Rift: Your New MMORPG
The Search For A New MMORPG
Like many of you, I grew up playing Guildwars and World of Warcraft and like you, I have many fond memories of such times. Unfortunately, things have changed in the MMORPG realm since and we players no longer get to really experience that warmth and excitement with new generation of titles. For me Guilwars 2 was nothing like Guildwars and though there were game mechanics that I liked and enjoyed, the game had completely changed from what I remembered and experiences as a player in the first title. World of Warcraft was much the same, the game has evolved so much since the vanilla and Wrath of The Lich King days that's almost not the same game and no longer affords the players the same experience and feels.
So naturally, driven by the human instinct to search and find that which is similar and enjoyable. I dabbled and tried any hyped MMORPG title that I could get my hangs on. even tried playing WoW again but it wasn't the same. I tried to fill that empty MMORPG void inside me with games such as Diable 3 and Dota 2, but still, felt something missing.
Fortunately, the search ended for me, once I tried Rift.
Rift Introduction Cinematic
Introduction To Rift
Rift is a fantasy free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game, developed by Trion Worlds. Rift takes place within the fantasy world of Telara. The game was released in March 2011 with a monthly subscription base and later changed to free to play. Which allowed people like me to try it out, something that would have been unlikely to happen if the game was still on a pay-to-play mode.
I'm not going to go into every detail of the game eg lore, fractions, races etc. I am simply going to cover the aspects of the game that I enjoyed and want to share with you. Aspects that make this a worthy game for anyone looking for an MMORPG title to sink their energy and gaming time into.
Character Creation & Classes
Okay so once you've downloaded the 30gb that includes the game client and the updates. You'll enter into game and start from the character creation menu. You'll be surprised to find that there are really only four game classes, which is weird for an MMORPG. But shortly after, you'll discover that each individual core classes have many sub classes (souls) that allows your hero to take on many different roles and game play styles within the game. Unlike games like wow or what I remembered of it, you are not limited to the three attributes trees and are encouraged to play around the different sub classes as each is unique and has its own individual playing style.
Character and Environmental Design
So now you're in the game and realize how polished and well crafted the game is. The current marketing and concept art does not do this game justice. It's a very beautiful game, much like the original Guildwars, your characters look amazing in this intricate world.
Not to mention the game has the Dwarf race! A huge win for others like me who love Dwarves. The enemies are very unique and you can really see the attention to detail on the enemies and game environment. It's clear that this game was made with a lot of love and care. You really see that coming through more and more as you explore the world and its creatures.
The awesome and standout features are:
- The game as a similar enough user interface for a newbie to quickly understand his way around.
- That the combat system is very well design and satisfying. You get the same level of satisfaction as you do, killing creeps in games like Diablo 3.
- You can match your level with your friends so that you can enjoy playing with them.
- New player friendly, easy to make money. I was able to afford a mount very early on that enhanced my gaming experience.
- You have dungeon and instant adventure finders which keeps things interesting.
- Very well designed pvp system and combat system that makes pvping to level a very viable and enjoyable option for players.
- The gaming experience is so fun and enjoyable that you won't mind playing through the early levels. I didn't have the desire to hit max level right away and was happy exploring, killing creeps and leveling my professions.
- Larger number of sub-classes (souls) which means that you should never really get bored of your heroes.
RIFT MMO Gameplay 2015
A major part of the game or at least to my limited experience is about taking on rifts, which are these dynamic global events that attracts other players on the map to one area. You must work together to quickly take down the different stages of the rift to finally defeat the rift boss for your reward.
The two most interesting parts for me was that you are given a call to action when you enter and rift zone which puts you into a party with all the other players combating the rift, which I thought was pretty cool.
The other benefit of this mechanic was that you would end up making new friends very quickly, I made two friends the first two days of playing and spend a great deal of time exploring the world with one of them. He also helped me by giving me larger bags (which I will get into shortly).
Rifts and Friendships
My Favourite Part
Having multiply builds or being able to change class play styles is nothing new. However, whilst I originally started on a Huntsman I found the new Bard sub-class (soul) to be so much fun to play in dungeons and just made supporting so much more enjoyable. I definitely felt like I was a massive contributor to the group, because not only was I providing them with solid support boons but I was allowed to deal a decent amount of damage that made the process a blast! Though I don't have experience with all the other classes, it seems like this enjoyment and uniqueness of game play and game mechanics is imbedded into all the unique sub-classes. You'll find that unlike other MMORPG's the dungeon roles are not just dps, tank and healer but rather dps, tank, healer and support, which adds a dynamic and more interesting feel to the game.
The Only Noticeable Negative
Though my gaming experience was limited, it became very clear that the game is not a pay to win title, very balanced and user focused. Free players have the same features, of the players that originally spent money on the game or ones who are on a subscription (an option which is still available).
The only negative or rather noticeable difference that I felt was the limited number of bag slots. Free to play users have three bag slots. Additional slots can be purchased through the game store however, they seem quite expensive. Especially when the alternative is to buy the original game which costs you $19.99. Giving you 5 slots instead of the three or the collectors addition which provides you with an additional increase in your primary bag with the Collector's Satchel upgrade on top of the initial 5 slots.
If you try the game and enjoy it and think you'll spend more time on it, these small investments seem to be quite viable, especially in the new world of free-to-play models.
Rift: Standard Edition
Rift: Collector's Edition (Extra Bag Slots)
The Bonus: Community
Perhaps due to the game having a small player population than the other more hyped mass marketed games, it still has a sense of community. This becomes very noticeable early on, basically as soon as you exit the tutorial, you'll notice the general chat is very active, players are friendly and having fun.
The guilds seem to be the same, very supportive, active and eventful which was a rare sight for a new gamer, entering new world. Often you'll find yourself playing alone and having a hard to connecting with others, but Rift has definitely shown me that it is different.
You'll quickly find that the other players are there for the same reasons as you, they too longed for gaming experiences of the past. I even mentioned how much I loved the game and missed Guildwars on the general chat one day and quickly found out that the players all agreed and were missing the old titles too and were ex-Guildwars and Wow gamers who had found a new home in the MMORPG realms.
Had you previously played Rift?
Did you enjoy it?
To Finish Things Off
If you've felt that you have been missing something in your gaming experience, example; wanting that warm fuzzy feeling playing your MMORPG game or simple that you just want a new title to try out, you should jump onto to Rift and check it out! You have nothing to lose expect an awesome and satisfying gaming experience and new friends. You'll be glad that you did and you can send me some good vibes if you do :)