Recently, we got the chance to sit down and play some RIFT with the development team. It is always great to see how MMOs develop behind the scenes with a special play session. RIFT does not disappoint the MMO player. It is formatted in a classic style that we have all become used too, yet RIT offers plenty of options and new ideas to the genre in the form of class construction, event content, and map interaction that will keep players moving.
In our game play demo I chose to play a Dwarf Pyromancer. I started out using my fire spells to bring down some RIFT of Fire demons that were attacking a town. Fire vs. Fire just did not fit with me so I was able to switch to the Warlock class option. The devs walked us through taking on the new build and I was able to combine the Fire and Warlock skills into a nasty combination. With this class combination I had a solid arsenal of spells which could be used against any opponent. Each type of class has a set tree they can use to bring in the other class options. The range is very wide and offers about 200 options overall to players. It is great to switch between builds before an encounter knowing you can have the right attacks for the job. The Rift of Fire fell quickly as we continued our attack only to release a very large boss demon. The fight was fun and I was able to move and cast spells with ease. With RIFT’s classic MMO design there is still plenty of room for action combat fans. You do not just stand there in this game with your target, you are constantly moving around.
After I used some Warlock spells on the RIFT of Fire it was time we explored the map feature. One of the best interactive maps came out of Dark Age of Camelot. This map system showed you when and where combat was taking place. This way you could rush over to join the battle. RIFT uses a similar format and much more up to date style to get players into combat quickly. The map showed various RIFTs and breaks in the world that were starting to grow. Eventually if you go to the location a massive rift would open up and you would start the event. This map system has been perfected and will definitely help players go where the action is. Once we found a break on the map we rushed over to open the rift.
The second encounter we faced was a RIFT of Death. The opening of the rift itself is awesome. Once opened huge tentacles and darkness swallow the landscape. Next ghost mobs begin floating about as they take over the rifted area. These nasty shades called for a switch back to my Pyromancer magic and I started burning them to nothing with spells. The Pyromancer spells are great fun and the build tree has plenty of options for enhancement. Not only did I have direct damage spells, but I also had several area-of-effect attacks to drop foes as they got closer. Depending on which direction you want to go there are loads of class options for the mages. The Warlock and Pyromancer just happen to be available for this demo.
The world of RIFT is colorful and exciting. The opening of the RIFTs themselves is a great effect and will likely catch characters by surprise as the forces come sprawling into the world they are trying to protect. In another short game play demo I did on my own, I played a Warrior class in the early stages of the game. It moved very quickly and was not boring. The abilities were great to drop foes quickly if necessary.
The map system we got to see was very dynamic and kept players moving into different areas. It was easy to read and will serve as a good guide for players while leveling and also in the end game. It almost seems like you could log in and run down rifts as they open in the game. This is a great raid set up where players could work together. We continue to be impressed by RIFT in that players will know the UI easy enough with its classic MMO design. The real changes it will bring to the genre are in the many class options and dynamic game play. We are all looking forward to more to come from the Trion team this fall.