For those who haven’t heard, RIFT is a new MMO being released March 1, 2011. The RIFT open beta started yesterday and will last for about a week. If you’d like to try it out, you can get more details at the official RIFT website.

Unfortunately, I have not had the time to try it out yet because of college assignments (even though I was invited to closed beta a few weeks back). So I’ll be keeping up with reviews and maybe trying it out this weekend since it’s the start of our study/reading week (a.k.a. spring break without the break).

For those who may be wondering why RIFT has been gaining attention, I’ll give a brief overview. There are two factions: Guardians and Defiants. Like a lot of MMOs, these aren’t clearly defined as “good” or “evil”, though they can still be guessed at.

Each faction has three races, with male or female as options. Some MMOs gender-lock certain races and, fortunately, RIFT isn’t one of them. Character customization, design-wise, is quite detailed. It’s not as detailed as in AION where you could make disastrous characters, but more detailed than the majority of MMOs today.

But this sounds like a generic MMO, doesn’t it? Well, it has some key features that do set it apart from the rest.

First is that the classes are treated a little differently. When you create a character, you choose one of four classes: Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, and Mage. Each class has seven subclasses (though I think they’re planning for eight). Soon after you start, you choose a specific subclass to use. Then you can choose talents as you level up, and the more talents you invest in the tree, the more base skills you gain (as opposed to going to class trainers). But the catch here is that you can obtain “souls” of other subclasses as well! You can mix and match up to three souls at a time and choose talents in each, specializing in certain ones if you feel like it. You can swap them any time you’re not in combat and I believe you can have up to 2 different “templates” saved.

So character customization is a huge feature not present in many other MMOs (who have talent trees who are clearly better than others and result in cookie-cutter classes). There’s one other cool feature that I haven’t mentioned yet.

Now, although players report that quests are very linear, RIFT has another special feature up its sleeve: Rifts. These are randomly generated anywhere in the world (very often) and what happens is that when a rift appears, mobs appear and start pwning villagers, nearby players, even QUEST NPCs! That means if you want to hand in a quest, you better man up and kick their asses so you can finish your quests. The creators also made it so that the more people take part in kicking their asses, the better loot you get. So unlike MMOs where players tend to want loot to themselves, the more the merrier!

That’s all the details I’m currently aware of as I write this. I certainly hope to try it soon, though it doesn’t look like I’ll be preodering it. I’m a collector and tend to like collector’s editions, but this one doesn’t have anything that would make me want to spend approximately $90.

That’s all I have to say about RIFT for now. I’ll post more as more information gets revealed and if I get to try it myself.

P.S. There’s something special in my blog for all the competitive people out there: If you find any mistake, whether grammatical, factual, or a typo, comment with the mistake and the correction. I will award points to users who find mistakes and set up a ranking system. Am I mean for pitting you guys against each other?

P.P.S. Since the blog was just quickly set up, the points won’t be applied to your accounts yet, but if you post corrections and you include your email address (which I believe will be hidden from public), when a better system comes out and you sign up, I’ll add the points that were received previously.


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