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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not perfect, but it's a great start
Coming from someone who has been playing all type of MMORPG games from MUD to WoW and all that are in between. RIFT is a great game by its own rights. It's been a long time since the MMO community has a very successful launch. I'm not going to compare features between this game and that game, but here are the good and the bad from my playing experience.

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Published on March 1, 2011 by Jereth

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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but without staying power.
When my guild fell apart on WOW after the Cata expansion, I decided it was time to try something new. I had heard some good things about Rift and knew a few people playing, so I went ahead and gave it a shot.

For the first month or so I was hooked. The graphics were amazing, and the ability to really customize your abilities and switch easily between specs...
Published on August 16, 2011 by katann23


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69 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not perfect, but it's a great start, March 1, 2011
This review is from: Rift [Download] (Software Download)
Coming from someone who has been playing all type of MMORPG games from MUD to WoW and all that are in between. RIFT is a great game by its own rights. It's been a long time since the MMO community has a very successful launch. I'm not going to compare features between this game and that game, but here are the good and the bad from my playing experience.

Default UI is a great. Although many of the goodies are turned off by default, you can easily turn them on through the interface setting. No need to go to addon website to install extra stuff. Things like target of target, AoE auto loot, auto sell gray items, etc. The UI layout editor is very easy to use. I'm actually really happy with it out of the box. It's not perfect, but a great starting point.

Public groups. I thought it was dumb when I first saw it, but there's a plus sign above everyone's avatar. You can click this and invite yourself to create an auto-group with the person. This is great when you see someone doing the quest you're looking to do, you can just auto group and you both and help each other. When you're done, just leave and be on your way. You can turn this feature off if you don't like a random stranger joining you. This also works for Public Group when taking down world events, such as RIFTs and Invasions. If there are multiple public groups, it merges them in to one.

Warfronts. Essentially, it's instance battlegrounds. The queues are very quick since its cross-servers. You need to be at least level 10 to do your first Warfront. There are brackets from 10-19, 20-29, and so on. It's pretty much the same old same old here, so nothing exciting about it. The experience gain is enough that you could level from just playing the warfronts if you choose to. I don't recommend it though, it gets boring pretty fast if playing it back to back... to back. Plus, you'll be pretty weak because you can't get gear efficiently if this is all you're doing.

Rifts and Invasions are pretty cool at first. After awhile it's just a zerg fest. I don't mind doing this, but again, in moderation. The blue and purple tokens you get from it are zone specific, so spend those to get yourself stronger. Not a lot of experience from invasions, so you can't level off of it like you can from warfronts. If you farm the invasion currencies you can buy items to make yourself stronger.

Quests are pretty much a straight shot. What is great about them is that you get pretty decent gears from following quests line. It will continually upgrade your gear as you go along. So this is the most effective way to get decent gear if you're playing by yourself or with a friend.
Dungeons are also pretty much like other games, but a lot prettier! It's hard to describe in words. The first instance is the Realm of the Fae, and the winter top mountain is pretty amazing, a must see! I won't spoil it.

This brings me to another point. The graphic and game effects in this game look very nice. Warrior's cleave bring up dust from the ground looks amazing. If your computer can handle ultra setting, the game is very pretty. I enjoy the graphic a lot. The last game I play that I thought was pretty was LotRO, this beats it.

Sound effects is pretty good, nothing that stands out. The script events and voice over is a nice touch, but nothing special. I turn music off when playing so I can't comment on that.

The loot is pretty also straight forward. The nice touch here is that all souls in the class use the same stat no matter what you're doing. For example, all clerics will use WIS gear. So I won't have to haul STR/DEX gear when tanking, WIS when healing, and INT/DEX when trying to DPS. All cleric uses WIS as the main attribute and that gets converted depending on the souls. If I'm tanking as Cleric Justica my WIS converts to STR for tanking. All I have to worry about is if I want to tank with 2H weapon or 1H and shield. Pretty awesome!

The Classes and Souls system is also nice, because it's very flexible. You can also purchase new roles to swap out from Tank to Healer on the fly. Since you're using pretty much the same gear from one role to another, it's painless.

In my opinion, this game doesn't bring anything new or innovative. It takes all the things other games done well and implement them in a nice package. There are a lot of improvements to be made. Like I said, it's not perfect, but it's a great start.

NOTE: If you are looking to buy this game, I recommend getting the Digital Collector's edition for $60. An extra $10 will get you a mount right off the bat (no level restriction) for all new characters that you make. The cheapest mount you can get is about 2.5 plat. I didn't get 2.5 plat until about level 20 from a normal play. I created 3 characters to level 20, and it's pretty much the same pace. Having the mount as soon as you can get to the mailbox is awesome.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but without staying power., August 16, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
When my guild fell apart on WOW after the Cata expansion, I decided it was time to try something new. I had heard some good things about Rift and knew a few people playing, so I went ahead and gave it a shot.

For the first month or so I was hooked. The graphics were amazing, and the ability to really customize your abilities and switch easily between specs made for a fairly versatile toon. Not knowing a whole lot of people on my server, the public grouping system for rift raids was appealing, and in the beginning, a lot of fun. I loved the sparkly artifacts tucked away in dark corners and hidden places. Being able to start the game with a mount (with the Collector's edition) was pretty cool, too.

