If you don't know what Rift is, shame on you! Rift, created by Trion Worlds is a new massively multi-player online game coming out officially March 1st. If you pre-order(ed), you can play it right now!
I have a feeling Rift might stick around as being in the top 5 MMO's out right now. It has a lot of good things going for it. I'll try and go over as much as I can without rambling too much.
First thing I'll talk about is the Graphics. The screen shots I took are all maxed out settings. A lot of games today, either go too realistic or too cartoony. They did a really nice blend of the two, leaning a little more on the realistic side. The color tones are another really nice touch, naturalistic elements with vivid colors.
I can also say their animation team did fantastic work. For the most part everything moves really smooth. Fight animations flow pretty well, I didn't notice much if any broken transitions. Which is a really big pet peeve of mine. Another pet peeve is the run/walk animation not matching the character's actual forward speed. Rift matches near perfectly! Thumbs up!
Gameplay is really smooth too. The only thing that can seem daunting is the Soul system. The Souls system works on a point system and fine tunes how you play your character. Every time you level up, you get points to add in to a Soul Tree. As you spend points to go up the Soul tree, it will in turn affect the "root system". The roots are where your Abilities get unlocked, an ability every two points you spend in said Soul.
Your character can have up to 3 Souls active at a time. Understanding what each Soul can do, will take a bit of reading and a good deal of trial and error. In the tool tips however it will suggest which other Souls will compliment the one you chose. For example, if you chose the Ranger Soul, it might suggest you take Marksmen and Saboteur for your other two slots.
The Souls you choose really depends on how you want to play your character. Obviously there will be flavor of the month builds, but I think it would be rather challenging to choose a combination that is just totally gimped.
You can purchase additional "roles" which allow you to save your current build without erasing your point distribution. I'm not sure exactly how many roles you can buy, but I believe it's up to four.
I managed to spend a pretty decent amount of time in the Warfronts. Warfronts are instanced zones with strategic elements added to them. Like Capture the Flag, Defend and Hold etc etc. You can join Warfronts as soon as level 10. I'm a little surprised you can't at level 1, I'd in fact welcome it at level 1! I suppose it's not a big deal, since you can get to 10 in about two hours or less. In my beta time, I only got to 21 so Black Garden and The Codex are the only two I got to see.
The first Warfront that you'll see at level 10 is Black Garden. Players level 10 through 19 can join this Warfront. A fairly big map in which the first team to 500 points wins (or the team with the most points after 20 minutes). Score points by capturing and holding the Fang of Regulos or killing other players.
I'm not too sure how matchmaking works in Rift, but I seemed to always have really bad luck in matches. Regardless of which faction I chose, I would always get ridiculously long loss streaks. I'd like to think one bad player wouldn't mean team fail. But that's how it truly felt. I think I can also chalk it up to the fact that maybe most players just didn't understand the concept of that Warfront.
The second Warfront you'll see is once you hit level 20 (level 20 through 29). The Codex is another map where the first team to a set amount of points wins. This time its to 1,000. There are four control points that each team can capture. The control points are; The Codex, Translation Scope, Statue of Thontic and The Vault.
This is a pretty fun Warfront, by far out of the two, The Codex is my favorite. As a level 20 Warlock, I managed to do pretty well, and didn't feel too helpless once I learned to use the environment to my advantage.
Until about level 20 and leave Freemarch/Silverwood (depending on your faction) you might not see a whole lot of world PvP. Unless of course you toggle your pvp flag and go looking for it.
When it comes to Rift's lore or story, I can't say I know much about it. I was sort of in a "get as many levels as I can" mode. So I didn't do much reading. I think if I decide to buy Rift, I will take a much slower pace and take the time to read what the game is about.
I'd say overall, Rift is a pretty cool game, I had a blast. But the question is, "will I buy it?". I didn't pre-order and I probably won't buy it till its been out a few weeks. Mainly because I'd like the server populations to settle down a bit and for the starter zones to thin out some. I definitely recommend giving Rift a try once it launches.
I didn't plan on commenting on this, but why the heck not? What I mean is, the term "WoW Killer" seems to get thrown around a lot when a new MMO comes out. In my personal opinion, I don't think Rift will "kill" World of Warcraft. I just think WoW is too big of a game to crumble under Rift. I do think however, Rift will be a pretty successful MMO. Only time will tell however.
As always... It's my Opinion, yours may vary!
Thanks for reading.