IFT is a complete and full-featured MMO experience. Adventure in the world of Telara as either a noble Guardian or technomagical Defiant and enter a dynamic fantasy where 8 primal forces battle for control and the landscape is ever-changing. Build your own class using the Ascended Soul system, embark on challenging quests, battle others in exhilarating Player vs. Player combat, achieve new heights of power by tackling epic raids, and so much more!
Publisher: Trion Worlds
Graphics: High Quality
EXP Rate: N/A
PvP: Open World / War Fronts
Pros: +Large variety of classes. +Dynamic World feature creates unique experiences. +High production value and quality graphics.
Cons: -Requires a monthly subscription. -Typical fantasy theme.
RIFT went into open beta testing on December 3, 2010 and will be the latest high quality subscription based (pay to play) MMORPG to hit the market. The forces of the Death God Regulos are pouring into the world of Telara, and rifts between the other dimensions including Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Life have also grown. It falls on the players, who assume the role of resurrected veterans called The Ascended, to save the world from these inter-dimensional evils. RIFT has an ever changing landscape which ensures players will have different experiences even while traversing the same terrain. The game also has two rival factions and a ton of playable classes. There are 4 callings and 36 different souls (9 for each calling) at launch. Players get to build their class from these souls, so there are a lot more than 36 classes players can build.
Factions & Races:
The Guardians – Dwarves, High Elves, Mathosian
The Defiant – Bahmi, Eth, Kelari
Warrior – Champion, Reaver, Paladin, Warlord, Paragon
Cleric – Purifier, Inquisitor, Sentinel, Justicar, Shaman
Rogue – Nightblade, Ranger, Blade Dancer, Assassin, Riftstalker
Mage – Elementalist, Warlock, Pyromancer, Stormcaller, Archon
Rift: Planes of Telara Preview
Trion Worlds, the team behind the upcoming inter-dimensional MMO Rift, look like they know what they’re doing. When it comes to the interface, they’re not reinventing the wheel; they’re simply taking the best bits from the best MMOs, and burnishing them.
Jumping into combat feels familiar, and comfortable. You hit auto-attack for your basic melee skill, then go to work on your abilities and spell rotations, all bound to the number keys. Sound familiar? The end-product is punchy and substantial; there’s some satisfying audio feedback during scraps, and the unit animations are a pleasure to watch.
One tidy little innovation really made me smile when I played: area looting. If you’ve slain a bunch of mobs, you don’t need to rifle through every individual pocket. Within a certain radius of your character, you can auto-loot every item from every corpse you have looting rights to.
And you’ll be looting a lot of corpses. Rift is built around a dynamic content system that spawns four flavours of elemental rift into the world, through which demonic entities pour. If these rifts are left to linger, they create what’s known as a ‘foothold’, the visual representation of which is a knot of slimy tendrils that anchor the floating rift to the earth. Their corrupting influence spreads the longer they’re left, and increasingly tough enemies appear, who drop consequently better and rarer loot.
Players must tackle these to defeat the invaders and close these rifts, or they’ll spread incrementally across the server. What happens if they’re left unchecked? The world gets messed up good and proper. If towns are engulfed, players no longer have access to the facilities there, so it pays to play Neighbourhood Watch and keep the beggars in check. To my mind, it sounds a little like Warhammer Online’s public quest system, but with a sense of creeping growth. Or degeneration, depending on how you look at it.
What’s really compelling is the intricacy and fluidity of Rift’s class system. The basic classes – or callings, as Trion have dubbed them – are Clerics, Warriors, Mages and Rogues. That pretty much covers healing, ranged DPS, melee DPS and tanking, but beneath your basic classchoice, you also have three class specialisations, or Souls, to tinker with and switch between on the fly. These push your class in specific directions, so warriors can become damage dealers, or area-of-effect specialists, or some other battlefield role, as the situation warrants.
The flexibility this will bring to partyplay could be phenomenal. Every MMO player has experienced those ‘where are all the bloody healers!’ moments when waiting to tackle an instance. I can’t see that being an issue when a whole bunch of players in your group are likely to have a cheeky healing spell tucked under their magely skirts.
The demo I was taken through dealt with the opening scenes of the game, and initial character creation. After tinkering with your toon’s looks, you choose a race. There are six in total; three which fall under the allegiance of the Guardian faction, and three which fall under the allegiance of the Defiants.
