Rift is a fantasy-themed MMORPG developed by Trion Worlds and released in 2011. Set in the mystical world of Telara, where elemental rifts threaten the realm’s existence, players are called upon to protect the land by sealing these rifts and battling the forces of elemental chaos.
The game is centered around dynamic world events, PvE and PvP gameplay, deep class customization, and a rich, evolving story that unfolds as players progress through the game.
This comprehensive review will delve into the various aspects of Rift, exploring its gameplay, graphics, sound, population, free-to-play model, and more.
Dynamic World Events: Rifts
One of the game’s key features is its dynamic world events called “Rifts.” These rifts appear randomly throughout the world, and players must work together to close them before the elemental forces wreak havoc.
Closing rifts earns players valuable rewards and currencies, which can be used to purchase powerful gear. Rifts vary in difficulty, with minor rifts being easily tackled by solo players and major rifts requiring the cooperation of multiple players or even entire raid groups.
Apart from regular rifts, there are also zone events, which are large-scale events that take place across an entire zone.
Zone events require the collaboration of numerous players to complete specific objectives and defeat powerful bosses. Successfully completing zone events can yield significant rewards, such as rare gear and mounts.
Class System: Souls
Rift offers a robust class system called “Callings” and “Souls,” allowing for deep customization and varied playstyles. There are five main callings / classes (Warrior, Cleric, Mage, Primalist and Rogue), each with access to multiple souls, which can be combined to create unique builds tailored to the player’s preferences.
This versatility enables players to experiment with different playstyles and adapt their roles in a group or raid setting. As players progress through the game, they can unlock additional souls to further refine their builds.
PvE Content: Dungeons, Raids, and Instant Adventures
The game features a wide variety of PvE content, including dungeons, raids, and Instant Adventures.
Dungeons are instanced areas designed for small groups of players, typically requiring a balanced team composition of tanks, healers, and damage dealers. Rift offers both standard dungeons, which cater to players leveling up, and expert dungeons for players at the level cap seeking more challenging content and better rewards.
Raids are large-scale PvE encounters that require coordination and teamwork among 10 or 20 players. These encounters often involve complex mechanics and require a deeper understanding of the game’s class system and boss strategies. Successfully completing raids can yield highly sought-after gear and other valuable rewards.
Instant Adventures are a unique feature in Rift that allows players to quickly jump into action-packed scenarios with other players. These dynamically generated quests scale to the player’s level and can be a fun and engaging way to gain experience and rewards.
PvP Content: Warfronts and Conquest
Rift features a variety of PvP content, including battlegrounds called Warfronts and large-scale PvPvE encounters known as Conquest. Warfronts are instanced PvP battles where two teams of players compete in various game modes, such as capture the flag, king of the hill, and more. These fast-paced skirmishes are a great way to earn PvP-specific gear, currency, and other rewards.
Conquest is a large-scale PvPvE event that takes place in a separate zone where players can join one of three factions and compete for control of various objectives. This mode combines both PvP and PvE elements, as players must also contend with powerful NPCs while battling rival factions. Successful participation in Conquest can yield unique rewards and titles.
Story and Lore
The story and lore of Rift are immersive and engaging, drawing players into the battle for Telara and its survival. Players take on the role of Ascended, powerful heroes resurrected to combat the threats facing Telara. As players progress through the game, they uncover more about the world, its history, and the machinations of the elemental forces and their allies.
The game’s story evolves through a combination of questlines, dynamic events, and instanced content, providing a rich narrative experience that keeps players invested in the world of Telara. Rift has also seen several expansions since its release, each introducing new zones, storylines, and challenges for players to explore and conquer.
Expansions and Updates
Since its release, Rift has seen several expansions and updates, each introducing new content, features, and improvements to the game. These expansions have added new zones, dungeons, raids, and storylines, as well as quality-of-life improvements, class balance changes, and more.
It’s been a few years since Rift has gotten an expansion, but the game still gets regular updates.
Rift’s graphics, while not cutting-edge, are well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. The environments are varied and detailed, providing a rich and immersive game world.
Players can expect diverse landscapes, ranging from lush forests to barren deserts and dark, haunted lands. Each zone in the game has its distinct visual identity and atmosphere, making exploration and questing a visually engaging experience.
Character models and animations are also well-executed, with a wide array of armor and weapon designs that allow players to customize their character’s appearance.
Although the game’s visuals may not compete with more recent MMORPGs, Rift’s art direction and design remain captivating and enjoyable.
Rift features an enchanting soundtrack that complements the game’s atmosphere and enhances the overall gaming experience. Composed by industry veterans like Inon Zur (Fallout 3 & 4, Dragon Age etc), the game’s music provides an immersive audio backdrop for players exploring the diverse zones of Telara.
Rift has a dedicated and active player base, with a strong community that fosters a friendly and helpful atmosphere.
The game has seen a decrease in population over the years, but there are still plenty of players to interact with and form groups. In addition, Trion Worlds has implemented several features to help players find others to group with, such as cross-shard grouping and Looking for Group tools.
Is Rift Free-to-Play?
Yes, Rift is a free-to-play game, with the option to purchase premium currency called “Credits.” These credits can be used to buy cosmetic items, mounts, and other convenience items from the in-game store.
The game also offers a subscription service called “Patron,” which grants players additional benefits, such as increased experience gain, faster mount speed, and priority queue access.
Is Rift Pay-to-Win?
While Rift does offer some convenience items and boosts for purchase with real money, these items do not provide a significant advantage over players who choose not to spend money. The game primarily focuses on skill and strategy, rather than how playing the game, participating in dungeons, raids, and PvP content. This ensures that Rift maintains a fair and balanced playing field for all its players, regardless of their investment in the cash shop.
Additionally, the in-game store offers a wide range of cosmetic items and mounts, which do not affect gameplay or player performance. This allows players who wish to support the game and enhance their character’s appearance to do so without gaining an unfair advantage over others.
Rift is a feature-rich and immersive MMORPG that offers a wealth of content and gameplay options for players to explore. With its dynamic world events, robust class customization, engaging PvE and PvP content, and expansive crafting system, Rift provides a deep and rewarding gaming experience. The game’s captivating story and lore, along with its dedicated community and regular updates, make Rift an appealing choice for both seasoned MMO players and newcomers alike.
While Rift may not boast the most cutting-edge graphics or be completely free of pay-to-win concerns, the game’s overall quality, depth, and ongoing development ensure that it remains a solid contender in the MMORPG genre. If you’re looking for a dynamic and engaging MMO experience with a strong community focus, Rift may be the game for you.
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