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Rift

  • Genre: MMORPG
  • ESRB Rating: T
  • Platform: PC
  • Max-Party Size: 20
  • Added on: 2011-02-28 by machvergil

Description:

Trion World's first MMO, as an ascended you must save the world, Telara, from the evil Regulos who seeks to tear the world apart with the power of the Rifts. Play as either Zealous Guardian or Technological Defiant and customize your class via the Soul Tree System.

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Viewing Topic: Rift - Page 1
#0: 01-29-2011 @ 12:06:22 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1490#1490

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

So in a move that even I consider a bit odd, I tried out Rift for a week during it's Beat #5 event. I had first heard about the game when Penny Arcade and Steam started advertising it, and at that time I decided to go search for materials about it.  After my initial search I had this to say about it on Twitter.

I don't understand . It looks like another wanna-be  with only a few new ideas and poorer art direction. 2011's Warhammer Online.

Now mind you, the whole time there was one feature about the game that really interested me - it's "Soul Tree system."  Eventually I read enough about it that I decided "You know, if I get a chance to play this for free, I'd like to see how that damn thing works," and then there was a Beta Event this week, and Curse.com was handing out keys for free, so I got one and I played it.  It's now over, and I thought I'd share my thoughts.

So how was the Soul Tree system?

Long story short, when you roll your character in Rift, you choose 1 of four classes:  Warrior, Rogue, Mage and Cleric.  Mages and Clerics use Mana, Rogues use energy and combo-points like in wow, and Warriors have a system reminiscent of Warhammer Online's "Action Points," with their own system called "Attack Points" on top of that, which is like combo points except the only go to 3 and stack on your character not on the target, so they can be used on any target, not just the one you hit with the attack point building skills.  

However, all this class choice does is place a general archetype for your character (and role... sort of... more on that ahead).  The first thing you do as a new character is choose a "Soul" to take on.  You see, by choosing the class, you're choosing what set of around 8 different souls you want to take on, and these souls, become your "talent trees," so to speak.  By the time you leave the starting zone (in this beta, I guess others were different?) you had 3 souls, ergo, three talent trees, and had in a way invented a custom class.

For example, let's say you roll a warrior and decide you want to go melee DPS.  You'd start with Champion, a soul that most strongly resembles Arms tree from WoW.  Then let's say you pick up the Riftblade soul, which allows you to add some ranged magic and mage dot variation to your attacks.  Finally you pick up Beastmaster soul, to give you a pet who fights in melee with you.  Bam, you suddenly have a powerful solo farming questing build.

But what happens if you need to tank?  Well, there are quests you can undertake from the faction's capital to add more roles (think dual spec except it goes up to 4 and you can start adding rolls at like level 10) and any class trainer can reset any of your roles for almost no money (reseting a role not only resets your points spent, but also lets you choose what 3 souls to have in it again).  So, you setup another role where you're a tank, taking paladin (blocks and counters), Reaver (dots and threat), and VoidKnight (anti-magic defense).  Switching between them is pretty quick outside of combat.

The result?  Despite your initial choice, through proper use of the soul tree system you can be one of two, maybe more roles in a given situation, and the low cost of respec and the eventual ease of aquiring more souls just invites experimentation and play. Of course, I'm sure once the game comes out and there are top-tier Raiders, "the elitist jerks" of the world will figure out how to min-max everything and it will ultimately suffer from the same problem WoW's talent trees do, but for the short bit I was in the beta, it felt like a fun and magical place to explore.

There's another really neat thing I like about the Soul Tree system in that it brakes up the effects into "Branches" and "roots."  essentially, the "Branches" are what we think of as a typical talent tree, but as you put points into a given soul, abilities unlock from the "Roots" regardless of where you spend the points. What's great about this is it means that no matter how you build your Paladin soul, there are certain mission-critical skills you know you'll get, and these skills are often chosen knowing that you may be relying heavily on this one soul to get the job done, so it has a nice variety of attacks you can use to keep yourself from being ineffective.

Overall Beta Impressions

Story

The game's plot was... good.  Not mind shattering, and certainly not going to live up to the quality of WoW as of Lich King, let alone whatever Cataclysm is up to these days.  Still it is an interesting twist on the fantasy norm.  Due to the SHORT time the beta was active, I focused on playing the Defiant faction, so I have no idea how the Guardians play.  From what I hear, there are a lot fewer kids playing Guardian right now than Defiant.