You’re then treated to a remarkable series of cutscenes which detail the neardestruction of the world of Telara, and as a result, your genesis. The story is an esoteric one, and as my character was part of the Defiant faction, I saw the Defiant side of the story. Just as the world is going to ruin at the hands of Telara’s arch-nasty The Destroyer, the Defiants use their advanced technological knowhow to create you, the perfect hero. They then open a portal to the past, and your destiny is set: as the last, best hope of the Defiants, you’re thrown back in time to close The Destroyer’s rifts and stop the war before it spirals out of control.
The first staging area for your character is the base where the Defiants created you. It’s a place to learn more about the world, the conflict, and the way character classes work, before you head past cheering NPC allies, through the time-portal, and into the game-world proper.
What I’ve seen so far of Rift excites me. There’s depth and flexibility in the class system, a unique storyline, and it kicks pretty much every MMO into touch when it comes to visual fidelity.
But we’ve still only seen a fraction of the game. Presumably there are more activities to engage in than just the endless cycle of mob-bashing and rift-closure. What are the quests like? Are there many party-friendly instances? If so, are they engaging, and as unique as Rift’s mythos and backstory? How developed is the endgame content? And what really happens if a server goes unchecked, and rifts cover the world? There’s so much left to see before we can draw any real conclusions. But what I’ve seen so far inspires hope for this brave new entry into the MMO scene.
Rift Beta, Review
Rift: Planes of Telara – once upon a time known as Heroes of Telara – is the upcoming fantasy MMORPG from Trion Worlds. We first got a look at Rift in April, and it was, for better or worse, strongly reminiscent of World of Warcraft. The user interface, skills and even the art-style to a certain extent drew heavily from the world’s most popular subscription-based MMO. What separated Rift from WoW and games like it were the titular rifts; dynamic events that change the landscape and draw players to work together or fight against each other, but even this was reminiscent of Warhammer: Age of Reckoning’s public quest system. It is the class system, which we recently had the opportunity to see, that truly separates Rift from the glut of other fantasy MMOs.
First, a little explanation of who you are in Rift is in order. You, and all the players in Rift, are great warriors who after death appeared in Telara as what is known as an “ascended soul.” This is your basic character class and falls into one of four archetypes or “callings” – warrior, mage, cleric or rogue. Each calling affects the type of armor you can wear. At the start of the game, when you’re creating your character, there are two different classes per calling.
As the game progresses and you level up, you unlock soul points, which can be spent on a “soul tree” that looks very similar to World of Warcraft’s talent system. There is a very important difference, though. As you plug points into the tree’s upper part or “branches,” you automatically progress along the tree’s winding “root,” unlocking new skills along the way. These are the core abilities of the class. Pretty basic stuff, right? Then, fairly early on, you acquire your second soul.
Wait, what? You can have more than one soul?
Yep. In fact, that is the core of the class system. This second soul comes with its own talent branches and ability root. In fact, you can eventually get a third soul as well. Of course, you have a limited number of points to spend; by max level, at the moment, you’re going to have 51. While that may sound pretty standard, things can still get crazy.
You may be limited to having three active souls, but there are many more. Trion weren’t willing to say just how many, but told me that each archetype will have “hundreds of combinations” available to them. And the abilities tied to the souls aren’t necessarily your standard archetype skills. What I mean is, if you chose a warrior archetype, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d be limited primarily to melee offense like the Gladiator soul, and highly defensive options like the Reaver. Nope! Certainly, those options are available, but so are souls that aren’t traditionally associated with the warrior, such as a spell-thrower.
The soul you choose at the beginning is flexible, and throwing points into it will likely allow you to play solo pretty well. If you want to be able to do fancier stuff, or to excel in a group, you’ll need to start looking at other souls. The first couple may be very easy to get, but as you progress, it becomes very much a collectible mini-game.
An example we witnessed was a rogue-calling character whose main soul was the Bladedancer – a purely damage-focused soul. It was capable of tearing things to shreds, but could not stealth, could not attack from a range, and had very little in the way of escapes and evades. Introducing the Ranger soul, and adding a few points, allowed the rogue to attack enemies from afar, and as they got near, switch to the powerful blades. Another soul introduced the stealth mechanic, but at the loss of some potential damage. A third option was a more caster-type soul that could augment weapon damage with the elements, and allowed the rogue to teleport backwards. Very neat stuff, but it gets cooler when you consider that another possible combination is the caster-type and the ranger, allowing players to attack from a range, and teleport away when the enemy gets too close.
