Last Friday I heard from a friend good things about a new MMO called Rift: The planes of Telara. Since they were having an open beta I decided to give it a shot. First though a little background on my MMO experience. I started in MMO’s with Guild Wars back in its first alphas. Then I stuck with it into its betas. Finally when it came out in April 2005 I jumped all over it. Since it was free to play I leveled and enjoyed for almost a year. Then a friend told me about World of Warcraft. He bought me a copy about the time patch 1.7 hit right after they added Blackwing Lair. I started a hunter and was sucked in for about three or four years. I stayed for the next two expansions (The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King) and finally gave up after that. I moved on to Lord of the Rings online. I picked up a copy during its beta and still have an account. I love LotRo. It’s one of my favorite gaming experiences.
So far Rift is as good as, and in some ways better than vanilla WoW. It has some very interesting features that make if almost an amalgam of the good parts from other MMOs. Here are some of the highlights I have experienced so far.
The class system:
Holy snap the class system in Rift is awesome! Basically there are two parts to your class, your role and your role. There are four roles that will be familiar to any RPG gamer: Warrior, Rogue, Mage, and Cleric. After choosing one of the roles you then add souls to your role. All the role does is determine which souls you have access to. There are nine souls per role. This allows you to play the perfect class for your play style. I will go into more detail after I get a bit more experience.
This game is pretty. The grapics are sharper and less cartooney then WoW but not quite as sharp as LotRo. So far I have not been to many areas but what I have seen so far is a very high fantasy. There are beautiful forests and great halls. The character models are very pretty, the only downside is they are very generic. There will be more on this as I watch peoples gear improve.
I haven’t gotten to experience a rift yet but from what I can gather they are a bit like public quests in Warhammer Online. Rifts are areas that have a goal and upon completing this goal grants rewards and closes the rift.
Overall coming from a WoW background I really like Rift. More to come as I experience more of the game this weekend during the head start.
Check out my next piece Rift: More Time Space Anomalies!