The world of Telara is basically under attack by planar forces.  The gods have historically helped defend the world from planar invasions, one of their tools of which being resurrected heroes called "Ascended."  However, for some reason the gods have failed to defend the world from the latest efforts of Regulous (the arch-villain)  and while some have remained faithful, others have sought to invent their own ways to defeat the evil without the gods help.  To that end, the Defiant have turned to Herecy and Technology to figure out how to defeat the rifts with their own power,  while the Guardians continue to channel the faith and laws of the Gods to try and stop the threat.  The two factions hate each other, ergo, your Alliance and Horde for this game.  There are six races to choose from, Guardians getting Elves, Dwarves, and European looking humans, while the Defiant get Kinda-Earthy-Looking-Big-Humans, Middle-eastern looking humans, and Corrupted-Elves-with-weird-skin-colors-and-face-markings.  I made one of the corrupted elves because I could easily make her resemble my NE Warrior Tanadel from WoW, though honestly, the races are so blaaahhhh you should just play one of the two humans IMO.

As a Defiant PC, you emerge from a tube from which the Defiant have successfully engineered their own Ascended using their technology.  The problem?  It took them until near the end of the world to figure out how to do it.  You have to get your ass to a time machine they call "The Failsafe" that will take you back to when it was built and try and save Telara from before Regulous succeeds.  The n00b zone is actually a fairly cool instanced off entire zone in which you were fighting your way through the invaders who would end the world to get to this failsafe.  It's cool by vanilla WoW standards however, and lacks any of the nice touches of the DK start zones in WotLK or anything I've heard about from Cataclysm.   Still it was fun to play through.

Once through the time machine (about level 6) you begin defending the zone of Freemarch through a series of your typical suite of "Go there, kill X things, gather X things, or use this item on this object, and then come back to me" things.  I didn't in my 15 levels of play see anything from the questing to suggest it'd be revolutionary, but it DID do a number of smart things that would make it far better than the questing in Aion or vanilla WoW. One example of this is if you show up while someone is killing a named mob, and you help kill it even if you're not in their party, you might still get credit for it.  I say might because I ran into 1 quest where this wasn't the case and it was annoying.  If the quest also involves activating an item and someone not in your party but very close to you activates it, you'll also share credit.

Rifts

The part about the game's PvE play that was fascinating however had nothing to do with Quests. The rifts, of the game's namesake, add a level of chaos to the zones that can be interesting and quite lucrative. While you and our fellow players are out killing their X wolves/undead/whatever, a tear in the fabric of space and time may open over your heads and an invasion force from another plane might break through.  This immediately causes a structure much like Public Quests from WAR or Champions where the pug of people nearby need to complete various objectives to seal the rift again.  Sometimes they are minor rifts and this is easy to do and access to basically free loot.

Othertimes however, the forces of the other plane take their invasion VERY SERIOUSLY.  A ZONE WIDE public quest will start as around 20 rifts will open across the zone, spewing out elite mobs with the goal of finding, destroying, and occupying towns and quest hubs throughout it.  If the players don't band together and stop them, their towns WILL fall and you WILL NOT be able to hand in your quests because your quest NPC WILL BE DEAD.  I got wrapped up in a massive Death Rift invasion and was defending one town for like an hour, as wave after wave of elite mobs tried to (and succeeded twice) to take it out. While we were doing that, other parties across the zone were finding rifts and sealing them, so that reinforcements couldn't go through.  Finally, the lord of the assault appeared and the players had to destroy him to end the event, returning the zone to normal.  Though I died A LOT during this event, I gained nearly 2 levels and far better loot than I would have from questing and, quite frankly, it was a lot of fun fighting off the rift invasion.  

I'm a little worried though that this rift mechanic may suffer from the same problem WAR did when it's population dropped.  They better plan on scaling these Rifts to how many players are in the zone, otherwise this system could be VERY ANNOYING instead of anything resembling fun.

The Combat

The combat could be summed up really easily as "WoW with more options."  Seriously, it's very very obvious where the game's designers got their inspiration for the souls and their abilities.  In my time playing I saw a "mortal strike," and "execute," and "overpower," an "eviscerate," a "slice and dice," a "evasion", you get the idea. A lot of mechanics are the exact same:  bodies aren't solid, you must be facing your target to hit it, mobs come in normal, elite, and boss form, potions operate on a cooldown, there are various consumables you can use to augment a fight, etc etc etc. From a core gameplay standpoint I think Rift thinks that the more it's like WoW the better, so that those who come from it will spend less time confused and more time just getting shit done.  Again the big different isn't the skills themselves, but the synergies that you get to create by mixing them with skills from other souls.  I mean honestly, in Rift, you could make a Mage who is part Fire Mage spec, part Affliction Warlock spec, part Restro Druid spec.  I'm not kidding.

