Rift: Planes of Telara or “Rift” is a massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Trion Worlds a gaming studio headquartered in California but with offices in Texas and Europe. Rift is the company’s main product, set to launch today March 1st in the Americas and March 4th in Europe but just what is Rift all about and should gamers be excited?
Rift Overview and Factions
Rift: Planes of Telara is a high fantasy, online role playing game built from the ground up by the guys at Trion. It is set in a world being ripped apart by different “Rifts” erupting across the land unleashing unspeakable evils upon the land. This catastrophe has split the people of Telara into two different factions. The Guardian – the ultra religious group believing in the power of the gods who have risen up to thwart the advances of the Rift invaders. Then you have the Defiant who believe the gods have failed the people and have taken to combining magic and machinery to find their own path to victory.
Lore and WOW Gorilla
I must admit that the the lore of the game wasn’t very appealing at first but while experiencing a couple of the beta tests and being a part of the one week headstart those who had pre-ordered the game get it has grown on me. When talking about MMORPGs there is no escaping the ten tonne gorilla named World of Warcraft who is now closing in on it’s 7th birthday. WoW’s longevity is legendary and many are quick to point out the similarities between Rift and WoW because although many MMORPGs have come before and after WoW, it remains the powerhouse in the genre. The similarities between Rift and WoW aren’t necessarily a bad thing and from what I have experienced so far Rift does more than enough that just put a spin on the WoW recipe, just like WoW put a spin on the MMORPG’s that existed before it. Rift’s dynamic open world is worth a visit as least once and then the player can decide if its worth the monthly fee and interesting enough to remain committed to and interested in.
Understand the Soul System
Other than the invading Rifts, cults, warring factions, elder dragons, gods, questing etc one of the main features of Rift I’d like to mention is the Soul System. The Soul System is a very important aspect of the game to understand. In a nutshell there are four different classes in the game: Rogue, Cleric, Warrior and Mage. Each class has 8 different “souls” that players spend points in as they level which is illustrated as a “soul tree”. Players can use up to 3 souls at one time and as they level spent points into the soul tree’s branches to unlock the abilities of their souls while depending on the how many points they spend in each soul unlocks root abilities automatically. The soul system allows experimentation and customization on a level never seen before in an MMO as while each class defines a specific type of gameplay the souls and soul tree allows the player to mix things u on the fly. Want to be generic tanking warrior? no problem, how about a soloing mage with different pets for different situations? no problem? How about a aggro grabbing tanking cleric? no problem! If you’ll try or decide to play Rift I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do some research on and understanding the soul system.
Kudos to the Dev Team
I couldn’t end this preview without stating that while following the development of Rift I was very impressed with the development’s team constant dialog and connection to the community. The team was very active not only on the games official forum but also on social media and blogging channels providing regular updates on the progress of the game and actually listening to gamers and implementing suggestions and addressing concerns directly. This is a model that more gaming studios, not only those that produce MMOs should follow.
Join me our Guild
I am currently playing on the PVP-RP server called “Harrow” and have teamed up with a group of friends to form a social guild called “Rastafari”. Join us in game and join our guild and lets enjoy playing Rift together. Check out the Official Rift website at www.riftgame.com/en/. Also check out the Rift’s Facebook Page and follow Rift on Twitter.
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