After about 6-8 weeks, I started to lose interest. The random zone raids felt more like being part of a swarm of bees moving by instinct rather than an actual group coordinating and communicating to achieve a common goal. This was one of the big draws to the game for me and so it losing it's luster so quickly was disappointing. Also, while I enjoyed leveling, due to the lack of players (at least on my shard) max level content largely consisted of rep grinding - there simply never seemed enough players to raid, etc. Rift does have a queue system for pugging, much like WoW, however, even with tanks and heals in place, the queue time was often in excess of 45 minutes. The dungeons, at least for me, were unremarkable and unmemorable, making the wait for a group all the more frustrating.

I give Rift credit for being the first MMO to pull me away from WoW in years. It definitely has potential, but only time will tell if the game can get enough players and bugs worked out to become sustainable. Possibly worth giving a shot now that the game price has gone down, but don't be surprised if you don't stay. I definitely recommend trying it for the first month before committing to a long subscription!
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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Telara is (thankfully) not Azeroth!, March 18, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
What to say about Rift? Is it beautiful? Yes. Is it fun? Amazingly so! Is it different? Both yes, and no.

Visuals and Sound:

Are you tired of cartoony graphics that stress your video cards but don't really look all that good? I know I was! World of Warcraft knock offs abound these days, and I have gotten sick and tired of the same graphics every time I try a new game. I remember buying Age of Conan and being wowed by the graphics, why has it taken so long for another game to follow suit?

Well the wait for amazing graphics is over! Rift's graphics are on par or better than any other MMO out there. Everything is very "realistic" (in quotes because it is a fantasy world). Water looks like water, spell effects are top notch, and this is all done without stressing my 2 year old computer too much.

The sound quality is very rich. Yes, it can be a bit repetitive. A sword hitting a shield can only sound so many different ways. I do wish there was a bit of differention in the combat music but oh well. That is a minor gripe. Speaking of music: it is a mix of World of Warcraft and Guild Wars, depending on the area. I loved GW's music and am glad to see that someone else picked up on this style.

Gameplay:

If you've played an MMO recently, then you know how battles go. You hit your predefined buttons until either you or the enemy dies. What makes this game different is the range of skills you have available even very early in the game.

Speaking of skills: You do not just pull from one specific class (or soul as they call it). You can use up to 3 souls at a time. Yes, the three you are using are fairly similar in purpose, but the function is completely different! By mixing the souls and purchasing their abilities how YOU choose, your characters can be very different even from someone else using the same 3 souls.

You can also change "Roles" on the fly. These are like Talent Builds in WoW. You can use any souls that you have available on different roles. I currently have a Tank role and a DPS role on my Warrior. This makes it much easier to make sure you are playing the right character for the job.

But is it "Just another MMO"?

Game play can be divided into a few areas: Open world grinding, Open world rifts, Dungeons, PVP.

PvP: This is done similar to other titles. There are battlegrounds with specific objectives. These are instanced and can either be really fast, or take a long time depending on the teams. PVP can also happen in Open World. Both reward you with points that can be spent on gear.

Grinding: Unfortunately, the quest grind is pretty much here to stay. At least it is very story driven in Rift. I do think they have you running around a bit too much, but this keeps the areas fresh and interesting, so I was pretty much ok with it once I got my mount (about level 15).

Rifts: This is a blast! You get another type of currency for closing Rifts and defeating "Footholds" in the open world. Every so often there is a major incursion which takes a large group to defeat. These are so much fun, everyone turns out to defeat the invasions from the rifts, and I always stop and close any Minor Rifts I find (it takes a small group to close a Major Rift). Footholds can easily be defeated in a couple of minutes by one person, depending on their level.

Dungeons: Pretty much your standard group of 5: 1 tank, 3 dps, a healer. So far the dungeons are a little shorter than some other games, but are still challenging and offer nice rewards. Definitely worth the time and effort!

Overall: I will definitely be playing this game a lot for the foreseeable future! The mix of Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, and Age of Conan is the perfect mix in my opinion. Finally, a gaming company learned from the mistakes of others and made very few of their own!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still worth buying this disk., April 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
I started playing Rift a month ago and liked the game. As with many MMO's storage is tight so instead of buying more bag slots in game I bought this disk to get two more slots and the character limit increase from two to six. It also gives one month patron status and 7,000 Loyalty points plus the patron bonus's like dally boosters and a free lockbox and key each week for a month plus the other patron perks. Well worth the price.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rift grows on you, but then falls short faster than expected., September 28, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
So I decided to break from WOW after 1 solid year of playing. I did Rifts half anniversary deal. Ten dollars for a game with a mount at level 1? Why not?! The fact that this game takes a lot from WOW doesn't bother me. It's nice to see things evolving. If someone does, something better, we all tend to use it no matter what. But I don't think, this is the case with Rift. So I'll break it down into likes and dislikes for easy reading:

Likes:

Of course the graphics, and character graphics are beautiful. The characters look like humans trapped in a pc. Very well designed.

More character development and originality with soul system. A shaman, druid, necromancer all in one????? A healing mage? Insane!!!!!

