RIFT Beta Test Diary: Day 1

The fifth phase of beta testing for RIFT started today, and as usual I was lucky enough to get a beta key. An interesting thing to note- most beta keys are only good for one use. Beta keys for RIFT so far are good for up to 25. Soooo, if anyone wants to try and get in on this before Friday, hit me up. Even though you can get 25 people in on one beta key, they’re going FAST – this is why I consider myself lucky.

On to the fun!

Who will you side with? The Guardians or The Defiants?

As per usual, there are two factions in Telara – The Guardians and The Defiants. The Guardians are all about faith and the Gods, whereas The Defiants BLAME the Gods for rifts appearing in Telara and prefer to deal with technology. There are no real “bad guys” in RIFT, as everyone has the same goal – stop the rifts from happening and save the world by any means necessary, which will occasionally include scraps with opposite factions.

Choose your race.

After choosing your faction (I went Defiant), you need to choose your race. Defiant side, your choices are Eth, Bahmi, and Kelari. To read more about the races of Telara, go here: http://www.riftgame.com/en/races/index.php . I’m much too lazy to go over the fine details. I choose The Bahmi because their history sounded interesting and they’re awesomely tattooed.

Once you choose your race, you can then pick your base class (Warrior, Cleric, Rogue, Mage). The very cool thing about this game so far is that you essentially get to play three classes (called souls) at once. For example, my base is a mage. Once you finish the first few quests you get to pick your second soul, and around level 4 or so, you pick your third soul.

How this works is that you get all of the base spells for EACH soul on your action bar. In my case, I went Necromancer first (raising the dead, dark arts, etc). My second soul is a Dominator (big crowd controllers through mind control and polymorphs), and my third soul is a Warlock (DoTs, life drains, etc).

Talent tree for three souls.

There are also talent points to spend that you get from level 1, which is pretty nice. You can put your points into any tree at any time, any way you like…providing that you have points to spend. Read the tooltips though, and see what looks appealing to you! The cool thing about this system so far is that there are hundreds of different combinations and ways to play your character – healers can be great dps, rogues can tank, mages can be backup healers…you get the idea. The system sounds complicated when reading about it, but it’s very much one of those things where once you see it and play with it for a few minutes, it’s very easy to understand. To see all of the classes, go here: http://www.riftgame.com/en/classes/index.php

Once you’ve decided what you want to be, you get to customize the look of your character. Rift has gone along the same lines as Final Fantasy XIV when it comes to the look of your character- it’s a bit mind boggling as there is SO much to tweak, but fun as well.

Beginning quest zone

So far the game seems very solid- the HUD makes sense to seasoned gamers (and most likely even the noobs), the quests are clear in their directions, the minimap is actually useful. In general, anyone familiar with MMOs should feel right at home with RIFT. If you’re NOT familiar with MMOs, you should be able to slip into this game quite easily with no fear of being traumatized *cough* Final Fantasy XIV Online *cough*. RIFT also gets a big thumbs up from me because they let me do what I want – and by that I mean that I can change all of the key bindings to what works well for ME. It’s amazing what we take for granted in the games that we like when suddenly they cease to exist in other games.

My first encounter with a rift.

My first encounter with a rift happened at level 6. What happens is that a tear in any particular area of the world will eventually become a rift. Once a rift opens, bad things come out…like, a LOT of bad things. It’s up to anyone in the area to band together and try to seal the rift. Once you’re in the right area, you have the option of joining a public raid group – just click on the button to join. The more damage you do to rift mobs, the more likely you are to get phat loots once the rift is sealed. If you just stand there picking your nose, you get nothing.

The public raid group that I joined actually failed to seal the rift and the end result was mobs pretty much taking over the area. Fun times!

Anyway, that was day one and it was pretty damn good – much better than I thought it would be. Watch this space for day 2!


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