The Rift open beta started on Monday, February 15, at 10 am. Loads of players, including myself, began to logon and plow through the content and see what new and interesting things they could uncover. The beta is going on through this week and ends on the 21st. I have been considering picking up another MMORPG and have had my eye on Rift for awhile now. I don’t know how far I will get in the beta in one week, but I will be posting back regularly with my impressions of Rift and its content.
I have been playing Rift a decent amount since the open beta started on Monday. There is some good things that I like about the game, but there are also some things that I don’t really care for. Here are some of my first impressions of Rift.
I am not one to care too much about needing lots of options when it comes to customizing my character. The more detail the better, but less options doesn’t really bother me. I think that Rift has a good balance of adding some detailed options to make your character your own while not having so many options that some players feel overwhelmed. You start out by choosing your faction, the guardians or the defiant. You then proceed to choose your race and gender. There are 6 unique races, 3 for each faction. The last major choice is selecting your archetype. You may choose to be a warrior, a mage, a rogue, or a cleric. You will choose your character’s specific classes or souls once you begin playing. Now you are taken to the character customization screen where you have a variety of options to play around with. They have done a good job here a give you a variety of options to play with to make your character look unique. Once you’ve got your character looking good, you have to of course choose a name and then you are ready to start playing!
I went ahead and chose the defiant faction and made a warrior to try it out. The beginning of the game is very polished and well done I would say. There is a cool intro cinematic that plays when you first create your character and then you spawn inside a building right in front of your first quest giver. The first quest is just to go talk to a person and it allows you to choose your first class for your character. I chose the champion class which is a two handed weapon dps class. I have to say the start of the game really reminds me of Warhammer. The feel of the beginning of the game is very similar; spawning into a world in the midst of chaos and destruction.
I went ahead and did the first couple series of quests moving from hub to hub. I like how most of the quests are designed so that in the beginning you don’t have to go back to the person who gave you the quest. You grab the quest from point A, go do the quest at point B, and then move on and turn it in at point C. I don’t expect that this will carry on through the entire game but it is nice when you are first starting out. I got through the first couple levels pretty quick and it leads you through a story line which ends with you walking into some portal to go back in time to save the world or something like that. Some of the quest lines were interesting and fun, but most of them so far have been the usual ‘go there/kill that’ type of missions.
After you finish the first main story line series of quests and go through the portal, you are put into the main world with everyone else. This is when I began to take a look at some of the other things in the game. I’ll try and split them up here so it will be a little easier to read.
I usually enjoy crafting in most MMORPGs so I was excited to pick up some skills and see what they were like in Rift. In the end, I wasn’t really surprised at all, but I guess that necessarily isn’t a bad thing. They allow you to have up to 3 skills so I picked up armorsmithing, mining, and butchering. There’s not really anything new or unique to the crafting system in Rift. You use your gathering skills to collect resources to be able to make whatever you can make with your third skill. It’s the same system that WoW and many other MMOs use. The one thing that Rift allows you to do is to drop a buffer type item into a slot in your crafting window that will add a certain stat bonus. This allows you to make crafted gear and add a little customized bonus that gives you the stat that you want. This type of thing has been in different forms in other games, but it is a nice little extra feature but doesn’t quite break any molds.
The rift system is obviously this game’s bread and butter and the thing that everyone is talking about. I’ve had the chance to participate in a lot of different rift events and invasions and I will say they are quite fun. They bring a new and different type of public questing that feels open and random and very large scale in some instances. There were some events that I took part in with well over 100 other players and then there were some that I did with just a few other people. I like the idea and the concept of the invasion forces being able to take over quest hubs and other areas if the players do not have enough force to stop and close the rifts in time. This makes it kind of exciting when you are fighting over your own territory with the NPC forces that spawn.
But now here comes the harsh reality of my experience in game. I did enjoy the rifts for awhile, and I will still say that the new system Trion has introduced here has a lot of good things about it, except for one. After only a day or two of playing, I have already found myself getting bored of doing the rift events and finding them to be quite repetitive. While there are different types of rifts and invasions and the higher you go, the harder and larger the forces become, it just seems to me like I wouldn’t want to keep doing this for months and months.
Warfronts are Rift’s version of organized PVP. I have played in two different warfronts so far and can not help feel the Warhammer vibe again. The style of the PVP is almost identical, especially in the first warfront that is available. Each team has to try and pick up an item in the middle that slowly kills you more the longer you hold it. The longer your team holds the item, the more points you earn and so on. I really didn’t find either of the warfronts I played very fun at all. Not to mention that my warrior class wasn’t that great. I chose to be champion, beastmaster, and warlord classes and while I could do decent damage and had a good amount of health, all the ranged classes would pick me off before I could get to them. I won a few matches and lost a few more and quickly decided that this is definitely not where the fun is at, at least for me. And know that I really like PVP most of the time in games, but this was just not done well in my opinion. I enjoyed the PVP in Warhammer, but Rift’s version of PVP battlegrounds just felt like an after thought and poorly done version of something that has already been done.
How Am I Liking It?
I will say that Rift is very polished and solid when it comes to an MMORPG about to launch. The visuals are very impressive being the first MMORPG in since AOC to push my graphics card a little bit. The rift system introduced in the game is a cool idea and is fun for awhile and there is a lot of detail in the world whether it is some of the story line quests, the artifacts you can uncover, or just simple graphical eye candy. The main thing I am wondering right now is why Rift is not more fun? Nothing has really jumped out at me since I started playing. I have had some fun, but am already finding myself getting bored. I honestly really was hoping I would love this game because its finally something new that is up to par at launch! But anyways, I will keep playing when I get a chance this week and post back with anything else I find or if my opinion changes at all. Please comment and give me your opinions! What do you think of Rift so far? Till next time…