In a nutshell, rifts are portals that randomly open between the homelands of the Asmodians and the Elyos, allowing members of each faction to venture into the other's territory for some PvP action. The original system allowed higher level players to pop into lower level enemy zones and gank the heck out of people. Patch 1.9 introduced some restrictions to prevent ganking, but Balaurea just about broke the system by debuffing rifters into oblivion.
The developers know players are upset -- and they have a plan.
"We've gone from one extreme to the other," Producer Chris Hager said at an NCsoft press event this weekend. The problem is a serious one for players, from casual rifters to the small portion of players who do nothing but rift.
So the developers plan to introduce an in-game survey in the next few weeks to gauge American and European players' likes and dislikes about the system. Those responses will comprise a "rifting report," upon which the developers will base efforts to fix the system.
"We recognize that it's a big issue," Hager said, "but at the same time, we want to get actionable data that isn't emotion-driven."