Monday, March 14, 2011

Rift, Planes of Telara

So, the game that has been consuming my free time these days is called Rift, Planes of Telara link.  This game was in development for a few years, and I was able to get into the closed beta and play through it.  This is going to be a somewhat lengthy post, so bear with me a bit.

First off, what kind of game is it?  It's a Fantasy MMO based in a world called Telara, which sits at the crossroads between the other dimensions of the cosmos (earth, fire life death etc etc) and it was protected by seals.  During a great war between the Guardians (followers of the Gods) and the Defiant (users of ancient technology) the seals guarding the world were broken, and the various elemental forces began to invade.  It's up to you, the players to protect the various towns, outposts and strategic locations around the world, preventing them from being captured and taking back the ones that have been overrun by the invading forces.

Character creation is pretty straightforward to begin.  You pick a side to belong to, the Guardians or the Defiants.  Each side has three races that can be selected, with slight racials giving each race a different ability or resistance to some element.  Once you chosen a race, your able to customize your characters appearance.  This includes height, build, facial features, hair and optional features such as tattoos and piercings.  Once this is all set, you get to pick your basic calling.  There are four to choose from.  The warrior, the cleric, the rogue and the mage.  What these paths determine is what souls you are able to acquire in the game.  Each calling has 8 souls attached to it, and these souls are what you use to customize your characters abilities.  I'm primarily familiar with the warrior calling, so I'll use those souls as an example.

Every level you gain in the game gives you skill points your able to put into your souls.  Your able to have three souls equipped at one time, and can have up to 4 slots for builds, thus allowing you to have multiple builds depending on the situation.  Every soul gives you some base abilities, and as you put points into them, they will unlock more abilities.  So let's take the paladin for example.  The skills you gain with it are bonuses to blocking, armor, more hp and such, and as you place points into it, you unlock more skills, such as disarming blow, shield throw and even a ressurection spell.  Now, you can then add some other souls, such as reaver, which is a tank/debuff soul for a warrior.  So by putting points in this soul, you get the ability to drain your opponents strengths and make them easier to fight, or you can go void knight and gain resistance to spells and powers to grab your opponents and bring them to you.  You could also take a dps soul like beast master and use that souls powers to offset your defensive capabilities.  You can even unlock special pvp souls that use the same pool of points and will give you extra bonuses when fighting in the warfronts.

So onto the pvp.  Honestly, it's been alot of fun for me.  I play a warrior, tank mostly, on the guardian side on a pvp server.  The queue times for us are not that bad as there are many more defiants then there are guardians.  The first two warfronts I've done are the Black Garden and the Codex.  The Black Garden is similar to to capture the flag, but with points.  For holding onto the flag (in this case the fang of Regulos) you aquire points, but the fang is dangerous to hold, so your constantly taking more and more damage from holding it, and eventually it will kill you.  The codex is a control warfront.  As you hold onto control points, you aquire points, first team to 1000 points wins.  You gain rep with certain pvp factions as you battle and favor.  You spend favor to earn some decent gear, plus unlocking more pvp souls and ranks.

Tomorrow I will go into the dynamic world aspect, how the dungeons work and how the rift system itself works.

PAX Review

So I ended up going to PAX East this weekend, and holy hell was it alot of fun.  I started there on Friday and walked around the expo hall, picking up some free swag and checking out the latest games.  Played some Vindictus on the new Alien Ware machines and checked out the Duke Nukem forever demo, the Knights of the old Republic Demo and many others, including quite a few indie games coming out of the Boston area.  Went to go see the unveling of Kingdom of Amular, made by the game company Curt Shilling made, and not sure how much I can talk about it, but it's looking to be quite a spectacular game and I am eagerly looking forward to giving it a shot.  Sat in one some D&D panels, and played alot of table top games, including giving the Heroes of Shadow powers a run on Friday night.  So overall, the experience was quite worth the exhaustion and general lack of sleep I got through the weekend.


Rift post coming soon, still tired from PAX.