Once you’ve completed the Rift character creation process, the next step is to make your way through the first few levels by way of the tutorial missions.
For the Defiant, this means awakening in The Life Factory, fighting your way through a regiment of Regulos’ forces, and ultimately jumping into a portal that takes you back to a more peaceful time in Telara’s past.
Inside the Life Factory
When you wake up, you’re standing in the Life Factory, staring at a tooltip detailing how to move your character and interact with the world. These tooltips will pop up from time to time as you make your way through the tutorial to explain various important aspects of Rift’s gameplay. New players will want to read these very carefully. If you have some MMO experience, you may find them less useful.
In front of you is your first quest giver, Valyn Marsip. Speak with him to receive the “Born Again" quest. To complete this quest, run up the stairs and to the right. You’ll find Sylver Valis in a room overlooking the chamber where you were reborn. Speak to him to finish your first quest and receive your first soul. You can mouse over each option to get a general description, and holding down control while clicking on a soul type will give you a preview of the talent tree associated with it.
Once you’ve chosen (and completed the quest) check out your new abilities and equip your new weapon. Open the backpack with “B" and right-click on the item you’d like to wield.
The Great Outdoors
Your next quest takes you outside the Life Factory. Head upstairs and around the corner until you’re facing the entrance. Head outside and speak to Dacia Ultan.
Dacia has a problem, Telaran Husks are attacking the Life Factory, and she needs you to help thin them out before you can continue. Prepare for your first taste of combat.
You’ll find the husks just to the West of the barricade in front of you (in the big circle on your map). They are non-aggressive mobs, so you’ll have to attack them before they’ll fight you. Once you’ve killed your quota, return and speak to Dacia. She has another quest for you. You should reach level two at this point. Press the “N" key to open the talent tree and spend your first point.
Dacia will ask you to activate some local machinery that will help fend off the undead. The circular machines are located throughout the village in front of you, and they can be easily located by virtue of their sparkling aura. One easy way to find them is to follow the cables on the ground that connect them. Once you’ve activated five, move on down the road to the West to Koke’s Hold.
Koke and his companion, Vexa, both have quests for you. They involve thinning the undead forces attacking Koke’s hold. Grab both quests, but be sure to right-click on the glowing box behind Koke to receive a temporary buff that will help you with your mission.
The Harvesters and Dominators you need to kill are just down the road to the Southwest. Attack and kill them to finish your one quest, and loot them to collect the Sourcestone Ore for the other.
Once you’ve completed your quota for both, head down the hill to Lastlight.
In Lastlight, speak to Kain Sunsworn and Asha Catari to turn in your two quests. Asha will also grant you your second soul, opening up another talent tree. Equip the items you receive as quest rewards and get ready to go spelunking.
You should have three quests at this point: “Paving the Way," “Flipping the Switch," and a third quest which varies depending on your origin. All three take place in the same general area, the small valley just to the Northeast of Lastlight.
You’ll need to take down Hulking Phantasms and make your way into the small cave to activate the glowing switch within. Your origin-specific quest will have you collecting items or killing mobs just outside the cave, as well.
Once you’re finished head back to Lastlight and turn in all three quests.
Asha and Ignacia Bulwark will each have an additional quest for you. You have been asked to make your way into the nearby Guardian camp, killing any resistance you encounter, and replace a missing Resonance Capacitor.
The Guardian camp is down the hill to the Northwest. You’ll find Guardian Sergeants and Zealots stationed all over. Replacing the Resonance Capacitor will awaken Frederick the Betrayer, and you’ll have to defeat him to finish the quest.
Finish off any remaining Sergeants and Zealots as you head back to Lastlight to turn in your quests.
Ignacia will reward you with a bag. Press “B" to open your backpack, click on your Timeworn Bag, and then click on the bag bar in the bottom right of your screen to equip it. Now you have more storage space.
Your next quest takes you across the bridge to the North to Tempest Station. Your first destination is your trainer, who will explain about improving your skills, for a price. Turn in your quest, train up your existing skills, and accept the quests offered by The Faceless Man and Raj Taleed. The Faceless Man has an idea how you can earn your third soul, but you’ll have to venture into the nearby ruined village to do so.
You have two quests at this point. The first, “Reduce, Recycle, Reeducate" asks you to find Shyla the Fallen, kill her, and use the Soul Reclamation Device on her corpse. You’ll find Shyla directly North of Tempest Station. You’ll find her in the center of a summoning circle, with beams of power connecting her to four nearby wizards. Once you attack, she breaks the connection in a powerful explosion of power. She’ll fight you for awhile, then conjure up a protective bubble and send several skeletons to attack you. Fend them off, then finish off Shyla when her shield drops.
After she’s dead, use the Soul Reclamation Device on her corpse.
The other quest, “Fully Armed and Operational," asks you to put out some fires surround the Automata Inflector, a big machine you’ll find to the Northeast of Tempest Station. Find the Inflector, use the Aquifier in your backpack, then click on the glowing pedestal when the fires are completely out.
Once you’ve completed these quests, head back to the Faceless Man and Raj Taleed.
Now that you’ve collected Shyla’s soul, The Faceless Man’s plan to get you a third can continue. Use the nearby Soul Rebinder to continue. A Sundered Soul will attack you. Defeat it and speak to The Faceless Man once more to finish the quest and chose your third soul.
“Applied Theory" and “Reap What You Sow" are the next set of quests you’ll receive from Raj and The Faceless Man. You’ll need to collect items from Soul Callers and Decaying and Risen Telarans found all over Castrum Hiberna to the North. Once you’ve killed and collected enough items, return to Raj and The Faceless Man to turn in your quests.
Your quests completed, it’s time for one final task: push through the enemy forces to the time machine, and return to the past to save Telara.
The Final Push to Rubicon
Raj will summon a powerful Wraith construct, and you’ll want to stick with it as it makes its way up the hill to Rubicon, wiping out any enemy forces you encounter along the way. Halfway up you’ll encounter a roadblock, and you’ll have to activate the nearby glowing pedestal to activate the Automata Inflector which will clear it so you can continue up the hill.
Once you join the Defiant forces at Rubicon, you can turn in the “No Quarter" quest to Isach Undugar. He’ll give you the mission you’ve been waiting for: “Into the Time Machine."
Head up the hill toward the time machine, but make sure you stop and speak to Quaeni Nidian. She’ll give you an important quest that you’ll turn in once you successfully travel back in time.
Atop the hill stands the time machine, but you cannot simply walk into it. Regulos himself will appear to stop you, and you’ll have the opportunity to engage in your first Rift event.
The quest asks you to speak to Stavel Rosso to start up the machine, but it’s entirely possible to walk in after the event has already begun, rendering speaking to him unnecessary. Defeat the enemies that appear out of the rift until Regulos himself materializes. Asha Catari will hold him off long enough for you to get through the portal, giving her life to deliver the best hope for Telara to the past.
You’ll be treated to an excellent cinematic, then materialize in a much earlier version of Telara, one that has not yet been ravaged by Regulos. Congratulations, the tutorial is complete and you’re ready to begin your life in Rift.
All screenshots and references from Rift: Planes of Telara.