I tried Rift the MMO a while ago. But didn’t stay long. Not sure why. But recently I was looking for something new and went back. And found that it’s actually quite a lot of fun. This is not an in depth review. There are some of those out there that you can find on Youtube and elsewhere. Here’s a Recent One by Josh Strife Hayes. And another one by The Lazy Peon. But here are some of my thoughts. First of all you should know that the game is published by Gamigo who got it when they bought Trion apparently. Gamigo is notorious for milking the last dying breath from a game and shutting it down. They recently shut down the Defiant brothers and laid off a bunch of Rift developers.
No matter what they say, it’s not clear to me that this would not put a chill on folks spending money on the game. How would you dump a ton of money in a game if it might be shut down in the next year. Why shut down? Because Gamigo is greedy. Due to global conditions right now, online Games and MMOs are a big deal. Lots of folks are home with time to play. So why not invest in games rather than shutting them down? Everything going Mobile? Humm… Is mobile a better Cash Grab? I’m not sure. But I digress. Let’s look at Rift in more detail from a F2P perspective. You may decide to buy a few credits, but so far I have not.
Getting Started In Rift
You can get Rift from Steam or directly from Trion.
It is not a very big game, compared with more recent ones. The whole thing is about 24GB and I put the launcher and game together on my secondary SSD.
The character creator has a few races to choose from, and right off the bat you are asked to pay for additional Races, Roles. Don’t worry, you can play any role you like. I’ll do a post later about how to play a healer without paying. See the locks on the choices on the left? Just choose something else, and you can change it right away when you start. I mean right a way. Before you even accept the first quest in the game you can fix your role to be a healer. For Mage I choose Nexus Magus to get my pet right away. Rocky Road, and later wind and water pets.
After a starting experience, you are dropped off at the beach to start your adventure. Just do all the quests for a while and you’ll level up in no time and become aware of the systems in the game.
Notable Features to Watch For
There are some features you can find right away or early in the game:
- The Wardrobe allows you to change your look regardless of your gear. And it has a dye feature with lots of built-in dyes. You can use it anywhere, even before the first quest in the game.
- Mounts are available at level 10ish. But you won’t have enough money to buy a starter horse until you do a couple of runs of “Instant Adventure”. That’s ok. Just run. You’ll be fine.
- Open the map and resize it somewhere off to the side so you can see the action. It fades when you move so it’s not too bad. This is important to follow the action in the Instant Adventure.
- Instant Adventure is available at level 10 and drops you in a Raid Party [instantly in my experience so this game is still alive] and you can do the best you can and level very quickly. Don’t worry, you are boosted to the appropriate level. At first you don’t have a mount to keep up. but that’s ok. Just look at the map.
- You’ll have your money for a mount at the vendor in no time. A nice, but slow, horse. Now you can keep up in IA since your speed is boosted along with your level.
- Watch for a Rare Merchant to buy 16 slot bags. You can get 8 slot bags right away from any merchant and you have two additional slots for free. But you’ll want bigger bags. If you can’t find the Rare Merchant, then when you get to the big town find the Auction House and buy some 18 slot bags. That appears to be the sweet spot.
- Watch for your Dimension Quests. Dimensions are player housing, and you get one for free and sometimes they are surprisingly cheap on the auction house. I got a nice Stone Tavern, which is a huge building and dance hall / stable in a valley with a beautiful waterfall. And it was very affordable on the auction house. You can visit your Dimensions with your friends too. So make some friends or bring some friends to Rift.
Player Housing in Rift is called Dimensions. And it way better than most games do it. Dimensions are Instances. So there is no Land Hording or scarcity. FFXIV does it wrong. Wildstar did it right, but the game is shut for a couple of years now. And Wow was lazy and never did it. They did Garrisons, but nobody visits those any more. They had no options. Garrisons were a glorified “Menu” to do missions in Warlords of Draynor and nobody liked them and nobody goes back.
In Rift your starter dimension is free and you get it with a quest at about level 10ish. It is a hut on a cliff overlooking the ocean. How sweet is that? Here are two other examples from the Auction House. Faen’s Retreat is easily available via a drop I think or on the auction house for cheap. Also here’s my Tavern from the auction house.
There are a ton of items for your plot from merchants, quests, drops, the pay shop or the auction house. Knock yourself out and bring your friends. Visit the public sites in the Dimension dialog to see what other folks have done and are showing off. Oh. And you don’t need a fancy house for every Alt. All ALTs can visit all houses. So all my toons can visit my Tavern and add things to it.
Pets are a Thing
Many roles [jobs classes] get pets. You can’t tame pets from the wild, but you get some nice ones.
If you want to play a Ranger with a Bow / Gun and a Pet, choose Rogue and pick the Wildwhatever role. You get a boar right out of the gate and later other pets.
Mages [Elemental Role] get Rocky and later Air and Water pets.
Warriors get cats with bad haircuts.
Warlocks get Undead Pets.
Here are way too many mounts in the game. Horses are cheap. You get a free Horny Lion at level 20. Claim it from the Shop at level 20 in a package of free stuff.
Wardrobe and Dyes
Wardrobe and dye features are built in, available from the start and free to use at any time. Not like GW2, or Wow or FFXIV, where you have to visit a major city or prove yourself worthy. Just use it at any time to look like any item you have seen on any character on your account on any Shard [server]
A Very Rich and Mature World
There are lots more features, but I’ve given you enough to get started. I need to get back to the game now. There are lots of wikis for Rift but many are incomplete and there does not seem to be recent activity. The game released in 2011, but I guess we are on the Game of the Month club these days so folks are no longer excited about Rift. They should be. It is way better than classic Wow. Looks way nicer than FFXI and has better features than FFXIV. Also, you don’t die as frequently as in GW2.
May you Stop the Invaders and Close the Rifts.