Rift - PC

  • Publisher: Trion Worlds
  • Genre:RPG, MMO
  • Developer: Trion Worlds
  • Release Date:Mar 1, 2011
  • # of Players:9999 players, 9999 online
  • ESRB:T - Teen (Alcohol Reference, Blood, Mild Language, Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description:Rift, the graphically stunning online game, is set in a world being torn apart by dimensional “rifts” that tear into the land of Telara, releasing powerful forces that threaten the very existence of the entire universe. Rifts and other dynamic events can be triggered by players, scheduled by the development team, or even occur spontaneously. Dynamic events within Rift can lead to a range of changes across the world, including everything from minor events to dramatic shifts in the game’s landscape and the opening of new areas. Players will connect with hundreds of thousands of other gamers to battle creatures overrunning the world, as well as each other.
G4TV Rating
4 / 5
  • Avg User Rating
    (36 Ratings)
    4.5 / 5
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Rift: Planes of Telara Beta Preview - Shaping Up to Ship Out

Rift: Planes of Telara Beta Preview - Shaping Up to Ship Out

By Leah Jackson - Posted Jan 31, 2011

The first big massively multiplayer online role-playing game to hit in 2011 is undoubtedly Rift. Currently scheduled for a March 2011 release, Rift, developed by Trion Worlds, has been holding closed beta events to allow players to test the game. We got to spend quite a bit of time exploring the early levels of Rift, and so far, the game is shaping up beautifully.

Before we could begin our journey in the planes of Telara, we had to choose our character's origin, more commonly known as our faction. In Rift, there are two origins to choose from: Guardians or Defiants. Simply put, the Guardians strongly believe in the old Gods and, more than anything, strive for peace for the citizens of Telara. The Defiants on the other hand, strive for innovation and advances in technology to obtain the most power. We went with Defiant.


After choosing our origin, the next step was choosing a race. Since we went with Defiant, the available races were the reclusive yet brutish Bahmi; the scholarly, nomadic Eth; or the spiritual Kelari. The Guardians have three races as well: the creative and skillful Dwarves; the elegant, wise High Elves; and the honorable, strong Mathosian. As is true for most MMOs, each race has its own set of racial abilities. These range from passive talents that reduce all damage taken for the Bahmi, to actual spells like Second Wind for Dwarves, which allow them to regain 30% of their health over 6 seconds.

We went with a Kelari because she had a racial that increased her critical strike chance. In Rift, you choose one calling, or class, and then split that calling into a few specific specializations, called souls. The four callings available are Mage, Cleric, Rogue, and Warrior. Once in game, each calling can then split into three of seven available souls. If you're familiar with other MMOs, think of getting three talent trees at once out of seven available trees. It seems a bit overwhelming at first, but it's actually a very intuitive and innovative take on character customization. We went with a Mage, whose souls were Pyromancer, Stormcaller, and Elementalist.

One thing to note is that as our character progressed, we gained points to put into our souls. We wanted our character to be a Pyromancer first and foremost, and use the other two souls as a kind of sub spec. Also, as you spend more points in the tree, your character will gain more “root abilities”. Where you spend points in the tree is up to the player, but root abilities are spells that all characters get, based upon how many points they put into that tree.


As we began our character's journey, aside from the soul trees, the experience was strikingly similar to that of our other MMORPG experiences. Right away the controls felt intuitive and very similar to other current MMOs. Aside from the UI, the first thing you’ll notice when you load into Rift is how absolutely gorgeous the game is. With the latest beta patch they fixed anti-aliasing in the game, giving it a much smoother look than ever before. Any angle we turned the camera, we were able to get beautiful shots of the sky, the plains, the ocean, even the various menacing Rifts were a sight to behold.

The entry level quests on the other hand, were not so fascinating. All the way up to level 20, the available quests were fairly mundane. Once you talk to a quest giver, an icon appears on your mini map telling you exactly where to go, and a quest tracker helps you to find out what objectives are left to complete. Rift's quests mostly consist of killing a number of mobs, or picking up a number of things off the ground. Repeatedly. The story and lore of Rift may be excellent, but there is no incentive to actually read any of it.

Luckily, if you don’t enjoy this monotonous type of play, Rift does offer an alternative to questing, and it's what the game is named after.


Elemental rifts spawn randomly around the zones. The sky will turn dark, and a huge jellyfish monster – or some creature related to that particular element – will descend from the sky to try and ruin your day. And give you a lot of experience points. Rifts are great fun, and they basically work like a mini gauntlet. Several stages of monsters spawn, one after the other, until a mini-boss spawns. For each stage, you get a ton of experience points and loot, and once the mini-boss is slain, the Rift will seal and disappear.

