I started playing Rift when it went F2P in June of this year. Having been an avid Lotro fan since it’s F2P launch in September 2010 (and that was my first MMO ever), I wasn’t sure what to expect. My first attempt at playing had me quitting before ever even finishing the starter area. It seemed dull and boring. But after I paired up with Fex and we gave it another go, I was hooked.
After about 2 weeks of playing we had convinced many of our guild (kin) from Lotro to come try it. Most of them were as in love with Lotro as we were and were a bit skeptical at first. That’s all changed now. I doubt any of us will be going back except to sight see and say hi.
Rift sucks you in and never lets you go. Whether it’s hordes of enemies invading on the landscape or giant 50m high invasion bosses that require a screen full of players to take down, there is always something to do. In fact, while leveling with Fex, we’d often be out questing along some quest line and within an hour end up on the other side of the zone fighting a giant dragon or two headed turtle ostrich (not making that up). You often have a plan of what you’d like to do in Rift and very often find yourself doing something completely different and wondering where the time went.
While you’re out slaying monsters and sealing Rifts, you’ll no doubt come across resources and begin crafting. Crafting is an important part of MMOs and it isn’t any different with Rift. Crafting is fun and rewarding and often an avenue into meeting new players and making friends. It always feel good to make someone some uber piece of gear and it’s always nice when you can make a pretty penny from doing it. Crafting in Rift takes time and isn’t overly complicated, but it was designed so that you need lots of materials and lots of patience. The best items don’t take long to make, but take a long time to gather and process all the materials for them. As it stands now there are, I believe, 2 pieces of crafted equipment that are the best you can get in the game for their respective slots.
Grouping in Rift is really well designed. When that huge boss drops out on the landscape and hits you like a truck, you are going to want to be in a group with a healer or two. Not in one? Rift has the solution. One click at the top of your screen and you join the nearest public group and now you’re not getting your face smashed in. Already in a group, but need more people? Simply click the Merge Groups option and your team will instantly join the nearest group. This is a great feature. Couple that with the fact you can Unmerge Groups and it completely eliminates the hassle of having to invite 15+ players to each group or get rid of them all afterwards.
Another unique feature of the the game is that you can scale your level down to play with friends and others at lower levels. This is called Mentoring. This comes in handy if you are at level cap and your Girlfriend (if you are so lucky) just starts playing. You can scale your character down to hers and play along side her. That way you aren’t one shooting everything within 30m and she can still enjoy the game. You can tell who is Mentored by the blue aura around there character frame. Don’t forget to reset your level when you’re done, otherwise you may be called a noob.
One of the reasons I came to Rift was that I heard it had a fantastic endgame. And while I have not yet begun to raid, I have done all the Expert Dungeons and have been part of numerous landscape raid activities. What I can tell you so far is that it is difficult and extremely rewarding. The game as a great sense of character progression and you will notice that every gear upgrade you make has an impact on the difficulty. It will take me months to get a full raid set of armor and probably even longer (if I do at all) to get the best gear for my character (I play a warrior by the way). This is what keeps me playing, however. The sense that my character is always improving his gear and that I’m always improving my playstyle. In contrast, I’ve had the best gear for my character in Lotro for 4 months now and their expansion is still 2 or 3 months away.
If all of these things don’t keep you busy, there is still PvP, Artifacts all over the world to collect that give rewards, book sets to collect, all different pets and mounts to unlock or find, guild quests to do that level up your guild and give you peks, dimensions where you can build your own world and much more. Trion has really thought of nearly everything to keep someone playing their game. The best part…it’s completely free!
Rift offers a lot of features for a variety of players. If you’ve been looking for a new MMO or just a new game to try, give Rift a go. It’s free, servers are currently bustling and busy due to it going F2P in June. This might just be the best time to be playing Rift. Whether you want to play casually or hardcore, it could just be the game you are looking for. If not, you paid nothing but a few hours to find out.
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