Some Early Impressions [Rift]

I want to like Rift.

As one of the few themepark MMOs that is performing well a year after launch and with a new expansion on the way, the game’s star is on the rise. Even Syncaine, who officially hates the game, recognizes it as a ‘real MMO’ and praises the developers’ efforts to keep it updated.

However on deciding to give the game a trial, my first session didn’t last very long until I had to quit to play something else. 

To explain why this happened, here are some first impressions. Take them with a pince of salt – I played the game for a couple of hours at most.

-Generic races

The usual humans, elves and dwarfish looking races in both factions. Usually there is at least one big ugly race, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

-Generic story

There are good and evil factions. The evil faction have opened rifts through which destructive forces are pouring. They need to be stopped and I am the hero to do it.

-Generic visuals

I ran Rift on ‘high’ graphics and on first impressions, it looks a lot like LOTRO. Not bad, but nothing stands out. I do find some of the UI graphics slightly ridiculous – as noted by Wihelm. Every time I accept or complete a quest I receive a massive ‘QUEST ACCEPTED’ sign that makes me think I have just achieved something substantial. It’s unnecessary to say the least.

-Generic combat

I am fairly comfortable with the semi-turned-based nature of WoW-like combat. Having said that, my Cleric’s main attack takes a painfully long time to cast. I anticipate that there will be class talents that reduce this cast time, but at this stage it seems overly punishing. To quote Killed in A Smiling Accident: “The wait-on-global-cool-down combat seemed ponderous, almost ridiculously so.”



I have not yet played the game long enough to cast judgement on it, but I thought these first impressions will prove an interesting journal entry when I reflect back on the game at a later date. If I compared the first hour of play with SWTOR, WoW or similar, Rift fares pretty badly.

I’m going to stick with the game – I’m particularly looking forward to experiencing my first rift and trying out the Group Finder, as well as tinkering with the soul system.

But for a game that is bucking the trend of subscriber decline and is regarded but some as a ‘real MMO’, I was hoping for something more in first experience.

About bernardparsnip

Gamer, Blogger, Poet
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4 Responses to Some Early Impressions [Rift]

  1. SynCaine says:

    Rift is horribly generic in every way, but also does all those generic things as well as one might expect. If you are looking for more themepark, Rift is (IMO) as good as it gets right now. If you are looking for anything but a themepark, Rift is not the game for you.

    • It’s interesting to contrast SWTOR and Rift. Bioware focussed on the levelling game whereas Trion focussed on the end game. That suggests to me that SWTOR probably converts a higher % of trialists but Rift retains a higher % of subscribers. Spending 50m rather than 200+m probably helps as well…

  2. pkudude99 says:

    Caster cleric at level 1 does feel very ponderous. I actually found I preferred putting my level up points for the 1st 11 levels into Justicar in order to get the heal-on-strike capability, with the “extra” points in Shaman for more melee damage, then from level 12+ go gangbusters in Shaman for the melee goodness. Warden for the 3rd soul early on for the instant cast waterjet spell for if you need some spammable range attack.

    I couldn’t stand trying to be a caster cleric early on either, though the inquisitor rocks in the upper levels once you’ve specced into things for it.

    • I wanted to go for a class that would be ‘useful’ in rifts and dungeons but didn’t realise I would have to get to level 7 before I could start contributing.

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