Rift is an MMORPG that uses the best features from other MMOs that have come before it. Rift used to be a subscription based game but Trion recently decided to switch to the Free-to-Play business model. Many people describe Rift as a “World of Warcraft Clone” but in reality the two games are very different. The similarities between the interfaces and the feeling of the gameplay can’t be denied, but if something is done good and players are used to it then why reinvent the wheel?
Like in many other MMORPGs Rift has two factions. The Defiants and the Guardians. Guardians are religious followers of the Vigil, the supreme gods of Telara. Guardians include races such as the High elves, Mathosians(Humans) and the Dwarves. Defiants do not follow the religion of the Vigil, instead they put their trust in science. Races included in the Defiants faction are Eth (Humans), Bahmi(descendants of interbreeding between Air spirits and Humans) and Kelari(Dark Elves). Basically the conflict between the factions is the conflict between Religion and Science.
Classes and Souls
Players can choose one out of four Callings(Classes): Warrior, Rogue, Cleric or Mage. There are no “predefined skills” for a Calling. Players can select which ‘Souls’ to learn. Each Calling has 9 different souls to choose from and 3 Souls can be chosen at the same time. Each Soul includes a skill set, which basically means that each Soul can be viewed as a different “Role” or a different sub-class. Although the Soul system is very flexible it can be taunting and discouraging at first. New players don’t have to worry about failing to select “compatible” Souls. Every Time you select a Soul, the game will suggest two other Souls to make your build more balanced. Players can always choose to ignore the suggestions but that’s probably a bad idea unless you’re already comfortable with the Soul system and you know what you’re doing.
Graphics and FPS Problems
The game has top of the notch graphics and like with every game, there have been complaints of low FPS. With Rift the problem is different- many players with high-end computers have been known to get low Frames Per Second rate even on low settings. The problem has been around since the beginning of the game and the developers haven’t managed to find a real fix (other than get a new PC) yet. New players shouldn’t worry too much about this though- the game runs great on most computers.
Dynamic Content – Rifts
The game has a great dynamic content feature called “rifts”. Rifts appear at random times at random locations throughout the game world. After appearing, Rifts spawn enemies from other planes. These new enemies make their way around the world, attempting to take control of Footholds. Although Footholds are full of NPCs that you can interact with and who even help you defend against the Rift spawns, alone the brave NPCs might become overwhelmed and lose control of the foothold. Conquered footholds can be recaptured and the NPCs who died will be respawned.
When players fight Rifts they can choose to team up with other random players that are trying to defeat the same Rift via public groups. During the fight, a “join the public group” button appears in the middle of the screen. Players in the public group share experience and group buffs.
Although Rifts are a great addition to the game, making the gameplay more dynamic and unpredictable, they can become tiring at one point. After a while players usually start to ignore the Rifts because they don’t want to waste valuable time they could be spending leveling or crafting. There are no side-effects if players decide to ignore Rifts.
The developers are very proud of the system they have in place, Trion has repeatedly boasted that their current system allows them to drop in new content at any point.
Collectibles and Crafting
The game is pretty standard when it comes to Crafting. The available professions are : Armorsmith, Artificer, Runecrafter, Outfitter, Weaponsmith, Apothecary, Fishing, Survival, Butchering, Foraging, Mining. In addition to Crafting, the game offers a variety of collectible artifacts. There are artifacts scattered throughout the world. When found, the artifacts can be put into sets and can be traded for lucky coins.
Aside from Open world PvP The game also offers different kinds of warfronts. There are many different warfronts available. Among those warfronts is Black Garden in which the objective is to be the first team to collect 500 points by holding a relic called the Fang of Regulos. The mode has a twist though- the longer the player holds the relic, the more damage he receives from the fang, making him an easy target for the enemy faction.
Another warfront mode is called The Codex . The objective in The Codex mode is to collect 1000 points by holding vital positions. The map has 3 capturable locations 1 near each factions spawn point and one in the middle. Although the middle location is worth more points, the other positions are still worth taking.
Although many players have complained that PvP isn’t balanced, they usually fail to take into account the fact that all classes aren’t supposed to be equally good at everything. However Trion is constantly working on balancing classes so that everyone has a chance in PvP.