RIFT, my Free 7 Days: Day 1

I’ve started hearing a lot of buzz about RIFT, and after hearing about a free seven day trial that you can download, I was more than up for giving it a go.

With time being what it is, seven days of trial only actually works out at around 24 hours worth of real play time after all those other little life annoyances are taken into consideration. With that in mind. I’ll chronicle what I can about my experiences in the land of Telera. Who knows maybe RIFT would fill the MMO gap that World of Warcraft has left; Lord of the Rings Online hasn’t managed to fill it.

Although this is only a trial so if I did want to continue playing this, I would have to pay for the game itself costing around £40, and then there’s the monthly subscription to pay on top of that.

Without any more pre-amble, here’s day 1.

Most of my time for day one, was taken up by downloading the trial. The file was around 8Gb, and as my download speed seemed to be restricted to around 250kb/s it took 8 hours to download. You can only access the trial after you have signed up, so I’m hoping the 7 days starts once the game is accessed on your account, otherwise I lost a third of a day doing nothing.

Any-who, once I was in to the game my first task, like it is in all MMO’s, was to create my character.

My RIFT Rogue
See it could be Paine from FFX2

My first choice was between the ‘Guardians’ and the ‘Defiants’. I didn’t appear that either one of them was any more evil than the other (my usual selection criteria) so I went for the symbol which was more red (blue, white silver just looks to goody-goody for my tastes.) Defiants from what I can gather used technology to defeat an army under a not too nice guy called Regulos. Though honestly, I didn’t pay too much attention to the story, I wanted to play and time is of the essence.

Another choice, this time what race would I be? There were some mostly humanoid looking things called the Eth, some large bulky giants called Bahmi, and finally some elven looking things called the Kelari. My latent emo/punk gene kicked in and the Kelari were chosen purely because they had the better hairstyles (What can I say, I have simple tastes.) There was also a special skill in regards to turning into a fox that seemed rather cool, which was probably the clincher.

Before I got to the character look part of the creation, I had to choose which of the four paths my character would choose, nothing mind-numblingly original here; I had mage, warrior, rogue or cleric to choose from… Rogue, easy… next!

Now on to the character styling part. Through the near standard array of slider bars and colour selections, I had a nice number of options allowing me to create my perfect Kelari woman. Turns out, my perfect Kelari woman reminded me a lot like Paine from Final Fantasy X2.

This does all look kinda familiar…

Right, I’m done and I finally clicked to enter the game.

After a cut sequence, showing that I had been created by this soul harnessing technology. I entered the word of Telara. From my first impression, the questing seemed to be of the rather similar ilk of ‘kill so many of X’ or ‘collect so many of Y’. Though, to be honest I wasn’t expecting a huge surprise in the way questing was done.

After a few of these quests, I had already picked up two out of the three souls that determine the skills, I have. Each character can absorb up to three souls, with each soul being one of nine different subtypes within your class. So my rogue could become a bard, an assassin, a rift-stalker, etc. I picked up a hunter soul and a marksman soul. Hunter gave me a spiny warthog pet thing, and marksman improved my ranged damage. (Looks like I never truly left Warcraft behind)

This where you become who you want to be

Once you have chosen your souls, you can now allocate points (gained every time you level) to one or more of those trees. The trees are divided into two sections. The branches, which are the parts you put the points. Points added to trees give you bonuses or extra skills on that tree. The roots give your character with more skills, the more skill points you put into a subclass (soul) the more skills are unlocked in the branches of the tree.

My time had pretty much run out after this. I’d created my character, experienced some quests and got my character souls and skill points allocated. Although, I think there’s one more soul I can merge with to get my last third rogue subclass.

Initial thoughts. It’s quite nice. Graphically it’s well presented, and seems to have a lot of promise but how much can you really tell from just half an hour of playtime. Hopefully, more time to play tomorrow…

If you wanted to download the demo to try for yourself, I’ve linked to it from here

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.

So what do you think?

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