Surprise, surprise, weekly readers! It is I, your fearless, movie-watching Troll, invading this week’s Gamer Monday. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Self, how can Trollboy have time to play games, when he’s already so busy fearlessly watching bad movies, so that I don’t have to?” The answer? Easy. I’m an MMO Whore, and I know you are too.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been stumbling my way through a new and interesting world. This world is brought to us by Trion Worlds, and the name of the game is Rift. Now, prior to this, I had been making the rounds door-to-door with pretty much every free-to-play MMO out there (I did mention that whole MMO Whore thing, right?) A friend of mine from another fantasy-based MMO, that I won’t mention here, but it rhymes with More Crack, beta tested Rift and was hooked. Lucky me (and Lucky You), Trion decided to make an unprecedented move—after being in full release for about six weeks, they began giving out 7-day free trials. First hit’s free, kiddies. Now, I was lying in bed, reading my mail on my phone, when this tidbit of information landed in my inbox. I immediately woke up my wife and told her that I had to go and install Rift. RIGHT NOW!!
The thing that drew me to Rift, is the underlying premise; the game takes place on a dying world– Telara. The Death-God, Regulos, is consuming the world through death and destruction, in order to increase his own power. The world’s two factions are set to stop him. This is where you come in. Oh, by the way, did I mention that you’re dead? Yep, that’s right, dead. The Guardians work with the will of the gods; they believe that your resurrected soul is proof that the gods have not abandoned the world, and that you are the One who will help bring the destruction of Regulos (feel like Neo yet?). Too goody-goody for you? That’s ok, because we also have The Defiants. These guys re-introduce your soul to a new body, by using proprietary blend of magic and technology. They don’t need no stinking gods—they’ll do it themselves… um, with your help… to… um… destroy Regulos.
More after the jump…
Ok. This game is really awesomely pretty. I mean, rendered. It has a far more realistic look than that other MMO with 11-million players. They strived to set themselves apart by giving the world and it’s inhabitants a beautiful, yet gritty realism, and I believe they succeeded in a big way. Look at the pretty pictures—they are all actual game play. And unlike that other MMO, Trion has gone the distance in keeping your account safe, with not only an authenticator-type phone app, but also a fail-safe, called the Coinlock, if someone attempts to log into your account from a new IP address.
So, as with any MMO, we begin by choosing a race. Each faction has three races. The Guardians have: Dwarves, High Elves, and the human Mathosian’s. The Defiants have: the Bahmi, the Kelari, and the human-like Eth. Each race has it’s own resistance and an innate ability. There are no additional perks to stats or anything else. No one race is better suited to a particular build than any other.
Are you one of those people who hate to look like everyone else? Then you will love the amount of detail and customizability that the creation tool gives you. You can get that rhinoplasty that you’ve been dreaming about, cool tattoos, awesome hair. You name it, it’s got it. While it’s not quite what we saw with that “Metroplis of Do-gooders/Do-badders” game, it’s definitely better than More Crack.
Now you know where you came from, and you know what you look like, but what do you want to be when you grow up? Your choices start with your standard four “callings” or classes—Cleric, Warrior, Rogue, Mage. As the game progresses, you are able to gather “souls”, which open up a virtually unlimited combination of talent-trees. This allows a level of customization never seen before. Did you ever want your rogue to tank? Ok. How about a warrior who just wants to sit in the back and throw support spells? Yup, you can do it. Clerics with pets? Uh huh. Got that covered. Ever want your mage to do heavy melee DPS? You guessed it. This game has it. You can use up to three souls at a time, and get this; you can have up to FIVE, count ‘em, FIVE different builds. Yes, I said FIVE.
A veteran MMO-er will feel right at home with the gaming interface. It has all of the basics- tabbing to target, action bars (way more than More Crack!), Quests, Crafting, PVP, PVE, etc., etc. A n00b will find the interface to be fairly intuitive, and the community to be very helpful to new players (as long as you’re willing to make an effort, and not just spam the world asking how to wipe your ass).
“Ok, Trollboy, you tell us that this game is so great, but it really doesn’t seem much different than that other game I’ve given half of my life to.” You’re right! There isn’t a lot of difference, except this teeny tiny little thing called RIFTS!! OMG Rifts rock. Ever get tired of wanting to do raids, and get the good gear, and team with great people, but you don’t have a guild, and you’re only 8th level, and you’ve pissed off all of your friends, so no one will play with you? Picture this: there you are gawking at the half-naked chick wriggling in her underwear, when all of a sudden the sky goes black, and these giant cloud formations appear in the air. The earth begins to violently shake, and a glowing tornado begins to grow larger, and larger, until… BOOOOOOOM! A different plane of existence erupts where you’re standing. This. Is. So. Cool. It also allows for an infinite amount of creature types, which rocks.
“But Trollboy, I’m only level 8! I have no friends! I have no gear! That tentacled thing is going to eat me alive!!” Never fear, you’re surrounded by n00bs just like you. Oh, wait, that’s probably not very comforting is it? Well, the good news is stupidity in large groups can be quite terrifying. You see, once the rift opens, you can instantly form a raid team with the other gape-mouthed n00bs around you. Defeat the creatures that are pouring out in front of you, and you too will get cool stuff and awesome things. Oh, and raid experience. Go you! Wait, what’s that you say? You died? That’s ok, you’re already dead, remember? Once an hour you can rez up where you landed, and the rest of the time you have to rez up and hoof it back in. The penalty for death is paltry, and easy to overcome. And that “antiquated helm” on your head will never be crappier than day you got it.
All in all, this is a really sturdy, decent game. Does it have room for growth and improvement? Yes. Will it? Most likely. Does it have the content and player-base that More Crack does? Not yet, but it’s also only two months old. Do I think this game is superior to More Crack, or any other game out there right now? Not necessarily, but what it does have is a fresh look, and a level of random chaos that you don’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for something new, I would highly recommend the seven-day trial– Leave me a comment, and I’ll hook ya up. I’ll warn you though, once you hear the terrible sundering of that first rift opening, you’ll probably be hooked. The good news is that the full game comes with a free month, and it’s the standard 15 bucks a month after that.
I guess that’s it! I hope to see you in Telara. Oh, by the way, I’m playing on the Plutonus Shard. Oh, and did I mention that you don’t have to be level 20 to get a mount? Oh! And there are puzzles! Secret, hidden puzzles! Did I mention those? Make sure you hit that “planar lure” ability as soon as you can, it’s TONS of fun! Oh well, I guess you’ll have to find those things for yourself… I’ve gotta run, I think I see CustomComix coming to yell at me for making this so long…
Til the future.