Trion have introduced a taste of a future to their Rift client (at least if you are on a 5mbps+ connection) which streams the client as you play. You can still download patches and apply as normal, but if your connection is fast enough and you don't want to have to wait, the option is now there. They explain: "Streaming Client allows you the option to launch the game from the patcher without having to wait for the full data download to complete. You'll be able to start playing within a few minutes even after a large update, and the game will download the necessary data in the background while you play." There's even an in-game patchometer which states the progress, and tells you whether you aren't seeing characters and objects because they're slow to load.