There are much more specialized souls that we were told players wouldn’t be able to acquire until they were comfortable with the game mechanics. We were told that there would be, for example, a soul that excels in buffing party members that would be extremely difficult to solo with. Mentioned, too, was the fact that souls don’t necessarily have to be combat focused. Seasonal holidays, such as Halloween, could have purely social souls tied to them that allow players to transform or do other non-combat actions, just for fun. Now, we don’t know if you can switch between souls on the fly. We think that you can only swap out a soul that has no points invested in it, meaning that you can switch souls when you are respecializing your character. We were told that there is a way you can save certain soul specs and switch between them, but we weren’t given any details. Our best guess is that it’ll work somewhat similar to WoW’s dual-talent-spec system.
The system that Trion has come up with is a novel idea that has the potential to provide players with an immense amount of flexibility for play-styles, regardless of a player’s class. It also, however, poses balance concerns, and may make creating fun and involving encounters and dungeons a challenge.
We will have to wait until next week when we get our first hands-on to be able to say for sure, so keep checking IGN’s E3 coverage for more.
Running around collecting glowing stones and killing ogres as ordered by some old man in town. I sure hope he is going to pay me well. Wait, what is that in the distance? Moving closer it almost looks like a rip in space and time. What is going on? The strange light spreads and from the sky black death filled tentacles grab the ground below. The grass begins to die and strange growths begin to emerge from the earth. Suddenly skeletons rise to their feet and turn their eyeless skulls towards me. I raise my shield to block the incoming assault. I try to fend them off the best I can, but there are too many of them. Suddenly a bright blast sends the undead horde to the ground. I look over and see reinforcements have arrived. We nod to each other with a silent decision to close this Rift.
If you are an MMO fan and have kept your eye on the current events in that realm, chances are you’ve heard about Rift. I can probably guess that what you’ve heard has mostly been good too. Well, those reports are pretty much right. Rift is very fun. No ifs ands or buts. There really is something for everyone.
First things first. I know a few people that when they see a picture of a game they see the UI and say “yup, looks like every other mmo”. There are a few points I’d like to make about this unusual statement. For one, that UI WORKS! Why screw it up? What would YOU have it look like? Second, Rift allows you to fully customize your UI to your liking. You can make stuff bigger, smaller, move them all around, and pretty much make it suit your play style. Personally I just resized everything to make more of the game visible. I’ve seen several interesting UIs people have implemented.
You begin by creating your character. You can choose between two factions: Guardian and Defiant. Guardians to me seem like extreme religious zealots. Either that or violent hippies. Defiants however are the cool guys who mix magic with machines. Guess who I picked? That’s right baby, DEFIANT! From there you can pick between four classes. Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage are your options. Oh man, just four classes? What a bummer right? WRONG! Just keep reading. You pick one of those classes then you can choose how he looks. The creation isn’t the best, but its not the worst. You have enough options to make sure your character doesn’t look ugly, unless that’s what your going for, then you can do the opposite. Once you are in game, your first quest allows you to pick a soul. Here is where Rift starts to get awesome. Each class has nine souls to choose from. You can have three active at any time as your current role or spec. You can eventually have up to four roles. The first three souls you get from the starter quests. The rest you have to get later on.
Souls have two features. The top half are the branches. These are where you put your soul points. They are often passive abilities that grant you bonuses or make various skills better. There are also a few abilities you can get in the branches. Below the branches are the roots. These are abilities learned depending on how many soul points you’ve used in the branches. The more points you spend in the branches, the more root abilities you get. You can combine these souls in any way to fit your play style. Sure, there are a few combinations that work better than others, but you are by no means pigeonholed into doing something cookie cutter. What’s fun are the souls that make for a unique play style. Want to play a Tanking Rogue? How about a Healing mage? A ranged magic based Warrior? All three possible! One thing they’ve done is bring back support roles. For a while it seemed like you could just be Tank, Healer and DPS. Well now there are hybrids that can definitely turn the tide in a tough fight. The soul customization is interesting enough as it is to play with.