So if you like the Combat in WoW, you'll like the combat in Rift.  The only wrinkle is I wasn't able to find a "true Hybrid" class, though I didn't play the Cleric Archetype at all during the beta.  It sounds like if I had I might have been able to find "a tough melee fighter with healing buttons," build but I wanted to try and get to as high of a level as I could before the end so I could see PvP and dungeons and as it stands I didn't make it.

The stuff I didn't see

The game also has dungeons and pvp.  It has battlegrounds, its first dungeon is level 20, and it has mixed faction zones to encourage world PvP.  I didn't get to see any of it, though what I heard from guild mates was that it was at least decent, if not very fun.  I heard one guy describe the first Rift dungeon as "Very linear, but also overall well designed."

Oh yeah, and I found a guild to run around with during the beta.  This is why I've been on our vent less this week as they basically don't use /gchat at all in favor of vent.  Decent group of guys, play all kinds of different games, haven't decided if I want to roll with them or not.  If they played Guild Wars sure but they don't really.

Final Verdict

Is Rift a fun game?  Yeah honestly I'd say it was.  Of all the WoW spin-offs I've played (Aion, WAR, Runes of Magic) this one definitely was the least frustrating and most polished and just felt nice to play.  It lacked Aion's senseless grind and bad quest count and it lacked WAR's unpolished graphics.  And while I stand by my previous statement that it has worse Art Direction than WoW, at least on the character model standpoint, the world design and special effect design is actually really good, and quickly starts making up for it.

Does it have enough going for it to make you play it instead of WoW?  Based off what I'm hearing from Cataclsym, I'd guess no. It's not like the game isn't going to have an upfront box cost plus a monthly fee, so if you're in WoW keep playing it.  As for me, I'm not sure.  If Rift came out today, I wouldn't buy it, because I still have more fun vanquishing Tyria or beating Guild Wars campaigns than I do playing Rift.  That being said who knows, after a while I might miss the game's unpredictable nature with the Soul Trees and the Rift invasions.  I might also miss the guild I was rolling with because they were descent dudes overall.  I'll probably try and do the next Beta event when it happens.

Rift is out in early March, for those who care.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#1: 02-01-2011 @ 02:50:36 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1500#1500

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

ColdTurkey49 (From the League of Legends Videos) surprisingly did a Rift video this weekend on the beta.  I've attached it for your viewing.  By in large I agree with a lot of what he says and honestly, though he's a bit more optimistic about the game than I am.

There is another Beta Event this weekend, and apparently my Key is still good for it so I intend to participate. If I have any new revelations I'll share them.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#2: 02-08-2011 @ 09:55:19 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1530#1530

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

FYI: The next (and final) Beta event is on Feb. 15 and it is an Open Beta, if people are at all interested.  ColdTurkey49 also released another video on the beta, which is attached.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#3: 02-18-2011 @ 12:09:34 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1569#1569

Misharum KittumMisharum Kittum

Misharum Kittum Photo.
  • Real Name:Tim
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Having poked around on Rifts every so slightly with Adam for an hour or two on Wednesday my initial impression is very much like his initial impression. Everything feels familiar about the game and its art direction isn't as good. We played Defiant and the only appealing looking race was the one that was most human like. The other two just looked... weird. The environments I've seen aren't impressive either. Sure, there's a world and some ruins and whatnot, but it isn't interesting to look at and has the kind of grey-brown washover look that "gritty" console games get a bad rap for. Though please note I've only seen the Defiant noob zone. There's much more to the game out there. The interface needs a bit of touching up too. For such a WoW-like game it doesn't quite have the same polish there, but it isn't a big deal. The graphics engine needs some refining still, but hey, its beta and I could force the game into anti-aliasing through my graphics card's control suite and it worked just fine. On a good side note, the female models aren't twigs with breasts and hips. They're more reasonably proportioned, for video game girls.

Game play feels boring. Granted, I haven't tried a wide variety of class and soul combinations but from what I've seen I'm not impressed. I tried a warrior. I've got a rogue-like energy bar that literally generates energy faster than I can spend it and combo point thing going on with a big two-hander. I tried to pick souls that complimented the whole "hit things with a big two-hander" play style only to find them redundant. Sure I got more abilities, but they were virtually identical to what I already had; so identical that there was no point in having both of them on my bar. Now, I'm for skill replacement instead of stacking tons and tons of extremely situational skills that clutter your bars, but a skill should replace another because it is clearly better than the other one in every way. Not because they buttons do the same thing for the same cost with no (or shared) cooldown with the only difference being damage type. I might have better luck starting over and picking a different type of character, but the Defiant starter zone was so underwhelming that I don't really want to go back through it yet. I might try whatever the Holier Than Thou faction is called with a caster and see how that goes next.

