Friday, May 16, 2014

RIFT Online (Part One)

RIFT Online
This next game that I'm covering on is actually a three years old game (pretty age-old by MMO terms), called RIFT. Developed and published by Trion Worlds, it was first released way back in March 2011.

But before I slice into the actual gameplay stuff, I'm gonna take you on a little bit of a history to why I've chosen to focus on this instead of all the other newer ones that are out there.

Anyway, back when I first founded this blog, my directions and intentions for the blog wasn't quite set yet. And so I was pretty much just dabbling around, trying out all sorts of stuff and fumbling along the way.

It was during then that I spotted RIFT and decided to do an article on it. And as you can see from it, the article was basically a ragtag, made from bits and pieces of information that I've obtained from various sources. But owing to the game being a P2P back then, I guess that was as far as I could have gotten with it.

Now that it has turned free-to-play, and by chance I've stumbled upon it once again, I've decided that I would redo my coverage. This time round, by playing it personally.

The Download
I'll have to say that the downloading experience I have with RIFT Online is way better than the one I had with War Thunder.

Things were simple enough that all I needed to do was to create an account with Trion, download the installer, install and then log in to kickstart the client downloading process. No hanky-panky issues of having to watch like a hawk, constantly open and close the client nor worries about getting your bandwidth clogged up by the launcher.
RIFT Online - Tutorial IslandRIFT Online - Downloading While Playing
And perhaps one particularly impressive feature I've found was that, much like Onigiri Online, this game also offers a "Play While Your Downloading" component to it.

So long as you've downloaded the minimum required portion of the client, you will be granted access to at least the "Tutorial Island" part of the game world. Or if you've had enough of the client downloaded, then perhaps even the main one.

Character Creation
The character creation in RIFT Online works just about the same like any other. Though some things might be named differently here, its really just the usual mumbo jumbo like choosing of sides, race, gender and job class for your toon.
  • Origin
    RIFT Online - Choosing Sides
    From what I could see, the so-called "Origin" merely forces you to take order to facilitate for some form of "senseless" Open World PVP later on within the game (much like Scarlet Blade's, DCUO's or SWTOR's).

    Depending on the shard (server) that your character is in, this threat of being PKed may be persistent (if in PVP shard) or it may be "Toggle On" (if in PVE shards).

    Apart from that, the choice you've made here doesn't quite affect anything else out of the ordinary other than the "Races" that you can choose in the later section of character creation.
  • Race
    RIFT Online - Choosing Race GuardiansRIFT Online - Choosing Race Defiants
    • Motivational Roar (Active)
      Increases movement speed of character and nearby group members by 30% for 10 seconds.
    • Legacy of the Shade (Passive)
      Death resistance increased by 20.
    • Agility (Active)
      Increases movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds.
    • Desert Dweller's Birthright (Passive)
      Earth resistance increased by 20.
    High Elf
    • Angelic Flight (Active)
      Flies towards the selected area.
    • Grace of the Forest (Passive)
      Life resistance increased by 20.
    • Camouflage (Active)
      Decreases the aggro range of enemies, for 30 seconds, by transforming into a fox.
    • Legacy of the Fire Islands (Passive)
      Fire resistance increased by 20.
    • Dwarven Breakfast (Active)
      Restores 8% Health and Mana each second over 13 seconds.
    • Miracle of Hammerknell (Passive)
      Water resistance increased by 20.
    • Mighty Leap (Active)
      Leaps at the selected area.
    • Shalastir Heritage (Passive)
      Air resistance increased by 20.

    As mentioned earlier, if you've chosen to be a Guardian, you are basically limited to becoming a Mathosian, a High Elf or a Dwarf. If you've opted for Defiants, you will then only be allowed to choose either Eth, Kelari or Bahmi.

    Besides the visual differences, I do not think that there's anything in particular that would impact each of their combat abilities. And so, I do think that your pretty much given free reign to choose whichever race that you would prefer.