World events and invasions!!!!! This is an awesome concept that will be the new wave of MMO's pretty soon. WOW needs to jump on this. (and I'm not talking about the lame elemental invasions before CATA came out) Full on NPC's attacking you all over the world!!!

Spell animations rock.

Instant public groups are a great idea and seem to work really well.

Love the fairies and Fae concept. A character WOW doesn't really have.

Rifts are mighty fun and get harder as you level.

Plenty of rewards.

UI is streamlined and more customizable (if you play WOW, you'll see what I mean)

Lots and Lots of class choices!

Fun animations to look at.

The characters "look" at people (this one cracks me up everytime lol)

Dislikes:

The actual "Rifts" get old very fast lol. Once you do about 20 you see a rift and go "pass".

The actual graphics are nice but can be a strain on your eyes. After a while things sorta blend into this detailed mush of animations. Hard to explain but, sometimes too detailed is not always good. It's like looking at a resume with wall to wall words. No white space. Cities are the worst.

4 classes that all look the same lol. Elf and human is all I see. Oh wait, there's big elf little elf and humans with foe hawks.

A big one for me --> Lack of interesting lore. One thing that makes WOW amazing is the story it tells. Rift, ehhhh, not so interested in what's happening. The characters in Rift? I have no idea who is in charge. lol If I said THRALL, CAIRNE, MALFURION, OR STORMWIND you'd know exactly what I was talking about. I don't even remember the name of the major city in Rift. lol.

You're restricted to crafting in cities. Bleh. I want to be able to craft anywhere. To me it's not a matter of "Realism", this should be convenience. I was like wtf, I want to make 10 wool boots and now I have to go all the way back to town lol.

Mounts are horrible. Two-headed turtle you buy with the collectors edition is the best mount.

-------------------------

Conclusion:

For the most part this game has great potential, if not for itself, for other MMO's to use to develop their own games. If WOW did some of the things Rift did, there would be no competition in sight. Rift has great ideas (you'll notice my likes are more than dislikes) but the lackluster lore and game play gets real old, real fast. It doesn't have enough to KEEP you interested after the initial awe of "new" gameplay. Overall I did one month, got bored and went back to Azeroth. Give it a try, you just might like it. Trying new things should always be something worth doing.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rift - First Impressions, March 2, 2011
By 
S. Posey (Baltimore, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
As some of you may know, I'm a pretty big MMORPG gamer. What's an MMORPG? An MMORPG is a massive multiplayer online role playing game. Think World of Warcraft and you'll understand. Basically any game where you have a bunch of people simultaneously playing and "living" in a world performing actions that both shape it and build upon it, be it economy, dungeons, socially, etc. It's a fascinating thing to experience a living breathing MMO and one thing I have really come to enjoy over the year is playing MMO's early in their life. Since the new computer I had built came last Friday and the early start preorder for Rift began the previous day, I figured this would be the perfect game to test out the new rig while also testing out a new world. Read on to see how I fared in Rift.

You wouldn't be far off to say that Rift is similar to World of Warcraft. But, in the same vein, you wouldn't be far off if you said it was nothing like it. That's just the nature of MMO's. Sure, they share a lot in common, but you often have to look at the defining features and how they differentiate themselves from the pack to really get a feel for what is being offered. So, let's get the similarities to other games out of the way first. Rift is an MMO where lots of people play simulatenously, questing, chatting, killing monsters for loot and experience to get to higher levels. Their's mounts, a mail system, an auction house, the whole nine yards. Everything you'd expect to be present in a next gen MMO is there. This is pretty standard stuff nowadays though (unless of course you're FFXIV...ouch.)

The story of Rift is actually pretty decent from the get go. You create a character from one of two sides, the Guardians or the Defiants. I picked Guardian so I can't speak to the Defiant storyline, but in a nutshell the Guardian storyline involved you partaking in a war, dying, and then being brought back to life by the gods as their chosen warrior. In the training missions you'll fight the war to it's conclusion and then be transported 20 years into the future where you are awoken by the gods to once again bring peace to the land. It's a near concept, but it sounds more epic that it really is. Although, I did find myself anticipating story quests to find out what was going on. It's pretty solid overall, but nothing amazing yet. Then again, I'm still early in the game.

Like all MMO's, you're going to need to create a class to get started. This is one of the ways in which Rift shines apart from the other MMO's like it. When creating your character, you have to pick one of four classes - a warrior, a mage, a rogue, or a cleric. This is a final choice and it dictates how your character will progress, so make sure you choose wisely. After this, you enter the game and are immediately told to pick a sort of sub class. For instance, I picked a warrior for my character and then in game I chose to be a Beastmaster warrior. A beastmaster has an animal companion who fights at his side and they work off each others strengths in battle. I believe there are 8 total you could choose from up front for your first class. After a couple quests, you are given the choice to unlock another sub class. This is where you are introduced to how the class sytem works in Rift. In Rift, you choose 3 subclasses and then mix and match the skills you want between the three to make up whatever type of character you want. Honestly, in my opinion, this is brilliant. In other games, you are given a predefined character that you can grow with some options, but not many to how they will turn out. In Rift, the options are multiplied by 3. This really allows the player to create a unique class that is suited to their unique playstyles. You can also unlock additional sub-classes and then mix and match which ones you use on the fly. It really creates a truly dynamic experience that I think will allow for some amazing player builds.

