Rift: What A Difference 229 Days Make

By Alec Meer on October 19th, 2011 at 8:57 am.

What a lot of antialiasing

When did we last write about Trion’s MMO Rift? Oh, May. Just two months after it launched, then. Whoopsie. Well, fortunately Trion have put out a video showing how the game’s grown over the last seven months. It’s jolly dramatic, and conveys both that Rift is holding its own against the big-boy competition, and that for all the talk of freeform progression in other respects it’s holding fast to genre convention. I.e. “bored of WoW? Come hither, come hither” is the presumed message.

If you’re able to unbind the in-game camera and can hire a video editor who’s been watching a lot of Fringe, you too could make the game look this exciting.

This trailer was released for the recent New York Comic Con, by the way. Hell on Earth, by the sound of things.

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37 Comments »

  1. RogB says:

    hmmm.. it says ‘Play for free’ at the end, but when i look at the site you have to buy it and pay a subscription. eh?

    • Sankis says:

      Presumably they mean the free trial.

      I really like RIFT, though I’m hardly a hardcore MMO player. I play a few hours a week and greatly enjoy it, though. The bi-monthly-ish updates remind me a lot of what Asheron’s Call did back in the day. Move the game’s story forward while adding new content.

  2. Baka says:

    Wow, the trailer really manages to make the game look exciting. All of the battles and scenes you can see in it were available at the beginning though and experiencing them first hand I sadly have to say they’re exactly the boring slow-paced “just like WoW” grinds anybody that is looking for an alternative knows well enough. Even the leveling drags along in precisely the same way as its big brother. It’s by no means bad, it’s polished, the content you’re expecting is there, but it’s not different, no alternative.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I played extensively troughout the beta. And i can tell you clearly.
      No. The game is not that exciting.

      But its among better MMOs available at this moment.

      Sadly for it. Some FREE MMOs are better.

      LOTRO, Champions, Fallen Earth (post apocalyptic sandbox!)

      So well…
      Good trailer though.

    • Hanban says:

      Agreed. Recently gave it a shot. Think I got sick of it by level 28. The class system is certainly interesting but the level design, the progression and just generally most content is too much “been there done that”.

    • Adekan says:

      Rifts were fun. The fact I was able to unintentionally make a horribly unusable character by misspending my talent points and having absolutely no idea how to fix it until I went forum surfing for about 3 days for the ” perfect build ” was also fun. Everything else was not so fun. Made it to level 43 and cancelled.

  3. Choca says:

    “bored of WoW? Come hither, come hither”

    If you’re bored of WoW, you’re pretty much bored of Rift too.

    • BigJonno says:

      You hit the nail on the head there. I was in the beta and was very impressed by the game, it just wasn’t sufficiently different to the game I’d been playing for the past five years.

    • JohnH says:

      My impression after trying Rifts is that it’s the bastard child of WoW and WAR. So if you’re bored of WoW (or WAR) then go look elsewhere for your “fix”.

    • Carra says:

      I was gonna post the exact same thing.

      Yeah, I burned out on WoW. Rift however, just offers more of the same.

    • -Spooky- says:

      When you are bored of WoW .. go to some more fast action like CoH or Vindictus.

    • Nalano says:

      Pretty much. Hit levelcap and within a week there’s nothing new under the sun. Want to progress? You need to raid or farm battlegrounds… exactly like WoW.

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Agreed. Played it for a couple of months. Feels like a re-skin of WoW.

    • jokomul says:

      I enjoyed Rift much more than WoW. I don’t play any MMOs at the moment, but if I ever go back to one it will definitely be Rift.

  4. DevilSShadoW says:

    ahh, Fringe! You mentioning it made me watch that trailer hoping for some weird science.

    I came back disappointed.

    • Koozer says:

      Fringe laughs in the face of facts. Turn your brain off and it’s good fun though.

  5. luckystriker says:

    I bought this for $8 on the steam summer sale and I STILL haven’t installed it. Perhaps this trailer will provide the impetus…no.

  6. mjig says:

    I haven’t played it, but if you’re interested it’s $15 on greenmangaming at the moment. http://www.greenmangaming.com/games/mmos/rift/

  7. Raniz says:

    I enjoyed my trial of it, but it’s not enticing enough to pay a monthly fee.
    Go F2P and I’ll consider it.

  8. Srethron says:

    This is going to be one of those my friend said stories because I haven’t played any MMO in some time.

    A couple of my friends have been playing Rift, and they say rogue is the OP class. They do the most damage. They’re the best at PVP, and even though they’re not the best healers, they do frequently outheal healers on the healing meters. The devs consider this a good thing. So if you’re going to jump into the Rift, at least consider rolling a rogue. Unless my friends were lying to me. They were a bit drunk at the time.

    • MidoriChaos says:

      I’ve been playing for the free month you get when you buy the game (bought it on some Steam sale day when it was for 5 quid or something similar) as I had played the beta and looked entertaining enough for a month, and I’ve heard this comment about rogues as well. Not the healing bit, mind you, they can do a fair bit of aoe healing from what I remember as a Bard (IE support) but it also eats a lot of your damage capabilities. The “best on PVP/best on damage PVE/best tanks” bit, though, yeah, I’ve heard. Doesn’t change the fact that there’re still people playing crappy rogue tanks :(

    • aircool says:

      Every game suffers from FotM, especially in PvP where balance is an impossibility. Go to the forums of any online PvP game and you’ll get a zillion threads wanting nerfs and buffs, complaints about overpowered and underpowered classes and hilarious ragequits over some trifling change to one skill or another.