Ideally, I should be trying pure melee, pure caster, and then melee hybrid and caster hybrid to see if I can find an enjoyable combination, and maybe I'll get a chance to get to that over the weekend before the beta ends, but as things stand right now I wouldn't buy this game. Free to play Champions Online is more fun for me currently because it is more interesting to look at and my skills synergize in much more interesting ways. Plus the League of Gentlemen Robots is cool. If Rifts was free to play I'd be more willing to give it some time to get interesting, but I'm not going to pay money to take a chance on it.


Justice and Truth
#4: 02-18-2011 @ 01:39:53 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1571#1571

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Yeah I'm quickly finding that one of the game's greatest strengths, the Soul Tree system, is also a huge weakeness.  On paper the possibily exists for some awesome fucking combinations, like I've seen with the Guardian Mage I tried (Pyromancer/Elementalist/Stormcaller) and the Cleric I haven't shut up about for the last two days (Justicar/Sentinel/Purifier), the possibily also exists for you to make ineffective and possibly redundant combinations of souls and screw yourself until you can get more of them.

The counter to this is by level 12ish you totally can own every soul in the game, and respec's are real cheap.  Buying your second role (think Dual-Spec WoW vets) is also very cheap and atainable early.  The problem of course is if you did the nub zone with a lousy selection of souls, you are stuck with them until then, and in the experience I had with my first Rift character, also a warrior, I lost will to play by the time I reached that point.

To be honest though, I do enjoy it a bit more than Champions, if for no other reason than the unpredictabily given by Rifts and invasions (which we haven't gotten to yet Misharum) and that the pvp is decent, certainly seems less broken then WoW's (not that's hard).  Do I enjoy it more than champions enough to pay it's monthly?  No... probably not, especially not with more to do in GW still.  I will miss my Cleric though when this beta ends.  I'll miss her alot, because she's so very, very awesome.

For what it's worth (not much I imagine) I did make a video trying to explain how rifting goes last week.  I couldn't post it last week because it was just over the YouTube duration limit and didn't find the time/motivation to edit down, so I gave up and just posted it to WeGame just because. I am playing a Rogue in the video (Blademaster/Riftblade/Assassin) for your record.

I will say the environments do get a lot better than that nub zone, and I actually dig a lot on the UI.  I feel it's very polished compared to some stuff I've seen lately, I just wish it displayed combat damage numbers closer to how WoW did and less like Warhammer did.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#5: 02-28-2011 @ 03:53:11 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1595#1595

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Ultimately I did decide to pick this up.  I'm gonna try it for my free month and see how I feel after that.  I will be using steam to launch it so if you guys want to throw down some Guild Wars please feel free to send me an invite via Steam and I'll try and get free for that as soon as I can.

If anyone else picks it up (or already did... ahem REN...) I will be playing Defiant on Lotham with the <Hooligans>. Again we'll see how all this goes as time passes.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#6: 02-28-2011 @ 07:23:11 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1598#1598

DominionDominion

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  • Real Name:Mark
  • Joined:2010-01-22

You should chat with Colleen. She apparently picked up the game as well. She informs me she is Defiant on Shade Fallen.


"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll." Shigeru Miyamoto
#7: 02-28-2011 @ 08:22:34 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1600#1600

RenairenRenairen

  • Real Name:Dave
  • Joined:2010-09-01

Alright, we clearly need to pick one server here.

 

Edit: Going to Harrow, a PvP-RP server, because the wait's only 2 minutes.

This post was edited by Renairen on February 28, 2011, 11:37 pm


#8: 02-28-2011 @ 08:41:33 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1601#1601

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Because I've been rolling with them since the Beta my main is going to be on Lothram with the <Hooligans>.  I might dick around on other servers if people want but I doubt I'll take my investment there as seriously unless me and the <Hooligans> have a falling out.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#9: 03-01-2011 @ 03:03:33 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=1603#1603

ShiekeShieke

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  • Real Name:Colleen
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Yo.  I rolled a toon on Lotham.  Her name's Sintera and she is (surprise) a bard.  It'll probably be the same with me, as Ryder rolled on Shadefallen so I went there to join him before I knew you were going to play too.  =)  But toss me on your friends list.

 


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