Rifts are constantly spawning all over the map, and every so often a zone-wide event will occur where dozens of Rifts will spawn at once. This was by far the most fun we had playing the game. Joining a huge raid and going out as a massive group to kill dozens of Rifts was absolute fun, and a great deviation from the monotony of questing.

Besides Rifting and questing, players can also participate in player vs. player activities called Warfronts. The only Warfront available at low level is called Black Garden, and it's essentially a game of keep-away. Aside from various class balance issues, which will always plague this game because of the variety of class specializations, Black Garden seems like a well thought out PvP zone. The Defiants are up against the Guardians in a 10v10 matchup, and whichever team can hold onto the Fang of Regulous item the longest will win. The team holding on to the Fang accumulates points based on how long they have it for. But to make it more interesting, the player holding the Fang takes more damage the longer they hold onto it. The first team to reach 500 points wins.


As it stands now, in its fifth closed beta test, Rift still feels a bit incomplete. While the callings and their various souls seem like a great idea, they are a handful of tweaking and balance issues to be addressed. However, the biggest problem is the lack of fast transportation. There is currently no way, that we could find, to quickly get from one end of a zone to the other, which is a huge problem when the game focuses on getting to Rifts quickly.

That said, we're very optimistic about Rift. The game's graphics, fun class combinations, and Rift mechanics do make for a very enjoyable experience. So far, Trion Worlds seems to be listening to their already rapidly growing fan base, and they seem determined to give them an enjoyable game. During the next Rift beta, we'll take our Mage even further through the ranks, and hopefully see more intricate and exciting quests, zones, and experiences.


Comments are Closed

  • red5fan

    RIFT = epic fail, it feels like a watery W.O.W clone.

    Posted: February 16, 2011 8:12 PM
  • Geminel

    This article lost a great deal of credibility right off the bat with me when it called Rift "The first big massively multiplayer online role-playing game to hit in 2011". All of a sudden DCUO no longer exists?? Last I checked it released in January and has succeeded quite nicely already, and lives up to being called 'next-gen' much more-so than Rift claims to be.

    Don't get me wrong, as far as your standard MMO formula goes Rift hasn't missed any major elements, but it just doesn't do anything to skew away from the same boring 'Target monster; 1,2,2,3,2,4,1" monotony that is WoW and it's counterparts.

    Posted: February 13, 2011 9:05 AM
  • Drunkinlullabys

    btw isnt leah jackson the wow fangirl from feedback?

    Posted: February 11, 2011 1:48 PM
  • Zatz

    The more a game caters to PVP or PVE crowd the more it will fail when attempting to cater to both. Rift is shallow in content and has the feel if incompleteness, travel to higher ground within Scarlet Gorge is a prime example. There are more issues piling on faster then the devs can handle things, "but hey its beta" and in no way will it be fully ready for the scheduled release date. Sure the graphics looks good but overall game play is lacking in many many areas. Could they release the game as it is now, in a word yes but playability and advancement will be borked.

    Posted: February 10, 2011 8:44 AM
  • sconver

    Needed to make a clarification about the getting mount at level 20, you can get the 60% speed mount at level 1, but I was 18 before I had the 2.5 Platinum to buy it, and asise from people having the pre order CE mount very few sub 18 had a mount.

    Posted: February 9, 2011 11:28 AM
  • sconver

    Ok, So I have been playing since beta 2, lets address some of the issues in the above article.

    1. Entry level quests were mundane and repetative.

    Part of this I think is a disparity between Defiant and Guardian
    starter zones. After playing both I felt the Defiant was much more
    linear, and for me personally not as much fun. All quests are pretty
    much the same either Fetch quests, kill X amount of quests, or story
    driven quests.(this is true for any game) There weren't many story
    driven quests on either side.

    Best way to beat the boredom is to mix up questing and rifting.

    2. Getting around is Slow/No way at lower levels to quickly cover the
    distance between rifts.

    Ok this is both false and true, you do get a mount at 20 and it does
    make a huge difference in being able to cover the distance between
    rifts or to reach the boss before the zone quest fails/or is killed.
    Sub level 20 though there have been more times than I would like to
    count that I just could not cover the distance from rift to rift before
    it was either sealed or on last phase.(please put a tooltip hook to let
    people know what phase it is on.) And this is as bard and beast master
    souls with the run speed bonus.

    Just buy the CE and get the mount at level 1 since the level restriction
    for the 60% speed mount was removed. not the best solution but it works.

    This is by far the most polished beta game I have ever tried, and I have tried most of them(this could set the benchmark for most stable release). I did find the lack of unique starter zones for each race a little boring but it is just a starter zone after all, and 1-7 went by pretty damn quick.

