As a World of Warcraft fan and player of 8 years I’m always a little weary of starting a new MMO (massively multiplayer online game) because we MMO players know that it’s more of a hobby then just a game. Hours of levelling up, farming, raiding, daily quests it takes up a good chunk of time if you want to be the best, so adding another time sucker into the mix can be seriously dangerous for your social life….and bank account,
Rift has been on the go since 2011 and has had one expansion release “Storm Legion” in 2012, it received good reviews across the board, but apart from that I was pretty uneducated on anything else about the game.
Like most MMO’s you have to pick a faction. In Rift it’s between the Guardians who put their trust and faith into the old gods, or the Defiant who believe more in advancing through technology. Each faction then has three races to pick from. Once you have picked your faction and race you pick your class. It’s the pretty standard warrior, rogue, mage, cleric choice but within those classes there are different ‘purposes.’ So if you picked a mage you could either for example pick the ‘Gravelord’ purpose and use undead pets much like a warlock type play style or you could pick the ‘Sage’ purpose and be more of a healer, and it doesn’t stop there you get to pick additional purposes to go into your talent tree so you can mix and match. Overall there are 336 possible class combinations.
I must admit, at first the whole class within a class thing kinda confused me. Warriors that could spell cast, what?! Rogues that could tank, what?! It goes against everything that I’m used to in MMOS, but after the initial shock and confusion of creating my own class that fitted my play style, it felt really enjoyable to not be restricted to a fixed set of spells and having the option to just change my character around if I decided I wasn’t enjoying it anymore.
The character creation is a lot of fun too, so many choices to make your character unique, on par with the likes of The Elder Scrolls games in terms of customisable options, a great plus for fans of RP (role playing) and don’t worry you can visit a barber in game and use in game money to change it all if you fancy a fresh new look.
So I’ve talked a lot about character creation but what about actual game play? What is it that you do in the land of Telara? Well there is the standard open-world/battlegrounds for PVP fans and dungeons/raids for PVE players but they are also some more unusual aspects of playing, such as ‘Instant Adventures.’ In Instant Adventures you sign up for these just like you would for a dungeon, then you are grouped and automatically teleported to a level appropriate area in the world (not an instanced zone) to complete a series of objectives. The adventure is endless, you can keep going, leveling, looting as long as you like, you don’t need a perfect group mix to complete it and you don’t need a certain number of people to participate as it scales to which players are there. So no guilty feelings if you have to drop out and no longer will you be frustrated at having to wait around for more people to join.
Then there’s zone events, first being Rifts, which are doorways to the elemental planes. They appear randomly on your map and come in different elemental forms: Air, Death, Water, Earth, Fire and Life. Rifts come in stages, defeating all the mobs will complete the stage and start another, which will be a little more difficult. Complete them all, seal the Rift in good time and earn extra rewards! Other zone events include giant large scale elemental invasions with giant bosses in which you have to protect strongholds and quest givers.
It’s fair to say there is a lot going on in the world of Telara even after you’ve finished leveling, so what about that F2P sticker? I’ve always been a little dubious of it myself, usually when MMOS say FREE TO PLAY! It comes with a hidden small print, yeah we are free to play but…..you’re not going to be able to get past this point without forking out some real cash.
So what does Rift have to offer for free? Well it’s fair to say pretty much everything. There is a cash store in which you can buy fancy mounts, vanity pets, outfits, boosts and other such things but none of it is necessary to play and enjoy the game.
The whole world is open to you for free, at no point will you hit a wall in which you need to buy an expansion to continue to level, and paying for a subscription only offers a few perks, I’ve leveled just fine without them.
So it seems Rift really is what it seems, a great MMORPG set in a vast world with interesting game play and customisable characters, offered to you completely for free!
I would definitely recommend it to anybody who loves this genre of game – especially if you’re a bit low on cash.