    In other words, I perceive no bias between the races. Although each race does have its own racial traits comprising of one active and one passive (as specified above), they are in no way "overpowering" or more powerful than the others.
  • Calling
    RIFT Online - Calling
    Now on first look, it may seem that this is just asking for you to select a job class/profession for your character. However, unless your already familiar with the game, I suspect that the mixture of "Tank", "Damage", "Support" and "Healer" tags (associated with each job class) would baffle you extremely. So much so that you would start to question your prior assumption.

    I can a "Warrior" class be playing all the roles of being a tank, a damage dealer as well as a support? And how can a "Cleric", that is "usually" playing the part of being a healer and/or support, be a tank?

    Well, let me first assure you that you aren't wrong in your original assumption. This "Calling" thingy is indeed functioning as some sort of job class selection for your character.

    As for the "Tank", "Damage", "Support" and "Healer" tags, those simply indicate the possible roles available for you to play as if you do select that "Calling". In fact, ever since Version 2.7 BINDING OF BLOOD, I believe that it is possible for you to play as any of the four roles (Tank, Damage, Support or Healer) regardless of whichever calling it is that you've taken. (Provided that you have the corresponding souls unlocked, that is...)

    Even so however, I must caution that you take extra time to decide which particular calling that you would want to they are not all fundamentally the same. (And they cannot be played using the same way either.)
    RIFT Online - Equipment ArmorsRIFT Online - Equipment Weapons
    Pending on which calling you've chosen, the stuff that you can equip or use will be different. For instance, Plate Armors can only be used by Warriors whereas Chainmails can be used by both Warriors and Clerics. Leather Armors can be used by all callings except Mages while Cloth Armors can be donned by all. Well...stuff like that.

    Anyway, just note that while the roles are free for you to change at will, once your within the game, the Calling isn't. Should you dislike the Calling your playing, you must recreate another character and level it up all over again. So do take note of that.
  • Purpose
    RIFT Online - Purpose Sage
    Many a times, I've heard that new players to the game were often confused by this "Purpose" selection...especially for those that had read the forum guides and already have some particular "Soul Build" in mind. But since the names of the "Souls" that they knew (and had planned on choosing) aren't quite the same as that which is shown here, they are stumped and dare not move on.

    Now actually, what you are choosing here is just some sort of a template build for your character. These builds each have their own selection of souls already (and these souls determine the "roles" that your character can play), as well as a predetermined "route" or "path" in the allocation of the "Soul Points" (skill points in regular MMO terms).
    RIFT Online - Sage Souls
    For example, the "Sage" actually comprises of these three souls, Chloromancer (Healing), Necromancer (Damage) and Elementalist (Damage). And if you follow the template obediently, by simply clicking on the "Spend All" whenever you level up and gained some "Soul Points", your character will turn out as was described. (And will fulfill the roles of being either a Healer or a Damage Dealer. But in this case, its the Healer role, as the "Sage" template primarily focuses on leveling up the Chloromancer soul tree.)

    As far as I know, if your totally clueless about RIFT Online, then my suggestion would be to read each of the template's description, select the one which interests you the most and just follow it.

    But if you wish to explore on your own, then whichever choice you've made here does not matter. These templates are there to help ease newcomers into the game as soon as possible, not to "bind" you. You will be able to "switch out" the souls later on within the long as you've not spent any "Soul Points" into it yet.

    As for those templates which are red out, they are likely locked due to usage of certain "cash-only" souls within their builds. To gain access to them, you will need to either pay cash to unlock those souls or acquire REX from other players using in-game money.
  • Avatar Customization
    RIFT Online - Avatar CustomizationRIFT Online - In-game HUD
    As for the avatar customization part, while it may not be spectacularly customizable, there's still plenty of options for you to knock yourself out, in my opinion. However, I must warn that the in-game HUD looks dastardly aged though. And so I do believe that no matter how much effort you put in here, there won't be much of an eye candy to look at once your in the game. (Or maybe its just my darn low-spec computer that's dragging the game through the mud, who knows?)

Next: RIFT Online (Part Two)