Just like in other MMO's, you are going to level your character by doing quests and dungeons all the while picking up loot and grinding to the higher levels. That's pretty standard fare for MMO's nowadays. What Rift brings new to this genre, is it's namesake, rifts. Rifts are world events (meaning they happen out in the open, not in instanced dungeons) that pop up out of nowhere. The sky opens up and demons or elementals come pouring out wreaking havoc across the land. You need to team up with other people in the immediate vicinity (or call friends in to help) and fight back to the invaders and close the rift. What happens if you don't? Well, the world changes. The enemies will take over your towns, kill quest givers (meaning you can't turn stuff in), and make life all the more difficult until you quell their forces. So far, this has been a resounding success. When you hear the war drums pounding and the rift logos lighting up on the world map, people flock to the location to participate in the battle. Rewards are given based on participation and everyone seems to work together well (at least in the early going ons). I have seen some events that went completely awry and towns were taken over and players had to strategize to take them back. That was truly epic.

The graphics in Rift are really beautiful. It shows that the devs started out looking to make a great looking game with the attention to detail in the characters and the zones. You'll spend a good deal of time just checking out things because it looks so cool in the distance or something took you off guard. As someone who could never play on max settings before (pre new computer) this is a welcome addition. In talking with other players in general chat though, you don't need a powerhouse of a PC to play the game. You can turn the settings down and be just fine, even with some pretty old computers. With my old dinosaur I was able to run on low in the beta and have a decent experience.

While I covered the bigger things in the game I experienced, there are also some smaller things that really stuck out. Like other popular MMO's out there, Rift has an achievement system. If that's your thing, it's here. There are also collection items that you can find in the world that allow you to pick up and learn more about the history of the zone, races, and wars going on in the Rift universe. Crafting professions are pretty solid although I have to admit, I haven't done as much with them as I had hoped. You don't need to buy equipment to do them though and you can have three at any given time.

So, the big question - will Rift be around a year from now or is it another MMO that will fall victim to the behemoth of WoW. I can't answer that. My guess is that yes it will still be around but it really comes down to the player base. There's enough here to keep players invested and playing for a while, that's for sure. With the game officially releasing yesterday, the servers were full to the brim so it looks like Trion are keeping busy making things enjoyable for everyone on release. I heard of no release day issues and everyone seemed to be handling things well. So, if you are an early adopter to MMO's, you should come right in and enjoy the newest next gen MMO on the market that really is a great game. If you are a little hesitant, then wait a little and see where it goes. With more and more people logging hours into the game, you'll get a feel for how people warm up to the game and if it has a long shelf life. So far though, the game has been pretty good at keeping my attention.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best MMO-RPG product since WoW, well done/polished/high quality game., March 12, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
Pretty much all I can say has been said in the previous reviews. The game is plain and simple the best that has come out since WoW, and definitely the most polished/well done MMO-RPG out there besides WoW. Basically they took the ideas that were amaizing and worked from other MMOs (many from WoW, no shocking there) and implemented them in what I would say a much cleaner way. Example of this are the "RIFTs", which are a version of public quests introduced by Warhammer Online, yet they made them more appealing and in general better done, however they didn't take all the other bad things of Warhammer with it. Same thing we can say from a numerous of concepts that they definitely burrow from WoW and EQ, taking only the good and leaving the bad out.

The interface, world-physics and graphics are amaizing to be expected of such a new game. They out-do WoW in everysingle aspect in that sense, and sometimes by a mile (like the graphics). The interface is very polished, modern and clean, and incredibly customizeable out of the box, which eliminates the stress of Mod hunting. All the options you want are out there in the interface and very easy to modify them as pleased. The world-physics are on par with WoW, basically you don't feel that you are wacking a mob that is 4 miles away, like you do in Warhammer for example, this game has really good world-physics which is something that has been a weak point of most of the MMOs in the past decade. The graphics are plain and simple gorgeous, even if you run them at low settings you won't be dissapointed. The optimization can improve, but overall I've ran RIFT in different computer specs, including a very cheap no-gamer computer and has done well enough. However, I do recommend a modern video card for a better experience, like a GTS-450 or the like as minimun to run the game confortably.

All in all the game is really well done, definitely a worthy competitor of the leading MMO-RPG out there. However, some food for thought: When WoW was released it didn't look (nor had) nowhere near all the content and quality RIFT has. I remember WoW's launch, and as much as I love the game I have to admit that RIFT destroys the release-WoW in everysingle aspect. Now, the fact that they are releasing a product that can stand toe-to-toe with a 6-year old-WoW is amaizing, and they managed to do it without reducing the quality of the product. So if they have done such a good job with the release of the product, I can only expect good things out of Trion if they game does well (meaning subscriber base). They seem to listen quite a lot to their players, and are not afraid to make changes right away, which is something that made WoW the leading MMO-RPG on its time.

I know this will make some people out there angry, but this is the way I see it : If I was put in a table and shown both products, WoW and RIFT, and I had no prior knowledge whatsoever of either games, and I was told to choose which is the better game, which is a higher quality game: I'd say WoW is a cheap rip-off of RIFT. That's not the case of course, RIFT in fact balantly stole so many concepts from WoW that is impossible to talk about RIFT without talking about WoW, but they implemented them well, in many cases BETTER than WoW and other MMOs.

