RIFT Review: The Society Which Conquers Chaos

RIFT evolves the world of fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online action-adventure, exploration, creativity, and imagination to a whole new level. Nature is undeniably a mysterious force where Man understands very little. Thomas Burnet described very easily the mysteries of the forces at work in both earth and nature itself: “What they do? Where they live? The human mind has always circled around knowledge of these things, never attaining it.” These very questions form the entire representation of everything that nature takes as a role and what RIFT represents altogether. While orcs, elves, evil magical monsters are nothing new, RIFT manages to explicate a sense of liminality between what is traditional and what can accomplished with a team dedicated to fuse traditional concepts with layered elements for something original. Trion Worlds’ RIFT takes a completely reinvigorating approach through every single element involving a deeply rooted storyline, a large compendium of classes for the Ascended, varied and mythical Souls and Callings, Leveling Structure Rewards, Player vs. Player combat, Mounts, Grouping Opportunities, Guilds, all used in finally create the conception of the beautiful world of Telara.

The supernatural origins of Telara are powerful forces that control the natural elements within the universe. Telara is parapsychological and addicts the forms of variety seen with every creature and opportunity in its vast landscape. The history of Telara is stunningly creative, descrying a time of war and infighting between gods and a land that crossed the very boundary of the elemental planes. Sourcestone creates all of Telara, the whole of the lands in the universe of RIFT, making up varying regions of climate, appearance, and even shape. The elemental planes clashed, therefore creating a world of turmoil and slight tranquility in the war-torn lands between the planar monsters and the peaceful established cities and orders of Mages, Clerics, Rogues, and Warriors. The Shade itself has closed off the lands to the far north and west, while the seas border out the east and south by a force that is ravaging. There is a lot more to see in Telara, from forests to mountains and sand gorges all inhabited by creatures of the planar elements from medium sized Undead to giant Ancient Roots. Telara is definitely a land that Trion Worlds has actualized with a perfectly balanced dichotomy of horror and just the right amount of danger and beauty fused together to create a visionary vista and scenery for all its inhabitants.

The populace is in disarray as they are convinced the end is upon them. In this time, two factions emerge. Two factions make up the adventure of every player: The rebel Defiants and the righteous Guardians. The history of Telara underscores the Mathsonian Civil War, where the Ward that protected convergence of planar proportions suffered a fatal collision by the Shade. Ever since this time, rifts have been tearing through the harsh skies, and antiquated enemies begin to break out from the chaos of the tears. Throughout all of this chaos, a death god known as Regulos bent on the destruction of the universe through his very force of nature is attempting to break through. people of Telara are now convinced that the end of the world is at hand. Each faction wants to save their world, but have widely different views on how to go about doing it and so often clash with each other as they fight for their survival and future. The story digs deeper with the Guardians. The Guardians were created by the Vigil, Telera’s gods who became silent in the chaos after the Ascended rose. The Guardians are born of three races: the mighty Mathosians, the sagely High Elves, and the heavy-hearted Dwarves. Each of these races seeks redemption for the sins of their respective leaders: Aedraxis Mathos for unleashing the Shade, Elven Prince Hylas who dismembered the ancient covenant with the divine, and finally the Dwarves that used trafficking to prosper their skills in crafting.  In a way that reflects their true culture, the Guardians are a wondrous faction by Trion Worlds of the detail of storytelling and finally how the Guardians exhibit atonement and reclamation along with promise for Telara. The Defiant in contrast hardly care about redemption or atonement, but instead see the God’s as the source of the problem to begin with. Three races consist of these rebellious fighters: the Bahmi of Rhaza’de Canyons, the tribal Eth, and finally the spiritually transcendent Kelari. They do not care about being branded as heretic, and willingly engage in solving matters themselves outside the rules of the majority of lands prior to the Shade.  The varying factions of Telara epitomizes the nature of not just the greatly explicated variety in RIFT, but finally the level of willingness of RIFT to show the importance of society in conquering chaos and dark metaphysical forces.

Planar beasts from all elements (Air, Water, Earth, Fire, Life, and Death) battle to control the world of Telara, all the while furthering the plans of Regulos.  Depending on your respective race and class, you begin in different parts of the game, but largely the structure of the game throughout the characters remains central to core structures: challenging quests, PvP Quests, intense leveling and pacing, divine Souls. Starting with these elements, RIFT creates a stunning gameplay countenance. Different callings make up the origins of every character and special questing options where callings include: Cleric, Mage, Rogue, and Warrior. Quests within RIFT fall in the stratum of the traditional MMO’s similar to World of Warcraft and MMO’s prior: townspeople give quests which encompass central narrative quests or an indiscriminate variety of quests that involve collections, dungeons, raids, deliveries, and more. Most quests contribute to Experience Points (XP) that range from 1000XP-3000XP in certain cases depending on degree of difficulty of the quest while scaling proportionally to the level the player is at. Each quest itself recommends a particular level of characters to perform the quests, without preventing lower levels from doing them in groups as another possibility. PvP quests make use of: Warfronts (cross-server battles) of varying types which include Domination, Capture The Flag, etc. These themselves have their own item rewards and furthers the gameplay intensity with PvP specific souls for each calling with a great PvP reputation.

Quests themselves hardly feel like grinding escapades but more like intuitive adventures with RIFT, more chances to see some of the best looking monsters in a MMO within incalculably forged environments and regions of Telara along with a greater capacity to level exceedingly. From here, leveling takes place. As players level, they gain newer abilities and the pacing of the adventure changes to extend into newer landscapes/regions of Telara from the introductory region into the extended regions of the grandiose continent.  RIFT escorts an incredible gameplay aspect of crafting your own class of character through Souls, once abilities of divine figures in Telarian history. Souls are essentially the powersets of players and each character can keep 3 souls at any one time in any combination within their respective calling’s souls for which there are different and unique souls.  Players can use this Soul Attunement to embrace these souls and gain endless customization through different roles, of which 4 can be gained, and each role used to make various combinations of souls. These initial souls, which grow in power as they become more discrete, have a great balance of abilities that work for both solo and group experiences. When the maximum level-cap is reached, the total skill points amounted at 50 equal 66. These can then be reset with the same role or used in different roles without reworking for them, which is an incredibly dynamic system that is rarely found in MMOs today.

RIFT takes a new approach with classical provenance and takes newer proveniences with leveling and soul attunement to create a fantasy action adventure Massively Multiplayer Online game that is truly indelible for a long time. RIFT allows players to keep the traditional aspects of previous MMO questing, and share it with a group of people while feeling the reward of their exploration and having the added benefit of seeing a new world in the eyes of the Ascended. Defiant or Guardian, the choice is yours on how you want to save Telara. Is everything RIFT does make it the undeniable “World of Warcraft killer” that has fantasy enthusiasts pronouncing about? No, because the question does not apply to RIFT and within there lies the magic. There is obviously a comparison factor with RIFT, but Trion Worlds makes players see that it is not about challenges or obstacles that stand in the way of development studios aiming to be ambitious in MMO IP creativity. Just because there is a popular title in the same genre does not mean there cannot be another one that offers different things and a whole new exciting and enticing storyline dialogue. Conversely, RIFT is the “doubt killer,” killing the doubt and fears anyone and any developer has in entering an already established market with a lot of formidability. Trion Worlds makes RIFT an example that risk and challenge can see its rewards in contemporary forms and with newer people for a lambent future.

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