    I find the repetative use of combo points type systems for combat systems over used. I like this game and it will hold my attention for a while, probably not years, but certainly it is by no means a bad game at all, and has some unique features.

    I am still working out what determines whether you get just planarite or sourcestone/sourceshards I did a 4 hour test and figured its not if your contributing the most etc its more likely what skills and how many skills are being used. Point in case in since phase 1 on 5 rifts as healer , top of healing leaderboard and only ended with planarite, same spec next 5 just spammed insta casts, and quick cast spells lower healing output but I got sourcestones/shards. Repeated in each of rogue/warrior/mage callings same results. Hopefully I can figue this out.

    Bottom line its a good game give it a try, but it does have some issues, but devs are amazingly receptive to comments/suggestions, which is more than can be said for many/most other game developers.(now if they would put in player housing and guild halls I would be happy)

    Enjoy the game

    Eloaric 26 Bard/Ranger/Marksman
    Tahroo 22 Paragon/Beast Master/Champion

    Posted: February 9, 2011 11:23 AM
  • kododama

    Were all of the comments that called you guys out on the fake review deleted? I can't see them. It would be poor taste on G4's if that was indeed the case.

    Posted: February 7, 2011 10:48 PM
  • shyguyfly

    He clearly didn't play to level 20 or above.... at level 20 as mentioned above you get your mount. Also when you're above level 20 you get to travel to a new land and once you find a major city there are teleports from major city to major city and bind locations to which you can recall to. Also what about the instances? I've been in all the instances in this game so far allowed in beta, and the way they developed it was amazing. There's different things you have to do to kill each and every boss. It's nothing like WOW or any other MMO. The end game is what is really going to blow people away, but you know.... someone can write a review on a game for the 20 minutes he played of it and make an ass out of himself.

    Also there's different warfronts, one unlocked after level 20 which is pretty much Domination of flags around the codex map. Then another at level 30 which i havent played yet so im not sure what the game type is. Fact is you can tell at every 10 levels a new pvp zone is going to open up with a different game type. So get your facts straight and play more before you write a review, especially on G4.

    Posted: February 2, 2011 8:41 AM
  • phillosopherp

    Okay it is pretty clear, as others have also said, that this reviewer didn't seem to actually play the game to the extent that a reviewer should. There is only a couple of answers to why this, guy or gal, gave such a bad review. One is that they drank the Kool-Aid at Blizz-Con this year along with sucking the e-peen of the dev over there and didn't want this game to be seen as a game that can compete with WoW. Another possibility is that they haven't played any MMOs in the last like 6 years. The last is that they just don't know enough about games period to even be writing a review of one.

    I would say that it is most likely the first, but even the hardcore WoW guys that I have gotten into the Rift betas have been like WOW this game is totally better! Heck I have seen folks that swore they would never play an MMO say that this game rocks! I have been in every beta and there are a number of things that this game has going for it that are far and away better then any other I have played, and I have played pretty much all of them since UO. The first is the fact that beta has been so darn solid. Let us take the worst that it has been as an example.

    This last beta when it opened last week had some pretty major issues, with people not being able to connect, some really bad lag, and some other issues. They took down the servers for a few hours, three at most, and when they came back up it was like nothing had been wrong ever. The rest of the event there was no lag, not a single user was getting DCed and the game ran like butter. This was the worst thing that has occurred all beta. This is the most solid preforming beta that I have ever witnessed and I have been in a large number of them.

    Second thing is that Trion Worlds is actually listening to the community and implementing all of the major, mass called for changes that have been put forth. How many communities have called for things in MMOs in mass, only to watch the devs completely ignore them, or even worse completely do the opposite, yes I am looking at you Mythic for the horrid job you have done to the Warhammer IP! Ever major request from the community in Rift has been applied, and that alone is a reason to give these guys your hard earned cash.

    As far as the things that this person brought up they all are pretty lame. The questing is no different than any MMO that has been released ever. There are story quests in this game, and quite a bit of them, and if you get into the lore they are actually quite good. Of course not everyone is going to be into the lore and all that but there is nothing here that is not of the standard fare. The fact that he complains of the distance that you have to go on foot as a lowbie before you can get you mount is just foolish, have you ever run as a Tauren from the starting area to Ogr its recockulous. Sure in WoW they put in the flight paths, but guess what that totally ruined the open world experience as now you never see people out and about unless they have to kill some mob for a quest. At 20 which is when you would really have to travel you get a mount, and the portals are open to use before then even for zoning.

    Whatever inspired this person to write a review they should probably reexamine his career path cause obviously this part of the business is not for them.