      If you want to enjoy a game, avoid the forums (except for news/patch notes).

    • Booch says:

      @aircool:
      That is quite possibly the best advice I’ve ever heard. *bows*

    • Halloween Jack says:

      @aircool: A thousand times yes. City of Heroes got a lot better when the devs essentially decided to ignore PvPers instead of trying to please them by (among other things) creating missions that could only be completed by picking up temporary powers in PvP areas (yes, that’s how desperate the PvPers were for people to grief).

  9. CaspianRoach says:

    Some amazing texture work and geometry for an MMO there. Pretty horrible animation and effects quality as usual though. Too bad this game didn’t bring anything amazingly new and awesome into the genre, it could’ve been more succesfull this way I believe.

    • MidoriChaos says:

      I find some of the effects quite pretty. Some animations though, as you say, are like a silent scream for help. When my mage swings her staff by accident in between casts (used to right clicking mobs so it’s autoattacking) the transition from swing to cast again is incredibly smooth, yet on my rogue casting a melee ability makes the swings twitch and break, which is quite distracting.

      It also seems to need a monster of a PC to run at maximum settings, even when you put things on Ultra many of the sliders can still go further to the right (I don’t know what they base this ‘Ultra’ on). Running with a GeForce GTX 570/i5@2.67GHz and 8 GB of RAM, using Custom settings somewhere in between what they give as High and Ultra I still get frames plummeting to 20-30 in some places (though it’s much better than on the 1 year older ATI I had). Most ares still give me a stable 60, with Vsync on because screen tearing makes me sad. I think it uses a Gamebryo-based engine though so I suppose it could be worse, it could crash over and over.

    • neolith says:

      If I remember correctly the GAME-ENGINE is based on Gamebryo, but the RENDERER itself has been rewritten from scratch.

  10. Roshin says:

    I’m sure they’re working hard at it and it does look nice, but I can’t be arsed. I just want GW2.

  11. pirusu says:

    Part of the appeal of Rift is that it IS very similar to WoW. At least, for myself.

    I don’t have to relearn new mechanics, the gameplay is basically the same (I’ve never had a problem with WoW’s gameplay), heck, even most of the default keys are the same.

    The thing that I like is that it’s a different setting with different content. It’s “new” while being familiar.

    Plus, the invasions/world events are fun.

    I won’t play it forever, but when I can sit down with my wife and we play all day together, it’s a pretty solid good time.

  12. aircool says:

    Good game. I still play it (hooray for one of my toons reaching lvl 50 last week, and yes, I am that slow).

    Once you get to the endgame, there’s still loads of stuff to do like Raid Rifts, PvP Rifts and other events that you can summon at will if you have the correct items. When someone pops open one of the special rift events in a zone, it really brings all the players together.

    Whilst it does follow the tried and tested MMORPG recipe, having options to radically change your skillset and have up to five different builds at any time keeps things fresh.

    It also looks good (for an MMO), and a lot of the mobs have a very distinctive style which is far removed from the now standard Warhammer/WoW stereotype.

  13. Ignorant Texan says:

    Too much WoW, not enough WAR(game engine excepted). Sure is pretty, though.

  14. oceanclub says:

    I played the beta and, honestly, it just reminded me of a reskinned WOW. And I wanted to play WOW, I’d play WOW.

    P.

    • Big Daddy Dugger says:

      The talents in rift are a but more imaginitive than wow, particularly the rogue ones like the shadow step all over the place rogue tank, gee-tar shreddin bard or the no melee, no shooting, just blowing shit up demolitionist whereas wow has alot of mage, mage copy #1, mage copy #2, two hander warrior, two hander warrior copy #1, two hander warrior copy #2. Rift does have some specs that feel like others but at least they do have a few that feel new and different. It’s just worth saying the gameplay options are a little more diverse in rift. Also if you want to experience all the gameplay styles in rift you dont have to level 20 alts because there’s only 4 classes but tons of talents to choose from and going half & half on specs is viable (31/30/0 etc).

  15. nootron says:

    I played this game for a bit. I was a bard. A bard named Willy. And I played my lute like fucking Stevie Ray Vaughan. While most players were shooting fireballs and swinging swords, I was shredding that shit with my 4-string and bugle.

    I fucking KILLED a man with a fucking bugle.

    How badass is that?

  16. Big Daddy Dugger says:

    As a fan of mmo pvp Rift just seemed like a slightly more entertaining wow to me. I played wow up from 2005 til late wotlk when they dragged on 1 major patch for over a year (the icecrown one) without releasing new crap then I’d had enough. The talent trees in Rift are the only thing that I found interesting because there are so many viable specs compared to wow. But once I got all the specs down the game didnt have much left going for it. I’m done with mmos til guild wars 2 or major Eve content.

  17. bill says:

    That’s the most exciting trailer of people standing and waving their arms that I’ve ever seen!
    I think they did run for a few seconds at 1:15 though.

    Is Fringe worth a look? I need a new tv show to watch, and I’m out of touch with what’s been great over the last few years in the west.

  18. Halloween Jack says:

    I liked a number of aspects of the game–the graphics and the almost-endless customizability of the subclasses–but in the end, it seemed very grindy for a solo player.