A Rift Homecoming — The MMO Gamer

A Rift Homecoming

rift_725px

Last week came the announcement that Rift will be getting an expansion later this year, and Storm Legion appears to be bringing a lot of new and exciting things to Trion’s flagship MMO. If you haven’t seen what’s in store yet, you can check out our article showcasing what we know so far, and if you’re too lazy to click the link, you can at least check out the teaser trailer below.

Pretty exciting stuff, huh? I know it instantly re-ignited my interest in Rift. I have been contemplating a return to Telara for quite some time now, but have just been entirely too busy playing and writing articles about Tera, The Secret World, and Guild Wars 2 to really be able to  justify jumping back into Rift. That all changed with the expansion announcement. We are still months away from the release of Storm Legion, but my excitement level was too high to wait, so I spent the vast majority of this past weekend finally delving back into my favorite MMO.

I played Rift during beta, and had a six month subscription. If it wasn’t for me becoming a full-time game writer, Rift would still be my MMO home. But there were other game worlds that needed to be explored, so I let my subscription lapse after the six month period. Rift has been in the back of my mind since, and I always knew I would return someday. There’s just something about this game that has “It” for me. The art style, the game play, the dynamic events, the story, and probably most of all, the soul attunement system. There is nothing like having the freedom to spec into several trees, creating a class that can be unique to you and how you want to play. While you’re out exploring the world anything goes, and there are so many fun and viable options that just one created character can keep you occupied and interested for quite a long time, giving you several different gameplay experiences in just one class.

The news article went up Friday afternoon, and Rift began downloading on my PC Saturday morning. I was expecting a couple hours of downloading, but Trion has implemented a streaming client that, much like World of Warcraft, allows you to download the minimum requirements to play, then streams the download to the client as you play. I was in Telara within just a few minutes, looking through all my different characters on the character select screen. I headed over to the website to re-sub, but decided to hold off,  because I wanted to check out Rift Lite, the perpetual free trial version that allows you to play characters up to level 20 with no time constraints. I wanted to see what was and was not available with Rift Lite, and get a feel for just how much gameplay experience is available in the trial.

Upon logging in again, I had one existing character that was below level 20 and available to play, but I wanted to start over from the beginning and see what had changed since I last played Rift. Against everything I stand for in Telara, I rolled out a brand spanking new Guardian. A Mathosian Cleric to be precise. The things I do for an article.

 

Right out of the gate it was obvious that things have been updated, tweaked, and optimized since the last time I played. The world looked sharper and more detailed than I remember it. From the stone walls to the pets of the warriors and rogues, it was obvious that this place had been receiving graphical upgrades. I have always been a fan of Rift’s visual style, and it looked better than ever.

The UI has seen a few tweaks and updates as well. The menu bar is much more organized, with fewer buttons on the actual bar, and pop up menus bringing up further options in the category you need. Tutorial windows have been revamped and provide much simpler, clearer instruction to new players, and everything had layer upon layer of polish from months and months of tireless effort on the part of Trion’s development team.

To me the biggest surprise however, was the Calling Purposes, recommended builds by Trion which offer new players some guidance as they learn the game. The Calling Purposes give players an idea of the type of gameplay they will get from each Calling, show them where to spend their talent points as they level up and gain them, and even provide tips and tricks on what abilities and tactics are best suited for the chosen calling. You are of course free to begin spending your points how you see fit at any time, but I can definitely see how a new Rift player would find these recommended specs a welcome feature. The main downside to having so much freedom and choice in Rift is that it can be fairly overwhelming at first. Trion has done an excellent job in making a new player’s first experience with the game as easy as possible, allowing them to learn the game, and get a feel for a few of the trees and abilities before they dive head first into the Soul System.

The second biggest surprise was how much fun I was having as a Guardian Cleric. I chose to spend my first few levels following the Thunderer Calling as I refamiliarized myself with the game, and I have to say that was an excellent decision. I am a two-handed mace wielding face smasher who still has the ability to pull mobs and do some damage from afar, all while healing myself along the way. I have played through the starter zone of the Guardians before, but haven’t really gotten very deep into the questing in Silverwood before now. I will have to say that the questing experience in Silverwood has got the Freemarch experience beat hands down. There are more interesting areas, mobs, and even storyline if you take the time to read your quest panels. I have enjoyed my time in Silverwood more than I did even my very first time in Freemarch.

By Sunday night I had leveled my new Guardian Cleric up to level 19, partaking in exciting adventures and slaying creatures from different planes of reality. I was sad to know that my time in Rift Lite was coming to an end. It was a positive experience, and in the 20 levels I was given, there was more than enough gameplay to get a feel for what Rift is all about. There is no doubt that Rift is one of the best MMO’s on the market. Constant updates and a stream of new content keep the players happy, and the upcoming expansion is sure to bring another wave of players into the game, and add a whole new level of excitement.

My time in Rift Lite is over, but my time as a recently re-subscribed Rift player is just beginning. Oddly enough, my time as a Defiant is also over…well at least for a little while, as my awesome new Guardian Cleric continues his adventures through the world of Telara. I am excited to see what surprises await us as we make our way through the world. And to think, I haven’t even logged onto my level 50 Defiant Rogue yet. There’s a whole new zone called the Ember Isle that I’ve never even seen and there is tons of new content to be had there. It’s looking like I am going to be busy for quite some time. It sure is good to be home.

Comments

  1. A big thanks for an excellent piece of games news.

  2. As an major gaming fan, I just wished to pop you a brief note to say thank you for placing this
    article up.

Leave a Reply to Car Games Cancel reply

*