Author: Michael G. Hurston in MMOSite
Rift kicked off its Half-Birthday celebration this week by giving players a chance to try out the game for free while subscribers received certain in-game bonuses such as increased experience and favor gains.
Happy Half-Birthday to RIFT
I'm still surprised at how amazingly polished this game feels and how much content Trion Worlds continually pushes out into the world of Telara. Since March there have been four major updates to the game. The first, River of Souls, brought a new raid to the game and a special world event featuring Death Invasions. This was followed by Spoils of War which introduced Sliver rift raids and special daily quest events. Waves of Madness was released during the beginning of summer with the Hammerknell raid and free character transfers, which for now, is a permanent feature of the game.
The latest update for Rift, In the Wake of Dragons, has continued to increase the games content with additional Saga quest lines, more Sliver and PVP Rift raids. The following is my recent brief step back into the world of Telara and my Cleric, Moystmufin.
After logging in I was greeted with a message that the server Tearfall was going to be transitioning to a trial server soon and I needed to transfer.
I picked a new server, but realized I hadn't bothered to see where the guild I was in had transferred to or any of the friends who may still be playing. Fortunately server transfers are free, though they can only be done once every seven days.
Rift offers a multitude of achievements for those looking for in game bragging rights, and while back in March I had completed many of them, Trion Worlds has continued to add new ones every update. As you can see from the screenshot, I now have many paths to choose from, in fact, I was a bit overwhelmed with how much they had added that I wasn't sure where to start.
Items and Stats
After checking my stats to get a feel for where I had been, I was once again reminded that it's the little things that separate good games from great. One of these simple features is how Rift highlights your class's primary stat and a quick mouse-over of key stats lets you know where you stand. I realized I could do a tier one dungeon as a tank or tier two as a healer. However, there were some new things that appeared.
Synergy slots. Synergy works like a set bonus. For PVP gear you'll start seeing set bonuses at Prestige Rank four and higher. On the PVE side you'll see set bonuses at Tier 3 sets and some expensive Planar goods from the rift faction vendors.
Quest items now had their own special row in my quest log, though the quest tracker still displayed the items and allowed me to activate them from there.
LFG and Battles
A cross-shard looking for group tool had been implemented a while back. It automatically tells you what you're geared for and keeps those who aren't ready out of the queues of better geared players. However, since it had been so long since I last played, I felt it best to warm up on some lowbie raids first to test abilities that had changed since release. Fortunately there was an invasion happening just outside Meridian, so I was able to poke my head out and help some low levels close a major Death rift.
After figuring out what my new abilities did and remapping my icons, I decided to take a look at some of the new world PVP dailies being offered. Iron Pine Peek was where the action seemed to be this weekend, unfortunately as soon as I zoned into the area I found myself a lone Defiant in a sea of Guardians. The Guardians were corpse camping players in town and destroying NPCs everywhere. After being rolled by groups several times, I decided to head over to Stillmoore to try out some of the new PVP Rift Raids instead.
The new PVP Rift Raid that I tried out had us collecting source stone from an extraction site and carrying it to collection pads placed nearby. Unfortunately those collection pads were being invaded by Water and Life rifts at the time so it made things very hectic as those trying to collect had to fight off Guardian players, the normal undead in Stillmoore, and rift creature spawns, all while collecting resources for our side. Fun times! The PVP Rifts also drop special PVP marks which can be used to purchase higher tier gear.
Afterwards, a nearby group of Defiant had summoned a rift boss and began requesting help from anyone in the zone. What's a Cleric to do, but answer the call for help, so I quickly mounted up and rode over to engage a dog-like-man-beast.
"I don't see what the problem is", is what I thought at first, however, the dog quickly grew into something else entirely. We managed to bring him down, save most of the raid and helper groups having to soul walk, but hey, we still all received rewards for our efforts!
After getting my fill of rift raids and world PVP, I decided it was time to head back to Meridian and check out some of the new swag being offered by NPCs. Unfortunately, Rift is still plagued by numerous type of currencies, though in all fairness most MMO's have this same feature in place; my personal pet peeve.
I decided to try out the Warfronts, which have always been one of my favorite features of Rift. First thing I noticed was that the weekly PVP area giving out bonus favor was highlighted for me.
I remember disliking Whitefall Steppes, as it was a capture the flag map that was ridiculously large and in general capture the flag games are often slow as each group camps their base and refuses to go for the other flag. This was somewhat remedied in the new version, which instead of capping source stone, instead places source stone on one of three platforms. Once a side has all three they win, however, the source stone can be stolen back, so the game quickly becomes a much more fast-paced version of capture the flag. In either case, Rift still makes good use of their Warfront time limits, so you don't ever have to worry about a game of capture the flag taking half an hour.
I once again had a great time with a great game. Trion Worlds continues to release update after update of solid content that works as intended and their server stability has always been near flawless in my experience. From dungeons, raids, outdoor raids and invasions to warfronts and now world PVP missions, Rift continues to be my favorite fantasy themed paid MMO. If you haven't played this game yet you're missing out on a lot of fun. If you have been away for a while, now is a great time to come back.