We got a chance to sample the character creation of Rift: Planes of Telara at Trion’s Gamer’s Day event in San Francisco this week. So, today we’ll be taking a look at what options players can look forward to when bringing their character concepts to life within Trion’s high-fantasy world of Telara.
Player characters in Rift are basically the souls of the “Ascended”. The Ascended are fallen warriors who died during the Great Shade War that have been revived to beat back the forces of Regulos and prevent Telara from being overrun by invading forces coming into the world through dimensional rifts.
Your very first choice when creating a character is that of your faction. Rift uses a two faction system which is comprised of the Guardians and the Defiant. Both factions have opposing views on how to deal with the crisis on Telara and this is reflected at the most basic level during creation by way of race and class choice. The Defiant revived their Ascended souls through the use of forbidden technology and they adopt a proactive stance in dealing with the crisis, using anything and everything at their disposal to deal with the invasion. The Guardians, on the other hand, are basically training armies for their gods, while erecting temples and praying to the gods for a miracle.
If you care about the lore involved, you’d make your choice here, but if you’re like me I decided to check out both factions to look at my race and class choices.
On the Defiant side you have the desert-dwelling Eth, who are basically your human race. Next up are the strong and clever Bahmi, who are a tribal race that make their home within the Rhaza’de Canyons. The Bahmi share similarities with the Eth by basically being Human, however, Bahmi male characters are generally quite large and burly by comparison. Finally, you’ve got the Kelari. The Kelari made their debut at the Gamer’s Day event and are basically the counterpart to the Guardians’ High Elves race. They’re basically Dark Elves. The Kelari are fairly similar in appearance to the High Elves, however, you can select from an array of darker skin tones as well as different facial patterns.
The Guardians feature three distinct races as well. The basic human race is represented by the Mathosians who are a legendary race of humans whose history is filled with great heroes. Next are the High Elves who are fairly typical in their strong aptitude for magic and elegant appearance. Last but certainly not least are the Dwarves, who, like the Kelari made their debut appearance at this week’s event. Dwarfs are restricted to the male gender, though we aren’t sure whether or not Trion plans to add female versions to the game. Someone at the event suggested female Dwarfs have beards and we were told that would certainly make adding them to the game quite a bit easier!
Another thing to consider when choosing your race are racial abilities, each race comes with three racial abilities, which are typically one or two click based abilities on a moderate cooldown and a passive. The passive ability usually ends up being a bonus to resistance of a certain damage type but we were told that some of the racial abilities were placeholder so they may be replaced with something a bit more interesting in the future. For example, the Eth come with a bonus to Earth resistance, a damage absorption shield, and a buff that affects a number of stats.
Once you’ve selected your race you then choose your “Calling”. Rift offers an interesting multi-class system, but players must first select from a base class to start out with. The base classes are broken down into the familiar cleric, warrior, rogue, and mage archetypes and you’ll generally find around three to four callings per archetype at creation, with several being unique to a particular faction. For example, the Paladin is Guardian only, while the Warlock is only available for the Defiant.
For the readers out there as vain as I am you’ll be pleased to know that Rift offers fairly decent options in designing your character’s appearance. Once you’ve made all the important choices for your character, you can customize their appearance by tweaking a number of options including: skin color, eye color, eyebrows, hair and hair colors, makeup if you’re female, facial hair if you’re male, and facial markings. You can also do some face morphing by dragging a pip along a triangular slider (think Age of Conan’s character creation). Unfortunately, you cannot morph or adjust the physical attributes of your character’s body.
Once you’ve finished tweaking your character’s appearance it’s time to give your creation a name (or hit the random button!) and enter the Shadowlands where you begin your adventure. Be sure to check back soon for our full hands-on preview to learn what we experienced during our first steps into the world of Rift.