Rift: Planes of Telara is a fantasy themed MMORPG game that has made the transfer to include a free to play MMO model. Rift is published and developed by Trion Worlds and is currently one of the most popular MMORPG games on the market. Players must choose to align with a particular side to help them achieve victory and save the world of Telara. The two sides are the Guardians and the Defiants and, although they have a common goal, they are divided by ideology. Each faction has access to 3 playable races, all of which have totally unique appearances and character creation options. Each race has 4 class choices. The amazing thing is that Rift classes have great flexibility. For example, while in most rpg games, rogues can only dps, in Rift, rogues can fill the role of a melee or ranged dps, tank and support. The other 3 classes, warrior, mage and cleric, are also versatile and have multiple roles. This extensive class system is one of the primary reasons that Rift has remained so popular since its original release in 2011.
End game content is a large focus in Rift, as such the game includes an array of exciting features to keep even the most hardcore PvP and PvE players entertained. The most common of the PvP features is the Warfront system. Players can fight against opposing teams of up to 15 different players. Each Warfront has a specific set of objectives that must be met before a team can claim victory. These objectives vary greatly, from basic death count to the collection and holding of a rare artifact or flag. The PvP system also offers a large selection of available rewards, from basic experience points to advanced items and rare weapons. Rift online rpg features a great deal of end game PvE challenges for hardcore raiders and also for casual players. Rift features an extensive crafting system in the form of Tradeskills. Players can master up to 3 unique Tradeskills per character, creating a diverse and player created economy. Each craft has different benefits and thus requires different resources and gathering skills. Intelligent players will be able to mix and match their Tradeskills across a multitude of characters, making them self sufficient in terms of creating armor, weapons and consumables.
Rift has just launched a new version, Rift Lite. This allows players to experience the game and progress through to level 20 without having to subscribe or purchase the game. Those wanting to go further will need to purchase the boxed edition or a time card. Rift mmo world will triple its size, players will be able to fight open world colossi bosses, enjoy player housing and many more exciting features with the new Rift expansion, the Storm Legion.
Graphics – Rift is a high fantasy game, filled with elves and humans and dragons, but it goes for a more mature interpretation of this well-worn genre. Rift’s art style avoids the exaggerated and often childish visuals seen in Asian grind MMOs. You won’t feel like you’re playing a kiddy game with the age limit extended to adults.
But if you’re a veteran looking for best-in-class graphics, then Rift will be a bit of a disappointment. The racial profiles, gear design and spell animations seem inspired by one previous MMO or another. It looks like a hybrid child of World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online. The graphics engine grants a respectable level of polish, though, so the character models look pleasing to the eye.
Where Rift really stands out is not in the iterative character models but in their memorable environments. Every hour or so, each zone in the game erupts with random rift portals. One zone might break out with Death rift portals, darkening the skies and spewing forth waves of undead. Another zone will be drowned with a cascade of sea monsters from newly opened Water rift portals. Closing these portals will return the environment to its natural state – but only until the next round of invasions.
In other games, these dynamic events involving hundreds of players will break the system. But Rift has optimized the game so even a mid-tier rig will be able to handle the full load without having to lower the graphics systems to the absolute minimum.
Instanced dungeons and raids also look impressive, but you will need quite a decent graphics card to fully ramp up the settings and capture wallpaper-worthy screenshots.
Sound – Rift sprinkles voice acting in its most important NPCs and event storylines, and even some vendor NPCs, but overall it is not as strong or prolific as what you’ll see in titles like Star Wars the Old Republic.
Background music while questing straddles between soothing and inspiring, but its best soundtracks are played during intense fight situations such as when you’re battling a rift invasion or boss. Spell sound effects are standard fare, wherein you will be able to close your eyes and know when a skill has been cast but will have a hard time telling what kind it is.
Story – Rift is set in Telara, a fantasy world besieged by a group of dragons known as the Brood Storm. Each of these dragons has its own malevolent plan – to subjugate, destroy or spread pandemonium in Telara – and it falls on two factions to stop their evil machinations.
The first faction, known as the Guardians, draw on the power of the Vigil gods to thwart the dragons. Guardians are composed of three playable races: High Elves, Dwarves and Mathosian humans.
The second faction, called the Defiant, has shunned the Vigil gods and instead relies on their technomagical creations to combat the dragons. The Defiant are composed of three playable races: Bahmi, Kelari dark elves, and Eth humans.
The starting areas for both factions do a decent job of introducing the storyline for each faction. But most quests end up being run-of-the-mill generic. Where Rift shines in storytelling is when you dive into the group and hardcore content like dungeons, raid rifts and raids. Here you will learn more about each dragon, their motivations for invading Telara, and the history of your faction’s struggle more than any uninspired quest could.
Gameplay Mechanics – Rift tries to do away with the notion of a cookie-cutter build. Players will be able to basically cherry-pick abilities and skills from a pool of four callings and eight classes per calling. This results in a staggering number of possible builds. Newbies might find this freedom a bit daunting, and might even be forced to take to the forums to find out which combinations work best, but veterans should appreciate the level of customization afforded by the Rift class system.
You will start the game by picking from one of four callings – a Warrior, Cleric, Rogue or Mage. Once the choice is made, you will choose three classes from a pool of eight, each one offering a certain playstyle. For example, if you take on a Warrior calling, you might transform him into a damage-dealing machine by speccing into the warlord, paragon and champion classes. Eager to tank with self-heals? Spec into reaver, paladin and warlord.
The game allows you to reset your build if you find that it is not working for you. This makes it a lot more convenient to experiment different fighting styles. A great way to go about choosing your build is to think along the lines of what you would want to do. Do you want to protect allies? Deal a lot of damage? Stand in the back row to heal and support? Narrowing down your party role will steer you towards the appropriate class combinations.
This flexibility makes Rift one of the more accommodating games for party play. It will be easy to find allies willing to do a dungeon or rift challenge with. In fact, Rift encourages you to group up since the best PvE gear and rewards are only obtainable via group content instead of solo challenges.
There is less focus on PvP, but it’s supported to a respectable degree. Balancing of classes is done through the use of unique PvP souls that try to level the playing field, but with so many builds to account for, there’s a trend of always having a too-powerful spec dominating the Warfronts at any given time.
With so much focus on team play, players will have little incentive to play alone. But for those times when you’re not feeling particularly social, there are a couple of solo time sinks like Artifact Collections and map exploration that will keep you busy for hours.
Unique Fun Factor – Rift boasts of a dynamic world environment. There is a feeling of always being under siege, and you can’t help but be on the lookout for the next rift invasion or a group request for a dungeon run or a Warfront match. The game helps you keep up with the rush of activities, like in how the flexible class creation system lets you jump into one activity to the next with little worry that your build will be effective. Rift feels like it was injected with a shot of adrenaline, and you as a hero can’t help but be swept along the almost endless waves of conflict.
- Expansive and flexible character creation system.
- Dynamic group content and world events.
- Blazing fast content roll-out.
- Solo quests can feel a bit monotonous or uninspired.
- Character models are nothing you haven't seen before.
- PvP has a tendency to become imbalanced.
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