RIFT Review: What Makes RIFT Different from Other MMOs?
by: Roberta Goli
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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New MMOs pop up all the time, so what makes RIFT different from the rest, and will these differences give RIFT MMO longevity? Read this RIFT review to find out.
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With an abundance of MMOs on the market and new ones being developed all the time, MMOs need a little extra to stand out from the crowd. This RIFT review aims to point out some of RIFT’s best features and why gamers should bother playing this MMO over others.
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RIFT Offers Extensive Character Creation
Character creation is no way near as extensive as Aion, but it is a lot better than other MMO’s such as WOW or LoTRO. While how a character looks is not important to all gamers, it is important to many, such as roleplayers and those who just want to look at a cute/tough/sexy/cool version of themselves as they play.
There is enough variety for gamers to walk around Meridian or Sanctum without running into three gamers identical to themselves, however, they will see the same hairstyle or armor a few times. Gamers can change facial features including eye rotation; eyebrow type; nose width and length; ear placement and mouth size. They can also choose from several hairstyles; a range of hair colors and skin tone; height and different make-up and facial and body markings.
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RIFT Class Creation Is in a Class of its Own
Class creation is unique in RIFT with an almost endless range of possibilities and customization. Gamers choose from one of four callings; Mage, Rogue, Cleric or Warrior and within each calling, they choose three souls from a choice of eight. For example a Mage might choose to have a Necromancer/Dominator/Stormcaller soul combination; a Rogue might choose a Riftstalker/Ranger/Assasin soul combination.
More souls are available, one is attained from a quest and the rest are purchasable so gamers would only need to roll one of each calling and collect a range of souls, which would allow them to select a combination that would suit their gameplay, based on if they are grouped or playing solo, or in need of extra healing etc). This offers the best of both worlds for gamers. Never again will they roll a necromancer and then wish they rolled a stormcaller instead. With RIFT, they can be both!
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The Rifts and Invasions are Both Spectacular and Exciting
One of the things that makes RIFT different from other MMO’s are the RIFTs. The RIFTs are cool. They are visually spectacular and both RIFTs and planar tears (which form RIFTs) open at random places all over Telara. Planar tears, RIFTs and Invasions are all marked on the gamers map. RIFTs are available from level seven, so gamers don’t need to get to high level to enjoy them. There are currently six types of RIFTs that open up, releasing deadly creatures into Telara from one of these six planes:
The Plane of Earth
The Plane of Air
The Plane of Fire
The Plane of Water
The Plane of Life
The Plane of Death
Depending on the RIFT that opens, will determine the mobs that spew forth. Some RIFTs are solable, depending on the RIFT and level, but to get to the bonus stages usually takes a few players. But gamers are rarely alone for long as anyone riding passed can join the public group and lend a hand.
What makes RIFTs fun is that they are random and gamers can make some nice coin and planarite (a type of currency used to buy planar items), in just a short time. They also break up the monotony of questing and help level up faster.
From RIFTs spring forth invasions of mobs that run to the nearest town or quest hub and destroy wardstones and kill NPCs, and any players that happen to be there. There’s nothing so exciting as selling your trash loot to a merchant only to see an invasion charge through and your relaxing moment is shattered as you try and defend the wardstone or run for your life! This is a lot of fun because it is random and can be quite challenging, depending on how many gamers are in the area at the time. RIFTs must be closed to prevent more and more mobs spawning and further invasions occurring in the zone.
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Cool Features of RIFT Gameplay
There are a lot of cool features with regards to RIFT gameplay. For starters, the class creation allows gamers to create truly unique and customizable characters; even a Mage can have a healing soul. But that doesn’t mean that a Cleric won’t be needed for a group. Each class is well used in a group, but they are also still fun to play solo.
Like most MMO’s, players complete a series of quests to gain coin and experience. As they level, they gain more soul points for their soul tree. Daily quests are repeatable but there are no constant repeatable quests that need to be done to level like there is in other MMO’s such as Aion, so gamers don’t feel ‘The Grind’.
The dungeons are pretty good in RIFT, and if gamers miss out on doing any of the dungeons along their journey, they can always go back and do them at end game, where the dungeons become ‘expert dungeons’ so even a level 17-21 dungeon like the Iron Tomb, can be repeated at level 50.
Level cap is only 50 and leveling is reasonably fast as opposed to many other MMO’s. While many MMO’s often raise the level cap, and Trion may do the same thing in future, it’s nice not to have a high level to strivefor to begin with, and be able to enjoy a lot of content from a low level. For example, gamers can fight in RIFTs from level seven.
The ‘looking for group’ feature is very handy. Gamers can join a queue for a random dungeon, a particular dungeon, group quests and RIFTs. It is a lot easier to find a full group for a dungeon this way, and gamers can continue questing until a group is formed. The only negative side to this may be that a few people may drop group if the group wipes, because they can simply queue up for another group, though this is rare and most gamers just want to finish the run.
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RIFT Sound and Graphics Show Attention to Detail
Part of the fun of MMORPGs is immersing yourself in another world. RIFT developers, Trion, have excelled at paying attention to detail in both their sound and graphics categories. As gamers travel through Telara, not only will they see a stunning world with bright colors and magical buildings, they’ll also notice the fine details of a tapestry or pattern on their armor, blades of grass blowing in the wind, and their breath as they exhale in cold climate. They’ll even be able to see their pet’s breath!
The details in the sounds are equally impressive. Underwater everything sounds muffled, and the robot mounts that Defiants can purchase at level 40 have a particular metallic clip clop. These seemingly small details makes the world more realistic and just adds to the enjoyment of the game.
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RIFT User Interface is Easy to Use
The RIFT UI is easy to use and looks quite similar to other MMOs. It includes a mini-map character portrait, health and power/mana bar, chat box, experience bar, hotbar/s, bag slots, quest tracker, and menu, which includes looking for group, soul tree, quest log etc. The UI looks ok on a small screen, and certain elements can be moved around, however, on a larger screen, gamers have a much clearer view of the world and have the luxury of adding more hotbars, which is important as they level and gain more spells and skills. As far as UIs go, the RIFT UI is pretty standard and very easy to use for anyone that has ever played an MMO before.
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RIFT Player versus Player – For Gamers Who Enjoy Beating Each Other Up
PvP is available via a warfront basis and open world PvP (when players are flagged for PvP). At mid to higher zones, gamers will run into those questing from the opposite faction. They can only attack if flagged for PvP, which is good for those that don’t enjoy PvP or prefer to engage on their own terms. Attacking guards of the other faction will automatically flag a player for PvP and this cannot be removed until the player has not engaged in any PvP for 5 minutes. Queuing for the PvP warfronts is similar to looking for group, gamers just join and wait until there are enough players.
Overall RIFT is a really fun, jam packed MMO that gamers aren’t likely to get bored with after two months of playing. It’s not possible to predict how long a new MMO will last or how well it will do, however, RIFT is definitely worth trying and will most likely provide gamers with many, many months of fun.