So my conclusion, if you are looking for another MMO, and even if you arent, RIFT is well worth it's price. It's simply a well done/polished product and can stand toe-to-toe with the leading MMO (WoW) and that's its release version, you can only expect good things out of this MMO in the future if you give them your support (by support I mean buying it and subscribing).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We're Not in Azeroth, but It Sure Looks Like The Ugly Cousin, June 20, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
If you've played any recent MMO on the market, Rift needs no introduction. Welcome to the new persistent game world of Telara, where you battle against the evil Regulos either as a Guardian (Holy Rollers), or Defiant (Atheists).

Class system:
Rift only has four classes or "callings" Warrior, Mage, Rogue, Cleric. However each class has a total of 8 sub classes, and three of them can be chosen at any time. The classes are very dynamic, and allow for certain classes to do fill in roles they normally wouldn't fill. In Rift, you can expect to see a Rogue tank a dungeon, a Mage to be the main healer, and a Cleric to do pretty much anything. Along with a dynamic class system is the allowance to change specializations on the fly, so if one guy is tanking a boss one round, he could switch to healing the next, or dps afterwards.

Questing: 1-50
If you like the grind of Korean Free-To-Play RPGs, Rift offers this to you until max level. Quests are set up to run in a linear fashion from one area to the next in a timely manner. Each has several quest hubs which consist of "Kill X number of bad guys", "Pick up X number of items". After a mini-boss fight of one area, you move on to the next. The initial starting zones of Defiant and Guardians have a pretty unique story line that if followed, can be pretty interesting. However the novelty of this wears off at level 10, and quests are literally done in the same fashion until 50.

Rifts:
Hence the title of the game, Rifts randomly spawn all across Telara in the leveling zones. There are several types of rifts, however the objective is the same for every one. Kill X number of enemies. Rifts then go into bonus rounds where you are timed to kill them. Invasions are when the zone is being attacked by a swarm of rifts, and it is up to everyone in the zone to group together and defeat the invasion. If successful, invasions take over quest hubs and towns. This can be fun if you are new to public quest systems or working with your guild to defeat them, but mostly they become annoying when you're leveling characters. On PvP servers, it is especially annoying to take on rifts as the enemy faction will impede your progress than help out.

Post 50 Progression:
After level 50, your character then begins the reputation grind for certain specialty gear, crafting quests, daily quests, and of course dungeons and raiding. Dungeons are broken down into normal, tier 1, and tier 2. Each level of dungeon becomes more and more challenging, and are usually a good time thanks to the scripted fights and tough class mechanics. However, there are still many bugs on certain bosses, and it can actually be more of a nuisance than a good time when a boss will reset without warning. After dungeons come 10-man raid, and of course expert raiding. Expert raids are 20-man, require a certain amount of gear from tier dungeons, and are heavily scripted for challenge. You can queue for dungeons in any area, at any time, however dungeons are not cross-realm, thus you will wait in a queue for hours before getting picked .

If all of this sounds familiar to you because you've played World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer, or almost any other modern MMO, that's because it is. Rift doesn't offer anything better for the MMO community, only more of the same with a bit more graphical polish. I personally waited until I experienced raid content before reviewing, as most MMO veterans always say to hit max level before you judge a game. The leveling process was a hard pill to swallow, but at 50, I really enjoyed the dungeons, especially Greenscale raiding. However this was mostly due to the guild I was in. I had joined another guild earlier during my leveling, and I was disheartened to see a large guild of max level players, with over 70% of its people base missing in action for two weeks. I was told many guilds on the server were turning into this; players simply played the first month of their subscription and called it quits. After checking the forums on Rift's 50+ servers, it was apparent my server wasn't alone in the epidemic.

Rift stuff to like about it, but it's not all glamorous. Rift doesn't allow add-ons, nor has an adequate damage meter. Patches are coming out that will eventually allow this, but this could have been a big seller for coders who like to tweak game UIs or give utility to things like the Auction House. Rift has some nasty in-game glitches that require you to log out from the client, or get you stuck in a rift. The targeting system for enemies is very poor, and misclicks abound in dungeons that result in accidental pulls. Zones are cramped, with enemies constantly knocking characters off their mount with a slow debuff. The worst has to be the questing system. Even at max level, daily quests repeat the same dreaded grind players did to get to that level, but now earn reputation for it. Nothing can be done to grind this reputation, it has to be done in order to get the best gear.

MMO enjoyment is all about community and content. I know plenty of WoW players in my day who would log on just to be bored, because that was their community; their virtual home. I got luckily and found a good group of people who genuinely love the game despite its flaws. Rift doesn't offer you anything different, just another community, and an arduous level grind. The end-game is fun for dungeons and raids, however getting into raids require lots of avid players, which of course is a dwindling commodity as many continue to quit. Rift sure isn't Azeroth, but it certainly plays like a red-headed cousin.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Beginning For a Solid MMO..., April 10, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
When it comes to MMOs it is tough to judge how long it might last, or what the future might bring. Because of this is RIFT worth my money? Or is it one in many passing MMOs?

