After my disappointments with Aion and then the debacle that was FFXIV, i went into Rift not expecting much. I’m happy to report that so far i’ve been really entertained with what’s available to us in the closed beta. First off the level limit is locked at 20 and to one faction at a time, first beta being The Defiant.
The Defiant are a race built around technology mixed in with magic. I decided to play an Eth Rogue, which is one of 3 races and 4 main architypes (others being mage, warrior, and cleric). My first goal was to actually be able to log on, but fear not! Trion opened up more servers as the first 4 quickly filled up.
The character creator leaves a lot to be desired. It’s nowhere near what i hoped for after Aion pretty much destroyed all other creators. You’re limited to only a few hairstyles and body parts themselves cannot be resized. It’s not bad but it’s not what i’d want. Hopefully this will be expanded on later.
The first thing i noticed once i logged in was how alive the world felt. Trion did a fantastic job at creating a wonderful atmosphere of a world being torn apart by invading forces from tears in the world, the Rift’s themselves. There’s just so much going on around you while you’re in the starter area such as incoming artillery fire from the other faction’s starter area (which by the way hurts if you don’t move out of the way).
The UI is very clean and streamlined and everything on screen is movable and scalable. Here’s the UI layout editor:
Rift reminds me a lot of a mix of Warhammer + WoW + Everquest 2. It’s obviously not as pretty as say Aion or FFXIV but it’s also not as hideously ugly as the first 3 mentioned. The starter area has a few quest hubs and basic tutorials that teach you combat, gathering, and the Rift’s themselves. Defiant quest hub where i did some basic kill quests and also unlocked my first 2 souls, which are basically classes in themselves. I myself went with Ranger as my first soul, which is a pet class, and Marksman as my second class.
The gameplay itself is very fluid and what i’m sure many people are used to, coming from WoW. You have your standard hotbars and global cooldowns you need to manage. Yes there’s jumping and swimming, which you’ll use very early as there are a few underwater quests.
In this area you get a taste of your first Rift, which are basically public quest invasions that occur all over the map. They spawn hordes of mobs that need to be killed. If left alone, these mobs will begin to terrorize the area and start taking over quest hubs and eventually attack cities. Your loot is all individual and is based on your participation in these events.
Rifts and invading forces show up on your map, along with their level. Their frequency was turned up to a ridiculous level for the beta. I was constantly busy running around in groups trying to close them and defeat what they spawned. Depending on your class and level, some can be solo’d, but i have a very difficult time if i happened on a Rift by myself.
The souls system itself is pretty neat. You can have any 3 of the 8 available souls loaded at one time for each architype. Spending points in each tree unlocks skills and abilities. You can also save sets and skills into roles which can be loaded at ant time out of combat. In essence you can have a build for PVE, PVP, tanking, healing, dps, instances, and whatnot. A total of 4 builds with 3 trees each can be saved and preset how you like. This is the one i used but i messed around with it constantly.
After the starter area, you get warped to the mainland and eventually find your way to the Defiant City of Meridian. The emphasis on technology is evident throughout.
Teleportation device used to travel the levels on Meridian, in case your feet fail you.
Did i mention there are mounts? You can purchase your first one at level 20. This is my robotic horse.
Next came The Guardians. They seem to be the holier than thou chosen race by the gods. Their main city of Sanctum.
An earth Rift that spawned nearby as i was questing.
Character sheet and stats:
Guild charter with quests and perks:
Last but not least, there’s an auction house! I mean what kooky company would release an MMO without one?!
So far so good for Trions first foray into MMO’s. I’ve been kept constantly busy throughout the first 2 betas and i’m sure it’ll only get better. Next phase opens up PVP so i can’t wait!