As you level you will notice a lot of the same types of quests that are pretty much standard for most MMOs. Kill this and get that types of quests. There are a few things that do keep this interesting. A very minor addition, but one I don’t know how anyone lives without is “Group Looting”. Let me explain: In your typical MMO say you are out questing or whatever. You kill a group of enemies. For this example lets say you killed four and they are all in around the same place, like a five yard radius at least. You then would have to loot each and every one. In Rift you would only have to loot one. All enemies within that space have their loot grouped up into one right click. I know, that doesn’t seem all that spectacular, but the lazy side of me cheers in delight.
More importantly, while you quest there is always something else going on. Most of these goings on have to do with the game’s namesake, Rifts. At any time and at any place a rift could open up. You can choose to just run by it and hope nothing attacks you, or try to seal it. There are Minor Rifts and Major Rifts. Minors you can MAYBE do yourself depending on your level and skill but it’d be better with a few friends. Major Rifts you will want a much larger group. Now before you sigh thinking you’re going to need to make all sorts of weird internet friends to do these major rifts with, I will reassure you. Even if you are not grouped, others will show up. Right on the top of your screen will be a button that says Join Public Group. This is optional, but its probably best to join so healers can see your HP and heal accordingly. Typically a Rift has five stages. If you complete them fast enough you can unlock a bonus stage. During the Rift your actions go towards the group’s contributions. Once the rift is sealed you are rewarded with currency and items depending on how well you did. I’ve heard that in some cases, different classes can have a harder time getting their contribution up, while others have an easier time. Along with the Rifts there are also Invasions to deal with. These forces spread out across the map looking for quest hubs to take over. These encounters are similar to rifts in that you often can join a public group to kill them off. You are also rewarded in the same way. These of course are optional, unless the invasion decided to take control of the quest hub you were using. Aside from these are zone wide events that take place periodically depending on the population of the zone. These events often cause a large amount of Rifts to appear as well as an invasions. Questing during one of these events can be possible, however I advise against it. Plus, partaking in one of these events can often give you some great rewards, or the higher level currency used to get some really neat things.
These events make the world feel a little more alive and there is always something going on. There are also dungeons and battlegrounds to participate in, which are fun. The PvP so far has been pretty excellent. The Warfronts, which is what the battlegrounds are called, can be a little frustrating if your team doesn’t have a healer. The combat is fun, with the various souls you have many options on how you play your character. The crafting seems typical as well though to be honest I am not that deep into the crafting. There do seem to be abilities to customize recipes with certain ingredients that will give specific stats. Also, in your travels you will discover artifacts that are part of sets. Each completed set can be turned in for another currency used to buy silly helmets, mounts, and even pets. Endgame fans need not fret either, as there are already Raid instances and Raid Rifts available.
The visuals are pretty nice and the armor designs are neat to look at. Some of the weapons are a little iffy, but mostly nice to have. Dying armor is a nice addition to this game that brings out more customization. The music and overall sound of the game is pretty standard. Epic scores for cutscenes and evil looking places as well as ambiance melodies when nothing is really going on.
Most of my gripes so far have not been the fault of the game to be honest. Of course with any game there will be players who get on your nerves. I did find a lack of a guild vault to be a concern. I hope this will be added in future updates. Trion Worlds seem to be in pretty good control and have launched a pretty polished game.
|Character||Gameplay||The World||The Game|
Rift: Planes of Telara
|Pros||There is always something fun to do. Rifts, Invasions, PvP, OH MY! Nice visuals. The Souls are really awesome and customizable. You really have a lot of freedom.|
|Cons||No guild vault.|
|Verdict||While Rift does not bring a whole lot of new ideas to the table, it does take a lot of good ideas from other sources and almost molds them into their own. Some might just look at the game in passing and feel its *more of the same* but they’d honestly be wrong. As I play I see familiar things, but they also feel different, smoother, and more fun. So while they aren’t reinventing the wheel, they are definitely making the ride much more fun and comfortable.|
Critic Score 8.23 reviews
User Score 8.7490 votes
Minimum System Requirements
- Operating system : Windows XP, Vista or 7
- Processor : Dual Core 2.0 GHz or better
- Video Card : Nvidia GeForce FX 5900, ATI/AMD Radeon X300, Intel GMA X4500 or better
- Memory : 2 GB
- Hard Disk : 15 GB
- DirectX : 9.0c, June 2010 update
- Internet : Broadband internet connection (DSL, cable modem or other high speed connection)
Recommended System Requirements
- Processor : Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or better
- Memory : 4 GB
- Video Card : Nvidia GTS 250 or better, Nvidia GTX 200M series or better