** AT FIRST GLANCE **
What impressed me about RIFT the moment I installed the game is just how polished the product is. From installation, account activation to overall performance of the game client and servers... RIFT really made my jaw drop. It is rare to see a MMO launch in such a polished state and Trion Worlds nailed it perfectly! There is a polish about this game that you can feel. Menus, skill trees, graphical options, server stability(ping), very stable gameplay when in mass crowds. RIFT handles exceptionally well bringing a few unique aspects to the MMO genre while sharing aspects of other games; bringing us to GAMEPLAY

** GAMEPLAY **
RIFT handles like a typical fantasy MMO. Pick a faction, pick a class, pick a race. Customize and off you go! If you played any fantasy MMO before then you should feel right at home with the setup. Soon into the game you will notice elements of WoW, Warhammer: Online, even a little Lord of the Rings Online. Your character has the ability to learn 3 "souls" which act like classes. For example as a MAGE you might run with Necromancer / Warlock / Elementalist. Pick 1 tree as a main, the other 2 become supporting souls. Like any MMO once you get your class it becomes "THE GRIND"; taking quests to gain experience and items. Spend your skill points, run dungeons etc. Does RIFT bring anything new to the Genre? YES!

- RIFTS: This aspect of the game is designed for public questing. This was seen in Warhammer: Online, but in RIFT it is more of a random event. While questing on the world map rifts will randomly appear / open. Mobs will spawn (invaders) and begin attacking your questing hubs! To prevent invaders from spawning you need to close rifts which consists of stages requiring certain triggers (kill the boss or perhaps kill 10 *insert rift mob*) RIFTing is addictive! Very addictive. Ontop of a "world event" random Invasions can be triggered which spawn tons of rifts on the map. Satisfy the requirements to seal the invasion and a world "elite" will spawn. Based on how many stages you complete, types of invaders you kill etc you get "currency". Using this world currency you can buy high quality gear, skills, items to enhance your stats etc.

And well... that's about it. There isn't much to bring to the MMO table anymore even with today's technology. Is that a bad thing however? NO! What RIFT does bring to the table are aspects of various MMOs that have been very successful, and polished exceptionally well.

** DESIGN **
SOUND EFFECTS: Top of the line I feel. Weapons, spells, rifts, environment noises and mobs... it is all pretty high quality. The music is very nice and sets the tone for battles. Cut-scene dialogue is handled well.

GRAPHICS: I have a 1GB 4850 video card so I stick to the Medium settings. The game handles well (30-55FPS depending on # of players on screen) and even with medium graphics the game looks very beautiful. I've seen footage at 1080p from friends who have SLI rigs and the graphics are mind blowing! The level of detail at higher settings is very nice and if you got a powerful PC this game will look amazing.

** PROS / CONS **
+ Public Groups: handled exceptionally well with just a simple click of the "pub group" button. Makes Rifts/invasions easy to drop in and out
+ Questing: Quests are well thought out with very little travel distance required. The game will also give you quests to guide you to the next questing spot
+ Class System: Very diverse with tons of combinations per master class (warrior, rogue, mage, cleric). Each master class has 8 Souls and each character can buy up to 3 additional "role" slots for additional custom builds
+ UI: well thought out with the ability to customize it in the main option menu (similar to LoTRO and Guild Wars)
- Besides the Rift/Invasion setup, we've seen all this before
- Class System can sometimes create "bad" combinations that don't mesh well at all until higher levels (not a good combination for new toons)

(Neutral) Server structure: PvP or PvE servers. Nice to have an option!

** OVERALL **
Is RIFT worth my money or not? In my opinion YES. It is rare that an MMO comes along with this level of polish, and does so many things right. For having just gotten started, RIFT is throwing some serious punches and easily could stand side by side with the juggernaut WoW. While MMOs are often works in progress; in its current state RIFT gets 5 stars. For someone new to MMOs this makes a great game to dedicate yourself to as hopefully many good years are to come. For the "experienced" MMO player this game might make a nice change of pace from the other MMOs out there. With its combination of WoW, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer: Online, and Guild Wars done so flawlessly how can you not go wrong!

Kudos to Trion Worlds for proving in this day and age, you can launch an MMO in a state that is playable and enjoyable!

**NOTE: I recommend getting the Collectors Edition for the bonus perks you get. You can either shell out $60+ for a physical copy and get various extras like a USB stick, poster, etc; OR you can simply buy a regular edition and spend $10 digitally to upgrade your account. Upgrading your account gives you a 60% speed mount; upgrades your starting bag(24 slots) and gives you a nifty summon pet.

**NOTE: While the game is $14.99/mo $12.99/mo(3mo plan) $10.99/mo(6mo plan) you can pay and activate an account via credit card or PayPal. A credit card is not a requirement (however your paypal account must be linked to a form of direct billing)
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same problems as many MMOs, April 16, 2011
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - PC (Video Game)
**EDIT** - I haven't played this game in six odd months and canceled my account long ago, however I just received a lovely email from TRION about how somebody hacked their account services and stole all my info, including address, credit card number, etc. etc. Thanks for the wonderful Xmas gift TRION! I find it hard to believe that they didn't DELETE my file since I am no longer buying their product, but alas I now have to spend bucks on security scan software and services to keep Mr. Chinese hacker from buying who knows what in Singapore with my identity. The real kicker is that they basically said, "Well, our account management systems have been hacked and all your info was stolen, but to keep you happy we decided to give you an in game bag that gives you 10% bonus on all your money! Cheers from all of us at Trion!" Like I was still buying their crummy product. I wish I could punch their net security team in the face. Well, risk you take when you play these games, and alas something to be aware of if you decide to buy this product with their sub standard security systems.

