Rift is a dynamic MMORPG developed by Trion Worlds. Not only is this the studio’s first MMO, but this is its first game. Rift is an ambitious project and has one goal; that is to be the best MMO out there. A feat that might be hard to do as they’re in a market dominated by World of Warcraft, where competitors need to do everything in their power to set themselves apart. Many MMOs have come and gone since Blizzard created the wonderful world of Azeroth – some failed miserably while others resorted to the free-to-play market.
Well Rift is different, and they want to carve out their own space in the MMO market with a tagline like “We’re not in Azeroth anymore.” Rift wants to say it has something in store for them something they have yet to experience. But has Trion created a game unique enough for the diverse community of MMO players out there? Does it have the legs to stand side by side with the beast itself? Let’s look at the HOTs and the NOTs of Rift.
Rift takes a different approach to classes that they’re not even called classes. When you start a new game you are asked “what is your calling?” this is like a base class what base abilities will you have. You can choose between 4 callings Mage, Warrior, Rogue, and a Cleric. Each calling is given access to eight souls. The combination of three out of the eight of these souls is what shapes your character’s role
Unlike many previous MMOs however, the basic calling archetypes are not rigid. Many of the souls available within each calling blur the line of the traditional roles you may have come to know. Want a healing mage? No problem. A rogue that can tank? Rift has it. A cleric that can dish out the DPS? You bet!
Rift wants to go after World of Warcraft, and that makes sense even if they don’t win the war they’ve at least won a battle, and that is the battle of character customization. Rift features a comprehensive character creation system that enables you to customize a character to suit your playing style. From the beginning, the customization in Rift is unique, and has not been seen in a current MMO. You can change the color of your hair. You are also able to change the shape of your characters face, and the levels of detail in your features. If you want markings you can color those or you can remove them. Rift does give you a lot of freedom to make the game your own.
Rift’s questing system is robust and very solid, leading you through the game very nicely. The game gives you plenty of things to explore without feeling too much like a non-stop series of errands, and when they say “We’re not in Azeroth anymore” they really mean it. While the questing can be fun, it’s not without its problems as you will constantly find yourself running back and forth far too many times. This is a small gripe and is not considered a negative for the game as the overall questing system in the game is implemented very well.
Easy to get into
Rift is a fun game and is very easy to get into. It does not have the learning curve of say World of Warcraft. If you are a person that has never played an MMO, than Rift seems like the game you might want to start with, if you have an interest in the genre. If you are one that has played other MMOs, then you will feel at home with Rift. Its as if when developing the game Trion looked at its market and looked at the games in the market. They grabbed the best features and ideas from other MMOs and also improved on what others were lacking. From my experience in playing other MMOs, there is an immediate resemblance in some of the powers and also the traits of the players, which allows for an easier transition from another game.
The Player Vs Player content in Rift is beyond amazing and is similar to battlegrounds in World of Warcraft. As an MMO PvP addict, I have not been disappointed by this aspect of the game. Rift has a total of four warfronts where Guardians face off against Defiant. With objectives such as Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, warfronts provide both experience as well as favor – a currency for purchasing gear. Once level 50, PvP provides both favor as well as prestige. The prestige system is a leveling system that puts players at different tiers which unlocks unique weapons and armor.
We already know that Rift is good at PVP, but what about the PVE aspect. Well PVE in Rift has been designed to be almost as good as the PVP and it is. When new MMOs come out it is hard to master both PVP and PVE but Rift does it. The PVE is fun, adventurous, and fulfilling, with decent rewards, quick spawns, and a nice public quest system. If you want to get in a group and quest with friends
For a new kid on the block Rift has a lot of content, and Trion makes sure that new content comes out almost every month with new patches. Something plagues gamers of the Wow series is that there is not a lot of content when you hit the max level. You might run a raid or a dungeon or just check out the auction house that’s it. Most may ask does Rift succumb to that and the answer would be no. When you hit 50 (which is currently the Max level) there is still a whole lot to do.
At level 50 you are now opened up to expert instances, expert raids, raid rifts, and raid dungeons. Expert instances are a two tier system where five of the ten instances are considered tier one and the other five tier two. Normally when you hit 50 you should be ready to tackle tier one content depending on your current gear. From tier one and tier two instances you will obtain the usual loot from bosses but will also obtain plaques which operate as a currency to purchase gear from vendors. With Trion adding new stuff all the time you should never run out of stuff to do in the game.
Investment into the game
If you have any interest in playing an MMO not only will you have o make a financial investment, but you will also need to invest your time. Playing an MMO is not like playing a regular RPG if you want to level your character and get the best loot you will need to take out time and play the game. Also while playing an MMO you will need to make a financial investment. Most MMORPG’s like Rift, World of Warcraft, and Aion charge not only for the game but also they will require you to pay $15 a month.
Overall Rift is an excellent entry to the MMORPG genre and is a breath of fresh air to those looking for a new MMO. Many games like Rift have come and gone, but it seems that Trion has definitely built a winner and that they can and probably will take a chunk of Blizzards pie. It resolves and enhances the problems that other MMOs may have to make the game fun to play. It even brings in new people who have never played the MMO genre before, and doesn’t give them a steep learning curve. Rift is definitely a great game and it deserves its praise
[Editor’s Note: Rift was reviewed on the PC . The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]