Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rift and Me

There has been a lot of talk about the new MMO on the block, Rift.  I was fortunate enough to participate in the last two betas ( video 1 and video 2).  It was certainly an interesting experience, but does it have enough going on for me to buy in?  Read on for my impressions of Rift.

So far, Rift is following the normal MMO lifecycle.  It is currently in the hype stage.  There is a lot of praise and 'we're moving to Rift' type guild decisions going on, just with most other launches.  That also means there is a small counter voice going against it, all pretty standard. 

What kind of game is Rift?  It is a PvE level based quest, dungeon, raid game. 

What sets it apart?  The soul system allows for a lot more customization than most other similar games.  You can select 3 talent trees from a set of 8 for each archetype. Rifts are NPC invasions into the quest zones, they do provide some much needed spice to questing.  Rift also has a collection system similar to what you'd find in EQ2.

What does Rift have for PvP?  There are warfront instances (a.k.a Battlegrounds, Scenarios),  zones where you can flag yourself for pvp and special rulesets which will auto-flag you.  As far as I know, there are no world objectives to fight over which will limit the possibility of RvR type action.

You gain favor from winning in PvP, which is sort of like honor.  You can spend it on special gear.  Once you reach the level cap, a new form of advancement opens up called Prestige.  This special pvp xp is used to improve a 'pvp soul.'

Rift is what it is.  It isn't the Holy Grail of MMO's and it isn't even a radical departure from what is out there.  It isn't a PvP focused MMO either.  It is a high quality PvE game with some interesting changes.  The soul system will let you experiment and play differently than the guy next to you.  The possibility of special souls is also an intriguing prospect.

I have pre-ordered the game and will be playing at launch.  PvE is not my favorite thing to do, but Rift has enough going for it and it is very well done (so far), that I am sure to get my monies worth.  I won't be leaving WAR, as PvP is still my favorite activity.