Rift: Gonna Play?

Looks just like WoW to me, so I’ll stay with WoW.

But again, what’s with these designers who can’t draw a decent human face to save their lives.

Plus the outifits in Rift aren’t to my liking either. One of their Champion Warriors looks like he’s wearing an upside-down acorn on his head as a helmet.

Q

There’s some discussion of Rift over in this thread.

It has a lot of similarities to WoW. I haven’t played WoW in a long while, so I can’t do a point-by-point comparison. But there is one big difference: Rift’s “soul” system. Basically, when you choose a class (called a “calling” in Rift), you are not stuck with the three talent trees you’re given, as in WoW. Instead, there are eight talent trees (called “souls”) for you to choose from.

This allows for a lot of flexibility in building your character. “Warriors” wear plate and can dps, tank or support. “Clerics” wear chain and can dps, tank or heal. “Rogues” wear leather and can dps, tank or support. “Mages” wear cloth and can dps, heal or support. And it’s quite possible to do two roles at once. Three roles isn’t quite doable.

The other big difference is the rift/invasion system. Every so often enemy NPCs attack back in an organized way. If players don’t defend well enough, the good NPCs can get killed and questing becomes difficult. It adds a different feel to the PvE game.

To expand on this: When you create a toon, you go through a tutorial “area” instanced apart from the regular world setting. You immediately pick your first class/soul. At level 2, you can start adding talent points to that soul’s “tree”. you’ll get to level 6 or so by the time you get finished questing in the starting instance zone. You should have picked up two more souls somewhere along the way. Every level, you’ll get one or two talent points to invest in one of your active souls. As you invest these talent points into WoW similar stuff (like +1% to dodge), you unlock new skills (active or passive) in that tree.

You upgrade your unlocked skills at every even level (starting at 4, IIRC…).

There are mouseover tips that suggest which souls complement each other. There is not a way to see what that new tree offers before selecting it, however.

Also: starting at level 13 (?), you can talk to other same-calling “class” trainers, and get that soul ability from them by doing a rift quest. Don’t like Void Knight (a warrior soul)? Talk to the Beastmaster (another warrior soul type), do his quest, obtain the Beatmaster soul.

I was able to obtain a new soul type, and switch it out on the fly. I had no talent points in that tree, so I don’t know if you get them refunded or what. Sorry.

I’ve definitely been looking at Rift but I’m waiting for a few more (professional) reviews to come in before I make up my mind.

I can always play Minecraft until then…

I have an active WoW account but haven’t played in months.

To expand a little further, you can also have multiple roles that you can switch between, and those roles can have different soles in it.

So, for example, my warrior is set up as a DPS build, but I have a second role set as a tanking build, in case I’m needed to tank an instance or something.

Can also be useful for clerics that are often caught between builds that are pure healing for instances/raids and ones that are usable for questing/soloing.

I just plain don’t have time to try a new MMO. Steam has kept me supplied with so many cheap single-player games that I haven’t even been keeping up with WoW.

Not for now, as my Lent resolutions are “no games other than WoW” and “no Cocacola”.

Actually, if you control-click the soul icon in the quest-reward window, you can preview the soul tree. But better yet, you can play with the soul builder here.

Here are two reviews. The second is very comprehensive.
http://tap-repeatedly.com/2011/03/08/rift/
http://www.requnix.com/rift-a-review-by-david-allen.html

I didn’t know that! Thanks!

Use that site with a bit of wariness, though. Go in with shields up- adblock, no-script, that sort of thing. Supposedly the site itself is owned by a company that sells in-game gold. A lot of players on the forums have seen their Rift accounts get hacked, and the one thing that they seem to have in common is playing around with the talent calculator at Zam.

I’m not saying that’s where the hacks are originating, but it doesn’t hurt to be careful.

Good advice, Lightnin’. Gaming sites in particular are often targets of ads with auto-installing keyloggers. I haven’t had any trouble with zam, but I always have adblock plus and noscript running.

I spent quite a bit of time playing Rift this weekend, and I have to say I quite like it. I honestly didn’t expect to–the last two non-WoW MMOs I tried (Aion and Age of Conan) both fell completely flat for me, and I didn’t last longer than an hour in either one. But my friend and former WoW guildie has gone for it in a big way, so I picked up the game and gave it a try.

It’s a lot like WoW in gameplay, which to me is a big plus. I don’t really have the time or the desire to learn a whole new MMO gameplay system. If you play WoW already, Rift will feel very familiar–the same action bars, many of the default keybindings are the same, the loot is similar (down to the color-coded rarity and the names of things (like “<mumble> of the Berserker” and such). So stepping in and getting started is very easy.

After a weekend of play my character (a warrior who’s focusing on the Reaver soul) is level 17. He has a horse mount and has done a bunch of quests and rift-sealing (I can see how the whole rift-sealing thing could get old after awhile, but since there’s a small chance of getting a decent reward from it, it’s worth going to a rift if one pops up near you). I haven’t tried an instance yet–I’m about the level now where I can do that, so I may give it a shot in the next few days.

The look is a lot different from WoW–at first I didn’t like it as much, but now I find when I go back to WoW that it takes me a short time to get used to the cartooniness of it after the more realistic Rift models. I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse–just different. And the world is beautiful.

One silly thing I do like a lot about Rift–armor dyes. I’ve never played a game with them before, so it was a new thing–I was quite pleased when I dyed my chestpiece blue and suddenly this boring looking piece of armor really looked nice! I don’t plan to do it a lot on low level stuff, but when I get better gear I’m looking forward to customizing it so I don’t look like every other warrior on the server.

I’m getting a little disillusioned with WoW right now, to be honest. We’ve had attendance problems in our raid group (which I think might be fixed now–I hope so) so we haven’t made the progression I’d like to have made at this point in the game. I love my guild but they seem fragmented, everybody off doing their own little 10 man thing and not really communicating as much anymore. Much as I hate to say it, I think Blizzard might have dropped the ball a bit by making the 10 and 25 man raids share lockouts and have the same level loot. I don’t see myself leaving WoW anytime soon (I’ve got way too much time invested in it, plus I have friends there and I love my two mains) but if Rift continues to be as much fun into endgame and continues to get solid support, the possibility exists that down the road I might gravitate toward spending a lot more time there than I do in WoW.