    Posted: February 2, 2011 12:43 AM
  • Damhnaic

    Rifts pop open all over the place, it never took more than a minute for me to reach the nearest one and that was while walking without a mount. Traveling won't be a problem when the game goes live because there will be portals to use. This game is way better than WOW and almost my entire guild is coming over from EQ2 to play RIFT, sorry EQ. I agree with the somewhat stale quest but low level quests are always like this on any MMO, slay something, talk to someone, or collect an item. It would be interesting to have quests like the ones in games like Red Dead Redemption where you light buildings on fire, play cards,race, et cetera and odd things like that but I can't think of any MMO's that do that aside from maybe SWTOR and I'm not even sure about that yet, but you could in the console version SWKTOR so I'm hoping those things are included in the MMO version.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 6:23 PM
  • kododama

    Seriously ... WTF G4?! What do you have against this game. First off who is your fact checker, because I find it absolutely ridiculous that you could get almost every direct number topic about the game wrong.

    While almost this entire article is wrong, I'll just point out the largest facepalm mistake you guys made. There are 8 souls, not 7, and 9 if you count the pvp souls. Honestly if you guys can't even be bothered to actually play the game you write about you should just get out of the game business now. Stick to hardware and cameras, because that seems to be all you guys are good for now.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 3:35 PM
  • Kuwa

    I am surprised they call questing mundane when you have Rifts popping all over the place and invasions that sometimes make towns and NPCs vanish. Making it vitaql for you to call for help or make a group to take over your little quest hub back. I am actually surprised that G4 didn't give this a better review. perhaps the person involved didnt have as much time to play Beta 5 as some of us did.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 2:04 PM
  • stefanw1337

    "However, the biggest problem is the lack of fast transportation. There is currently no way, that we could find, to quickly get from one end of a zone to the other, which is a huge problem when the game focuses on getting to Rifts quickly."

    Yes there is...

    Posted: February 1, 2011 1:33 PM
  • kg00668

    I thought there weren't many good ways to get across zone quickly. But the portculli are very accessable, located in many large towns and are a fast, cheap way to get across everyone instantly. Addons aren't really necessary for this game, and it is turning out really fantastically.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 1:14 PM
  • Lunazen111

    I've played in a few betas and I have to say Rifts's was the most clean. Am a current and long time EQ2 player and current WOW subscriber. The former is the best I've ever played; the latter is standard but bores me. While waiting for Old Republic to come out, will definitely play Rift. Good review, thanks!

    Posted: February 1, 2011 1:12 PM
  • Bustecap

    I feel the reviewer covered a lot of about the 1-15 lvls, but mounts are pretty dam quick way of transportation and has the map fade while its open and you are moving around the map. There really isnt a need for addons as anything you want (like more actions bars) are a snap to get. All the people I brought with me enjoyed the game and plan on going into the next beta (this feb. 4th friday). The only people I guess you can say "did't like it" were people who are really invested in a character from a previous mmo like aion and did not want to even try the game for fear of "wasting their time" on previous mmo characters.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 12:57 PM
  • mikegonzalez2k

    You can't really knock a game for quests because most MMO's all have the same quest systems. Go kill these mobs or collect these items. As someone who has played the betas I can say that the game is a way better alternative to 6 yr old WoW. Yes there is some balance that needs to be address, but look at the current issues with balance in WoW. Healing is WoW is currently a nightmare at best. There is one valid point you brought up though. Currently there is no way to get from one town to the next quickly. While WoW has Flight Paths, this game does not currently portals in each town. However the capital city does have a portal system. Perhaps this will be fully usable in the full release.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 12:26 PM
  • Sparanda525

    All MMOs have boring quests...especially at low levels.

    And the Rift events remind me a lot of zone events that take place in City of Heroes. Let's hope this game doesn't take the same route, though. I quit CoH after they added too much stuff.

    Posted: February 1, 2011 12:05 PM
  • hoof_hearted4

    i dont mind that the previewer mentioned that the quests are repetitive cause it kind of stinks but you can never rag on a game for it. Especially since WoW has boring boring quests all of which are the same just different creatures, and whose story is as pointless as collecting meat from manbearpigs.
    from what i hear so far its just like any other MMO, but with new twists to it and a lot more spec for a character. IMO sounds a lot more fun then WoW (which could only hold my attention for 4 weeks before i cancelled) but like a lot of people im holding out for SWTOR

    Posted: February 1, 2011 12:19 AM
  • srtyker

    Played all of the betas so far and i really do not see what the big deal is. In my opinion the game is actually quite boring, the story is impossible to discern from the quests, and combat is less than exciting. Someone tell me if i missed something, everyone says that the game is really good, is there something i didn't play?

    Posted: January 31, 2011 10:34 PM