I've been a wow player since a few months after launch. I've found like so many that a few months after CATA launched I was bored stiff with WOW. So, gave Rift a shot, and here is how I think it stacks up to WOW:

- I've leveled only a rogue character currently up to level 33. Max level on the game is 50 so I still have a ways to go. I will break down the comparisons to first - class, since you spend by far most of your time in game messing with your toons, second with general gameplay/graphics, etc. I have a 85 rogue on WOW, one of many toons, and while not my favorite, he is fun to play from time to time. The comparison between the two can only go so far. The WOW rogue is essentially the same type of toon in the three talent trees. You have stealth, and while not as essential for lets say combat as it is for sub, its still a core talent for the class. The Rift rogue is much different. You have what is essentially a hunter class (ranger), a ranged specialist (marksman), a wow type rogue (assassin), a semi-ok tank class (riftstalker), a buff class (bard) and a few other dps classes the combine limited stealth or spell like ranged or melee damage abilities (blademaster, saboteur, nightblade). And yes, after doing a few low level quests you get access to all classes and talent trees. The fun part of Rift is you can combine any of these classes together (you can mix and match 3) into whatever you want. And you can put your talent points however you want. Lots of fun with this - at least for a bit, but after awhile its not really that much different than WOW (i.e. many talents are just filler so you end up taking the +x% dmg talents 90% of the time). My fav spec was assassin combined with blademaster and nightblade. I went heavy into assassin because they have permanent stealth and a vanish spell at the top of the tree. They are not common abilities as with the WOW rogue. With this, you could stealth past groups of mobs and avoid 99% of the agro grief that alot of ppl qq about (more of that later). I have two other builds on my toon, one being a marksman/beastmaster (kinda like a marksman hunter in WOW) and a bard. I believe you can buy more builds, but as of right now I barely use my other two, so I don't see the point. I also tried the riftstalker tank class, but they seemed kinda gimpy compared to warrior tanks (damage mitigation was meh at best) so I bailed on it and chose bard. So, in relative detail here I go...

Assassin - very similar to your WOW assassin rogue. Stun, use your dot building moves (yes, its identical to WOW) and use your finisher. Its fun like the WOW rogue is fun, but its repetitive with the same 3-4 abilities used over and over - which of course is the same as WOW. The primary pro to this build is perma stealth. If you don't have this talent which is deep in the assassination tree, you stealth gives out at around 30 seconds. With the cooldown to re-apply its rather gimpy. The other talent is vanish, the top talent in the tree, but here is the major issue. As with WOW, the vanish only works some of the time. Often you will vanish and the mob(s) will run back to their starting positions, and then run back over and attack you while you are still stealthed. Kind of buggy, but its similar in a way to the WOW stealth mechanic. You can be spotted while stealthed and attacked, however you do not have an ability like distract to keep their attention off of you. There is an ability to increase your stealth level for a few seconds, but it didn't seem to work very often. In dungeon runs the assassin seemed to work rather well. The assassin tree has no aoe so you have to get some aoe abilities from other trees you wish to use. I had 10 points in blademaster which gave me a few abilities to strike 2 - 3 targets and my nightblade had a similar ability at 10 points. The dungeons mostly boiled down to multimob (use the same dot builder and aoe finisher) to single target (backstab and apply your dot finishers).

Marksman / beastmaster - the marksman tree is all about ranged damage. You still have dot building moves and finisher moves (different from WOW) but you also had hard cast dot builders and finishers that reminded me a great deal of the marksman hunter. I had 10 points in beastmaster as well which gave you the warthog and the dire wolf as your two pets. The warthog was a great solo/quest tank pet and the dire wolf was more for non-tanking damage roles. The marksman tree is built around kiting, since by itself does not give a pet. The finisher moves in particular can crit for a great deal of damage and the aoe was very good. I also have a 85 hunter in WOW, and this build is most similar to that class so I will use it for the comparison. Is it as fun as your WOW hunter? I did not think so at all. I have played my hunter a great deal more than my rogue over the years, and one of the mechanics of that class I truly enjoy are the rare pets you can farm and the unique abilities they bring to a group. With the beastmaster, you get a warthog. The same warthog everyone has. Granted, you can name him Fluffffy with five fs if you wanna, but its the same ugly hog that every other BM has in the game. Can you tame more? Nope. And it barely moves. Your pets in wow have their own animations, stretch, growl, scratch, etc. These things twitch now and again and thats about it. They have zero personality. I played this build in a few dungeon runs and while questing a few times, however its the same 3-4 abilites just at ranged. I gave up on it mostly because you have no stealth. In going from place to place in a zone there are mobs everywhere. Soooo if you wanna kill everything wonderful. If you are trying to save time and you cannot stealth, you still have to kill everything because they agro off you so easily. Instead, just pop back into assassination and stealth to the next quest site...

