announced free trials for Rift today, and will even reward users for ensnaring their friends in the kind of deep addiction that only an MMORPG can provide. The free trial lasts 7 days with "certain restrictions" that are unnamed, after which you'll be nudged to buy the game.

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Even better for current players is the new Ascend-a-Friend program, which gives in-game benefits. Each friend that agrees to sign on for a subscription will net you an in-game reward. The first friend you get will grant you an adorable, loyal canine companion. The second will get you a fashionable hat. The third and final reward is a flaming steed that matches the speed of your fastest horse.

Current subscribers can give out unlimited referrals to their buddies. Friends will be honored with the title, "The Chosen," added automatically to your Friends list, and you'll be able to summon each other once every 30 minutes.

This all accompanies the new 1.2 Spoils of War update. It adds new Sliver access, Crafting Rifts tools, social tools and balancing tweaks.