Bard - not much here that is similar to WOW. It is a buff class - i.e. you can buff your other group members or cause your enemies not to fight as well. Only time I played this is when I tried to get into a group that didn't need another DPS. It reminded me in a way of a healer, and that isn't my cup of tea. So I didnt play it much. Buffs, dots, finishers, etc.

Tank (Riftstalker) - This might be a good tank tree when you get the gear, but I tried to tank two five mans at around level 20 and the heals could not keep me up. I ran the same dungeons with a plate wearing tank and we finished without a problem. Needless to say I have not run a successful 5 man dungeon yet with a riftstalker tank. I had no problems maintaining threat, however the build is based around dodge mechanics, and while dodging is great, your going to take damage eventually and I seemed to be getting hit harder than that warrior with his shield and heavy armor. Musta been that leather...

Graphics - Rift looks fantastic, but the zones themselves are not too hot. There are some that have a great feel, with towering spires and rock formations, however they seem rather lackluster when compared to some of the far out zones in WOW. Additionally, with all that added detail, it can take a hit on your computer. I run WOW at ultra settings at high wide screen rez and can only run Rift at high settings. In the city with lots of other players there is often terrible lag and jumping. However out in the zones its generally smooth. While the detail is there, I suppose the fundamental difference between the two games is WOW is cartoony in nature and Rift tries to be more realistic. WOW has weapons and armor that have odd colors, lightning affects, and have little balls or whatever that zoom around it. The Rift stuff is much more drab and comparable to what people probably would wear in reality. So I suppose it just boils down to what you enjoy more.

Gameplay

- Rift has... RIFTS!! WOOO!! or WOOO! for about a day or two, then its just woo, or maybe a wo. They are these... rifts that pop out of the air and make a kind of death/life/elemental invasion into the land. Mobs spawn and you can join public groups (with a click of a button, pretty handy) to beat them. After awhile, as just about everyone says, its just a zergfest to get phat lewts. I'll do one if I'm stealthing by and I have time to spare, but otherwise they have pretty much lost their appeal.

- UI. Nothing much different here. You get your boxes to click, its customizable (you can change the size, how they are arranged, layed out, etc.) and overall very well done. What is bad about it then? You cannot get mods - at least that I have been able to find. You don't have recount. I know, I know.. isn't that a blessing?? Well, not really. How do you know if your doing very well? How do you know if your build is REALLY as good as the last one you were tinkering with? How do you know if placing 10 more points in one tree to get one ability outperforms one in another? You don't. I suppose they did that for a reason, otherwise all the different combos of talent points would boil down to where it is on wow, with everyone built off what EJ says about your class. And 90% of those talent trees and maybe classes altogether would be relegated to the heap of crappiness. But part of what you do in the game is try to get better. Its not just about the gear, its how you play. And without an essential tool as a DPS analyzer... your kinda SOL as a dps class.

- Patching. This one is pretty bad atm. They patch pretty regularly, but do some crazy stuff. Stealth was supposedly bugged when I first started playing, where you could walk right on top of a mob 10 levels higher than you and not pull agro. So they patched it and made it so you could not sneak up on anything. Literally destroying the stealth mechanic, except if you were perhaps hunting squirrels. Then they patched it again a few days later making it so you could sneak up on a mob, but you had to attack quickly or they would see you. This blew my mind that they would implement something so severe without testing it first. I don't know what systems they have over at Turion, but they are definitely not as refined as what blizz does with WOW.

- Crafting. Not much new here. You buy/farm mats and make items, with the possibility of making epix at max level (yes, they are even purple just like WOW). If you have played a crafter in WOW you have played a crafter in Rift. They do have a solid auction house as well.

- PVP. I was never a big PVPer, but it seems OK with Rift. Class balance is quite a bit of QQ from ppl in the city. I have done a few warfronts, but it seemed to boil down to whomever had the best healers.

- Dungeons. I talked a bit about this earlier. They seem generally pretty easy, a zergfest AOE marathon with a boss thrown in once in awhile. Not much different than wrath dungeons a year or so ago. They have added a dungeon finder - but it is not cross realm and can take hours to find a group. I waited for over an hour and was grouped with four people that were all in their high 40s. Needless to say everyone bailed and I had to start from scratch. Not as well done as the WOW engine.

- Community. I have heard this a lot. 'But people are so sweet and nice in Rift!!' - ??? One of the first Rifts I went to where mobs were spawning and you had to kite them to areas in the Rift to kill them in order to finish. A few of us didn't understand what had to be done and were killing the spawns away from the designated kill areas. So ensued the WOW like tells 'ZOMG #$@#$ #@$#!!!'... I guess the enraged kiddies from WOW tried Rift as well. I don't really see much difference other than I don't stay in the city much in Rift because of the lag and therefore don't get exposed much to the 'trade' chat.

Lastly, I find myself playing more WOW now than I do Rift. I have heard it said that Rift is like WOW, but more refined. I prefer to think of it as Rift tries to be like WOW, but didn't quite cut it. Maybe I will make it to level 50 before my few months of paid time wear out, but I have little interest in the game anymore. There just doesn't seem to be much there that was done as well as what blizzard has already put on the table.
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